Welcome to The FAAB Review, the series that looks at the expert bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and Tout Wars AL every week in an effort to try and help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs. Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR Mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insight on the bids and the reasoning behind them. LABR uses a $100 budget with one-dollar minimum bids, while the Tout Wars leagues use a $1,000 budget with zero-dollar minimum bids. I will also be including Bret’s winning bids in Tout Wars mixed auction league where applicable.
LABR and Tout Wars both use a bidding deadline of Sunday at midnight ET.
All 2016 statistics in this article were as of Monday, September 25.
With so little FAAB action in the mixed expert leagues, I once again thought I’d look at all three leagues in detail.
Tout Wars Mixed Auction
With the exception Margot, mixed league bids for any of these players in April would have been the punchline to the “someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. My family is dying” Dril tweet. Rivera seems like a player who will get exposed in 2017 when pitchers figure out his plate discipline is awful but he is a fine add for the final week of the season. Peralta gets the Rockies in Colorado in the Brewers’ season finale; enough said. Margot was a late, somewhat unexpected call-up for the Padres who has looked as good as advertised thus far. All three of these players – and the next two below – were picked up by Al Melchior of Today’s Knuckleball. Melchior has no chance to win. He is in ninth place out of 15 teams, and seventh is the best he can realistically do, but the Tout Wars leagues have a FAAB penalty for not finishing above a certain point threshold. Melchior would currently face a $95 penalty in 2017 if he didn’t get to 75 points, so it behooves him to spend his funny money to try and get there.
Roman Quinn $31. Other bids: $16, $1. Tout Mixed Draft: $22. LABR Mixed: $1
I got a good glimpse of Quinn this weekend in the Phillies’ crazy series against the Mets and I couldn’t believe how fast he was. I had certainly heard about how fast he was, but couldn’t believe how quickly he raced around the base paths as well as in the outfield. As you might guess from these first two sentences, Quinn’s game is stolen bases. He stole 36 bags in the minors this year and had 173 in his professional career prior to his promotion. The question isn’t whether or not Quinn can run but whether or not he will hit enough to be a sustainable regular or if his future is as a pinch runner/defensive replacement/minor league emergency substitute. Quinn is still young and has time to make something of himself with the bat. His survival in the majors will likely depend on his walk rate, which thus far in an admittedly paltry 14-game sample size has been very good.
Josh Collmenter $19. Other bid: $0.
Remember Josh Collmenter? He had one fairly decent year for the Diamondbacks as a starter and smart people spent way too much time wondering if he would survive in the long-term as a starting pitcher or not. The answer was clearly “or not” and eventually Collmenter got bounced from the Diamondbacks like a bad check at the supermarket. The Diamondbacks moved him back to the bullpen and then out of the organization. Collmenter spent a little time in the Cubs’ minor league system but ultimately landed with the Braves, who are using him as a starting pitcher in the waning days of 2016. Collmenter has a favorable matchup on tap this week against the Phillies. The strikeout rate is up this season, but then so are the walk and home run rates. Collmenter is OK as a gamble, but I wouldn’t count on him if I were playing for first place.
Stephen Drew $16.
Hyun Soo Kim $4
I can’t believe Drew is getting regular at bats for the Nationals, but then I remember that Daniel Murphy has a buttocks injury and cannot stop laughing hysterically. The Tout Mixed Auction crowd’s final set of moves are dominated by players getting regular playing time who are not likely to have a big impact in home runs and steals. This is part of the fun of Roto-style leagues, particularly in the final week. Anyone can have a big impact, even though almost no one will.
Tout Mixed Draft
Hunter Renfroe $158
Renfroe was called up with Margot last week and is part of a five-headed hydra of Padres starting outfielders. It wouldn’t really be their heads, come to think of it, it would be their bodies. Never mind; this is already getting confusing and won’t get any better if I continue down this path. Renfroe mashed for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas and while the park is very power friendly, particularly for right-handers, the power tool with Renfroe is legitimate and will play almost anywhere. The question is whether or not the hit tool will be enough to carry Renfroe in the big leagues.
