10 Overvalued Players (Fantasy Baseball)

Feb 8, 2018

Starling Marte’s power disappeared after his return from suspension in 2017

As each week passes, the baseball season gets closer and pretty soon, before you know it, your draft will be staring you in the face. We’ve all likely been in that situation at least once where we weren’t prepared for a fantasy draft. With so much information out there, it can be easy to get lost and not know what to take in.

To make things a bit easier, our featured experts below have taken the time to give their quick thoughts on hitters and pitchers who they feel are currently overvalued based on consensus rankings. Last week, we posted a similar article covering undervalued players. So if you’re not sure which pieces of advice to read, just remember, these answers will be here for you all preseason.

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Q1. Which hitter in our consensus rankings is the most overvalued and why?

Starling Marte (OF – PIT)
Hitter Rank: #29
“Marte was shut down from the Dominican Winter League with an injured left hand and his team is “rebuilding” around him as he looks to bounce back from a sad 2017. Marte only mustered seven longballs in 339 PAs last season despite it being the year of the longball. I don’t care if your year was thrown by a self-inflicted suspension, his .104 ISO was below Alcides Escobar’s .107 mark and I can’t forgive that. His saving grace was going 21-for-25 on the basepaths, but that doesn’t make him a top-30 bat. Don’t pay for the name.”
– Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)

Chris Taylor (IF/OF – LAD)
Hitter Rank: #75
“The most prominent player is probably Robinson Cano, but if we’re purely talking the most overvalued player, it’s Chris Taylor. To be clear, yes, I buy the whole reinventing of his swing to allow him to hit the ball farther and in the air consistently. What I don’t buy is the .288 batting average or the .354 on-base percentage. Taylor struck out 25% of the time last season and had a relatively mediocre walk-rate of 8.8%, hardly the hallmarks of a high-average hitter. His .361 BABIP was seventh in the league last year, and that number simply does not seem sustainable given his fairly average underlying metrics and focus on hitting fly balls. If his ability to get on base consistently drops, so too will his place in the lineup, and it’s not as if the Dodgers lack quality replacements on the bench. He’s certainly a usable fantasy player, but I’m not ready to take him in the eighth or ninth round, as his ECR suggests I should.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Bryce Harper (OF – WAS)
Hitter Rank: #6
“A player’s ranking typically suffers when they prove to not be durable (see Giancarlo Stanton and Clayton Kershaw). For whatever reason, that isn’t the case with Bryce Harper despite him having never reached 530 at-bats and compiling fewer than 1,800 in the past four seasons. It isn’t as though he has been a dynamo either. He has never driven in 100 runs, only once hit 30+ homers (or 30+ doubles for that matter) and has hit below .275 three of his five seasons. Sure, the ceiling in astronomical, but that doesn’t mean he is likely to return top 5 overall value.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Aaron Judge (OF – NYY)
Hitter Rank: #15
“There is no doubting Judge’s power, but what if it comes with a sub-.230 batting average? That’s what he did in his brief 2016 debut and in the second half of 2017. He does a good job of getting on base and that lineup should help elevate the counting stats, but he could easily be a lot closer to Joey Gallo than anybody realizes. He’s got obvious value, but there is a ton of risk here as well.”
– Doug Anderson (RotoExperts)

Gregory Polanco (OF – PIT)
Hitter Rank: #77
“People love to bet on the come with juicy prospects, but Gregory Polanco hasn’t simply failed to progress, he’s fallen backward. Some injury excuses here, but that 2016 line wasn’t a winner, either. I need a show-me year, and if you beat me with him, good for you.”
– Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)

Q2. Which pitcher in our consensus rankings is the most overvalued and why?

Chris Archer (SP – TB)
Pitcher Rank: #15
“I get it, Chris Archer is one of sports most likable stars, he is a strikeout machine, and consistently pitches 30+ games every year. The problem here is that he is stranded on the Rays, winning just 10, 12, 9, and 10 games over the last four seasons. In fact, his ERA has been above 4.00 each of the last two seasons. That isn’t someone you draft in the first six rounds, I’m sorry. If he does get dealt, the wins may improve, but his ERA should take a further jump north without Kiermaier and the Rays’ defense or the support of Tampa’s pitcher-friendly park.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Zack Greinke (SP – ARI)
Pitcher Rank: #11
“Lost in Zack Greinke’s nice rebound season was another 1.2 mph drop in his velocity. He’s also entering his age 34 season and pitches in one of baseball’s most hitter-friendly parks. He may be able to pull another rabbit out of his hat, but as the 12th starting pitcher off the board, it’s going to hurt a lot if he doesn’t. The cliff could come fast and it could be steep. Way too much risk for me to invest a fourth-round pick on.”
– Doug Anderson (RotoExperts)

Robbie Ray (SP – ARI)
Pitcher Rank: #17
“It’s Robbie Ray for me, and it’s not particularly close. Yes, his strikeout-rate is elite and he’s still young. But look at his last two years. 2016: 4.90 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 3.45 xFIP. 2017: 2.89 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 3.49 xFIP. His breakout last year was buoyed by an unsustainable 84.5% left-on-base percentage (second highest in the league) and some good fortune on balls in play (.267 BABIP). In the end, he’s an elite strikeout pitcher who has never thrown more than 174 1/3 innings and has seen his walk rate rise three straight years. Absent the humidor, it’s a hard pass for me at his current ECR.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Madison Bumgarner (SP – SF)
Pitcher Rank: #5
“At the moment, I think Madison Bumgarner is being taken too early given how we haven’t seen his arm truly return since his dirt bike accident. His fastball came back to averaging out around 91-92 MPH in September, but he also allowed six home runs and a horrid 4.91 ERA in that month. His 4.38 FIP in the second-half is too much for me to consider him this highly, though healthy Spring Training velocities and movement could force me to revisit this.”
– Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)

James Paxton (SP – SEA)
Pitcher Rank: #19
“No one denies James Paxton’s upside, but it will be priced into his cost and I’m not playing that way. ”
– Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)

Thank you to the experts for naming their overvalued players. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for more advice all season long.

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