2012 AL LABR Draft Results

Zach back with you,

The expert draft results just keep on coming! The 19th annual AL LABR draft was held this past weekend and Steve Gardner of USA Today did a fine job recapping all the developments. Here’s a link to his article which also includes a link to the full team rosters with dollar values.


Hey Big Z, am approaching the 2nd year of my auction draft for 10 team contract keeper league. Rules are to keep players 1 yr (+$3), 2yrs (+$6), or 3yrs (+$8), on top of their auction draft cost (and keep up to 8). So the majority of players kept by teams are “bargains” for this year e.g Grandy at $15.

Now I was wondering how I should approach our upcoming auction as this is our 1st draft with players already kept. Should I stick to not overpaying for the remaining players based on dollar values (mlb.com etc), or should I expect to have to pay a little more for good players in order to get them (seeing as owners should have some fair bargains already kept)? And if you would go over, how much would you bump up the values, is there any kind of rule? I have only spent $80 on keepers (didn’t have many good ones) so still need to fill most of my team, especially offense. Thanks, BB.


Per Cory, here’s how you calculate inflation:

1. Determine the projected dollar value of all players in the entire player pool, whether or not they are being kept

2. Subtract the cumulative “real” cost of all keepers from the total league draft budget… that is the total amount of money available in the draft

3. Subtract the cumulative projected value of all keepers from the total league budget… this is the amount of “value” in the draft

4. Subtract #3 from #2 for the “premium” amount available in the draft

5. Divide #4 by #3, and that yields the inflation rate for the draft, which should be applied to the dollar values of players remaining in the draft, but in a non-linear fashion: better players are affected by inflation more greatly than lesser players. That is, a dollar player will still go for a dollar, but a $20 player might go for $25.


In 12-team league with a $260 budget per team, there is a total of $3140 total dollars available in the draft (12 x $260).

100 players are kept for a total of $500, but their actual cumulative projected value is $1000. That means there is $2640 to spend ($3140 total – $500 keeper cost) on $2140 “worth” of players $3140 budget – $1000 worth of keepers). Now we have $2640 to spend on $2140 worth of players, for a $500 premium, so the inflation rate is 23% ($500/$2140). Remember though, that’s non-linear. So while the inflation for the top-tier guys will be more than 23 percent, it will be less than that or even zero for cheaper players.

Genius! Will apply that equation to my league and see what comes out.
Doesn’t give an exact amount to boost each player by, but I guess there’s no perfect formula. Guess you could always come up with rough sections e.g top 20 increase by 30%, 20-50 by %25, 50-100 by 20% etc.

411 crew
Hope you all had a great offseason and great to get the ball rolling again! First Q of the year: 13 team 7×7 Vanilla, head to head, 6 keepers (no top 2 rounds from previous year). Thinking to keep : Jacoby-pick 6, A.McCutchen-p5, Stanton-p24, Des Jennings-p23, J.Shields-p13, D.Ackley-p22.
Other favourable options: Altuve-p26, Crawford-p7, T.Hudson-p11, Salvador Perez-p27.
Thinking with my 4 OF positions filled before the draft, I will naturally head for the best players available in the 1st 3 rounds for infielders. Am I leaning to SS and 2ND if I can grab one of the best top two ranking hitters. I have the final pick in the first round and first pick in the second so I will be stuck waiting for 24 picks before I get another go at those two positions. I was thinking to to lean on my #1 lock closer on pick one in the 4th round.

Thanks again for all the help last year…flag is flying in the wind as we speak!



Addressed this question earlier on a previous blog post.


Wonder why they don’t have their reserve picks on their grid. The article mentions a potential closer picked up during reserves.

So when is the draft show going to be?


Announcement coming soon regarding the draft show.


Hi 411, any chance of a show largely dedicated to answering listeners questions before we do our upcoming drafts? Have a question anyway, is Chad Billingsley a good bounce-back candidate? Always found him a good no 2/3 starter in the past, he did have a rough year but in that division and ballpark he’s a good bet to rebound and a good choice for our no 5/6 fantasy starters this year right?


