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Salt River Rafters - AFL Preview PDF Print E-mail
MastersDaily
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Sunday, 28 September 2014 00:00

This is the second of the six team previews that will run before opening day on Tuesday, October 7. To see the introductory article for the 2014 Arizona Fall League, click HERE

The Salt River Rafters play their home games at Salt River Fields, spring training home of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, obviously two of the five Rafter parent clubs. There will also be six or seven prospects from the Houston Astros, Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins.

The team will be managed by Andy Haines (MIA), who will have Josh Miller (HOU) as the pitching coach and Kevin Riggs (COL) and Jacob Cruz (ARI) coaching the pitching staff, which may be the best but certainly most well known in the AFL this year.

Mark Appel, Archie Bradley and Eddie Butler are top pitching prospects that almost all fantasy baseball players are familiar with. They will be joined by two pitchers who had several innings in the Majors this year, Anthony DeSclafini of the Marlins and Christian Bergman of the Rockies.

And all of those and other good prospects will need a second look by fans whose first wish will be to see the top hitting prospect in baseball, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, in action for his second AFL season. Buxton was sidelined by a wrist injury in spring training which limited him to just 124 at-bats in the minor leagues this year and had the Twins send him back to the AFL for more work.

Appel, who was drafted in the first round in both the 2012 (Pittsburgh at 1.08) and 2013 (Houston at 1.01) drafts, had an appendectomy in January that he never fully recovered from and limited him to just 83 minor league innings. The Astros hope Appel can regain his 2013 form in the Fall League. He is currently ranked the #2 prospect in the Houston organization by MLB.com.

Bradley, who by many accounts should have made his major league debut in the Diamondbacks rotation back in March, is Arizona’s best prospect and #10 overall on MLB.com. Likely due in part to an early letdown in going from the big club in Australia to Triple-A Reno, one of the more hitter friendly ballparks, and dealing with shoulder soreness limited the 6’4” righty to just 83 minor league innings. Tony LaRussa, a new GM and possible new field boss, will hope they see vintage Bradley at their home facilities.

Butler, who was drafted by Colorado as the first supplemental pick in 2012, pitched well that summer and then had a sensational 2013 with a 1.80 ERA across three minor league levels and pitched in the Futures Game. He did get a September call up this year after being limited to 117 minor league innings as he dealt with rotator cuff soreness.

Other Rafters to watch this year will be:

Vincent Velazquez, RHP, HOU, the Astros #8 prospect who struck out 91 batters in 64 innings.

Pete O’Brien, C, ARI, traded by the Yankees in the Brandon McCarthy deal who had 34 HR in three minor league stops.

Brandon Drury, 3B, ARI, now the #6 Diamondbacks prospect and the only thing they have to show for trading Justin Upton to Atlanta, he hit 23 HR between Class A and Double-A this year with a slash line of .299/.362/.510.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:35
 
Mesa Solar Sox - AFL Preview PDF Print E-mail
MastersDaily
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:00

This is the first of the six team previews that will run before opening day on Tuesday, October 7. To see the introductory article for the 2014 Arizona Fall League, click HERE

The Mesa Solar Sox will play their home games in Cubs Park in Mesa for the first time this year.

The Solar Sox are composed of prospects from the Cubs, Angels, Athletics, Blue Jays and Nationals and will be managed by two-time World Series Champion Mike Mordecai, who currently works for the Toronto Blue Jays. The hitting coach will be Greg Sparks from the Oakland organization while the pitchers will be assisted by former big league pitchers Ron Villone of the Cubs and Matt Wise from the Angels.

Two of the young Cubs highlight this young roster which has three players that just turned 20 this year and one who won’t join them until next February. The two Chicago prospects are very well known already – shortstop Addison Russell, who was traded to the Cubs this season in the Samardzija/Hammel deal and RHP C.J. Edwards, who Chicago got from the Rangers in last season’s trade of Matt Garza.

Russell, who had limited at-bats early in the year due to a hamstring injury, did very well in his 50 games with the Cubs Double-A Tennessee team, with 13 home runs, 45 RBI and six stolen bases with a slash line of .294/.332/.536.

Edwards is a lean (6’2” but only 155 lbs.) right-handed starting pitcher who was also at Tennessee, starting ten games with 46 strikeouts in 48 innings, an ERA of 2.35 and a 1.06 WHIP. He could compete for a spot in the Cubs rotation next spring, likely dependent on how many free agent hurlers the Cubs might sign or trade for.

Other prospects of note on the Solar Sox Roster:

Robert Osuna, the aforementioned 19-year-old righty who is the nephew of former major league pitcher Antonio Osuna, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013 and came back this year to log 22 innings with High-A Dunedin. He did have 30 strikeouts there and will get more innings in the AFL.

Another top Toronto prospect was a September call-up, as outfielder Dalton Pompey did get a few at-bats this month. More importantly, Pompey hit .315 across three levels in the Minors this year with 46 stolen bases and nine home runs. Still just 21, Pompey is regarded as the Blue Jays top position player prospect, rated #3 by MLB.com behind pitchers Daniel Norris and Aaron Sanchez.

