As expected, pitchers are valued higher in Point Shares vs. actual drafts. There’s plenty of reasons for this – riskier pitchers are undervalued, (mis)perceptions, blah blah blah – but all that matters is finding the best bargains across all positions.
Shorthand for the below. Any player with a positive (+##) is being picked that many picks after their estimated value. Any player with a negative (-##) is being drafted ahead of their value. Plus is good value. Minus is bad value.
Here are some observations for 1B, 2B, SS, 3B. I’ll cover the other positions in a 2nd post:
The top 3 after Pujols (Fielder, Howard, Cabrera) are drafted at slight premiums (5-16 picks ahead of estimated value) but the next group of Teixeira, A-Gonz, Morneau, and Votto come at a higher premium (30-55 picks).
The biggest premium is going for Mark Teixiera (50 picks above value – 6th vs. 56th). My CHONE/ZiPS-derived estimates are 529/89/30/106/1/.284. Last year, he hit 609/103/39/122/2/.292. It’s possible that the HR-lift of Yankee Stadium still isn’t fully accounted for in the projections but the biggest difference is 80 ABs which drives up the other counting stats. In 2007-2008, M-Teix averaged 534 ABs. The Yanks now have a decent backup 1B in Nick Johnson that can spell M-Teix. I’d shy on bullishness for Teixeira but I still think he’s below the top 3 above.
So what should you do? Ideally, grab one of the top 3. If not, I’d hope one of the next 4 fall far enough so that you’re getting a better deal falling back on better valued Lance Berkman (-8), Derrek Lee (+8), and Adam LaRoche (+84). LaRoche has an average ADP of 180 where his Point Shares value is at #96 – driven by solid stats across the board. He’s been a solid 25/80 guy for a while but hitting in a better lineup and park might boost him to 100 RBI level (ZiPS thinks so at least)
No bargains in the top half of the draft for 2Bs. Utley, Kinsler, Phillips, Pedroia, Cano and Roberts are all going 11-30 picks above their value with Brian Roberts being the highest. With reports he has a bad back, I’d stay far away from him this year. Aaron Hill (-94) and Ben Zobrist (-108) are being drafted on last year’s stats vs. their likely regressed stats. Howie Kendrick (-110) is being drafted on his never-delivered promise.
The best bargains are all players that are weak in one dimension or less than inspiring overall: Uggla (-2), Ian Stewart (+4), Polanco (+88), Weeks (+40), Prado (+22), Kelly Johnson (+18).
My advice would be to punt 2B to later rounds unless you can good value for Utley or one of the other top 6 (besides Roberts). Ian Stewart looks nice if your team is short on power. A Polanco or Kelly Johnson looks better if your scavenging for a player late in the draft.
Hanley at #2 is fine value. The next 10 rounds have only one SS at above-average value – Jose Reyes. If he’s healthy, he’s set to be the 18th most valuable player in the draft but his ADP has been at #23. Tulo (-30), J-Roll (-38), and Jeter (-83) are all overvalued in drafts.
If you don’t go for Hanley or Reyes, wait until after the 10th round and there are some good bargains – mostly speed guys. Everth Cabrera (+93), Asdrubal Cabrera (+12), Erick Aybar (+14), Ryan Theriot (+60), and Alcides Escobar (+43) are all great values.
This position has almost no good values in the whole draft (unless you consider late-round fliers Casey Blake and Kevin Kouzmanoff exciting). Almost all the 3Bs are being picked 20-40 picks ahead of their value. Not sure why this is.
I think this is a position that you should reach for but just try to get the best bargain. I think Point Shares is overvaluing David Wright and undervaluing A-Rod (low playing time estimate from BP) so here are my amended 3B value picks:
– A-Rod – 4th pick or later. His ADP is #3 but I think Braun is better.
– Wright/Longoria – Anytime after pick #12. I’m taking one of the top 4 1B instead of them.
– Reynolds – Anytime after pick #25. #18 ADP too high for me given the unreliable SBs and AVG.
– Zimmerman – Anytime after pick #33. Zimmerman in the 3rd round is a solid pick in my eyes.
– Sandoval/Youk – Anytime after pick #50.
– Aramis – Anytime after #65
– M Young / Beckham – Anytime after #90
– Figgins – Anytime after #120 (yeah, pretty much saying don’t draft him. Kills you in HR/RBI for 3B)