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Collette Calls: The Top 200 vs. Early ADP

Jason Collette

Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Towers of Power Baseball Hour Podcast on iTunes. He was selected as the Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year by FSWA in 2013.

We are officially just under five weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to camps in Arizona and Florida. While we wait for those players to get to camp, the fantasy baseball industry charges on. Earlier this week, the RotoWire 200 was posted, and we now have average draft position data from NFBC. In talking to the great guys that run the NFBC, they tell me the ADP data represents 20 mock drafts thus far. Let's take a look at how the ADP data matches up to the RotoWire Top 200 data to see where there are early bargains and early reaches are at.

(Don't worry July 2013 subscribers, I didn't participate in the rankings.)

Here is the breakdown by position:

First Base97.6111.213.6
Second Base104.1118.414.2
Third Base104.2118.113.9

The gap between the RotoWire 200 and the NFBC ADP data is rather consistent by position. The only area where it is slightly higher is at DH, where David Ortiz, Billy Butler, and Victor Martinez are for 2014. That is most likely due to draft dynamics where owners do not want to clog the roster spot.

Let's look at the top three bargains and reaches at each position. The first number is the RotoWire 200 position while the second number represents the NFBC ADP data.


  • Wilin Rosario - 35/69
  • Jonathan Lucroy - 59/87
  • Wilson Ramos - 122/147

  • Evan Gattis - 138/116
  • Brian McCann - 92/81
  • Jason Castro - 162/158

    Rosario has arguably the most power at the catcher position. One can make the case that belongs to Evan Gattis, and NFBC drafters are certainly doing so. The issue with Gattis is he will be playing more at catcher in 2014 and his defense may hurt his playing time there. Lucroy and Ramos both deliver good offense from a position hurting for it, and are still values. McCann is enjoying the Yankee/Yankee Stadium helium a bit.

    First Base

  • Adam LaRoche - 171/272
  • Brandon Moss - 85/150
  • Jose Abreu - 84/121

  • Adrian Gonzalez - 100/56
  • Matt Adams - 175/134
  • Freddie Freeman - 52/24

    When healthy, LaRoche has been a lock for 20 homers, a .270 average, and 80 RBI. last season, he dipped in batting average and RBI, but maybe his offseason training program of mountain lion hunting will help him get back on the right track again. His down numbers came from an inability to hit lefties after demonstrating an ability to hold his own against them in previous seasons. Moss is coming off a season where he hit 30 homers and drove in 85 runs, but he barely makes it into the top 150? His HR/FB ratio validates his power, and he made more contact last season than he did in 2012. Abreu is a complete wildcard, but Cespedes worked out well. As the theory goes, as long as the imported player is not a middle infielder, they do well. Power plays.

    Gonzalez has displayed stable skills throughout his career, but the move to Dodgers Stadium has hurt his power numbers. Adams cannot hit lefties, (.654 OPS), and his .876 OPS against righties is not enough to vault him into the top-150. Freeman's .371 BABIP is nearly 40 points above his career average. He doesn't do enough to be take in the top 50, let alone the top 25.

    Second Base

  • Alex Guerrero - 152/271
  • Brian Dozier - 179/188
  • Jason Kipnis - 17/22

  • Brandon Phillips - 191/101
  • Ben Zobrist - 119/75
  • Daniel Murphy - 133/101

    Guerrero's anonymity and the uncertainty of role is what making him a bargain at this point. The other two players are just the next sports, but the position overall has more reaches than bargains. Phillips is slowing down as a fantasy player as his steals are non-existent. He did drive in 103 runs last season, but that is a product of opportunity more than it is a skill. If he is traded, does he hit in the same kind of lineup or in the same spot? We learned last week how Zobrist is in a similar speed fade. For me, the Rays fan, he's not even a top-100 fantasy player.


  • Jonathan Villar - 137/215
  • Jimmy Rollins - 160/185
  • Andrelton Simmons - 135/148

  • Troy Tulowitzki - 55/12
  • Elvis Andrus - 88/51
  • Starlin Castro - 153/123

    Villar is another complete wildcard. He has plenty of speed and could be a huge factor in steals, but he also has a very poor contact rate which is going to hamper his chances to steal bases. Rollins is in a statistical decline, but his skill set is not worthy of a two-round gap in his ranking and ADP. Tulowitzki has not played 150 games since 2009 and requires a lot of maintenance to stay on the field. There is NO way a non-catcher can be taken in the top three rounds if they cannot stay on the field. The best indicator of an injury is a previous injury, and Tulo has plenty of those. Andrus is intriguing as baseball as a whole steals fewer bases, but the top-60 feels too generous.

    Third Base

  • Will Middlebrooks - 131/218
  • Chase Headley - 89/150
  • Matt Dominguez - 194/254

  • Manny Machado - 196/109
  • Martin Prado - 158/98
  • Ryan Zimmerman - 106/59

    The bargains are all power plays for the position. Middlebrooks and Dominguez have similar contact flaws, but at least Dominguez is guaranteed his playing time because he is a great defender. He is a complete pull power guy, and playing at Minute Maid Park helps that out.

    Machado is coming off a serious leg injury and we have no idea where he will be in April on that comeback process. Simply put, he is being incredibly overdrafted. Prado has the advantage of qualifying at OF, 3B, & 2B in 2014, but doesn't do enough statistically to garner a top-125 pick.


  • Robbie Grossman - 199/472
  • Cameron Maybin - 181/313
  • Chris Carter - 99/271

  • Shane Victorino - 173/102
  • Yasiel Puig - 66/22
  • Giancarlo Stanton - 53/25

    Grossman is intriguing because he has demonstrated the ability to get on base in his minor league career and has speed. We're projecting him to hit .274, score 84 runs, steal 17 bases, and drive in 46 runs. That's a top-250 player, not a top 472. Carter is intriguing because of his mammoth power. Our projections are bullish on him as we like him to hit 33 homers, drive in 98, score 78, and hit .247.

    Victorino has Red Sox World Champion helium going on, but his walk rate has been cut in half over the past two seasons, and that's affecting his stolen bases. If people were concerned about Stanton's lineup protection last season, then drafting him in the top-25 is puzzling because the Marlins' lineup is still bad.


  • Kyle Lohse - 146/307
  • Dillon Gee - 183/333
  • Hiroki Kuroda - 141/256

  • David Price - 125/55
  • Michael Wacha - 139/83
  • Aroldis Chapman - 115/63

    Lohse and Kuroda offer consistency, which has a lot of value. A fantasy roster can only contain so many wildcards; it must have some consistency anchors in case too many wildcards bust for you. Gee showed second-half improvements, particularly in the use of his cut fastball and whiff rates. There is definitely quiet upside with him.

    Wacha is enjoying the helium of his postseason run, but he simply has not demonstrated enough to be a top-100 pick at this time. Price's velocity loss is a concern for some. While Jeff views him as a top-125 player, I still view him in between where he is ranked and where he is being drafted. Chapman brings the noise and the funk for closers, but several guys do that. Still, he's being selected as a top-60 player.

    If you would like to see the overall data, the Google Doc is viewable here.