While studying the trends on the ADP report can be an invaluable tool for determining where or where not to draft a particular player, you also need to stay a step or two ahead of the competition and figure out which players are going to start trending upwards the closer we get to the start of the season. There are a few ways to help you in finding some of the rising gems but obviously the easiest for you is to stay on top of all the latest news and see which players are maybe starting to trend upwards slightly over the past week. The list below is made up of players you should keep on your watch-list over the next couple of weeks. They could be had for a bargain right now or they could increase in cost the closer we get to the start of the season.
Lorenzo Cain, OF KC (+0.2%) – Though he hasn’t been moving up the ADP charts in the last two weeks, Cain is certainly impressing those that have been watching Royals’ camp this spring. His speed and range in the outfield have been turning heads, but not as much as his work with the bat so far. He’s currently hitting .517 this spring with two home runs, four RBI and nine runs scored over 33 plate appearances, and while that’s a small sample size that few people really trust, he is certainly proving why the Royals mandated that he be included in the Zack Greinke trade. His current ADP is 223.06 which could prove to be a bargain if you’re drafting now, but watch for it to increase with the more attention he gets.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK (+1.6%) – His ADP is hovering around 186.93 right now, but with recent news that he will be the A’s starting center fielder for the opening series in Japan on March 28, that number could climb fairly soon. He started off the spring with a bang, but rapidly cooled off at the plate. Still, the A’s have been impressed with his glove and feel that the plate discipline will continue to develop. Don’t expect his spring numbers to keep the price down though. Fantasy owners are looking for starters and if he’s already been given the job, then his stock is on the rise again.
Freddy Galvis, 2B PHI (N/A) – Galvis isn’t even being drafted yet, but is likely to make a sudden appearance on the ADP report very soon. With news that Chase Utley is doubtful for Opening Day and has been sent to a specialist for both his knees on Monday, Galvis will start to garner some attention very soon. He’s a whole lot more slick with the glove than he is with the bat, but he does have the potential to hit half a dozen home runs and steal 15-20 bases. His climb throughout the ADP ranks will likely look like a meteoric rise, but take that trend with a grain of salt to start. When folks start looking for a middle infielder late in their draft, they’ll turn to Galvis which will give him a pretty substantial increase in the overall trend, but don’t mistake that for major talent. He’s good depth to have for as long as he’s starting.
Ryan Theriot, 2B/SS SF (-12.4%) – Theriot has been on more of a downward trend over the last few weeks as the Giants are pushing for youngster Brandon Crawford to begin the season as the team’s starting shortstop. But it might not be the shortstop position where we should be looking right now, but at second base in fact. With news that Freddy Sanchez will not be ready for Opening Day, the Giants infield depth will be front and center. Between Theriot and Mike Fontenot, the job is covered, but the decision as to which one will take over is still in question. Fontenot seems to be having the stronger spring right now, but Theriot should prove to be the better overall player soon enough. Neither of them is blessed with any real power, but Theriot has the better speed which is something the Giants are definitely lacking. They’ll likely share time in the beginning with Theriot maybe coming out ahead, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when the Giants need someone at short when Crawford again proves that he’s not ready for Major League pitching.
Andy Pettitte, SP NYY (N/A) – Here’s another one whose soon-to-be ADP ranking is going to take off like a rocket. When news came down that Pettitte signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, the buzz began. Now that he’s thrown a little and everyone seems happy with the shape that his arm is in, the buzz is getting louder. And once he starts throwing in rehab games in the next two to three weeks, it’s going to be a frenzy. Though he won’t likely be ready for game action until sometime in May, the majority of folks in the baseball world are speculating that he takes over the fifth starter’s spot and bumps either Phil Hughes or Freddy Garcia to the bullpen. Similarly to Galvis, don’t be fooled by the huge spike in overall trend once you start seeing Pettitte on it.
Jonathan Broxton/Greg Holland, RP KC (N/A, -1.6%) – Broxton and Holland get lumped together here because it is still undecided which one gets the first crack at the Royals’ closing job if incumbent Joakim Soria is out for any length of time. Soria left Saturday’s exhibition game with elbow soreness and it’s raising some serious concern. The team hasn’t said anything about it, but Soria says that he is nervous – that he hasn’t felt pain like this since before his Tommy John surgery. With that, and until you start hearing more definitive news, you can expect both Broxton and Holland to start climbing up the ADP ranks. Broxton is the natural assumption given the fact that he’s got the experience and has seemed to be doing well in his recovery from offseason arthroscopic elbow surgery. However, Holland has been masterful this spring and is building off a solid 2011 campaign as well. Both will be picked up, but if you’re looking for the better long-term solution, then stick with Holland.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including Rotowire, FanGraphs and The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.