Bold = Pitch
Harrison @ Norris – watch HOU though, they will score more than people think this year
Lester @ Sabathia
Shields @ Sale
Verlander @ Worley
King Felix @ Anderson
Nolasco @ Strasburg
Volquez @ Niese
Samardzija @ Burnett
Chacin @ Gallardo
Cain @ Kershaw
Hamels @ Hudson
Wainwright @ Kennedy
Weaver @ Cueto
***ZACH SAYS “Agree 100%. I’d at least think about pitching Volquez vs. a weak Mets’ lineup, but if you’re afraid to kick off your fantasy season with a 12.00 team ERA, you’re probably better off playing it safe.”
Here are the round-by-round results from last night’s 411 listener league draft. Be sure to catch today’s podcast as Mike and Cory discuss this draft in addition to Tout Wars and overrated/underrated players for 2013.
** Mike’s picks
** (1) South Larson Hamptonians – Ryan Braun LF
(2) Team Gluttons – Mike Trout CF
(3) Bloo Meenies – Miguel Cabrera 3B
(4) Nathan’s Dogs – Robinson Cano 2B
(5) Havalina Lumber Co – Matt Kemp CF
(6) KFred inCal – Andrew McCutchen CF
(7) The Canexicans – Albert Pujols 1B
(8) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Carlos Gonzalez LF
(9) Manhattan Marauders – Prince Fielder 1B
(10) Schwartz Stops – Joey Votto 1B
(11) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Giancarlo Stanton RF
(12) mancrushes united – Troy Tulowitzki SS
(13) mancrushes united – Evan Longoria 3B
(14) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Josh Hamilton CF
(15) Schwartz Stops – Jose Bautista RF
(16) Manhattan Marauders – Justin Upton RF
(17) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Justin Verlander SP
(18) The Canexicans – Bryce Harper CF
(19) KFred inCal – Jose Reyes SS
(20) Havalina Lumber Co – Jason Heyward RF
(21) Nathan’s Dogs – Buster Posey C
(22) Bloo Meenies – Clayton Kershaw SP
(23) Team Gluttons – Adam Jones CF
** (24) South Larson Hamptonians – Dustin Pedroia 2B
** (25) South Larson Hamptonians – Jacoby Ellsbury CF
(26) Team Gluttons – Edwin Encarnacion 1B
(27) Bloo Meenies – David Wright 3B
(28) Nathan’s Dogs – Adrian Beltre 3B
(29) Havalina Lumber Co – Stephen Strasburg SP
(30) KFred inCal – Ian Kinsler 2B
(31) The Canexicans – David Price SP
(32) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Felix Hernandez SP
(33) Manhattan Marauders – Billy Butler 1B
(34) Schwartz Stops – Starlin Castro SS
(35) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jay Bruce RF
(36) mancrushes united – Adrian Gonzalez 1B
(37) mancrushes united – Matt Wieters C
(38) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Craig Kimbrel RP
(39) Schwartz Stops – Yoenis Cespedes LF
(40) Manhattan Marauders – Cole Hamels SP
(41) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Matt Holliday LF
(42) The Canexicans – Ben Zobrist RF
(43) KFred inCal – Allen Craig 1B
(44) Havalina Lumber Co – Ryan Zimmerman 3B
(45) Nathan’s Dogs – Matt Cain SP
(46) Bloo Meenies – Cliff Lee SP
(47) Team Gluttons – Yu Darvish SP
** (48) South Larson Hamptonians – Carlos Santana C
** (49) South Larson Hamptonians – Mariano Rivera RP
(50) Team Gluttons – Freddie Freeman 1B
(51) Bloo Meenies – Jered Weaver SP
(52) Nathan’s Dogs – Ian Desmond SS
(53) Havalina Lumber Co – Paul Goldschmidt 1B
(54) KFred inCal – Chase Headley 3B
(55) The Canexicans – B.J. Upton CF
(56) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – CC Sabathia SP
(57) Manhattan Marauders – Aramis Ramirez 3B
(58) Schwartz Stops – Brett Lawrie 3B
(59) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Brandon Phillips 2B
(60) mancrushes united – Joe Mauer C
(61) mancrushes united – Aroldis Chapman SP
(62) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jonathan Papelbon RP
(63) Schwartz Stops – Alex Gordon LF
(64) Manhattan Marauders – Adam Wainwright SP
(65) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Michael Bourn CF
(66) The Canexicans – R.A. Dickey SP
(67) KFred inCal – Madison Bumgarner SP
(68) Havalina Lumber Co – Jason Kipnis 2B
(69) Nathan’s Dogs – Gio Gonzalez SP
(70) Bloo Meenies – Yadier Molina C
(71) Team Gluttons – Max Scherzer SP
** (72) South Larson Hamptonians – Eric Hosmer 1B
** (73) South Larson Hamptonians – Shin-Soo Choo RF
(74) Team Gluttons – Aaron Hill 2B
(75) Bloo Meenies – Austin Jackson CF
(76) Nathan’s Dogs – Jason Motte RP
(77) Havalina Lumber Co – Zack Greinke SP
(78) KFred inCal – Curtis Granderson CF
(79) The Canexicans – Jimmy Rollins SS
(80) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Pablo Sandoval 3B
(81) Manhattan Marauders – Jose Altuve 2B
(82) Schwartz Stops – Desmond Jennings LF
(83) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Rafael Soriano RP
(84) mancrushes united – James Shields SP
(85) mancrushes united – Mat Latos SP
(86) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Fernando Rodney RP
(87) Schwartz Stops – Asdrubal Cabrera SS
(88) Manhattan Marauders – Elvis Andrus SS
(89) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Victor Martinez C
(90) The Canexicans – Ryan Howard 1B
(91) KFred inCal – Ike Davis 1B
(92) Havalina Lumber Co – Alex Rios RF
(93) Nathan’s Dogs – Chris Sale SP
(94) Bloo Meenies – Johnny Cueto SP
(95) Team Gluttons – Josh Willingham LF
** (96) South Larson Hamptonians – Anthony Rizzo 1B
** (97) South Larson Hamptonians – Pedro Alvarez 3B
(98) Team Gluttons – Jordan Zimmermann SP
(99) Bloo Meenies – Kris Medlen SP
(100) Nathan’s Dogs – Joe Nathan RP
(101) Havalina Lumber Co – Yovani Gallardo SP
(102) KFred inCal – Mark Trumbo LF
(103) The Canexicans – Josh Johnson SP
(104) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Paul Konerko 1B
(105) Manhattan Marauders – Carlos Gomez CF
(106) Schwartz Stops – Sergio Romo RP
(107) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Martin Prado LF
(108) mancrushes united – Jon Lester SP
(109) mancrushes united – Carl Crawford LF
(110) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Hanley Ramirez 3B
(111) Schwartz Stops – Melky Cabrera LF
(112) Manhattan Marauders – Hunter Pence RF
(113) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – J.J. Putz RP
(114) The Canexicans – Jim Johnson RP
(115) KFred inCal – Brandon Morrow SP
(116) Havalina Lumber Co – John Axford RP
(117) Nathan’s Dogs – Shane Victorino CF
(118) Bloo Meenies – Matt Moore SP
(119) Team Gluttons – Greg Holland RP
** (120) South Larson Hamptonians – Ian Kennedy SP
** (121) South Larson Hamptonians – Addison Reed RP
(122) Team Gluttons – Todd Frazier 3B
(123) Bloo Meenies – Doug Fister SP
(124) Nathan’s Dogs – Joel Hanrahan RP
(125) Havalina Lumber Co – Danny Espinosa 2B
(126) KFred inCal – Miguel Montero C
(127) The Canexicans – Mike Napoli C
(128) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Roy Halladay SP
