Overrated and Underrated Shortstops for 2022
We’re back for another installment in the FSWA-nominated Expected Draft Values series, where we look at historical data to identify overvalued and undervalued players of all types. Whether you’re targeting power, speed, power + speed, batting average + power, and more, we’ve got you covered.
Today we’re going to be looking at three shortstops and comparing their projected statline via my Cutting protrusions against the expected return on their ADP. Due to a variety of factors such as name recognition, your fantasy rig’s default ranking in the draft room, or social media buzz, ADPs can be swayed to misrepresent the stats you write up. Stay tuned over the next two weeks as we bring you a deeper look at underrated and overrated players in each position using expected draft values.
Typically what we’re going to do in this series is identify which players will return a positive or negative value, depending on their NFBC ADP in draft champion contests from February to March (94 drafts), their expected draft value (i.e. the average stat line typically produced at that ADP) and the player’s projection.
Editor’s note: Our incredible team of writers received five writing awards in total and 13 nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, the best in the industry! Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer, and Player Notes Writer of the Year. Follow their analysis, rankings and tips throughout the year and win big with RotoBaller!
How Expected Draft Values Help You Win Your League
It may already be clear at this point, but if you know the expected profitability stat line of each draft slot, you can identify which of your draft picks are expected to return a positive or negative value. Below, we take a look at three shortstops who are either overvalued or undervalued based on their recent ADP NFBC Draft Champions, our RotoBaller projections and Expected draft values.
Without further ado, here are some players who stand out at their current cost in the 2022 draft.
NFBC DC ADP: 44
Expected return for a powerful + fast hitter drafted 44th: .270-30-90-89-16
Screening RotoBaller 2022: .260-29-93-85-13
To analyse: Semien was signed to a seven-year contract with Texas after an elite campaign of 45 home runs and 15 steals with Toronto. Despite not enjoying playing in Dunedin (citing sun and wind), Semien posted nearly identical home/away splits in 2021 to help ease performance concerns outside of Dunedin/Toronto.
According to Baseball Savant, Sahlen Field had a park factor of 105 for hits as a right-handed hitter while Rogers Center had 99. Under the old dimensions of Globe Life Park, we’d love the move thanks to Arlington’s hit and RH factors of ~110 for right-handers. However, it is now Globe Life Field. Right-handers had an HR factor of 90 and 93 in 2020 and 21, respectively, with 98 hit factors both years.
Combine the small park with Semien’s own metrics, such as a barrel rate that never exceeded 10%, average exit speeds under 90 mph, no maximum exit speed over 110 mph, and I m ‘worry. In his corner, he’s played all 162 games in 2021 and 2019, topping 700 board appearances in the last three full seasons (stupid 2020). I can understand him “finding” it for durability and volume as a presumptive first hitter in an improved lineup.
Overall, his projections generally fall short of 46 HR+SB expectations here. Ours are four short, while ATC is only 30 HR / 11 SB for five cents. Then you need his R+RBI to hold around 180 after Toronto propelled him to 217 last year, which Texas’ heaviest roster might struggle to reach.
You’re counting on Corey Seager’s bat to stay healthy behind Semien at the top. Finally, Semien should generally reach around 0.260, as we ask, and you have seen the park data which reinforces the pessimism. You need his HR+SB or R+RBI to make up about 10 average points here. Is 2B/SS flexibility worth it? Not for me.
Verdict: Pass, Semien is overvalued at his current draft slot
NFBC DC ADP: 50
Expected return for a Power+Speed Hitter drafted 50th: .268-28-93-94-14
RotoBaller 2022 Screening: .248-25-89-81-12
To analyse: I realize Lindor is polarizing as many are buying a big bounce with his adaptation to Queens, but the showings here are lacking. You draw a -5 in HR + SB categories, a -7 in R + RBI (although they are much less sticky) and a huge 20-point batting average drop. It seems his stellar 2017-19 seasons at a Cleveland park that boosted left-handed power still anchor the cost of the draft.
Perhaps you fully buy into his September, when he hit nine home runs while going 29 for 113 (.257) down the stretch. Lindor had missed five weeks in July and August with a right slant stump but then burned things down. However, the profile needed for this was a near 50% fly-ball rate and that means the .257 average from this stretch is pushing the top end.
Either way, it’s easy to get carried away with counting stats, but the fact that he hasn’t delivered a batting average north of .285 since 2016 cannot be glossed over. And taking that swing from left-handed Progressive Field to Citi Field just isn’t what you want. EVAnalytics hosts park factors powered by Derek Carty’s THE BAT calculations, giving us a quick look at Progressive Field’s batting advantage and Citi Field’s disadvantage:
Simply put, that’s a lot of red to overcome. I don’t believe you’re getting a positive average here, which puts a strain on his power kick and legs to return value. It’s not impossible, but it’s a yellow light situation at best.
Verdict: Pass, Lindor is overvalued at his current draft spot
NFBC DC ADP: 125
Expected return for a Power Hitter drafted 125th: .262-30-77-80-3
RotoBaller 2022 Screening: .268-29-85-82-6
To analyse: Adames notably hated hitting at the Too and the Too hated him too, as 622 career plateau appearances yielded an abysmal .217/.275/.341 line with 16 HRs. After hitting an even worse .197 in 142 AP for Tampa Bay in 2021, Adames was sent to Milwaukee where he flourished and hit a .285 / .366 / .521 slash with 20 HR in 413 AP (99 matches).
The funny thing is that Adames still hasn’t hit home well. Willy would “only” shoot 0.236/0.335/0.467 at Miller Park, although an OPS of 0.802 is nothing to scoff at and his 13.1% walk rate may be linked to improved comfort in the box of the batter. This .266 BABIP for Miller Park looks dodgy to me. Of course, he balanced that with a .417 BABIP away from Milwaukee to power a .325/.392/.565 line in 222 AP.
It’s not a leap to expect middle ground in 2022, but it may be closer to road madness than ADP suggests. In 2019, Adames hit .303 with 15 HR and 16 doubles in 306 PA on the road. In 2020 shortened, he hit .324 with six extra longballs and nine doubles on 115 AP on the road. Now only 26, Adames will finally have the chance to play a full season away from Trop. He rode it for over three years and most internalized it as a mediocre fantasy bat. Exceed your anchored expectations and see it’s projected for a bit more HR+SB, R+RBI, and AVG than the EDV dictates.
Verdict: Target, Adames is undervalued at his current draft spot
Download our free news and alerts mobile app