Overrated players being drafted too early

No matter how “good” or “bad” a player is, it’s hard to get fantasy baseball drafters to all agree on where they should be drafted (that’s why we have rankings and ADP, after all).

Already this draft season, I’m seeing players get scooped up at draft points that have me saying, “Well why would you do that? “This list will shed light on some of those players.

We’ve already discussed the safe players. We’ve discussed underrated options, too. Now, here are my top picks for the most overrated players in drafts, with one pick for each of the first 10 rounds based on Yahoo ADP.

Round 1: Ronald Acuña Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves

Before you summon the hounds, please do not misunderstand me; this pick has nothing to do with Acuña’s talent or production and everything to do with his return from that horrible ACL injury.

A fully healthy Acuña would be a surefire top 3-5 draft pick, but we’re already hearing that Atlanta is expecting his debut to come some time in early May. And it’s not like he’s just going to jump back into the field for a full workload. There will be some expected growing pains here, and due to him coming back from a knee injury, I highly doubt he’s going to start stealing bases in bunches again; chances are, Braves brass won’t want him too, either. He’s not a first-round pick for me.

This is just one round too early for me. I have no doubt Robert will be one of the stars of the league in no time. But let him play a full season before I have to spend a second-round pick in order to draft him. This ADP insinuates Robert’s ceiling is a sure thing; nothing is a sure thing in fantasy baseball.

This is the hardest round to find an overrated pick for, because it seems like everyone who is being selected in this spot belongs in this spot.

So, I’ll go with the player who has a bit more question marks surrounding him than I would like. Bieber went from a bad rookie year to a good sophomore year to a Cy Young winner in the shortened 2020 season, yet suffered expected regression last season. So, who’s the real Bieber? He’s still only 26 – there’s room to grow, or fall.

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To make matters worse, Bieber is currently making his way back from the shoulder injury that ruined his 2021. There’s enough uncertainty to make me decline Bieber’s services this early in a fantasy draft.

We’ve been waiting for uber-phenom Wander Franco to make his mark on the game, but, very much like the aforementioned Robert, this is too early to draft someone who hasn’t played a full season. And who knows if the Rays will give him a full season’s worth of work anyway?

Furthermore, Franco’s value lies in his uncanny ability to hit and not strike out, but will that result in hitting for serious power? Projection systems seem to think so, but I’d prefer to see it happen first before I draft waiting for it.

Calling the reigning AL Cy Young winner an overrated draft pick in the fifth round does not sound right coming off my fingertips, but here we are. I do think this ADP bakes in regression on his epic 2021 season – I just do not think it bakes in enough regression.

Will a mountain of fantasy baseball regression hit Robbie Ray in 2022? (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel)

I will likely be fading Ray in my drafts this season. 2021 seemed like the perfect storm for Ray; playing on a top team with a top pitching-coaching staff alongside him. Now, he’ll be on a weaker team in a new division, so what’s to say his history of walks and ugly control issues won’t resurface? What’s to say 2021 wasn’t just an outlier? (He’s allowed four runs in 8.1 innings pitched this Spring, for what it’s worth.)

I do not blame anyone for taking a draft discount on a reigning Cy Young winner. I just know it won’t be me.

Round 6: Corey Seager, SS, Texas Rangers

Seager has the pedigree and the talent, but he’s not exactly someone I’m looking to draft in the mid-rounds. He hasn’t played a full season since 2016. He’s never hit over 26 home runs. He does not run and he’s never had more than 90 RBIs. He’s clearly a huge batting average asset, but I’m still looking for multi-category contributors at this point of drafts. Seager will also be on a much weaker Rangers team in comparison to those Dodger lineups he’s enjoyed. Count me out at this ADP.

Round 7: Aroldis Chapman, RP, New York Yankees

This is about the time I’m usually looking to draft my closers, so I’m not too against Chapman’s ADP considering he’s the ninth-inning guy on a winning team (at least, a team projected to win more than they lose). What I am against, however, is that it seems we’re seeing him lose more games due to injury along with spurts of odd control issues where he’s giving up free passes and homers in bunches.

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Considering the Yankees sport a potent bullpen with other relievers capable of shutting the ninth down, I’d pass on Chapman here and look elsewhere for saves. Or, I’d look for another multi-category hitter in this round.

Round 8: Frankie Montas, SP, Oakland A’s

I am fading most, if not all of Oakland’s starting pitchers after the foreign offensive fire sale this offseason. There just isn’t much in the way of win potential here, and it’s not like any member of their projected rotation screams, “Ace.”

Montas has admittedly been tied to trade rumors, but for now, he and his Athletic compatriots are full fades for me.

Round 9: Jack Flaherty, SP, St. Louis. Louis Cardinals

Full disclosure: I’m a big Jack Flaherty fan, but I am terrified of him this season due to the ailments he’s currently dealing with. There are a lot of medical terms being thrown around when discussing him, shoulder and oblique stuff that makes me shudder. Suffice it to say, I will be avoiding him at this ADP, and probably any ADP. It’s a good draft discount for a potential ace, but it could also be a season-long nightmare in disguise.

Round 10: Blake Snell, SP, San Diego Padres

If you know what happened to Blake Snellplease tell me, because I sure do not.

The former Cy Young Winner has now delivered three straight subpar seasons which include three straight years of ugly WHIP totals and less than 130 innings pitched. Sure, he can still make bats miss, but at what cost? His xERA of 2021 was an unseemly 4.89. I’m out on Snell.

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