Overrated and Underrated in the draft.

By notebookguy

Every year there are players that go far too early in a draft and there are players that seem to slip too late.  This list will help you avoid the pitfalls of wasting a high pick on an overhyped player and help you find talented players  late in the draft. I’ve done hundreds of mock drafts this offseason, as my beyond patient girlfriend can begrudgingly attest to, and these are the overrated/undderrated players I’ve identified.

Talk of rounds picked in this article is based on a 5×5 15 team format.  I will give you an Average Draft Position of a player, this is the number pick the player goes at on average at a draft at mockdraftcentral.com.  Average Draft Position(ADP) Courtesy of mockdraftcentral.com.

Overrated:

Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers, ADP 11.53

He is an immensely talented player but injuries and off the field issues make him far too big a risk to spend your 1st round pick on.  He regularly goes ahead of great bats such as Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, and Lance Berkman in drafts and those players  have none of the headaches Hamilton brings to the table.  In the first round go safe, Hamilton’s upside is great, but you know you’ll get 1st round production out of those 3, you can’t say the same for Josh, you may, but why roll the dice?

Raul Ibanez, OF, Phillies, ADP 116.15

A late 7th/early 8th round pick in a 15 team draft for Raul Ibanez is not a good move for your team.  I understand that he is moving to the band box in Philly but he’s 37 years old, people don’t have huge years at 37 years old unless it’s chemically induced.  Also going to the NL eliminates the possibility of him DH’ing to give the legs a break, increasing the possibility of a DL stint, obviously his age plays into that as well.  He goes around the same time as guys like Johnny Damon, Torii Hunter, and Andre Ethier and goes at least a round before guys like Brad Hawpe, Jason Werth, and Pat Burrell.  All these players bring alot more to the table than Ibanez, let someone else make the mistake.

Miguel Tejeda, SS, Astros, ADP 116.43

I will not go anywhere near this guy at all, never mind in the 7th or 8th round.  An “alleged” roid guy, an old 32 years old, and his possible deportation for legal troubles mixed in with steadily declining numbers across the board for years render this former MVP undraftable in my book.

Joba Chamberlain, SP, Yankees, ADP 99.56

I think Joba has great potential, but some arm injuries very early in his career, probably due to being jerked between the pen and the rotation, make him extremely iffy to make 30 starts, I think he makes closer to 20.  A 20 start number 2 in your rotation isn’t going to help you win too many leagues.  He goes the same time as guys  like John Lackey and Felix Hernandez who are much safer bets and put up great numbers.  Joba goes ahead of guys like Dice, Lester, Zambrano, M. Cain, and J. Vazquez all starters you know you’ll get 30 starts out of with very good numbers, pass on Joba.

Rich Harden, SP, Cubs, ADP 119.8

Similar argument that I made for Joba except this guy has a much longer history of injuries making it more likely for that trend to continue.  The spot where he goes in the draft will likely make him the number 2 starter on a team, way too important a spot to take a risk on.

Underrated:

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox, ADP 59.21

Getting Ellsbury at the end of the 5th/beginning of the 6th round is an absolute steal.  Jacoby is Jose Reyes in CF.  A projected line of .290+ BA, 10-15 HR’s, 110+ R’s, 70+ RBI’s, 50+ SB’s is very reasonable and he may exceed those numbers.  I understand Reyes has the position advantage over Ellsbury but I think other than position, they’ll end up looking very similar.  Snag Ellsbury this year in the 3rd or 4th while you can, he’ll be a 1st or 2nd round pick next year.

Johnny Damon, OF, Yankees, ADP 114.13

The only Yankee OF of any worth this year is a great value in the 8th round.  He is the only OF in the Bronx that will get 550+ AB’s and he’s a consistent 5 category contributor.  His age is starting to factor in at 35 years old, but he’s averaged 560 AB’s over the last 3 years, going to the DL for the first time in his career last year, I think he’s got a year or 2 of good production left in him before he really starts breaking down.  He’s going to be hitting at the top of a very good lineup and has averaged .286, 18 HR’s, 71 RBI’s, 101 R’s, and 27 SB’s in pinstripes over the last 3 years.  Being a Sox fan, I don’t like the man personally, but you can’t ignore that type of 5 category production and Damon should be going earlier in the draft than he is.

