2018 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders: Don’t Chase

by Joe Bond
2018 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders

Last week I pointed out five players who were being drafted later than they should in the undervalued infielder's post. As much as it is important to find the values, it is equally, if not more, important to recognize the players who are being drafted too early. Below you will find five 2018 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders.

I'm not saying these players will be bad. In fact, some of them will be very valuable pieces for Fantasy Baseball teams. They are just being drafted too early for a variety of reason. A few of those reasons are:

  1. They are being drafted based off just last year’s success.
  2. They are being drafted above or around players that are likely to outperform them.
  3. You can find players, even at the same position, who can provide the same value much later.

With all that said, let’s get to it.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders

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Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros

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I like Bregman a lot. He has that power-speed combo that is so valuable in Fantasy Baseball. It also coveted by many who are trying to find that next breakout player. More times than not though, when chasing that next 'it' player, it raises the price tag of that player to the point where he is overpriced.

Case in point, I have him ranked as a fifth-round pick. However, if you want him you will have to take him in the in the third round of some leagues.

Bregman’s 2017 season was a tale of two halves. In the first half, he had a slash line of .256/.336/.419. In the second-half, it jumped to .315/.367/.536. Everything else was better too, especially the RBI which went from 27 to 44.

No doubt he will produce in a great Astros lineup, I just have reservations taking him over players such as Marcell Ozuna, Edwin Encarnacion, Nelson Cruz. I will even throw in Andrew Benintendi, who feels like a better comp at this point, but I would still rather have Benintendi.

All of those players mentioned, except maybe Benintendi, are already elite in one or more categories. This is what makes them top four round picks. For Benintendi, he already has a 20/20 season and could be even better this season.

Overall Bregman turned in a solid season in 2017, it just didn’t feel like that until the very end. In 2018 I want to own him just not for the current price.

Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas Rangers

Andrus had himself a fantastic 2017, hitting 20 home runs and stealing 25 bases. That itself is incredible, but you have to add the .297 average, 100 runs and 88 RBI. All of this led to him being rated the No. 1 shortstop in most formats.

He is now being drafted on average in the fifth round. I’m pumping the breaks here on this.

Keep in mind Andrus more than doubled his best season’s home run total. This was thanks to a jump in his HR/FB ratio from a previous career-best 6.3% to 11.6%. For somebody who only has about a 30% fly-ball percentage, I would bet quite a bit that this is not repeatable.

When those home runs drop, so will the rest of his counting stats, except maybe the steals. He seems like a solid bet to hit 25 steals every season, just don’t expect the rest of his numbers to repeat.

Buster Posey, C/1B, San Francisco Giants

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I have no issues with Posey being drafted as the second catcher. What I think is crazy is where he is being drafted overall, in the fifth round on average. Keep in mind I'm talking specifically one-catcher leagues.

I’m looking at a player who is projected to hit near .300 with around 14 home runs, 70 RBI and score 65 runs. The batting average is nice, but the counting stats are brutal when you look at the players who you would be passing up around that same point in the draft.

Just to give you a few names around that point in the draft: Christian Yelich, Jonathan Schoop and A.J. Pollock. Even a round or so later you can get guys such as Wil Myers and Justin Turner.

All of these players are projected to have more counting stats. Yes, most won’t have near the batting average that Posey will have, but I’m willing to pass up on that to not dig a hole in the other major fantasy hitting categories that early in the draft.

Jean Segura, SS, Seattle Mariners

Segura regressed a ton last season, as expected, from his 20 home run/30 steals breakout 2016. Sure, the average was still there sitting at .300, but everything else was a drain for where you had to draft him in 2017.

Even though I think his projections of 13 home runs, about 80 runs, 60 RBI and 23 steals with a .280 average is pretty spot on, where you have to draft him is still too high.

You will have to take Segura in the seventh round, around or ahead of hitters such as Rougned Odor (who I mentioned in my undervalued post), Travis Shaw and Whit Merrifield. Give me them over Segura any day.

Eduardo Nunez, 2B/3B/OF, Boston Red Sox

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OK, so I’m cheating a little here, Nunez also has eligibility as an outfielder. Still, I think it is safe to lump him with the infielders.

Don’t get me wrong, I like him, I really do. I think as a full-time player, especially in the Red Sox lineup, Nunez could be an 18 home run, 35 steal type player. He would also score close to 85 runs and he is good for a near .300 or better average.

The issue is playing time. He truly is a super-utility player for the Sox, so he is projected to get only 450 at-bats, and that might be generous. That just won’t cut it for a player who is being drafted in the 12th round on average.

At that point in the draft, I still want players who are guaranteed playing time because I’m still drafting my starters.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Position Previews
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopOutfieldStarting PitcherRelief PItcher

Check out the rest of our great Fantasy Baseball content as the 2018 season approaches.

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