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The Biggest Gainers

Yesterday we compared average draft positions from current drafts to those done in March to see who fell the furthest.  Today's let's switch it and look at the biggest gainers.

I won't name every undrafted player from March who is being drafted for '09. But that list is headed by Carlos Quentin, Alexei Ramirez, Cliff Lee, Ryan Ludwick, Chris Davis, Edinson Volquez, Andre Ethier, and Ricky Nolasco.  Now on to the gainers who were drafted in March:

  1. Aubrey Huff - gained 239.16 (331.58 to 92.42).  Following a surprise '08 that garnered Huff a few MVP votes, he's now being picked in the eighth round.  In many leagues you can use him at either infield corner, but should you wait a few rounds and take Chris Davis, Jorge Cantu, or Paul Konerko instead?  Huff's season was weird - most of the production came from a massive three-month stretch.
  2. Evan Longoria - gained 215.73 (235.53 to 19.8).  Everyone's looking forward to 30-100 in his first full season.  Geovany Soto ranked 42nd on this list, by the way.  Fantasy leaguers were ready for Soto.
  3. Jay Bruce - gained 214.66 (318.35 to 103.69).  Bruce could pop 30 HR as a sophomore.
  4. Ervin Santana - gained 213.66 (332.15 to 118.49).  He always had the stuff, and had success in his first two seasons.  The key here was the career-best walk rate of 1.93 per nine. Guys like Ian Snell, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jonathan Sanchez, Edinson Volquez, and Chad Billingsley could reach new heights with improved control in '09.
  5. Nate McLouth - gained 202.92(265.56 to 62.64).  A preseason pick for 20/20, McLouth came through.  No reason he can't repeat, maybe with more steals.
  6. Joey Votto - gained 188.72 (283.58 to 94.86).  Very solid rookie year.  Aside from Davis and maybe Konerko first base drops off after Votto.
  7. Joe Saunders - gained 185.17 (327.88 to 142.71).  Doesn't get strikeouts, and his ERA should be over 4.00 this time.  I'll take Zack Greinke any day.
  8. Ryan Doumit - gained 182.48 (311.69 to 129.21).  You can still wait til the 11th and get Doumit, who broke out in '08.
  9. Milton Bradley - gained 169.35 (325.70 to 156.35).  Unless you're in an OBP league, I don't see the appeal of Bradley in the 14th.  Give me Jayson Werth or Nelson Cruz instead.
  10. Jon Lester - gained 166.18 (264.91 to 98.73).  He's in line for another strong season if he can stay healthy.  I'd rather have the strikeouts an A.J. Burnett or Volquez provides though.

The next five: Xavier Nady, Kerry Wood, Jair Jurrjens, Mark DeRosa, and Dustin Pedroia.

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