The NFBC kicked off their Memorial Day 2nd Chance leagues last night with three drafts completed and we now have some average draft position (ADP) data to digest. I have my 2CL (is that a cool abbreviation for “2nd Chance League”?) this Friday evening and I’ll be streaming it live on Twitch if you have any interest in watching it. I want to dive in on the biggest fallers here today with some caveats. Or at least one major caveat: my cutoff is the first 15 rounds.
I want to see who is still be taken with some expectation of performance while sustaining a major fall in their cost. The actual biggest droppers without limits are the obvious injury guys. The single biggest fall from the spring Rotowire Online Championship leagues (12-team format to stay consistent with the 2CLs) is Travis Shaw who has the double whammy of injury and severe underperformance. He’s gone from the 95th player chosen on average to the 362nd last night, a colossal 267-pick drop. Miguel Andujar (347th), Jameson Taillon (312th), Luis Severino (280th), and Nathan Eovaldi (390th) are also unsurprisingly amongst the nine players with a 200+ pick dip.
Let’s put our filter on, cut things off at pick 180, and see who has fallen off:
Joey Votto -108 | OC: 70th, 2CL: 178th
Well this one isn’t too shocking. In fact, Votto was one of the first ADPs I sought out when opening the data. This is nothing like last year. Through 46 games last year, Votto had a .278/.404/.426 line with a 1.0 K:BB rate in 198 PA. This year, he’s at .208/.318/.333 with twice as many strikeouts as walks. (25% K, 12% BB). The HRs were absent last year, but there was reason to believe he could recover some of them this year as there weren’t glaring issues within his batted ball profile.
Currently his exit velo is down to 86.9 mph, the lowest in the five years of StatCast. His flyball rate is up but his pull rate remains down from 2017 and the hard-hit rate is also at a StatCast-recorded low. Now 35 years old, there are no guarantees that he rebounds and there aren’t any real encouraging factors in the profile, either. I’m a sucker for Votto so I could see taking a shot on the low end of his ADP in these 2CLs (pick 229), but I think we have to stop believing he will just automatically get better.
Miles Mikolas -81 | OC: 93rd, 2CL: 173rd
The market bought into Mikolas after his big return to the States last year, but they’ve been burnt by a 1.6 HR/9 that his pushed his ERA to 4.88 thus far. He was getting back on track with four gems in five starts before a brutal trip to Texas resulted in seven earned over just 1.3 innings, including two homers. Honestly, that start might’ve come at the perfect time as he now feels like a buy in these 2CL drafts.
You will still need to secure your strikeouts with the rest of your rotation as his 16% rate will do nothing to help the squad. Even a return to last year’s 18% mark won’t boost the bottom line, either. Mikolas still has a 1.19 WHIP, a top 40 mark, and it’s not unreasonable to believe that he’s more likely to push ERA down to be more in line with the WHIP as opposed to vice versa.
I might be careful with him in HR-heavy environments and/or against the power-heavy lineups, but otherwise I’m running him out there. Good news for Mikolas is that six of the seven best teams in ISO against righties are from the American League. He was the 47th SP off the board on average, so if you’re rostering him as your 4th or 5th starter, it’s a win.
Daniel Murphy -73 | OC: 62nd, 2CL: 135th
On the day he hit a homer, too? The Rockies inexplicably signed the 34-year old with several options already on the team they could’ve turned to, but at least we were going to get a .600 batting average out of it! OK, so it hasn’t turned out like that as Murphy is hitting just .190 and missed almost all of April with a fractured left index finger.
/start StephenASmith HOWEVER /end StephenASmith
The profile offers some hope. His strikeout and walk rates are fine. Both are up, but the Ks aren’t up at any sort of alarming rate and the swinging strike rate is neutral. Even if he doesn’t fully turn it on and have the biggest batting average we all drooled over this winter, there’s no way his .188 BABIP will hold playing half of his games in Coors. The batted ball split does show a huge flyball jump that has come mostly out of his line drive rate, but when you consider it’s only 87 PA, that could still drastically change. I’m sticking with Murph. I bought him in March and I’m doubling down with the major discount.
