Fantasy Baseball

2020 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battles

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Welcome to the 2020 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battles! Every year you may come across player battles at certain positions when drafting. There are usually a few positions that are weaker than the others. Locking these positions down in the early rounds is important. This year, the weakest positions, in my opinion, are first, second, and third base. Obviously catcher is relatively weak as well, but when is it not?

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2020 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battles

Come draft time you may have your list of players that you like, but things change. Someone may grab your guy before you, or someone you thought wouldn’t be there has fallen to you. Who do you choose? While there are a million different possibilities out there, I’d like to try and help with some tough player battles at the weak positions for the 2020 season.

These positions are weak because they do not have much depth outside of the top players. Whenever I see a weak position like this, I will try to fill one of those slots early in the draft. You know the other positions have more depth, so you’re more likely to land a suitable option if you choose to wait for those players later in your draft.

In this article, I am going to compare two players with similar ADPs at similar positions. Joe and AJ did something similar to this over on The Fantasy Six Pack Hour. They went over the 2020 Spring Training position battles and ADP. Be sure to check out the podcast if you have not already!

Helpful Resources

For this article, I am using the NFBC 2020 ADP Rankings from the month of March. I usually try to get rankings from recent drafts to get a better idea of where certain players are going.

While I used the NFBC rankings for this article, when doing my fantasy baseball research I always take a look at the Fantasy Six Pack 2020 Redraft Rankings and their 2020 Dynasty Rankings. Now let’s get into some 2020 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battles.

The Battle for 1B

Paul Goldschmidt – 1B, St. Louis Cardinals

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Paul Goldschmidt has seen his ADP fluctuate a lot over the past few years. From his years on the Diamondbacks, he was nearly a first-rounder, as his stolen base upside coupled with a nice average and great power for a first baseman was rare. However, new faces have risen at the position and moved Goldschmidt out of the elite tier.

Goldschmidt’s ADP in 2020 is around 70 which is decent value for someone who can provide 30+ HRs and 90+ RBIs. However, his ADP is relatively low compared to recent years, and it can only be described using one word: decline.

Goldschmidt saw his play at the plate decline last year, as his average dropped to .260 after he hit above .290 for six straight seasons. He continued to hit home runs despite the low average, mashing 34 in his first year with the Cardinals.

Not only that, but he is in a relatively weak lineup, as the Cardinals lost Marcell Ozuna and failed to bring anyone in to replace him. As a result, Goldschmidt could see his RBIs dip a bit as well. Someone who was once regarded as one of, if not the top 1B in fantasy for years, has seen his draft stock slowly slip.

Let someone else grab Goldschmidt and watch the decline, while you can draft someone like…

Jose Abreu – 1B, Chicago White Sox

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Jose Abreu is yet another 1B that has seen his ADP fluctuate. While his play at the plate has not declined as much as Goldschmidt’s, Abreu has seen his play decline a little. No longer that .300 average guy, Abreu has seemed to pack on a little extra power to accommodate for the average loss.

Abreu’s ADP in 2020 is around 71. This is right around where Goldschmidt is going, making the decision as to who you should pick very tough. To me, the decision is quite clear. I would much rather Abreu over Goldschmidt.

Not only is Abreu in a nice young lineup, but he also mashed 33 HRs last year and his exit velocity was among the league leaders. Abreu absolutely mashes the ball, and after setting a career-high in RBIs last year, we may see that increase.

Not only will they get a full healthy season from Tim Anderson, but they also added Edwin Encarnacion and Yasmani Grandal via free agency. Don’t forget about Luis Robert either, who should be up Opening Day as the centerfielder.

I would much rather that lineup than the Cardinals’ lineup. Abreu had 123 RBIs last year, and it is scary to think that with good luck and a full season, he could set a new career-high.

The Keystone Battle

Ozzie Albies – 2B, Atlanta Braves

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Ozzie Albies burst onto the scene in 2017, hitting .286 over 244 plate appearances. Thus, cementing himself as the future at 2B for the Braves.

He is a unique talent in that he is able to hit for a relatively high average while stealing bases and being able to hit 20+ HRs. He has not gotten to 20/20 yet, however, at only 22 years old, that isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for his future.

Albies’ ADP is currently around 33. This makes sense, as 2B is very weak. Albies’ spot near the top of a great lineup coupled with his 20/20 upside makes him a great pick at his current draft position.

While Albies can steal up to 20 bases, he has not done it in the majors yet and doesn’t possess elite speed. I don’t know if he can steal more than 20-25 bases in a season. His power also isn’t elite. Albies should hit 20 home runs consistently but you won’t be getting 30 HRs from him.

Second base has many 2020 player battles, but getting a top-notch 2B like one of these is most important.

Albies is clearly one of the top 2B to draft, but what if I told you that there was someone who has more upside and more power at the 2B position than Albies? Well, there is.

