SleepersMarch 10, 2012

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Sleeper Watch - 2 comments

By Michael Marinakis

In my last article I compared my own rankings to MDP rankings to get an overall feel of undervalued and overvalued players regardless of where the draft took place. However, as silly as it is, the default rankings of individual hosting websites can have a huge effect on where players are drafted. The purpose of this article is to compare my own rankings to default Yahoo rankings in order to find players I feel are being ranked way too low by Yahoo. Knowing weaknesses in the default rankings for your preferred draft site is important and can be used to abuse managers who stick too close to the default rankings. I compared the top 400 of my ranked players to the top 400 Yahoo players and began to narrow it down from there. I removed all players that had a ratio of MDP rank to my rank between 0.75 and 1.25. This removed all the players I felt had MDPs very close to where they should be. I then removed most of the players ranked 300 or worse on either ranking system unless there was a large difference one way or the other. I also removed most relievers as my ranking system seems to overvalue non-closing relievers. Lastly I removed some guys who I had ranked higher than I would actually take them due to risk or injury concerns. This left me with 50 guys that I think are being undervalued, my Yahoo sleepers, and 50 guys that I think are being overvalued, my Yahoo busts.

A lot of the lower ranked players in the 200s and 300s are hard to call busts because they’re being drafted so late in the draft. Don’t take it too hard if one of your late round targets is on my bust list as rankings that far down get pretty subjective. I sorted by ratios to get a feeling of how big the differences between rankings were in relation to how high the rankings were. For example, even though the difference between MDP and my ranking for both Mike Napoli and Tim Hudson are very similar, the difference is much larger in terms of how high they’re being drafted. Basically, higher ratios are better sleepers, while lower ratios are bigger busts.

Obviously I’m not going to write about all 100 players I’ve listed, but I will make comments on some choice players. Along with the comments, I’ll be including my projection of the player.

SleepersYahoo RankMy RankDiffRatio
Mike Napoli5210425.20
Angel Pagan236731633.23
Ichiro Suzuki10842662.57
Matt Wieters9137542.46
Eric Hosmer6828402.43
Curtis Granderson219122.33
Nick Markakis14066742.12
Joe Mauer9545502.11
Ben Revere2531211322.09
J.D. Martinez3261581682.06
Michael Bourn6532332.03
Carlos Gonzalez10552.00
Carl Crawford9649471.96
John Mayberry3872001871.94
Madison Bumgarner8850381.76
Carlos Lee223127961.76
Carlos Santana4526191.73
Torii Hunter16698681.69
Marco Scutaro3111861251.67
Miguel Montero10362411.66
Josh Willingham193117761.65
Melky Cabrera164101631.62
Kendrys Morales188116721.62
Jason Kipnis246152941.62
Nyjer Morgan3462171291.59
Michael Young6239231.59
Billy Butler11975441.59
Alex Presley264170941.55
Matt Joyce202132701.53
Pablo Sandoval3825131.52
Adam Wainwright12080401.50
Scott Baker230156741.47
Jake Peavy3542481061.43
Adam Jones8761261.43
Freddie Freeman13293391.42
Peter Bourjos156110461.42
David Ortiz12689371.42
Ted Lilly212150621.41
Josh Hamilton322391.39
Ryan Roberts257187701.37
Alex Avila10981281.35
Desmond Jennings3929101.34
Derek Jeter12292301.33
Nick Swisher143108351.32
Chris Carpenter136103331.32
Jayson Werth11890281.31
Alex Rios208159491.31
Adam LaRoche374290841.29
Matt Holliday342771.26
Jose Tabata192153391.25
BustsYahoo RankMy RankDiffRatio
Ryan Zimmerman33115-820.29
David Wright2763-360.43
Dustin Ackley133309-1760.43
Adrian Gonzalez816-80.50
Jose Reyes1835-170.51
Evan Longoria1121-100.52
Felix Hernandez2852-240.54
Jason Heyward84151-670.56
Stephen Drew215384-1690.56
David Freese141246-1050.57
Carlos Beltran100174-740.57
Yovani Gallardo5594-390.59
Elvis Andrus4170-290.59
Alex Rodriguez4678-320.59
Jon Lester5896-380.60
Andrew Bailey127210-830.60
Drew Storen90147-570.61
Tim Lincecum2947-180.62
Justin Verlander1524-90.63
Anibal Sanchez138218-800.63
Daniel Hudson92145-530.63
Ryan Howard89139-500.64
J.J. Hardy145226-810.64
Justin Upton914-50.64
David Price5179-280.65
Logan Morrison123190-670.65
Jered Weaver3554-190.65
Yu Darvish85131-460.65
Nelson Cruz3757-200.65
Paul Konerko5077-270.65
Dan Uggla4467-230.66
Yunel Escobar171260-890.66
Howie Kendrick70106-360.66
Adam Lind151228-770.66
John Axford79118-390.67
Ryan Dempster180266-860.68
Chris Perez184271-870.68
Cole Hamels3044-140.68
Ricky Romero111161-500.69
Chase Utley6391-280.69
Edwin Encarnacion176254-780.69
Jhonny Peralta163235-720.69
Derek Holland200285-850.70
Frank Francisco190270-800.70
Mike Stanton2434-100.71
Jimmy Rollins74104-300.71
Jose Valverde134188-540.71
Rickie Weeks82113-310.73
Dee Gordon147199-520.74
Kevin Youkilis6182-210.74


