It's March, and that means draft season is officially upon us. Sure, we in the field have been conducting mock drafts for a while now, and while some of those get played out, they're mainly an exercise to show off current trends in draft and auction rooms across the industry. Now it's time to take what we learned in February and put it into practice.
The most important thing to consider is value. Each pick you make, no matter if its your first or your last, comes with an opportunity cost, the price you pay for not taking a certain player. So if you have to make a tough choice, say Rickie Weeks or Justin Upton (who are separated by just 0.16 spots in average draft position), you can't just compare the players at face value. You also need to consider the relative value of these players. If you grab Weeks, you have one more outfield spot to fill later. If you tab Upton, you'll still be looking for a second baseman, and he'll probably have to come at a much later point in the draft. In a draft or auction opportunity cost rules all.
That's why knowing a player's average draft position is so instructive heading into your draft. The folks at Mock Draft Central do a fantastic job aggregating all of their drafts and putting out a top 200 list by ADP. They also host a ton of expert drafts, and offer separate ADP reports comprised of only expert picks.
Heading into draft season, let's look at some of the most overvalued and undervalued players. Who should you avoid at the current market price, and when can you get bargains?
I feel the same way about Phillips. What am I missing? Since going 30-30 in 2007, Phillips has seen his home run total fall to 21, 20 and 18 last year. He bottomed out at 16 stolen bases last year, despite playing 155 healthy games. Last season was his best in terms of OBP, when he got on base at a blistering .332 clip. In '07, his ground ball rate was 46.7 percent and his line drive rate was 18.5 percent. Last year, those numbers were 51.4 and 15.3. This is a guy I want to use my third pick on? Is it because second base is an ostensibly shallow position? Because if that's the reason, you need to take another look. Ian Kinsler is the seventh-ranked second baseman in terms of ADP. Kelly Johnson, who hit 26 homers with 13 steals and a .370 OBP last year, is going 80 picks after Phillips. I'll pass on Phillips in every draft I'm in this season.
Brian Wilson -- 48 saves, 135.19 ADP
Just as many of the guys above were drafted outside the first 144 picks (also known as the first 12 rounds in a 12-team league), as were in the top 100. I repeat: There is no reason to pay for saves. Do not be the first person in your league to take a closer. You will be ridiculed and it won't be fun. But you will deserve it.
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