Tout Wars auctions will be held on March 23 and 24 in New York City as is the custom. But in an effort to branch out and give people insight to more draft formats, Tout added a 15-team draft with on base percentage replacing batting average to this year’s events.
This was very helpful for me since I couldn’t get to the Big Apple to take my seat there, thus on Monday evening I got to draft in the first Tout draft of 2013. So here is a draft question for you - who would you take with my first pick?
Rememeber, it's an OBP league. Here are the ten players who were off the board – Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Ryan Braun, Robinson Cano, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Kemp, Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Carlos Gonzalez. Who do you take?
I must admit when I got the eleventh pick in the draft I didn’t see this scenario – there is usually one of those that always slips, whether it is because somebody wants to take the first pitcher or because there is always a diehard drafting Giancarlo Stanton, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria or Troy Tulowitzki betting they can actually play a full year. So who did you take at 1.11?
I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to go for the upside play, and thinking this group would be slow to draft the first pitcher, I thought the best hitter to give me that shot was Bryce Harper. So yes, I was that guy. But add a few more home runs and a few more steals to either his 2012 numbers or projected 2013 numbers and Harper has first round value, and unless you are a hater, you will agree there is a possibility for even more.
But I also wanted to have a shot at upside in the second round where I didn’t think I could get Harper at 2.05 but would have been happy to take either Justin Upton or get one of the first pitchers. J-Up went at 1.14 and I was happy to get Justin Verlander at 2.05 after the turn settled for Jason Heyward, Jose Reyes, Longoria, and Hanley Ramirez.
Now I had to wait a long time to get back to 3.11 where my choice was which first baseman I wanted to add, with Paul Goldschmidt, Allen Craig, and Billy Butler all there and probably not on the shelf for too much longer. I took Goldschmidt as much for the stolen bases he will contribute over the others as for another shot at more upside from the young Diamondback. Around the corner I was hoping to get B.J. Upton or Chase Headley, two more guys who are likely to have double-digit contributions in both HR/SB, but neither made it. Seven pitchers went after Verlander, including Matt Cain and Yu Darvish in front of me. In the fourth, I took Jered Weaver, who was surprisingly still waiting for a dance partner. At this point I thought I had 55+ HR and 40ish SB and two of the top ten starting pitchers. Now I would go back to work on my infield, wondering what would be available at 5.11.
Having just missed Aaron Hill, I thought I was better with the upside of Jose Altuve at second base over a shortstop (Jimmy Rollins went two picks later) because I thought some good players would last longer at shortstop. On the back of the 5/6 turn, I took Austin Jackson, who looks like a good bet to score 100+ runs while having double digit HR/SB. Note at this point Altuve was the only hitter below a .350 OBP and not real far off at a projected .330 percentage.
I normally like to get two productive catchers in these formats but hadn’t pulled the trigger on one of the early backstops like Posey (2.15), Carlos Santana (4.13), or Joe Mauer (5.06). It looked like I had a shot at Yadier Molina in the seventh but he was taken at 7.07, and just a few picks later Wilin Rosario went off the board. In case the run got longer, I decided to take Salvador Perez, another .330+ OBP catcher who would also get double digit home runs. At 8.05 I took my third baseman, selecting Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier, another good bet for double digit HR/SB but who, at just over .300, would be my lowest OBP hitter. I thought there that I might still be able to get Mastersball fav Kyle Seager later in the draft.
While I added my closers – Greg Holland in the ninth round and Brandon League in the 13th round, I purposely waited to add to my starters until later in the draft as I filled out my hitters but started back up in the 16th round, adding Clay Buchholz, Hisashi Iwakuma, Wade Davis, and Ross Detwiler in four consecutive picks.
The team is summarized by positions below with the pick value in parentheses, but as a final point I will say there were several drafters using picks to roster minor leaguers well before we got to the reserve rounds. I think we have all seen this happen this year when many are trying to find 2013’s Mike Trout when in fact that was an unprecedented season from a rookie callup and one not likely to be duplicated. Sure there will be players coming up this year as always who will help fantasy teams, but I chose to use my four reserve spots on players who might help me much earlier in the season.
Here is my opening day roster:
C – Salvador Perez (7.11) & A.J. Pierzynski (10.05)
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (3.11)
3B – Todd Frazier (8.05)
CI – Kyle Seager (11.11)
2B – Jose Altuve (5.11)
SS – Jean Segura (12.05)
MI – J.J. Hardy (14.05)
OF – Bryce Harper (1.11), Austin Jackson (6.05), Dayan Viciedo (15.11), Justin Maxwell (20.05), Cody Ross (22.05)
UT – Mitch Moreland (23.11)
SP – Justin Verlander (2.05), Jered Weaver (4.05), Clay Buchholz (16.05), Hisashi Iwakuma (17.11), Wade Davis (18.05), Ross Detwiler (19.11), Drew Smyly (21.11)
CL – Greg Holland (9.11), Brandon League (13.11)
Reserves added were:
Rick Porcello (24.05) – with Smyly gives my Tigers 5th SP plus possible extra with trade
Sean Doolittle (25.11) – strong option behind Balfour in Oakland pen
Mike Olt (26.05) – lots of power if/when he is in the Rangers' lineup
Juan Rivera (27.11) – could get lots of at-bats in the Yankees' lineup to start the season
While we can’t compare all the teams (at least for now), I do think this draft gave me a good balance between good hitting, with 250 projected HR and 170 projected SB for the starters, and a good pitching staff, with 100 projected wins and 60 projected saves with 1164 strikeouts, all of which will go up some with substitutions and additions. I will follow this team and the Tout online league with future articles and am always glad to discuss the selections on the forums.
The entire draft can be found HERE