Tout Wars NL recap
Hey gang, NL Tout Wars was
this morning, capping off a big week: my three main drafts (NFBC, 411, Tout)
plus the fantasy preview show on the MLB Network.
My plan going into NL Tout
today was to take less of a stars’n’scrubs type of approach than in past years, and instead pursue a more
balanced roster without so many holes. Well, that plan lasted all of about two
players, demonstrating again the importance of mock drafts, even mock auctions…
once your plan goes out the window, you have to be able to adjust.Here’s my
Targeted: Chris Iannetta
($20) and a dollar backup. Everyone knows I’m big on Iannetta this year so
he was my target here; of course I’m an even bigger Russell Martin fan but didn’t want
to spend the big bucks for him; I projected him at $30 and he went for $26.
Got: Ryan Doumit ($17)
and Chris ($17). Above all else I try to get value on my roster in Tout, and I
projected Doumit at $20. I’m not a big fan, but I thought that was a good price
so I grabbed him. Plus, Iannetta wasn’t off the board yet, and I was afraid
he’d go for more. Well, when the bidding on Iannetta slowed, I decided to
adjust my plan and grabbed him at the same price, instantly making Doumit trade
Targeted: Joey Votto ($27), Edwin
Encarnacion ($16) and a dollar corner. No secret that I think these two
Reds are going to have breakout seasons.
Got: Albert Pujols
($38), Greg Dobbs ($2) and Omar Infante ($3). Pujols was one of
the first two or three players up for bidding and I projected him at $44. As
noted above I had no intention of pursuing him, which would’ve ultimately
necessitated a stars’n’scrubs approach, but I thought this was a deep discount
and I couldn’t pass on it. As a result, I had no budget for anyone better at
Targeted: Mike Fontenot
($11), Stephen Drew ($23) and a
dollar middle guy.
Got: Mark Loretta ($1), Drew ($22) and Jack Wilson ($2). I was happy to get Drew for a dollar less than
projected, and while Fontenot only went for $12, very much in budget, I had
already spent enough elsewhere (more on that later) that I couldn’t afford to
go over on him. Loretta is pretty much useless so I’ll be looking to upgrade
here, and while I’m no Jack Wilson fan, he’s a reasonable cheap middle
infielder in a deep unmixed league.
Targeted: Shane Victorino ($31), Lastings Milledge ($21), Ryan Spilborghs ($13), Chris Dickerson ($7) and a dollar guy.
Power, speed, decent batting averages, and all in their prime. Victorino was a
steal at $24, but not for me… Tristan Cockroft from ESPN got him since I had burned
my budget elsewhere. Milledge went for $23, Spilborghs for $17 and Dickerson
Got: Ryan Braun ($34), Chris
Young ($25), Spilborghs ($17), Reggie Abercrombie ($1) and Nick Evans (reserve pick). Braun came
out shortly after Pujols and, again, I thought the discount was too good to
pass up. I am not terribly concerned about his current ribcage issue, and
believe he’ll be a solid value at this price. Unfortunately, as with the Pujols
pick, this purchase cost me the flexibility to pursue my original plan, which
is frustrating in hindsight because I could’ve gotten the original foursome I
wanted almost for the exact amount I budgeted for them. Note that I overbid to
get Spilborghs, but that was driven as much by my belief in him as by the fact
that he truly was the best available player on the board when he came up for
bidding late in the draft, and I didn’t want to leave money on the table. My
max bid at the time was $21 and I was prepared to go that far for him, given
what was left after him… that is, very little.
BTW, I am “all in” on
Spilborghs (above) this year… got him in NFBC, 411 AND Tout, and pimped him on the MLB
Network! He’d better not hit .230 or I’ll be looking for a job!!
Targeted: Anyone who walks upright, breathes oxygen and swings a
wooden bat at a pitched ball.
Got: John Bowker ($1), who got sent down today, Mat Gamel ($1) and
Jason Heyward ($1). Two great prospects and a stiff. Bowker will be my first
cut as I search for another active position player to complete my roster.
Targeted: Ricky Nolasco ($18), Adam Wainwright ($17), Wandy
Rodriguez ($12), Chris Volstad ($6) and a dollar fifth starter.
Got: Nolasco ($19), Ted Lilly ($15), Joe Blanton ($3), Daniel
Cabrera (reserve) and Homer Bailey ($1) — yes, him again! Yes, I am very short here, I know.
And to make that sting even worse, Wainwright went for $16 and Wandy went for $11, so once again, I could’ve
gotten exactly what I wanted had I not spent my money elsewhere… in this case,
in the bullpen. Nolasco (below) and Lilly are a solid 1-2, and Blanton is a decent $3 for the price, but Cabrera and Bailey are strictly lottery tickets.
Targeted: Jonathan Broxton ($19), Hong-Chi Kuo ($4) and a couple of
dollar middle relievers.
Got: Heath Bell ($19),
Broxton ($18), Tony Pena ($1) and Chad
Gaudin ($1). I projected Bell at
$17, so I can’t really say why I decided to go to $19 for him, that was simply a mistake. I think he’ll be
solid, but it wasn’t necessary to chase him when the top closers (K-Rod and Lidge) went
for $22 each. To make matters worse, my original target came out for bidding
only minutes later and, like with Doumit and Iannetta, the guy I wanted went
for the same or less as the guy I actually got in the first place. So while I budgeted
for one solid catcher and one solid closer, I ended up with two of each because
I bought players at what I felt were good prices, without waiting to see if I
could get the guys I wanted at good prices.
(I also have Jeff Samardzija
($2) and Jorge Julio ($1) on my bench, although Julio was a wasted dollar pick…
I was rushing to throw a dollar name out there and stumbled across him on my
list, totally forgetting about Carlos Villanueva. Julio will be my first
So that’s the challenge of an
auction in a nutshell: ultimately you can get any player you want if you are
willing to spend the money, but do you spend early or save for later? The risk
of spending too early is that you could overpay for players while comparable or
better players go for the same or less later, such as the catcher and closer
scenarios I found myself in. On the other hand, if you hold back too much, you
might pass by on bargains and have to overpay later for lesser players. This is
the hardest dilemma to read in the draft and ultimately I opted for value
whenever I could get it, even if it meant spending heavily early.
As an aside, note that that I
list my four reserve round players in my roster, and four auction-drafted
players on my reserve list. This is by design… since I generally adapt a
stars’n’scrubs type approach in Tout I end up with quite a few spots to fill in
the dollar end game, so rather than wasting them on guys who will last until
the reserve round anyway, I try to grab decent prospects while I still have a
little bit of control over who I get. It’s much easier to replace a John Bowker
than it is to get a Mat Gamel (below).
Anyway, my projected standings
(including the reserve picks) have me in sixth place. I rank highly in the
triple crown categories and my bullpen is a plus, but I’m buried in speed and
my starting pitching is weak. Hopefully between Doumit and Bell
I can deal to patch some of those weaknesses and end up with a solid balanced
team. In any case let’s hope that Bill Hall gets sent down so Gamel can unleash
his lead glove — and big-time bat — on Milwaukee sooner
rather than later!
That’s it for drafts for me
this year… all of my other leagues are auto-draft for-fun leagues with friends.
Only one week ’til opening night… happy baseball!