2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Taking a look at 25 ADP risers

With the second-biggest draft weekend of the year out of the way, we can really dive into ADP data. We took a look at early values and overpays last week, and now it's time to look at which players have been moving up and down.

Lucky for us, the National Fantasy Baseball Championship site allows you to sort their Average Draft Position data by when drafts have taken place, so I separated draft data from the entire offseason through last weekend, and compared it to just last weekend's data. That way we can really see some movement. It's not a huge sample size, but it can tell us something about where the Fantasy community is moving in the last few weeks before Opening Day.

Here are 25 players who saw their ADP increase the most last weekend, and what that might mean for each. We'll look at the biggest fallers in a separate post, as we continue to get you ready for Draft Day. 

RankPlayer3/16-3/19 ADP  
Pre-3/16 ADPDIFF
1Dominic Leone320453133
2Lucas Duda35742265
3Leonys Martin38244058
4Jorge Soler34940455
5Nate Jones32937546
  • These are fairly obvious situations where players signed late or saw their roles improve drastically. Leone is a perfect case, as recent signs have pointed to him being the leader for saves out of St. Louis' bullpen. If he can sustain last year's improved control, he has the chance to be a very good closer on a very good team.
  • Duda didn't have a job a few weeks ago. Now, he's set to be the starting first baseman and middle-of-the-order hitter for the Royals. It isn't a great lineup, and he has batting average concerns. However, 357 is a pretty cheap price to pay for 87 homers over the past three seasons.
  • The Tigers keep hitting Leonys Martin at the top of the lineup in spring training, and he has 30-steal upside over the course of a full season. There are worse ways to spend a late-round pick than a power-speed combo, even one who might struggle to hit .250.
  • If you're looking for upside in this point in the draft, Soler, should be a guy you target. He has mostly struggled in the majors but has hit .266 with 32 homers in just 112 career games in Triple-A, and is crushing the ball in spring training. He might be my favorite post-hype sleeper.
  • Like Leone, Jones is looking more like a candidate to close everyday. He isn't on a good time, but unlike Leone, he has a long track record of strong performance to back him up if he does get the role. If he can stay healthy, there's a ton of value here. 
RankPlayer3/16-3/19 ADP Pre-3/16 ADP  DIFF
6Colin Moran36941446
7Cam Bedrosian27331945
8Neil Walker38242643
9Delino DeShields16120241
10Cameron Maybin30634640
  • Moran doesn't look much more likely to have an everyday role now than he did at the beginning of spring training, but he hasn't done anything to hurt his chances, either. The big question for Moran is whether he can hit for power, but he's not a bad late-round flier if you want to see if his 2017 Triple-A breakout (.916 OPS) was for real.
  • Dominic Leone, Nate Jones, Cam Bedrosian … It's the same story here. Just trying to read the tea leaves and see who will work the ninth. Bedrosian looks like the leader right now.
  • It's like Lucas Duda, but with a better lineup and park, and probably less chance of playing everyday come August. And fewer homers, obviously.
  • Just over a week ago, DeShields was named the Rangers' starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. Jeff Banister has mentioned 50 steals as a potential goal for DeShields. He's gone from a bargain to a legitimate investment, but if all he does is repeat his 2017 performance over a 600-plate appearance pace, you're looking at 100 runs and 40 steals. Byron Buxton is going nearly 100 spots higher, so DeShields looks like a relative bargain anywhere outside the top-100.
  • Maybin should play pretty regularly for at least the first few months of the season and should be a good source of speed while he does. He'll throw in some power too, albeit with what is likely to be a pretty low batting average. And he'll probably be someone's fourth outfielder by July 31, or whenever someone offers the Marlins a B+ relief prospect. Still, this is nice value, even with the increase in cost. 
RankPlayer3/16-3/19 ADP Pre-3/16 ADP  
11C.J. Cron33437440
12Jose Pirela34938839
13Brandon Drury33237038
14Mallex Smith28632337
15Carlos Gomez29433036
  • He has an everyday job, but I'm not sure there is any reason to buy C.J. Cron as a Fantasy contributor. He might his 20-plus homers with a .270 batting average, which is replacement-level stuff for a first baseman.
