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Dynasty Building Blocks, Bargain Spotlight: Matt Adams

For those that read my inaugural post on TDG, link. You might recall that I said that I’d be highlighting one player from each of the 6 MLB divisions in the Bargain Spotlight series. Well, after careful consideration, I’ve decided to not limit myself or your reading enjoyment. I will still post about a half dozen Bargain Spotlight players, but they just won’t be limited to specific divisions. I will however make sure to do an even amount of AL and NL players, for those of you in AL/NL only leagues. Ok, now to the meat and potatoes.

Bargain Spotlight

Matt Adams    Team: STL    Pos: 1B   Age: 24

When looking over the rankings for 1B, you don’t see Matt Adams at the top of the list, or even near the top 20. The reason is two-fold; first, Carlos Beltran and second, LHP platoon split. This is more than likely the reason that Adams is available in 97.6% of ESPN leagues and 75% of CBS leagues. So, I know what you’re asking yourself, why should I invest in a part time platoon hitter? The answer to this is two-fold as well and directly correlates with the reasons listed above.

First, Carlos Beltran, 36, is a free agent after the 2013 season and Allen Craig can easily slide into RF. Especially now that Oscar Taveras will undergo season ending ankle surgery. Reports say that he should be fully ready for spring training next season, but with as much time as he missed this season, I would assume that he starts out the year in AAA. Another thing to note about Taveras, is that he has played the vast majority of his games in CF, so he doesn’t appear to be a threat to Craig’s time in RF, and by default, Adams’ time at 1B.

Secondly, in his 304 professional plate appearances, he has faced a left handed pitcher a mere 57 times. Small sample size caveats applied, he is hitting a weak .196/.211/.357 against them. So you are probably asking yourself again, why should I invest in a platoon 1B? The answer to this is much easier to explain now. In 1581 PA in the minors he hit .318/.364/.563! Do you think that all 1500+ plate appearances were against only right handed pitchers? I do not. That doesn’t mean that he’s going to turn into a lefty mashing machine overnight, but I see it as a sign that he will adjust to the league, as he has done throughout his progression through the minor leagues.

Let’s look at some of the underlying numbers that show a better picture of what you could expect from Mr. Adams.

Level

K%

BB%

AVG

OBP

SLG

ISO

AA

17.5%

7.8%

.300

.357

.566

.266

AAA

20.7%

5.4%

.329

.362

.624

.295

MLB

23.6%

7.5%

.270

.326

.448

.178

Looking at these numbers, you can see that even though his K% has gone up, his BB% is at a solid level, but could use some improvement. His slash line has diminished a bit, but a real area of concern is his decrease in ISO. His ISO in the minors was at a very lofty level and a regression was to be expected. I think these things overall, can be contributed to a few factors, he’s facing better pitching at the major league level, and as I mentioned earlier, sample size.

Here’s another fun table for everyone. I’ve listed all 1B under the age of 26 with their respective stats, same as above, for their MLB careers.

Player

Age

K%

BB%

AVG

OBP

SLG

ISO

A. Rizzo

23

19.6%

10.2%

.237

.323

.412

.175

F. Freeman

23

21.2%

9.5%

.280

.353

.457

.177

E. Hosmer

23

14.8%

7.4%

.272

.326

.422

.149

M. Adams

24

23.7%

7.6%

.270

.326

.448

.178

P. Goldschmidt

25

22.7%

11.8%

.285

.370

.513

.228

B. Belt

25

23.2%

10.4%

.266

.347

.444

.178

The reason I listed these players side by side with Matt Adams is to show that with full playing time, he should be in the same tier of young first basemen. I am well aware of the value that Goldschmidt has right now, and he is the exception not the rule in this instance. But he still should be listed to show the range that the 23-25 year old 1B are in. Using some very crude regression tools, if Matt Adams were to get 500 PA next year, I’d be very confident that he could put up something like, 65R, 25HR, 90RBI with a .280/.330/.500 slash.

Blueprint:

In a 16-20 team league, Adams is most likely already on either a majors or minors roster. That being said, if you don’t have a 1B that you trust building around, I’d go out and trade for him this off season. With his playing time currently limited his value is not going to get any lower, so this is the perfect time to buy low and build around a potential future top 10 1B. The same goes for the 12-14 team leagues, if he is available on the waiver wire, I’d go out and add him tonight. If you are not in the playoffs this year, he is the perfect stash for next season. If you are in the playoffs this year, he can still contribute as a Monday/Thursday sub or as an Util when he is facing RHP down the stretch. I would not suggest trading him if you currently have him on your roster. Since I’m not one to preach and not follow my own advice, I will let everyone know that I do own Adams in two leagues. The other leagues, however, I have Freeman x 2, Fielder, Rizzo x 2, and Goldschmidt. So I’m quite happy with my 1B situation moving forward.

To reiterate, buy Adams.

The Author

Andy Barnes

Andy Barnes

16 Comments

  1. John
    August 25, 2013 at 9:41 am — Reply

    You had Adams at #349 in your July 1 overall rankings. Where do you ranking him overall at this point in time?

    Thanks!

    • August 25, 2013 at 10:02 am — Reply

      I wouldn’t put him that much higher, mostly because of the continued role uncertainty, but he would move up. Off the top of my head, somewhere around 300 seems about right. But I do agree with Andy that Adams makes for a great target this off-season.

      • Tony
        August 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm — Reply

        Who do you think will have a better 2014 assuming Adams becomes more of a full-time starter, Adams or Brandon Belt? Would you move Adams for Belt in a keeper?

