Good Hitters with a Lower ADP

Jeff wrote a great piece earlier today on bad hitters who go early in drafts. These are often speedsters who can be huge pieces to a fantasy lineup or find themselves out of a job six weeks into the season. I figured I would do a quick follow up on the other ends of the spectrum and identify 10 players going later (150+ ADP) with OPS totals at .800 or better.

Good Hitters, Low ADP
Kyle Schwarber WAS 0.862 196
Rhys Hoskins PHI 0.853 170
Josh Donaldson MIN 0.837 196
Miguel Sanó MIN 0.835 195
Josh Bell WAS 0.832 161
Jesse Winker CIN 0.832 210
Justin Turner FA 0.831 227
Franmil Reyes CLE 0.822 160
Shohei Ohtani LAA 0.819 236
Rowdy Tellez TOR 0.814 249

Only one of these guys will do anything for your SB count, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be drafted with Jeff’s speedsters to offset their OPS struggles.

Kyle Schwarber/Josh Bell

The pair of new Nationals players both make the list in hopes of rebounding off their ugly 2020 seasons. Schwarber dipped to an ugly .701 OPS after a great 2019 (.871 OPS, 38 HR). His power and patience were still present (13% BB, .204 ISO), but a .219 BABIP pulled his line down to career worsts in all three slash statistics.

Bell had a career year in 2019 before an ugly 2-month run in 2020. It is not that far from his 2016-18 numbers (.784 OPS in 1355 v. .669 in 223), but given that it was just 57 games, there is reason to believe in some comeback upside. I wrote him up recently in my 2020 Flops series, too.

Rhys Hoskins

Hoskins is one of my favorite pickups this year as his price just doesn’t make sense to me. He missed 19 games, but his numbers in the 41 games he did play were fantastic: .887 OPS, 140 wRC+, 10 HR, 16% BB in 185 PA. He is currently going 18th among 1B just behind Bell. This is a 40 HR bat with 50 HR potential and big RBI upside with J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius coming back and a full season from Alec Bohm.

Josh Donaldson

A rich 3B pool has pushed Donaldson down to a very affordable price that takes his age and health into account. The 35-year-old has missed major time in three of the last four seasons, though he did club 37 HRs with a 132 wRC+ in the one healthy year. That Twins lineup has lost some punch with Nelson Cruz being a free agent (still unsigned), but it’s still a strong nine that will deliver plenty of R/RBI opportunities for a big hitter like Donaldson.

Miguel Sano

Donaldson’s teammate will be instrumental in covering some of the Cruz loss, especially if he can finally put together a full season. The 28-year-old has never reached 500 PA, but his premium power has yielded a 119 career wRC+. The projections love him despite a gaudy 37% K rate over his career and a fully healthy season would definitely have him pushing toward 50 HRs.

Jesse Winker

Winker is a very good hitter, but injuries and struggles against lefties constantly take him off the field so he is still looking for his first 400+ PA season. He was healthy for 2020, but it meant 54 games and his high beyond that is just 113. The volume will remain an issue until we see a full season, but the projections will always stand out relative to his draft price.

Justin Turner

Even accounting for him being 36 years old and unsigned, he is too cheap in drafts. In fact, he is perennially a draft day bargain. His games played count usually comes up short of what we want with just one full season in his career (151 gms in 2016), but the production is too good to pass up. He is a career 130 wRC+ and he’s been an obscene 145 mark since 2017.

Franmil Reyes

I’ve discussed Reyes a bit already this offseason here and here.

Shohei Ohtani

I know he is a total wildcard with the uncertainty surrounding his dual role, but that is finally built into his price. He had a terrible .190/.291/.366 line in 175 PA last year and yet he still managed 7 HR/SB (a 24/24 pace in 600 PA). Most sites are now allowing you to choose if you want him as a hitter or pitcher at the beginning of each week so if the pitching flops again, you have a stud hitter ready to take over assuming the pitching issues aren’t injury related and just put him on the IL. A draft price sitting in the 200s is just too juicy to pass up.

Rowdy Tellez

With each passing move the Jays make, Tellez’s price drops a bit as his handle on an everyday spot slip more and more. Currently we have him penciled in as the strong side DH platoon, a role I would gladly accept at this draft price. That said, he has a pretty solid .764 OPS in 179 career PA versus lefties meaning he might not even need a full on platoon.

Prior to the Hot Stove, Tellez was a riser as he looked to be in the middle of that burgeoning lineup. In the meantime, the lineup has burgeoned and then some with the additions of George Springer and Marcus Semien, moves that have pushed Tellez down to a projected 8th. There is a world where he outhits Cavan Biggio and maybe even Vladimir Guerrero Jr. en route to hitting 5th or 6th. I’ll take this power and potential in the mid-200s.

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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1 year ago

I agree with Hoskins, Bell and Reyes. I think the other side have valid reasons for being so low. Playing time injury and batting average issues. I have to believe Bell’s change of scenery is a huge plus. And Reyes is due for a breakout season.