1. I have an irrational love of Brett Lawrie. It's not like restraining order irrational, but just your standard player man crush.
2. There is a similar feeling with Andrew McCutchen.
3. Lucas Duda is creeping in too.
4. I love looking at other people's fantasy teams.
5. Because I love looking at other people's fantasy teams, I have this false sense that tells me everyone else wants to look at my teams too. Mark can attest to this as I will email him a roster of my teams, or call him on the way home from work to talk baseball strategy. I'm sure he'll look at his caller ID and ignore it 75% of the time at least.
6. Aside from mocks, this is the first real auction draft I have done. I am in two ESPN public leagues that were auction as well, but I used them as more of a mock for this one since in the mocks most of the drafters are auto.
With that out of the way, we're going to dive into my roster from last nights FB365 H2H league auction draft. We had a crazy fun time and it was a challenging night for me, as we have some pretty intelligent readers. Or at least I tell myself that since they keep coming to us for info, or entertainment... or maybe I'm just an ego boost to them. Whatever the reason may be, we should have a fun and competitive year.
Standard positions with 4 OF, CI, MI and 9 pitching spots of any variety, 5 player bench and 2 DL spots. Standard $260 budget applies.
So with all the above in mind, how do I think I did?
C- Wilson Ramos $4, Jesus Montero $13
Yes, for the time being, Montero is UTIL eligible only. At some point he will be my everyday catcher. When it happens, I'll have a catcher who mostly DH's and gets about 100-150 more AB's than any other catcher out there, which will really help the counting stats. Ramos was a low cost power hitter for me to use in the interim. Hoped to get him for $2, but $4 isn't a horrible price to pay for his upside.
Corners- David Wright $21, Eric Hosmer $16, Lucas Duda $8
I mentioned above that I have an irrational love of Brett Lawrie. The spring he is having is only fanning the flames. That said, Wright was my second choice for 3B. I've written here about my longing to have power speed threats at each position and Wright certainly fills that criteria. I was actually bidding on him at first to drive the price up, but once I saw that no one was really interested I decided to go in. Lawrie had not yet been nominated and 6 third sackers were already off the board. Wright was the 2nd player I picked up and I thought depending on how the Lawrie market went I might be able to grab him later anyway. When it got up to $30 on him, I felt pretty good about Wright. A lot of people are calling Hosmer over rated and saying that his batted ball profile doesn't show 30HR potential and all this other garbage. That's fine with me. I'm getting a guy who in 128 games hit 19 homers and batted .293. I didn't draft him for power, though I certainly think he is capable of 25 HR's this year. I drafted him because he is a 1B that can steal 15 bases. I love sneaky steals. Now we come to Duda. I am fully on board with The Dude (or Camptown Races Kid if you don't prefer brevity) I honestly think his floor is 20 HR's. He had the 6th highest OPS among 200 AB OF's in the 2nd half last year. Do Spring stats matter? Not really, but Michael Morse raked last spring and kept raking in the reg season. This spring in 36 AB's, Duda has 4 HR's and a 1.129 OPS. With the shorter fences at Citi, I am fully expecting the two Mets I got here to look like steals in September.
Middles- Jason Kipnis $6, Erick Aybar $5, Kelly Johnson $7, Mike Aviles $1
This was where I was solely focused on power and speed, and one of two places in the auction I actually had post draft remorse (Seriously it was bad. We started drafting at 9:30pm EST. I finished my team at 1:00am and some guys still had 8 roster spots to fill...I actually had trouble falling asleep cause I kept going back to this moment). I wanted Ben Zobrist. I had money. I had more money than anyone else, and I let him get away cause I was afraid to spend an extra buck to get him. At the time I thought it was more important to drain the other owner of funds. As soon as the bids were in and the clock hit 0, and he went for $18 then I immediately hated myself. Again, this is my first auction and I was gun shy. Lesson learned. Moving on. Kipnis, Aybar, KJ... all power speed threats on the cheap. In fact, I didn't get my first middle player until pick 163. All three I think have the potential to either well outperform that amount I got them for, or just allow me to get what I paid for. I'm solid with this group though. I like what I have seen and heard about KJ this spring. Kipnis has struggled, but he is a 15/15 player and Aybar could steal 40 this year. Mike Aviles was picked up for versatility in the event of injury, and to start for me at 3B if Wright isn't quite ready to go yet.
