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10 Overvalued Players (2019 Fantasy Baseball)

Feb 7, 2019

A back injury and reduced velocity aren’t the only reasons Clayton Kershaw may be overvalued in 2019

The start of the regular season is less than two months away. It felt like we were just celebrating New Years yesterday. Next thing you know, you’ll be drafting with your buddies just ahead of Opening Day. With baseball season quickly creeping up on us, it’s so easy to get lost in the demands of life and attend your draft underprepared. Even for those who do their due diligence, the sheer wealth of advice out there can make it difficult to discern which opinions are the most valid.

Much of last year’s information convinced drafters that Eric Hosmer and Dallas Keuchel would have been good enough to be the 55th hitter and 19th pitcher taken off the board, respectively. Both ended up being huge disappointments last season, however, with Hosmer finishing 103rd out of all hitters and Keuchel ending 2018 as the 56th best fantasy pitcher. To help you avoid making picks you might regret, our featured experts have come together to assist you with your draft prep and have taken the time to quickly share their thoughts on hitters and pitchers they feel are overvalued based on our consensus average draft position (ADP).

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Q1. What one hitter stands out as being the most overvalued based on consensus ADP and why?

Jesus Aguilar (1B – MIL): Overall ADP – 80 
“Aguilar is currently being drafted ahead of players like Scooter Gennett, Eddie Rosario, Justin Upton, Josh Donaldson, and A.J. Pollock, which is absolutely absurd to me. If Aguilar were available 100 picks later, I’d still pass. He may have put together a great first half, but once pitchers built a book on him, his last 60 games saw him hit just .245 with 27 homers. His consensus projections aren’t much higher, at 30 homers and a .258 batting average. You can find production like that off the waiver wire at first base, and while there is a chance he returns to first-half form, I’d rather bet on someone like C.J. Cron who is going 170 picks later.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Carlos Correa (SS – HOU): Overall ADP – 38
“As much as it pains me to say this, Correa stands out as the most overvalued hitter as the 26th batter off the board. Correa has played just 219 games over the past two seasons and has battled back injuries, which are notoriously tricky. After stealing 14 bases in just 99 games in his rookie year and 13 bases the next, he had just five stolen bases combined in 2017 and 2018. Correa’s upside remains, but considering his injury history, the likelihood that the stolen bases are not coming back, and the surprising depth at the shortstop position, the odds are far greater that he won’t earn that draft slot than that he will.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B – TOR): Overall ADP – 39 
“Call me crazy, but Vlad Jr. is being overvalued. His current ADP places him in the third round, which is crazy. Yes, he mashed in the minors, but this is a very young player who has yet to see major league pitching. Don’t let the success of a couple guys last season, Ronald Acuna and Juan Soto, make you overpay for young players. Guerrero is going ahead of proven players such as Anthony Rendon and George Springer. At that price tag. Guerrero would need to hit his ceiling this season to match his current draft price, give me the more proven talent at that point.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Gleyber Torres (2B/SS – NYY): Overall ADP – 52
“Writing off Vlad Jr.’s lofty rank because that No. 10 hitter rank from CBS (other sites have him between 40-52) seems jacked up, I’ll say it’s Torres. The Yankee Tax is a real thing, which compounds with the “young phenom” tax to make Torres a hot commodity after popping 24 homers with a .271/.340/.480 slash over his 484 plate appearances as a 21-year-old rookie. While impressive, his 91.2 mph average exit velocity on liners and flies ranked 221st out of 320 hitters with 75 batted-ball events, and despite a friendly home park, I have a hard time believing in the HR/FB rate repeating itself.”
– Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)

Wilson Ramos (C – NYM): Overall ADP – 137
“Ramos is one hitter that is being overvalued looking at early ADP data. Full disclosure, I don’t buy into position scarcity, and that alone drives most catchers lower in my rankings compared to ADP. That said, Ramos is still likely to be a top-10 catcher, but he will never get the ABs needed to justify his current ADP of 155. Even playing 120 games (very optimistic) and factoring in that he could provide positive contributions to both power and average, the counting stats I’m projecting for him just aren’t enough to justify a draft position nearly 100 picks before I’d consider him.”
– Jason Johnson (Understanding Fantasy Baseball)

Q2. What one pitcher stands out as being the most overvalued based on consensus ADP and why?

Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD): Overall ADP – 33
“Drafting Kershaw likely means you’ll be sweating a ‘check engine’ light throughout the year at best, as his back injury is almost certain to cause a DL stint or two in 2019. His workload needing to be managed can be dealt with, but is he still effective enough to be worth this draft slot when on the bump? His average fastball velocity lost a tick between 2015 and ’17, but a full two ticks were shaved off last season, as it fell to 91.3 MPH. After regularly posting whiff rates of 24-28% with his slider, that mark plummeted to 14.3% in ’18. Mix in a career-worst 36.1% hard-hit rate — his worst mark by nearly 10 percentage points — and I’m out on him being a top-10 pitcher in case the injuries are truly capping his performance.”
– Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)

Mike Foltynewicz (SP – ATL): Overall ADP – 83
“Foltynewicz had a fantastic 2018, but there’s no way I’d draft him as the 29th pitcher (and 24th starter) off the board. Foltynewicz made plenty of gains last season, but his 2.85 ERA was backed up by a 3.37 FIP, a 3.77 xFIP, and the worst walk percentage of his career (9.1%). He also allowed a minuscule .251 BABIP to opposing hitters, tied for fourth-best in the league, without much in the underlying metrics to support it. The majority of projection systems have him upwards of a 3.95 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 2019, and numbers like that, even with Folty’s strikeouts, are hardly impressive in today’s fantasy landscape. And if that’s not good enough, it’s basically impossible to spell his name, and you don’t want to have a guy like that on your team causing headaches.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

James Paxton (SP – NYY): Overall ADP – 54
“There is a dozen I wouldn’t touch anywhere near their current ADP and they are all the same mold of pitcher: Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Archer, Jon Lester, etc. Guys who were once great, but don’t have it anymore and won’t get it back. The one that most stands out to me, however, is Paxton, who is a much different case. Paxton’s issue is that he averages just 112 innings over his five full seasons in the bigs. Add in the fact that he is moving to Yankee Stadium after posting a 3.76 ERA in a pitchers’ park, and I don’t see any distinction between him and Josh James who is being drafted 140 spots later.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Jonathan Gray (SP – COL): Overall ADP – 194
“Trying to remain objective, and not at all because I was burned by him on almost every team last year, but I believe Gray is being very overvalued compared to ADP. Could 2018 have just been a down year? Maybe…but looking at some of his advanced stats, i’m concerned with specific areas of regression. While his fastball velocity was still top tier, it was very hittable, leading to alarming hard hit% and exit velocity numbers. Even taking the “Coors effect” out of the equation, his numbers on the road were arguably worse than at home. Does he still have upside? I think so. Otherwise, people wouldn’t continue to draft him where he’s going, but I’d rather take a pitcher that I can have a bit more confidence in.”
– Jason Johnson (Understanding Fantasy Baseball)

Noah Syndergaard (SP – NYM): Overall ADP – 37
“Syndergaard is amazing and when he is on, he is truly one of the best. The issue I have with him as an SP1 at this point is he is both an injury risk and he showed inconsistency last season too. I think at this point we all know about his injury history, which is probably what is preventing him from being picked as a top-five fantasy pitcher. What should push him down even farther is the fact that he has too many games where he gets knocked around. To me, he needs to learn to pitch more instead of just trying to blow the ball by people before he is mentioned among the elite fantasy pitchers.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

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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