MLB: Before You Draft Mondesi...

MLB: Before You Draft Mondesi...

In many ways the debate about Adalberto Mondesi is both exhausting and exhausted. We are at the point of the offseason where everyone knows the arguments on both sides; his upside is a top-five player, if not the most valuable player in fantasy. A 20-80 season at a time when speed is scarce is worth its weight in gold. Moreover, get Mondesi and you can largely ignore speed the rest of your draft — avoiding overpaying for rabbits who just can't hit. His speed also gives Mondesi a massive floor: even if the power dips down, a healthy Mondesi is almost guaranteed to steal 50 if not 60 bases (he's averaged 59 per 162 games in his career to date), making him worth an early pick, even in the worst-case scenario.

On the other side of the argument is a combination of Mondesi's health track record — he's never made it to 450 plate appearances. His batting average — he's a career .251 hitter, not ideal for an early pick, and it's unlikely to improve as long as he strikes out 30% of the time.

Those are the arguments, everyone knows them, no need to rehash them. 

Except I think there are two big arguments about Mondesi missing from the discussion so far that need to be looked at before you draft him this year.

Historical Context

Since 1960, there have been 218 seasons where a player stole 50 or more bases. If you're drafting Mondesi, you are counting on

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob Silver
Rob talks baseball on the Launch Angle podcast. He writes about baseball at Baseball Prospectus and was the 2016 NFBC Main Event winner. He talks politics on CBC's Power and Politics.
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