ASK ROTOMAN: Heyward or Wacha?

Hello Rotoman,

I am in a 14-team mixed keeper auction league with 23 players (14 hitters, 9 pitchers) and a budget of $260. Who should I keep as my last keeper? Jason Heyward for $20 or Michael Wacha for $10?

“Wacha Wacha Hey!”

I used that technique I described last week, converting draft position to dollar values, to assess what Heyward is going for these days versus Wacha. And I also converted their stats into dollar values and found something interesting.

Both methods said Heyward is worth $19, while Wacha is worth $14. The easy answer is keep Wacha.

But I’m not so sure. The key thing to remember is that shallow league prices are not linear. What this means is that a guy who collects twice as many stats is worth more than the guy who collects half as many.

The curve, that’s the non-linear part, from last year’s Tout Wars Mixed Auction, a 15 team mixed league, looks like this:

Screenshot 2016-02-20 18.05.39The left side represents the most expensive players, the right side the cheapest. Between them is not a straight line.

However, the part of the line that runs from Wacha, at $14, and Heyward, at $19, is pretty straight, meaning that the stats for each escalating pick are pretty much equivalent.

If that’s the case, it might make sense to keep Wacha instead of Heyward.

On the other hand, see how the curve arcs upward at the $20 mark? Heyward is right on the cusp of being valued non-linearly. He’s on a new team that is offensively rich and going to win the World Series for the first time since 1908, and he’s going to turn 27 this season.

Without knowing who your other keeps are it’s hard to make a contextual argument, so if you need pitchers it’s fine to keep Wacha, but any improvement by Heyward this year in his new hitters park will be valued as a multiple. I think I would roll the dice with the Cub and make history. Or be cursed.



Ps: The writer later contacted me to say what his categories were.

BA, HR, STEALS, RBI, RUNS, OBP and TB on offense and WINS, ERA, WHIP, SO,  HOLDS, SAVES and K/9 on pitching. 

Run those through the grinder and you get $20 for Heyward, $9 for Wacha. Another vote for going for the hitter.

And a reminder that categories matter.

2 thoughts on “ASK ROTOMAN: Heyward or Wacha?”

  1. Thank you! My other keepers are Kole Calhoun $9, Lorenzo Cain $3, Jose Fernandez $5, Carlos Martinez $3 and Jeff Samardzija $3. If that changes your prediction please let me know, but I was leaning toward Heyward anyway. With the guys in my league, he would probably go for $30 to $35 if I threw him back in!

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