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Anatomy of an Auction Draft

Today is supposed to be a waiver wire article, but we’ll have plenty of those. For those of you still planning one last draft (and the internal FanGraphs league is one of those), I thought I would present to you my second-ever auction draft. Yes, I’m a noob. But with more mocks and real-life auctions in my review mirror, I’ll be able to step up the auction coverage here at RotoGraphs.

Here are my results, with comments coming after:

Position Player $
C Brian McCann 22
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia 1
1B Adrian Gonzalez 31
2B Brandon Phillips 21
3B Gordon Beckham 17
SS Alcides Escobar 12
CI Paul Konerko 10
MI Chris Getz 1
OF Justin Upton 30
OF Carlos Lee 19
OF Matt LaPorta 4
OF Seth Smith 1
OF Scott Podsednik 1
UT Gaby Sanchez 2
BN Xavier Nady 1
BN Matt Joyce 1
Total Offense: $173

Position Player $
P CC Sabathia 26
P Josh Johnson 22
P Brett Anderson 16
P Roy Oswalt 6
P Ryan Franklin 5
P Ryan Madson 4
P Kerry Wood 3
P Ryan Rowland-Smith 2
P Jonathon Niese 1
BN Ian Kennedy 1

Pitching total: $87

This was a 15-team put on by MDS (MillionDollarSleeper), who I’m sure you’ve seen around the comment boards at this site and others. He brought in an impressive collection of talent including David Goleblahblah, Paul Greco from FantasyPros911, Tim Heany from KFFL, Rudy Gamble and Grey Albright from Razzball, Paul Bourdett from AOL Fantasy Fanhouse, Antonio D’Arcangelis from RotoExperts, Scott Swanay from Fantasy Sherpas, Chris Carbonell from the Starbonell BlogTalkRadio show, Charlie Saponara from FB365, and yours truly.

Given that it was a 15-team league and my second attempt ever, I don’t think I fared so badly. I’d say Adrian Gonzalez for $31 was a little much, but the top-tier first basemen went for closer to $40 and Albert Pujols went for $48, so I think I did okay there. Maybe $10 is too much for Paul Konerko, but Adam LaRoche went minutes later for $15 and I felt (much) better. Things happened a little differently with Alcides Escobar – ten minutes after wondering if I’d spent too much on him, Everth Cabrera went for $4 and I wondered if Escobar’s superior batting average (based on fewer Ks and minor league history) was worth $8. Maybe it will prove to be. Carlos Lee for $19 looks about as bad as he does in a uniform, but the crib sheet I was using from LastPlayerPicked.com had Lee worth $21 next year and I was happy to get the power production with a good batting average for relatively cheap. And as for Scott Podsednik and Gaby Sanchez, who both showed up on my NFBC teams, too: They were cheap. And I think they’ll play almost regularly all year. So that’s something.

On the pitching side, CC Sabathia went for less than Johan Santana ($28), Dan Haren ($31), Felix Hernandez ($33), Zack Greinke ($32) and Tim Lincecum ($41), so I was happy to get my ace for cheaper than most. I also preferred CC, despite his big innings totals, over Ubaldo Jimenez ($26) and Ricky Nolasco ($25) as much as I like the younger pitchers. Lord knows CC has put up big innings totals before.

Once I spent my top-closer money on Brett Anderson, I knew I’d be looking for value in the saves category. Advice from Baseball Prospectus’ Marc Normandin was ringing in my ear (punt saves!), but I decided I’d rather try to field a full team this time. Once he’s healthy, I happen to think that the Indians will want to run Kerry Wood out there at closer to pump up his value for a trade, meaning that between him and Ryan Madson, I think I might have a second closer in there somewhere.

It’s kind of a wonky team and seems devoid of elite, top-shelf talent, but it just might work. What do you guys think?