Keston Hiura – 2B Milwaukee Brewers

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Keston Hiura is my favorite 2B draft pick for the 2020 season. Not only is he an elite hitter who has performed at every level of the minors, but he also boasts SERIOUS power.

Between the minors and the majors last year, Hiura hit over 30 HRs. He also stole a combined 16 bases last year.

Hiura has some sneaky speed but Albies will likely steal more bases this season. The gap between their speed isn’t large enough to explain the gap between them in ADP.

Hiura’s ADP in 2020 is 42. Nine picks after Albies, you could get Hiura. So why not draft someone else in the third round and then nab Hiura in the fourth? Let others bite on Albies, and tell them “I told you so” when Hiura finishes the season better than Albies.

Hiura, like Albies, has the ability to hit for a high average, however, the one downside to Hiura’s game is that he strikes out too much. It was not too much of a problem in the minors, but that problem was magnified in the majors despite his immense success.

I think that Hiura will improve his plate discipline for 2020, and hitting in a lineup with Christian Yelich will help his production.

While there may be some growing pains for Hiura, he is a mature hitter who should be able to figure it out at the big league level. Strikeouts are a big problem for most minor leaguers making the transition to the bigs.

Hiura should be hitting in a ripe spot for that team, and I think there is a chance we see Hiura mash 30 HRs and steal 15 bases this year.

After seeing many faces depart the Brewers in free agency, they are surely hoping Hiura fills that hole that they left.

The gap between Hiura and Albies’ power is greater than the gap between their speed, which is why I am passing on Albies and grabbing Keston for the keystone.

The Battle of the Hot Corner

Max Muncy – 1B/2B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Max Muncy is one of my favorite players for Fantasy Baseball. Not only does he have the ability to hit 30+ HRs in a great lineup, but he also has some great positional eligibility. He has all three of the weakest positions, which makes drafting him even better.

While Muncy walks a lot and is a great help in OBP leagues, his playing time isn’t guaranteed. Now, he isn’t struggling for at-bats, but the Dodgers are known for shifting around their lineup a lot. This is how they tend to get the best out of all their players.

Despite mashing 35 HRs in both of the last two seasons, he still has only managed a max of 487 plate appearances. While that may change this year, that has to be factored in when drafting him.

Muncy’s ADP is around 67, which for me is right where I’d rank him.¬†Muncy also strikes out a good bit. He had about 150 strikeouts last year, so if his eye at the plate falters he could definitely struggle.

However, his high walk rate and power will continue to make him valuable in fantasy. We also cannot forget about how great of a lineup he is surrounded by. He will have Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger in his lineup, so the opportunity for counting stats is definitely there.

Muncy’s power is great and he should be a big help in both runs and RBIs. We could even possibly see him push 100+ runs and 100+ RBIs. However, for me, there is someone a few rounds later who will be worth the wait. Especially if you have 1B covered already. That 3B is…

Mike Moustakas – 2B/3B, Cincinnati Reds

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Mooooooooose! He is another one of my favorite fantasy players to target, and to me, the winner of this player battle at 3B. While Muncy has 1B eligibility and the better lineup for fantasy, Moustakas at his draft price is way too appealing.

Moustakas’ ADP is 91. Both he and Muncy have 2B and 3B eligibility, and they both can mash 30-35 HRs, so what’s the difference? For me, I absolutely love the Reds lineup this year.

They have a great infield with Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Freddy Galvis in addition to Moustakas. Not to mention that their outfield is very deep as well. He should have a prime spot in the Reds improved lineup which means he should be able to rack up the counting stats.

Both players will hit around .250-.260, so don’t count on them to keep your average afloat. Moustakas does not strikeout as much as Muncy, but he also does not walk as much as Muncy.

Moustakas is also in a great ballpark for hitters and an even better one for fantasy. Due to being in such a hitter-friendly ballpark, I would say it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities to see Moustakas slam 35+ HRs for a second straight season.

Moustakas’ ballpark is definitely more fantasy-friendly than Muncy’s. This is one of the driving factors as to why I’d rather Moustakas to Muncy.

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This was the toughest of the 2020 player battles, as both are such similar players. However, with Moustakas’ guaranteed playing time (500+ at-bats), improved lineup around him, and pure upside give him the edge for me.

Be on the Lookout!

While you’re stuck inside your house on quarantine, why not do some quality fantasy baseball research. Fantasy Six Pack has you covered for all your 2020 Fantasy Baseball needs. Be sure to check out all our writers, from basketball to football, to baseball, we have what you need. Stay safe everyone, and as usual, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns, hit me up on Twitter @MikeSollicito1.

About Mike Sollicito

Mike Sollicito is currently a student at Hofstra University. He is majoring in Sports Journalism with a minor in psychology. Sports are essentially his life, especially Fantasy Sports like baseball and football. With numerous wins in baseball and football, Mike seems to know how to run his fantasy teams well. Always looking to help others in fantasy, be sure to follow him on Twitter @MikeSollicito1

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