2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders

by Travis Argo
2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders

Welcome to the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders article!

That's right baseball is season is right around the corner, and now is the time to start prepping for your drafts. Check out our fantasy draft kit and rankings to prepare for the 2020 season. For those of you who are preparing for a dynasty league, check out Fantasy Six Pack's dynasty rankings.

For more preseason Fantasy Baseball, check out our whole series of position previews linked below.

Catchers | First Base | Second Base | Third Base | Shortstop | Outfield | Starting Pitcher | Relief Pitcher

I feel the need to explain my method of deciding if a player is overvalued. It's not that I think that these players can't be productive members on your roster; it's more about whether or not they'll return their value at their current ADP.

2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Infielders

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Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres, ADP: 15.8

I'll admit that the sky's the limit for Tatis. Still, there are too many unknown variables about Tatis's play that make him at colossal risk at his current going rate in the early second round (many people are taking him in the first round).

Streamers project Tatis to have a .265 AVG, 30 home runs, 23 stolen bases, and 81 RBIs, which would put him alongside Fransico Lindor's 2019 season stats, who is a current first-rounder. So, why am I saying that Tatis is overvalued in the second round?

Well, Tatis had a crazy .420 BABIP which will be impossible for him to repeat in the 2020 season. Just like he probably won't outperform his XBA and XWOBA like he did in the 2019 season. His plate approach will make sure that kind of outperformance isn't repeatable.

Tatis had a high strikeout rate and hit a ton of ground balls, especially in his home park. He had a 50.9 groundball rate in Petco Park.

Fantasy owners are expecting Tatis to lock down their stolen bases, and that might not be the case. Stolen bases are a crapshoot, which makes them impossible to predict because many variables have to be in place.

The primary variable in stolen base production is a willingness to steal bases. Tatis showed Fantasy owners last season that he was willing to sacrifice his speed for power.

The other variable is health. Tatis dealt with injuries on and off again throughout his limited 2019 season. Last year, Tatis was adamant that he wouldn't change his aggressiveness on the bases, but that aggressiveness cost him most of the season. This year may be a different story as I mention he showed last year he was willing to focus on his power instead of speed. His injury history may force him to change his play if he wants to play for most of this season.

The last point of my argument against taking Tatis in the early second round is that he is a young player still acclimating to the big leagues. It's no secret that young players are adjusting to the majors more quickly than in the past. But young hitters always go through struggles, especially their second time through the majors because pitchers have faced them, and there are no more surprises. I think Tatis is talented enough to overcome those struggles, but it will take some time.

Remember, you have to nail the first few picks of your draft if you want to win. Fantasy is about taking risks, but it needs to calculated risks, and the second round for a young player with barely any experience is a risk worth avoiding.

If you want a hitter who will give you 30-plus homers and around 20 stolen bases, go with a proven commodity like Jose Ramirez.

Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Kansas  City Royals, ADP: 36.3

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Have you noticed the theme of this article? Yup, it's mostly speed guys that Fantasy owners are overvaluing.

Mondesi will help Fantasy owners get steals, but he is not going to assist in the other hitting categories. He doesn't have much power and strikes out a ton, which is going to kill your average (definitely a player to avoid in points leagues).

He had a 29.8 strikeout percentage and only 4.3 walk rate, even in the minors, Mondesi stuck out at an alarming rate.

Another problem with Mondesi is his batting average and WOBA; he was terrible with a  .298 WOBA and a 46.9 percent groundball rate last season. He can't steal bases unless he gets on base, and Mondesi hasn't shown he could do that consistently to be worth early third-round pick.

Mondesi has struggled with injuries for most of his career, even in the minors he dealt with some serious injuries. I don't know about you, but I don't want to take a player in the top 50 who will be clogging my injury-list spot for most of the season.

I don't typically give credence to manager's tendencies affecting players' approach, but Mike Matheny is the exception. He is the kiss of death for speedsters. When Matheny managed the Cardinals, they were routinely in the bottom half of the league in stolen bases. I don't think he has shedded his catcher's mentality that steals are a terrible thing.

Don't pay a premium for a Mondesi's potential 40-plus stolen bases, when you can spend less and grab Mallex Smith, he is also a speedster who struggles to get on base.

Vladmir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays, ADP: 54.7

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Vlad is unlike the other overvalued candidates, his strikeout rate isn't terrible, and he has a decent walk rate, which makes him an asset towards batting average. He is hitting third behind two very talented hitters in Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio, so the RBI opportunities will be plentiful. So why am I saying Guerrero is overrated in drafts?

Well, he is currently being drafted in the fifth round, which indicates that many Fantasy owners expect Guerrero to take huge steps forward in his power numbers. I'm not seeing anything that shows that progression is coming in 2020.

Guerrero had a sub-par average exit velocity last year, Justin Turner, Brian Anderson, and David Bote had a better-averaged exit velocity. Guerrero's launch angle and average distance were terrible as well, once again, he was defeated by the almighty David Bote in those categories.

Remember he disappointed last year because Fantasy owners were expecting substantial power numbers. Don't leverage your championship chances because you want to be one of the first ones to the Vlad show.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B. St. Louis Cardinals, ADP: 69.7

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Here are some of the first basemen going after Paul Goldschmidt, Max Muncy, Josh Bell, Trey Mancini, and Rhys Hoskins. All of them I can make some argument for their upside, but can't for Goldschmidt considering he doesn't steal bases anymore; all he has is his bat, which isn't what it used to be. Go ahead and make the argument for Goldschmidt.

Well, Travis, Goldschmidt is still a 30-plus home run hitter (voice of Goldschmidt defenders, it's high, squeaky, and condescending).

True, but he is a power hitter whose exit velocity average and launch angle has decreased over the past two seasons.

Fine, he might be losing his power, but he is still feared at the plate and will add to Fantasy owners batting average (Goldschmidt defender).

The truth is no one is afraid of him anymore. He had a .232 AVG and .329 OBP against four-seam fastballs, the lowest in his career. Last year, he also had his highest swing-and-miss rate against fastballs since 2012.  His stats against the changeup are just as bad (.213 AVG and .317 WOBA).

Please don't waste a draft pick on a player who is losing his battle to father time and can't hit the two pitches he sees the most at the plate.

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Looking for undervalued fantasy options check out our undervalued articles.

Infielders | Outfielders | Pitchers

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1 comment

2020 Fantasy Baseball Overvalued Outfielders - Fantasy Six Pack February 20, 2020 - 8:31 am

[…] Baseball Overvalued Outfielders. If you haven’t already, go check out Travis Argo’s overvalued infield piece after you’re finished up […]


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