MARKET PULSE: 2020 All-Value Team

NOTE: Our preseason Market Pulse column is an exercise in identifying the gaps between the valuation of the "popular" market (as reflected in Average Draft Position, or "ADP") and that of If a player is not listed here, it's likely that he qualifies at a scarcer position, or he's not in the ADP Top 500-600 (it's a bit fluid). Remember that this is an exercise in relative valuation, not absolute.

Each hitter is being considered at his scarcest qualified position (in order: C/DH, SS, 2B, 3B, 1B, OF), as it is the scarcest eligible position that typically drives fantasy value. The rankings are a risk- and position-adjusted estimate using current projections. It is a purely quantitative ranking, with no specific consideration of "upside" (aside from reliability scores). The dollar values are position adjusted, but do not incorporate risk. Average auction values are approximate. These are not the "official" straight draft rankings, but they should be close.

The article assumes a standard 15-team, mixed, 5x5 league, though the recommendations here will generally apply in most formats. A positive number in the "Diff" column indicates a player that ranks higher than the "market," and a negative number indicates we have the player ranked lower, based on ADP. The list is split into tiers, based on the ADP. The ADP itself is based on recent NFBC drafts.

Previous columns: C/DH | SS | 2B | 3B | 1B | OF | SP | RP

(NFBC ADP Report) | Official Rankings

This is our annual exercise in constructing a roster of "value" players—players whose projected value on BaseballHQ exceeds their market value, measured by Average Auction Value (AAV). The AAV is the result of BaseballHQ research that correlates ADP to auction values. The formula is:

AAV = 58.5 - 9.8 * ln(ADP)

On to the values...

2020 All-Value Team

POS  Hitter               TM  REL  HQ$  AAV  Diff  HQ Rank  ADP  Diff
===  =================   ===  ===  ===  ===  ====  =======  ===  ====
 C   Contreras,Willson   CHC  BBD   15   12    3       55   117    62
 C   Ramos,Wilson        NYM  CCD   10    8    2      123   175    52

 1B  Encarnacion,Edwin   CHW  BAB   19    8   11       62   171   109
 3B  Turner,Justin        LA  CBB   17    8    9       91   166    75
 CI  Cron,C.J.           DET  BBB   16    5   11       89   246   157

 2B  Schoop,Jonathan     DET  BBC   12    1   11      124   352   228
 SS  Anderson,Tim        CHW  BBC   21   14    7       49    97    48
 MI  Bichette,Bo         TOR  ADA   26   17    9       24    68    44

 OF  Grichuk,Randal      TOR  BBB   14    3   11      102   276   174
 OF  Brantley,Michael    HOU  CBA   21   11   10       57   129    72
 OF  Reynolds,Bryan      PIT  ADC   17    7   10       74   188   114
 OF  Braun,Ryan          MIL  BBB   13    4    9      116   249   133
 OF  Hernandez,Teoscar   TOR  ACB    9    1    8      157   366   209

 UT  Cruz,Nelson         MIN  AAD   25   15   10       29    85    56
                                   ---  ---  ---
     Totals                        235  114  121

POS  Pitcher              TM  REL  HQ$  AAV  Diff  HQ Rank  ADP  Diff
===  =================   ===  ===  ===  ===  ====  =======  ===  ====
 SP  Greinke,Zack        HOU  AAA   29   17   12       12    67    55
 SP  Hendricks,Kyle      CHC  BAA   18    9    9       71   159    88
 SP  Lynn,Lance          TEX  DAA   20   11    9       84   124    40
 SP  Porcello,Rick       NYM  AAC    7    1    6      192   391   199
 SP  Montgomery,Jordan   NYY  FCA    7    1    6      233   460   227
 SP  Fiers,Mike          OAK  BAA    5    1    4      239   410   171

 RP  Bradley,Archie      ARI  BCA   10    8    2      152   178    26
 RP  Neris,Hector        PHI  ACA   12   10    2      117   141    24
 RP  Gallegos,Giovanny   STL  ADB   12    6    6      120   210    90
                                   ---  ---  ---
     Totals                        120   64   56

     Grand totals                  355  178  177

This is a team that will definitely contend, though it could be improved in a few areas. It's also fairly low risk—we did sneak in Lance Lynn (RHP, TEX) and his D health and Jordan Montgomery (RHP, NYY) with an F health, but both are risks we believe are worth taking. The key is that you're acquiring $355 worth of players while you still have $82 left to spend.

