Currently Alex Rios has an ADP of 60.40, meaning he is being selected at the end of the fifth round or early in the sixth round. The question is, should be targeting him at this point in the draft?
The fact is that, coming off an impressive 2010 campaign, it would appear that fantasy owners are significantly undervaluing him. Those who have bought the draft guide know that I have him ranked 28th overall. For those who haven’t (and what are you waiting for), you have probably seen the outfield rankings (click here to view) where I have him ranked as the seventh best outfielder.
I may be higher on Rios than many others are so let’s take a look as to why. First, let’s look at his 2010 statistics:
567 At Bats
.284 Batting Average (161 Hits)
21 Home Runs
34 Stolen Bases
.334 On Base Percentage
.457 Slugging Percentage
.306 Batting Average on Balls in Play
Those are impressive numbers, finally living up to the hype and success that we have all been waiting for. I know what everyone is thinking; why should we believe that this was the year that he finally turned the corner?
The truth is that it isn’t like we haven’t seen this type of success from him before:
- He has hit .280 or better in five of his seven seasons
- He has had at least 79 RBI or more in four of the past five seasons (he had 71 in the other one)
- He has had over 30 stolen bases in two of the past three years (he had 24 in the other)
- He’s had 89 runs or more in three of the past four seasons (including a year of 114)
The only number that we can argue isn’t realistic is the power, as it was only the second time in his career that he has hit at least 20 long balls. At 29-years old, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that he is continuing to add power. He set a career best 11.5% HR/FB in ’10, a mark that he could conceivably better once again.
He does call one of the more favorable hitting ballparks home and of his 21 HR in 2010 only 10 came at U.S. Cellular Field (.276, 10 HR, 39 RBI, 40 R, 10 SB in 272 AB). Would it surprise anyone if he further improved on that number?
In addition, seeing him at least match, if not improve upon, both his R and RBI totals as the White Sox improved their lineup with the addition of Adam Dunn.
With all the other numbers believable given his performance the past few years it is hard to understand why some people are shying away from him. Let’s take a look at my projection for 2011:
.290 (174-600), 23 HR, 90 RBI, 95 R, 32 SB, .318 BABIP, .336 OBP, .475 SLG
Likely hitting third in the lineup, is there any reason that we shouldn’t see these types of numbers from him? Personally I could see selecting him in the third round, depending on how things fall, but would definitely make the selection in the late fourth or early fifth if he is still sitting available.
He brings production across all five categories, with a realistic opportunity to go 20/30/100/100. Is there any reason not to be willing to pay for that type of upside? I surely don’t think so.
What are your thoughts on Rios? Where would you be willing to target him on draft day? Why?
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Make sure to check out some of our 2011 projections: