Baseball HQ Market Pulse: 2013 All-Avoid Team

by BaseballHQ.com on April 2, 2013 @ 10:15:00 PDT

 

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By Matt Cederholm

ADP reports from MockDraftCentral and the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) can be found here. Note that this article assumes a standard 15-team, mixed, 5x5 league, though the recommendations will generally apply in most formats.

The first part of our annual look at variations in market value between BaseballHQ.com and the public writ large was the All-Value team. Now we'll look at the All-Avoid team, a list of players who are going at too high a price for our taste.

Atlanta Braves OF Jason Heyward
Heyward: priced for potential

Note that we are definitely not saying "don't draft these guys." Rather, we are saying "think long and hard before paying such a high price." Now, there are a handful of players here, pitchers in particular, who are reasonably close to their projected price. We try not to fixate on price, as a $20 player could easily be worth $15 or $25. But we do need to fill out a complete team, and even small differences can be worth exploring.

Some allowances were made at the top of the draft, since the formula for average auction value (AAV) can jump a bit at the extremes. Even so, several first-round favorites made the list. We also ignored players with negative AAV and players whose recent change in status (e.g., Hanley Ramirez) changed their projected value significantly.

We'll also have a mini-bonus at the end: a list of players who have moved up or down the ADP rankings in the past month.

The 2013 All-Avoid Team

Hitters

POS   Player              AAV    R$(HQ)   Diff   ADP  Rank(HQ)
===   ================    ===    ======   ====   ===  ========
C     Posey, Buster       $30      $19    $ 11    17      63
C     D'Arnaud, Travis      2       -5       7   308      NA

1B    Pujols, Albert       37       27      10     8      11
3B    Longoria, Evan       28       21       7    21      30
COR   Dunn, Adam            7        3       4   178     282

2B    Espinosa, Danny       9        3       6   140     260
SS    Castro, Starlin      23       18       5    36      40
MID   Profar, Jurickson     3      -11      14   269      NA

OF    Trout, Mike          48       26      22     2      14
OF    Hamilton, Josh       31       13      18    16     123
OF    Bautista, Jose       29       17      12    19      83
OF    McCutchen, Andrew    38       28      10     6      15
OF    Heyward, Jason       26       18       8    27      67

UT    Kinsler, Ian         24       17       7    31      64
                         ----     ----    ----
Total Hitters            $334     $194    $140

Pitchers

POS   Player              AAV    R$(HQ)   Diff   ADP  Rank(HQ)
===   ================    ===    ======   ====   ===  ========
SP    Lincecum, Tim       $10     $  4    $  6   135     279
SP    Jackson, Edwin        3       -2       5   276      NA
SP    Lester, Jon          10        5       5   137     248
SP    Harvey, Matt          9        5       4   141     276
SP    Parker, Jarrod        6        2       4   195     302
SP    Dickey, R.A.         16       12       4    71     137

RP    Rondon, Bruce         4       -3       7   248      NA
RP    Hanrahan, Joel        8        2       6   157     339
RP    Wilhelmsen, Tom       8        4       4   155     305
                         ----     ----    ----
Total Pitchers           $ 89     $ 44    $ 45

Total                    $423     $238    $185

Buster Posey of the Giants is the top catcher on most draft boards. And it does help that he'll see some time at 1B, giving him more than the usual playing time for a catcher. But as a catcher, he usually goes at a premium, and that premium tends to be much larger at the top of the draft. Targeting middle-tier catchers instead will save you in the long run.

Travis d'Arnaud of the Mets may seem like a bit of a cop-out, since he's been shipped to the minors. But his BaseballHQ.com projection hasn't been affected by that, nor is it likely that GMs are adjusting their behavior in response. Rookie catchers are notoriously hit-or-miss -- for every Buster Posey, there are five of Matt Wieters. Unless your strategy is to use a catcher whose low AB total won't drag down your BA, D'Arnaud is no catch.

So it's come to this. Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is on the All-Avoid list. And we even have him pretty close to his ADP in straight drafts. So what gives? This is more of a personal pick, even though he definitely fits the criteria. Given all the risk factors (his knee, age, recent prolonged periods of subpar performance), he really should be moved out of the first round. There are just too many "ifs" for comfort.

Nobody questions the talent of Evan Longoria's of the Rays. It's his ability to stay on the field that is questionable. If you pay full price, there's nowhere to go but down.

We all recall first baseman Adam Dunn's horrendous 2011 season, and GMs seem to have forgiven him. But the seeds of a disaster, albeit a small one, are still there. While his power rebounded in 2012, ct% did not. And even with the prodigious power he displayed, a 29% hr/f is not sustainable. Knock that back to, say, the 24% from 2007 and he's at 34 HR instead of 40. And with a .238 xBA and .204 BA, that's not enough.

Danny Espinosa of the Nationals has a nice blend of power and speed, but both are trending downward, as is his ct%. His xBA says his .247 BA from 2012 was even a bit high. While he's 26 and just entering his prime, there's nothing in the numbers to indicate a reversal of his low BA. And that's what GMs seem to be paying for.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro certainly ...

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