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Thursday, February 23, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL OVERRATED/UNDERRATED: JONATHAN VILLAR/EDUARDO NUNEZ

One of the major themes of the 2016 fantasy baseball season was the sudden explosion of value-bases shortstops that put up some major offensive numbers from start to finish.  Whether it was Jean Segura, Trevor Story, Jonathan Villar, or Eduardo Nunez, the gems here were sizable.  So as we move toward 2017 fantasy baseball, each of these guys have seen their stocks go up when it comes to drafts.  Well almost all of them.  Which of course brings us to the subjects of our latest OVERRATED/UNDERRATED feature that includes Villar and Nunez and their similar games but wildly differing ADP's.  Before we go further, let's compare Villar and Nunez when it comes to their 2016 numbers:

Villar:  .285 19 HR 63 RBI 92 R 62 SB
Nunez:  .288 16 HR 67 RBI 73 R 40 SB

Now when comparing the two, Nunez slightly beats Villar in average, and RBI, while losing a bit in home runs.  Where Villar distances himself from Nunez is in stolen base (22 more) and in runs scored (19 more).  So yes Villar was the more impactful overall player and should be drafted higher then Nunez this season.  But right now Villar's ADP is an elevated 45, while Nunez comes in at 191.  That is a gross difference between the two and the difference in steals and runs scored doesn't compute to them being this far apart.  In fact, Villar is likely to see his average dip into the .260's this season as the .285 he batted last season was a major outlier for his career norms and he struck out at an insane 25.6 K/9 rate.  So with a sizable gulf likely between the two in Nunez' favor when it comes to average, these two are a lot closer then you would think.  So why the disparity?  Well for one thing Nunez has been around longer and was a utility guy for years before his 2016 breakout.  Thus many in the fantasy baseball community reflexively pigeon hole Nunez in that role and fully think his 2016 was a fluke.  Meanwhile many forget that Villar was a failed prospect in the Houston Astros system before his big 2016 but again his average has always been a mess and figures to dip back this season. The disparity between the two is unreasonable and thus Nunez is the better buy by a decent amount.  


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