The still-to-be-determined start of the 2020 MLB season has added an interesting wrinkle to fantasy baseball draft prep. We at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best possible information heading into your drafts in these unprecedented times.
Our “Draft or Pass” video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts, in many cases, because of the delayed start to the season. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?
Today’s video focuses on Chicago Cubs 3B/OF Kris Bryant.
Draft or Pass at current ADP: 45.0 (3B6/OF15)?
Kris Bryant is one of the biggest names on one of the most popular teams in baseball. Those are all of the ingredients to the “most likely to be overdrafted” formula. While that formula isn’t fool-proof, it applies here.
Bryant isn’t a bad player by any stretch of the imagination, but his fantasy value is propped up by his star power. He can be an elite run-scorer, but doesn’t match the power and/or speed numbers that other Top 50 hitters possess. He spiked back over 30 home runs last season, but 31 is likely his peak at the point. It feels awkward criticizing that, but near the top of drafts, you have to split hairs with top talents. Plus, home runs aren’t the big issue.
Where Bryant lags is in the RBI category. After putting up 99 and 102 in his first two seasons, he hasn’t even reached the 80 RBI plateau since. His position in the batting order has a lot to do with that (see: Aaron Judge’s recent totals in that category), but that’s the reality Bryant faces. He’s also averaging only 5.1 stolen bases per 600 plate appearances over the last four seasons.
My preseason projections had Bryant ranked as the No. 70 overall player, No. 9 among third basemen and 21st among all outfielders. My model had him down for 101 runs, 29 home runs, 86 RBI, 4 stolen bases, and a .274 batting average over 565 at-bats. That’s still a really good player, but I’m not drafting him in the fourth round at his current ADP.
READ MORE: 2020 Chicago Cubs Team Preview