How Does Position Scarcity Look In 2014 For Fantasy Baseball?

Not every position in fantasy baseball has the same type of talent distribution. In a game where determining how to value a player is vital, the amount of talent at each positions drives the demand for that position up or down. A slightly above average second baseman may be a top pick if that position doesn’t have much talent there.

Presented below is a chart that lays out the projected 2014 roto value for players taken at each position as the draft goes on. It helps lay out where the talent starts to drop off so we can see which positions retain value and which positions don’t.

Draft Rounds
1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 11-12 13-14 15-16 17-18 19-20
1B 4.9 3.2 3.1 -0.8 -1.9 -1.5 -4.3 -1.0
2B 2.3 0.9 2.5 -0.1 -0.4 2.1 -2.7 -7.3
3B 5.4 -1.3 -1.5 -1.7 -1.0 -4.1 -1.9
C 2.3 -1.1 -2.7 -2.2 -1.1 -2.9 -7.7
OF 3.9 1.4 0.3 -0.5 -0.6 -2.4 -4.2 -1.3 -3.7 -2.5
RP 3.7 1.9 1.4 -0.9 0.0 -1.0 -2.1 -4.2 -2.8
SP 7.3 5.1 3.3 -0.5 -1.1 -0.3 -2.0 -2.2 -3.0 -3.8
SS 3.0 -0.7 -0.5 0.3 -1.8 -2.7 -1.3 -3.5 -2.5 -1.7

There are some obvious points where value starts to shift significantly at each position. If you’re using a tiered drafting system, you’d want to secure a player at a position before that drop in production occurs. However, sometimes that last player for a tier sticks around a couple rounds longer though and gives you more flexibility. I’ll be releasing PDF’s of tiered draft cheatsheets later this offseason that will help determine who you should target at each position to avoid those dropoffs.

Most Scarce

  • 3B – This is the position that has the most scarcity in 2014. Let’s just be thankful that Miguel Cabrera has 3B eligibility again because this would be an absolute train wreck otherwise. But, after David Wright goes off the board, just go ahead and wait this position out and target a Pablo Sandoval or Brett Lawrie much later.
  • OF – After the second round, there is a significant drop in production here. Given that some leagues even start five outfielders, it’s important to draft an OF early.
  • SS – There’s Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez and then there’s everyone else. If you miss those two, just wait for a Jose Reyes, Elvis Andrus or Everth Cabrera in the later rounds.

Pretty Scarce

  • 1B – There will be about twelve first basemen taken within the first six rounds. Most teams will find their starter by that point. You better make sure you fall into that boat too because it’s a steep dropoff after that.
  • SP – Through the first six rounds, there are lots of elite starting pitchers to anchor your rotation. These are relatively good investments because it is a crapshoot after that. I’m all about finding low investment pitchers who can get the job done but there’s a pretty significant drop after the 6th and 12th rounds (of a 12-team league) that you should keep in mind.

Not Really Scarce

  • 2B – You can find similar production from the early round picks all the way up through Aaron Hill and Jose Altuve in the later rounds. You don’t need to invest an high pick here.
  • C – Aside from the fact that Buster Posey is at the top of this position, there’s not a ton of difference between taking a Carlos Santana early or a Salvador Perez later on.
  • RP – Ignoring the fact that the closer position is completely volatile every year (which is all the more reason to not invest here), there’s not a huge difference between the available closers out there after Craig Kimbrel is off the board.

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