Kaleb Cowart, a third baseman in the Angels organization who was the club's first round pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled to come close to his numbers from his first full minor league season in 2012. But despite hitting just .223 this year at Double-A Arkansas, Cowart did steal 26 bases.

Matt Olson, 1B, Oakland, was a highly regarded two-way player in high school and was drafted in 2012 in the compensation round. He had 23 home runs at Low-A Midland at 19 years old and improved dramatically at High-A Stockton this year with 37 roundtrippers and 97 RBI. While he strikes out a lot (137 in 512 at-bats) which kept his average down (.262), he did get on base at a .404 clip and had a .543 slugging percentage.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 September 2014 21:33
 
Tout Wars and LABR FAAB Report: Week of September 22 PDF Print E-mail
MastersDaily
Written by Todd Zola   
Monday, 22 September 2014 09:09

Twenty-five down, one to go. For our last FAAB report, we'll combine both Tout Wars and LABR into one report. I'll hold Todd's Take until the end at which point I'll share what I feel is the best FAAB system.

Before we move onto the pick-ups, I'd like to thank my colleagues Lawr, Brian, Rob, Perry and Zach for their weekly commentary. In addition, a special thank you goes to USA Today's Steve Gardner for taking the time to send along the LABR FAAB results.

Good luck taking down your leagues. Hopefully we helped sort out a player or two along the way.

toutbanner

AMERICAN LEAGUE

twalker

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

TWalker, Sea 12 Ron Shandler 12 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 11
JBurton, Min 1 Steve Moyer 6
BBoesch, LAA 1 Steve Moyer 6
CWalker, Bal 1 Mike Podhorzer 6

UNAWARDED BIDS

None

Rob Leibowitz' Commentary

With the league all but decided, the few remaining decent players were picked up by owners scrapping for every point they can get in an effort to avoid the Tout Wars penalty of losing $1 FAAB next year for every point they finish below 60 this year.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

fgalvis

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

FGalvis, Phi 19 Scott Wilderman 19 Peter Kreutzer 18 Steve Gardner 10
Phil Hertz 3
JBour, Mia 19 Scott Wilderman 28 Peter Kreutzer 18 Tristan H. Cockcroft 15
Phil Hertz 3 Brian Walton 0
RZimmerman, Was 16 Tristan H. Cockcroft 34 Derek Carty 15 Mike Gianella 6
Phil Hertz 3 Brian Walton 0
EButler, Col 16 Peter Kreutzer 18 Derek Carty 15 Phil Hertz 2
AChafin, Ari 3 Mike Gianella 5 Peter Kreutzer 18 Phil Hertz 2
YFlande, Col 2 Peter Kreutzer
TMedica, SD 1 Tristan H. Cockcroft 15 Peter Kreutzer 18 Phil Hertz 2
AOttavino, Col 1 Derek Carty 15
RJohnson, Mia 1 Phil Hertz 3
CCulberson, Col 0 Peter Kreutzer 0
JJeffress, Mil 0 Steve Gardner 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

JWalden, Atl Derek Carty 15
RKalish, ChC Phil Hertz 3
RSantiago, Cin Peter Kreutzer 0

Brian Walton's Commentary

With the most money remaining, Scott Wilderman spent $19 each on two hitters, Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis and first baseman Justin Bour of Miami. Scott hit his $19 exactly for Galvis, while offering $28 via Vickrey for Bour.

In the last week, Galvis doubled his home run and RBI totals for the season after launching two long balls and plating six and bringing his season batting average up to .165. Bour, 26, hit his first career homer over the weekend and may continue to get starts ahead of Garrett Jones as the Marlins’ once-promising season grinds to its end.

The return, albeit limited, of Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was a major source of bidding this week. Originally drafted for $21 by Peter Kreutzer, Zimmerman was returned to the free agent pool as part of a FAAB reclaim. This time around, he drew $16 ($34 Vickrey) from league leader Tristan H. Cockcroft.

Speaking of Kreutzer, Rotoman made the final large bid of the week, paying $16 ($18 Vickrey) for Rockies starter Eddie Butler. The 23-year-old is a top prospect, but is making a big step up from an uneven Double-A summer. The right-hander did allow just one run over six innings last week, but the opponent was Arizona. It is unclear whether or not Butler will be given a second start during the final week.

In closing, it has been fun bringing you insight into the NL Tout Wars transactions this season and hope our efforts have helped yours.

