Visualize It: Positional Value by Draft Round

Are you the “keep it quick bud, I gotta two o’clock Zoom meeting and I still need to comb my hair” type of fantasy reader? If so, this post is for you. A real quick hitter that explains how the draft value is spread across draft rounds. Take a look and interact with the visual below:

Now, I know you’re short on time, but go ahead, click on a position, and watch it disappear. For example, click on “RP” and “SP” and just focus on the position players. Notice how there are no dark blue bars representing the first base value in rounds three or four. The blue bars creep back in during rounds five and six but represent less than 10% of the value in those rounds and they quickly disappear again in rounds seven and eight. Interesting right? OK, head on off to your Zoom. We’ll be here when you’re done.

For those of you still here in between Zoom calls, let me explain how I created the visual above. I exported the auction calculator on default settings (Steamer projections) for positional players and pitchers and then I concatenated them together, sorting all players according to their dollar value. Then, I placed them in groups of 12 representing rounds in a draft. I isolated this data to players with a positive value, so we’re only focusing on players that should be drafted. Let’s go back to the first base position and look at who is being represented as “1B”:

First Base Value By Round
Round Rank Name POS POSb Dollars
1 4 Freddie Freeman 1B 1B $43.65
1 12 Matt Olson 1B 1B $39.89
2 21 Pete Alonso 1B 1B $31.24
2 22 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B/DH 1B $31.09
2 23 Bryce Harper 1B/DH 1B $31.04
5 59 Paul Goldschmidt 1B/DH 1B $18.48
6 68 Christian Walker 1B 1B $16.08
9 103 Josh Naylor 1B/DH 1B $12.19
10 113 Yandy Díaz 1B 1B $10.92
10 117 Spencer Torkelson 1B 1B $10.50
11 122 Triston Casas 1B 1B $8.75
11 127 Nathaniel Lowe 1B 1B $8.42
14 164 Andrew Vaughn 1B 1B $4.63
14 167 Vinnie Pasquantino 1B 1B $4.41
15 172 Rhys Hoskins 1B 1B $3.85
17 194 Ryan Mountcastle 1B/DH 1B $1.74
17 195 Christian Encarnacion-Strand 1B/DH 1B $1.53
18 208 José Abreu 1B 1B $1.00
*FanGraphs Auction Calculator Default Settings

Ok, you caught me. There is an issue with this way of looking at the draft pool. It allocates each player’s position as it relates to their positional adjustment, giving each player only one position. Sure, there are no full-time first basemen in rounds seven and eight, but Cody Bellinger is there and he likely qualifies as a 1B in your league. However, it’s a fairly accurate picture of how positions are distributed by round. Don’t want a first basemen in the first two rounds? You’ll have to settle for Paul Goldschmidt. That actually sounds pretty great. I could change the sentiment of this paragraph by considering that a great option would be to wait on a first baseman and take big bites out of the green OF bars.

Regardless of your approach, looking at the data in a visual like the one above can provide insights and plans of attack as you prep for your draft. What do you notice about the distribution of value that may be helpful?

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26 days ago

Where is third base?

Evan Cartermember
25 days ago
Reply to  Adam

No, I Don’t Know’s on 3rd base, What’s on 2nd, and Who’s on first.

I’ll go home now.