Overvalued and Undervalued: Third Base Edition
Each week of draft season I’ll take a look at some players that I think are overvalued and undervalued based on their current NFBC ADP. The projections next to the player names are an average of THE BAT, ATC, Steamer, and ZIPS projection systems found on Fangraphs. NFBC ADP data is from the date range 2/01/2019-02/25/2019. Let’s kick off third base week!
Nolan Arenado, COL (ADP 8): 662 PA, 99 R, 38 HR, 113 RBI, 3 SB, .290/.361/.559/.920
Arenado is the most consistent played in fantasy baseball. You can ink in the above projections, set it, and forget it. Because of that, he’s not a terribly sexy pick. Owners aren’t able to dream on some crazy #1 overall player type season. He’s not going to help you in the steals department but the rest of his projections actually seem on the low end to me. He plays in Coors Field, so you know he has extremely high batting average, HR, R, and RBI floors. There’s something to be said about getting a consistent, elite talent in the first round. I have Arenado as my #4 player, which makes him UNDERVALUED in my mind. There’s going to be a .320/.400/.600 season here with 45 HR at some point. The 28-year old has more upside than people realize.
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., TOR (ADP 41): 544 PA, 73 R, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 5 SB, .298/.362/.496/.858
I hate to be a wet blanket, but Vladito is OVERVALUED at his current ADP. He’s one of the most hyped prospects of all time and for good reason. He has a plus-plus hit tool, elite raw power, and a good eye. There are just a couple things that are keeping me off of this 20-year old uber-prospect. First of all, we don’t know exactly when he’s going to be in the big leagues. We know that Toronto is going to keep him in the minors for a couple weeks to gain an extra year of control, but what if he struggles out of the gate in AAA? The Blue Jays likely won’t be competitive this year, so there is no rush to bring him up. In all likelihood he’ll be up by mid-April but we just don’t know that for sure. There’s also the fact that he’s never played an MLB game. I understand that he’s projected to hit immediately upon a promotion but that’s not guaranteed. Vlad is a top-10 pick in a dynasty league but pick 41 is just too high for me to take him in redraft leagues.
Anthony Rendon, WSH (ADP 44): 621 PA, 85 R, 24 HR, 90 RBI, 5 SB, .288/.369/.497/.866
There’s no universe in which I’m taking a rookie that has never played a big league game over Anthony Rendon in a redraft league. Compare his projected stat line with Vlad’s and then keep in mind that Rendon has already done this for 3 straight years. Owners fall into the same trap with Rendon as they do with Arenado. No one is going to pat you on the back for taking Rendon. He is what he is and I love that in a player. He’s a doubles machine so he earns a boost in OPS leagues. With some good fortune, enough of those doubles could leave the yard to give him a 30 home run season. Take Rendon and sit back and relax, because he’s very UNDERVALUED at pick 44.
Matt Chapman, OAK (ADP 110): 623 PA, 85 R, 28 HR, 81 RBI, 3 SB .247/.326/.473/.799
Chapman is one of my favorite players in the league to watch. He’s an amazing defensive 3B and he’s quickly improving as a hitter. He has the requisite power for a corner infield spot and he takes his walks (9.6% career walk rate). He was able to cut his strikeout rate from 28.2% to 23.7% in 2018. The biggest improvement for Chapman came in the batting average department as he posted a .278 last year, up from .234 in his 84 game debut 2017. He has a relatively high floor; if he’s healthy, he’s going to play every day due to his elite defense. He’s an UNDERVALUED fantasy asset as it is, but if he can hold onto that batting average gain he’s going to be one of the steals of the draft.
Miguel Sano, MIN (ADP 219): 528 PA, 69 R, 27 HR, 77 RBI, 1 SB, .234/.326/.465/.791
Look, I get it. Sano has the kind of light tower power that gets every fantasy owner excited. But that’s… it. And he’s never played enough games to make himself a true plus in that category. He’s yet to hit 30 home runs in the big leagues! His career high in games played is 116 back in 2016. This guy is ALWAYS hurt or dealing with some kind of setback. While he does walk a good amount (11.9% career BB%), he strikes out at an insane clip (36.3% career K%) and doesn’t make enough contact to unlock all that power. He’s also already hurt in 2019 as he injured his heel during a celebration of his team’s Dominican Winter League championship. So a player that needs to work on his game is already behind the 8-ball in Spring Training. We likely found the floor for Sano last year (.199/.281/.398/.679 13 HR) and I understand what the people who want to gamble on him are looking for. I just don’t see him being anything but OVERVALUED until he proves he can stay healthy and make more contact.