MIXED LEAGUE AUCTION 

klobstein

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

KLobstein, Det 13 Derek Van Riper 20 Tim Heaney 19 David Gonos 12
Scott Swanay 11 Fred Zinkie 3 Al Melchior 0
RNolasco, Min 12 David Gonos 25 Derek Van Riper 20 Tim Heaney 19
Scott Pianowski 15 Scott Swanay 11 Derek Van Riper 6
Fred Zinkie 3
CBassitt, CWS 12 David Gonos 12 Scott Swanay 11
RErlin, SD 12 Tim Heaney 19 Scott Pianowski 15 Scott Swanay 11
Al Melchior 5 Nando DiFino 4 Fred Zinkie 3
NMartinez, Tex 4 Derek Van Riper 20 Scott Swanay 11 Fred Zinkie 3
ROdor, Tex 1 David Gonos 8 Zach Steinhorn 19 Ray Flowers 9
Fred Zinkie 0
JBurton, Min 1 Ray Flowers 13
AAmarista, SD 1 Ray Flowers 9 Fred Zinkie 0
KGibson, Min 1 Scott Swanay 11 Tim Heaney 19 Derek Van Riper 6
ODespaigne, SD 1 Zach Steinhorn 19 Scott Pianowski 15
CJoseph, Bal 1 Al Melchior 1
MGonzalez, Bal 1 Fred Zinkie 3 Zach Steinhorn 19 Al Melchior 0
JLocke, Pit 1 Fred Zinkie 3
RCastillo, Bos 1 Fred Zinkie 1
DPeralta, Ari 0 Fred Zinkie 1 Al Melchior 0
RRua, Tex 0 Zach Steinhorn 19 Fred Zinkie 1
EInciarte, Ari 0 Fred Zinkie 1
JParedes, Bal 0 Fred Zinkie 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

IDavis, Pit Zach Steinhorn 19
RFlaherty, Bal Ray Flowers 9
YEscobar, TB Ray Flowers 9
BCrawford, SF Ray Flowers 9
JBour, Mia Fred Zinkie 1
JSmolinksi, Tex Fred Zinkie 1
RGrossman, Hou Fred Zinkie 1
CVazquez, Bos Al Melchior 1
DRuf, Phi Al Melchior 0
AHechavarria, Mia Fred Zinkie 0
MAviles, Cle Fred Zinkie 0
PGosselin, Atl Fred Zinkie 0

Zach Steinhorn's Commentary

What do Kyle Lobstein, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Bassitt and Robbie Erlin have in common? All four are two-start pitchers for the season's final week. What do Derek Van Riper, David Gonos and Tim Heaney have in common? All three can very easily either gain or lose ground in both the strikeouts and wins categories. Of the four pitchers, I'm most optimistic about Nolasco, who sports a 1.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over his last three starts, but all of these guys are risky. Van Riper, Gonos and Heaney must have concluded that the potential gain in wins and strikeouts outweighs the potential damage in ERA and WHIP, a calculation that is much easier to make with only one week left in the season.

Even though he will be making only one start, Odrisamer Despaigne was my primary pitching target. In eight home starts this year, Despaigne is 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA and the Rockies rank dead last in the Majors in runs scored on the road. All of the numbers say that a strong outing is a near certainty, which probably means he will be terrible!

Well, my one-week long experiment with starting Garrett Jones at CI was a flop and Billy Butler continues to do absolutely nothing, so let's now go with Ryan Rua, who is swinging a hot bat while getting regular playing time for the last place Rangers.

MIXED LEAGUE DRAFT

jmarisnick

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

JMarisnick, Hou 7 Brent Hershey 15 Ray Murphy 6 Nicholas Minnix 0
Tim McLeod 0
EMujica, Bos 1 Nicholas Minnix 5 Tim McLeod 0
JBurton, Min 1 Perry Van Hook 24 Nicholas Minnix 5 Tim McLeod 0
RErlin, SD 1 Brent Hershey 30 Nicholas Minnix 5
LMorrison, Sea 1 Ray Murphy 6 Nicholas Minnix 0 Tim McLeod 0
KLobstein, Det 1 Adam Ronis 11 Perry Van Hook 17
ACraig, Bos 1 Ray Murphy 6
RCastillo, Bos 1 Brent Hershey 25
DRuf, Phi 1 Brent Hershey 10
YMolina, StL 1 Brent Hershey 15
JSmolinksi, Tex 1 Perry Van Hook 12
ZPutnam, CWS 0 Tim McLeod 0 Nicholas Minnix 5
CCoghlan, ChC 0 Nicholas Minnix 0
DAckley, Sea 0 Nicholas Minnix 0 Tim McLeod 0
AAmarista, SD 0 Nicholas Minnix 0 Perry Van Hook 12 Tim McLeod 0
COwings, Ari 0 Tim McLeod 0 Nicholas Minnix 0
CGillaspie, CWS 0 Tim McLeod 0 Nicholas Minnix 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

JParedes, Bal Perry Van Hook 12
TWalker, Sea Adam Ronis 11 Nicholas Minnix 5
MGarza, Mil Adam Ronis 11
TMatzek, Col Adam Ronis 11
KHendricks, ChC Nicholas Minnix 5
CMaybin, SD Nicholas Minnix 0
JJay, StL Nicholas Minnix 0
PGosselin, Atl Nicholas Minnix 0
RRua, Tex Nicholas Minnix 0
YEscobar, TB Nicholas Minnix 0
CCron, LAA Tim McLeod 0

Perry Van Hook's Commentary

Things were a lot more interesting in the TOUT mixed draft league. While nine of the fifteen teams made no bids for the final week the six who did saw some strange results. The two highest bids – Brent Hershey’s $30 try for San Diego SP Robbie Erlin, and my $29 bid for new Twins closer Jared Burton both were Vickrey reduced to one dollar winning bids. Even my underbid in that group, $17 for Tiger SP Kyle Lobstein went for one dollar to Adam Ronis who had bid $11 hoping to capture a good two start week.

