First off, I just want to say “Hi” to all the readers. I know I’ve been quiet this offseason but I’m hoping this article will get me jump started again on a regular writing schedule. This past weekend I traveled into the City for my first year in the Tout Wars League. For those unfamiliar, Tout Wars and LABR are considered the two premier expert leagues in the country.
I’m not one to overstate the importance and level of competition of such leagues, though they are as competitive as any high-money league you’ll come across. As a first year player, I was placed into the 15-team mixed league (participants generally “graduate” into the AL or NL-only leagues as spots open up). The format for the draft is a live auction, which put me at a bit of a disadvantage since I’ve never drafted in this manner before. The amount of info you are required to keep track of during a live auction is much greater compared to online, or even a live snake draft, so keeping up without letting it distract me and affect my bids was a new challenge.
|Madison Bumgarner. (Icon/SMI)|
This is not all an excuse for drafting a poor team. Overall I feel my team is not the best nor the worst, somewhere in the middle. Here is a link to a spreadsheet with all the teams and below is my team with the price I paid for each player.
+-----+------------------+-------+ | POS | PLAYER | PRICE | +-----+------------------+-------+ | C | J Saltalamacchia | $ 7 | | C | Nick Hundley | $ 3 | | 1B | Ryan Howard | $ 7 | | 2B | Jason Kipnis | $ 7 | | 3B | Brett Lawrie | $28 | | SS | Starlin Castro | $25 | | CI | Jhonny Peralta | $ 8 | | MI | Mike Aviles | $ 2 | | OF | Curtis Grandy | $33 | | OF | Nick Swisher | $11 | | OF | Lucas Duda | $ 7 | | OF | Ben Revere | $ 4 | | OF | Carlos Quentin | $ 1 | | UT | Mike Moustakas | $10 | +-----+------------------+-------+ | P | Cole Hamels | $20 | | P | M Bumgarner | $17 | | P | Brandon Beachy | $13 | | P | Chris Sale | $ 7 | | P | Lance Lynn | $ 1 | | P | J.J. Putz | $13 | | P | Carlos Marmol | $10 | | P | Frank Francisco | $ 6 | | P | Brett Myers | $ 5 | +-----+------------------+-------+ | BN | Eric Thames | RSV-1 | | BN | Andrew Cashner | RSV-2 | | BN | Cliff Pennington | RSV-3 | | BN | John Jay | RSV-4 | +-----+------------------+-------+
Overall I stayed away from the big name hitters but came away with Curtis Granderson, Brett Lawrie, and Starlin Castro as my middle-lineup guys. Not a great core but with the extra cash I was able to get my targets later in the draft, like Lucas Duda and Jason Kipnis.
To compensate, I got two top pitchers: Cole Hamels and a very reasonably priced Madison Bumgarner for $17, probably my best purchase. Brandon Beachy and Chris Sale round out my rotation as two high-strikeout guys who solidify my staff as one of the best. I didn’t spend for a top-tier closer but did come away with four so I should be competitive in saves.
Paying $7 for Salty was merely a function of me having extra cash at the end of the draft and not enough talent to spend it on. Ditto for the $10 Moustakas bid as well. Despite these overpays I still finished the draft with $16 left over, so clearly I did not spend as much as I could have earlier in the draft. With optimized budgeting my team could clearly have been better, but I still feel I managed to assemble a competitive roster.
What are your thoughts on my team? If you can, try to look at the other teams so you can a sense of how it compares.