Zach’s Mixed Auction Tout Wars Recap

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Coming off a third place finish last season, my highest finish since joining the Mixed Auction Tout Wars league back in 2012, I went into Saturday afternoon’s auction determined to do even better. To be honest, however, I had my doubts. I mean, how does a team that drafts Jose Altuve, Nelson Cruz and Chris Carter for a combined $36 while posting the lowest ERA in the league not win it all? I don’t have the answer, but that’s besides the point. I need to let that go.

Anyway, onto 2015, and my auction preparation method was the same as always. I started by sketching out an ideal team that I projected to fit under the $260 cap by assigning dollar values to each starting roster slot with those players in mind. Then, at each of those roster slots, I’d list several lower priced alternative choices, assigning each of those guys a dollar value as well. Missing out on my top target at a certain position and settling on one of my backup options would save me some money, which I could in turn use to upgrade at another position. All in all, I’m fairly pleased with my squad, but like in any auction environment, so much depends on the unique situation, the needs of the other owners and often the nomination order. Although it’s easy to second guess yourself, either for not going the extra dollar to secure one player or overpaying for another, you just can’t do that kind of stuff.

So, without further ado, my 2015 Tout Wars roster:

C – Wilson Ramos ($10) – I’m just going to keep drafting Ramos until he finally stays healthy for a full season and puts up that 20-home run campaign that we’ve been anticipating for awhile now. Ten bucks isn’t exactly a steal, but there is profit potential here.

C – Carlos Ruiz ($1) – His 16-HR 2012 campaign is clearly an anomaly, and Ruiz is in the twilight of his career. But as my second catcher, he won’t hurt me in any category, and with Tout using on-base percentage instead of batting average, he might actually help me in that category (.347 OBP last season).

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago Cubs

1B – Anthony Rizzo ($40) – Yes, I overpaid for Rizzo. But he was my primary target at first base, and with reliable power so hard to find these days, Rizzo is one of the few players in baseball with legit 40-HR potential. And the best part is that he’s only 25 years of age, so he should only improve. Plus, he’s developing into a dominant OBP force.

2B – Kolten Wong ($17) – Wong is another player who’s on the rise. His minor league track record suggests that last season’s .249 AVG and .292 OBP will prove to be the exception rather than the norm. I’m counting on 15-plus homers and roughly 30 steals, though I must admit that uncertainty as to where he will bat in the lineup is concerning. The lower he is in the order, the lower his runs and stolen base potential will be.

SS – Elvis Andrus ($15) – I originally planned on drafting Jean Segura here, but after saving money with some of my other purchases, I opted to go the extra few bucks on Andrus, who should both score more runs than Segura and post a higher OBP in addition to swiping 30-plus bags.

3B – Kyle Seager ($22) – I’m a big fan of Seager, who is fresh off a career year and should benefit from an improved Mariners lineup. I can totally see him duplicating last year’s 25 homers and 96 RBI with the potential for more in his age-27 season.

CI – Kendrys Morales ($3) – I nominated Morales early on, figuring that I could get him at a bargain basement price to fill my CI slot. I was willing to go as high as $8 for him but thankfully heard crickets. Here’s hoping that a fresh start in Kansas City will do him some good. A repeat of his 2013 line (.277 AVG, 23 HR, 80 RBI) is within reach.

MI – Neil Walker ($10) – Walker was actually one of my backup plans at 2B, so I was thrilled to get him as my MI. There aren’t too many middle infielders who can realistically hit 20 home runs. Walker is one of them.

OF – Justin Upton ($27) – Carlos Gomez was the guy I really wanted to fill my OF1 slot but when the bidding got to $38 and I hesitated to say “39”, Tim Heaney beat me to it, and $40 seemed a bit much. I’m not disappointed with Upton, but I’m not pumped up about it either. Hopefully, he can find a way to get to 25 homers despite playing half of his games at Petco. On the bright side, if I had decided to splurge on Gomez, there’s no way I could have afforded Rizzo.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians

OF – Brandon Moss ($17) – Like with Morales, Moss was a player who I wanted to nominate early in hopes of winning him at a discount since my league mates would still be aiming higher. As it turned out, I wasn’t able to draft Moss at a discount, but $17 was exactly the amount I set aside for him. Moss was able to post back-to-back 25-plus HR seasons despite playing half of his games in Oakland. Moving away from the Coliseum certainly can’t hurt as he tries to return to the 30-HR level as a member of the Indians. I think he’ll get there. Adding to Moss’ appeal is his solid walk rate, so he’s not as much of a liability in OBP leagues.

