In my Busts 2.0 article, I mainly emphasized downside risk and noted there would be a separate article for simple ADP inefficiencies.
Well, here it is! You've found it. These 12 players are among the most overdrafted, in my estimation.
It's not a strict numerical thing, meaning I didn't single out the 12 with the biggest gap between ADP and my own ranking. Instead, I focused on those that I can least justify at their cost, regardless of how big the gap is.
Note that these ADP values come from FantasyPros, which brings together the data from several different sites and deals exclusively with Rotisserie leagues.
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Bobby Witt SS
KC Kansas City • #7 • Age: 22
It's pretty simple. Just look at the numbers Witt put up last year and ask yourself if they're deserving of an early second-round pick. I think we're so transfixed by the home run and stolen base totals -- those nice, round numbers -- that we overlook how ordinary or just plain bad he was at everything else. Can you recall anyone ever being drafted so early with a .722 OPS or .294 on-base percentage? He had a 0.9 WAR, you guys ... come on. His supporting cast won't do him any favors either. It's possible that as a 22-year-old with a top prospect pedigree and some impressive quality-of-contact numbers, Witt takes a big step forward as a sophomore, but the opportunity cost here makes it a dangerous presumption.
Jacob deGrom SP
TEX Texas • #48 • Age: 34
I can't believe we're still giving this much benefit of the doubt to deGrom -- who, granted, is the best pitcher inning-for-inning but who hasn't thrown even 100 innings in a season since 2019. Maybe you think injuries are all random chance, but we have pretty clear evidence that deGrom's aren't. Following that 2019 season, he began throwing the ball 2 mph harder on average. He didn't need to, but he was so preoccupied with whether he could that he didn't stop to think if he should. And since then, we've seen various muscles, ligaments and even bones buckle under the additional torque. Pitching is inherently unnatural, and every body has its breaking point. Until deGrom learns to back off, I'm backing down.
PHI Philadelphia • #10 • Age: 32
It's true that the gap between Realmuto's ADP and my ranking isn't so big, and that's because I have to acknowledge the one-of-a-kind quality that a 20/20 catcher offers. But selecting him in Round 3, when the world is your oyster with every position still available to you, just isn't an inefficient use of draft capital. One position that isn't scarce is catcher, offering more than enough quality options to go around in a one-catcher league. In such a format, you'll be amazed how late players like Sean Murphy and William Contreras go off the board, and you'll be wishing you hadn't filled the position so early as you're picking through the scraps at third base and the outfield.
Matt Olson 1B
ATL Atlanta • #28 • Age: 29
Olson is about the 40th player drafted on average. Christian Walker is about the 115th. You see the numbers Olson put up last year? Walker's were virtually identical. He hit .242 with 36 homers, 94 RBI and 84 runs scored. I get it. Olson has been a Fantasy standout for several years now while Walker is a Johnny-come-lately. You're paying up for security -- and in no small measure. But if you're trying to distinguish your team from everyone else's, you need to avoid a 75-pick inefficiency such as this. Yes, of the two, Olson is the one with another gear, which we saw in 2021. But the way his strikeout rate came back down to earth last year, I'm not sure we'll see it again.
KC Kansas City • #1 • Age: 24
I see the upside in Melendez, who figures to bat in the upper third of the Royals lineup and to play more often than the typical catcher with DH and the outfield both also in the discussion. It's just that there's no reason to overextend yourself for that upside when the position offers so many more quality options than in the past. Proven ones, I mean -- the kind who don't face serious questions about their batting average. I understand that Melendez's Statcast numbers are promising, and he's fast enough that he could maybe approach double-digit steals under the new rules. Still, that's a lot of wishcasting when more proven and similarly high-upside choices like Sean Murphy and William Contreras are available 25-30 picks later.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #25 • Age: 26
I understand second base was kind of an eyesore last year, with Torres being one of the few to perform up to expectations -- perhaps even exceeding them after misfiring in both 2020 and 2021. But if this is the best he can do, I'm underwhelmed. It's above-average power production. It's a little bit of speed. But it's basically compiler stats from a player who just happened to meet all of his playing-time benchmarks. Nothing here points to him being a real difference-maker, and that would be fine if second base was condemned to being an eyesore forevermore. But those who disappointed us last year still offer considerable upside and are being drafted much later (Jorge Polanco at 141.8, Brandon Lowe at 152.0 and Ketel Marte at 196.8, to name a few).
