Draft This, Not Not: Pass On Giancarlo Stanton & Draft Kyle Schwarber?! (2020 Projections Included)

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Obviously the injury to Giancarlo Stanton, which appears likely to cost him Opening Day, is going to be a factor but even without that how much different is he than the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber?  When you look at the average ADP in NFBC formats it’s clear that fantasy owners see a vast discrepancy:

  • Giancarlo Stanton – 56.00
  • Kyle Schwarber – 145.75

Stanton has the track record of a former NL MVP, but we shouldn’t pay based on past success.  We need to be looking towards 2020 to make our decisions, and just looking at our current projections tells you that we don’t see this type of spread in ADP being justified:

PlayerABAVGHRRBIR
Giancarlo Stanton500.244369585
Kyle Schwarber500.266369580

When it comes to HR, RBI and R the two are virtually identical.  Granted part of that is due to the now expected missed time for Stanton, but even if he had 50 additional AB just how much of a difference would that make?  Does an extra 4-5 HR and 5-10 RBI justify selecting him nearly 100 picks earlier?

The major difference comes in the AVG, and while Schwarber hit .250 overall last season he showed signs of coming into his own in the second half:

  • First Half – .227 // 28.3% strikeout rate
  • Second Half – .280 // 21.8% strikeout rate

His 11.1% SwStr% and 26.4% O-Swing% aren’t abysmal, especially compared to other sluggers (in 2018 Stanton posted marks of 14.4% and 32.5%, respectively).  As long as he stays the course that’s going to help Schwarber maintain a better average than Stanton, or at least a mark on par, considering he hits the ball just as hard.  Maybe a few too many fly balls limit his BABIP upside, but it’s not enough to justify the discrepancy we’ve seen thus far (Schwarber owns a career .273 BABIP, compared to .320 for Stanton).

Then you have the power, and there’s no question that Schwarber has as much upside as anyone.  Just look at some of these key numbers, compared to the league average:

  • Exit Velocity – 92.7 mph (87.5)
  • Barrel% – 14.5% (6.3%)

The exit velocity put him among the Top 10 of qualified hitters, and his 24.1% HR/FB wasn’t simply a factor of the power spike across the game (24.2% for his career).  While you can argue Stanton also hits in a better lineup, it’s not like Chicago is abysmal as long as Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant join Schwarber.

So you have two hitters full of power hitting in the middle of their respective lineups, and while he’s never shown it before Schwarber actually holds a greater upside in his AVG.  Now, after looking at the numbers, does the ADP discrepancy still make sense?  Passing on Stanton, even before the injury, and targeting Schwarber makes far too much sense.

Sources – Fangraphs, Baseball Savant

Make sure to check out all of our 2020 preseason rankings:

PositionLast Updated
Catchers02/10/20
First Basemen02/13/20
Second Basemen02/18/20
Third Basemen02/21/20
Shortstops02/24/20
Outfielders03/06/20
Starting Pitchers03/09/20
Relief Pitchers03/03/20

2 COMMENTS

  1. not really going out there when you’re talking about Stanton. Dude’s Mr Glass and is already on the shelf for the next few weeks. Personally, I think Franmil will outperform both of them.

    • I don’t have Franmil far behind them, but he has just as much strikeout potential as Stanton (and Schwarber is lower at this point, giving him the advantage)

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