Projected Stats

 HR   RBI   Runs   SB   AVG 
===  =====  =====  ===  ==== 
385  1,141  1,089   92  .275
 W   Sv   ERA  WHIP    K   
==  ===  ====  ====  ===== 
85   94  3.51  1.18  1,215

Pretty solid numbers (385 HR!), though with a couple of weak spots. Remember, though, you still have $82 to spend in this exercise, plus the salaries of whichever players you upgrade. So let's say we started with this framework and "upgraded" by replacing Justin Turner, Ryan Braun, and Jordan Montgomery with Jose Ramirez (3B, CLE), Starling Marte (OF, ARI), and Jake deGrom (RHP, NYM), respectively. That would bring us to $258, according to the Average Auction Values. What would things look like now?

Projected Stats, Hypothetical Full Budget

 HR   RBI   Runs   SB   AVG 
===  =====  =====  ===  ==== 
386  1,176  1,125   132  .275 

 W   Sv   ERA  WHIP    K   
==  ===  ====  ====  ===== 
90   94  3.40  1.14  1,321

That looks like a winner there. You're perhaps a touch light in a couple of categories, but you're very close to or above where the 80th percentile was for NFCB-style leagues in 2019. 

Let's take a look at some individual players:

Catchers are always tough in terms of finding good values. Willson Contreras (C, CHC) and Wilson Ramos (C, NYM) are both guys with moderate skills who get close to full-time AB. Remember that PT has value.

Catcher honorable mentions: None. 

Edwin Encarnacion (1B, CHW) is an age risk, though he'll play mostly DH, which mitigates the risk. The market has been down on him for years, but he's mantained steady production as he's aged.

C.J. Cron (1B, DET) is not a sexy pick, but he'll hit for power, generate counting stats, and not kill your BA. All for $5.

Corner infield honorable mentions: Evan White (1B, SEA); Paul Goldschmidt (1B, STL); Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF, NYM)

Bo Bichette (SS, TOR) is a bit of a risk given his inexperience, but he's produced everywhere he's played. 

Middle infield honorable mentions: Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF, NYM); Amed Rosario (SS, NYM); Paul DeJong (SS, STL)

Randal Grichuk (OF, TOR) saw his xPX drop to 93 in 2019, but with the help of health (586 AB), a healthy FB% (42%), and the Rogers Centre, his home runs increased. If he can combine his 2014-2018 power with his 2019 health, there's upside to his projection.

Michael Brantley's (OF, HOU) power is below-average, but his strong contact rate and the lineup he's in both add value. In this lineup, you can live with his low HR total, as he contributes to Runs, BA, and RBI.

Outfield honorable mentions: Adam Eaton (OF, WAS); Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF, NYM); Mike Tauchman (OF, NYY)

Nelson Cruz (DH, MIN) is old, but he shows no signs of skills decline; on the contrary, his 2019 was one of his best seasons in recent memory.

DH honorable mentions: Jose Abreu (1B/DH, CHW)

Kyle Hendricks (RHP, CHC) and Zack Greinke (RHP, ARI) make repeat appearances here. They don't put up big strikeout totals, and the market tends to punish pitchers like that. However, they should combine for 350+ K, both put up terrific rate stats, and both are likely to provide double-digit wins.

Lance Lynn (RHP, TEX) had a late-career breakout in 2019. However, as covered in a recent Facts/Flukes, there's good reason to believe he can sustain his gains.

Starting pitcher honorable mentions: Jake Odorizzi (RHP, MIN); Brandon Woodruff (RHP, MIL); Sonny Gray (RHP, CIN)

Hector Neris (RHP, PHI) is likely being discounted because of the way the Phillies' bullpen was managed the past two seasons. Well, there's a new sheriff in town (Joe Girardi), and he prefers to have set roles. Neris has elite skills and should be considered among the top tier of relievers.

Giovanny Gallegos (RHP, STL) hasn't been officially named the closer yet, but his competition is Andrew Miller's (LHP, STL) gimpy arm and the Ghost of Carlos Martinez (RHP, STL) Past. Not only is Gallegos the clear front-runner, but unless he gets the yips, he's in the elite closer tier, skills-wise. His current projection of 20 saves is hedging the still-uncertain roles, but we say write him down for 30+ and don't look back.

Relief pitcher honorable mentions: Nick Anderson (RHP, TAM); Seth Lugo (RHP, NYM); Ryan Pressly (RHP, HOU)

Next week we'll wrap this up with our annual All-Avoid Team. Best of luck to all drafters!

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.