My second bid of $12 for Rangers OF Jake Smolinski was also a one dollar winning bid.

Meanwhile Tim McLeod who is tied for the league lead at 111 points with me was out of money but no problem as with the paucity of bids he was able to get Chris Owings, Conor Gillaspie and Zach Putnam – not his first choices in each group but then he had no FAAB left and got all for $0 bids.

labr2

AMERICAN LEAGUE

j_schafer

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Jordan Schafer, MIN $18 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 18

UNAWARDED BIDS

None

Perry Van Hook's Commentary.

Not much to report from the AL for the last period as eight of us had no FAAB units left.

In fact there was only one bid as Larry Schechter bid his last $18 to add OF Jordan Schafer.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

rweeks

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Rickie Weeks, MIL $9 RotoExperts 9
Travis Wood, CHC $2 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2
Andrew Chafin, ARI $2 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2 RotoWire - DVR 2

UNAWARDED BIDS

Yohan Flande, COL NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2
Blake Treinen, WSH NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2
Eddie Butler, COL NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2
David Hale, ATL NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2
David Holmberg, CIN NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2

Lawr Michaels' Commentary

The final LABR NL transaction period was a quiet one, with three teams involved with three bids, although there were just a pair of winners.

RotoExperts dropped $9 for the rights to Rickie Weeks, as Lenny Melnick made his last push for the title.

Meanwhile, NFBC/Stats guys Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs bagged Travis Wood for a couple of bucks, and also won the rights to Andrew Chafin for another deuce.

I actually finished the season with $18 in my till, and the reality is over the past month I ran a full lineup that was generally as good as the replacements would make it.

What that really means is my lineup was obviously not that good, or I would not have finished in 11th, with just under 50 points.

However, I am not really sure how much differently I would approach the draft. I would gamble $21 on Mark Trumbo, and Matt Kemp proved to be worth the $20 I dumped on him. OTOH, Max Venable and I shall not be sharing roster space anytime in the near future.

But in another year, this combination of players might well be a winner.

That's why we play the game, right?

Thanks for following this year.

MIXED LEAGUE

jlocke

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Jeff Locke, PIT $12 Baseball HQ 12
Rusney Castillo, BOS $10 ESPN.com 10
Robbie Erlin, SD $11 Baseball HQ 11 MLB.com 1
Jimmy Paredes, BAL $1 MLB.com 1
Aaron Harang, ATL $1 MLB.com 1
Ryan Rua, TEX $1 ESPN.com 1

UNAWARDED BIDS

Wilmer Flores, NYM MLB.com 1
David Freese, LAA MLB.com 1

Todd Zola's Commentary

First place is still up for grabs with Steve Gardner from USA Today looking to track down Ray Murphy from BaseballHQ with Fred Zinkie from mlb.com lurking. Steve is out of FAAB so he's relying on his current squad to lake up the ground. Ray had a little something saved for a rainy day and opted to get more starts.

I envy my colleagues and their cat and mouse game for points. While I won't call this a lost year, things definitely did not go as planned. Something I try to keep in mind is to judge the process, not the outcomes. On draft day, I went with a contrarian strategy of not forcing starting pitching and instead opting for two stud closers then back-filling with second and third tier starters. Let's just say that the reason I am not battling for the title is not because of that decision. This isn't to imply that I didn't find faults elsewhere I aim to correct. I did. I'm just saying to look at things objectively.

Todd's Take

Playing in Tout Wars and LABR the past several seasons as well as participating in other industry leagues and the high stakes arena, I've gained significant perspective with regards to the various free agent acquisition formats. And while no system if perfect, there is one I feel matches the closest to my philosophies.

By means of background, I have an issue with the direction this fine hobby has taken. While I fully understand the need and have no problem adapting to any scenario, it bugs me that most of the changes to the game are designed to reduce risk. Many are disguised as strategy, but I snicker at that notion since much of what is passed off as strategy is really just common sense.

Examples are the addition of reserve lists allowing free movement of players to and from active status, shifting of 4x4 scoring to 5x5 and daily (or at least more than once-a-week) transactions. In one way or another, these are all parachutes, softening the landing of thought processes that no longer entail as much risk as when the game was invented.

Truth be told, FAAB itself falls under the umbrella of reducing risk, though in a vacuum I have no issue with it, given its need in large part results from the presence of reserve lists, If we're going to have a bench and ability to release players from our squads freely, I prefer the dynamics of FAAB over waiver claims.

There are two elements of FAAB that some leagues use that introduce even more safety nets to the process. The first is Vickrey with the second being $0 bids. My system would not utilize either.

I understand the arguments for Vickrey bidding. It's impossible to properly guage market value of a player. It's impossible to relate FAAB dollars to auction dollars. That said, the overriding principle that pushes me away from Vickrey is owning your bid. Above all else, you should be charged what you're willing to pay. Ask ten people how they arrive at that amount and ten different answers will emanate. And that's a problem and an argument for Vickrey. But again, the most important factor should be how much the person is willing to pay. At least to me.