Jason Kipnis: .267-82-17-65-14. In a small major league sample last year, Kipnis impressed with a strong combination of power and speed. While he likely won’t keep up at the pace he showed in 2012, he will likely put up solid numbers across four categories with an average that won’t do too much damage. Yahoo has Kipnis ranked 246 which is over 100 spots lower than they have Dustin Ackley ranked. I fully expect that Kipnis will outproduce Ackley in every single 5×5 category in 2012 and yet Ackley is being drafted around 10 rounds before him. This is due to a combination of Ackley being severely overvalued and Kipnis being decently undervalued. If you miss out on one of the stud second basemen, getting Kipnis in the late part of the draft could be a huge steal. He should provide very good value anywhere after the 15th round and you can probably get him even later than that (Yahoo has him as a 21st rounder).

Ben Revere: .287-71-0-41-43. He looks like a better version of Dee Gordon to me, and the shortstop eligibility should not warrant Gordon going over 100 spots higher. He’ll hurt your power numbers, but if you can take the hit late in the draft and are in need of the speed, Revere could be a Michael Bourn type player had later than the 20th round.

J.D. Martinez: .281-70-17-86-1. He’s not super exciting but hitting third in any line up brings value, even if it’s a line up as bad as the Astros. Decent power and a decent batting average should lead to solid counting stats and he’s not even being drafted in a lot of leagues. Definitely a guy worth a roster spot, especially in deeper leagues that start more than three outfielders.

Carlos Lee: .279-66-21-90-3. I could basically just copy and paste what I wrote about J.D. Martinez here. He still has decent power and batting clean-up can make almost anyone rosterable (see: Bengie Molina, 2009).

Cory Luebke: 10-3.25-166-1.15. Started the season as a reliever and posted great numbers including a fantastic strikeout rate and solid walk rate. Got even better after the transition to starter. The Padres offense will limit wins, but his strikeout stuff in combination with Petco park makes him a very appealing option, especially considering he’s ranked as a 14th rounder by Yahoo. If you can wait to draft him until the double-digit rounds, you’re getting pretty good value.

John Mayberry: .267-60-22-66-10. This projection is based on 500 plate appearances, but Mayberry will get a shot at regular playing time to start the season. With Howard out for the foreseeable future, it’s likely he’ll see quite a bit of playing time between first base and left field and if he produces that could lead to a full time job even after Howard returns. He has shown big power in the majors (21 HR in 336 MLB ABs) and has shown the ability to steal bases as well. His average will probably sting a little, but as long as he gets the opportunity, he could post very good numbers across the other four categories. He’s ranked 294th by Yahoo which leaves him undrafted in many leagues. Dual eligibility and big potential mean he should be rostered in any reasonably deep league.

