Comrades Lawr Michaels and Don Drooker have already given you a recap of their bidding at the XFL draft held at First Pitch Arizona a few weeks ago. Here are a few comments on my efforts in that auction.
The Xperts Fantasy League (XFL) is a keeper league using a 5x5 format (with on-base percentage replacing batting average), a 23-player live auction draft in early November with a $260 budget and a supplemental snake draft in late March to round out the 40-man rosters.
So we have to start with my keeper list (if you want to see where most of those players came from my review of the 2014 auction is here) with brief commentary.
C – Russell Martin $23 (remember it is an OBP league so Martin is a top offensive catcher)
1B – Adam Lind $6 (solid power plus good OBP)
2B – Dee Gordon $11 (doubt any explanation required)
OF – Starling Marte $13 (ditto)
OF – Billy Burns $4 (2015 farm pick with great speed/R/OBP at a cheap price)
OF – Aaron Hicks $6 (obtained in a pre-draft trade with Ron Shandler for a March draft pick)
OF – Mark Canha $4 (2015 farm pick who also qualifies at 1B – value at this price but I think the second year player gets more at-bats in 2016)
P – Luis Severino $4 (2015 farm pick)
P – Santiago Casilla $6 (one dollar March supplemental pick last March)
P – Ken Giles $10 (Phillies closer was a 2015 free agent – 5+5 as keeper)
Obviously, I had a lot of holes to fill in the auction but I had $173 to do it with – not the highest total but second of those with more than $150 available. Here are the players I bought, again with a brief comment.
C – Yasmani Grandal $15 (teens power with good OBP)
3B – Adrian Beltre $23 (good price for consistent quality production)
CI – Brock Holt $2 (great end game buy with multi-position eligibility)
SS – Erick Aybar $4 (value contributor even now in Atlanta)
MI – Ian Kinsler $19 (one of top middle infield producers every year)
OF – Hunter Pence $32 (auction price for one of the few power options available at OF)
UT – Evan Gattis $7 (had lots of options in the end game but wanted the power and had good OBP cushion)
P – Jaime Garcia $16 (decent price assuming completely healthy next spring)
P – Joe Ross $15 (I think the younger Ross cemented a rotation spot and proved his value last summer)
P – Drew Smyly $13 (had the option to keep him at $20 which I thought was too much but happy with this price in the auction)
P – Andrew Heaney $12 (will be fixture in the Angels’ rotation with upside over 2015 numbers)
P – Nate Karns $4 (an end game price I was very happy with for new Mariner SP)
P – Cody Anderson $2 (hopefully the right choice for my second end game pitcher)
Finding some nice bargains in the latter stages of the auction allowed me to spend only $251 of the $260 maximum (remember it is a keeper league so the prices do matter). That was a 67/33 hitting to pitching ratio which was possible due to the value of my three pitching keepers.
As mentioned in other columns, the next step towards completing our 40-man rosters in the XFL will be a 17-round supplemental draft in March. With four farm players among my keepers, I will have 13 picks to both add to my active players and likely add more prospects. Clearly, adding some extra power at CI or OF and trying to find a third closer and more starters will be the aim approaching opening day, but I think I have a very solid starting roster.
As always, I'm glad to answer any questions about my team or the XFL auction or rosters.