Startup Dynasty Slow Auction – Part 2: Implementing The Strategy
This is part two in a series about the #DitkaDynasty slow auction. In this article I’m going to show how I implemented the strategy put forth in part one. If you haven’t already, check out part one here.
A quick review of part one:
1. Gave an overview of the league settings. 15 team, 5×5 cats, 30 MLB / 20 MiLB rosters.
2. Outlined how I created projected auction values. Goal is to use these values to identify best deals during the auction.
3. Reviewed my dynasty strategy. I chose to tank year 1 & 2, instead of trying to build a “win now” or “tweener” team.
4. Created some guidelines to follow during the auction to keep me on-strategy.
Now on to a review of my draft and implementing the auction strategy.
Part 1 – Grading adherence to my guidelines:
1. First and foremost, buy bargains according to my projected auction values. (A)
At first I was a little harsh on myself and slated it an A-. I made a couple of buys that were at market value or slightly above. Namely, I reached a bit for Willie Calhoun. But when I added it all up, my team was a very close 2nd in added auction value at $47.25. I basically saved enough through the auction to replace a $1 player for a superstar in the top 10. I think that’s worth a full A letter grade.
2 a. Fade all pitchers. (B+)
I was so close on this one, but made two slight investments in starting pitchers. My goal was to spend the minimum $9 on all pitchers and I ended up spending $15. The $6 more doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was a 66% increase over what I had targeted. My love for Corbin Burnes ($3) was one of two picks that did me in. But all in all, I did not spend on pitching and call this a success.
2 b. Fade catchers. (C-)
For suspense purposes I won’t give away the player that ruined the adherence to this guideline until I get to the team review below. But damn, talk about slapping yourself in the face early. Also placed irrational bids on a couple other catchers. I didn’t give myself a full on F grade here for the sole reason that I didn’t spend on two catchers, just the one.
3. Try to keep acquired players to 26 years or younger. (A)
This was the guideline I really wanted to follow and it showed. Altuve going at exact market value? Pass. Dee Gordon going at 2/3rd value? Pass. I focused in on those young guys so much, that my oldest group of players that I spent at least $2 on are 25 years old.
4. Buy upside, not floor. (A-)
My starting lineup is stacked with upside, but in a couple places on the MiLB squad I went with some AAA floor picks like Jake Bauers.
5. Don’t only buy prospects! (A+)
Again, I don’t want to spoil the fun of going through the picks, but my goal was two current superstar players… and I got three! I’m straight enamored with the MLB talent acquired through the auction.
Overall, I did a decent job following the guidelines. The difficult part was seeing pitchers and catchers that I liked go at good values versus my projections. I wanted to pull the trigger on these guys multiple times and had to keep reminding myself to stay on-strategy.
Part 2 – Keeping track of the slow auction
In a slow auction format, there is a lot to keep on your radar. In a normal auction, players are nominated one at a time and you focus on that player solely for that short time period. However, in a slow auction there are constantly 30 players available to bid on, with varying amounts of time remaining to execute a bid. Instead of picking your battles one player at a time, you have to decide at all times whether to jump into the bidding of the 30 players on the board. Thankfully, time is on your side, as each nominated player has a 12 hour clock that gets reset to 8 hours anytime a new high-bidder emerges.
At times the amount of options had me feeling like I was drowning. But thankfully, I set up a spreadsheet to track what was going on. Primarily, I wanted to know who was currently on the auction block and how the current bid differed from my projected auction value. This helped me identify the best values throughout the draft. Additionally in the spreadsheet was player age and player age in three years when I’ll be vying for a championship. This really helped keep me in line with my age guideline. I also added in the Fangraphs Auction Calculator value for 2018 to help give a range of how other managers might value each player. Lastly, I added a “group” number to try and keep track of when the player was nominated during the auction and added a column for which manager ended up with the winning bid. The “group” number received a value of 1 if they appeared in the first 30 players nominated, a 2 for the second group of 30 players, etc. Honestly, after group 6 when 180 players had been nominated, I lost track. But it did help a lot in those first 6 rounds of nominations. Lastly, I also set up a table to track my own team & budget.
Here is an example of a few player lines in my tracking spreadsheet:
Part 3 – The good stuff, aka my auction results:
What a pompous description for this part of the article. But I’m excited to share, so I’m going with it.
During the auction, I “live” tweeted my winning bids. Those act as an in-the-moment account of the auction, whereas my description below is very much in hindsight.