Erik Bedard, SP, Mariners, ADP 179.6

Remember this guy?  Bedard was probably a top 5 pitcher on most lists this time last year, now he’s going in the late 12th/early 13th round of drafts.  I know missing last year is the cause of this and a shoulder injury is nothing to ignore, so be sure to keep an eye on him in Spring Training.  Reports so far are encouraging.  Keep this in mind:  13 W’s, 3.16 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, with 221 K’s all in the AL East in 2007, a great year for a pitcher in a bear of a division.  Well worth a shot as a number 3 or 4 starter, but know the risks and pay attention to his Spring.  You could get an ace in the 2nd half of your draft.

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Mariners, ADP 201.01

Now I realize the chemically induced Dodger year is far behind Beltre but he is an absolute bargain at 3B in the 14th round.  Beltre regularly goes 100+ picks after Aubrey Huff, Ryan Zimmerman, and Edwin Encarnacion, he is more than capable of matching the numbers of these players 6+ rounds after they come off the board.  Don’t forget that Beltre is in his free agent year, his other walk year he was an MVP candidate, don’t expect those numbers, but a line of .270, 25 HR’s, 90 R’s, 100 RBI’s, and 10 SB’s is attainable.

Chien-Ming Wang, SP, Yankees, ADP 218.6

The 15th round is far too late for the Yankees number 2 starter to go in the draft.  He is not going to give you big K numbers but 18 W’s, sub 4 ERA, and a good WHIP make him very valuable.  I expect his K’s to keep moving up as well.  His injury was a broken foot which is fully healed and he’s looked good so far this spring.  Scoop him up as your 4th starter and get 2nd starter production.

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14 Comments

Filed under Draft Position

14 responses to “Overrated and Underrated in the draft.

  1. nichols33

    I agree, Hamilton is not a 1st round pick outside of AL only leagues.
    I love Ibanez in that ballpark but using him as your 1st or 2nd OF is a stretch.
    I’m not touching Tejeda in any leagues. Made that mistake last year in a 5×5. 13 HRs in 632 ABs in that park!?!
    I think highly of Joba, but like you said, he should not be your #2.
    If Harden makes 20 starts, I’d be shocked. I will not draft him.
    As for Ellsbury, I think the avg, Rs and steals are very realistic goals. I still question his power and think 15 HRs is a real stretch but he should get a couple more than the 9 he hit last year. 70 RBIs might be bit high too, but you are drafting this guy for his speed.
    Damon is always underrated. His steals total has gone up for 3 consective years, that can’t continue.
    I wouldn’t mind Bedard rounding out my rotation but this guy seems to have a questionable work ethic and if you combine that with the fact that he’s on a horrible team, he’s a guy you have to think long and hard before drafting. But 12th round…..that’s not a bad gamble.
    Love Beltre this year. 3B is gross after the top 4, he’s right there for consideration after Wright, ARoid, Longoria Parker & Ramirez.
    Wang is a steal in the 15th. This guy won 19 games in back to back seasons with a sub-4 ERA.

  2. El Diablo

    Nichols 33, did you really say that having Ibanez as your 1st or 2nd OF, in a 15 team league, is a stretch? Are you serious?

    Raul Ibanez is a top 20 OF, in fact he is one of five outfielders who have recorded at least 100 rbis in each of the last 3 seasons. The others are Beltran, Maglio, Abreu and Carlos Lee.

    Raul started 153 games in LF last year, so durability should not be a concern despite his advanced years. You will not find a more consistent hitter and inserting his bat into a very good line-up should project out to another solid fantasy season.

    I’m a Phils fan and I can’t wait to see Ibanez on a day to day basis.

    IMO Raul is UNDERRATED!!

    • nichols33

      I would take the following over him:
      Sizemore, Braun, Holliday, Crawford, Kemp, Ellsbury, Granderson, Crawford, B.J. Upton, Beltran, Lee, Markakis, Soriano, Ichiro, Bay, Manny, Rios, Hamilton, Quentin, Victorino, Vlad, Abreu, Hart, Ethier, Dunn, Ordonez, McLouth, Wells

      Those are just off the top of my head. That puts him at 28 and I’m not eyeing my lists. Taking him in the top 20 would be crazy.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like Ibanez this year and in a 15 team league he would be a #2 OF, but in most leagues he should be a 3rd OF.

      • dtb23

        That is crazy talk!

