Monthly Archives: March 2020

10-Team Auction Dynasty Draft

This is a 10-team weekly locking roster with a lineup breakdown of positions including corner infielder, middle infielder, and utility.  The pitching lineup breaks down to 3 starting pitchers, 2 relief pitchers, and 3 pitchers. In this total point’s league, scoring for hitters is slanted more for Home Runs and RBI. While Strikeouts, Wins, Saves, and Holds are the major scoring categories for pitchers.  This is an auction draft and the first 9 players are this year’s keepers with costs going up $5 each year. 

This team has won the championship in consecutive seasons. Being able to have Pete Alonso, Gleyber Torres, Cody Bellinger, Nick Castellanos, and Luis Robert as building blocks is huge. I drafted Torres in another league for $26 dollars. Bellinger is well worth the $26. Alonso and Castellanos at $6 is a maximum return on cost.  Robert is a $6 gamble I’m taking.  

This is the most money I believe I’ve ever spent on keeping pitchers.  Walker Buehler, Blake Snell, Jose Berrios, and Liam Hendricks also give me a good base.  Buehler is a Cy Young candidate. Snell is coming off injury and won the Cy Young. Berrios is incrementally taking steps forward each season. I want to own him when the full breakout takes place.  Banking on this being the year. Hendricks would have gone for double his cost if among the player pool. As much as I despise spending money on pitching, these pitchers justify their costs. 

Walker Buehler LAD, SP$11

Nicholas Castellanos Cin, RF$6

Blake Snell TB, SP$11

Cody Bellinger LAD, RF$26

Pete Alonso NYM, 1B$6

Jose Berrios Min, SP$11

Liam Hendriks Oak, RP$6

Gleyber Torres NYY, SS$11

Luis Robert CHW, CF$6

Kris Bryant ChC, 3B$20

Alex Bregman Hou, 3B$34

Manny Machado SD, 3B$20

Paul Goldschmidt StL, 1B$19

Adalberto Mondesi KC, SS$10

Frankie Montas Oak, SP$5

Taylor Rogers Min, RP$7

Ken Giles Tor, RP$6

Franmil Reyes Cle, RF$6

Sean Murphy Oak, C$1

Craig Kimbrel ChC, RP$4

Francisco Mejia SD, C$1

Mike Foltynewicz Atl, SP$6

Michael Kopech CHW, SP$3

Mitch Keller Pit, SP$1

Jo Adell LAA, CF$1

Kevin Newman Pit, SS$2

Moving to some of the players I drafted, the resumes for the top hitters in the lineup speak for themselves.  I’m going to focus more on the multiple position eligibility assembled among my core players. Kris Bryant can play 3 positions in this lineup configuration.  Alex Bregman and Manny Machado can play 4 positions. Gleyber Torres can play 3 positions. Cody Bellinger fills out 3 spots in my lineup. Kevin Newman helps out in 3 positions.      

Bidding up other owners cost me twice in this draft.  I wanted to mess with one owner in bidding up Paul Goldschmidt.  I was willing if he dropped Goldy on me at that price. Matt Olsen was the player I was going to target at 1B.  Olsen ended up going for $15 dollars. That $4 more dollars on Goldschmidt could have gone into another good player. That’s a risk I felt was worth taking.  Adalberto Mondesi was me bidding up an autobidder and trying to spend her money. My intention wasn’t to draft Mondesi, however I’m ok with the result. Bidding up other owners is part of the play in an auction draft.  I tend to not bid up players I wouldn’t want just in case they get dropped on me.  

Franmil Reyes and Frankie Montas were my 2 middle-late must haves in this draft.  My Tammy Wynette came out for those 2. Reyes with full-time at-bats is a cheaper version of Nelson Cruz in my opinion.  Montas went for $11 in my previous draft. Playing in multiple leagues I tend to draft some of the same players. Mike Foltynewicz and Mitch Keller were keepers from my other draft.  Foltynewicz burned fantasy owners with 3 months ERA’s over 6.00. His August ERA in 5 starts was 3.90 and in 5 September/October starts the ERA was a sparkling 1.50. The blowout in Game 5 vs. the Cardinals doesn’t carry much weight for me as a fantasy owner.  Foltynewicz pitched hurt early last season and was sent to the minors. Physical health and something clicked in the minors as he came back up to pitch like an ace the final 2 months of the season. 3 other owners play in both leagues and knew of my thoughts on Foltynewicz so I had to spend more on this go-round.  Keller’s xFIP made me a believer. HIs ERA was 7.13 last season but the xFIP came in at 3.47. With a new coaching staff and new approach to pitch sequencing, it’s possible Keller takes a step forward. I view him as a building block for next season.   