  • Last week, Padres manager Andy Green told reporters he thinks Pirela will be an everyday player. It's hard to see where he might get at-bats every day, but he does have experience everywhere on the diamond except for catcher, so it might not be that hard to get him reps. He's crushing the ball in spring training, and showed 20-20 potential in Triple-A, so don't dismiss him out of hand.
  • Drury is competent enough, but we all know he's just keeping a seat warm until the Yankees determine either Miguel Andujar or Gleyber Torres is done punishing minor-league pitchers. He'll be a great utility infielder for the Yankees, though.
  • If he gets healthy and in the everyday lineup, Smith has DeShields potential, with 32 career steals in just 497 plate-appearances. As of now, however, he may not be ready for Opening Day thanks to a hamstring injury, which should keep his price from rising too much.
  • It looked like Gomez's career was running out of steam in his disastrous half-season in Houston, however he then went out and hit .262 with 25 homers and 18 steals in 138 games with the Rangers over parts of two seasons. He's being overlooked, and is a bargain at this price. I'll take him over anyone not named "DeShields" or "Soler" mentioned so far. 
RankPlayer3/16-3/19 ADP  
Pre-3/16 ADPDIFF
16Brad Ziegler30534035
17Scott Kingery27631134
18Jason Kipnis21524934
19Ryan McMahon27630933
20Matt Harvey31234231
  • Ziegler will be the closer until he isn't. He's coming off his worst ERA ever, and won't give you much at all in the way of WHIP or strikeout help. But at least he'll be the closer for maybe the worst team in baseball. Take him for the 17 saves he might get before being traded and don't pay more than sticker price for it.
  • Kingery is trying to give the Phillies a really tough decision, because he's absolutely crushing it in Spring. He's also played shortstop, second base and third base, a good sign that they want his bat in the lineup somewhere. J.P. Crawford will likely hold shortstop down, but if either Cesar Hernandez or Maikel Franco gets off to a slow start, Kingery could be coming for them. He missed a 30-30 season in the minors by four homers and one steal, and he did it in 132 games. There is star Fantasy potential here.
  • Kipnis hit six homers in the first two weeks of spring training. Kipnis rose up draft boards. Let's not overcomplicate this.
  • If McMahon gets an everyday job, he'll hit. It's not clear where an everyday job will come from on Opening Day, so don't be surprised if this represents the high point for his ADP.
  • There have been some promising signs, but Harvey has given up eight runs and 12 hits in his last 9 2/3 innings. The stuff looks a bit better than it did last year, but his command still isn't where it needs to be. You're paying for a lottery ticket. 
RankPlayer3/16-3/19 ADP  
Pre-3/16 ADPDIFF
21Andrew Heaney37940829
22Brandon Morrow14817729
23Carlos Gonzalez27130029
24Derek Fisher36739628
25A.J. Minter37139928
  • Heaney has had one bad outing in the spring, but it's mostly just nice to see him back out there pitching effectively for the most part. He was tagged for 17 runs in 21 2/3 innings last season, but was coming back from Tommy John surgery, so we'll give him a pass. This was once one of the top pitching prospects in the game, and he has struck out 9.0 batters per nine in Triple-A, so don't forget about him, even if there's a ceiling on how valuable he can be with the Angels' six-man rotation plans.
  • It might be hard to wrap your mind around, but Morrow looks like he's going to be the closer for the Cubs. That alone gives him plenty of value in Fantasy.
  • Gonzalez was a late signing for the Rockies, but he did land back in Coors, the best possible place. He was mediocre for most of 2017, but got hot late in the season, when he supposedly got a hold of some long-running sleep issues. Skepticism is still warranted, but there's enough upside here to be worth the late-round gamble.
  • Fisher's draft price could shoot up if he ends up winning the left field job, but he's struggled enough in spring to make it seem like a long shot. He's an interesting power-speed threat, but right now he doesn't look to be worth much of an investment.
  • You don't necessarily want to invest in a non-closer with anything but a reserve pick, but Minter has been lights out in the spring, striking out nine in 6 1/3 innings. He has truly elite potential if he gets the closer job at some point this season, and should help enough in ERA and WHIP to be worth rostering even while pitching in middle relief. 
Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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