(129) Manhattan Marauders – Rafael Betancourt RP
(130) Schwartz Stops – Jarrod Parker SP
(131) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jake Peavy SP
(132) mancrushes united – Howard Kendrick 2B
(133) mancrushes united – Rickie Weeks 2B
(134) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Dan Haren SP
(135) Schwartz Stops – Angel Pagan CF
(136) Manhattan Marauders – Jason Grilli RP
(137) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Carlos Beltran RF
(138) The Canexicans – Chase Utley 2B
(139) KFred inCal – C.J. Wilson SP
(140) Havalina Lumber Co – Jeff Samardzija SP
(141) Nathan’s Dogs – Erick Aybar SS
(142) Bloo Meenies – Hiroki Kuroda SP
(143) Team Gluttons – Alcides Escobar SS
** (144) South Larson Hamptonians – Wilin Rosario C
** (145) South Larson Hamptonians – Matt Harvey SP
(146) Team Gluttons – Chris Perez RP
(147) Bloo Meenies – Tim Lincecum SP
(148) Nathan’s Dogs – Andre Ethier RF
(149) Havalina Lumber Co – Tom Wilhelmsen RP
(150) KFred inCal – Jesus Montero C
(151) The Canexicans – Mike Moustakas 3B
(152) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Huston Street RP
(153) Manhattan Marauders – Adam LaRoche 1B
(154) Schwartz Stops – Grant Balfour RP
(155) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – David Freese 3B
(156) mancrushes united – Michael Morse LF
(157) mancrushes united – Glen Perkins RP
(158) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Mark Teixeira 1B
(159) Schwartz Stops – Salvador Perez C
(160) Manhattan Marauders – Jonathan Lucroy C
(161) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Brandon League RP
(162) The Canexicans – Lance Lynn SP
(163) KFred inCal – Casey Janssen RP
(164) Havalina Lumber Co – Nelson Cruz RF
(165) Nathan’s Dogs – Ben Revere RF
(166) Bloo Meenies – Neil Walker 2B
(167) Team Gluttons – Steve Cishek RP
** (168) South Larson Hamptonians – Mike Minor SP
** (169) South Larson Hamptonians – Alexei Ramirez SS
(170) Team Gluttons – Alejandro De Aza CF
(171) Bloo Meenies – Torii Hunter RF
(172) Nathan’s Dogs – Jonathon Niese SP
(173) Havalina Lumber Co – Brian McCann C
(174) KFred inCal – Bobby Parnell RP
(175) The Canexicans – David Ortiz DH
(176) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Ernesto Frieri RP
(177) Manhattan Marauders – J.J. Hardy SS
(178) Schwartz Stops – Kenley Jansen RP
(179) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Anibal Sanchez SP
(180) mancrushes united – Brett Gardner LF
(181) mancrushes united – Ichiro Suzuki RF
(182) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Chris Davis 1B
(183) Schwartz Stops – Marco Estrada SP
(184) Manhattan Marauders – Alexi Ogando SP
(185) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Dan Uggla 2B
(186) The Canexicans – Ryan Madson RP
(187) KFred inCal – Jeremy Hellickson SP
(188) Havalina Lumber Co – Michael Cuddyer RF
(189) Nathan’s Dogs – Nick Swisher RF
(190) Bloo Meenies – Jason Kubel LF
(191) Team Gluttons – Josh Beckett SP
** (192) South Larson Hamptonians – Brett Anderson SP
** (193) South Larson Hamptonians – Derek Holland SP
(194) Team Gluttons – Ryan Vogelsong SP
(195) Bloo Meenies – Kyle Seager 3B
(196) Nathan’s Dogs – Will Middlebrooks 3B
(197) Havalina Lumber Co – Dustin Ackley 2B
(198) KFred inCal – Josh Reddick RF
(199) The Canexicans – Hyun-Jin Ryu SP
(200) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Andrelton Simmons SS
(201) Manhattan Marauders – Kyuji Fujikawa RP
(202) Schwartz Stops – Manny Machado 3B
(203) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Coco Crisp CF
(204) mancrushes united – Jayson Werth RF
(205) mancrushes united – Justin Morneau 1B
(206) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Derek Jeter SS
(207) Schwartz Stops – Brandon McCarthy SP
(208) Manhattan Marauders – Trevor Cahill SP
(209) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Kendrys Morales 1B
(210) The Canexicans – Emilio Bonifacio CF
(211) KFred inCal – Alfonso Soriano LF
(212) Havalina Lumber Co – Aaron Hicks CF
(213) Nathan’s Dogs – Kevin Youkilis 3B
(214) Bloo Meenies – Wade Miley SP
(215) Team Gluttons – Ryan Doumit C
** (216) South Larson Hamptonians – Lorenzo Cain CF
** (217) South Larson Hamptonians – Marco Scutaro 2B
(218) Team Gluttons – Vinnie Pestano RP
(219) Bloo Meenies – Dexter Fowler CF
(220) Nathan’s Dogs – Brandon Moss 1B
(221) Havalina Lumber Co – Carlos Marmol RP
(222) KFred inCal – Jose Veras RP
(223) The Canexicans – Bruce Rondon RP
(224) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – A.J. Pierzynski C
(225) Manhattan Marauders – Corey Hart 1B
(226) Schwartz Stops – Alex Avila C
(227) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Everth Cabrera SS
(228) mancrushes united – Nick Markakis RF
(229) mancrushes united – Matt Garza SP
(230) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Phil Hughes SP
(231) Schwartz Stops – Homer Bailey SP
(232) Manhattan Marauders – Norichika Aoki RF
(233) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Juan Pierre LF
(234) The Canexicans – Michael Young 1B
(235) KFred inCal – Cameron Maybin CF
(236) Havalina Lumber Co – Carlos Ruiz C
(237) Nathan’s Dogs – Garrett Jones 1B
(238) Bloo Meenies – Colby Rasmus CF
(239) Team Gluttons – Brandon Belt 1B
** (240) South Larson Hamptonians – Mitchell Boggs RP
** (241) South Larson Hamptonians – Wil Myers RF
(242) Team Gluttons – Jedd Gyorko 2B
(243) Bloo Meenies – Tim Hudson SP
(244) Nathan’s Dogs – Jaime Garcia SP
(245) Havalina Lumber Co – Frank Francisco RP
(246) KFred inCal – Josh Rutledge SS
(247) The Canexicans – Domonic Brown RF
(248) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Matt Harrison SP
(249) Manhattan Marauders – J.P. Arencibia C
(250) Schwartz Stops – Brandon Beachy SP
(251) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – A.J. Burnett SP
(252) mancrushes united – Adam Dunn 1B
(253) mancrushes united – Alex Cobb SP
(254) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
(255) Schwartz Stops – Gordon Beckham 2B
(256) Manhattan Marauders – Dayan Viciedo LF
(257) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Carlos Quentin LF
(258) The Canexicans – Clay Buchholz SP
(259) KFred inCal – Lance Berkman 1B
(260) Havalina Lumber Co – Chris Carter 1B
(261) Nathan’s Dogs – Justin Ruggiano CF
(262) Bloo Meenies – Daniel Murphy 2B
(263) Team Gluttons – Evan Gattis C
** (264) South Larson Hamptonians – Adam Eaton CF
** (265) South Larson Hamptonians – David Robertson RP
(266) Team Gluttons – Peter Bourjos CF
(267) Bloo Meenies – Mark Reynolds 1B
(268) Nathan’s Dogs – A.J. Ellis C
(269) Havalina Lumber Co – David Murphy LF
(270) KFred inCal – Jed Lowrie SS
(271) The Canexicans – Sergio Santos RP
(272) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Kelly Johnson 2B
(273) Manhattan Marauders – Tommy Milone SP
(274) Schwartz Stops – Chad Billingsley SP
(275) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – John Jaso C
(276) mancrushes united – Denard Span CF
(277) mancrushes united – Wandy Rodriguez SP
(278) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Edwin Jackson SP
(279) Schwartz Stops – Julio Teheran SP
(280) Manhattan Marauders – Ryan Dempster SP
(281) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Joaquin Benoit RP
(282) The Canexicans – Starling Marte LF
(283) KFred inCal – Bud Norris SP
(284) Havalina Lumber Co – Mitch Moreland 1B
(285) Nathan’s Dogs – Yonder Alonso 1B
(286) Bloo Meenies – Zack Cozart SS
(287) Team Gluttons – Luke Gregerson RP
** (288) South Larson Hamptonians – Jon Jay CF
** (289) South Larson Hamptonians – Michael Saunders CF
(290) Team Gluttons – Leonys Martin CF
(291) Bloo Meenies – Russell Martin C
(292) Nathan’s Dogs – Johan Santana SP
(293) Havalina Lumber Co – Phil Coke RP
(294) KFred inCal – Erik Bedard SP
(295) The Canexicans – Jason Castro C
(296) Bitter Old Dodgers Fan – Yasiel Puig CF
(297) Manhattan Marauders – Trevor Rosenthal RP
(298) Schwartz Stops – Matt Carpenter 1B
(299) Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Drew Stubbs CF
(300) mancrushes united – Jonathan Broxton RP
Heading into my second year in Mixed Tout Wars, I was determined to not make the same mistake I made in my inaugural campaign, overpaying for mid-tier talent which in turn limited me to $1 bids down the stretch. There were far too many guys on last year’s squad who I didn’t even want but was stuck with by default. I would be more patient this time around, draft a few high-end players but also wait for bargains and afford myself the opportunity to land some of my targets in the endgame. Unlike last year, when I exited the SiriusXM studios in midtown Manhattan this time around, I was happy with my roster and was actually looking forward to seeing how the season will play out. Of course, there were a few exceptions, as is always the case in any auction, but on the whole the team I ended up with looked a lot like the “ideal” group I had sketched out when doing my draft prep. Listen, I’m far from an auction veteran, but my general approach is to assign dollar values to each roster slot with certain players in mind and list a bunch of fallback options. Should the price of my top choice at a certain position exceed my expected value by more than a buck or two, I’d move on to my backup choices and use the saved money to secure an upgrade at a different position.
Alright, enough suspense. Here’s the team I ended up with. Keep in mind that this is a 15-team mixed league with OBP replacing AVG.
C Jonathan LuCroy ($11)
I had budgeted about $12 for my #1 catcher and LuCroy was my main focus. A broken hand limited him to 96 games last year, but the Brewers’ backstop put up some nice numbers in those 96 games. At just 26 years of age, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Would I be surprised if he makes a serious run at 20 homers to go along with a strong OBP? Absolutely not.
C Brian McCann ($6)
McCann was not someone I had planned on drafting as I tend to shy away from players rehabbing from significant injuries, but the value here was too good to pass up. Even if he misses the entire month of April, as the latest reports suggest, five months of McCann is well worth the six bucks. I actually purchased McCann before taking LuCroy but still felt the need to go after LuCroy to stabilize my catcher duo. I had allocated $3 to my #2 catcher slot so I overspent by a little, but no big deal.
1B Adrian Gonzalez ($28)
Exactly the price I predicted for A-Gon. Prince Fielder was my #1 target but Adrian sat at the top of my second-tier price range list. At the time, I gambled that Fielder would go for more than the $35 I set aside for him. And I was right, as Tim Heaney bought Prince for $38. The home run total was really the only disappointing part of Gonzalez’s stat line last year, but I expect a rebound in his first full season back in the familiar NL West. Even if he hits 25 homers, 100-plus RBIs, roughly 90 runs and an OBP in the .360 range are all reasonable projections.
2B Dan Uggla ($16)
My least favorite pick, and if I knew at the time that Jose Altuve would go for only $17, I would’ve bowed out on Uggla. But I figured that the switch to OBP neutralizes the main risk attached to Uggla, that is his batting average. In a career-worst season, the Braves’ second sacker still managed to swat 19 homers, drive in 78 and score 86 runs, so the counting stats were there. He did post a quality .348 OBP and sports a career OBP of .343. On the other hand, should he get off to a brutal start, the Braves might reduce his playing time, as his defense is dreadful. So I’m just hoping he hits well enough to avoid that scenario.
SS Jimmy Rollins ($15)
I honestly don’t understand the negativity surrounding J-Roll. Yeah, he’s getting up there in age and he won’t be of much use in the AVG/OBP department. But how many other shortstops can realistically turn in a 20/30 season with 90 or so runs scored? I can’t think of any. And for 15 bucks? C’mon!
3B Aramis Ramirez ($16)
Like McCann, A-Ram is another guy who I never expected to be on my roster. There is some age/injury risk, but there’s no denying that Ramirez is one of the more consistent hitters in the game. And I consider $16 to be excellent value.
CI Kendrys Morales ($11)
Continuing on the value theme, I was very surprised to land Kendrys at this price. He went 22-73 in only 134 games for the Angels last year and now with Seattle, he won’t have to deal with a platoon situation. Oh yeah, and the fences are moving in at Safeco.
MI Jhonny Peralta ($4)
Not much to get excited about here but I had budgeted $5 for my MI slot and Peralta was one of the players I predicted would fall in that range. I’m expecting something in between his 2011 and 2012 production. If nothing else, he provides me with some cheap power.
OF Justin Upton ($34)
I wasn’t going to leave that draft room without grabbing a legitimate #1 outfielder, and over the past few weeks, I had a feeling that Upton would be that guy. He played a key role in ruining my Tout season last year, but I’m willing to give him another chance. 34 bucks seemed like a fair price to me considering the costs of fellow outfielders Matt Kemp ($37), Jose Bautista ($37), Andrew McCutchen ($37), Carlos Gonzalez ($36) and Giancarlo Stanton ($34).
OF Desmond Jennings ($20)
Jennings was my top choice to fill my #2 OF slot, so I was thrilled to get him for a dollar less than my projected value. He needs to improve his OBP skills but at 26, the best is yet to come. He’ll provide me with tons of speed and even some pop.
OF Jason Kubel ($7)
He faded badly in the second half last year but seven bucks is a fairly small price to pay for 25-plus bombs and 90 RBIs. I’ll take Kubel at $7 over Andre Ethier at $12 or even Nick Markakis at $9.
OF Denard Span ($5)
This was towards the end of the draft and realizing that I was weak in speed, I singled out Span as the player I had to have. Luckily, I was able to snag him for $5 because I would’ve gone as high as $9 for him. I like Span a lot this year as he’ll be batting atop a loaded lineup and should score a boatload of runs, and I’m hoping that all the talk about him upping his SB attempts is more than just talk. But I wish I didn’t have to rely on him so heavily to keep me afloat in the swipes category.
OF Ryan Ludwick ($2)
This pick was kind of by accident, as I was convinced that someone would raise my opening bid and the last thing I needed was even more power. But as a fifth outfielder he’s fine. Are 20 homers and 80 RBIs really too much to ask?
UTIL Cody Ross ($4)
I had four bucks left at the time of my final turn and right after throwing out Ross’ name, I regretted not nominating Michael Brantley, who would’ve been a better fit in my already homer happy lineup. I’ll immediately look to add some more speed to my roster and will probably end up benching Ross to start the season.
SP Adam Wainwright ($21)
This guy is going to have a big year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes home NL Cy Young honors. Looking at his overall 2012 numbers doesn’t tell the whole story. In 15 second half starts last year, Wainwright pitched to a 3.28 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Entering his second season removed from Tommy John surgery, I’m expecting him to pick up right where he left off. Being that the price tags of starters like Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, David Price and Stephen Strasburg were all in the upper 20’s, I’ll gladly take Wainwright at a discount.
SP Ian Kennedy ($13)
This was a tad more than I had planned on paying for Kennedy but I’m very high on him as a guy who you can draft as a third or fourth starter and get back SP2 caliber production. I didn’t afford myself a ton of room for profit here but I think $13 is a fair price and I’m a sucker for the K/BB ratio. While 2011 looks like an outlier, I fully expect Kennedy to bounce back from a disappointing 2012 season that still saw him post a 1.30 WHIP to go along with 187 strikeouts.
SP Doug Fister ($9)
The beauty of following the “patient” auction approach is that it can lead to bargains like this one. I normally prefer a higher K option for my third starter slot but playing in a pitcher-friendly ballpark, Fister should provide me with a strong ERA and WHIP. And factoring in the stacked Tigers’ lineup, there’s plenty of wins potential as well.
SP Ryan Vogelsong ($6)
I wasn’t about to chase Vogelsong but I wasn’t about to shy away from him either. There are still plenty of skeptics when it comes to the 35-year-old righty, which is keeping his price down to the level where he can once again return a substantial profit.
SP Wandy Rodriguez ($4)
An underrated starter at a bargain basement price. I’m not too concerned about the drop in strikeouts. Maybe his 175-plus strikeout days are over, but even if he gives me 150 punchouts to go along with a solid ERA and WHIP, this will prove to be a wise investment.
SP Felix Doubront ($1)
A pure lottery ticket. His control needs work but I love the strikeout upside, and he’s only 25. Maybe I could’ve waited until the reserve rounds to draft him. Whatever.
RP Joe Nathan ($15)
I always try to draft at least one elite-level closer, and figuring that Craig Kimbrel would be too expensive, I narrowed down my choices to Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Motte or possibly Mariano Rivera. When the news broke that Motte would open the season on the DL, I narrowed my list to Papelbon or possibly Rivera. Then the bidding on Rivera got to $16 and I couldn’t quite pull the trigger. Then the bidding on Papelbon went through the roof. No way was I paying more than 20 bucks for him. So I snatched up the next best thing for what I consider to be a great price. Nathan proved last year that he’s still an elite stopper despite enduring Tommy John surgery. Yeah, he’s old, but I’m convinced that he has plenty left in the tank.
RP Steve Cishek ($10)
Banking on a closer with such a limited ninth inning track record is risky, but Cishek has the luxury of job security and, as he demonstrated last season, he can clearly get the job done. By drafting Cishek, I accomplished my goal of securing two closers so that I won’t need to fork over a ton of FAAB dollars early in the season on speculative saves sources.
RP David Hernandez ($2)
J.J. Putz has grown very fond of the DL over the past several seasons and Hernandez is one of the more dominant setup men in baseball. See where I’m going?
Ricky Romero – Will probably be my first cut. Sounds like he might not even make the rotation.
Franklin Gutierrez – If healthy, his decent speed could be useful.
Zack Wheeler – Expect a big league arrival sooner rather than later.
Kurt Suzuki – Will hold down the fort as my second catcher until McCann returns.
To sum everything up, while homers and RBIs will not be an issue, I’m a little short in steals and my OBP will probably be no better than middle of the pack. I’m also somewhat concerned about my team’s age, as the majority of my players are over 30. Improving my speed will be a priority in the early going and I might need to swing a power for speed trade fairly soon to avoid falling too far behind in the category. I’m pleased with my pitching staff and am eager to find out if this more balanced spending approach compared to last season will lead to a higher than 10th place finish.
All comments are welcome, but please, don’t be too harsh!
You can view the complete auction results here
And check out David Gonos’ new e-book, 101 Fantasy Baseball Tips. You just might recognize some of these contributors!
As the defending Tout Wars mixed league champion I suppose it’s reasonable to assume that I had a battle-tested, winning strategy prepared as I began the defense of my title with this year’s draft this past Saturday at the Sirius-XM studios here in New York City. Well, sure… all I had to do was find this year’s equivalents to Andrew McCutchen, Edwin Encarnacion and Chase Headley and spend $42 or less doing it. Yeah, right!
Well, OK, I actually did have a general strategy in mind, but it was based on more on getting players who I like at what I thought were good prices, and building a balanced team that could be competitive. The difference between winning and 5th place (or worse) has as much to do with luck, health and the wide range of outcomes available to any player, as it does with a strong draft or savvy free agent acquisitions and trades. Rather than drafting for specific statistical targets or to win-or-else, I just want to draft a team that I like, that I can root for, and that I believe in, and then let the players play. It’s about the journey, not the destination… but another Yoo-Hoo shower would be nice, too!
So, I focused this year on players who fit these four criteria:
* Those who I could get at or below my anticipated auction value based on the dollar values produced my own projection system. Of course, there is always a time to “overpay” in an auction, but for the most part I tried to be very disciplined about overspending my projections.
* Those who are in or nearing the prime, ideally between the ages of 25 and 29. Those are the players who are most likely to improve, or at least maintain their current level of performance.
