2016 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

Fantasy Baseball ADP Report Pitchers

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Credit: Keith Allison

Credit: Keith Allison

Pitchers in my opinion fluctuate from their ADP more than hitters. Every season you see pitchers who get drafted in the earlier rounds fall flat on their face; see Justin Verlander in 2014. You also see plenty of guys come from seemingly nowhere to be top options; see Garrett Richards 2014. It is extremely difficult to predict and believe in these kinds of ups and downs. Players have a history and that is really all most of us can go on when determining value. Take Verlander for instance. We all saw the decline in velocity in 2013 and the struggles he ultimately had, but it is Justin Verlander, he’ll figure it out right? So in 2014 you take him like he is still an elite pitcher, and who can blame you? Well the analysts like the ones you read here at Fantasy Six Pack and other sites can. A lot of us noticed this downward trend and told you to shy away from where he was being drafted last season. It didn’t mean totally give up on him, although I bet you wish you had, but it just meant don’t take him as a top 10 pitcher which is where he was going last season.

On the other side of that, predicting the pitchers who will outperform their ADP is even harder to do. Now Garrett Richards might be an extreme case, but he is a great example. I highly doubt you will find anybody who will say they predicted a guy who in 27 career starts had an ERA above four, a below .500 record and a strikeout per nine (K/9) rate of around six to turn into a 13-4 pitcher with a below three ERA and an 8.75 K/9 rate. A better example, and one a little easier to predict, was the resurgence of Johnny Cueto. A lot of your standard Fantasy Baseball players were scared to take Cueto last season because they saw he was injured in 2013 and also in 2011. What they forgot was just how dominant he is when healthy. Cueto was ranked 38th according to Yahoo last year in their preseason rankings for starting pitchers. I think most analysts liked him more than that, and he made us look real good by finishing as the number three ranked pitcher according to Yahoo.

Below I’m going to give you my Fantasy Baseball ADP Report for Pitchers.

3 Who’s ADP is Too High

Credit: slgckgc

Credit: slgckgc

Matt Harvey (SP – NYM) – Unless you are playing in a dynasty league, I would not touch Matt Harvey this season. Any pitcher returning from Tommy John surgery losses a ton of value in redraft leagues in my book. Because someone is undoubtedly going to want to take the risk on a once stud pitcher, I will never have him. This is precisely why his ADP is too high for me. It currently sits at 68, which in a 12 team league is the middle of round five. Considering you can get other reliable options such as Julio Teheran, Jeff Samardjza and Sonny Gray, there is no way I take the risky Matt Harvey then.

Keep this in mind. When Adam Wainwright returned from his Tommy John surgery in 2012, he severely struggled that season, especially in the first half. This is typical of a pitcher returning from this surgery, so I don’t want to wait a half a season for him to figure things out. Not only that there have been rumors the Mets are going to limit his innings pitched by either pulling him early from games, skipping his turn or even shutting him down early if he they fall out of the playoff race.

Masahiro Tanaka (SP – NYY) – There are good things being said in New York about Tanaka and his elbow, but what do you expect the Yankees to say at this point. Everybody is healthy headed into spring training, my gut however, tells me that Tommy John is right around the corner.

If you don’t remember last season he landed on the DL with a partially torn UCL ligament. These usually lead to Tommy John, but Tanaka and the Yankees decided against the surgery, opting to just let it rest instead. He did return in late September and had one good and one bad outing. Actually the bad outing was plain awful with him going 1.2 innings, allowing seven runs (five earned), on seven hits. That was his last start of 2014.

The fact is you don’t have to trust me when thinking Tanaka is a risk this season. Take it from the Yankees Brian Cashman.

“Tanaka’s a question mark. Typically, the problems occur in the throwing program when they get back on the mound in the rehab process. If you can get through that and the rehab games, he should be OK. Obviously, he got through two Major League starts, so that gives us hope. But there’s no guarantee.”

So even though all reports from New York are that Tanaka is feeling good, there is no shortage of concern.

Phil Hughes (SP – MIN) – Phil Hughes surprised me, and I’m assuming most of you, last season winning 16 games. The move to Minnesota obviously did him well as his home run per nine ratio dropped to a career low 0.69. That was a drastic improvement from the last two seasons of 1.65 and 1.48 when he was in New York. 

The improved HR/9 ratio certainly helped, but to me what helped more was his close to historically low walk per nine (BB/9) ratio of 0.69. To put into perspective just how good this BB/9 ratio was, FanGraphs.com says that a 1.5 BB/9 ratio is excellent. This improved command was quite the difference from his career number of 2.82 before last season.

Even though he did all these great things yet still had an ERA of 3.52 and WHIP of 1.13. Not bad numbers but not great either considering just how spectacular those other stats were. I expect a lot of regression back to the norm here, which in turn should make his ERA and WHIP regress back to four or above and 1.30.

3 Who’s ADP is Too Low
Tyson Ross (SP – SD) – Ross has been one of the best pitchers over the last season and a half. His ERA has been under three and his K/9 ratio was right at nine. Yes, his BB/9 rate is a tad high, 3.30, but he is able to sustain his level of play due to two things.

1. His elite ground-ball percentage of 57% last season. Even if that regresses some, he is still among the leagues best in that category.

2. His home ballpark, which was second worst for hitters last season according to FanGraphs ball park factors.

Is there risk with Ross, sure. He is young and some of these numbers appear to be unsustainable. However, I’m relying on the fact that despite the popular opinion that he is going to regress, he won’t and he is indeed a pitcher that gets himself out of trouble with the strikeout and ground balls. A good combo to have, especially in a pitchers ballpark.

Carlos Carrasco (SP – CLE) – Carrasco was a top prospect for years in the Phillies organization. A rough start to the season in 2009, where he posted a 5.19 ERA, got him traded to Cleveland for Cliff Lee. He seemed to regain his stuff in Cleveland and was eventually called up at the end of the 2009 season. That first call up and the next couple to follow did not go so well and he was eventually was completely off most Fantasy Baseball radars after a 1-4 2013 with a 6.75 ERA in 2013.

His start to 2014 did not help his cause, going 0-3 with a similar 6.95 ERA in four starts in April. A move to the bullpen ended his run in Fantasy leagues. Then in August he got his chance again, and boy did he flourish. Carrasco finished the season with a 2.55 ERA , 0.99 WHIP and a fantastic 10.23 K/9. He wound up going 5-3 in those games, but you can’t pin the losses on him since two of them were due to zero run support.

Maybe I’m a sucker, but those kind of stats are going to make me believe in Carrasco again and I will be drafting him well before most of my counterparts.

Marcus Stroman (SP – TOR) – There are a lot of pitchers out there getting a lot of love and for good reason. Stroman does not appear to be one of them, with an ADP of 157.

He was an elite strikeout pitcher in the minors, striking out over 10 per nine innings. It has not immediately transferred to the majors, but he showed a lot of promise later in the season going 4-1 with a 7.44 K/9.

What impresses me the most with Stroman is his control for a young pitcher, finishing the season with a 1.93 BB/9 ratio. Also in those last six appearances (five starts, one relief) I mentioned above he walked just four total batters. That is remarkable. If he can get his strikeouts up just a little, then he can truly be one of the elite in the game.

About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the up-and-coming FantasySixPack.net website. He has been spreading his love and addiction of fantasy sports there and many other sites including SoCalledFantasyExperts.com, FantasyPros.com, and FanDuel.com. Joe has finished as the No. 5 Fantasy Football Draft Ranker on Fantasy Pros in 2014, while being the No. 1 QB ranker for in-season during 2016. He has also finished in the top-15 twice for Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings. You can find him on Twitter, @fantasysixpack, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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