As far as $0 bids go, that's another buffer. The thinking is, "I'll go all-in and if I get the player, I can still make $0 bids when I need a player." Obviously, the repercussion is picking from the entrails of available players, but still, you have the opportunity. I'd prefer having to make a decision of how much is the player worth to me versus how much I need to leave for the rest of the season. No parachute. No safety net. Make a decision and live with the consequences.

At this point, you may assume the FAAB system used by LABR is my preference since there's no Vickrey or $0 bids. While I admit I prefer LABR over Tout Wars, the winner is....

The National Fantasy Baseball Championship, more commonly called the NFBC.

In short, the NFBC uses a budget of 1000 with no $0 bids. Why is $1000 better than $100? As mentioned, I understand the Vickrey arguments with respect to properly gauging market price. And it's not as if the problem disappears with the larger amount, but it does provide more wiggle room. Not to mention, deciding how close to going all-in while still leaving some $1 bids is facilitated with the larger total. Yeah, now I'm introducing my own parachute but having played with both 100 and 1000 budgets, I find the 1000 to be fairer.

Both Tout Wars and LABR use a rule whereby disabled players are eligible to be released while getting a rebate of FAAB dollars in proportion to the auction price. If the $1000 system were adapted, I'm sure that respective brain trusts could figure something out.

And with that, we'll conclude the weekly Mastersball FAAB reports. Thanks for your patronage and we look forward to returning next April.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 September 2014 13:20
 
LABR FAAB Report: Week of September 15 PDF Print E-mail
MastersDaily
Written by Todd Zola   
Monday, 15 September 2014 09:50

labr2

Each week, your friends at Mastersball will post the results of the weekly LABR FAAB run, featuring the winning bid as well a the runner-up bids. There are three LABR leagues, a 12-team AL only, 12-team NL only and 15-team Mixed League. You can see the complete standings for each league by clicking on the appropriate heading, located just under each player photo.

Included with each league report will be commentary from a Mastersball staff member participating in that league. We invite you to ask questions and post comments at the bottom of the report.

All contingency bids for awarded players are included. Sometimes, this bid is tied to a player that the owner received, so at times the bid amount is larger than the winning bid. We are including it to provide as much information and context as possible with each report.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

lobstein

Kyle Lobstein, DET $6 Baseball HQ 6
Chris Young, NYY $6 Baseball HQ 6 Colton & The Wolfman 1 Winning Fantasy Baseball 1
Cory Rasmus, LAA $5 Mastersball 5
Brad Miller, SEA $2 Baseball HQ 2 SiriusXM 1
Ryan Rua, TEX $1 Winning Fantasy Baseball 1
Josh Fields, HOU $1 SiriusXM 1 Baseball HQ 1
Andrew Romine, DET $1 SiriusXM 1 Baseball HQ 1

UNAWARDED BIDS

Nathan Karns, TB Mastersball 5 Baseball HQ 2
Tony Sipp, HOU Baseball HQ 2 SiriusXM 1
Kelvin Herrera, KC Baseball HQ 1 SiriusXM 1
Nick Punto, OAK Baseball HQ 1
Alberto Jose Callaspo, OAK SiriusXM 1
Alex Wilson, BOS SiriusXM 1
Dominic Leone, SEA SiriusXM 1
Fernando Salas, LAA SiriusXM 1
Chris Denorfia, SEA Winning Fantasy Baseball 1
Collin Cowgill, LAA Winning Fantasy Baseball 1
David Lough, BAL Winning Fantasy Baseball 1
Endy Chavez, SEA Winning Fantasy Baseball 1
Jimmy Paredes, BAL Winning Fantasy Baseball 1
Kevin Pillar, TOR Winning Fantasy Baseball 1

Perry Van Hook's Commentary.

I bet my last five FAAB units on Cory Rasmus who is scheduled for two starts this week for the LA Angels of Anaheim. True if you look at the report there were no underbids but in the next to last week of the year I couldn’t guess that Dave Adler of Baseball HQ would spend all $14 of his remaining FAAB units on three different players or that Greg Ambrosius of NFBC.com and Keith Hernandez of KFFL.com would make no bids with their remaining $18 and $16 respectively.

Rasmus with two no-hitters won’t get me out of the AL cellar but he was the best pitching add I could make this week for my team.

Todd's Take

Love it - Dave Adler is taking no chances. As Rob Leibowitz alluded to in the Tout Wars reports, some moves are more defensive. Dave doesn't need the players but he'd prefer that others don't have them either. And now they don't.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

trsnider

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Travis Snider, PIT $21 USA TODAY Sports 21 Colton & The Wolfman 1 Baseball HQ 1
Maikel Franco, PHI $9 Baseball HQ 9
Tyler Matzek, COL $1 Sandlot Shrink 1
Rafael Soriano, WSH $1 Colton & The Wolfman 1
Matt Szczur, CHC $1 Colton & The Wolfman 1

UNAWARDED BIDS

Andrew Susac, SF Baseball HQ 1
Brent Morel, PIT Baseball HQ 1
Jeurys Familia, NYM Colton & The Wolfman 1
Joaquin Arias, SF Baseball HQ 1
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, NYM Baseball HQ 1
Matt Clark, MIL Colton & The Wolfman 1
Mike Olt, CHC Baseball HQ 1
Randal Grichuk, STL Baseball HQ 1

Lawr Michaels' Commentary

Wow. With two weeks left, a sort of bidding war for Travis Snider, although all things considered, it was more of a slaughter.

