Second edition of a post where I take a player’s potential 2017 stat line, sprinkle in a bit of Lance bias, and determine where said player might fall come early 2018 ADP.
To read the first edition of this column, and for a slightly better breakdown of my simple methodology, follow this link. In that post I covered: Anthony Rendon, Luis Castillo, Alex Bregman, Josh Bell, and Zack Godley. Below I’ll touch on four more players; two hitters and two pitchers.
Potential 2017 Line: 27 HR – 17 SB – 103 R – 79 RBI – .307 Average – 153 Games
2016’s Ian Desmond, more power, better plate discipline (Drafted 76th overall, early 7th round pick)
Currently on Razzball’s Player Rater, Jose Ramirez is the 15th ranked hitter, while his teammate Francisco Lindor, sits 11 spots lower at 26th overall. While I expect that to flip come 2018 fantasy rankings, the more interesting storyline might be how far apart their ADPs will be. Ramirez came into this season with skepticism tied to his profile from some analysts – me! – partially because of his reliance on average and stolen bases – valuable, but rarely very appealing. I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong putting him outside the top 100. However, if you were confident in Ramirez’s ability to post a 27-homer season with an ISO nearly 120 points higher than his prior campaign, I both admire your boldness and question how you came to that conclusion. The highest he was taken in an NFBC league was 61st overall, meaning there was nobody projecting this power output with their money on the line. Ramirez 2.0 came out of nowhere, with peripherals that don’t throw up thousands of red flags. He’s pulling the ball more this year – particularly in the second half – which probably equates to some of the overall power uptick. Am I concerned about that coming down next season, and his power fading? Ramirez has produced such attractive profiles in back-to-back seasons, I’m not sure the pull-happy tendencies matter.
Ramirez’s 2017 line looks a lot like Ian Desmond. Beautiful home run and stolen base production, with significant contribution in runs and an average that pushes towards the 80 RBI mark. Keep in mind from August onward, Ramirez has almost exclusively become the Indians’ number three hitter, after spending the majority of the season batting fifth. Lineup tendencies are nearly impossible to predict and extremely fluid, meaning Ramirez’s 2018 counting stat profile is going to be a beast to predict. The other three hitting categories? Regardless of the near 30-homer power sticking, can still lend themselves to an elite level of combined production. Desmond’s ADP was driven down to the seventh round on average because of his injury. Prior to then, he flew off the boards before the third round was finished. Ramirez should replicate, to a moderate extent, Desmond’s early 2016 ADP.
-Projected early to mid 3rd round pick (24-34 overall)-
Potential 2017 line: 57 IP – 68 K – 1.07 WHIP – 2.21 ERA – 2.72 FIP
2016’s Julio Urias, different hype and assumed workload (Drafted 179th overall, late 15th round pick)
Our new weaver of dreams has put together a stretch of outings that rival recent production of the league’s elite arms. Weaver always possessed elite control through the minor leagues, but his 30%+ strikeout rate this season is a novel asset. Last season, no qualified pitcher achieved a strikeout rate of 25% or higher with a swinging strike rate below 11%. Unfortunately for another developing stud Cardinals, Weaver falls into the bucket of exception. His strikeouts will inevitably come down, and with that, his ERA will climb back to normalcy, but his command begs the question of just how much regression there is to come in his overall profile.
A player with this little exposure is always tough to compare, or project forward, but Weaver’s production resembles that of Dodgers’ phenom Julio Urias with qualifiers. Urias went late in drafts due to the cautions about his workload and when he would actually slot himself into the Dodgers’ rotation. Weaver will inflate above the 15th round in most cases, making himself a Luis Castillo-esque, hype-filled arm when the new year arrives. I’ve detailed a lot about how much I like Castillo, and would take issue with selecting Weaver above the Reds’ arm. A top 40 starting pitcher might be the most bullish take possible without mixing in a bit of insanity. I’d consider myself not too insane on the Weaver front, but remain excited for the 24-year-old’s potential long term.
-Projected 13-14th round pick (156-168 overall)-
Potential 2017 Line: 34 HR – 1 SB – 93 R – 111 RBI – .299 Average – 158 Games
2016’s Matt Kemp, inflated average, different position (Drafted 97th overall, early 9th round pick)
An individual in the comments section of this post’s first version gave me a bit of reality check on how good Schoop has been this year. I understood their perspective, but am having trouble seeing the replication of this season, which would allow him to nab second-round value. How much do we think Schoop can further cut his strikeout rate? Hovering just around 21% this season, for a bat with 30+ home run power, that’s not in the Adam Duvall or Justin Upton level of swing-and-miss. Unfortunately it’s not in the elite level of limiting strikeouts that bats like Manny Machado or Josh Donaldson possess. Schoop is in a bit of a limbo. Elite second base power, with a peripherals that suggest he’s more of a .275-.280 hitter. It may not seem like a lot to complain about, but when you’re deciding between the second and third players for your team, these minor facts matter.
I can’t endorse the second round prediction that our commenter suggested, as my belief in Schoop’s true skill-set pushes him towards the late third, possibly early fourth round. He’s still very young, and I’m thoroughly impressed with the adjustments he has made, but I’m leaning on the side of caution with the belief he is a .290-.300 hitter. If that doesn’t stick, he’s going to fall from the 20th overall hitter to right where I have him pegged. At that spot, I’ll have no problem betting on his skillset. This prediction is one I will reserve the right to adjust, if the industry does a great job of throwing aside my concerns.
-Projected late 3rd pick (42-50 overall)-
Potential 2017 line: 190 IP – 212 K – 1.19 WHIP – 4.03 ERA – 3.93 FIP
2016’s Chris Archer (Drafted 31st overall, late 3rd round pick)
Darvish’s jump to the National League was one of the few things with potential to spike his all-world K/9 rate. Instead, confusion has lingered over Darvish’s lackluster season. From tipping pitches, to wonky mechanics, we’re all searching for answers to why the elite arm has shown the human element in his profile. While his strikeouts are the lowest they’ve been in his entire career, his swinging strike rate is hovering right around his career average. This could suggest a few things, with the most simple stemming around Darvish having trouble putting away hitters deeper into counts, but in the aggregate, generating similar numbers on his path to those deeper counts. I can’t say I’m ever worried with a pitcher of this caliber, even if he’s crossing over into age-induced regression territory.
Chris Archer’s 2016 is a good comp for what Darvish has done this year. It’s still extremely productive, but there is a good chance you paid for expectations of more in drafts. With Archer, the results have always had some issue jiving with what we know he is capable of. Such is the case with 2017 Darvish. With the health of pitchers in constant flux, and the depth of appealing arms after you cross into SP2 territory, if Darvish retains his mid third around ADP from last season, I’m more than happy to pass in favor of an arm with the similar attributes. He remains a fringe SP1 for me heading into next season, and that places his ADP in the early fifth round.
-Projected early to late 5th round pick (48-58 overall)-
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