RankingsMarch 9, 2009

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Median Draft Position (MDP) Report #2

By rookies and cream

Welcome to another edition of the MDP report. If you haven’t already, check out the previous article where I discussed the rationale for preferring median draft position and how it could be utilized to keep you ahead of your competition. In this edition, I will present some of the latest draft trends and list a number of overvalued and undervalued players according to ADPs from the main drafting sites (Yahoo, CBS, and ESPN). The full MDP list can be found here.

Let’s begin with some draft trends: which players are moving up and which are moving down draft boards?

Gaining Steam

Tim Lincecum – Up 12% in the last two weeks and 31% in the last month. Drafters are finally seeing that Timmy is just as good as, and may in fact be better, than Johan.

CC Sabathia – A 19% increase puts CC ahead of several players he probably shouldn’t be ahead of and into the second round in 12-team leagues’ drafts.

Chris Davis – Only up 4% in the last two weeks but still deserves to be on this list given amazing 34% increase since early December.

Virtually all closers – Partially a reflection of teams establishing bullpen roles and partially due to CBS grossly overvaluing closers (described in more detail later), guys such as Frank Francisco (up 26%), Chad Qualls (up 20%), Chris Ray (up 33%), Chris Perez (up 26%), and even Mariano Rivera (up 13%) all see a boost.

A few late round burners – Cameron Maybin (up 22%), Carlos Gomez (up 15%), and Coco Crisp (up 26%) all move up a tier and are now being grabbed before the 20th round in 12-team leagues’ drafts.

On the Decline

B.J. Upton – Was his power surge in the playoffs for real? An 18% decrease in the past two weeks after a 14% increase last report seems to indicate that people are confused where B.J. should be drafted.

Aramis Ramirez – This is one I don’t understand. Aramis finds himself down 19% since the last report. Amazingly, drafters on Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS each see Ramirez as a mid-to-late fourth rounder.

Adrian Gonzalez – Down 14% and being drafted in the mid-fifth round in both Yahoo and ESPN leagues. Can you believe there are so many people don’t see AGone as a top-50 player?

Troy Tulowitzki – A 16% decline puts Tulo behind Drew, M. Young, and Jeter.

Miguel Tejada – Down another 9% and an incredible 64% since early December. Now that’s something to cry about, Miguel.

Gavin Floyd – Down 16% in the past 2 weeks and 36% since early December, drafters are noticing Floyd’s low BABIP (.268) and high FIP (3.77) from ’08.

Next, let’s examine some players whose ADP from one of the main drafting sites (Yahoo, CBS, or ESPN) differ from their MDP. This is a way to identify players that are undervalued and overvalued from site to site. For example, Josh Hamilton’s ADP in Yahoo leagues last year was 183, nearly 30 spots later than his MDP. Those of you in Yahoo leagues may have been fortunate to land him late. However, you would have likely had to reach a little for Hamilton in ESPN leagues where his ADP was actually 37 spots earlier than his MDP.

So, who are this year’s undervalued and overvalued players? Below are several from each category, organized according to drafting site:



Troy Tulowitzki (Yahoo ADP = 70.2) – Despite, Tulo’s 16% recent decline, he is still being drafted about 22 spots earlier than his MDP in Yahoo leagues.

Howie Kendrick (Yahoo ADP = 105.7) – The injury prone Kendrick is being drafted about 25 spots earlier than his MDP in Yahoo leagues. Not too surprising, given Funston’s perennial man crush on Howie.

Matt Wieters (Yahoo ADP = 114.5) – I love Wieters as much as the next guy, but should a guy who’s likely to start the year in the minors be drafted in the mid-10th round, nearly 28 spots earlier than his MDP?


Matt Holliday (Yahoo ADP = 36.6) –This is perhaps the best example on how a site’s ranking can influence ADP. Holliday’s ADP in Yahoo leagues is nearly 22 spots later than his MDP.

Bobby Abreu (Yahoo ADP = 95.4) – A move to a slightly weaker Angels’ lineup may hurt Abreu’s numbers a bit, but it does not warrant Bobby being drafted nearly 26 spots later than his MDP in Yahoo leagues.

Joey Votto (Yahoo ADP = 123.3) – The up-and-comer, Votto, should be drafted in the sixth or seventh round in 12-team leagues’ drafts, not the 11th as his Yahoo ADP suggests. He is being drafted about 40 spots later than his MDP in Yahoo leagues.

Andre Ethier (Yahoo ADP = 164.1) and Brad Hawpe (Yahoo ADP = 170.5) – These two outfielders are being drafted 46 and 42 spots later than their MDPs in Yahoo leagues. Way too low.