Here is a list of group 1, the first 30 players nominated (in order of final bid amount), italicized players are the ones I considered bidding on, bolded ones I did bid on.
Mike Trout, Jose Altuve, Trea Turner, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Judge, Chris Sale, Charlie Blackmon, Ronald Acuna, Andrew Benintendi, Byron Buxton, Dee Gordon, Domingo Sanatana, Nelson Cruz, Luis Castillo (my nom), Jose Berrios, Jean Segura, Craig Kimbrel, Corey Knebel (my nom), Gleyber Torres, Josh Bell, Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Cabrera, J.T. Realmuto, Luiz Gohara, Austin Hays, Francisco Mejia, Ryan Braun, Kyle Lewis, Max Fried
The first group of players is an appetizer sampler plate of fantasy goodness. When I mentioned earlier about feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to see why. You have to pick between all of these players at once, you don’t want to overpay, you don’t want to miss out and you don’t want to add half your team in the first couple rounds of nominations! Again, tracking helped immensely.
The first decision I had to make was whether or not to pursue Mike Trout. That answer was an emphatic YES. I’m an Angels homer and Mike Trout heart-eyes gazer after all. I had Trout’s projected auction value at $57.50, but I knew he’d be bid past that amount, and I personally view him as worth much more. For some fun research, I put up a poll on Twitter asking how much they’d be willing to spend on Trout in a start-up dynasty.
In a startup dynasty auction, how much budget would you be comfortable dedicating to Mike Trout?
Settings: 15 Team, 30 MLB, 20 MiLB, $300 budget, not a salary cap league
Nothing wrong w/ a little crowd sourcing… 🙂 #DitkaDynasty
— smada plays fantasy (@smada_bb) January 19, 2018
I decided my own maximum for Trout was $70, and it was not enough. I can’t remember how many times I bid up $1 at a time to see if I’d get him. Pretty sure Trout would have gone for $60 had I not bid him up over and over again.
After missing out on Trout, I quickly shifted gears towards other priorities. Referencing the group of players above, I considered bidding on almost all the young studs nominated, but many quickly got bid up outside of my bargain range. A trio of players I pushed on were Aaron Judge, Josh Bell and Austin Hays. Judge was a really slow riser and thought I might be able to get him on the cheap. He’d eventually be bid up 12% above my projection. I ended up in on Bell and Hays from the beginning, but others clearly wanted them more as they went 15% and 42% above my projections respectively.
Winning bid #1 – Gleyber Torres $14 (+ $5 saved)
Now this is the exact type of player I went into the draft targeting. I could not believe a top 10 prospect expected to reach the majors this year would go for this amount (especially this early in the draft when everyone has cash available). I don’t know if the injury scared people off, or the lack of a standout skill, but I got him at a 27% discount. Gleyber was the 3rd largest discount versus projected value in the Group 1.
Winning bid #2 – Francisco Mejia $10 ( + $4 saved)
Believe it or not, my 2nd winning bid completely blew up guideline 2b – fade catchers. Getting Mejia at a 29% discount versus projected value was the 2nd greatest bargain in group 1. Even though it violated the guideline, I still feel OK about the pickup given the value gained while acquiring the top catching prospect in the game. If I was going to spend on any catcher, it would’ve been Mejia or Gary Sanchez.
Before moving on to the next group of picks, I’ll note that the average cost from this group was $23 and the under/overspend amount was only +$0.75 per player versus my projected amounts. This small difference provided some much needed validation to proceed with my projected auction values.
Moving to group 2, again italicized players are the ones I considered bidding on, bolded ones I did bid on.
Nolan Arenado, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, Gary Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard, Rhys Hoskins, Luis Severino, Stephen Strasburg, Corey Seager, Marcell Ozuna, Kenley Jansen, Luke Weaver (my nom), Daniel Murphy, Alex Reyes, Whit Merrifield, Buster Posey, Willie Calhoun, Jon Gray, Robinson Cano, Adam Duvall, Adam Jones, Maikel Franco, Paul DeJong (my nom), Yoshihisa Hirano
I placed bids on 25% of the players nominated in group 2. A ton of young MLB talent available here and choosing between them all came down to value. I placed a $40 bid on Gary Sanchez, which thankfully came up short. In redraft I’m a huge Sanchez proponent and it was difficult to shake in this context. At the time, there were some great potential deals on Hoskins and Merrifield, while Bryant and Bellinger were quickly whisked out of my price range after placing a bid.
