“Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.”
The word “worth” means to be good or important enough to justify. Is this worth my time? Or He isn’t worth his weight in gold. Or It’s worth looking into. Retired NASA astronaut Frank Borman can teach us all a little something about worth. In 1968, he, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders orbited the moon in Apollo 8, the first of 24 humans ever to do so. That was a worthwhile experience. A year earlier, Borman was selected as the only astronaut to sit on the AS-204 Accident Review Board during the investigation of the Apollo 1 cabin fire that killed three astronauts. If you were to ask him today about that preventable fire, surely he would say that mission was not worth the lives of those three men.
Fantasy sports, like exploration, and like capitalism, are about taking risks. Those who make the best calculations, however, risk less. In exploration, the difference between a calculated risk and an uncalculated risk is life and death. And needless to say, if you die during exploration, it wasn’t worth your time. In capitalism, it’s the difference between success and bankruptcy. In fantasy sports, it’s between winning and losing.
But if you focus your lens even more, it’s the difference between overpaying for a player and getting a player at a discount. Is it worth drafting a catcher in the second round? Or I think this player will be worth more by season’s end. And when we’re talking about value of individual players unequivocally we’re talking about sleepers and busts.
A sleeper, according to this writer, is a player outside the top 150 (Average Draft Position) whose actual value is greater than the price you pay. A bust is any player whose ADP is greater than his actual value. To give an example of both: drafting Buster Posey, a catcher, in the second round would be an example of a bust and drafting Lonnie Chisenhall, a starting third baseman in the final round would be an example of a sleeper.
Long after his astronaut career was over, Borman said this: “Had that rocket not fired, I’d still be orbiting the moon. Forever. And I really didn’t want to do that.”
Neither do you.
Next to each sleeper is his ADP according to Mock Draft Central. Next to each bust is his ADP according to both Mock Draft Central and Yahoo! Sports.
Why he’s undervalued: In his five seasons prior to 2012, Bailey had never reached double-digit wins or a sub-4.40 ERA. Also, he had never pitched more than 132 innings in a season.
Why he’ll outplay his ADP: Last season was a reawakening for the former first round pick. He set career bests in IP (208), wins (13), strikeouts (168), and WHIP (1.24). And he threw a no-hitter, to boot.
Why he’s undervalued: In 2012 he was a trendy break out pick, but he had his lowest RBI total (58) and BA (.260) in the past three years.
Why he’ll outplay his ADP: Injuries played a big part in Cuddyer’s poor ’12, as he only played in 101 games. His slugging and OPS were above his career highs last year. Give him 30 to 40 more games and his counting stats should improve greatly.
Why he’s undervalued: He’s a rookie who has yet to receive any at bats at the major league level. His true position is third base, but Chase Headley mans the hot corner in San Diego, so he’s moving over to second.
Why he’ll outplay his ADP: Gyorko has hit across all levels and his power in the minors is incredible (.529 slugging in three minor league seasons). And reports this spring are he’s transitioning to second very nicely.
Why he’s undervalued: He’s still very young (20 years old) and his talents haven’t fully developed (only 23 HR and 24 SB in 820 minor league at bats).
Why he’ll outplay his ADP: As a rookie in 2012, Machado showed maturity as a player, both in the field and at the plate. He slugged .445 in 191 AB after being called up last year.
Why he’s undervalued: Have you seen the movie Major League? Who is this guy! Drafted in the first round back in 2008, it’s taken Chisenhall five years to find a starting spot on the Indians.
Why he’ll outplay his ADP: Pretty much anyone drafted this late will outplay his ADP, but additionally he’s had a great eye in the minors (career 146 BB/247 K), something that should carry over to the majors.
Why he’s valued highly: He won the NL MVP last year. Plain and simple.
Why he won’t live up to his price tag: He’s a catcher. He won’t play every day. Catcher is incredibly deep. And there is likely a regression coming his way. Unless you believe that he’s a perennial MVP candidate. His name also has “bust” in it.
Why he’s valued highly: He’s only 20 years old and he’s already won NL ROY.
Why he won’t live up to his price tag: His numbers don’t stack up with other players being drafted between 14 and 30. People are assuming he will improve.
Why he’s valued highly: One of the only first basemen who has 20/20 potential. Many feel we’re only scratching the surface with Goldy.
Why he won’t live up to his price tag: He definitely won’t live up to his MDC 18.95 ADP. He’s not quite yet in the same stratosphere as first basemen like Prince Fielder and Joey Votto. He very well may be on his way, but are you going to overpay to find out?
Why he’s valued highly: He won the NL ROY in 2011. He’s regarded as the number one closer in all of baseball.
Why he won’t live up to his price tag: He’s a closer. It doesn’t matter how good he is. Would you rather have Kimbrel, a player who contributes only one category, or Billy Butler, Ben Zobrist, or Brett Lawrie who contribute in 4-5 categories?
Why he’s valued highly: His first half last season was beyond belief. By the All-Star Break, young Jason was toting around this line: 53 R, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 20 SB, .277 BA.
Why he won’t live up to his price tag: This is what his line was in the second half: 33, 3, 27, 11, .233. Not so hot.