Preseason Overdraft Risk Review (Part 2): Have Rick Porcello, Justin Verlander & More Lived Up To Expectations?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As part of our preseason draft guide we listed 15 players who had the potential to be over-drafted entering the season.  On Sunday we took a look at the first half of the list (click here to view), where we hit on about 50% (with the potential for second half slides to make those scores look even better).  Let’s finish things up and take a look back at the first half those and see who it appears we got right and who we were a bit misguided about.  While you read these keep in mind that there’s still time for things to change, and even if it’s a “miss” the player you selected could easily be performing as well if not better:


Rick Porcello – Boston Red Sox
The fear was that someone would overpay for his 22 W from a year ago.  Considering his 4.75 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, regardless of where he was drafted you are going to be disappointed.  There’s hope for a second half surge, but it’s going to take a lot to try to justify this selection.
Mid-Season Verdict – Hit


Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
The thought was that he was no longer the elite catcher in the game, though someone in your league would be willing to pay that price based on his name.  Well he hit .324 with 10 HR in the first half, with the big development being that he’s suddenly reversed his groundball rate (48.6% to 40.0%) giving him more upside in power and average (his line drive rate has been the biggest benefactor).  While we still wouldn’t use an early pick on him, thus far he’s clearly a miss.
Mid-Season Verdict – Miss


Jose Quintana – Chicago Cubs
Maybe the move to the NL will help him save his season, but he’s clearly been a disaster (4.49 ERA, 1.32 WHIP).  He’s put those numbers up despite a rise in strikeouts, and we can’t expect that to get even better.  The big problem has been an increase in his home run rate, and that’s not something that’s a lock to change in Wrigley.
Mid-Season Verdict – Hit


Aaron Sanchez – Toronto Blue Jays
We were worried about his strikeout rate and the league catching up to his fastball heavy approach.  You can still argue both of those things (4.85 ERA), so when coupled with his missed time (just 26.0 IP) and sudden drop in groundball rate (43.7%) this one is an obvious hit.
Mid-Season Verdict – Hit


Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees
Remember we had Sanchez as our preseason #3 catcher, so it wasn’t that we didn’t like him entering the season.  Instead we simply thought people were going to reach a bit too high based on the numbers he posted last season.  We’d still have concerns about his ability to maintain his power (13 HR, but just 9 doubles) and his 12.0% SwStr% could lead to a rise in strikeouts (24.0%).  Regardless, those who reached for him aren’t disappointed even with having missed time due to injury so this is currently a miss.
Mid-Season Verdict – Miss


Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers
This may be my biggest disappointment, though to be fair in our writeup we said “He’s going to be good, but a step back/sophomore slump screams of a reality.  With the cost likely being a second round selection, there’s far too much risk.”  Half way in he’s hitting .298 with 13 HR (as well as 22 doubles), he’s significantly improved his plate discipline (10.7% SwStr%, 25.4% O-Swing) and he’s hitting the ball with authority (24.4% line drive rate).  He’s also maintained his HR/FB (17.3%), meaning he’s clearly developing into an elite shortstop.  Does he ultimately live up to the second round selection for those in redraft?  There could still be a slump leading to a loss in value, but at this point he’s made us a believer.
Mid-Season Verdict – Miss


Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
The warning was not to pay for a Top 10 starter, as that would simply be ignoring his lackluster first half (4.07 ERA).  Considering his mid-season 4.73 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, it’ll take an even better surge to get him to live up to the draft pick cost.  The chances of him getting there are virtually nil.
Mid-Season Verdict – Hit


Total Scoreboard (including those from our first column):

  • Hit – 7
  • Miss – 7 (keep in mind, two of the misses carry similar risks in the second half and could be considered ideal sell high candidates)
  • Push – 1

Source – Fangraphs

Make sure to check out our Buy Low articles:

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