- Dan Szymborski, ESPN Insider
Earlier this week, I took a look at which hitters are being overvalued and undervalued in fantasy baseball drafts, and today, we turn to the pitchers.
To do this, I used my ZiPS projections. Adding in playing time -- knowing how players will be utilized is a weakness of computer projections, even complex ones -- I make my own ZiPS fantasy rankings and then compare them to average draft positions. Like all tools, you shouldn't stick to a rigid plan and follow it slavishly, but having as much information at your disposal as you can is what wins leagues.
Below, I've listed some of the most interesting draft possibilities from the ZiPS over/undervalued pitchers.
Overvalued: Felix Hernandez
ZiPS Rank: 38 | ADP: 25
King Felix is an excellent pitcher, but ZiPS feels he's being taken too soon in drafts. Even with the addition of Robinson Cano, the Seattle Mariners are still a very ordinary team with a very ordinary offense. Hernandez's fantasy numbers rated him only the No. 13 starting pitcher in 2013, and, while he's still managed to be a very good pitcher despite a continual decline in his velocity (four miles per hour since his rookie season), the fact that it is declining should be enough to bump him down the rankings a teensy bit. (ZiPS has him the 10th starting pitcher, and he's being drafted fourth.)
Undervalued: Jered Weaver
ZiPS Rank: 62 | ADP: 94
The Los Angeles Angels are hardly an unstoppable behemoth, but they're likely to get some kind of bounce back from Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton and still possess a solid defense. Even in an injury-marred 2013, Angel Stadium's status as a very good pitcher's park helped keep Weaver's qualitative statistics (3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) low.
Weaver is fifth among active pitchers in WHIP and sixth in ERA, yet he's being drafted 23rd among pitchers despite the fact that his broken elbow is not expected to be an issue.