There is little doubt that the arrival of Spring Training will bring with it some major changes in draft slots. News that comes out of camp will bring with it reactions from fantasy owners. Already we have seen it with players like A.J. Burnett and Chone Figgins.
Burnett’s trade to Pittsburgh has some believing there will be a rejuvenation in his numbers. Figgins is believed to be the next lead off hitter in Seattle following the announcement that Ichiro will bat third. Slowly, news that a player has lost weight or looks to be in great shape will cause the same effect.
This week there was plenty of ADP movement and pitchers and catchers have just reported.
The Cubs have already made the call that Bryan LaHair will handle first base duties coming out of camp. Despite the fact that the team acquired Anthony Rizzo during the off-season, LaHair will get the first crack to hold it down on a day-to-day basis. The news has obviously caused some movement. The new starter has jumped 12 percent in ADP in the last two weeks which translates to nearly 16 spots and a slot at 228 overall.
By the same token, Rizzo has fallen 26 spots to number 335 overall. A prospect like Rizzo is certainly the future, but the team will give him more time to develop at Triple-A before making the move. This is a situation worth watching especially if Rizzo comes out of the gate hot in Spring Training. We remain extremely skeptical of LaHair, and prefer Rizzo.
The Yankees may only be planning to use Raul Ibanez in a part-time role as a left-handed DH, but fantasy owners are ready to pounce. Ibanez has jumped 40 spots to 221 overall with the bulk of the move coming with the announcement of his signing in New York. In mixed-league formats he still seems to have limited value and this could be a quick indication of the tax paid to draft some Yankees. With the number of at-bats he will see, the ADP jump does not accurately indicate his true value.
The Nationals signed Brad Lidge to a contract and it has pushed him back into the drafting limelight. The reliever jumped nearly 60 slots over the last two weeks, but has retreated back over the last seven days. The reason for the change is simply that he will not close in Washington which makes you wonder why anyone drafted him earlier to cause his previous ADP jump of 60 spots. Drew Storen will still have the ball in his hands come the ninth inning. Washington is indicating that they will use Lidge in late innings and he could be used to help in situations where Storen may have been overused.
At the top of the board, we have seen Robinson Cano fall just outside of the top-ten overall while Justin Verlander has moved up a spot. The first pick off the board remains Matt Kemp and he is followed by Miguel Cabrera and then Albert Pujols. Brett Lawrie is seeing a little slow down in his numbers. While he is still the fifth third baseman off the board, he has fallen two spots in the last week and is fast pushing towards the end of Round Six in a ten-team league.