Winning bid #3 – Bryce Harper $50 ( + $2 saved)
The goal going into the draft was to get at least two young superstars. One down. Of the players that cost at least $35, the average overspend per player was $6 more than projected value. Based on the over-pays for top talent, I was willing to go as high as $55 as he’s my personal #2 overall dynasty asset. Was ecstatic to get him at a slight discount versus projected value. But even more happy to solidify the cornerstone of my team.
Winning bid #4 – Willie Calhoun $15 ( – $2 spent)
I talked myself into over-bidding three times during the entire auction, all at $2 over projected value. Since I’d saved $11 with the first three pickups, I foolishly justified using a small portion of that surplus to over-pay for Willie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Willie lover. Sorry, let me rephrase, a Willie Calhoun lover. But, ugh. I really could have used this money to secure a couple players a bit higher up on my rankings.
Now on to group 3, again italicized players are the ones I considered bidding on, bolded ones I did bid on. Don’t worry I won’t go through the entire draft like this…
Mookie Betts, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor (my nom), Manny Machado, Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, Willson Contreras, Corey Kluber, Joey Votto, Anthony Rendon, Alex Bregman, Christian Yelich, Wil Myers, Starling Marte, Chris Archer, Nomar Mazara, Lance McCullers, Matt Olson, Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wood, Jon Lester, Ender Inciarte (my nom), Jeff Samardzija, Dylan Bundy, Alex Verdugo, J.P. Crawford, Kevin Maitan, Fernando Rodney, Steven Matz, Danny Jansen.
With Contreras, Votto, Bregman, Yelich and McCullers, I checked into the bidding with early low bids that were quickly swept away past “deal” territory. My Inciarte nomination was one that I incorrectly thought I could get a deal on this early in the auction. He went $3 (20%) over my projection. I put in a conservative bid for Mookie and considered making a strong play for him, but then stars began to align…
Winning bid #5 – Carlos Correa $44 ( – $1 spent)
Winning bid #6 – Francisco Lindor $33 ( + 8 saved)
With only a few young superstars remaining, I took my quest to obtain a second one into my own hands, nominating Lindor at $30. However, right after that, I saw that Correa, my #3 dynasty asset, was still hovering in the low $40 range, well below my maximum of $49 (projected value $43). So I decided to forget Lindor, assuming my $30 bid would be blown out of the water and move closer to his $41 projected value. After getting him at $44, I viewed my goal of obtaining 2 superstars complete. But then… a meme popped in my head, “porque no los dos”.
By the time I secured Correa, Lindor had barely budged in price up to $32. I went through the money I had left and analyzed what kind of assets I could acquire with the depleted budget. I decided I could put $1 more on Lindor and still execute on the strategy. Amazingly, it was enough.
Going into groups 4 & 5 with one of the lowest budgets of any team gave me some pause, but I wouldn’t let it make me afraid of going after potential deals.
I considered bidding on Ohtani & Moncada, but they went for exact projected value. I pushed pretty hard on both Ozzie Albies and Fernando Tatis Jr. but neither could be had for even semi-deals. In retrospect, I wish I would have taken the $15 I spent on Willie Calhoun and allocated that plus a few dollars to acquire one of these two young studs. Thankfully, there were a few deals to be had…
Winning bid #7 – Rafael Devers $23 ( + 5 saved)
Winning bid #8 – Michael Chavis $4 ( + $5 saved)
Winning bid #9 – Victor Robles $23 (+ 10 saved)
Between these three picks of young studs, I saved $20 versus projected values. I was left completely stunned at the availability of Devers and Robles, two potential future first rounders. Statistically, Rafael Devers has traces of Vladimir Guerrero (Sr.) in him and I think he’ll be a generational player. I wouldn’t be shocked if he takes a big step forward this year. I believe Michael Chavis could easily become a guy that’s consistently putting up .265 / 30+ HR / 90+ RBI seasons.
The first nine players forming my team to this point had me on an emotional high and I posted this on Twitter:
Winning bid #9 /40
Victor Robles: $23 – $84 remaining
The team thus far 💪💪💪🔥🔥🔥
Bryce Harper ($50)
Carlos Correa ($44)
Francisco Lindor ($33)
Rafael Devers ($23)
Victor Robles ($23)
Willie Calhoun ($15)
Gleyber Torres ($14)
Francisco Mejia ($10)
Michael Chavis ($4) pic.twitter.com/jytNgfqgnx
— smada plays fantasy (@smada_bb) January 23, 2018
The team really is a beauty though, isn’t it?
