Haters gonna hate, but Adalberto Mondesi can win you your fantasy league

It is possible that there is no player in 2022 drafts who polarizes opinion as much as the Kansas City Royals’ third baseman, Adalberto Mondesi.

Last season, whole teams were drafted around the stolen base potential of Mondesi, fueled by mouth-watering projections of…

GABRHRRBISBAVG
13753178156351.251
Adalberto Mondesi’s 2021 preseason consensus projections

In TGFBI – a league of 400+ “so-called experts” – Mondesi had an ADP of 24.

The speedster looked good in Spring Training, hitting .303 with two home runs and two stolen bases, so I was happy with my investment of a third-round pick.

As we know, 2021 was an injury-strewn disaster for Mondesi, who only featured in 35 games. It seems that his elite skills are being disregarded in early 2022 fantasy baseball chatter. Mondesi only had 136 at-bats, but he racked up counting stats at a rate that exceeded preseason projections.

YEARABRHRRBISBAVG
2021 actual1261961715.230
2021 pro-rata53180257263.230
Adalberto Mondesi’s 2021 production pro-rata over his projected 531 at-bats

It is simplistic but perhaps not too controversial to suggest that he would have outperformed his 24 ADP if injuries had not affected Mondesi’s season. And my TGFBI team would have faired better.

This season, the Mondesi-hate has forced him way down in drafts. According to consensus ADP, the 26-year-old is the 77th player off the board. With limited draft data available, he might even be falling further. In my two recent Best Ball drafts, Mondesi went with pick 80 and pick 112.

I need to point out that over his last 162 games, you have a guy who has produced…

GRHRRBISBBA
162891771720.250
Adalberto Mondesi’s last 162 games

We are talking about championship-clinching production from your seventh-round pick. Who can you take in that part of the draft that could have such a game-changing effect? I’ll wait.

We all know that in standard 5×5 roto, stolen bases are a precious commodity. Last season, only 13 players swiped more than 20 bags, and one of those was Dylan Moore and his .181 AVG. Mondesi had 15 stolen bases in just 35 games.

FIVE REASONS TO AVOID DRAFTING ADALBERTO MONDESI

  1. He burnt you last season

Oh my! That is a pathetic reason.

2. He is only 3B-eligible, and there are far better 3B available

In leagues where position-eligibility kicks in at 10 appearances, Mondesi will have dual 3B/SS-eligibility, but in most leagues, he is just a third baseman. Sure, he doesn’t offer the three/four category production of Nolan Arenado, Alex Bregman, or Kris Bryant (the third basemen going around him), but their production is available throughout the draft. Mondesi offers something unique.

3. He can’t stay healthy

There is no argument that we have yet to see a full, healthy slate from the speedster with oblique, hamstring. and shoulder issues costing him time. In fairness, the Royals are aware of his and will probably factor in extra rest days, but ffs, he is an elite athlete who is still only 26 years old.

4. He will lose playing time when Bobby Witt Jr. hits The Show

The Royals’ top prospect looks awesome, and we expect him to arrive in the majors sooner rather than later. Speculation over Mondesi’s playing time is rife since the revelation by GM Dayton Moore that he cannot count on Mondesi in 2022.

There are many reasons not to view this as the end of Mondesi’s career as a full-time player. Firstly, an obviously frustrated Moore vented these comments when Mondesi had only made 10 appearances in 2021. As far as I know, he did not repeat them after Mondesi swiped 13 bags as an everyday player in September.

Secondly, since when have we ever viewed salary-arbitration negotiation-tactics as Gospel?

Thirdly, there are a lot of plate appearances to go around in Kansas City at 2B, 3B, SS, RF, and DH.

Finally, we don’t know how quickly Witt Jr. will adjust to the majors. We don’t know if Nicky Lopez is the 102 OPS+ player from 2021 or the 56 OPS+ from 2019-2020. And we don’t know whether 33-year-old Whit Merrifield is finally traded while he still has value.

What we do know is that Mondesi does not have any options remaining, so he either stays on the major-league roster or gets traded.

5. There are better players available at the part of the draft

It is tough to argue with this, but you need to weigh up the options. Does the player that you are drafting instead of Mondesi offer championship-winning potential? The answer is no.

A player going in the same region is catcher Will Smith, who looks over-drafted, considering there is a 37 pick gap until the next catcher is taken. Others in the same area are closers Raisel Iglesias, Edwin Diaz, and Ryan Pressly, and it seems inevitable that one of the trio will have lost the ninth-inning gig by the All-Star break. None of the other hitters or pitchers going in the seventh round offer anything that cannot be obtained a round or two later.

In conclusion, Adalberto Mondesi might be an injury-prone player with poor plate discipline and on-base skills to drive you mad, but no one in the game (especially around pick 77) has the potential to single-handedly win your fantasy baseball league for you.

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Agree? Disagree? Hit me up on Twitter @GavTramps Positive feedback is always appreciated. I’m quick on the trigger to block abusive responders, racists, and bigots.

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