* Those who carry a low or only moderate injury risk, based on Will Carroll’s invaluable Team Health Reports system. (CLICK HERE to visit Will’s Twitter page). Of course, history shows us time and time again that every player is an injury risk, but I’d rather build my team with players whose injuries can more often be blamed on bad luck, as opposed to those who are more predictably “injury prone.”
* Players I like. Of course, that’s a vague term, and I can’t really specify how I define it. But everyone has their pet players and I do too, so you know what I mean…
Based on those criteria, I think I had a pretty successful draft:
* I only exceeded my projected draft cost on five of my 23 auction-purchased players, and each of those five only by a single dollar. Four of them were projected $1 players that I went to $2 for to make sure I got them in the end game. Overall, I spent my $260 on what I projected to be $280 worth of players, the biggest overall discount obtained by any team in the entire draft.
* Only four of my 23 players are in their age 30 or older season this year, and only one – Lance Berkman — is over age 31. Fourteen of the 23 are between the ages of 25 and 28, prime peak years.
* Only three of my 23 were rated red by Will’s system, and two of those were $2 end-game pitchers, Dillon Gee and Jaime Garcia. I’m always going to take more chances on starting pitchers than anywhere else, and these two have strong indicators that made me willing to take the risk on them.
* I was only able to re-acquire three players from last year’s championship team, which was disappointing, but a few others have been on my NFBC teams in the past, and I did get a handful more who were “target” players that I wanted for various reasons.
One last thing… I didn’t target players by position, only salary slots. For instance, I budgeted $35 for my top hitter, regardless of whether or not that was a first baseman, a middle infielder or an outfielder. I didn’t want to be beholden to position scarcity or roster construction, or let that become more important than acquiring talent. All that said, on to the picks…
C – Matt Wieters ($19 vs. $19 projection). Tout Wars is using OBP this year so I would’ve loved Carlos Santana, who I think is due for a breakout season, but I didn’t think I couldn’t afford him and I was right, as he went for $27, well above my $23 projection. But, I had Wieters in NFBC last year so he is one of “my guys,” and as a 27-year-old with a green THR rating, I think he’s also due for a big year. I project him for .262-24-77-2-77, but that’s essentially a repeat of last year, so I think that’s just his baseline.
C – Wellington Castillo ($1 vs. $1). He should be the Cubs’ primary catcher and contribute good power without hurting the OBP too much. He’s 26 and rated yellow so there’s some risk here but also upside; I project .255-12-41-0-45 but in only 372 at-bats, and he easily could top that with increased playing time. I’m very happy with him as my second catcher.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt ($26 vs. $26). This may have been a small stretch, but he was on my Tout Wars team last year and I don’t think my projection for him (.279-25-88-15 with 90 runs) is overly optimistic. Going from last year’s 20 homers to 25 this year would be a big jump as it is, but I don’t think it’s a stretch that Goldschmidt could approach or even top 30. He’s in his age 25 season and rated yellow, but I don’t think he’s a health risk at all. This could turn out to be a small overpay, or potentially a massive value if he has a genuine breakout season.
3B – Brett Lawrie ($17 vs. $21). I coveted him last year like everyone else, but he went for far more than even I thought he would, so I was thrilled to get him this year at what I think is an excellent discount. Lawrie is 23 so his prime may still be a few years away, and while he’s rated yellow he’s also quickly gaining an “injury prone” reputation, so there’s risk here. But I think my projection (.278-18-71-18 with 84 runs) is very reasonable, especially considering the lineup and ballpark, and if he lives up the hype he carried into last season, he could easily return a profit. I love this pick.
CI – Brandon Belt ($7 vs. $9). I love this pick too. Belt was a guy I targeted going into the draft, and given that I had spent plenty in the early going on my big-ticket players, I was fortunate to get him… I had one $11 slot left for my offense before going into dollar days, and Belt stayed on the board much longer than I thought he would, so I was able to hoard that money long enough to get him for a small discount that enabled me to save a few dollars to double the bid on some useful $1 players. I don’t want to fall prey to the trap of spring stats, but Belt is having such a huge spring that a breakout must be viewed as a real possibility. He’s 25, rated green, and has an everyday job to himself for the first time this year. The projection is for .269-15-62-12 with 81 runs but I believe he’ll blow away those numbers.
2B – Ian Kinsler ($28 vs. $31). Another returnee from last year’s team. His poor second half last year may have depressed his value, but in fact his overall numbers for the year weren’t too far from his career season averages, and I project him for something similar this year (.262-22-81-25 with 99 runs). Kinsler will be 31 this season so he’s one of the elder statesmen of my team, but after two straight seasons of 155+ games, I’m not terribly worried about his yellow injury risk rating, either. He’s got two 30-30 seasons on his resume so there’s plenty of upside with this pick, even at the price.
SS – Eduardo Nunez ($1 vs. $1). I spent big at some other positions (more on that next), preventing me from making a better run at target Erick Aybar by the time he came up for bidding. So, I had to go budget shopping and went for Nunez, even though he could end up being worthless if he doesn’t stick with the Yankees after Derek Jeter comes off the DL. But, I took the gamble that he’ll end up seeing considerable playing time at shortstop, third base and DH; I project him for .265-6-31-29 with 54 runs in 372 at-bats, and he’s in his age 26 season, so given that playing time I think those are realistic numbers. There’s plenty of upside here from a value standpoint, but plenty of risk if I end up having to spend the whole season looking for a real shortstop.
MI – Jason Kipnis ($22 vs. 23). I didn’t truly “need” Kipnis, having already purchased Kinsler, but I like the player and like the price and think there’s upside here. I project him for .263-16-63-26 with 91 runs, which is reasonable if you assume (as I do) that his poor second half last year was reflective of his nagging neck injury and regression after a huge first half, rather than a lack of skill or ability. Obviously, I’m a believer, and he’s 26 and rated green, so that’s where I’ll take my chances. To be fair, I probably would’ve been better off with both Aybar and fellow target Howard Kendrick (who went for a very fair $12 to Ray Flowers), rather than Kipnis and Nunez, but that’s hindsight.
UT – Lance Berkman ($7 vs. $8). I was increasingly desperate for power and OBP as the draft progressed, so I had to forego my age and health standards and take a 37-year-old with a bright red THR rating. I project Berkman for .277-20-66-4 with 73 runs (and a .386 OBP) in 417 at-bats, but that playing time is a total dart-throw and frankly probably a best-case scenario. He’s in a great lineup and ballpark, which certainly helps, but then again he only had 81 at-bats last year, so this is obviously a huge risk. I’ll console myself with his upside and the flexibility of being able to go after the “best available” replacement for him if and when the time comes, since he’s only my UT player.
OF – Matt Kemp ($37 vs. $41). I never would’ve expected to wind up with Kemp, given that I projected him for $6 more than my top budgeted spot, and I even exceeded that by $2 to get him. But, having saved a few dollars against my projections on my first couple of purchases (more about that next), I decided to take a shot on what I thought was a great value for an elite player. He’s still in his prime at 28, although his yellow rating is probably a little generous, given the hamstring and shoulder problems that hampered him last year. But, if he’s healthy, he’ll blow away my projection: .292-32-97-24 with 99 runs. This will either be a huge profit or a huge loss, but it’s hard to imagine Kemp playing a full season and not beating those numbers. This just comes down to his health.