By the time we were in groups 6 & 7 I knew my days of $20 players were over, so I sat back and spent only $10 across two players.
Winning bid #10 – Taylor Trammell $9 (At cost)
Winning bid #11 – Mike Ford $1 (At cost)
Taylor Trammell was the first player taken that isn’t expected to log an MLB at bat in 2018. I think he could be a top 10 prospect next year, which is why I pushed his bid up to my projected value. Had I known Castellanos would go for $9 later in the auction, I may have gone with him, but that’s straight hindsight. Mike Ford went 605th in the RDI, borderline roster-able in this league. Based on some of the $1 plays available later in the draft, I’m not sure I would have still made this nomination. But, there is going to be churn and decent players available throughout the year, if Mike Ford turns into nothing, maybe his replacement will be something.
At this point in the auction (groups 8+) I lost track of the player groups.
An interesting phenomenon happened at this point in the auction that I ended benefiting from. Because the league overpaid for the top tier players ($30+), many of the middle & late tier players came at bargain prices.
From the table, you can see that the biggest bargains came from the players that went between $10-19. A little over 40% of those players went for 15% under the projected value. The players I chose to go after were in the last two groups and all fall under “big bargains”. They are high upside OFers and… GASP… my first SP!
Winning bid #12 – Bradley Zimmer $9 ( + 4 saved)
I’m enamored with Zimmer. The BA is concerning, but the power/speed Statcast numbers are crazy. Could develop into a fantasy star. Came at a 31% discount.
Winning bid #13 – Manuel Margot $11 ( + 6 saved)
Another potential perennial 20/20 stud. Another massive 35% discount.
Winning bid #14 – Michael Conforto $9 ( + 11 saved)
My largest dollar savings of the entire draft. Because Conforto fits my plan perfectly, he’s possibly my favorite pick outside my big 3. Since I’m tanking 2018, his injury doesn’t mean much to me. All I care about is that he comes back healthy for 2019.
Winning bid #15 – Dinelson Lamet $5 ( + 6 saved)
Why! Why did I decide to spend on a starting pitcher? He went at over a 50% discount, but it’s still no excuse. Possible replacements were a $5 Tim Anderson, Eugino Suarez, Ahmed Rosario & Keston Hiura.
Winning bid #16 – Lewis Brinson $7 ( + 6 saved)
At this point, I already had the following OF: Harper, Calhoun, Margot, Conforto, Zimmer, Robles. Chances are, one or two will not pan out. So I went 7 OF deep, adding another young dual threat. The pick was made the day before the trade to Miami. It’s possible I would have reconsidered, but given the 46% discount, I would have still pulled the trigger.
With each of these picks, especially the last three, I kept calculating how many $2 and $3 players I could roster given the additional spend. It turns out the answer to that was six. Consequentially, that left me with a shocking 19 players at $1, nearly half my team. The 2nd most of all teams.
Here are the winning bids that got me down to only being able to acquire $1 players, aka the “dollar days”.
Winning bid #17 – Gabriel Arias $3 ( – $2 spent)
Winning bid #18 – Monte Harrison $3 ( + 2 saved)
Winning bid #19 – Dominic Smith $2 ( – 1 spent)
Winning bid #20 – Shed Long $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #21 – Corbin Burnes $3 ( – $2 spent)
Winning bid #22- Mitch Garver $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #23- Jake Bauers $2 ( – 1 spent)
Winning bid #24- Austin Riley $2 ( + 3 saved)
I’ll break these picks down into groups to make it easier to digest.
The high upside $3 prospects: Arias & Harrison
I needed to spend a little bit of extra budget on high ranking bats not expected to be in MLB during 2018. Gabriel Arias was a reach, but oozing with potential at just 18 years old. Monte Harrison finally broke out last year and while he’s still raw, he’s another power/speed combo player to dream on.
The CI buys: Smith, Bauers, Riley
I’d consider these guys to be “floor” picks. Potentially we get a breakout from the group, but all I really need is a decent CI in 2020. I didn’t go after a high-end 1B option because decent older ones will be readily available in a 15 team dynasty. Out of these guys, I like Jake Bauers the most. He’s a bit of extra ISO away from becoming an above average 1B.
