Each night the clock strikes midnight, and we move that much closer to opening day 2017.That means we also move closer to the fantasy baseball season. Pitchers are fully stretched out and position players are sometimes getting up tofour at-bats per game -- well, the ones who aren't injured, that is. As such, we are weeding out the potential busts and spotting undervalued sleepers based on their spring training stats.
With the help of Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army ADP(a must-read before any draft), we’ll take another look at some players who are on the rise and some who aren’t worth the time in your drafts, at least not at their current ADPs.
Personally, I like getting the “bad news” out of the way first…
Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft ADP: Fallers
Ian Desmond, COL, 1B (-17.1%, current ADP – 60.3).Although his stock and ADP are plummeting, this is the absolute perfect time to take advantage of the situation. The Rockies have come out with a four-to-six-week timeline for Desmond. While that seems very optimistic, that makes for an early May return even if it’s closer to the six-week mark. The key to it all is that when he returns, his home field is still Coors. Desmond is still close to being a 20-homer, 20-stolen base threat even if he misses a month.
CurtisGranderson, NYM, OF (-3.7%, current ADP – 322.0).The perfect phrase for the Mets outfield is rated R, so I’ll just describe it as "crowded". They have a five-OF rotation -- realistically four withYoenisCespedesholding down one of them every day. Although Granderson’s projected to play every day, struggling out of the gate doesn’t bode well for him with JuanLagaresand MichaelConfortobreathing down his neck.Grandersonis worth drafting in deep leagues, but that's it.
MaxScherzer, WAS, SP (-6.4%, current ADP – 15.8).Like Desmond, this drop is juicy as all hell, as one of the game’s best fantasy pitchers can be had at a dwindling price. Scherzer’s broken finger is a thing of the past, and he threw 4.2 innings in his first start of spring training on Wednesday. Pass on Mad Max -- I will gladly take him at his reduced ADP from two week's ago.
David Dahl, COL, OF (-7.1%, current ADP – 94.1).Unlike the two previous guys I mentioned dealing with injuries, Dahl’s concern isn’t just his rib ailment -- it’s also the crowded outfield in Colorado. With Carlos Gonzalez and CharlieBlackmonlocked in for 500-plus at-bats, that leaves one position for Dahl and GerardoParra. IfParrahas a good start with Dahl out, Dahl could find himself the odd man out. Draft him at your own risk, but just know you could wind up with a part-time player.
MichaelFulmer, DET, P (-2.3%, current ADP – 134.6).The 2.3-percent drop isn’t significant, but at the same time it leads you to believe people are starting to hop off the 2016 Rookie of the Year’s bandwagon.Fulmerhasn’t been great this spring, allowing three runs over four innings in his latest outing, but he is definitely worth fantasy consideration. Think middle- to back-of-the-rotation pitcher.
Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft ADP: Risers
Bryce Harper, WAS,OF (+4.0%, current ADP – 10.02).It has come to people’s attention that the 2015 NL MVP is rounding into form and could be ready to duplicate the numbers he posted two years ago. He mashed five homers in his first 10 spring training games and has simply been terrorizing opposing pitchers. Is it crazy to think Harper could be the steal of the draft at his current ADP of 10? Not one bit.
Greg Bird, NYY, 1B (+4.0%, current ADP – 261.1).This past Wednesday was a really good day for Bird, as he was officially named the Yankees starting first basemen and then proceeded to belt two home runs in the same game. Bird has displayed enormous power since stepping onto the scene in 2015. He is in line to mash his current21st-roundevaluation in a 12-team format. Bird is a 25-plus home run threat in 2017 if he can stay healthy.
YulieskiGurriel, HOU, 3B (+5.4%, current ADP – 309.6).WhenGurrielsigned with the Astros last season, we figured he’d primarily play third base, but with AlexBregmanslotted at the hot corner,Gurrielwill start the year at first.Gurrielslashed .262/.292/.385 in 36 games last season, but we should expect much more now that he’s better acclimated to the States. He’s worth a late-round flyer in almost all formats.
IanKinsler, DET, 2B (+3.2%, current ADP- 77.1).My thinking withKinsleris fairly simple. He’s not flashy, he’s not the sexy pick, but he’s flat-out solid. He’s one of the best options from a fantasy perspective at a second base position that is weaker due to the shoulder injury of JasonKipnis. WithKipnisbeing out for the first month of the season, drafters have looked atKinsleras a security blanket in a way, hence the rise in draft position over the previous two weeks.
Gary Sanchez, NYY, (+3.6%, current ADP – 57.6).Can he replicate what he did last year? Is a sophomore slump what’s next in store for the young catcher? How many home runs is a realistic number? These are all the questions that everyone and their mothers have asked about Sanchez, and in the meantime, he’s continued to rake this spring. It hasn’t gone unnoticed either, as you can tell by the +3.6 spike in ADP. You can count on one hand how many catchers there are worth taking in the first 10 rounds, and Sanchez has to be one of them.