Virtually all closers – Jonathan Papelbon (CBS ADP = 35.10), Francisco Rodriguez (CBS ADP = 37.96), Bobby Jenks (CBS ADP = 81.66), Carlos Marmol (CBS ADP = 72.69), Kerry Wood (CBS ADP = 93.82), and Huston Street (CBS ADP = 133.26) are examples of closers being drafted WAY too early in CBS leagues, 15 to 50 spots earlier than their MDPs.

Note: Since the time this report was written, the CBS closer ADPs have taken a nosedive as mock drafters agreed wholeheartedly with these findings.

Jered Weaver (CBS ADP = 125.35) – Weaver may be a bit undervalued on other sites, but he certainly does not deserve to be an 11th round selection in 12-team leagues. Weaver’s ADP in CBS leagues is about 85 spots earlier than his MDP. This is several years in a row in which CBS has overvalued Jered.


Brandon Phillips
(CBS ADP = 70.44) – A slightly down year shouldn’t make Phillips a sixth round selection. In CBS leagues, Phillips is being drafted about 38 spots later than his MDP.

Chipper Jones (CBS ADP = 79.51) – Yes, Chipper is injury prone, but that still shouldn’t make him a mid-seventh round selection in 12-team leagues. Jones is being drafted about 23 spots later than his MDP in CBS leagues.

Adrian Beltre (CBS ADP = 174.53) – Remember what happened last time Beltre was playing for a contract? He is being drafted nearly 17 spots later than his MDP in CBS leagues. Maybe CBS knows something about Beltre’s tax filing status that we don’t know?

Lastings Milledge
(CBS ADP = 186.63) – Edge is an excellent 20-20 candidate and is being drafted way too low in CBS leagues, about 50 spots later than his MDP.



Starting pitching – Johan Santana (ESPN ADP = 11.7), CC Sabathia (ESPN ADP = 15.8), Brandon Webb (ESPN ADP = 28.9), Roy Halladay (ESPN ADP = 24.7), Roy Oswalt (ESPN ADP = 47.3), John Lackey (ESPN ADP = 54.7), James Shields (ESPN ADP = 64.5), Felix Hernandez (ESPN ADP = 67.5), and Scott Baker (ESPN ADP = 125.6) are examples of starters being drafted significantly earlier than their MDPs in ESPN leagues.

Derek Jeter (ESPN ADP = 56.8) – Jeter is not the player he once was. While he should be good for a .300 BA, 100 runs, and 15 SB, he does not warrant a selection in the fifth round. He is being drafted nearly 18 spots earlier than his MDP in ESPN leagues.

Torii Hunter (ESPN ADP = 83.4) – Hunter is still solid but not worthy of a late-seventh round selection. His ADP in ESPN leagues is about 21 spots earlier than his MDP.

Johnny Damon
(ESPN ADP = 88.2) – While I wouldn’t go as far as to say Damon is finished, he probably should not be drafted in the top 100. Damon is being drafted nearly 25 spots earlier than his MDP in ESPN leagues.

Placido Polanco (ESPN ADP = 133.7) – I really don’t understand this one. In ESPN leagues, Polanco is being drafted 79 spots earlier than his MDP, before Jose Lopez, Rickie Weeks, Kelly Johnson, and Mark DeRosa.


Ian Kinsler (ESPN ADP = 26.4) – I consider Kinsler to be a borderline first rounder, not a third rounder as his ESPN ADP suggests. He is being drafted a little over 13 spots later than his MDP in ESPN leagues, and 10 spots later than Dustin Pedroia.

B.J. Upton (ESPN ADP = 41.6) – As stated earlier, people seem to have very differing opinions on Bossman Jr. Although he may be going a bit too early in Yahoo leagues (ADP = 17.5), he’s being drafted way too late in ESPN leagues, approximately 15 spots later than his MDP.

Carlos Quentin (ESPN ADP = 64.5) – ESPN is to Quentin as Yahoo is to Holliday. The White Sox slugger is being drafted a ridiculous 34 spots later than his MDP in ESPN leagues. Another good example of how site rankings influence ADP.

Adam Dunn (ESPN ADP = 101.1) – Come on, you know Dunn is going to hit 40 home runs again. He is one of the few consistent sources of power out there and even with the poor BA, is better than a mid-ninth round selection. Right now, he is being drafted just about 34 spots later than his MDP in ESPN leagues.

Shane Victorino
(ESPN ADP = 86.8) – The Flyin’ Hawaiian is being drafted way too late in ESPN leagues, about 27 spots later than his MDP and in between Hunter and Damon.

Brett Myers (ESPN ADP = 180.7) – A bit odd, given that most starters seem to be overvalued by ESPN, but Myers is being drafted in the 16th round, nearly 30 spots later than his MDP.

Keep an eye out in the Baseball Leftovers section of the Cafe for future MDP updates. I will likely be updating the list two more times before Spring Training is through. Although much is already established, you should expect a little movement as roles become more defined and a few more players get injured. Please not you, Johan!

Bryan Freilich is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Bryan in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of rookies and cream.
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