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ADP Analysis: Overrated Hitters

Every Friday during the pre-season I will be analyzing ADP-related issues using the most recent information courtesy of Mock Draft Central and other sources. This week we are looking at hitters that are overrated in relation to their ADPs. The upcoming schedule will be:

  • Friday, February 10 - Underrated hitters.
  • Friday, February 17 - Comparing ADP variances from different sources, reviewing ADP movers or other requests from the comments.

Here we go with the overrated hitters (unless stated otherwise, all stat references are for the 2011 season):

  • CatchersMike Napoli (ADP 46.37, #2 catcher) is going way too early! Napoli's .344 BABIP inflated his batting average to .320. A .279 BABIP in 2010 yielded a .230 batting average. In 2011, his 25.4% HR per flyball led all hitters with at least 300 at-bats. In 2010 it was 19.3%, and in 2009 it was 16.5%. The ballpark switch certainly helped, but luck also was a factor. Only 5 of his HRs were no-doubters, per Hit Tracker. Also, his H% jumped from 28% in 2010 to 35% in 2011 (a career high). Alex Avila (ADP 109.50) and his .366 BABIP is also overrated. I prefer waiting on the deep catcher position to drafting Napoli in the 3rd or 4th rounds, or Avila in the 8th or 9th rounds, Wait on guys like Matt Wieters (ADP 99.34) or Miguel Montero (ADP 103.34) rather than Napoli, and J.P. Arencibia (ADP 180.00) or Wilson Ramos (ADP 208.22) rather than Avila. In one-catcher leagues, if you drafted Napoli you made a mistake. If you are going to reach for a catcher early in a draft, then reach for Carlos Santana (ADP 36.81), who is going to be so good this year they will make not one but two tourism videos honoring Cleveland.
  • First BasemenMark Teixeira (ADP 27.33, 6th 1B) and Mark Trumbo (ADP 142.71, 11th 1B). As I discussed here, I don't like taking a low-batting-average hitter in the first four or so rounds of a draft. Teixeira's BABIP last year was low at .239 and his xBA was .281, so there is hope for a batting-average rebound. But, his xBA was also .281 in 2010 when he hit .256. At age 32, he may be on the downswing of his career. I would rather take a top-five first baseman in the first two rounds (warning: first base is not very deep this year) and let someone else have the batting average risk of Teixeira in the late-second or third round. As for Trumbo, I worry about him getting squeezed out of ABs in the Angels' lineup, and now he may have a lingering injury that will delay or slow him in Spring Training.
  • Second Basemen: Wow, second base is stacked this year with impact top-tier players and depth. Dustin Ackley (ADP 135.95, 10th 2B) is going too soon for my liking. 6 HRs and 6 SBs in 376 PAs - I'll pass. If I still need to fill my 2B slot near the 135th pick, I'll wait and grab Kelly Johnson (ADP 235.30), Jason Kipnis (ADP 164.07), or Aaron Hill (ADP 231.41).
  • ShortstopsDerek Jeter (ADP 125.80, 8th SS) and Asdrubal Cabrera (ADP 71.61, 6th SS). Jeter's .297 batting average was lucky given his .279 xBA and he is in a steady decline (18 HRs in '09, 10 in '10 and 6 in '11). Don't draft on name alone. 15 of Cabrera's 25 homers were just-enoughs, per Hit Tracker. Also, his second-half numbers were worrisome (.238 xBA and 5 SBs). Ron Shandler writes that a .260-10-60-10 downside exists.
  • Third BasemenDavid Freese (ADP 160.37, 11th 3B). Freese's .356 BABIP resulted in a .297 batting average. His .273 xBA was closer to what he will have in 2012. He is also being drafted too high based on postseason heroics and given his injury history. In a league with 0-2 DL slots, you are likely to drop him the first time he hits the DL. I like the upside of young Mike Moustakas (ADP 211.79) or Lonnie Chisenhall (ADP 217.15) a few rounds after Freese.
  • OutfieldersMichael Bourn (ADP 57.33(!), 17th OF). For my money, Bourn is the most overrated player being drafted this season. His .369 BABIP resulted in a .294 batting average despite a .277 xBA. Beware that his batting average floor when he is not lucky looks like his 2008: .229 batting average with a .290 BABIP. He is also a power drain for such a high draft slot. If you need SBs, find them elsewhere such as by waiting for Dexter Fowler at ADP 222.86 or Jose Tabata at ADP 224.73. Or, take a chance on burners with huge SB upside if they get enough playing time such as Rajai Davis (ADP 224.01), Jason Bourgeois (ADP 225.62), and Ben Revere (ADP 228.99). Other overrated players are Yoenis Cespedes (ADP 194.93) and Mike Trout (ADP 208.55). Both players have bright futures, but will not start the season in the Majors and are highly unlikely to have an impact this season that comes anywhere close to justifying their draft slots.

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