OF – Oswaldo Arcia ($7) – Arcia is young and raw but the power is legit. I’ll be able to stomach the low OBP if it comes with 25 homers. Either way, the price was right.

OF – Denard Span ($4) – Purchasing Span for $1 at last year’s auction proved to be one of my best buys, so why not own him again? He isn’t expected to return from the DL until the beginning of May, but I couldn’t let him go for three bucks. Even with the month lost, I’m figuring I’ll get 20 steals with 75 runs. Add in the replacement player for April and Span is well worth four dollars.

OF – Michael Saunders ($3) – Staying healthy has been an issue for Saunders throughout his big league career, but if he can avoid the DL and receive regular at-bats, 20 homers isn’t a stretch playing his home games in a hitter-friendly park.

UT – Josh Reddick ($1) – Cheap power. That’s all there is to it.

SP – Cole Hamels ($20) – Hamels wasn’t my first choice (I really wanted David Price) but he was the clear fallback option, and I managed to get him at a fair price. He continues to be underrated in fantasy. A legit ace who can be had for a low-end ace price.

SP – Chris Archer ($10) – Again, Archer was not Plan A for my SP2 slot, but I do like the across the board upside. He battled control issues in the first half of 2014 but improved in that area as the season went along.

SP – Lance Lynn ($9) – No, I’m not expecting another sub-3.00 ERA. However, I am expecting an ERA in the mid-3’s to go along with plenty of whiffs, and since the biggest reason why I came up short in Tout last season was my low strikeout total, I made a special effort to emphasize that category.

SP – Ian Kennedy ($8) – See above. Kennedy’s ratios will be OK but not great, but he has a legitimate chance to post his second straight 200-strikeout season.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Texas Rangers

SP – Derek Holland ($2) – One of my main cheap SP targets. Many have forgotten just how good he was two years ago, and he was equally impressive upon his second half return last season. Holland also adds to my group of high-strikeout arms. For two bucks, he’s a steal.

SP – Josh Collmenter ($1) – Posted a 2.63 ERA and 0.89 WHIP at home last season. Collmenter might have fallen to the reserve rounds, and he probably won’t be an every-week starter for me. But he will make for a fine option in the right matchups.

RP – David Robertson ($20) – My relief pitcher formula in auctions consists of drafting one elite closer, one mid-tier closer with a high degree of job security and one setup man who has a good chance of taking over as his team’s closer at some point early in the season. Robertson fits the bill as the elite closer, and he didn’t cost quite as much as the other closers in that group.

RP – Glen Perkins ($12) – Perkins was disappointing last season, particularly in the second half, but a forearm injury probably had something to do with it. He’s only one year removed from being considered a no doubt top-10 closer. With better health, he has the skills to return to that level. And it’s not like the Twins have any other viable ninth inning options.

RP – Sergio Romo ($1) – Call it a hunch, but I think Romo will return to his old closer role sooner rather than later. Santiago Casilla has done a nice job in his place, but the Giants didn’t sign Romo to a new lucrative multi-year contract for him to pitch in the eighth inning. Call it a hunch.

RESERVES

Mike Leake – Still underrated despite back-to-back quality seasons. I’m not so sure he can maintain last year’s 6.9 K/9 but he’s a capable starting alternative in case Collmenter struggles.

Francisco Lindor – Couldn’t resist drafting at least one top prospect. It’s sounding like Lindor could make his big league debut sometime during the first half if he produces at Triple-A.

Colby Rasmus – Cheap power outfielder alternative to Saunders or Reddick. Maybe this will finally be the year for Rasmus?

Dustin Ackley – Post-hype sleeper? Ackley will open the season as the strong side of a left field platoon with Rickie Weeks, but Weeks is always injured and Ackley is steadily improving as a big league hitter.

Mike Moustakas – While we’re on the topic of post-hype sleepers, we might as well throw Moose into the mix. He could very well flop again, but whatever, it’s a fifth-round reserve pick.

