Imagine you’ve just arrived in Arizona to enjoy some Spring Training action. In exchange for sitting through two dozen enthralling exhibition baseball games in less than a week, you’ve agreed to first take your sweetheart on a day long horseback riding excursion. You’re about to pay full freight for this pricey little adventure when a shady looking cowboy pulls you aside whispering tales of an unadvertised, half price donkey option.
It’s a pivotal crossroads: Do you forfeit a few servings of nachos at the ballgames and pony up for the trustworthy horse, which you’re confident will deliver you to the promised land? Or do you gamble on the cagey donkey, which may nibble on your girl’s foot halfway through the trek before taking a nap in the middle of the desert?
Miguel “The Horse” Andujar ADP 66
Rafael “The Donkey” Devers ADP 148
The Horse Case: After a shot of espresso in 2017, Miguel Andujar burst onto the scene in 2018 with a monster spring training, paired with a timely early season Brandon Drury injury. Miggy 0.5 followed up a very impressive first half with an even more impressive second half highlighted by a 10 homer August with a .320 batting average.
While he’s never been one to walk much (4.1% 2018 BB rate), the 24 year old also doesn’t strikeout much (16% 2018 K rate), he’s surrounded by one of the best lineups in baseball, and nothing in his profile signals that he’ll start chewing on your lady-friend’s leg rather than carrying you to useful power numbers with a plus average. With only one full major league season under his young saddle, Andujar is quickly approaching reliable horse territory. If you jump aboard this pricey stallion, I’d be comfortable expecting a stat line around 80/27/90/.280/2 in 575 ABs.
The Verdict: Did you really think Judge Donkey Teeth was going to rule in favor of the horse in the premier edition of Horse v. Donkey? Take Donkey Devers! Your main squeeze won’t know the difference, I promise!
The sky is the limit for both of these young animals. A 10-15 point gain in average, which I’d expect from Andujar, just isn’t worth the 80 draft slot difference in price. The power upside from these two is comparable; I won’t be surprised if either of the kids blast 35 homers this season, but Raffy D could also kick in nearly double digit steals. Last year Devers outperformed Andujar in barrel %, average exit velocity, hard hit %, and he boasted almost double the BB%. Sure, I’m cherry picking stats here, but you get the idea: now’s the time to buy Rafael.
So jump on that donkey, grab some extra nachos, and prepare to ride off into the fantasy baseball sunset!
Find Donkey Teeth on Twitter @DonkeyTeeth87. Subscribe to his podcast with @DiktaSausagePod: Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.
All ADP data courtesy of NFBC and all statistics courtesy of Fangraphs & Baseball Savant.