Josh Willingham: .255-74-29-94-6. A very Dan Uggla-esque player: strong in three categories but the average stings. Is a little more production and second base eligibility really worth being ranked 150 spots higher? While part of that is Dan Uggla being overrated, Willingham deserves a little more than props than he’s getting. He’s shown consistently solid power skills and is moving to a better ballpark and what is likely a better line up. In the 16th round, he’s a steal.


Jose Reyes: .303-95-10-50-37. Yahoo has him as a mid-second rounder which is five spots higher than his MDP. Even with how shallow shortstop is, I can’t imagine spending a second round pick on a speed guy with Reyes’ injury history. At best he’s a three category stud and at worst he spends a chunk of the season on the DL. I’ll let someone else deal with him with how early he’s going.

David Freese: .290-55-13-74-1. I don’t know if people just have his postseason heroics in the back of his mind or what, but twelfth round for Freese is just ridiculous. He’ll probably put up a pretty good average, but other than that he’s completely replaceable by a last round pick. I could see drafting him as a very late backup to one of the very injury prone third basemen, but I would not consider him a starter unless the league is quite deep.

Carlos Beltran: .284-64-19-70-5. Being mostly healthy for the first time since 2008 led to a resurgent season for Beltran. His average was buoyed by an inflated BABIP, the speed is gone, and the power potential is fading. You should pretty much expect that he’ll miss time at some point, and even his skillset when healthy doesn’t warrant anything close to an eighth round pick. I’d be surprised if Carlos Lee doesn’t outproduce him be a decent margin and Yahoo has him ranked 123 picks after Beltran. Avoid at all costs.

Ryan Howard: .261-70-26-95-1. As far as I’ve heard, there’s still no timetable on his return, and yet he’s ranked 89th by Yahoo. We all know the power potential he has when healthy, but the average hurts and he has no speed to speak of. A two-category first baseman with injury uncertainty who was already on the decline should not be drafted in the seventh round. There is plenty of value and upside to be had elsewhere without dealing with that headache.

Chase Utley: .282-82-20-73-14. Nothing to sneeze at from the second base position, but not a sixth round pick, especially when injury risk is factored in. There are too many higher upside, less risk picks available at this point in the draft to take a shot on Utley. I won’t be owning him unless he falls a couple more rounds, and that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Logan Morrison: .271-68-22-73-2. I don’t get the love for Morrison. He’s a young guy with decent power, but I don’t see much else to like. He plays one of the deepest fantasy positions, will likely have an average that hurts your team, and doesn’t have much speed. I keeping bringing it up, but this might be the best comparison yet to Carlos Lee’s situation. Lee will likely post very similar or better numbers across the board, but the younger, sexier pick is being taken 100 spots before. I understand the desire to draft the next breakout star, but something can be said for consistent production. The 10th-11th rounds are just too early for a player of Morrison’s skillset.

If you’d like my take on any player that I didn’t include a comment for, feel free to ask and I’d be happy to give you my thoughts.

Michael Marinakis is a 26-year-old Giants fan who took 2011 off from fantasy baseball to bask in the glory of the World Series victory. He's now back in the game and looking forward to another year of baseball obsession. You can find him on the forums where he posts as GiantsFan14 or on Twitter @FBC_GiantsFan14.
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2 Responses to “Yahoo Sleepers and Busts”

  1. cbrepresent says:

    This is great. Thanks for your efforts!

  2. jobro49 says:

    Dear Michael,

    Enjoyed the article. I use Yahoo! exclusively so there is a fair amount of relevance. I def agree with a lot of your ranking downgrades and some of your upgrades. I use leagues with OBP so there are some differences there. I also think in some instances you valued speed more than me, but good work. Where can I find your rankings list? Do you update your rankings with spring training and role changes regularly? Thanks, Joel


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