Bartolo Colon – Seriously, how many Opening Day starting pitchers can you get in the final round of the reserve draft? OK, I’m not being very serious.

All in all, I think I’ve fielded a competitive team, though my speed is on the weak side, with only Andrus, Wong and Span (when he returns) as my 25-plus SB guys. The good news is that it’s a lot easier to trade for speed than trade for power, and my power shouldn’t be a problem. On the starting pitching side, I really like my front five, which I purchased for a combined $49, and I’m sure I won’t place near the bottom of the standings in strikeouts this time around. As for the bullpen, I accomplished my previously discussed plan. All I need now is a string of blown saves by Santiago Casilla and I’ll be good to go.

Thanks to all of the Tout Wars organizers and of course to our auctioneer Jeff Erickson, who at one point in the middle of the proceedings ran out of the draft room to yell at some noisy fans who were hanging out by the bar and then returned to the room to a round of applause!

CLICK HERE to view the full results of all four Tout Wars drafts.

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27 Comments

Sorry bro, you ain’t winning it this year either. You overpaid for a lot of players and some of them are just terrible buys! Andrus for $15?! I want to vomit. Wong at $17?! Should have just made Walker at $10 your 2B and let some other sucker take Wong while you grab an Odor or Jed Lowrie as MI. Ramos is what he is and that is a seriously injury prone tease. Rizzo was a great buy even at $40. Your OF is pretty solid and your pitching staff is quite nice! Should have you competing but will have to make some shrewd moves to put you over the top.

What are your thought on Nathan Eovaldi? Im in a 8 team AL only 5×5 roto league. Another owner want to trade for 1 of my extra OF or DH’s like Cron (who I don’t really want to trade.. or Reddick.

I currently have as my starters
Sale
Kluber
D Smyly
G Richards
J Hahn
and curr I only have I Nova on my bench

Nice pitching especially for AL-only! However, you can never have enough and Eovaldi is potentially poised to have a breakthrough year. And Cron or Reddick is barely much to give up.

That’s a strong staff for an AL-only and I’m a little afraid of Eovaldi moving to the AL East. That said, he definitely has upside and the Yankees traded for him thinking that they could turn him into a more consistent pitcher. Honestly, I don’t see a breakout coming this season but he’s still a viable #4 or #5 in an AL-only. Eovaldi for Cron/Reddick seems like a fair swap if you’re comfortable enough with the power on your roster.

Zach

Hello Zach,
12 team mixed Roto 7×7
R, HR, RBI, SB, K, OBP, TB
W, L, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, QS
Keep 3 players, 1 Bat and 1 Pitcher minimum.
I will pick at No. 11 slot, snake draft.
Anthony Rendon 8.2
George Springer 10.2
Christian Yelich 12.2
Delin Betances 12.2
Jon Lester 7.11
Rusney Castillo Round 15.11
Khris Davis 14.2
Alex Gordon 6.2
Some comments:
– Rendon is very cheap, but his recent injury scares a bit.
– Springer is also very cheap but considering this league has K for batters, should put him below Yelich?
– Should i avoid Lester, or he is fine? The only other option as a P is Betances, but there is no guarranty he will be the closer…..

Thanks for your advice.
MF

My three would be Rendon, Springer and Lester. Springer does strike out a lot but he also walks quite a bit, so his value is increased in OBP leagues. I’m a big fan of Yelich too, but Springer’s power ceiling is sky high and I also expect him to run more this year. Not concerned about either Rendon or Lester. As for Betances, letting him go could prove to be a mistake, but I need to see him do it again. Plus, I expect Andrew Miller to steal some of his save chances even if Betances ends up serving as the primary closer.

Zach

Zach,

10 team keeper league 7×7 extra cats are strikeouts and TB and losses and QS.

My keepers are Trout,Posey,Tulo,Cespedes and Greinke.

I pick 7th in my league and I am thinking the following players will be available and was just curious with my current roster who you would take?

Matt Kemp, Starling Marte, Prince Fielder, Greg Holland or Johnny Cueto?

Dmenz

Nolan Arenado also should be there. Not sure if he belongs in the discussion since I could probably get a D.Wright or Carpenter a few rounds later.

I’m thinking Marte with that mix of players. You could use some more speed, and since you already have Tulo on your team, I’d be wary to take on additional health risks like Kemp and Fielder.