Outfield- Matt Holliday $19, Alex Gordon $18, Adam Jones $11, Cameron Maybin $8
As stated in previous articles, I heart power/speed players and my intention was to have nothing but that in my OF. When the draft started everyone was spending way more than I anticipated. I'm not comfortable shelling out $40 for a player, let alone the $50's like some guys were going for. Another of my irrational love targets left my comfort zone when Andrew McCutchen sold for $35 (I was in up to 34...which felt really bad to me). So at that point, having not gotten any of the "elite" power/speed outfield players, I had to go to an IDGAC strategy for my team, and just get a really good deal on a top level OF talent. Holliday at $19 qualified. I was still very patient all night, so it allowed me to get my power/speed guys to round out the rest of the group. I'm pretty convinced this is the last year Jones or Maybin will regularly sell for this amount.
So, rounding out the hitters, I'm pretty satisfied with this group, despite me not getting 3 players I told myself I would definitely have on my roster. I can't complain about any of the prices I got them at, except maybe Montero. I was being bid up on him cause it was late in the auction and I had money to burn. So I'm cool with that. It has to get spent somehow right?
Starting Pitchers- Cliff Lee $29, David Price $20, Mat Latos $12, Gio Gonzalez $10, Jaun Nicasio, $1, Johan Santana $2, Chris Sale $16
OK, OK, OK...before you get all over my case about spending $16 on Chris Sale, realize he was the last pick on my team and I had $16 left on the table. I probably could have gotten him for 3 or 4 and left money there, but why do that and wait for clock to run out? Just outbid, move to the next nomination and get everyone out 30 seconds earlier. So don't jump on me for paying that much, jump on me for leaving that much money on the table. Since I have that habit of leaving money on the table, I told myself one way to prevent that is get a stud pitcher. I tried for Kershaw, but once again, not comfortable with $40 price tags (he went for $39). So I expected Lee to go for $34 or $35. Even when I try to spend money I can't do it...but I'll gladly take him at $29. David Price was someone I wasn't targeting, but threw out for $20 expecting him to get bid up to around 26 or 27, but the room was full of crickets. I'll gladly take him for that and found myself sitting pretty with two stud pitchers. Latos should return at least $12... I'm not worried about the home park, and Gonzalez is a strikeout machine moving to a friendlier league. Nicasio is a lotto ticket along with Santana. It's easy enough to use them as pitching stream fodder if they don't work out. I already explained Sale.
Relief Pitchers- Jordan Walden $8, J.J. Putz $7, Joel Hanrahan $7, Rafael Betancourt $3, Chris Perez $4
Another raised eybrow? Perez was a late pick and I had money, so I got him. The closer market was just about dried up, and I wanted to win saves each week. I think I can do that with this group. This is also the site of my 2nd and bigger remorse moment. I had $23 dollars left and 3 players to get, and I nominated Kenley Jansen, thinking people wouldn't go more than 5 or 6 bucks on him. Wrong. I got into a bidding war, and stopped when I would have had to shell out $13...I had money aong with 1 other guy, and didn't pull the trigger... dumb dumb dumb...especially since after the fact I saw if I went the extra dollar I would have gotten him since the other owner wouldn't have been able to make another bid due to budget constraints. Another rookie mistake. Next auction I need to be more aware of other manager situations. I could have gotten him and still had $10 left for two players when every other guy in the room couldn't max bid more than 4 or 5 anyway...well played Nick...Live and learn. That mistake I'll willingly (not gladly, but willingly) take heat for. I deserve it.
So that's it. Despite the money management errors, I think I did OK for a first timer. I was patient and took players as they came. Was it a good idea? I dunno. Someone said I was smart. I countered by asking if that was really the case, or was I setting myself up to pay more for mid level talent? We'll find out in September.