Last Minute Risers and Fallers by ADP

Tim Jackson reviews draft risers and fallers over the last week.

If you’re in the last minute draft gang this season, we’ve got you covered. Beyond an updated draft kit for the 60 game season that features links to in-depth rankings for every position, we’ve also been scoping out sleepers and busts at each position, detailing players valuable after pick 250, and knocking out Going Deep profiles.

Below you’ll find a list of the top-20 risers and fallers by ADP in the last week, for hitters and pitchers. The data comes from NFBC 12-team drafts. It considers two time periods—from June 23 through July 10, and from July 11 through July 18. A handful of especially interesting names are detailed below each list. Players around the 300th pick and before are considered almost exclusively, based on the amount of players selected in a 12-team league with 25-man rosters. If you want to see the entire list, you should check out this link.

Before getting to the lists, there’s one last thing worth noting: pitchers, and especially relievers, are shooting up draft boards. Whether it’s because roster pictures have been getting clearer, health news has provided new insight on a player, or they’ve started to look really sharp, you might have to be ready to jump on Your Guy sooner than you think.

And now, onto the business.

Rising Pitchers
  • Zack Britton became the easy closer option in a stacked Yankees bullpen after Aroldis Chapman tested positive for COVID-19 and the team said he would be away for the “foreseeable future.” Read more about rising bullpen options from our own Rick Graham.
  • Kyle Crick gets the asterisk treatment here for a couple of reasons. He’s the furthest name on the list outside the top-300, plus he’s not certain to get the closer job in Pittsburgh even with Keone Kela out. Manager Derek Shelton plans to use a committee, putting Nick Burdi on the radar, too. But do yourself a favor and avoid the Pirates ‘pen if you can.
  • Corbin Burnes and Ross Stripling both seemed slotted in for rotation spots and have the talent that should get you excited, especially so far into drafts. You can get hyped on Burnes here by our own Michael Ajeto. With a minimum 250 innings pitched, Stripling would have the 18th-best K-BB percentage in baseball since 2017.
  • Wade Davis could be easy to forget at this point but he’s leading a Colorado bullpen. Scott Oberg would be basically free as a handcuff if you needed one.
  • Seeing so many starters going a full round earlier, or more, than a week ago indicates that fantasy managers are trying to snatch up innings as fast as possible.
Falling Pitchers
  • Cole Hamels won’t be ready to start the season. As more of a back-end rotation option for fantasy baseball at this stage in his career, he’s effectively falling out of the picture like in Back to the Future.
  • Everyone marked with a “^” symbol has tested positive for COVID-19 or has reasons to opt out because of it. The obvious thing to do in fantasy baseball is fade those guys, at least a little. The obvious thing to do as a fellow human is hope they come back at full strength.
  • The room is slowly stepping away from the Orioles bullpen. Even performing well in the closer’s role could mean a trade to another club with a lesser role, so it’s a tricky well to go to, for sure.
  • Yankees’ starters slipping is interesting. The reason for Masahiro Tanaka would have to be his concussion suffered as a result of a Giancarlo Stanton laser liner. Happ and Montgomery might be more because of the hype going around on prospect Clarke Schmidt.
  • Caleb Smith slipping is interesting, even if only a little—he’s penciled in as the Marlins number two starter, per Craig Mish, and has been looking sharp after recovering from a hip injury that tanked him last year.
  • Patrick Corbin, as well as a few others, indicate just how quickly pitching could stabilize (or fall off a cliff) in most drafts. Beware.
Rising Hitters
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa makes the list despite his draft position because he’s been mashing everything this preseason—whether that was in March or since Summer Camp started.
  • Trent Grisham likely gained some playing time security once the Padres dealt cult hero Franchy Cordero to the Royals for bullpen help (because apparently the best bullpen in baseball can still get better).
  • Cesar Hernandez could hit atop the Cleveland lineup, which could be a key to a rebound season for the veteran. Scott Chu covered him in this nifty piece here.
  • Jon Berti’s super-utility role with the Marlins, along with the crazy efficient base stealing we saw last year, could make him a valuable play. Drafters seem to have taken notice.
  • Tim Anderson suddenly seeing such a bump is interesting. It could be a sign of buying into the White Sox offense as a whole.
  • I said something stupid about Miguel Andujar in my bold predictions. Even if he isn’t the best Yankees hitter, don’t forget just how good he is—he slashed .297/.328/.527 as a 23-year-old in 2018 when he was last healthy.
  • More people are hopping on the Nick Castellanos train after seeing what he can do in a friendlier home park. The Reds’ lineup is stocked, so the bump makes sense.
Falling Hitters
  • GM Billy Eppler cast some doubt on Jo Adell’s immediate playing time, so that stinks.
  • Willie Calhoun has only had time to get healthy since getting his jaw broken by a pitch in March. There seems to be some potential upside in buying 30 picks later than a week ago.
  • Byron Buxton scared everyone by appearing to hurt his ankle in Summer Camp, but reports have said he’s fine and that the Twins are just being cautious. Maybe just find a way around drafting Buxton, anyway.
  • GM John Mozeliak apparently wants to see more from Dylan Carlson’s competition than Dylan Carlson right now. I wonder if that will magically change a  week or so into the season, when teams happen to gain an extra year of control over prospects.
  • Anthony Rizzo is reportedly dealing with a back issue “flare up.” He’s had these kinds of injuries before but they’ve never really impacted his playing time. This seems like a great chance for profit.
  • Lourdes Gurriel has been dealing with some tightness in his left side recently. His drop seems more in line with fantasy managers being more conservative than anything else, but he’s still a young, talented second baseman at a time when the position can get shallow quickly.
Photos by Samuel Stringer and Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)


Tim Jackson

Tim Jackson is a writer and educator who loves pitching duels. Find him in the PL Discord, editing, managing, and podcasting with @BREAKINGPodPL here or writing at Baseball Prospectus.

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