Draft This, Not That: Pass on Gleyber Torres to Draft Rougned Odor?!

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For most people the decision between Gleyber Torres and Rougned Odor is going to be extremely easy.  When you look at the early NFBC ADP data, the two players aren’t even being draft close to each other:

  • Gleyber Torres – 53.67
  • Rougned Odor – 125.18

This isn’t to say that Torres isn’t better than Odor, because we will have him ahead when the next round of rankings are released (and in the first run of the Rotoprofessor 2019 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, set to be released in 9 days and can be pre-ordered by clicking here).  However, they aren’t 70 picks different and when planning out your draft using that fifth round pick on a different asset and targeting Odor four or five rounds later is the prudent decision.  Why?  Let’s break it down:

Gleyber Torres
The big development for Torres in 2018 was in terms of his power, with 24 HR over 431 AB.  The assumption would be that the surge was due to playing in Yankee Stadium, but the split says otherwise:

  • Home – 13
  • Road – 11

While you would think that split would support the breakout, with just 16 doubles you have to wonder if some of those home runs will start to fall short of the wall.  That’s supported by his 17.9% HR/FB, as he was at 12.3% in the minor leagues in 2017.  At his age it’s possible that he is adding strength, so we don’t want to write it off completely, but it’s hard to expect further growth.

If we think he’s going to be a 24-27 HR type player there’s value, but there are other risks looming as well.  As it is he posted a 25.2% strikeout rate in the Majors, and that was consistent all year long (25.3% in the first half, 25.1% in the second).  At the same time his 14.0% SwStr% and 34.4% O-Swing% show the potential for further regression, especially as opposing pitchers feed him pitches other than fastballs (55.14% Hard pitches seen last season).

A drop in his home run pace (leading to similar overall numbers) along with the risk of a rise in strikeouts and a lack of significant speed all comes together for a risk in his batting average.  That’s not to say that he is going to be a .220 hitter, but he also isn’t likely to grow off of his .271 mark.

Think of Torres as a .265ish hitter with 24-27 HR, 80-90 RBI and 8-12 SB. 

While we prefer those numbers, how much better are they really than Odor’s?

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Rougned Odor
It was a tale of two halves for Odor, who was terrible in the first half before turning things around in the second:

  • First Half – .239 with 6 HR
  • Second Half – .266 with 12 HR

The second half numbers are more comparable to what he had proven before, which included back-to-back 30+ HR campaigns (remember, he only had 474 AB last season).  It’s possible that he had bought into his own hype and was swinging for the fences a bit in the first half.  Instead he was hitting the ball exceptionally hard after the All-Star Break (50.3% Hard%), which helped to spur the resurgence.

He’s already proven capable of hitting for power, and with a rebound we’d expect him to have similar home run numbers to that of Torres.  He also carries a similar strikeout risk, though his plate discipline actually took a significant step forward last season (10.4% SwStr%, 35.4% O-Swing%).  That’s going to help, though he remains prone to the shift (17.5% Oppo%).  With the ability to hit the ball hard, an improved approach and some speed the average upside is also looking similar.  Maybe he falls short, but would it really be a surprise to see him come in between .255-.265?

Then there’s the speed, where he does have a little bit of an advantage.  Odor has stolen at least 12 bases in each of the past three seasons and could easily reach the 15 SB plateau.

So for Odor we are putting him at .260ish with 24-27 HR, 75-85 RBI and 12-16 SB…

Conclusion
Again, we aren’t suggesting that Odor is better than Torres.  What we are saying is that the value is there to use that early pick on a different asset (George Springer, for instance) and instead wait a few rounds and get what should be somewhat similar production from Odor.

What are your thoughts?  Is this a crazy approach? Would you pass on Torres early to target Odor a few rounds later?

Sources – NFBC, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Everyone loves the shiny new toy, especially if its on a team like the Yankees. I think you’ve got some real wisdom here. A guy like Odor feels like he’s been around forever and he’s still only 24 years old.

    I’m torn, because I want you to be successful, but I don’t want my league mates to read your stuff because I selfishly want the help all for myself!

    Thank you for your hard work.

    Chuck

    • hahahaha….I just appreciate the support! And trust me, I understand (all of my leaguemates read the site at this point….lol)

      Again, I truly appreciate the support and none of this would’ve possible without the readers.

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