I’ll never understand why Alex Rios isn’t a more sought-after commodity. He’s finished each of the last two seasons ranked 16th overall, and aside for an awful 2011 season, he’s been money in the bank every year of his career. He’s topped 30 combined HR and SB in seven of the last eight years and he’s topped 40 in five of the last six.
When it comes to balanced counting category prowess, no one tops Rios. Over the last eight years, only Rios and David Wright have totaled at least 10 HR and 10 SB in every season, and Rios is the only guy to go 15/15 in seven of those eight years. Heck, Wright, Hanley Ramirez, and Brandon Phillips are the only guys to do it even six times!
Why is Rios so undervalued?
I think the answer is twofold:
- His 2011 season
- Though he always has value, you never know exactly from where it’s coming
By now you’ve probably heard that Rios ran like crazy once he joined the Rangers, and few things are truer. Take a look at his partial season with Texas extrapolated over a full season (650 PA).
|Over 650 PA||650||86||20||86||52||.280|
Why is Rios so undervalued??
Once again, we may not know exactly where his production is going to come from in 2014, but I can say for certain that he’ll have plenty of it.
At A Glance
- Strengths: SB, K, 2B, 3B
- Neutral: R, HR, RBI, BA, SLG, OPS
- Weaknesses: OBP, BB
Players With Similar Fantasy Value
2014 Fantasy Baseball Projection
2014 Projection: 654 PA, 83 R, 18 HR, 88 RBI, 27 SB, .282 BA
Overall Rank: 36 | OF Rank: 13
In our countdown, Rios came in 36th overall and the 13th-ranked OF. When we published the draft guide, we bumped his BA up to .282, which pushed his overall rank to 25th and OF rank to 10th.
If you’re to believe our early mock draft results, Rios will once again be a great value in 2014 — he went 35th overall. The late-3rd or early-4th may seem too early to draft a player like Rios, but he’s been a top 20 player in each of the last two season, he’ll certainly provide more value than Giancarlo Stanton, and I’m fairly certain he can put up similar stats to Bryce Harper but potentially get drafted two rounds later.
All gushing aside, Rios does have a major weakness: OBP. In these leagues he falls a round and becomes a top 40-50 player due to sub-par walk rates that leave his OBP around .325-.335, but in points leagues his low strikeout rate and great counting stats make him an elite option at a potentially discounted price.
2015 & Beyond
It’s odd to see a speed surge from a 32-year-old player well into his career, but I see no reason to let up on Rios. If your league is down on Rios and even more down on 30-plus-year-olds, Rios becomes a must-target player. Honestly, his draft slot is still a little pricey yet he remains one of the best draft day values.