My unhealthy fetish prospects: Burnes, Shed & Garver
My love for Corbin Burnes runs deep. It’s an odd connection, but my younger brother played with one of Burnes’ St. Mary’s teammates growing up. I followed that kid throughout his time at St. Mary’s and always recognized Burnes’ great box scores in college. He stuck out statistically in early 2017. I watched some video, listened to a couple interviews and bought in. I’m not a scouting expert, but from what I can tell, he’s got incredible command and the stuff to succeed right away at the MLB level. Had he been drafted in the 1st round where he was supposed to be, he would’ve gotten immediate traction on top 100 lists. All in all, he’s the only other pitcher (besides Lamet) I spent more than $1 on. Shed Long is an over-shadowed and under-appreciated prospect. He struggled due to injury & luck in AA after being called up there with Senzel (Shed is 2 months younger BTW). The dude is 5’8″, can rake at 2B and was added to the Reds’ 40 man roster this off season. Mitch Garver is my super deep league gamble at catcher. Had a .250 ISO in AAA, granted as a 27 year old. Got the call late in the year and had a rough 52 PA. He’ll be Jason Castro’s backup in 2018, but can also play other positions. A very likely churn candidate.
Entering the “dollar days”
After obtaining Austin Riley, I had spent $284 on 24 players, leaving the remaining 16 players to come via my own nomination at $1 apiece. I wasn’t the first team to hit the “dollar days”, but I was one of the first three. Getting into this part of the auction earlier than other teams posed one particular challenge: who to nominate. It quickly became a frustrating experience. If you nominate a player you know will get bid past $1, you’ve wasted a nomination and have to sit for the next 12 hours until you have another shot. If you nominate a player that you like and that should go for $1, there is a possibility that the teams with large remaining budgets are willing to bump the bid up to $2. It was difficult figuring out the players I wanted that were not flashy or mainstream enough to get bid up. It’s odd because your first instinct is to nominate the best players available, but I don’t believe that is the best strategy at this point in the draft.
Players I nominated at $1 that were bid up:
Colton Welker ($2), Raul Mondesi ($3), Carson Kelly ($2)
Pretty bummed to miss out on Welker. Had I waited to bid on him later, I think I would’ve gotten him for $1. Mondesi was a long shot to get at $1, but the Royals had just re-signed Alcides Escobar, so the current stock was at a low point. Kelly is blocked by Yadier Molina, but an injury would quickly spike his value.
Players I ended up with at the minimum $1 bid:
Winning bid #25 – A.J. Ramos $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #26 – Peter Alonso $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #27 – Wander Franco $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #28 – Brandon Woodruff $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #29 – Nick Pratto $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #30 – Tyler Mahle $1 ( + 1 saved)
Winning bid #31 – Austin Beck $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #32 – Sheldon Neuse $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #33 – Tristen Lutz $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #34 – DJ Peters $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #35 – Jeter Downs $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #36 – Mike Foltynewicz $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #37 – Marco Estrada $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #38 – Cole Tucker $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #39 – Drew Smyly $1 (At Cost)
Winning bid #40 – Dane Dunning $1 (At Cost)
I’ll do some more groupings to make this last group of 16 picks a little more palatable.
The semi-close bats: Alonso, Neuse, Peters, Tucker
After taking Dominic Smith earlier in the auction, Peter Alonso became a logical handcuff. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if one of them was my 1B/CI in 2020. Watch Sheldon Neuse be a second coming of Paul DeJong in 2019. If not, watch him be off my roster in 2019. DJ Peters power is insane and I’m really excited to see how he performs in AA after a full season of A+ ball. Cole Tucker is some speculation on speed. He doesn’t have anyone significant in front of him on the depth chart and could be in line for a full time role sometime in 2019 if all goes well.
The 2017 draft class (and J2): Franco, Pratto, Beck, Lutz, Downs
The minor league settings for the league are graduation based, meaning once a player hits the MLB limit of 350 AB they cannot be sent back to the minor league team, even if they are ON an MiLB team in real life. Because I have a crazy young MLB squad, I need to fill up my minor leagues with some even younger players to avoid an MLB roster crunch in future years. Wander Franco was the #1 international player available in 2017 and is now the youngest player on my team. Nick Pratto gets Votto comps and is the new bright spot in a weak Royals system. Austin Beck struggled in his first taste of pro ball but may have the greatest upside out of this group. Tristen Lutz was an ISO menace in rookie ball. Jeter Downs has a cool name. He also showed power, speed and plate discipline in his first 200 MiLB PAs.