LABR host Steve Gardner, of the USA Today, shot $21 into the Pirates flychaser, easily outdistancing two $1 attempts.

Doug Dennis won the rights to the Phils Maikel Franco, a move I note with mixed emotions, for I purchased the third sacker at draft time for $9, ultimately dropping him when the team announced they would not advance him this year. Doug spent the same $9, and I will never trust a front office again.

Finishing up, Sandlot Shrink's Bob Radomski dropped a buck on Tyler Matzek, while team Colton/Wolf of the Fantasy Alarm grabbed Matt Szczur and Rafael Soriano for a dollar each in a last ditch effort to catch Lenny Melnik.

Todd's Take

Lawr, does that mean you trusted front offices previously? It could be worse. It could have been Brandon Marshall.

MIXED LEAGUE

cyoung

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Chris Young, NYY $5 ESPN.com 5
Yusmeiro Petit, SF $4 MLB.com 4 Mastersball 3
Jean Segura, MIL $3 Rotowire-Colton 3
Brad Peacock, HOU $1 Mastersball 1
Kyle Kendrick, PHI $1 Mastersball 1
Jose Ramirez, CLE $1 MLB.com 1

UNAWARDED BIDS

Jose Ramirez, CLE MLB.com 2
Nathan Karns, TB MLB.com 2
Alfredo Simon, CIN Mastersball 1
David Freese, LAA Rotowire-Colton 1

Todd Zola's Commentary

Arghh. I wanted two starting pitchers and perhaps ended up with none. Instead of bidding my max for Petit I tried to sneak in both Petit and Peacock. Now it turns out Peacock will be scratched Monday and won't be a two-start guy I (and maybe not a one-start guy either). Oh well, a poetic exclamation point to a season I'd rather forget.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 10:11
 
Tout Wars FAAB Report: Week of September 15 PDF Print E-mail
MastersDaily
Written by Todd Zola   
Monday, 15 September 2014 00:41

 

toutbanner

Each week, your friends at Mastersball will post the results of the weekly Tout Wars FAAB run, featuring the winning bid as well as the runner-up bids. There are four Tout Wars leagues, a 12-team AL only, 12-team NL only, 15-team Mixed Auction League and 15-team Mixed Draft League. The Mixed leagues use on-base-percentage instead of batting average. You can see the complete standings for each league by clicking on the appropriate heading, located just under each player photo.

Tout Wars uses a Vickrey system to award bids. For a complete description of the Vickrey system, click HERE for the Tout Wars constitution.

Included with each league report will be commentary from a Mastersball staff member participating in that league. We invite you to ask questions and post comments at the bottom of the report.

All contingency bids for awarded players are included. Sometimes, this is a bid tied to a player that the owner received, so at times the bid amount is larger than the winning bid. We are including it to provide as much information and context as possible with each report.

*PLEASE NOTE - We have slightly altered the presentation in an effort to help you reconstruct the actual bidding a little better. The amount the owner paid is listed in a column followed by the non-adjusted Vickrey bid. The remaining bids for that player are then listed in order of amount. if the amount of an unawarded bid is greater than what was charged, the bid was a contingency bid by that owner and they were awarded a player of higher priority.

New to the report is "Todd's Take" where Lord Zola will share his unique perspective focusing on FAAB strategy, game theory and league dynamics.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

cyoung

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

CYoung, NYY 7 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 16 Larry Schechter 9 Steve Moyer 6
Ron Shandler 5
NKarns, TB 4 Mike Podhorzer 14 Ron Shandler 3
NTropeano, Hou 4 Mike Podhorzer 4 Ron Shandler 3
DMurphy, Cle 1 Larry Schechter 9 Ron Shandler 0
JParedes, Bal 1 Ron Shandler 10 Larry Schechter 9
KLobstein, Det 0 Steve Moyer 0 Ron Shandler 0
ARosales, Tex 0 Larry Schechter 9
CBassitt, CWS 0 Ron Shandler 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

JWeeks, Bos Larry Schechter 9 Ron Shandler 8
ZMcAllister, Cle Ron Shandler 0
TMay, Min Ron Shandler 0

Rob Leibowitz' Commentary

David Murphy was available as a free agent this week. Despite playing regularly still for the Tribe, the lefty did not get much love on the FAAB waiver wire. The 32-year old remains a well-disciplined contact hitter, but offers little for fantasy players in terms of power or speed.

Chris Young’s recent hot streak actually received more attention which speaks well to the late-season focus on counting stat categories where ground can still be gained and home runs is the one area Young can certainly help. Whether or not the hot streak is over or not is irrelevant, the move is shrewd defensive move to insure others do not add Young’s potential homers to their totals.

Todd's Take

One of my personal crusades is to convince each and every fantasy baseball player that it's not only possible, but likely to gain or lose points in the ratio categories up to the last week of the season. We won't be with you the very last week and I have something in mind for next week so we'll take a look at how standings changed from last week within each category, making the leap of faith that if it happened this week, something similar can happen with two more week's worth of stats on the ledger.

