Rapid Fire ADP Wars – Outfielder Edition


Each week our Hitter Profiles dig into two to three players and what we can expect for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season.  This week, we will divert from the previously scheduled program and look to hit some rapid-fire decisions.  Think of this as that league where the commissioner has better things to do and sets the draft clock to twenty seconds per pick.  Come to think of that, I would not be surprised if that was in the next collective bargaining agreement offer from MLB that is due today.  So, in the spirit of all things Rob Manfred, let us jump into the outfield and look at four groups of players starting on the west coast with two outfielders going in opposite directions with Cody Bellinger and Mitch Haniger.

 

Cody Bellinger (ADP 99) vs. Mitch Haniger (ADP 109)

Which line would you rather take:

  • Player A: 97 runs, 37 homers, 96 RBI, 13 Steals and a .277 average
  • Player B: 110 runs, 39 homers, 100 RBI, 1 Steal and a .253 average

Clearly, I am cheating here as Player B is just the line for Mitch Haniger in 2021, which after looking under the covers is solid.  The question with Mitch is not performance but health and he appears primed to flex his muscle in 2022 in a continually improving Seattle lineup.  So, who is Player A then?  Cody Bellinger’s average season from 2017 to 2019 in LA is impressive, but not too much different than what we see from Haniger.  Add in two subpar seasons for Cody with concerning trends in his plate discipline, and resulting playing time, and this is an easy choice in my book.

Verdict: Mitch Haniger 

 

Cedric Mullins (ADP 31) vs. Yordan Alvarez (ADP 31)

Cedric Mullins was a breakout star in 2021 and Yordan Alvarez returned from injury and a lost year in 2020 to post an impressive line.  If we are buying on 2021 lines alone, this is a clear win for Mullins especially in the first few rounds where we are looking to grab speed without sacrificing power.  A 30/30 player hitting .290 is going to play anywhere.  Actually, the line for Yordan is eerily similar to Mullins with a trade off of 40 more runs batted in at the expense of 30 steals.  Well, maybe that is not that similar but I digress.

This one comes down to two key pieces of intelligence.  One player has hit at this level his entire career and has nothing in his luck metrics to be of concern.  That player is Yordan Alvarez.  While we cannot discount player growth for a guy like Cedric Mullins, he will not return the same value he did in 2021 and at this point in the draft, you are already paying full price.  With an xBA in the .270 range and an increase in his HR/FB% of nearly 60% in 2021, we should expect regression.  I expect a repeat for Mr. Alvarez this year, but a slip for Mullins in the average and power departments rendering our verdict.

Verdict: Yordan Alavarez

 

Jarred Kelenic (ADP 133) vs. Trent Grisham (ADP 133)

I was honestly surprised to see these two being drafted so close to each other in early ADP and then I remembered that Kelenic hit a paltry .181 last season giving the Mendoza line no worries at all.  On the other hand, Grisham nearly had a 15/15 season for the Padres.  Clearly, we are comparing a youngster adjusting to the majors to a player with nearly three seasons under his belt and that is nowhere near a level playing field.  So first, we will look at the intangibles.  Kelenic is a highly rated prospect that Mets fans still regret trading and Grisham was losing playing time batting in the 7-9 slots at the end of 2021.  Second, we will compare the last month of the season:

  • Grisham: 12 runs, 2 homers, 10 RBI, 2 Steals and a .213 average
  • Kelenic: 19 runs, 7 homers, 20 RBI, 3 Steals and a .248 average

2022 will have some bumps for the young Mariner and Grisham will have some level of bounce back, but I went to Jarred based on the evidence in this case.

Verdict: Jarred Kelenic

 

Hunter Renfroe (ADP 168) vs. Adolis Garcia (ADP 166)

These gentlemen had similar lines to finish last season and fit in the same type of mold: power hitter with limited speed and batting average upside.  The biggest difference comes down to the underlying indicators.  Starting with plate discipline, Garcia had a K% over 31% and barely a 5% BB% while Renfroe was looking much more reasonable at 23% and 8% respectively.  Moving over to BABIP and HR/FB% which are some blunt tools for discerning luck we have Garcia with a reasonable .306 BABIP and slightly elevated 20% HR/FB%.  Alternatively, Hunter showed up sitting at .284 and 18%.  While the luck metrics are not too far off, there is certainly some risk in the Garcia profile.  Combine that with a second half hitting .211 with only 9 of his 31 longballs for Garcia, that variability is too much for me.

Verdict: Hunter Renfroe



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