Pitching? We don’t need no stinking pitching!: Ramos, Woodruff, Mahle, Folty, Estrada, Smyly, Dunning
So, the answer is yes. I had to fill nine pitcher spots before finishing off the auction. Prior to hitting the “dollar days”, I’d only scooped up two pitchers: Dinelson Lamet and Corbin Burnes. I didn’t have any specific criteria when it came to selecting my $1 pitchers. The goal was to obtain guys that might increase in value during the 2018 season. I bid on A.J. Ramos the day prior to the Met’s bullpen by committee announcement, so I got lucky there. Hopefully he’ll secure the closer job at some point during the season so I can flip for a profit. Brandon Woodruff and Tyler Mahle fall into the same category of high-floor guys that will get a full shot in 2018. Woodruff’s leash is probably shorter with the Brewers chasing the playoffs. Mike Foltynewicz is still just 26 years old and has shown signs of brilliance over the last couple of years. However, blowup games and a propensity to give up the long ball have limited his potential. With all the young pitching coming up through the Braves system, this is likely a make or break year. Marco Estrada didn’t sleep for an entire year or something. If he sleeps in 2018 he’ll be worth more than $1. Drew Smyly may never be anything ever again, but I got him for nothing and he’ll just take up a DL spot all year. Last but not least… Dane Dunning comes in as my only pitching prospect expected to spend the entire year in the minors. Hoping he continues to rise so I can trade him.
And that’s auction! After 600 players were taken during the auction, our league also had a 10 round snake draft to complete our 50 man rosters and move the total players rostered to 750.
1.9 – Franchy Cordero
2.22 – David Paulino
3.39 – Tucker Barnhart
4.52 – Brandon Finnegan
5.69 – Eric Haase
6.82 – Lucas Duda
7.99 – Matt Shoemaker
8.112 – Eduardo Escobar
9.129 – Jed Lowrie
10.142 – Ben Zobrist
Just a couple notes on the players from the draft. David Paulino is getting completely forgotten because of his suspension. Tucker Barnhart is a solid C2 and was surprised he wasn’t scooped during the auction. Eric Haase is a bit of insurance for Mejia, if you don’t know about him, read this.
Here’s a 1000 foot view of my team in the Ditka Dynasty league by position and (age):
C: Francisco Mejia (22), Mitch Garver (27), Tucker Barnhart (27), Eric Haase (25)
1B: Jake Bauers (22), Dominic Smith (23), Peter Alonso (23), Mike Ford (26), Nick Pratto (19), Lucas Duda (32)
2B: Shed Long (22), Jed Lowrie (34), Ben Zobrist (37)
3B: Rafael Devers (21), Michael Chavis (22), Austin Riley (21), Sheldon Neuse (23)
SS: Carlos Correa (23), Francisco Lindor (24), Gleyber Torres (21), Gabriel Arias (18), Cole Tucker (21), Wander Franco (16)
OF: Bryce Harper (25), Victor Robles (21), Manuel Margot (23), Michael Conforto (25), Bradley Zimmer (25), Willie Calhoun (23), Lewis Brinson (24), Taylor Trammell (20), Monte Harrison (22), DJ Peters (22), Austin Beck (19), Tristen Lutz (19), Eduardo Escobar (29), Franchy Cordero (23)
SP: Dinelson Lamet (25), Corbin Burnes (23), Dane Dunning (23), Mike Foltynewicz (26), Tyler Mahle (23) Brandon Woodruff (25), Drew Smyly (28), Marco Estrada (34), Brandon Finnegan (25), David Paulino (24), Matt Shoemaker (31)
RP: A.J. Ramos (31)
My broad impressions of the team:
Every time I look at this team I drool over the potential of these bats. Having three current superstars was more than I thought possible. The OF is more than I could have dreamed of putting together prior to the auction. The weaknesses come at catcher, where I have the top prospect in the game, and at 2B where SS prospects often end up. I drafted value over positional need, so trades will have to be made.
The pitching turned out better than I expected, but still looks bad. Though I didn’t expect to spend $8 combined on Lamet and Burnes. There is a good mix of young guys with some upside paired with bounce-back candidates.
Overall I’m really happy with how the team came together and looking forward to seeing what this team will look like going into the 2020 season. The slow auction format was a new challenge, but really fun. Due to the deals I got throughout the auction, I have to believe it’s a better format than a snake draft for executing the tank job.
Up next I’ll analyze the league at large. I’ll answer questions like: Who got the most value? Who’s most likely to win the league this year? Where did the prospects go? And who were the biggest steals & overpays?