When preparing for a Fantasy Baseball draft, I’m the type of manager that creates an elaborate draft board that only includes players I will consider drafting. The board lays out the position players and pitchers I want on my team in each round, and as those players get drafted, they get crossed off with a black Sharpie. This allows me to see which of players that I wanted are still available for my roster that season.
As the draft goes on, it becomes more and more obvious which players to draft. If my list for Round 3 has one name left, then that’s the guy I take with my next pick. I make sure not to skew from my board, and if a player isn’t listed on the board, I simply don’t draft him.
I can tell you that the following players will 100 percent not be on my draft board. There is an array of reasons why, but the main reason is because they don’t provide value where they’re being drafted. I’m not saying these aren’t really good baseball players; these are some of the best in the game. It’s just where they’re being drafted that doesn’t add up.
These players simply go against what I find to be the two main objectives for each manager during a Fantasy draft. With each draft pick, you should 1) obtain value and 2) fill needs. These guys don’t provide that. That’s why these five have been stricken from my 2016 draft board.
Buster Posey: ADP 25
I typically wait on drafting a catcher since there will likely be a total of 12 catchers drafted in a 12-team league. If that’s the case, I’m entirely OK having a catcher like Salvador Perez or Russell Martin on my roster. And I’ll be able to wait 100-plus picks after Posey comes off the board to draft those guys.
Or to take this to the next level, the 12th and 13th catchers according to ADP are Wellington Castillo and Yadier Molina. Doesn’t a player who hit 19 home runs in only 110 games (Castillo) or a former Top 3 catcher who won’t hurt your batting average (Molina) at pick 210 sound like a bargain? I think yes!
Remember, this is all about value and there are other players being drafted after Posey that have better stats across the board — Starling Marte, Joey Votto and George Springer, to name a few. If Posey continues to go late second or early third round, I’ll continue to pass on him.
Kyle Schwarber: ADP 40
This one screams stay away, but it’s obvious that managers across the country don’t feel that way. Schwarber put up great numbers on the national stage during the playoffs last year (five home runs and eight RBIs in nine games), but I don’t see those equating to a Top 50 pick. The hype machine is clearly boosting his ADP here, and if you’re smart, you’ll allow someone else to deal with Schwarber’s .250 batting average and more than a strikeout per game.
Ryan Braun: ADP 45
Here’s another player going in the Top 50 that I just don’t think belongs anymore. While Braun used to be a Top 10 pick, he just isn’t the same player. Yes, he put up really nice numbers last year (25 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 80-plus runs and RBIs) for the first time since the steroid suspension. But this is also a guy who had back surgery in October and recently acknowledged that he won’t be 100 percent for the start of Spring Training.
Players being drafted after both Braun and Schwarber include the likes of Lorenzo Cain, Carlos Gonzalez, Adam Jones and Justin Upton. Or if you don’t want an outfielder, try Todd Frazier or Troy Tulowitzki. I’d take all of those guys before I would Braun or Schwarber, and you should too.
Billy Hamilton: ADP 95
I just can’t draft this guy. Hamilton is a one-category player, yet he is off nearly every draft board before pick 100. Yes, he will get you 55 stolen bases, but Hamilton will hurt you or just won’t help you in the other four categories in standard 5×5 leagues.
Take a look at another Billy; Billy Burns, who is being drafted 100 picks later than Hamilton. He will put up similar stolen base numbers and better numbers in EVERY other category. If you’re lacking stolen bases, you can typically find them in the very late rounds. Think Delino DeShields or Jarrod Dyson. They’re both going undrafted in most leagues, but are a great fit for that late-round flier who ends up being a “steal.” Get it? A Steal!
Corey Dickerson: ADP 90
Dickerson was a late addition to this list following his trade from the friendly confines of Coors Field in Colorado to the Rays’ Tropicana Field. I expect his ADP to continue dropping, but I still won’t draft him, no matter how far it falls.
Anyone going from playing 81 home games at Coors to The Trop will have a decline in their numbers. But Dickerson’s home versus road splits are stunning. During his career at Coors (122 games), he batted .355 / .410 OBP / .675 SLG / 1.085 OPS. On the road (143 games) .249 BA / .286 OBP / .410 SLG / .695 OPS.
Remove Dickerson from your draft board, along with the other players mentioned above, and you’ll see tons of value on your roster by season’s end.