We’ll try to pack in as many viewer questions as we can on the upcoming podcasts. As for Billingsley, pretty much everyone is down on him as he was so erratic last season, but yes, I actually do think that he offers some value as a back end of the rotation guy. The strikeouts aren’t what they used to be but he still put up a decent K rate last year. His control needs to improve significantly though. There’s little to no risk in taking a flier on him, particularly in a mixed league where wasting a late-round pick isn’t a big deal.


Any chance of a quick podcast or blog about ‘special’ categories and a few people per position that become more viable. I know it’s impossible to address everything, but maybe just a quick 1 or 2 CI/MI/OF that get a bump with OBP or SLG. Or, on the opposite end, maybe a few that lose value with added categories?

(We go 7×7 – added OBP/SLG/HLD/QS, the pitchers are easy to adjust, but the hitters are a bit more difficult – outside of SB’s lose a little of their premium)


Great idea! We’ve added that to our list of topics on our MLB Network season preview show.


Hi, Zach, (et. al.)!
Got a kind of complicated situation here. Context: 12 team, 4×4, NL-only keeper, 40 man rosters including minors, 15 hitters and 10 pitchers active, $280 auction budget, up to 12 keepers permitted. I’m flying the flag of last year’s championship, but sold off a good portion of the future to get it. So, I can go one of two routes in hopes of being competitive. I have 8 cheap keepers who will cost just $34 on auction day. The great bargains are Kimbrel ($5), D Hudson ($12), Jon Jay ($3). The rest are cheap options to fill roster spots. So, I could walk into the auction with them and a fistful of proverbial dollars. Or I could keep some or all of the following: Tulo at $44, Victorino at $32, Putz at $24 and Marmol at $25. I’m tempted to do this so that I have a significant corner on the closer market to trade later and also have a cornerstone offensive player and a good second line contributor, though Victorino might be the most overpriced of the bunch, given past spending history on closers in this league and this year’s inflation. That said, keeping these guys at these prices will tamp down inflation a bit, too. So, crew, should I go cheap or expensive or somewhere in between? If I go expensive, do I have a chance to get enough talent to compete in starting pitching and offense with only $120 in hand and 13 open roster spots?
Thanks for all your help and for making the show and blog always great!
Dave in Delaware


I’m in a similar situation in my NL-only keeper and it’s really tough to find that balance where you’re playing to win while at the same time trying to avoid overpriced players. Kimbrel, Hudson and Jay are obviously must-keeps. I’d definitely hold onto Tulo, even at that price. Victorino is a very close call but I’d probably lean towards yes on him considering inflation. As for the closers, I think I’d hold onto Marmol but let Putz go as he’s more of an injury risk. Very tough decisions though!


Hello, again!
One more to throw in the hopper. A vanilla-bean league (not quite vanilla). 12 team, 5×5, mixed, 4 OF, 10 P, up to five keepers, league. I’m inclined to keep Adrian Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton for sure. They’re easily top two round talents in this league, I think. However, what would you do with the following: Panda, Ry Zim, Price and Dee Gordon. Do you believe in Gordon as a category killer? I’m not sure I do yet. Do I keep Sandoval and Zimmerman, as well as Gonzalez to corner the corners, so to speak? Or are they reaches in what would be the 3rd and 4th rounds, in essence? Is it defensible to keep a pitcher like Price in a league like this, especially if he’s essentially my 5th round player? What if I don’t keep both 3Bs? Is Price an OK 4th keeper or should I take the value of the roster spot and begin drafting a round or two before everyone else?
Again, thanks for your help and insight!
Dave in Delaware


I’d go with the two 3Bs. I really don’t think that 3rd-4th round are reaches for them. Pass on Price. I think you can still get a very good pitcher in round 6 if you choose to go that route. I also like the idea of having 3B depth to trade from.


Hi again Hey Im speaking of a 10 team head to head league….coming up on the 14th round and I have 2 OFs Desmond jennings and BJ upton…looking at another….Werth is still there as well as Hart, Maybin…..what do you think of Cespedes…u feel he will be a starter and would he be worth taking a risk on at this time of the draft? Im waiting on drafting guys for holds and need a few starters still….available is shields, latos, wainwright, or lester…….thx


Shields in the 14th round would be an absolute no-brainer for me.


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