My relief pitching left something  to be desired in the first draft, so I spent a bit more this time around.  Taylor Rogers, Ken Giles, and Liam Hendricks give me safe options while Craig Kimbrel is a wild card. Giles is in a walk year and possibly could be moved at the deadline. I’d rather wait and see for that to happen, than miss out on production in the meantime.  Kimbrel’s 13.0 SO/9 was my reasoning for the selection.  

The catching position is where I had to go cheap with more money spent on pitching than usual.  Sean Murphy and Francisco Mejia give me 2 young options with solid minor league track records. Whether they can put it together in the show is another story.  

Michael Kopech and Jo Adell are my cornerstone guys for next season.  I anticipate both making major splashes at some point in the 2020 campaign.  The plan is for them to stay on my roster all season regardless of what league they are at the moment. 

Overall I’m happy with the power and multiple position eligibility assembled in my hitters. Pitching wise these players fit my M.O. has younger arms with high SO/9.  My team is built to defend the crown and has some blue chip talent to build around for next season. The window on this group is closing in 2020 as some of the keeper costs will be too rich for my blood.            

12-team Auction Dynasty League Draft

This is a 12-team weekly locking roster with a lineup breakdown of positions including corner infielder, middle infielder, and utility.  The pitching lineup breaks down to 3 starting pitchers, 2 relief pitchers, and 3 pitchers. In this total point’s league, scoring for hitters is slanted more for Home Runs and RBI. While Strikeouts, Wins, Saves, and Holds are the major scoring categories for pitchers.  This is an auction draft and the first 5 players are keepers. I was thrilled to keep Luis Robert, Catcher Will Smith, Liam Hendricks, Mike Foltynewicz, and Mitch Keller. Robert is a no-brainer with service time bought out. Smith’s fall off scares me, but was cheap at a thin position.  Hendricks is in a good situation to pick up where he left off last season. I like to go cheap on closers so Hendricks fits the bill. More on Foltynewicz and Keller later in the post. I was able to stay cheap for my keepers this season. Keepers can stay for an additional 2 years and go up 1.5 times in cost each season.   

Will Smith LAD, C$2

Mitch Keller Pit, SP$2

Liam Hendriks Oak, RP$2

Mike Foltynewicz Atl, SP$3

Luis Robert CHW, CF$2

Mookie Betts LAD, RF$33

Jose Ramirez Cle, 3B$24

Trevor Story Col, SS$25

Gleyber Torres NYY, SS$26

Jose Altuve Hou, 2B$19

Brian Anderson Mia, 3B$4

Eddie Rosario Min, LF$10

Eric Hosmer SD, 1B$3

Craig Kimbrel ChC, RP$7

Kyle Hendricks ChC, SP$7

Zac Gallen Ari, SP$6

Nick Senzel Cin, CF$2

Matthew Boyd Det, SP$13

Caleb Smith Mia, SP$1

Michael Chavis Bos, 1B$1

Dustin May LAD, RP$1

Ryan Mountcastle Bal, 1B$1

Shaun Anderson SF, SP$1

Danny Jansen Tor, C$1

Hunter Harvey Bal, RP$1

Austin Hays Bal, RF$1

Nate Pearson Tor, SP$1

Nico Hoerner ChC, SS$1

My assessment of the draft is I have a lot of power up in the middle in nontypical power positions.  Gleyber Torres, Trevor Story, and Jose Altuve all should be among the elite at their positions. Jose Ramirez is a bet on a bounceback.  Mookie Betts is a safe franchise cornerstone and Eddie Rosario is a solid source of power that is not yet a brand name. Rosario has 24 or more Ding Dongs in 3 consecutive seasons and drove in 109 last season.    

1B is the one area the roster is lacking star power.  Eric Hosmer for $3 I believe is a good value. Hosmer, despite a .310 OBP, drove in 99 runs.  I don’t believe Hosmer is in a full decline at age 30. Michael Chavis can provide power at 1B/2B.  The player’s that Chavis would have to beat out for playing time don’t scare me.  

Nick Senzel has struggled with injuries throughout his young career.  Offseason acquisitions may take away from Senzel having an everyday spot in the lineup.  I can see Senzel playing in a super-utility role and forcing his way into the lineup. Brian Anderson has multiple position eligibility and has over 1,133 career major league at-bats.  If Anderson is going to take a step forward this is the year to do so. I was willing to gamble $4 that he does so. Austin Hays is a former 3rd rd pick that may see a lot of playing time on a bad team.  Anderson and Hays fit into one of strategies of targeting young players on bad teams in the later rounds of drafts.

Pitching is often the area in which I will spend the least amount of money.  Starting pitching will open up the purse strings more so than Closers. Relief pitching is way too volatile to invest large sums of money into.  Last season Liam Hendricks came out of nowhere for 25 Saves and took away the job from Blake Treinen. 2018 saw Treinen Save 38 games and receive CY Young votes. Playing the Saves game on waivers provided plenty of opportunities. Ian Kennedy with 30 Saves, Taylor Rogers 30, Carlos Martinez 24, Hansel Robles 23, Emilio Pagan 20.  Saves are often available on waivers if you pay attention. None of those pitchers were on my radar at the draft in terms of Saves. I invested cheap in Saves on this team and will play the waivers game again.       

