Anybody who plays fantasy sports and has mocked a few drafts know that they are not a one-to-one indicator of what you’ll see on draft day.
You may also know that fantasy baseball mock drafts in January will look very different from mock drafts in March, which, again, will look very different than real drafts in March.
Still, ADP is a tool that has proven very helpful to me. That’s where I’m starting my 2011 fantasy baseball rankings with projections. Specifically, I’m starting with the top 10.
Again, these rankings are listed in the order they were picked in the 270 most recent mock drafts at Mock Draft Central. The comments are mine.
The 2011 fantasy baseball early ADP Top-10
(Number in parentheses is current ADP)
1. Albert Pujols (1.16) — Pujols has led the National League in offensive Wins Above Replacement for three consecutive years. He’s led or at least tied for the top spot in the Majors in all three seasons. When will his wonky wing catch up to him?
2. Hanley Ramirez (2.33) — One of just a few players with a legitimate shot at 30-30.
3. Miguel Cabrera (3.21) — The first player in three years to put a dent in Pujols stranglehold on the oWAR category. Cabrera led the American League and tied Pujols for best in the Majors last season.
4. Troy Tulowitzki (4.63) — This seems really high. I have high hopes for Tulowitzki, but with his injury history this is a risky pick, shortstop or not.
5. Evan Longoria (4.99) — Longoria had a great season in 2010. Indicators point to him going 30-15 with a .290 average. That’s elite, especially at 3B.
6. Carlos Gonzalez (6.41) — I owned Carlos Gonzalez on many a team in 2010. He could develop into the next great outfielder, but anyone who paid a high price for Justin Upton last year (raises hand), knows “could develop” is no sure thing.
7. Joey Votto (7.23) — A Chinstrap Ninjas favorite. We’ve been gushing about him since our birth and last season he made us look good. He was second only to Pujols in oWAR in the NL last season with a rating of 6.9, and much closer to the Cardinals slugger (7.4) than he was to third place (Adrian Gonzalez, 5.7).
8. Adrian Gonzalez (8.49) — Out of the station shot the Boston light-speed hype train. Going that fast, it’s bound to derail. His shoulder surgery last October doesn’t concern you?
9. David Wright (9.96) — 2010′s awesome David Wright didn’t look like 2009′s disappointing David Wright. Which one is the real one? Hint: The impostor is not the one who had at least 27 homers in four consecutive seasons before slumping to 10 in 2009.
10. Robinson Cano (9.97) — At age 27, Cano is still in his prime, but this is a lofty ranking. Not sure he’ll trend much higher than what he did last season, but I could see him sliding closer to his three-year averages (-7 homers, -11 runs, -10 RBI and -.015 batting average). Second base goes 10, 12, 14 deep and that’s not even counting sleepers and prospects.
There are no catchers on this list, but you could check out jzak’s early 2011 catcher rankings with analysis to get the early scoop on backstops.
Which of the players in the ADP top 10 will disappoint? Which will you own? Sound off in the comments.