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March 13, 2014

Sporer Report

My Tout Wars Team, Part One

by Paul Sporer


Last year was my first experience in one of the big industry leagues, as I participated with Jason Collette in the LABR mixed-league draft—a league I’m in again this year with him. This year, I have the distinct honor of pulling a two-fer in the big industry leagues, adding a Tout Wars invitation to the docket, as well. Like LABR, it’s a 15-team mixed-league draft. And just as in LABR, I was given the 14th pick in the draft. How crazy is that? I’m sure someone here at BP, probably Russell Carleton, can calculate the odds of me getting a pair of 14th picks in two different drafts! One major difference here was that OBP would be used in place of AVG, which definitely changes the dynamic for a handful of players.

The rather brisk draft took place on Tuesday night with the following draft order of industry titans (and me):

  1. Tom Kessenich
  2. Perry Van Hook
  3. Eno Sarris
  4. Greg Ambrosius
  5. Tim McLeod
  6. Paul Greco
  7. Nick Minnix
  8. Grey Albright
  9. Scott Engel
  10. Anthony Perri
  11. Ray Murphy
  12. Adam Ronis
  13. Charlie Wiegert
  14. PAUL SPORER!
  15. Brent Hershey

STRATEGY
I was desperately hoping that Bryce Harper would somehow tumble his way down to the no. 14 spot, just as he did for Jason and me in LABR. Harper is a wildcard. His selection really depends on your league-mates more than that of any other first-rounder right now. I value him in the middle of the first round, so if I were picking sixth, I’d be taking him higher than any NFBC draft has seen him go (he has a peak of seventh and trough of 23rd).

Since it is an OBP league, I had designs on Joey Votto as a backup plan. He’s often making it out of the first round in standard leagues with an average pick of 16th, but of course being an OBP super-stud, he might rise up despite an overall tepid appreciation for his skills by the fantasy community at large. This group is too savvy, though, so I honestly had very little hope of getting Votto.

Other notions I had coming into the draft were:

  • Get a top catcher: It’s a deep position, but I’ve been testing the depth a little too much in previous drafts and mocks, often ending up in a predicament, because I missed all of my targets in those top two tier. By then, it just makes sense to wait forever. Counting OBP jumps Joe Mauer’s appeal yet another level, on top of the move off of catcher, but I’m not sure I’m willing to take him in the fourth, which is where I think he will go. I want one of Carlos Santana, Brian McCann, or Jonathan Lucroy.
  • Don’t get left out at 1B if Votto doesn’t fall in the first round: Similar to the catcher situation, I didn’t want to get caught waiting on first base too long if I didn’t get one of those first-round studs who might be available (Votto, Prince Fielder, or Edwin Encarnacion) near my pick.
  • Hit the upper tier of closers: I don’t want to be chasing saves in-season. This is a shark tank of a league; they’re going to be in on the closers-in-waiting two weeks before they are being considered for the job. I could be that shark, too, if I wanted, but why not just secure (as much as you can secure anything in the draft, of course) the volatile position early on with one of super-studs, who by the way also afford you the opportunity to dabble a bit with a lower-strikeout starter in a spot or two, because their 100-strikeout potential offsets a more modest rate from someone like a Jordan Zimmermann or Jered Weaver. I’d rather not be first with Craig Kimbrel, but then one of Aroldis Chapman, Trevor Rosenthal, Kenley Jansen, or Greg Holland will be mine.
  • Be aware of OBP, not a slave to it: Perhaps it’s just my experience in particular, but I feel like OBP is given more attention than AVG. It seems that the guys with horrible OBPs fall more those with horrible AVGs when playing in a standard 5x5 league. Obviously, if I get someone like Votto in the first round, he gives me one hell of a cushion for my OBP.

THE EARLY DRAFT (1-7)
So how’d it go?

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Related Content:  Fantasy,  Tout Wars,  Expert League,  Mixed League

5 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Baseball Prospectus Ne... (03/12)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Garbage... (01/03)
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Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Rai... (03/13)

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