OF – Melky Cabrera ($15 vs. $18). I got him early on at what I thought was a nice discount, so I took that savings and used it to secure Kemp. Melky is 28 so he’s right in his prime, although it’s fair to question what his prime level really does look like after his PED banishment last year. But he’s a very low green injury risk, and has a prime lineup spot in what should be an explosive lineup in a great hitters’ park. There’s risk here, but also plenty of upside. I think his projection of .300-16-71-15 with 91 runs is entirely reasonable and realistic, and I should earn a profit even if he “only” matches that.
OF 3, 4 and 5 – Justin Maxwell ($2 vs. $2), David Murphy ($2 vs. $1) and Wil Venable ($2 vs. $1). Having spent big on my infield in the early going, I had to shop in the discount aisle to fill in my outfield. I could earn a nice profit on any or all of these guys, and if they only match their season averages, which are essentially my projections, they’ll be useful contributors. Maxwell (.225-21-64-18 with 69 runs) has the total toolbox, including strong defensive skills that should keep him in the lineup even if he’s erratic offensively. Murphy (.285-14-56-11 with 71 runs) can’t hit lefties, so he probably won’t play everyday, but he’s been a very consistent producer throughout his career so that projection should be a baseline. Venable (.249-11-47-23 with 68 runs) also struggles against lefties, but even if he’s still in a platoon he should reach those numbers. The trio is 29, 31 and 30 this year, with Maxwell rated yellow while Murphy and Venable are green. I might not earn much profit here, but these won’t be sinkholes even if I can’t upgrade them during the season. My outfield depth was also a weakness last year coming out of the draft, due to flops by Brennan Boesch, Chris Heisey and Alex Presley, but I think this year’s trio are better than those three.
Overall, I think my offense has a ton of speed and I did a good job of protecting the on-base percentage. I have a good group of table-setters and should be strong in the runs category, but I’m a little shy on power, especially if I don’t get some the breakouts beyond the stats I’m projecting.
SP – Yovani Gallardo ($15 vs. $17). I felt at the time like I got a good discount here, but given how many other quality starters went for a dollar or two — or even more – less than I expected, I’m happy but not thrilled. I would rather have bought Jordan Zimmermann for $13 instead, which is a great value for Paul Singman. Anyway, Gallardo is in his age-27 season and the rare starter with a clear green rating, and has been very consistent in his young career. I project him at 15-0-3.56-1.26-208, but if he can finally cut down on the walks, he could emerge as an ace.
SP – Marco Estrada ($7 vs. $10). A key member of last year’s team, I was very surprised to get him so inexpensively given his strikeout potential. He doesn’t have great stuff, but he does have outstanding command and cut down on the longballs in the second half last year, so if that growth is real I could earn a huge profit here. Estrada is 29 and rated yellow, so there is some risk with him, but his projection is for 11-0-3.67-1.20-170, which I expect he’ll surpass across the board.
SP – Jarrod Parker ($7 vs. $8). I targeted him and was thrilled to get him at a nice price. He’s 24 and rated yellow, so there is some regression and injury risk, but he’s already had Tommy John surgery so I actually think he’s relatively safe from a health standpoint. I project him for 14-0-3.57-1.29-152, but I think he’s got major strikeout upside beyond that… his changeup is a near-elite pitch. He’d be better suited as a #4, but based on how I like to build my teams, I’m happy with him as my #3.
SP 4 and 5- Jaime Garcia and Dillon Gee (both $2 vs. $1). Both put up good strikeout numbers, are stingy with the walks, and get a lot of ground balls. Gee is 27 and Garcia is 26, both at prime ages, but both are coming off injury-shortened seasons and rightfully rated red. Still, I’m a big believer that starting pitching is the easiest position to fill during the season, so I’ll gamble on these guys’ skills. I project Garcia for 11-0-3.50-1.29-129 and Gee for 12-0-3.84-1.28-145, although that’s based on the optimistic assumption that they’ll both make 27-28 or so starts.
CL – Aroldis Chapman ($21 vs. $20). I went into the draft fully expecting to buy Craig Kimbrel for $21, considering I got him last year for $19, but Dave Gonos went to $22 on him and I didn’t want to chase so early in the draft. This was especially so since I knew then that I could get Aroldis for that same $21, which I was happy to pay since he’s apparently entrenched back in the closer role. There’s definitely risk here, and he’s rated yellow, but he’s in his prime at age 26 and coming off an elite season, so my projection (5-36-1.94-1.04-102) looks relatively conservative next to last year’s stat line.
MR – Kenley Jansen ($9 vs. $9). Unlike starters, most closers were going for $3-4 more than I expected so I decided to stay disciplined and wait for the prices to come down. Well, they didn’t, so I decided to pull the trigger on the pitcher with the best closer skills behind Kimbrel and Aroldis, even if he’s not opening the season as the closer. Of course, Kenley didn’t open last season as the closer either, and still got 25 saves, so I don’t think my projection of 16 saves (4-16-2.43-1.01-95) is unrealistic. He’s in his prime at 25, although the yellow health rating and offseason surgery could conspire to keep him out of the closer role… but I certainly don’t think Brandon League will.
MR – Ernesto Frieri ($7 vs. $7). With only Aroldis and Kenley in tow and all of the clear-cut closers gone, I targeted Frieri as my third reliever and was fortunate that he stayed on board long enough that I got him at my target price. I actually had an $11 pitcher spot left in my budget, but Frieri went so late in the draft that, like with Belt, I was able to make the max bid at the table to clinch getting him without spending it all on him. I project him for 4-16-3.04-1.18-87 and, like Kenley, he could provide half that many saves, or twice as many. But, he’s 27 and rated green, with great skills and with Ryan Madson still trying to get healthy, so there’s plenty of upside here.
MR – Mitchell Boggs ($4 vs. $6). The Jason Motte news broke the morning of the draft, so while it’s still uncertain how long he’ll be out, the Cards did us a favor by immediately proclaiming Boggs to be his stand-in. I was able to use the savings from Frieri ($7 cost vs. $11 budget) to get Boggs with the max bid at the table late in the draft, and while Trevor Rosenthal may end up as their closer if Motte’s absence is long-term, the road to fifth place is littered with closers of the future and Boggs is the man for now. I project him at 4-8-3.35-1.24-55, but even if I only get a few saves he’ll be worth the bid. I could’ve had Michael Fiers for $4 with my last pick and may regret not taking him, but opted for Boggs’ saves instead.
Note that even though I didn’t spend much on my starting pitching, the outstanding ratios and strikeouts produced by my three main relievers should enable me to churn through plenty of in-season pickups to build the requisite depth. This approach worked well for me last year so I’m traveling that same road again.
As for my reserve picks, I took starters Wily Peralta (9-0-4.02-1.35-135) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-0-3.88-1.31-137), a pair of lottery tickets with plenty of upside… reserve target Kyle Kendrick actually went for a buck in the endgame after I had closed out my roster with Boggs, which was surprising and disappointing. I also took Logan Morrison (.257-18-65-2-71) and Delmon Young (.273-16-59-3-61) to stash on my DL for now and ultimately to provide additional outfield depth.