Kyle Hendricks is a homer pick as one of my favorite players in all of baseball.  He doesn’t provide the strikeout rate of the elite, but The Professor gives the lineup solid metrics.  With an improved bullpen Hendricks may be in line for a few more Wins.      

I take the Hugh Hefner approach to pitching, I’m always looking for newer-younger models.  Zac Gallen has the looks of an ace and goes for a fraction of the cost. I traded Gallen away at the deadline last season as part of trade to acquire Mookie Betts. The owner kept 2 of the 3 players I sent along in the deal (Yordan Alvarez and Austin Meadows) and put Gallen back into the pool.  The 10.8 SO/9 is worth the early investment.       

Advanced statistics such as xFIP and SIERA help me to find pitchers that could provide more value than acquisition cost in drafts.  Boyd for $13 dollars would give you the impression I need my head examined. At that stage of the draft pitchers came at a premium and draft costs went up in the process.  His ERA was 4.56 and he gave up a league worst 39 Gopher Balls. The xFIP was 3.88 SIERA 3.61. Boyd had 238 strikeouts to go with a 9-12 record for a bad Tigers team. My belief is that Boyd has dealt with some bad luck the last 2 seasons.  A market correction could mean Boyd outproduces his draft cost. Keller is a perfect example as his ERA was 7.13 last season but his xFIP came in a 3.47. With a new coaching staff and new approach to pitch sequencing, it’s possible Keller takes a step forward.   Zac Gallen is a player I’ve followed for a few years. I traded Gallen away at the deadline last season to acquire Mookie Betts. The owner kept 2 of the 3 players I sent along in the deal (Yordan Alvarez and Austin Meadows) and put Gallen back into the pool. The 4.15 xFIP and SIERA of 4.24 on Gallen don’t paint as rosy of a picture as the 2.89 ERA.  Numbers are part of my decision making process, but some of the picks are based on a gut feeling. My hunch is Gallen takes a step forward in 2020.        

Looking into each pitchers season in splits also helps to find hidden value.  Foltynewicz burned fantasy owners with 3 months ERA’s over 6.00. His August ERA in 5 starts was 3.90 and in 5 September/October starts the ERA was a sparkling 1.50.  The blowout in Game 5 vs. the Cardinals doesn’t carry much weight for me as a fantasy owner. Foltynewicz pitched hurt early last season and was sent to the minors. Physical health and something clicked in the minors as he came back up to pitch like an ace the final 2 months of the season.  $3 is a steal for Foltynewicz in my opinion.  

Besides xFIP and SIERA, I also pay close attention to SO/9 in looking for upside.  

The biggest head scratcher in this draft would probably be Craig Kimbrel, the first pitcher I selected.  2019 was a noted dumpster fire for Kimbrel. 6.93 ERA, 0-4 record, 13 Saves in 23 appearances. The xFIP4.75 and SIERA 3.91 calm the dumpster fire a bit as does the 13.0 SO/9.  His command started to show signs of leaving in Boston in 2018. That was part of the reason he was unsigned for so long. The 13.0 SP/9 makes Kimbrel a gamble I’m willing to take.  My gut feeling is Kimbrel can replicate the numbers with the Red Sox and with Liam Hendricks coming so cheap I could gamble on Kimbrel a bit more. Scared money doesn’t make money.         

Caleb Smith’s xFIP and SIERA paint an uninspiring picture, however his 9.0 SO/9 is worth a $1.  Smith pitches in a still spacious ball park and is a trade candidate.  

The end of my draft was upside lottery tickets. Ryan Mountcastle is a dynasty stash/trade chip due to his power and multiple position eligibility.  Dustin May and Nate Pearson could possibly avoid shutdowns due to the shorter season. Both can be cheap keepers for 2021 and 2022. Hunter Harvey is my speculative choice to Save games for the Orioles this season.  Not sure how Mychal Givens can possibly be put in the role again.   

Shaun Anderson was sent to Triple A after the draft.  I view him as a wait and see stash.    

Danny Jansen’s career .367 minor league OBP was worth a flier.  I wanted an insurance policy if Will Smith busts. Nico Hoerner did alright in limited action for the Cubs last season.  With the logjam the Cubs have in the infield it wouldn’t surprise me if Hoerner didn’t break camp. He’s a dynasty stash to me that could be up later in the year after more seasoning.          

Overall I really like a majority of this team. If I had to do the draft over again I would have spent more money on starting pitching earlier so my hand wasn’t forced to overspend on Matt Boyd.  The Craig Kimbrel cost could be another one I would like a do over. I will definitely have to play the waiver game for Saves again this season.