        • August 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm — Reply

          Assuming that Adams is a full time starter next season and that the Cardinal’s roster unfolds as I’ve mentioned, I think he is primed for a breakout season. Belt has almost 4 times as many PA in his career as Adams, and even though they have very similar peripherals thus far, i see Adams having much more power potential. Belt could squeeze out a few 20 HR seasons as he gets closer to his physical prime, but I see Adams being able to get 20+ HR for a longer stretch.

          I personally, don’t like to do challenge trades in fantasy baseball, 1B for 1B and so on. If you are looking to acquire Adams and currently have Belt, i’d try to find a way make it a multiple player deal, where Adams isn’t the headliner.

          Thanks for the solid question Tony

      • Tony
        September 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm — Reply

        Andy, thanks for the reply. You helped make me decide to acquire Adams in my dynasty league, and I got a good deal by moving AJ Griffin for him, giving me Belt and Adams competing for the starting spot in my dynasty fantasy league down the road. I like Griffin, but he is too much of a match-up only pitcher, and with my waiver wire pickups of Tyson Ross and Ivan Nova, I am hoping one of them can meet or exceed his fantasy value going forward.

        Thanks again, you guys have a great format on this site.

        • September 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm — Reply

          I like that trade for you. Congrats and good luck next season Tony

  2. […] Matt Adams? Read why now is the best time to grab him for dynasty […]

  3. Tony
    August 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm — Reply

    Matt Adams defense is somewhat surprising this season. Was watching him last night and he had a highlight diving play at first to end the inning. Moves well for a big man.

  4. Chad
    January 3, 2014 at 12:56 am — Reply

    In a 12 team league that only starts 2 SPs a week and has 25 cats would you consider trading Ryu for Adams? My Ryu is a tough guy to sell but my long term 1b is scarce, Singleton only beyond Morales and could other stopgap guys??? Got Tanaka so he replaces him as #3/#4. Please let me know your thoughts, my offer could expire anytime!!! Thanks and happy new year!!

    • January 3, 2014 at 1:19 am — Reply

      Starting only 2 SP a week is a really thin set up for starting pitchers. I have to believe that there are pitchers within the top 25 that could be targeted via trade. That being said, I like Ryu but i’m not in the mindset that he’s anything more than a fantasy #3 with the upside of a #2. Considering that you have 25 cats in use, I’m assuming that the majority of them are geared towards hitters. If I had Ryu I’d probably pull the trigger on trading for Matt Adams but I’d try to see if they would add something extra in, nothing huge but something to tip the scales for you. Best of luck

      • Chad
        January 3, 2014 at 3:22 am — Reply

        Thanks Andy! I am also getting Beckham. Having all prospects at 2b except Carp (moving to 3rd) and rickie weeks I could take a flier and hope Gordon’s yr 27 changes his tune! It is 13/12 on cats but hitting is the prime. I have tanaka coming so fingers are crossed and the #2 waiver to open our winter mtgs later this month so will lean SP. I have Walker and a couple others in the wings too… Thanks again and know your advise will hopefully leave me enjoying Adams 25-35 homers a year for the next 5-10 (ha- I will take whatever!!)… Love the site also, has guided my way since I found it, just hoping my others owners have not!!!!

  5. Chad
    January 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    Andy, you recently helped me acquire Adams and was hoping for a bit of advise again if possible… The same owner I traded Ryu to is offering Taveras, Latos and Beachy in the dynasty format for Ellsbury and Pence. He wants a couple vets to wait on prospects. As I prev mentioned we only start 2 SPs a week but need the help. Losing 2 starters in my OF is tough but the thought of Oscar T w Puig & Polanco sounds real nice. Have Dom and Leonys along w Nelly and few others to wait with. What are your thoughts? Thanks much – Chad

    • January 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm — Reply

      Depending on the league structure (contracts/salary etc) is how i would evaluate this trade. If you can keep a player for life with no restrictions, than i’d prob take the Taveras, Beachy, Latos side. I like Pence and Ellsbury just fine, but i think Beachy as the third piece is a steal moving forward. I remember that you said you can only start 2 SP per week, but i forget who else you have in your rotation. With the little knowledge of your league, i’d say take the trade, but at the same time an argument can be made for elite SP being very valuable since you can start only 2 (so i’d almost see if you can combine the Latos/Beachy part into 1 player and make it Pitcher A & Taveras for Ellsbury/Pence.

      • Chad
        January 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm — Reply

        Thanks for the reply… It is for life format. I also have Waino, Zimm, Teharen, T Walker, Tanaka, Skaggs & Garza w the #2 waiver at winter meeting in 2 weeks to use on SP (hope to get Salazar). 8-10 starters is pretty common throughout the 12 teams. Latos and beachy would be solid and I could move someone for 2b which I need. Thoughts on this info towards that trade? Also don’t think I could get any better pitcher for those 2. This owner is very solid and I know he won’t budge! Thanks again my friend!!!!

        • January 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm — Reply

          If that is the pitching staff you are working with, i don’t know that i would want to add Latos and Beachy, especially with only 2 starts per week. The only reason i would add them would be to trade someone for an upgrade down the road as needed. Getting Tavares could be big, but trading two top OF for Tavares and pitching that you really don’t need seems like a strategic misstep. Maybe see if you can do something like Tavares plus 1 of the SP for 1 of either Ellsbury or Pence, that way you don’t give up too much just to acquire trade bait.

          • Chad
            January 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm

            I understand your last view for sure. I would have traded another from my existing guys btw. I have my eye on other prospect SPs I can hope to get down the road, so holding tight w the veteran OFs could help this year. I have youth at OF too so Oscar would only help in 2-3 yrs, maybe sooner like a Frazier and Polanco. He went out on a stretch to offer Oscar so no combo would work, for any SP or OF. I was shocked since I thought he was untouchable so that was why I wrote you on a Friday night. The rankings can’t come soon enough… Thanks very much for talking me of the trade ledge. Take it easy…

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