All in all, I don’t have a perfect team, and based on the roster I’ll field on Opening Day, I’m not sure I can win. But, my own projections last year put me in fifth place coming out of the draft, and I did win, so this year’s projected second-place finish is not at all disconcerting. There’s a lot of upside here and I’m very happy with the players I got and the prices I paid.
You can view the complete auction results here
Next up, the 411 listener league, then NFBC!
And check out David Gonos’ new e-book, 101 Fantasy Baseball Tips. You just might recognize some of these contributors!
I decided this year to not necessarily change my strategy as far as prep goes but to change my overall approach. I had no hitter budgeted for over $29 and was hoping to not even have to go that high. I also for the past few years have decided not to spend more than $19 on any pitcher, but this year I also decided to cap my closer spending at $15 and use that money elsewhere. People always ask where I get my values from and I’m honest about it. I use the LABR values. The pros to this approach are simple. First of all, I’m lazy and not conceited enough to think I have some formula that is the secret weapon to values. I don’t care how many experts you put in a room. We panic, we overvalue, we undervalue and we have favorites and players we can’t stand. With all that said, it is absolutely frightening how close the final values are in LABR and Tout. Each league is a non-keeper, there is crossover on team owners and the seasoned players are just going to have a smaller +/- threshold on spending, which leads to similar tiers. Oh, and nobody is drinking or showing off. You may be asking what would I do if LABR was ever after TOUT. The answer is I’d survive just fine, but like I said I’m lazy and not very good at math. If there is one thing I should have learned the past few years that just clicked this weekend is if I am going to use LABR values, I should lay out my “perfect” team with at least two dollars added to all players. This is something I hopefully can try in 2014 as it would help me control my budget when guys go over and is a real boon when they go under. Below is who I drafted followed by who I targeted and some notes.
C: Sal Perez $16. I got Sal Perez at $19. Wieters went out before Perez and I went to $18 and then bailed, thinking he’d keep going. Was annoyed he didn’t and that Perez ended up +$3, but in order for me to get Wieters I bet it would have cost $22 since I would have had to make him $20.
C: Austin Romine or Cervelli $1. I got Romine for $1. Lottery ticket.
1B: Eric Hosmer $22. I got Kendrys Morales for $19. This is all very confusing but hopefully I am making sense here. Joe Sheehan price enforced Hosmer to $25 and I bailed. Then I figured I’d get Swisher for less than Hosmer, which I did but I had to move him to OF which is fine. In the end, I didn’t get a guy I thought I had at $22. Instead, I got a good player for cheaper, but Morales is my 1B and I paid $2 more than I budgeted for him. I think Kendrys can have a big year. Moving along.
2B: Jason Kipnis $26. I got Kipnis for $28. Listen, other guys have favorite guys like me. Only time will tell if I overpaid but I love the potential.
SS: Eduardo Nunez $2. I got Sean Rodriguez for $1. The Jeter news made Nunez overpriced and he went for almost $10.
3B: Brett Lawrie $25. I got Brett Lawrie for $22. Word is this was a big hit on SXM and in the twitterverse. He got hurt at the right time and I may cash in big time. He should be ready for Opening Day and people were gun shy.
MI: Yunel Escobar $9. I got Kelly Johnson for $10. I actually had K-Jo down for my UT spot. Johnson was end game and I had a little money left for him. Escobar was called out much earlier and would have cost at least $11, so I bailed. Hoping I don’t regret this one. Sheehan got Escobar and we went after him for the same reasons.
CI: Kendrys Morales $17. I got Mike Olt for $3. See above on Morales. Olt needs an opportunity. Beltre and Cruz’s bodies might provide it.
OF: Ellsbury $24. I got Ellsbury for $29. Rob Leibowitz was my nemesis today and cost me money but I still got my guys. Ellsbury can earn this easily if he goes pre-injury Jacoby. I’m banking he does.
OF: Michael Saunders $16. I got Saunders for $13. Very happy with this. He is a sexy pic this year and I’m hoping I cash in.
OF: Lorenzo Cain $15. I got Lorenzo Cain for $17. I think I was a year too early on Cain. Another high ceiling guy at a possible discount.
OF: Nick Swisher for $21. See above.
U: Kelly Johnson $10. I got Giovatella for $2. End game stuff. I may cut him before he gets his pants dirty.
SW: (swing guy, can be pitcher or hitter on draft day and in season)
Jackie Bradley Jr. $1. I got Pedro Ciriaco for $2. I wimped out on Bradley and he would later go in the reserve rounds after I wimped out again.
P: Jon Lester $17. I got Morrow for $19. Lester ended up going for $20, so in the end I win because I wanted one of these two to anchor my staff and I accomplished that.
P: Jarrod Parker $13. I got Parker for $14. Very happy with my 1-2 punch.
P: Derek Holland $11. I got Holland for $11. Going back in the Dutch oven.
P: Dan Straily $4. I got Straily for $7. Bidding war with Leibowitz again but again I got my guy.
P: Pitcher X $4. I got Vance Worley for $3. I’m a Worley fan. New big park etc. I had a bunch of names on the list for this slot.
P: Pitcher Y $1. I got Dan Hultzen for $1. Could be a big score.
P: Ernesto Frieri $9. I got Tommy Hanson for $1. Long story short, I had to shave off money somewhere and middle relief was where it happened. On a sad note, I threw out Hanson while having a senior moment and crickets ensued. But for $1 who cares.
P: Sean Doolittle $3. I got Phil Coke for $2. Once Doolittle hit $4 I bailed. Good middle relief all over the wire and reserve draft.
P: Joel Hanrahan $13. I got Hanrahan for $15. Fingers crossed on this approach.
RV: Avisail Garcia. Jackie Bradley Jr. went next. Garcia is a sleeper and I wanted him.
RV: Jared Burton. Will get some saves and if Perkins falters physically or on the mound, I’m in.
RV: Stephen Pryor. See Jared Burton but put narrative in Seattle.
RV: Geovany Soto. Needed a second catcher. Last round of the reserve sounds about right.
For easy reading, here’s my complete roster:
C Perez 19
C Romine 1
1B Morales 19
2B Kipnis 28
SS S. Rodriguez 1
3B Lawrie 22
CI Olt 3
MI K. Johnson 10
OF Ellsbury 29
OF Swisher 21
OF Cain 17
OF Saunders 13
UT Giavotella 2
SW Ciriaco 2
SP Morrow 19
SP Parker 14
SP Holland 11
SP Straily 7
SP Worley 3
SP Hanson 1
SP Hultzen 1
RP Hanrahan 15
RP Coke 2
RES A. Garcia
And check out David Gonos’ new e-book, 101 Fantasy Baseball Tips. You just might recognize some of these contributors!
With Opening Day fast approaching, there has been a flurry of activity of late as teams are beginning the process of reducing their rosters to 25. And many of the recent transactions involve top prospects getting sent down to the Minors for some more seasoning. Below is a list of all of the demotions from the past week-plus of MLB.com Top 100 Prospects. For each, I’ve included their MLB.com prospect ranking in addition to their 2013 AL/NL LABR dollar value.
