Todd and I both keep harping on the fact that we run from ADP, as in "Average Draft Position."
I don't know about Z, but I get a lot of arguments back saying that it is useful in gauging what your opponents might do. Fair enough.
I cannot speak for Todd, but to me in a nutshell, ADP tells us when the masses like a player, and that determines a superficial form of value. But, again, as Todd has so eloquently noted, don't draft based upon value: rather draft upon the projection you have for the player.
In other words, if Dustin Pedroia has an ADP of 8 among second sackers, and Kolten Wong 12, logically Pedroia is perceived to have a higher value. However, while Pedey might have that great body of stats behind him to buoy that worth, Wong is a solid potential 20/20 player who is just coming into his own, and that means if I can get him in the eighth round instead of Pedroia, I probably have a better pick. Better, if I can get him in the 9th or 10th round, that too ensures good numbers and the potential profit that goes with Kolten's stat base.
Further, the longer I can wait to draft him, the higher the profit. However, if Wong is indeed #12 at second, once round 11 comes, I should not be surprised to see him snatched up before I get my pick again.
However, Wong is just one piece of the whole of a team, and it is the potential--again to use the Lord's vernacular--that you want to draft to, as part of that aggregate, not the value. For, ideally realized potential is what becomes true value, as opposed to the perceived value of when a player is selected.
As an example, Todd and I agreed to draft Anthony Rizzo as our first pick--#7 overall--in the FSTA draft, something that apparently caused some controversy.
But, for the most part, that is what we were thinking when push came to shove: that among the available choices offered as first rounders, Rizzo offered the possibilities of taking the biggest leap to the next step based upon his age, his experience, now his team, and line of stats established in 2014.
So, the question for me is not when are people in general drafting Rizzo, but rather, when I get him--or any other player--in line with filling out my roster while also realizing that potential as part of the team?
What that means to me is that I don't care when the masses slate Rizzo for selection, adjudging it "too early" should he be grabbed prior to the ADP baseline: What matters to me is when I can reasonably grab him ahead of that curve, for if I do and my perceptions are correct, I will at worst turn a profit on all my players.
If that is the case--even if the profit is marginal--I should have a competitive team.
So, instead of an Average Draft Position, what is of more interest to me is Adjusted Draft Position, with that adjustment being when should I jump on a guy?
With that in mind, I want to look at some of the players in the Mocks I have completed, focusing on players I indeed like, to see exactly when a good time to nab them is.
Miguel Cabrera: One of the guys we passed up in order to get Rizzo has slipped to the second round in a couple of mocks, which means good for you if you grab Miggy there. The truth is, Miggy would have been fine as our number seven pick as well, for improving upon his .313-25-109 total really only needs a bump of five to eight homers to confirm his bona fide first round status. Our concern was injury, and well, it was fun to pick Rizzo and cause a bit of a fuss. But, Miggy is still a fine grab, and should indeed give you that profit margin anytime after 1.5. If you can get him as a second rounder, woo hoo.
Evan Gattis: Again, Z and I raised eyebrows by grabbing Gattis when we did, in the fifth round. Gattis has generally been snatched up between rounds 8-10, so we may have been a little premature, but not much, especially when you consider he will play in the outfield, meaning the injury risk is reduced. We think he can pop 30 out of the yard, so a fifth round pick is totally reasonable. Tenth round? A bloody steal for a catcher who won't catch and can club 30-plus homers.
Leonys Martin: I am bigger on Martin than just about anyone, and for over a year I have been asking why Starling Marte gets so much love, and Martin is seven rounds lower on the hug scale? Marte went .291-13-56 with 30 swipes, while Martin was .274-7-40 with 31 steals, while Marte scored five more runs at 73. I will concede Marte had a better season, but not seven rounds worth, and with Texas willing to let Martin run, taking him Round 6 is totally reasonable.
Marcell Ozuna: I like to pair Ozuna with Martin, snatching the Marlin round 5 or so. No one seems to challenge that, and again, if he just increases his .269-22-85 totals by 10%, that would mean numbers that could be considered for the top three rounds. Ozuna has some nice things going for him in the coming year: it is his third season, he is on an improving team, and with Giancarlo Stanton as the stud outfielder, and Christian Yelich as the next big thing, Marcell kind of slides right on through, almost as an afterthought. Take advantage.
Yordano Ventura: Again, I like Ventura better than a lot of guys, and I am totally happy with him as a #2 or #3 starter. He has gone in general around round 12 or so, but he is young, durable and throws hard. Very hard. His hits to IP did go up second half of last year, but his strikeout-to-walk numbers improved over the same span, so I am thinking he is well on the path to pitching, not throwing. A guy who throws 100 and has command? I want him on my team.
Brandon McCarthy: Hard to believe McCarthy is just 32, but he turned in solid numbers last year, and is lasting till Rounds 16-17, sometimes later. Meaning I am happy to bag him as a #4 or #5 starter around the 15th round. He struck out 175 last year over 200 innings and with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke locking up the ace slots, McCarthy is much like Ozuna: the kind of guy you can ideally slip by under the radar, or at least before your mates realized they might have made a mistake dismissing him as such.
Jorge Soler: He was nabbed in the ninth round of a few mocks I did, which is ok, and means maybe a .275-15-70 line would be pretty good for round 13, but he needs to steal to justify a ninth round pick with an outfield that is so deep at this juncture. For sure, Soler can indeed hit the totals baselined above, at that does make him a decent gamble; however, part of the trick of grabbing players who can deliver upon potential ahead of the rest is to not gamble too much. There is a difference between a crapshoot and a calculated risk, after all.
Rusney Castillo: The American League's version of Soler, though Castillo is 28, with a lot more experience. And, we know how well in general the Cuban imports have fared in the Bigs. I would take Castillo over Soler for just that reason, in fact eighth or ninth round, depending upon needs and the league makeup, is a perfect time.