I made a mistake in my latest auction draft. A rookie mistake. I left money on the table. You know what, though — I’m not too worried about it. It was a natural risk that was bred from a few of my main tenets. Here are some of those personal rules — which I may have to alter now that I’m going public — and then I’ll discuss how implementing the rules went in yesterday’s particular draft.
1) Throw guys you don’t want. Bid on them a little bit so people don’t know that you’re throwing guys you don’t want. Watch them spend money on players you don’t want.
2) Budget two dollars for every bench spot. This creates end-game flexibility. You’ll be able to steal everyone’s one-dollar picks.
3) Compare early results for stars to your auction value spreadsheet. Adjust your plan accordingly.
You can probably already see how I ended up with money on the table, and how I might not have been so angry about it. But let’s look at the team really quickly, and the other rules might come into focus as well.
$260 Budget; 12-team Roto; BA, HR, R, RBI, SB, OPS / W, SV, ERA, WHIP, K, QS
C Carlos Santana $19
1B Kevin Youkilis $16
2B Ian Kinsler $28
3B Alex Rodriguez $18
SS Starlin Castro $20
LF Logan Morrison $8
CF Andrew McCutchen $28
RF Lucas Duda $6
Util Andre Ethier $5
Util Chris Young $8
BN Jason Kubel $2
BN Jason Kipnis $4
Early in the draft, the first rounders were all going for $40 and more. My value sheet had Albert Pujols first, with $36 in value. By tracking the first picks, I realized that everyone was coming in almost exactly $10 more on the first-rounders. By rule #3, I adjusted my strategy: I was going to possibly overpay for my first two picks, but I would try to do it for less than $10.
I accomplished that with Ian Kinsler, who I had valued at $30, and Andrew McCutchen, who I had at $22. Getting a first-round pick exactly at the price I wanted made me feel good. McCutch was a slight overpay, but not by a ton. There was a slight bump in the road with this strategy — I had Starlin Castro at $20 on my sheet, and with all the exuberance, I decided I’d just bid $20 and cut to the chase. Oops. Probably coulda saved a buck or two there.
By throwing all the pitchers I didn’t want, I didn’t quite flush out enough money. While I paid about retail for Cliff Lee, I ended up overpaying slightly for Matt Moore because I saw a lack of strong #2s that were available by the time I’d thrown all the pitchers I didn’t like. And the four dollars I left on the table would have helped here. I could have gotten the $17 C.J. Wilson, the $18 Matt Cain, or the $17 Adam Wainwright. Still, I like Moore just a tick behind these guys, and in terms of upside, he can hang in this group.
Jaime Garcia is to blame for the money on the table, or at least that’s my story. I zeroed in on him as a perfect #3/4 — innings and quality starts, with upside for more strikeouts and an excellent ground-ball repertoire, plus he’s young enough to reduce the DL likelihood to some extent. Yahoo had him at $4 (I had him at $10), and I had flushed out players that were projected similarly for about $7-9. I felt good about the $7 in my wallet for Garcia. I threw him finally, +1’ed on a $2 bid… and won him.
Overall, I’m happy with the team. I’ll find a starter to help shore up the back end of my staff, and with two second basemen, third basemen, and center fielders, I might even have some trade value. I certainly have depth at key positions. I got some top-end talent without paying for a $40 dude, and I succeeded in creating a balanced team.
So I don’t feel terrible about the money on the table. Just, you know, a little embarrassed.
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