Khris Davis -72 | OC: 44th, 2CL: 116th
This one is kinda weird to me. Maybe it’s just the uncertainty around his injured hip paired with others around Davis moving up to push him back, but otherwise I’m surprised to see him fall this far. He’s pacing for a .248, 39 HR, 94 RBI season, which would be his worst in four years, but still pretty strong. Perhaps this drop is more a statement that the market felt he was overdrafted in March and this, paired with the hip, is the correction. Where would y’all take Davis right now?
Craig Kimbrel -71 | OC: 88th, 2CL: 159th
Couldn’t you make the case that Kimbrel should’ve held or maybe even jumped up in ADP? OK, maybe not up, but falling nearly six rounds is a surprise given that we now seem closer than ever to him signing with the draft on the horizon. We didn’t know this in March, of course, but as the days wore on and Kimbrel’s demands held firm, it became clear that teams didn’t want to pay his price and a draft pick so once the 2019 draft takes place, he’ll be free game without the pick compensation attached. Of course, he’ll still have to ramp up, too, so we might still only get 3 of 4 available months out of him.
Matt Carpenter -70 | OC: 78th, 2CL: 148th
This isn’t quite last year all over again. Last year at this time, he had a .284 wOBA, but the .373 xwOBA kept people interested. Well, not me, I was out on Carpenter as I worried about his shoulder injury only to watch him post a .984 OPS with 33 HRs in the final 121 games of the season. Carp only has a .327 xwOBA at this point, but a .242 BABIP and 9% HR/FB rate should both improve enough to push him toward his .362 career wOBA. Both Trey Mancini and C.J. Cron were taken over Carp in the 2CLs. I can’t imagine taking either over him so I guess I’m buying Carpenter at this price.
Jose Leclerc -70 | OC: 107th, 2CL: 177th
Walking nine in 10.7 innings along with an 8.44 ERA is a great way to lose your closer’s job, which is exactly what happened to Leclerc. He has rebounded once out of the role, though. He has allowed just one hit and four walks over nine innings along with 16 strikeouts. The Rangers seem dedicated to getting him back in the closer’s role and this performance will make that easier. I got cold feet about Leclerc heading into draft season because of his Marmolian walk rate prior to last year and his rising price tag, but I miiiight jump back in at this price.
Giancarlo Stanton -66 | OC: 24th, 2CL: 90th
An injury discount that makes sense. All three leagues agreed with this price as his range was 88 at the high end and 90 at the low end.
Nicholas Castellanos -65 | OC: 93rd, 2CL: 158th
His HR/FB rate has been halved, sitting at a career-low (and decidedly not nice) 6.9% and beyond that, the biggest issue in his profile is that his performance against righties has collapsed. He’s dropped 149 points in OPS down to .678, easily a four-year low, and while the BABIP is down and strikeout is up, neither is so severe that regression toward his career mark would drastically change the outcomes. Maybe he’s just in a funk against righties. This price is fair, and I wouldn’t be afraid to buy him, but I’m not targeting him.
Yasiel Puig -64 | OC: 60th, 2CL: 124th
I don’t really understand how he’s been this bad. Sure, he’s fanning more and walking less, but a 59 wRC+ is wild. He does still have 7 HR and 7 SB so there’s been some fantasy goodness. I honestly expected him to be lower as I feel like a lot of the fantasy community is just done with him. Guess what the split in earliest and latest pick are on Puig.
Go ahead, I’ll give you a moment.
It’s 91 picks! The earliest he went was 89 (I thought Vlad Sedler wasn’t doing a 2CL) and the latest was 180. By the way, I’m right there with Vlad. Justin and I hyped him up on the pod, but the market was so hot on him that I didn’t really get Puig shares.