HR +.5, -.5, +.5, -.5
RBI +1, -1, +1.5, +.5, -2
RUNS +1, -1, +.5, -.5
SB +.5, -.5, +.5, -.5
OBP +2, -1, -1, +1, -1
W +.5, -.5, +1, +.5, -1.5
SV +.5, -.5
K +1, -1
ERA +1, -1, +2, -1, -1
WHIP +1, -1

It's certainly not definitive but it's nice to see movement in OBP, ERA and WHIP with a couple teams gaining 2 points.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

mclark

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

MClark, Mil 14 Todd Zola 22 Phil Hertz 13 Mike Gianella 11
Tristan H. Cockcroft 8 Peter Kreutzer 6
DCorcino, Cin 14 Peter Kreutzer 23 Phil Hertz 13
CRoss, Ari 12 Phil Hertz 13 Todd Zola 17 Tristan H. Cockcroft 11
Derek Carty 6 Peter Kreutzer 1
CBergman, Col 9 Peter Kreutzer 18 Phil Hertz 8
CBethancourt, Atl 4 Brian Walton 4 Peter Kreutzer 3
BPaulsen, Col 1 Tristan H. Cockcroft 8 Todd Zola 17
KNieuwenhuis, NYM 1 Peter Kreutzer 2
RDoumit, Atl 0 Peter Kreutzer 0
DHolmberg, Cin 0 Phil Hertz 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

JHoldzkom, Pit Peter Kreutzer 3
MMaldonado, Mil Peter Kreutzer 0
JLobaton, Was Peter Kreutzer 0
MSzczur, ChC Peter Kreutzer 0
JTabata, Pit Peter Kreutzer 0

Brian Walton's Commentary

With three home runs this past week, Milwaukee first baseman Matt Clark was a hot commodity. Lord Zola won the spirited bidding with a $22 offer reduced to $14 by Vickrey rule. Though the 27-year-old former Padres and Mets farmhand is no longer a hot prospect and even spent time in Japan, all Zola wants is two weeks. In fact, Clark may earn more playing time for the Brewers, especially as they look for any formula to stop their losing ways before the season is lost.

The top pitching acquisition this period in NL Tout was Daniel Corcino of the Reds. Though the 24-year-old had been very ordinary in relief, he was strong in a spot-start against the Brewers on Saturday. Out of the hunt, Cincy may decide to let Mat Latos rest and see what they have in Corcino. Peter Kreutzer won the bidding at $14 ($23).

Cody Ross seems to have nine lives. He will be living another this week on the roster of Phil Hertz, who offered $13 and had to pay $12. The outfielder had been dropped in NL Tout while missing five weeks with a calf strain, but was reactivated by Arizona when rosters expanded on September 1.

Tired of six ugly at-bats per week from Nick Hundley, I tossed the catcher over the side and re-added a player I had acquired as a minor leaguer, then dropped when he was sent back down. It took all of my remaining $4 to reacquire Christian Bethancourt of the skidding Braves. I am at-least expecting regular playing time the rest of the way.

Todd's Take

HR +1, -1, +1, -1
RBI no changes
RUNS +1.5, +2, -.5, -3, +1, -1
SB +.5, -.5, +.5, -.5
OBP +1, -1, +1, +1, -2
W +1, -1, +2, -.5, -1.5
SV +1, -1, +1, -1
K +4, -2, -2
ERA no changes
WHIP +1, -1, +1, -1

Sometimes it's all about the gaps. Looks like whiffs is tightly bunched and could come down to luck of the draw with respect to number of starts.

MIXED LEAGUE AUCTION 

relias

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

RElias, Sea 17 Derek Van Riper 35 Scott Swanay 16 Scott Pianowski 15
Fred Zinkie 9 Tim Heaney 7 Ray Flowers 4
Al Melchior 1
BPeacock, Hou 9 Scott Swanay 16 Cory Schwartz 8
DStoren, Was 7 Fred Zinkie 9 Ray Flowers 6
ADeAza, Bal 7 Scott Pianowski 7 Zach Steinhorn 20 Al Melchior 7
Fred Zinkie 7
BMiller, Sea 1 Ray Flowers 9
CYoung, NYY 1 Nando DiFino 4 Ray Flowers 8 Fred Zinkie 0
JMercer, Pit 1 Ray Flowers 5 Fred Zinkie 0
EMujica, Bos 1 Ray Flowers 7
JFields, Hou 1 Ray Flowers 6
CCapuano, NYY 1 Scott Swanay 16 Ray Flowers 4 Tim Heaney 4
DJeter, NYY 1 Nando DiFino 4
ZMcAllister, Cle 1 Scott Swanay 15 Tim Heaney 4
CCowgill, LAA 1 Al Melchior 7
NTropeano, Hou 1 Al Melchior 1
VWorley, Pit 1 Tim Heaney 10
GJones, Mia 1 Zach Steinhorn 20
AHarang, Atl 1 Fred Zinkie 9

