As the start of the 2017 MLB season creeps closer, your fantasy baseball drafts are likely the next thing on your to-do list. Last week, you got the ADP trendsfor the top shortstops, so this time, let’s dive into those players who are rising through draft ranks and some whose stock has been plummeting in mock draftsas of the last two weeks.
As our reference, we will be using Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army ADP Trend Report that he updates more than he walks his dogs.
Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft ADP: Risers
Freddie Freeman, 1B,ATL(+5.9%, current ADP – 26.9). Was Freeman the best fantasy contributor from 2016 that nobody is talking about? Freeman had a career year last season, as he posted a .968 OPS with 31 home runs, and is still being drafted outside of the top 20. There’s no reason for Freeman to slow down in 2017 either, especially with an improved Braves lineup allowing Freeman to hit with more runners on base than he has in the past few years. He’s a career .288 hitter, so we should expect his average to subtly decline from north of .300 to around the .288 mark.
Mike Napoli, 1B, TEX (+5.7%, current ADP – 234.8). Now that the burly first basemen has a home, his stock is on the rise. It’s always weird drafting someone who’s teamless when camp starts, but this is Napoli’s third stint in Texas, so it’s not taking him long to get acclimated. Napoli should begin the year hitting in the heart of the Rangers order and has an excellent chance at replicating his 30-plus home run campaign from 2016, barring injury. An obvious caveat is the he is 35 and the 150 games he played last year were the most of his career. That’s definitely something to be wary of when heading into your drafts.
Alex Bregman, 3B,HOU (+4.8%, current ADP – 82.8). Maybe it’s because people saw him don the USA stripes in the WBC or maybe it’s because, at one point in 2016, he was baseball’s top overall prospect. Either way, Bregman is on the rise. In his short time with the big league club, Bregman made his presence felt, belting eight homers and driving in 34 runs in just 49 games. If you take those numbers and stretch them out to 162 game averages, it becomes 26 home runs and 112 RBIs. Being wedged in between George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa should allow Bregman to see plenty of pitches, which could lead to those 162-game averages coming true.
Marcus Semien, SS, OAK (+4.8%, current ADP – 228.3). It’s not every day your fantasy shortstop has a chance to hit north of 20 home runs, but that’s what Semien did in 2016. Due to the lack of depth at the position, Semien’s stock is rising. He’s not part of the elite class shortstops who would separate you from other teams at the position, but Semien isdefinitely serviceable and has a chance at replicating last year's numbers.
Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM(+4.5%, current ADP – 73.0). People have clearly tuned in to watch deGrom pitch this spring and really like what they’ve seen. In 10 spring training innings, deGrom has struck out 13 opponents while walking a mere oneand is lighting up radar guns like he was just a few seasons ago before any word of arm troubles came into play. If your draft is completed and deGrom is heading your staff, sit back and relaxbecause he’s poised for a big 2017.
Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft ADP: Fallers
Wilson Ramos, C, TB(-8.5%, current ADP – 258.7). There is still uncertainty regarding when Ramos will make his debut with the Rays, which is definitely making drafters cautious and, ultimately, passing on taking a chance on him. Ramos was having an incredible 2016 season before his devastating knee injury derailed his campaign. He took the practice field for the first time earlier this month, so we’re still some time away from seeing him in live game action.
Stephen Vogt, C, OAK(-7.2%, current ADP – 210.8). Vogt’s recent ADP drop could be an outlier due to a minor heel injury that recently kept him out for three straight days. The key word being ‘minor’ due to the fact that the Athletics expect Vogt to be behind the dish within the upcoming days. He’s enjoyed a nice spring training thus far, hitting .375, and could be a late-round sleeper, especially if his stock continues to fall.
Ketel Marte, SS, ARI(-4.9%, current ADP – 242.0). Marte was a very popular player in 2016 drafts, but he underwhelmed, hittingjust .259 with one home run and 11 stolen bases. With Yasmany Tomas’s oblique injury, the door could open for added playing time in Arizona, and there’s even been talk of Marte working as the Diamondbacks leadoff hitter. But Marte doesn’t bring much to the table from a fantasy perspective outside of the speed. He doesn’t hit for any power, and while he runs well, he doesn’t seem to be too much of a threat to be near the top of the stolen base leader boards. He’s an adequate player, but his stock is dropping for a reason.
Evan Gattis, C, HOU (-4.6%, current ADP - 132.9). One thing we know for sure is thatif you need power in the later rounds of your draft, Gattis will provide it. However, the signing of Carlos Beltran took a while to really take a toll on Gattis’s draft stock. The uncertainty of how many times Gattis will play a full game each week has slowly crept into the back of every drafter's mind.
Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC (-3.6%, current ADP – 112.5). The drop in ADP could be due to a few things, but the two primary reasons seem to be his inability to stay healthy and the fact that he could be traded before this year's trade deadline. Cain’s played just 140 games once in his seven years of MLB service. Couple that with the fact if he’s traded, it could be to a team with a crowded outfield situation or to one that doesn't allow him to run as much. Both of those reasons are something that is keeping a lot of people away.