Jeremy Pena SS
HOU Houston • #3 • Age: 25
I think this is a classic case of a big postseason performance inflating the value of a player. I just don't see much room for improvement from Pena, who's already 25, has middling exit velocities and is way too aggressive at the plate. His poor on-base skills neutralize his high placement in the Astros batting order and prevent him from being a big base-stealer. He kind of caught the league by surprise early last year and then faded from there, batting .237 with a .661 OPS from May 28 on, a span of nearly 100 games. If I want security, I'm taking Amed Rosario 30 picks later. If I want upside, I'm taking Ezequiel Tovar 115 picks later.
STL St. Louis • #47 • Age: 30
Montgomery is a fine pitcher at a time when fine pitchers are plentiful, and my ranking reflects both of those realities. But there's a persistent presumption among certain Fantasy Baseballers that he has another level of production to unlock. It most likely stems from his unusually high swinging-strike rate, but by now, we should know it's just an oddity. He's 30 years old, for crying out loud. And notice how he won only nine games last year despite pitching for two different playoff teams? That's because he made it six innings in only half of his starts. I'd list some of my preferred pitchers drafted after him, but frankly, it's too many to name.
Jose Miranda 3B
MIN Minnesota • #64 • Age: 24
OK, let's just put it out there: Miranda hit .344 with 30 homers and a .973 OPS between Double- and Triple-A two years ago. He's also the cousin of Lin-Manuel Miranda, which is pretty cool. But everything about his rookie season was thoroughly mediocre, with nothing in the data to suggest he has another gear. The exit velocities were middling, the plate discipline substandard. Even during that monstrous 2021 season, the scouting reports were tepid, so it's likely Miranda simply played over his head against inferior competition. I don't see him getting much better from here, so unless you're willing to settle for a .260-hitting, 20-homer third baseman with poor on-base skills, why not gamble on Anthony Rendon or Josh Jung five rounds later?
Brady Singer SP
KC Kansas City • #51 • Age: 26
This one just confuses me. OK, yeah, Singer was pretty good last year, enough to place 45th among starting pitchers in both points and categories leagues. But for someone who stayed healthy enough to throw 150-plus innings, that's pretty blah. The attrition rate at starting pitcher is high, so once the proven innings-eaters are gone, it generally pays to target upside and hope for the best. Singer presents more downside risk than anything. He got by with just two pitches last year, neither of them a true force of nature, and was one of the biggest overachievers by xERA (3.97). The strikeout rate is lackluster, and he pitches for a bad team to boot. Even if you're looking more for security than upside, why not go with Miles Mikolas or Merrill Kelly instead?
DJ LeMahieu 2B
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #26 • Age: 34
You may have heard the Yankees are looking to break in a couple new infielders this year, the talented Oswald Peraza and the supremely talented Anthony Volpe. One of them is certain to displace Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop, but even so, that leaves first base for Anthony Rizzo, second base for Gleyber Torres and third base for Josh Donaldson. So ... what's left for LeMahieu? A utility role, presumably, which should keep him in the lineup more often than not. But he's not a great source of power or speed and has hit only .265 the last two years. He needs volume to factor in Fantasy, in other words -- more than this role will allow him. And it'll only get harder once Volpe joins Peraza on the roster (or vice versa).
CHW Chi. White Sox • #23 • Age: 28
It's not fair to judge Benintendi entirely on his 2022, particularly since he spent most of it at pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium. But there's no upside to speak of here. Statcast estimates he would have had 10 home runs if he had played every game at his new home. Maybe he can also get to 10 stolen bases with the new rules, though he's not a particularly fast runner. Let's be generous and say a 12/12 season is forthcoming, to go along with a solid batting average. There's value in that in a deeper league, where you can't fall back on the waiver wire if your upside plays don't pan out, but in standard leagues with 12 teams or fewer, drafting Benintendi is like a preemptive surrender.