Over these next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on late-round category targets. This week we’ll touch on hitting categories and follow it up next week with pitching categories. While these will be geared towards the standard 5×5 categories, feel free to leave a comment if you have a more specialized category.
For this exercise, I limited my player pool to hitters projected to get at least 350 plate appearances (with a handful of exceptions). I tried to stick with players being drafted beyond pick 175, but in my mind, the later a player’s going, the better. With that in mind, let’s get to it.
Khris Davis, DH – ADP 175, 36 HRs – I promise 175 was just an arbitrary number and not just personally selected so I could include Krush. With a projected 36 taters, Davis falls into the 94th percentile for bombs this year. On top of the bombs, he falls into the 91st percentile for RBI production and 73rd percentile for runs scored. Davis is the highest projected in homers and RBIs going outside of the top 175 picks.
Hunter Renfroe, OF – ADP 240, 34 HRs – The Rays will most likely be the platooniest team this year, which gives me a little pause if Renfroe struggles out of the gate. Renfroe hit just .208 against righties last year, so the downside is the short-side of a platoon.
Randal Grichuk, OF – ADP 254, 29 HRs – Grichuk has the same batting average concerns as Renfroe, but being slated as the Blue Jays center fielder (huh?) should keep his bat in the lineup. If you need homers post-pick-250, Grichuk’s your man.
Adam Eaton, OF – ADP 197, 85 Runs – Eaton is slated to hit second for the Nationals. Showed that a full healthy season nets 100+ runs. There’s even room for improvement if his BABIP swings back up from a five-year low. Just beware of his ESPN ADP (133.5), which is heavily influenced by their ranking of him.
Paul DeJong, SS – ADP 190, 85 Runs – Category numero dos that DeJong shows up in. Runs are particularly thin deeper in the draft, but DeJong and Eaton come in at the 81st percentile.
Bryan Reynolds, OF – ADP 192, 84 Runs – Reynolds has become a darling of mine this year. He’ll be batting either second or third and showed excellent plate skills in his first full year in the majors.
Joey Votto, 1B – ADP 273, 81 Runs – Despite the power disappearing, Votto continues to be an on-base machine. Votto’s currently projected to hit second in front of Eugenio Suarez, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Castellanos. This is another guy that you have to beware of the ESPN ranking helium.
Khris Davis, DH – ADP 175, 95 RBIs – I know I mentioned it in the homers section but didn’t want you to forget! Sorry for caring!
Paul DeJong, SS – ADP 190, 86 RBIs – Third time’s a charm? Short recap: 83rd percentile in HR projection, 80th percentile Runs projection and 82nd percentile RBIs projection. All for the low, low price of post-pick 200. Buy now!
Eric Hosmer, 1B – ADP 240, 84 RBIs – Hosmer wins the award for the most boring pick ever, but he’ll bat cleanup for what I expect to be a very good Padres’ lineup. With Tatis, Pham, and Machado hitting ahead of him, Hosmer will have plenty of RBI opportunities.
Before I touch on some of my late-round steals guys, I figured I’d drop a link to Razzball’s very own Roto-Wan’s SAGNOF: Speed Darts article. Check the article out for quick hits on Jarrod Dyson, Dee Gordon, Delino DeShields, and Nick Madrigal (among others). I’ll expand a little on some others below.
Jon Berti, 3B/SS/OF – ADP 236, 20 SBs – In some cases last year, he provided league-winning steals down the stretch. The only question here is playing time, but 20 steals places him in the 92nd percentile.
Lorenzo Cain, OF – ADP 176, 19 SBs – I’m back in on Lo-Cain. He should bat towards the top of the Brewers lineup and coming into the year healthy should go a long way for Cain. His stolen bases were down some in 2019, but a return to health should help them bounce back.
Kevin Newman, 2B/SS – ADP 193, 16 SBs – The Pirates’ lead-off man showed some really nice plate skills in his first full season in the majors, striking out just 11.7% of the time. Newman’s projected 16 steals places him in the 87th percentile and he should be a decent contributor in Runs and Batting Average.
Kolten Wong, 2B – ADP 208, 16 SBs – Wong has become one of my favorite late-round MI. He’s slated to bat towards the top of the Cardinals lineup, has good plate discipline, and adds those precious stolen bases. His 16 projected steals lands him in the top 87th percentile of the category.
Luis Arraez, 2B/OF – ADP 241, .311 AVG – Arraez is projected to lead the league in batting average and yet, he’s being drafted in the late rounds. In Spring Training, I’ve seen Arraez hitting lead-off, second, and seventh. As long as he sticks in the lineup, Arraez should turn a profit from his draft-day price. The Twins offense is going to put up a lot of runs, so if he’s towards the top of the order, he’ll score runs and if he’s down towards the seven-spot, he’ll knock runners in.
Howie Kendrick, 1B/2B – ADP 362, .306 AVG – Thanks to an incredible playoff run, Kendrick started creeping up draft boards. Then they brought in Asdrubal Cabrera and Starlin Castro. Despite the crowded infield, I still view Kendrick as an asset in daily transaction leagues. If you can slot him in to start against lefty pitchers, Kendrick should give your team a nice boost in batting average.
Alex Verdugo, OF – ADP 242, .297 AVG – For now, Verdugo’s price is being suppressed because of the oblique injury he’s currently dealing with. If your league has IL spots, I love his value past pick 200. He’ll most likely bat towards the top of the Red Sox order and his .297 batting average projection places him in the 97th percentile.
Daniel Murphy, 1B – ADP 239, .290 AVG – I was in on Murphy last year in the 60-70 range, so why not buy back in after pick 225? In my mind, the upside of his batting average in Coors is still there and at this price, if it doesn’t work out, we can just cut bait.
Bryan Reynolds, OF – ADP 192, .288 AVG – Second appearance for Reynolds. I love getting runs and average this late in my draft.