The still-to-be-determined start of the 2020 MLB season has added an interesting wrinkle to fantasy baseball draft prep. We at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best possible information heading into your drafts in these unprecedented times.
Our "Draft or Pass" video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts, in many cases, because of the delayed start to the season. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?
Today's video focuses on Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo.
Draft or Pass at current ADP: 222.4 (OF60)?
Verdugo is a player I expect to shoot up draft boards once MLB announces a definitive return. The most significant piece of the trade that sent All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Verdugo, now has an opportunity to be an everyday starter in Boston. A back injury was poised to land him on the IL to start the season, but with the delay, he'll be 100% healthy whenever Opening Day is.
Verdugo is a high-contact, low-strikeout hitter that might have a batting title in his future. He could flirt with a .300 batting average this season. Keep in mind that only 17 MLB players hit .300 last season, and only 16 reached that mark in 2018. He hasn't grown into his power just yet, but he had a .181 ISO in 343 at-bats last season, right around league average. He still hit at a 19 home runs per 600 plate appearances pace last season and should come close to a prorated version of that this year.
The best-case scenario for Verdugo is a prorated stat line of 80-20-70-7-.300. That's a Top 60 overall bat for sure. A more conservative projection of 68-15-65-6-.299 makes him a Top 50 outfielder and a Top 200 overall player for 2020.
READ MORE: 2020 Boston Red Sox Team Preview