Indians optioned Trevor Bauer to Triple-A Columbus.
Prospect Rank: 17
AL LABR: $7
Texas Rangers optioned Mike Olt to Round Rock Express
Prospect Rank: 22
AL LABR: $3
Arizona Diamondbacks optioned Tyler Skaggs to Reno Aces
Prospect Rank: 10
NL LABR: $2
Baltimore Orioles optioned Dylan Bundy to Bowie Baysox
Prospect Rank: 2
AL LABR: $5
Minnesota Twins optioned Oswaldo Arcia to Rochester Red Wing
Prospect Rank: 93
AL LABR: Not Drafted
Tampa Bay Rays optioned Hak-Ju Lee to Durham Bulls
Prospect Rank: 56
AL LABR: Not drafted
Boston Red Sox optioned Allen Webster to Pawtucket Red Sox
Prospect Rank: 71
AL LABR: Not Drafted
Chicago Cubs optioned Jorge Soler to Daytona Cubs
Prospect Rank: 42
NL LABR: Not Drafted
Minnesota Twins optioned Kyle Gibson to Rochester Red Wings
Prospect Rank: 49
AL LABR: $3
Washington Nationals optioned Anthony Rendon to Harrisburg Senators
Prospect Rank: 28
NL LABR: $1
Seattle Mariners optioned Danny Hultzen to Tacoma Rainiers.
Prospect Rank: 18
AL LABR: $2
Houston Astros optioned Jarred Cosart to Oklahoma City Red Hawks.
Prospect Rank: 89
AL LABR: RES
Tampa Bay Rays optioned Chris Archer to Durham Bulls.
Prospect Rank: 46
AL LABR: $4
New York Mets optioned Zack Wheeler to Las Vegas 51s.
Prospect Rank: 8
NL LABR: $2
Philadelphia Phillies optioned Ethan Martin to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
Prospect Rank: 80
NL LABR: Not Drafted
And a few other demotions of notable young players who aren’t on the top-100 list:
Chicago Cubs optioned Josh Vitters to Iowa Cubs
NL LABR: RES
Tampa Bay Rays optioned Mike Montgomery to Durham Bulls.
AL LABR: Not Drafted
Boston Red Sox optioned Rubby De La Rosa to Pawtucket Red Sox.
AL LABR: RES
Pittsburgh Pirates optioned Jerry Sands to Indianapolis Indians.
NL LABR: RES
Be sure to chack back here early next week for Tout Wars recaps from Mike (AL), Cory (Mixed) and myself (Mixed). We’ll also do our overrated/underrated podcast next week.
Hot off the press, attached below are Cory’s updated composite projections.
A few notes from Cory:
Here are the starters who broke $20:
Some real investments for guys without big track records, and the perceived gap between JV and everyone else, which is fine but I will not be dancing with these guys at these prices for the most part in Tout on 3/23. Sabathia at $22 is intriguing though ;-)
I was really curious about which pitchers would not break the $20 barrier. Those are the ones who I would like to have on my team. Here are a bunch, with some of my thoughts.
Lester $17 (I’m a believer and this could be a huge discount since he could return $25)
Kuroda $11 (For this price why not?)
Morrow $19 (shows you the power of the extra buck, meaning $20. I’ll be involved but my guess is he breaks $20 in Tout)
Brett Anderson $17 (a leap of faith here. I’m a fan but am still surprised he went this high. Let’s see what difference two weeks make)
Jarod Parker $13 (I had no guess what he would go for but was dying to know. Was hoping $9ish)
Holland $11 (Like this price, may have been a year early on him)
Dickey $18 (interesting)
Ubaldo $1 (lottery ticket)
Straily, Griffin, Nova and Archer all went for $4 (like them all and these are the right prices)
For relievers, there was not one who went for $20. Rivera went for $18 as did Nathan. For the most part, the “safe” closers fell in the $13-$18 range, which makes sense. I was more intrigued at the prices for these guys:
Frieri for $9 / Madson for $7. This shows the little faith in Madson but also the question marks surrounding Frieri. I think these are fair prices but I’d rather spend the $9 on Ernesto.
Janssen for $9 / Santos for $8. When I first saw that Santos went for $8 I was shocked, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it. Here is the only problem with the last four guys I mentioned. Spending $15-17 on two of them combined can be amazing but it could also turn you into a punter in saves even if it was unintentional. Are you better off grabbing Jim Johnson for $15 and then grabbing a bunch of high K potential save vultures for $3-5 or or are you better off going Santos and Frieri for $17 and praying? The answer isn’t as simple as you think but I will say this: punting is never the answer.
Just some analysis by position:
C- Santana $21 plus Mauer, V-Mart and Wieters $19 with A.J. at $14 set the middle tier, um, in the middle. Doumit, Salvador Perez and Montero all went for $16. If you are going to spend on a catcher, I may just go to $19 for Wieters instead of saving $3 for question marks. I do like Perez a lot though. Not saying Santana at $21 is bad, however.
1B- Pujols and Prince $34 to be expected but Butler and E5 at $27 and $29 is either a trap or right on the money. I’ll save some cash here and get Hosmer cheap at $22. I think he bounces back in a big way. Tex at $23 seems a little low.
My boy Kendrys at $17 is interesting since he’s coming off an OK year and moving to Seattle even though the fences are coming in and people are probably thinking he is now one full season removed from the big injury. Hosmer and Kendrys at 1B and CI or UT is what I had last year, as usual a year too early?
2B- Cano $35 Pedroia $29 and Kinsler $28. I love them all dearly but maybe this is the year for Beckham to bounce back and he only went for $9. I also think Kelly Johnson at $10 is a sleeper. It looks like he’ll bat second, which is nice.
SS- Speaking of sleepers in the TB middle infield, Yunel Escobar went for $9. Keep an eye on Eduardo Nunez as well. He will cost nothing ($2) and could see significant time if the old men in the Bronx stay creaky. Reyes $29, Asdrubal $22 and Andrus $21 are all very tempting though. Jeter went for $17.
3B- Miggy $40 then the field. No disrespect to Longoria $31 or Beltre $30, but I’m not touching them in an auction league. Machado, Middlebrooks and Moustakas at $16-17 also seem kind of pricey. I like Lawrie at $25. There is risk but there is also high reward. Kyle Seager went for $20 and I’m not a real fan. If he doesn’t hit for power, he could be an albatross at that price. Third base is definitely a position to watch on draft day.
OF- Trout $42, Bautista $33 and then a ton of guys in the $20’s. I’ll always feel you have to spend for OF in a non-mixed but by that I mean get multiple $20 type guys. There is nothing harder or more deflating than looking at a dead OF.
I like Granderson at $20. Even with the missed month coming, he can still earn that price. I love Ellsbury at $24 and am optimistic for Cain at $15. Problem with OF is that there are lots of man crushes since there are so many of them, which tends to actually make them go for a lot on draft day, especially if they run. Austin Jackson $27, Adam Jones $25, Cespedes $29 (interesting) and Bourn $25 rounded out this group.
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