Fantasy Baseball: Don't Hate the Player (Michael Bourn), Hate the ADP

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Fantasy Baseball: Don't Hate the Player (Michael Bourn), Hate the ADP
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I don’t hate Michael Bourn. He’s likely to be among the Major League leaders in stolen bases again next year. Plus, I’m sure he’s a very nice guy. I just hate his ADP.

According to ESPN, Bourn’s ADP, or average draft position, is 123.7, which puts him in the beginning of the 13th round in a 10-team league and the beginning of the 11th round in a 12-team league. It may seem reasonable, since he’s only a one-category stud.

However, his ADP is too high for my liking, considering the number of similar players that can be had later on in the draft.

For example, look at Nyjer Morgan. His ADP is 138.4, about 15 picks after Bourn, yet the two are virtually identical. In 606 AB last year, Bourn batted .285 with 97 R, three HR, 35 RBI, and 61 SB. In comparison, Morgan batted .307 with 74 R, three HR, 39 RBI, and 42 SB in only 469 AB. Extrapolate those 469 AB to 606 and you get numbers even better than Bourn’s.

In addition to Morgan, there are several other players with similar skill sets to Bourn who could be had much later in the draft. Juan Pierre (ADP of 141.5) batted .308 last year with 30 SB in 380 AB, and he will be the leadoff hitter for the White Sox in 2010. Julio Borbon (143.1) batted .312 last year with 19 SB in only 157 AB, and he’s slotted in as Texas’ leadoff man this year. Rajai Davis (163.2) batted .305 in 2009 with 41 SB in 390 AB. He’ll be leading off for Oakland this year.

Steals can also be had much later in the draft. Players like Drew Stubbs (235.1), Carlos Gomez (240.1), and Scott Podsednik (260.0) all have starting jobs and could easily steal over 30 bases.

There’s also the possibility that Michael Bourn had a career-year last season. He batted .285 after batting a dismal .229 the year before, and his high average was likely attributed to a high BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .366. If his BABIP corrects itself, we’re most likely looking at a batting average in the .270s for Bourn.

Again, I don’t hate Michael Bourn. I appreciate what he brings to the table, and would be happy to have him on my team. I just doubt I’ll draft him, considering his high ADP and the abundance of similar players that I can draft in the later rounds.

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