Welcome to the Rotoballer.com Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Series, ADP Arbitrage. Here RotoBaller takes a look at two players and compares them by both projected statistics and average draft position. Today we will look at first base; you can view the RotoBaller.com First Base Rankings here. If you want RotoBaller to compare two players you do not see listed in the ADP Arbitrage series, head over to the Ask Us section and request an ADP arbitrage for any two players at any position.
Adrian Gonzalez (35.9 ADP): Gonzalez is happy to be out of Boston and even happier with the lineup in Los Angeles. The potential for the Dodger offense is through the roof-- a lot of runs to be scored, and a lot of runs to knock in. There is much to like about Gonzalez in that lineup, especially if everyone is healthy. Gonzalez could be primed for a career season with all of that talent surrounding him. Guys that hit 36 HR (our projection) are rare in today's MLB-- in fact only seven players hit more than 36 HR last year. But while Gonzalez could put up a great year, you're going to have to pay for that production, likely reaching into the third round to get him on your squad.
2013 Projections: 95 R, 36 HR, 112 RBI, .299 BA
Adam LaRoche (145 ADP): Adam LaRoche is a very interesting ballplayer. He is coming off of his best season in 2012, during which he hit 33 HR. He has hit over 20 HR in seven MLB seasons, and he has maintained a totally acceptable .268 BA for his career. So the question is: why is this guy falling late in the second half of drafts? The answer is that people just don’t trust that he has 30-HR power-- many fantasy managers expect Laroche's BA to drop off, possibly relegating him to the bottom of the lineup. But the upside is there, and this may be his most stable job since joining the majors in 2004. Perhaps most importantly, the 2013 Nationals are quite possibly the best lineup Laroche has ever been a part of, hitting as he is behind Denard Span, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. That is a lot of RBI potential for the free-swinging slugger.
2013 Projections: 78 R, 31 HR, 105 RBI, .260 BA
Over 100 picks and 8 rounds after Adrian Gonzalez is drafted, Adam LaRoche will still be hanging around. The difference is fewer than 20 runs scored, 5 HR, 7 RBI and a bunch of base hits according to our projections. That production is not insignificant, but it's nothing you can’t make up when picking in the third round (where A-Gonz would be taken). Lastly, though we like LaRoche a lot, you cannot forget that Adrian Gonzalez offers a measure of position flexibility as well.
Think about perceived vs. expected value during your draft. That’s how ADP Arbitrage will help you win your league.