by Ray Kuhn
When preparing for your draft and the upcoming fantasy baseball season there are many things you can, and should, be doing. One is reviewing the ADP (average draft position) results from the NFBC; a highly competitive and high stakes fantasy baseball tournament.
While these results aren’t going to directly correspond to your rankings, and they shouldn’t, it will give you the best (early) look at how we can expect drafts to transpire. As you complete your rankings, taking a gander through the ADP’s could prove to be highly beneficial in identifying both values and potential busts.
This brings us to Gary Sanchez. We ran out of superlatives to describe Sanchez over the last two months of the 2016 season, but what can we expect of him in 2017?
Based on his early ADP, the answer appears to be quite a lot. Sanchez is coming off the board as the second catcher with an average selection of 47.33, being drafted as high as 36th while going as low as 59th. With a draft position like this, it will be pretty difficult for Sanchez just to meet his value.
In 53 games Sanchez hit 20 HR while driving in 42 runs and batting .299 with an OPS of 1.032. That equates to a pace of 61 HR over a full 162 game season. We all know that cannot be projected for 2017 and expecting him to hit .299 would also be foolhardy.
Prior to last season the most home runs he hit was 18 in 2015. The fact that he had power was never a secret, and we know that raw power sometimes takes a while to develop into home runs, but his performance last season took everyone by surprise.
Sanchez had a fly ball rate of 34.1%, which is sustainable, but what I would expect to really drop, at least in half, is the 40% home run to fly ball ratio. The power he showed is real, as he had a Power Index of 151 (100 is average) and an expected Power Index of 159 (per Baseball HQ). He also produced a Hard Contact rate of 132 while making contact at a slightly below average rate (78%).
By default the batting average will drop some, but Sanchez’s BABIP of .317 wasn’t unreasonable compared to his .299 batting average. What is troubling is the extremes that hez showed as he batted .389 in August while dropping to .225 in September. Strikeouts play a large part in this, with a 24.9% rate.
Sanchez is going to hit home runs in 2017. Conservatively 25 is well within reason, while I don’t think anyone would be shocked if he had a 30+ HR. That coupled with a .275 batting average isn’t enough for me to take him at the end of the fourth round (in a 12 team league), as that ADP is aggressive.
While you need to be aggressive to be successful, that is only to a point. I do have Sanchez as my third ranked catcher, after Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy, but at point in the draft there are just other directions I would prefer to go in.
*** Pre-Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking Here!! ***
Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings: