Every year there are players with similar profiles that get drafted many rounds apart. Two players that fall into this category in early mock drafts are the Astros’ Michael Bourn and the White Sox’s Juan Pierre. Bourn’s average draft position on mockdraftcentral.com is 64, while Juan Pierre is going at 231. This might change when your real draft rolls around and it all depends on the knowledge of your league. But looking at ADP’s are still useful because it gives somewhat of a gauge of what owners are thinking about.
Bourn hit .285 with 97 runs, 27 doubles, 12 triples, three home runs, 35 RBIs, a 140/63 K/BB ratio and a .285 average. He broke out last season for several reasons. He showed that he could hit lefthanders with a .287 average in 143 at-bats. He hit .190 against lefthanders in 116 at-bats in 2008. Bourn improved his walk rate from 7.2 percent to 9.3 percent and his strikeout rate dipped from 23.8 percent to 23.1 percent, which is not that significant.
His on-base percentage was a big reason for the improvement in his overall numbers as went from .288 to .354.He also saw an increase in his BABIP from .291 to .367. A hitter with the profile of Bourn will usually have a higher BABIP since he is fast and hits a lot of ground balls. His ground ball percentage went from 53.9 percent to 58.7 percent. He also saw an increase in his line drive rate from 16.7 percent to 20.6 percent. Bourn did have a high BABIP and line drive percentage in the minors, so he could duplicate the numbers from last season, but I would expect a dip in his average.
Pierre gets a big boost in his fantasy value since he will go from a part-time player with the Dodgers to a full-time outfielder with the White Sox. Pierre usually has a good line drive percentage and it was 24.2 percent last season. He also has a 51.3 percent ground ball rate. Even in part-time play, Pierre hasn’t shown a loss of skills. He hit .308 with 57 runs, no home runs, 31 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 380 at-bats. In 375 at-bats in 2008, he stole 40 bases. Pierre is 33 and has always shown the ability to stay healthy.
The bottom line is Bourn and Pierre could put up similar numbers. Pierre has a much better contact rate than Bourn so Pierre’s average should be higher. I’d expect Pierre to hit near the top of the lineup, so the runs scored could be similar. Neither will provide any power or RBIs. Even if you think Bourn will steal more bases, he shouldn’t top Pierre by an immense margin.
Bourn is going in the sixth round of 12-team mixed league drafts, while Pierre is going in the 19th round. I think Bourn is overvalued. If you want to get a speed guy, you can wait until the later rounds and get Pierre, Elvis Andrus, Everth Cabrera, Alcides Escobar or Erick Aybar.
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