Friday, February 27, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: Which First Basemen Will Exceed Expectations?

What if every single player in baseball were to put up the same exact stats in 2009 as he did in 2008? If that were to happen, which first baseman would outplay his 2009 Average Draft Position (ADP) in Y! mock drafts by the widest margin?

And no, this is not the plot of a new movie starring Bill Murray. The intent here is merely to see if jumping through some mental hoops helps us get a better sense of which first basemen might outperform their 2009 Average Draft Position. If you don’t happen to know the answer offhand, or if you don’t know the name of the player pictured on the right, use this list to find the answer:


That’s right. Carlos Delgado. You know, the guy who hit 38 home runs last year and has hit more than thirty home runs in eleven of the last twelve seasons.

Delgado will be turning 37 this season, so while he might be hard pressed to continue to hit more home runs than this age, he is being drafted so far below his 2008 value that even if he were to regress a bit in 2009, it is not unimaginable that he might still outplay his 2009 ADP.

Let’s put some numbers to this hypothesis. If, in 2009, Delgado were to duplicate his worst season since 1995, would he still outplay his 2009 ADP of 135?

Delgado’s worst season since 1995 was his 2007 season with the Mets:
71 R, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 4 SB, .258 AVG.

The 135th-best hitter in the Y! game in 2008 was Jason Giambi:
68 R, 32 HR, 96 RBI, 2 SB, .247

The answer? It’s close. So assuming Delgado can stay healthy in 2009 (which might be a big assumption), he can outperform his 2009 ADP as long as he plays slightly better than how he played in his worst season of the last thirteen years. And yes, I'm as surprised as you are that this post turned into an episode of Pimp My Delgado.

Want more draft strategy? Click here for 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, C, SP, and RP position primers.

1 comment:

Dan Butter said...

Interesting argument. Still not sure I'm exited to draft him though. Something about drafting 37-year-old baseball players in fantasy baseball scares me.