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Now that the Super Bowl has been settled, the Fantasy Baseball season has officially begun and it’s time for some infielder ADP analysis.

Over the next few weeks, many Fantasy owners will be hitting the books and preparing for the upcoming campaign. With many drafts having already been completed, we now have some decent data to help us gauge market pricing. ADP information is a great way to see how the public is valuing certain players. Today, we will be conducting infielder ADP analysis and this will be the first installment of the Mispriced Pairs Series.

We will find an assortment of pairs of players where the ADP gap is too large once you consider their past and projected production. We will use the Zeile projections from www.fantasypros.com as they incorporate a variety of sources. Our ADP information will be from the NFBC drafts.

You can lose your draft in the early rounds, but you can win your drafts in the middle-to-late rounds. Finding value is key. If you are able to pick the lower ranked player of the pair, you then free up an earlier round pick to bolster your roster. With the price gap so large, you could even pick the cheaper player a round or two earlier than his ADP suggests and still book a gain.

Now, let’s take a gander at infielder ADP analysis of four pairs of mispriced infielders.

Infielder ADP Analysis; Mispriced Pairs

 

Backstop Battle

J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins (ADP: 170)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 441 49 10 47 8 .259 0.27 .285 21.3% 29.3% 7.9%
2016 Proj 444 49 9 50 8 .252 0.39

Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh Pirates (ADP: 247)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 451 56 7 43 1 .295 0.49 .359 21.0% 30.7% 7.3%
2016 Proj 414 49 7 42 1 .285 0.55

When you look at both the 2015 numbers and the projections for next year, you can see that there are only minor differences between Realmuto and Cervelli. Yet, the ADP gap is over six rounds in a 12-team league. Realmuto has a slight speed advantage, while Cervelli will likely posses the stronger batting average. In the grand scheme of things, a single digit stolen base advantage should not be worth nearly 80 picks. Forget the Fish, pick up the Pirate, and enjoy the profits.

 

Second Base Scrap

Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals (ADP: 160)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 499 56 14 73 2 .281 0.82 .278 21.2% 30.8% 8.3%
2016 Proj 535 69 12 67 7 .291 0.67

Neil Walker, New York Mets (ADP: 233)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 543 69 16 71 4 .269 0.40 .306 21.4% 32.0% 9.9%
2016 Proj 518 69 19 67 3 .262 0.55

With both Murphy and Walker moving on to new teams, a little more pressure may be placed on each of them. In fact, this pair becomes even more interesting once you consider that Walker is the man replacing Murphy in the Big Apple.

Murphy’s star is probably shining a little too bright given his tremendous postseason run with the Mets last fall. However, their regular season numbers from last year show that both players performed in a very similar fashion. Once you consider the 2016 projections, it is clear that Walker has a slight power advantage, while Murphy should hit for a higher average.

Park factors may also explain a small portion of the ADP gap, given the unfriendly hitting environment at Citi Field. That being said, a 70-pick gap seems ridiculous. Swat away the Nat, snag the Met, and your Fantasy team will be better off.

 

SS and 3B ADP Analysis

Shortstop Scuffle

Ketel Marte, Seattle Mariners (ADP: 221)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 219 25 2 17 8 .283 0.56 .341 21.5% 22.2% 4.4%
2016 Proj 528 60 6 46 19 .271 0.61

Erick Aybar, Atlanta Braves (ADP: 337)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 597 74 3 44 15 .270 0.34 .300 21.0% 22.9% 2.3%
2016 Proj 564 61 5 50 14 .273 0.52

Marte joined the Mariners near the end of July after posting a solid first half in Triple-A. In Seattle, he performed admirably out of the leadoff spot as he hit for a decent average, scored some runs, and provided some speed on the base paths. In fact, that description would be a carbon copy of the one that would also describe Aybar. The former Angel will now ply his trade in Atlanta with the rebuilding Braves.

If you were to extrapolate Marte’s 2015 stats over a full season, his ending batting line would look eerily similar to Aybar’s. The 2016 projections for both players are also essentially indistinguishable. All of this makes the triple digit ADP gap extremely puzzling and incorrect. If you wait and select the vet over the sophomore, you will not be disappointed.

 

Third Base Throwdown

Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals (ADP: 140)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 549 73 22 82 1 .284 0.57 .294 18.8% 31.3% 11.2%
2016 Proj 536 67 20 71 1 .258 0.60

Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins (ADP: 280)

AB R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
2015 573 74 22 86 2 .244 0.40 .274 18.2% 33.5% 12.0%
2016 Proj 536 68 20 73 2 .249 0.49

Moustakas may have finally figured things out last year as he posted the best season of his career in 2015. His new approach at the plate has given many Fantasy owners plenty of hope, and it is reflected in his draft day price tag.

Plouffe arguably also had the best season of his career last year, yet Fantasy owners are much less excited. With an ADP gap of 140 picks, I am not sure what people are looking at. Even if you assume a repeat of last year, with the large batting average difference, you can’t justify the 12-round spread. Just ignore the Moose and pick up the Twinkie and your patience will be rewarded.

 

Conducting a thorough ADP analysis will help you understand the biases in your draft room. There are an assortment of reasons why an ADP gap may persist. It could be due to name value, the size of the media coverage, or even a great playoff. No matter what the reason is, the numbers do not lie and qualitative reasons and small sample sizes hold less weight. Be sure to check back so you don’t miss out on our next installment of the Mispriced Pairs Series: Outfielders.

Data courtesy of www.fangraphs.com

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