Sergio Romo $111. Other bid: $2.
After considerable doom-and-gloom predictions dogged Santiago Casilla for nearly the entire season, Romo finally took over as Giants’ closer…with just under two weeks to go in the campaign. A week’s worth of potential saves in fantasy can be ridiculously valuable or completely worthless, depending upon where your team is in the standings.
Freddy Galvis $24
If you guessed in April that Freddy Galvis would hit 20 or more home runs in 2016, congratulations, but how the heck did you predict that?!?!?!? Galvis had 26 extra-base hits in 2015, and five of those were triples. He is still a fundamentally bad hitter in real life (his TAv this year is virtually identical to last year), but those 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases play in fantasy, subpar batting average or no. In Tout, the even worse than subpar OBP stings a little more with Galvis, but hoping for a week’s worth of power and speed against the Braves and Mets isn’t the worst plan.
Raisel Iglesias $19
The wheels have come off for Tony Cingrani in Cincinnati. Iglesias picked up a save on Sunday and could get the rest of the saves for Cincinnati in the final week. As is the case with Romo, this pick could be incredibly valuable or incredibly worthless. Stay tuned for FAAB Review: Week 27, to find out what happens!
(Editors’ Note: Please do not stay tuned. This is the last FAAB Review of the season. As is often the case, Mr. Gianella does not know what he is talking about.)
It is a three-team race in Tout Mixed Draft and with the exception of Smith all of these other players were purchased by teams outside of the top three.
In LABR Mixed, it is all over but the shouting. Todd Zola of Mastersball started the week with a 15.5-point lead and should win his first LABR Mixed title. Congratulations Todd!
Tout Wars NL
Josh Collmenter $15. Other bids: $8, $0.
Paul Clemens $15
Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN is in even more dire straits than Melchior (see above). He is going to lose a significant amount of FAAB dollars regardless of what he does this week, but his best chance to grab additional points and mitigate the penalty is by getting wins. Collmenter’s start against the Phillies could help. I would normally not be as confident about Clemens’ start against the Dodgers, but since the Dodgers clinched on Sunday it’s possible that Clemens faces the Dodgers’ “C” lineup.
German Marquez $12. Other bids: $8, $0, $0. LABR NL: $1
Adam Rosales $11. Other bids: $1, $0.
Ryan Weber $9
Michael Mariot $8
Ryan Vogelsong $6
Gabriel Ynoa $3
Stephen Drew $1. Other bids: $1, $0.
Darin Ruf $0
Zack Godley $0
Cody Asche $0
Fernando Salas $0
Hansel Robles $0
Carlos Asuaje $0
The Tout Wars NL race comes down to a cliffhanger in the final week, with Zola clinging to a slim 1.5-point lead over Derek Carty of ESPN. Ruf is the only acquisition that either contender made, with Zola acquiring the Phillies’ first baseman. Carty could use some points in strikeouts but decided not to risk losing an ERA point to Zola in the final week. Good luck to both fantasy experts! I’m sad that I will no longer be the defending champion of Tout Wars NL at this time next week, which is probably why I’m yelling! Yelling hides the pain!
Tout Wars AL
Jose Berrios $150. Other bids: $18, $0.
Mike Podhorzer of Fangraphs rolled the dice on a two-start week for Berrios. Berrios has been absolutely terrible this season, and while he has shown glimpses of the brilliance that made him a top prospect entering the season, he is a mess and cannot be trusted in fantasy in 2016.
Ross Detwiler $18. Other bid: $0.
Detwiler closes out his 2016 with a road start against the Athletics. Of note in Tout is that Chris Liss of Rotowire had both losing $0 bids on Berrios and Detwiler.
Trey Mancini $13
Buck Farmer $1
After a season that saw a lot of back-and-forth with more than a few contenders, Seth Trachtman of Rotoworld holds a 9.5 lead of Liss and appears to be on his way to a well-earned title. Trachtman stood pat this week, along with most of his fellow league mates.