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Monday 26th Jun 2017

I remember a time when the middle infield positions were so weak in fantasy that it usually paid off big time to draft one of the few elite options. Pass on A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra or Robbie Alomar and you would be stuck with a guy who, from an offensive perspective, was barely worthy of a spot in their club’s everyday lineup, let alone a starting spot on your fantasy squad. Times have changed. While there is still a shortage of top-tier options, there are plenty of players who will make a positive contribution, guys who you can be perfectly happy with should you decide against grabbing a Troy Tulowitzki or a Robinson Cano.

So let’s continue our look at early ADP rankings from Mock Draft Central, moving on to the middle infielders.

RANKED TOO HIGH

Starlin Castro  (Shortstop Rank: 4  Overall Rank: 41)

Would I be glad to have Castro as my starting shortstop? Absolutely. Would I be willing to spend a third or fourth round pick on him? Not quite. A lot of Starlin’s appeal is tied to his stellar batting average, and while his Minor League track record suggests that he should continue to hit for a strong average, his .344 BABIP from last season suggests that banking on another .300 campaign could be a mistake. I expect an average more in the .280 range to go along with similar home run and stolen base totals as last year. He also needs to improve his patience at the plate, as his walk total of 35 is a bit on the low side. I’d much sooner grab Elvis Andrus (elite speed source) or Asdrubal Cabrera (much higher power upside), both of whom are currently ranked below Castro.

Stephen Drew (Shortstop Rank: 12  Overall Rank: 151)

I know it’s a little unfair to pick on a guy who missed half of last season due to injury, and for that I apologize. But let’s be honest, what exactly is the appeal here? Take away Drew’s career-best ’08 campaign and you have someone who will give you an OK but not great batting average and mid-level power. We’re still waiting for Drew to take that next step forward, and I just don’t see it happening. I wouldn’t at all feel comfortable drafting him as my starting SS in a 12-team mixed league. Give me Alexei Ramirez (ADP: 162) or Jhonny Peralta (ADP: 177) instead.

RANKED TOO LOW

Jhonny Peralta (Shortstop Rank: 14  Overall Rank: 177)

Speaking of Peralta, here’s a player who is extremely undervalued. Coming off two straight disappointing seasons, Jhonny got back to his 20-plus home run ways last year, posting a career-best .299 average in the process. Yeah, yeah, expecting Peralta, a career .268 hitter, to maintain such a high average is probably asking for too much. That said, another 20-homer, 80-plus RBI campaign is well within reach. It seems like Peralta has been around forever, but he’s still just 29. Don’t be surprised if he produces like a top-10 shortstop in 2012. One thing’s for sure, he deserves better than No. 14.

Jose Altuve (Second Base Rank: 20  Overall Rank: 404)

I don’t care how embarrassing the Astros’ lineup might be this year. If I could grab Altuve in the 27th round of a 15-team mixed league draft, it would make my day. 27th round! Prior to getting called up to the big leagues last July, Altuve was batting .389 in the Minors with 24 steals in 87 games. Jose’s exceptional contact skills makes a .300 average in his first full Major League season a distinct possibility. Add in 20-plus swipes and you’ve got yourself a fine cheap choice to plug in at the MI slot.

Comments   

0 #4 Ryan Struve 2012-01-16 22:07
A very crucial point, Todd. However, slightly different league settings but actually for money > pretend ADP for theoretical leagues where half of the drafters leave after 5 minutes. Just saying.
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0 #3 Todd Zola 2012-01-16 06:01
Something to keep in mind is the ADP that Whipsaw is referencing is for drafts that will have no in-season FAAB-- you draft 50 and roll with those 50 all season, till injury due us part.

As such, getting someone as durable as Castro at a position at which the subs are pretty crappy is perhaps why he is going a little earlier.

If I am going in that direction, Castro is my fall back if I don't get Andrus. Actually, that could be another reason why his ADP is high, missed Andrus, better get Castro.

Personally though, that is a little too early for me to draft so much average and so few counting stats, even from a shortstop. I can get that skill set much later from an OF, while continuing to pound up the counting stats or get a decent pitcher in the 3rd/4th/5th.
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0 #2 Zach Steinhorn 2012-01-16 05:18
Hey whipsaw,

I'd be interested in knowing where those guys rank in terms of their individual positions but off the cuff I'd say that 51 for Castro is still a tad too early for my liking (I'm thinking more like 60). The rankings for Drew, Peralta and Altuve seem about right.

Zach
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0 #1 Ryan Struve 2012-01-15 23:09
Rather than looking at theoretical ADPs based on non-drafts, wondering what your comments are for the players at their actual ADPs based on money slow drafts? Do your opinions still hold at these average draft positions?

Castro - 51
Drew - 248
Peralta - 149
Altuve - 274
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