        Raul Ibanez was the 12th highest scoring OF in my league last year. Over the past three years he is the 11th highest scoring OF.

        He is extremely consistent and puts up impressive numbers in just about every category. Feel free to draft some of those players/clowns over him but don’t be surprised when they don’t match his production.

    • notebookguy

      For the record, I have Ibanez as the 44th ranked OF in 5×5 leagues and the 40th ranked OF in point leagues. Just below C. Young(Ari), Ethier, and Burrell, right with guys like Choo, N. Cruz, M. Bradley, guys like that.

  3. tallkid1

    I think Ibanez has been underrated for the past few years and now that he’s moving to Philly he’s actually flipped over to the overrated column. As the Notebook guy noted, Ibanez turns 37 next year and that’s pretty damn old – especially when you can’t take a day off from the field (he usually DH’s about 10x/year). I have Ibanez in the low 20’s – right ahead of Ordonez, Hart, Pence and Burrell but right behind Granderson, Victorino, McLouth and Rios.

    • notebookguy

      You have Ibanez AHEAD of guys like Magglio Ordonez, Corey Hart, and Hunter Pence?!? I am so happy you are in 2 of my leagues Treebeard. I am not even thinking about Raul Ibanez when guys like Mags, Hart, and Pence are on the board, he does not even enter my mind. You might wanna’ fix those rankings…

  4. dtb23

    Rauls Ibanez’s average season over the past 3 years is 290-25-113.

    Yet somehow you are telling me there are 40-45 outfielders who are better!?! That is ridiculous!

    The numbers don’t lie.

    • notebookguy

      Sizemore, Braun, Hamilton, Holliday, Beltran, Soriano, BJ Upton, Kemp, Manny, Crawford, C. Lee, Ichiro, Ellsbury, Rios, Markakis, Bay, Victorino, Granderson, Hart, Vlad, Quentin, Magglio, Abreu, Dunn, Bruce, Pence, McLouth, Damon, Dye, To. Hunter, Ludwick, V. Wells, Hawpe, Werth, C. Young, Ethier, W. Taveras Burrell, and Ankiel. There’s your 40, could come up with some more too if you need it.
      In a vacuum those 3 year numbers are great, but he’s 37 years old, switching leagues, with no possibility of catching a break DH’ing if his legs start going.

      • dtb23

        Show me 40 guys with better numbers not your arbitrary rankings.

        Get serious…

      • notebookguy

        Nothing arbitrary about it my friend. All based on research and stat analysis. I don’t win my fantasy baseball leagues by arbitrarily doing anything.

  5. Ibanez only DH’ed 9 games last year and played 8.75 innings per game in the outfield (1340 innings in 153 games) so obviously his legs don’t need a break. He’s had 6 years of 30+ doubles, 3-straight 100+ RBI seasons and hit .290 in the last 3 years. What’s being 37 got to do with it?
    If Philly is indeed a “bandbox” then why wouldn’t you want Ibanez on your squad? Burrell doesn’t bring more to the table than Ibanez and neither does Ethier.
    Remember, he’s in a lineup that’s among the best in the NL. How did Rowand’s numbers fall off by going to San Fran? Ibanez coming to Philly is a boost for him.

    • notebookguy

      What’s 37 got to do with it? Really? Guys don’t get better at 37, they start to decline, and the decent is usually rapid. You Philly guys can get amped up about him all you want, you’re going to be disappointed.

      • mrcane

        Willie Mays
        99 RS 37 hr 103 Rbi .288 avg
        83 RS 22 hr 70 rbi .263 avg

        Schmidt
        88 RS 35 hr 113 rbi .293 avg
        52 RS 12 hr 62 rbi .249 avg

        Jimmie Foxx
        87 RS 19hr 105 rbi .300 avg
        18 RS 5 hr 14 rbi .270 avg

        Jeff Bagwell
        104 RS 27 hr 89 rbi .266 avg
        11 RS 3 hr 19 rbi .250 avg

        Players of all different eras who saw their production decline at 35, 38, 34 and 36 respectively in most cases their careers were over statisticaly speaking. Age has a lot to do with it because all of a sudden your nervous system doesn’t react the way it once did. Just ask 3 hall of famers and Jeff Bagwell who was pretty good in his own right. Bagwell had arthritus (an old person ailment).

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