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ECR vs ADP: Overvalued & Undervalued (Fantasy Baseball 2020)

Mar 9, 2020

Willy Adames is a worthwhile late-round target.

If you are unfamiliar with FantasyPros ECR (Expert Consensus Ranking), in layman’s terms, it ranks all MLB players based upon an average of where many experts around the industry currently place a given player’s Fantasy Baseball value. What can really be an interesting study is how ADP trends around the various Fantasy Baseball hubs stack up to ECR. 

Who do the experts see as a bargain considering ADP? Who do the experts suggest to avoid based upon ADP? That’s what the focus of the following collection of names will be, comparing ECR to ADP in order to locate the best buys and biggest sells during the 2020 draft season.

***ECR & ADP numbers are accurate as of time of writing***

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Best Hitter Buys

Willy Adames (SS – TB) – ECR 274, ADP 353, +79 vs ADP 
Adames got off to a horrendous start in 2019, picking up just one hit while striking out 14 times with no walks in 27 at-bats across the Rays first seven games. By the end of April, most in the fantasy world had soured on him, as the young shortstop held a meager .565 OPS with just one home run and a 29.6-percent K-rate. 

From the start of last May forward, Adames really picked it up at the plate, slashing .265/.327/.442 with 19 homers over 126 games. Entering his age-24 season, he is going undrafted in many standard 12-team leagues. The experts around the industry see that as a bit of a mistake and have Adames as a worthwhile, late-round target.

Nelson Cruz (DH – MIN) – ECR 47, ADP 84, +37 vs ADP
Why are there 80-plus players routinely being selected ahead of a consistent masher like Cruz? Seemingly, the explanation would be that he qualifies only as a DH (Util on fantasy rosters) and will turn 40 in the middle of the 2020 season. Fair points, but do not be deterred.

Since the start of the 2017 season, Cruz has played a grand total of 54.1 innings in the field, which has largely kept him in the lineup and producing huge numbers. During that span, he has put up a ridiculous .278 ISO and .931 OPS while averaging 39 long balls and 108 RBI. 

It took Cruz only 120 games to pop 41 homers in his first season with the Twins last year. Landing him in the fifth or sixth round of fantasy drafts should be considered quite a coup.

Franmil Reyes (OF – CLE) – ECR 119, ADP 140, +21 vs ADP
From an older, well-known powerhouse to a budding one. Only 833 plate appearances into his big-league career, Reyes has sent 53 baseballs into the seats. For those doing the math, that’s one every 15.7 times in the box. He hit 37 of those homers while spending time with the Padres and Indians in 2019, but a .249 batting average and .310 OBP left something to be desired.

Many around the industry expect that average to improve for Reyes this year, as he hit .280 across 87 big-league games in 2018 and the .279 BABIP he recorded last season is due for some significant positive regression. Nelson Cruz actually seems like a reasonable comp for Reyes could be.

Best Pitcher Buys

Garrett Richards (SP – SD) – ECR 241, ADP 367, +126 vs ADP
Injuries, injuries, and more injuries; that’s been the story for Richards’ career over the last four years since he solidified himself as a solid MLB hurler back in 2014 and 2015. The 31-year-old righty has worked just 147.1 innings across 31 big-league starts going back to 2016. 

Even still, despite battling health issues, Richards has worked to a nice 3.36 ERA and 9.7 K/9 in that timeframe. Right now, he’s healthy. He’s basically free in fantasy drafts. And, there’s absolutely nothing to lose. 

Mitch Keller (SP – PIT) – ECR 212, ADP 285, +73 vs ADP
During his 11-start debut as a 23-year-old in the majors last season, Keller threw up a 7.13 ERA over 48.0 innings. So, stick a fork in him, right? Wrong! 

Keller was quite possibly the unluckiest pitcher on the planet in 2019, as alongside that ugly ERA was an astonishing .475 BABIP and incredibly encouraging 3.47 xFIP. The flamethrowing youngster also recorded a 65-to-16 K/BB ratio and 11.8-percent swinging-strike rate while on an MLB mound last year. Keller is among the expert’s favorites for a breakout in 2020. 

Lance Lynn (SP – TEX) – ECR 112, ADP 126, +14 vs ADP
Lynn as SP No. 36 according to current ADP? Come on people! ECR has him a bit better at SP No. 31, but the analyst writing this particular piece, along with a handful of others, like the veteran righty even more than that. 

What’s not to like? Lynn won 16 games while posting a 3.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 10.6 K/9 in 2019. Don’t forget that he was pitching his home games at the hitter-friendly Ballpark in Arlington. It remains to be seen how the new Globe Life Field in Texas will play. In any event, Lynn has great value in the 10th-round range of 12-teamers. 

Biggest Hitter Sells

Aristides Aquino (OF – CIN) – ECR 229, ADP 192, -37 vs ADP
Aquino ripped 47 home runs over 548 plate appearances between Triple-A and the bigs last year. He made his 2019 debut for the Reds on August 1 and proceeded to bash his way to a 1.096 OPS with 15 homers over the next 34 games. After that, Aquino crashed back down to Earth, limping along with a .601 OPS and 29-percent K-rate through the final 22 games of the season. 

The Reds went out and made several additions this past offseason, including outfielders Nick Castellanos and Shogo Akiyama. That means Aquino could well be competing to even make the Opening Day roster right now. Going 1-for-17 with seven whiffs over his first seven games this spring has certainly not helped his cause. 

Yuli Gurriel (1B/3B – HOU) – ECR 151, ADP 133, -18 vs ADP
Gurriel was a solid, yet unspectacular, contributor over his first two full MLB campaigns for the Astros in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the 35-year-old Cuban native had a power surge, setting career highs of 31 home runs and 104 RBI, and he did it while not sacrificing his batting average (.298). Call the experts somewhat skeptical about whether Gurriel can do it again. He definitely will not be aided by the controversy surrounding the Astors either.

Biggest Pitcher Sell

Dakota Hudson (SP – STL) – ECR 311, ADP 234, -77 vs ADP
If Keller was the unluckiest, it’s arguable that Hudson was the luckiest pitcher in 2019. 16 wins and a 3.35 ERA were accompanied by a markedly low .274 BABIP and an awfully lofty 5.08 SIERA. Also, in the era of strikeouts, he barely managed to eclipse the 7.0 K/9 mark while walking 4.43 per nine – the worst mark among MLB qualifying pitchers last year. 

Now granted, Hudson does get an absolute ton of groundballs, as that’s his bread and butter. The Cardinals’ top-ranked defensive metrics obviously led to much of his success. However, the underlying metrics are not in Hudson’s favor regarding future performance. 

Short of considerable progression in his ability to miss bats and a repeat for the Cardinals’ collective glovework, the best hope for Hudson is probably an average, at best, campaign in 2020. There’s simply not much there for fantasy purposes.

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Nate Miller is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him @Miller_RotoDad.

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