UNAWARDED BIDS

TWood, ChC Scott Swanay 15
RHernandez, LAD Scott Swanay 12 Tim Heaney 4
NTepesch, Tex Scott Swanay 9
CBergman, Col Scott Swanay 9
CSpangenberg, SD Al Melchior 7
GParra, Mil Ray Flowers 6
BCrawford, SF Ray Flowers 6
AHechavarria, Mia Ray Flowers 6
MMoustakas, KC Ray Flowers 6
CValaika, ChC Ray Flowers 6
ROdor, Tex Ray Flowers 6
FDoubront, ChC Ray Flowers 4
YEscobar, TB Ray Flowers 4
ASanchez, Tor Ray Flowers 3
BHand, Mia Al Melchior 1

Zach Steinhorn's Commentary

Over his last four starts, Roenis Elias has registered a 2.05 ERA, and he’s slated for two starts this week. So, it was not too surprising that he garnered plenty of interest as every extra win and strikeout becomes so important at this point in the season. I considered bidding on Elias but was scared off by his Tuesday matchup, on the road against a red-hot Angels club. Regardless, with only $21 left to spend, it’s nice to know that I would not have won Elias even if I tried.

Earlier in the year, there’s no way that Drew Storen and Edward Mujica would garner a combined three bids. But a glance at the standings tells the story, as the Wins and Strikeouts categories are more bunched up then the Saves standings. With time running out to gain significant ground in saves, many owners are following a starting pitcher-heavy lineup approach.

My mid-season trade for Billy Butler was looking good at first, but he’s been awful in September and no longer owns an everyday job. There’s nothing too exciting about Garrett Jones, but he figures to get more at-bats than Butler going forward and might reward me with a home run or two. With only two weeks left in the season, I simply cannot afford to give away at-bats.

Todd's Take

HR +2, -1, -1
RBI +1, +2.5, -2, -1, -.5, .5, -.5
RUNS +2, -1, -1, +.5, -.5, 1, -1
SB +1, -1, +.5, -.5, -.5, +1, -.5
OBP +1, -1, +2, +2, -1, -3
W +2, +.5, -1.5, +1, -2, +1, -1, +.5, -.5
SV +.5, -.5, +1, -1
K +1, +5, +2, +1, -3, -6, +1, -1
ERA +1, +1, -2, +1,  -1
WHIP +1, -1, +1, -1, +1, -1, +1, -1

Now this looks like fun. That's a lot of movement, especially in strikeouts which is a category where a lot can be managed with using extra starters and benching relievers. And, of course, there's action in the ratios too.

MIXED LEAGUE DRAFT

nkarns

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

NKarns, TB 1 Nicholas Minnix 6 Perry Van Hook 11
THouse, Cle 1 Adam Ronis 7
DGee, NYM 1 Adam Ronis 6 Tim McLeod 0
BPeacock, Hou 1 Perry Van Hook 15
CRasmus, LAA 1 Perry Van Hook 15
RVogelsong, SF 0 Tim McLeod 0 Adam Ronis 4
KGiles, Phi 0 Tim McLeod 0
RRivera, SD 0 Tim McLeod 0
JoRamirez, Cle 0 Tim McLeod 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

RCastillo, Bos Nicholas Minnix 6
KHendricks, ChC Nicholas Minnix 6
EMujica, Bos Tim McLeod 0
RHanigan, TB Tim McLeod 0
CSpangenberg, SD Tim McLeod 0
DGregorius, Ari Tim McLeod 0
TMatzek, Col Tim McLeod 0

Perry Van Hook's Commentary

With two weeks to go I am just two points behind Tim McLeod and the categories where I can gain those points with replacements are Wins (Hyun-Jin Ryu injured again and Nathan Eovaldi continuing to be less than effective and not sure I will get a start out of Danny Duffy this week. As there were no closers available to improve my troika of Casey Janssen, LaTroy Hawkins, and Neftali Feliz I had to add the best starters I could and chose to bid $15 each on Houston’s Brad Peacock and Anaheim’s Cory Rasmus both of whom are scheduled for two starts this week. The fact I only had to pay a dollar each was because of a low level of bids this week and of those that did bid they thought more highly of T.J. House, Dillon Gee, and Nathan Karns all of whom only have one start this week.

The other good news is that McLeod has bid his last dollars (though he can still bid $0) and I have more FAAB than most of the league for a final shot.

Todd's Take

HR +2, -.5, -1, -.5, -.5, +.5, +1, +.5, -1.5, +1, +1, -2
RBI +1, -1, +1, -1, +1, -1.5, +.5
RUNS +1, -1, +2, -.5, -1.5, +1, +1, -2
SB +.5, -.5, +.5, -.5
OBP +1, -1, +1, -1, +1, -1
W +2, +.5, +.5, -3, +.5, -.5, +.5, -.5, -1.5, +1.5, +.5, -1, +.5
SV +1, -1, +.5, -.5, +.5, -.5, -1, +1
K +2, -1, +1, -2
ERA +1, -1, +1, -1, +1, -1, +1, -1
WHIP +1, -1, +2, -1, +1, -2, +1, -1, +1, -1, +1, -1

Four leagues does not a stone cold lock's worth of proof make, but there's indeed movement in all ten categories which at minimum suggests not to categorically ignore the ratios, even this late in the season.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:48
 
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