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Three Outfielders Who Will Underperform Their 2015 ADP

 

I'll Take A Pass

Personally, I'm not a fan of a “Do Not Draft” list. Given a deep enough league and the right value, there's a point where even J.P. Arencibia can find a loving home. That said, every player comes with a price. Regardless of whether you measure that price in terms of draft picks or auction dollars, some guys just aren't worth what you'd have to pay. If you're looking for spend your money wisely on draft day, I'd steer clear of the outfielders on this list.
 
 

Ryan Braun (Average ADP: 32.0)

There are few words in sports guaranteed to send chills up my spine faster than “nerve problem.” Baseball is a tough game to play on the best of days. Now imagine trying to play it without your right hand. That's effectively what Ryan Braun has been attempting to do over the past two seasons. An inflamed nerve in his right thumb has led to a laundry list of difficulties for Braun, issues he described to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt in April 2014:

"It's the same thing [as in 2013]," Braun explained. "The nerve is messed up so my whole thumb is numb, so I can't feel gripping the ball or the bat. So I gripped it too hard and I have crazy bruises and blisters."

The good news is after undergoing cryotherapy surgery, Braun is apparently feeling much more like his old self. The bad news? Braun is the first major league baseball player to ever turn to the procedure, meaning we have no idea how effective or long-lasting it'll be when his body is subjected to the rigors of a full season. When it comes to the effectiveness of this procedure even Brewers GM Gord Ash admitted to MLB.com that "I don't think anybody can tell us that."

Let's say Braun still does have the physical tools to perform at an MVP type level. At 31 years old, two years and one steroid scandal removed from his last great season, this isn't something I think one can take for granted, but for argument's sake let's say he does. To bet on Braun, you're betting on an experimental procedure that we've never seen succeed for a major league baseball player being very, very effective. If not, Braun's back to batting one-handed. I don't care how physically gifted he is, no one's that good.

I don't know about you, but I'll be spending my 4th round pick elsewhere thank you very much.
 
 

Nelson Cruz (Average ADP: 59.8)

Let's not beat around the bush: Nelson Cruz will not be hitting 40 home runs next season. You have to go all the way back to 2009 to find another season in which he even hit more than 30. Outside of 2014, he's never hit more than 33 in a single year. What we saw last season was amazing. It just won't be happening again, much less during Cruz's age 35 season and after a move to the 11th worst park in the major leagues for right-handed power.

In 2015 I expect Cruz to regress much closer to his career norms: .260 with 24-26 home runs and 5-6 stolen bases. That's a useful player, but not a sixth round pick. In fact, those are almost the exact numbers which Marlon Byrd put up last season: .264 with 25 home runs and 3 stolen bases. Would you pass up on players like David Ortiz, Kyle Seager, Brian Dozier, or Starling Marte for the rights to Byrd's 2014 production? Neither would I.

Invariably there is going to be someone in your league who'll be willing to pay for the 40 home run version of Cruz. I'd advise that you make sure that person isn't you.
 
 

Charlie Blackmon (Average ADP: 82.6)

From Opening Day through the end of April, Charlie Blackmon was the hottest thing on the planet. He captured the eye of the entire fantasy community with his .374 batting average, five home run, and seven stolen base performance. A good April doesn't make a great player, however. From May on, he would hit a much more human .271, looking at times absolutely lost when separated from the friendly confines of Coors Field. In fact, Blackmon has never shown the ability to hit at all outside of Coors Field. Since being called up by the Rockies in 2011, he's hit a terrible .243 on the road over the course of 551 plate appearances.

Speed is the one reliable element in his profile. He's been a consistent threat on the base paths throughout his career, and this coming season should be no different. While I don't think you can count on 28 stolen bases from him again, 22-24 shouldn't be out of the question.

Apart from running, the rest of Blackmon's game is very lackluster. Mark him down for a .270 batting average, 10-12 home runs, 22-24 stolen bases...that starts to look quite a bit like Brett Gardner wouldn't you think? The only difference is Blackmon is currently going in the 9th round while Gardner is going in the 16th.
 
 

Parting Thoughts

Feel like there's someone I missed? Considering how many players are out there on draft day, it's impossible to get to everybody, but if there's an outfielder you'd like to hear more about feel free to leave a comment below this article. I'm always happy to chat.

 




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