On Friday I published a list of the team I hoped to get in Tout Wars. For two days I thought I had a pretty good shot. But fate intervened.
The first bit of fate, I targeted Roy Oswalt for $25. I saw no reason not to bid $25 on Brandon Webb, and I got him. A little while later perennial champion Mike Lombardo bid $25 on Cole Hamels. Going once… going twice… it was clear no one was stepping in. I bid $26 and I had Hamels for $26 instead of Volquez/Cain for $18. But enough of that. If I’m ever going to actually buy the team I set out to I’m going to have to quit price enforcing pitchers.
The other story of this draft is that there were two parts. Everyone I talked to afterward said they either 1) had a good start and a bad finish, or 2) a bad start and a good finish. I had a dreadful finish, as the talent pool collapsed and I lacked a second catcher and a third baseman. I can’t stress it too much. In a 13 team NL league you have to fill those slots early. There aren’t enough players otherwise.
How did I fall into this mistake? I’m going to blame my computer. I don’t think computers help us draft better teams, but after spending all day at Tout on Saturday, I really didn’t want to get into formatting the printing of my lists Saturday night. Heck, I figured, I’ll just draft from my lists in Excel. It really went okay, no major glitches, I didn’t crash or anything, but when push came to shove I spent more time bookkeeping and less time managing my draft. I love computers for all sorts of tasks, but managing Â a draft is best done with pen and paper, I think.
C: Russell Martin 26–As expected, Lombardo picked off two top catchers. That didn’t drive down prices, but I was resolved to get Martin, who went for $2 over my price. As one of the two best players at a scarce position, I don’t think there’s any problem at all getting him rather than being cheap and not getting him.
C-Yorvit Torrealba 3–No future in Colorado, but maybe he’ll land someplace he’ll play. This was where I landed after declining to bid more than $8 on Nick Hundley, who I really wanted. The other options were all dreck. I’m not sure I would have gotten Hundley for $9, but that was the right move. Now I have to root for a beneficial trade, wondering how he got beat out for the backup job to Sal Fasano.
1B-James Loney 18–From the fun, early part of the draft. Productive youngster at a good price. I’m very happy.
3B-Martin Prado 3–From the dismal, late part of the draft. My best choices were Prado and Rich Aurilia. The job in Atlanta is Prado’s if Chipper Jones goes down. The good news is that Chipper always gets hurt, and Prado won’t hurt me when he plays.
CI-Todd Helton 13–He was one of my targets. He’s been healthy enough to have a strong spring during which he’s hit with some power. Homers would be sweet, but if can score 400 AB with a .300 BA I’ll be happy.
2B–Kaz Matsui 12–Everyone hates him so much his steals go for market value. The injury risk is real, but the price (which isn’t cheap) makes that less important. I’m keen on Kaz this year.
SS–Troy Tulowitski 18–He destroyed my team last year. Payback, baby.
2B–Eugenio Velez 6–This was a stretch. You have to like his speed and game, and 2B was getting thin. But there are real playing time issues out there in SF. He could be painful to play.
OF–Randy Winn 14–I had him targetted, and the bidding stopped a few dollars earlier than I expected, so I’m not complaining. He’s getting older, so I count him as somewhat risky, but he’s a solid guy at a good price.
OF–Hunter Pence 24–This was the price I had for him. He’s the right age, with the right blooming talent, to make one optimistic. It’s hard to see him doing less, and there is some potential he’ll grow into more.
OF–Adam Dunn 18–I wanted Jay Bruce at 18 and he went for $24 or so. I thought Dunn would go for $24 but he fell to $18. I’ll take the trade, though Dunn’s BA kept me from going after other guys with bad BA.
OF–Craig Monroe 1–I nominated him, of course. He’s the kind of forgotten guy who makes a good endgame pick, but his spring has been strong enough I thought he’d get bid up. Nope. No love for Monroe from the room. I’m not unhappy to have him, but by nominating him when I did and getting him for a buck I created a cash crisis–too much of it–which made the rest of my afternoon miserable.
OF–Josh Anderson 6–He was the most expensive outfielder left, though the emergence of Jordan Schafer diminishes his role, perhaps totally. There is an attempt to deal him, to the White Sox perhaps, in the works, so this could work out. But right now it feels a little desperate.
UT–Carlos Gonzalez 1–My first reserve pick. Not a bad one. But I have too many hitters here with undefined or negligible roles. I blame my laptop.
P–Brandon Webb 25–An ace.
P–Cole Hamels 26–Another ace. I’m worried about his health, but given what we know now the price is a fair discount. I have to admit, I jumped in because Lombardo was going to get him. Instead he spent $20 on Gallardo.
P–Chris Carpenter 10–He owes me for wrecking my 2007. It’s payback!
P–Chris Young 12–The price was way lower than my perhaps overly optimistic one. He could crater, his arm is acting up and maybe that explains his struggles, but given the price and the breadth of my staff (which I was building) the risk seems acceptable.
P–Anibel Sanchez 3–I like starters with big league history who are approaching their mid 20s. But this is a flyer and the worst thing to do is be too attached if he starts out floundering.
P–Scott Olson 5–I have him in every league I’m in. Call it a hunch and a pitchers park.
P–Ramon Ramirez 1–He looked awfully good last year. He’s in Louisville for now, getting work he didn’t get while playing in the WBC, but he’ll be back.
P–Aaron Cook 6–You have to change with the times, as far as the Coors effect goes, and Cook has shown he can handle it. The price is less than I had budgeted for him.
P–Jon Garland 3–The league change might help, the stadium, too. He’s coming off a bad year, but most of his have been okay to good. And he’s cheap enough to dump, if need be.
The reserves are a mixed bag. Alcides Escobar could be good speed in the middle infield if the Brewers reset this year. JR Towles is a bet against I-Rod. Brian Barden is a utility possibility behind all the uncertain St. Louis infield positions. And I always have to have Corey Patterson.
Scott Pianowski announced post-draft that based on his projections this was a winning team.Â Not unless I do some things right during the season.
You’ll find all the draft results at toutwars.com. There will also be polls and a modified form of Doubt Wars there starting tomorrow. Feel free to comment.