Zach

I am looking at a 6th SP do you feel Sanchez or Norris of Toronto will start and who will be more productive this year?

Both are expected to open the season in the starting rotation, and both are certainly late-round worthy in mixed leagues. I prefer Sanchez since he was so dominant during his big league stint last year. Norris only threw a few innings in the Majors last year and his control was poor.

Zach

If you could only keep 1 of these guys for now.. who would you keep?
Aaron Loup or Kevin Jepsen? Who has better shot of taking closer job or getting saves?
Thanks

Maybe I should have made that keep 3 of these 4
Loup, Jepsen, Finn or Scheppers
Thank you

Ugh. Can I say none of the above? I guess Jepsen but I’m not particularly confident that any of those guys will pick up more than a few saves.

Zach

hmm.. all those guys are on the mlb fantasy closer page as either next in line or a saves sleeper http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/fantasy/closers/
.
can I ask you who on those teams you think would be a good player to pick up in case the closer needs rest?
thanks

I think Jepsen would be the odd man out since he’s behind both McGee and Boxberger. Don’t forget about Frieri too.

Zach

That should have been spelled Fien… sorry

hey I asked about Daniel Norris and Aaron sanchez……what is your take on Cain this year? As I said I need a 6th SP

I’m probably in the minority here, but I haven’t given up on Cain, especially since his stock has absolutely plummeted. I actually prefer him over the two young Jays.

Zach

Just finished my draft on Sunday. Any areas of glaring concern? (10 team, h2h)

C – Gattis
1st – Rizzo
2nd – Wong
3rd – Headley
SS – Reyes
CI – Duda
MI – Gyorko
OF – Jones, Marte, Choo, Souza, Eaton
UTIL – Belt
Bench/DL – Rendon, Pence, Saunders

SP – Cobb, Lynn, Hamels, Arrieta, Carrasco, Aaron Sanchez, Fiers, and Hutchinson
RP – Jansen, Cishek, and Gregerson

Zach,

10 team roto 7×7 extra cats k’s and tb’s on offense and L and qs for pitching.

Can you tell me how you think my team might fare this year? I think i had a fairly decent draft but took some risk with injuries. This is a keeper league.

C-Posey
1B-C.Davis
2B-H.kendrick
3B-D.Wright
SS-Tulo
IF-Andrus
OF-Trout, Kemp, Cargo (Colorado)
UT-Cespedes
B-Hosmer,Polanco,Cuddyer

SP-Greinke,Shields,Kennedy,Dickey and Fernandez.
RP-Holland.Jansen,Feliz
B-Darvish

So I know that Jansen will miss about a month and Fernandez will miss time as well so that’s why I’m a little worried about my pitching. I took Darvish with the last pick to stash him on one of our two DL spots. If I need another closer Reed is on the wire and I have an open spot to pick him up. What do you think?

Dmenz

Hey 411 ,

Keeper league question where can keep 4 of a $260 budget. 6×6 roto with obp and QS

Kershaw $41
Tulo $30
J Upton $22
Rendon $1
Springer $1
Harper $41
Kluber $5
Cueto $5

I was originally going to keep Rendon, Springer, Kluber and Cueto but with the possibility of Rendon missing 1-2 months if his knee is worse than originally thought, should I switch him for one of Tulo, Kershaw, etc?

As always,

For $1, I think you have to stick with Rendon regardless. Your other options are either list price or overpriced, so you’re not exactly passing up a great opportunity by holding onto Rendon.

Zach

Keeper question. 11 team mixed 5 x 5. Standard categories. Can keep 7 with round values associated. So far, keeping:
J Abreu (6)
C Gomez (8)
Scherzer (11)
Springer (16)
Melancon (25)

Which two of the following three would you keep?
J.D. Martinez (15), Anibal Sanchez (21), Brandon Belt (22)

I’d go with Anibal and Belt. Anibal is a no-brainer I think and for the seven round discount, I’ll take a chance on Belt finally breaking out over gambling on Martinez duplicating what he did last year.

Zach

How would you rank these starting pitchers? Carlos Martinez, James Paxton, Drew Polmeranz, Trevor Bauer. I have Polmeranz and Paxton rostered at the moment.

Forgot to mention Kendall Graveman as well, my apologies.

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