2014 Experts League Ottoneu Auction Recap
The 2013 Experts League Ottoneu Auction was an unmitigated disaster for team ROTOscouting. Matt Kemp, Jason Kubel, Danny Espinosa and Ryan Dempster flopped. Corey Hart and Michael Pineda didn’t play and Neftali Feliz and Carter Capps never closed. My best selection, Justin Masterson at $1, never threw and inning for my team and helped lead his eventual owner to the title. In spite of a terrible auction, team ROTOscouting battled into September before slipping into second place for good. In 2014, I vow revenge and hope to bring the championship back to its rightful home.
Heading into the Ottoneu Auction with eight open spots and $84 to spend meant the auction would be a quiet one. Needs included a starting first baseman, depth at starting pitcher, second base, catcher and the outfield. Additionally, I hoped to snag a prospect or two given the number of owned players expected to graduate from prospect to producer.
Below is team ROTOscouting’s depth chart post auction. Players highlighted in BLUE are new to the roster. Player price is in parentheses while 2013 production is in dollars and cents. Prospects/minor leaguers are in red.
The dream scenario was to win Miguel Cabrera with a bid in the $50’s and drink a few craft brews before shopping at the Ottoneu auction dollar store later on. Cabrera wound up being the first player thrown and netted $75, the most any player in the league had ever been auctioned for. So much for that!
Buster Posey was the fourth player thrown. Needing both catcher and first base help, the San Francisco Giants star was one of my more difficult drops at $39 last off-season. When the bidding stalled at $21, I pressed +1 because he produced $14.90 in a down 2013 season. To my surprise, other Ottoneu auction owners shied away and Posey returned to team ROTOscouting for a paltry $22. In auction leagues, it’s important to strike early. For whatever reason, owners are gun shy early in drafts and loosen up later on. Posey is a prime example of that considering Jose Dariel Abreu came off the board three picks later for $26.
After Cabrera, Prince Fielder was my second ranked first baseman available. With Posey in hand and $62 left to play with, I decided to go all in on the Rangers first baseman. In the chat box, owners discussed their preference for Reds Joey Votto which was great for me. Fielder’s 125 wRC+ in 2013 tied his career low, yet he was worth $28.50, good for 20th overall among position players. Votto had a season on par with his career average (156 wRC+) and was worth $27.40. In 5×5 where walks and OBP matter little, Prince is the better play and his $45 price tag was acceptable.
With six picks and $17 remaining, it was time to take an hour off and have a beer or three. In the midst of enjoying a Fuller’s London Porter and discussing a deal for one of my seven closers, Tyson Ross nearly slipped by me in the Ottoneu auction. $8 was more than I was hoping to spend considering he immediately became my second most expensive starting pitcher behind Clayton Kershaw, but his age, park and performance in 2013 made him a “must have” sleeper for 2014. Plus, Ross chipped in $6.70 in actual value last season in just 125 innings pitched.
Soon after the Ross pick was made, my closer conversation stalled when the owner asked for Glen Perkins in exchange for Kolten Wong. No offense to Wong, but closers are gold in 5×5 and Perkins was worth $21.30 last season. Earlier in the Ottoneu Auction, Nate Jones came off the board for $19 and Bobby Parnell $22 pointing to the Twins closer having even more value. Plus, White Sox Marcus Semien, a player capable of posting similar numbers to Wong was still on the board. Semien’s position eligibility (2B, 3B, SS) was an added bonus. He was thrown a few rounds too early, but I was pleased to secure him for $4. With four picks and $5 remaining, it was time to shop the Ottoneu Auction dollar store.
The Ottoneu Auction Dollar Store
My first dollar dandy was Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton. In 116 innings pitched last season, Morton produced $3.20 in value. Is his K/9, BB/9 and GB% carry into 2014, he’ll be one of the best pitching values in fantasy baseball.
Next, it was time to round out the outfield. My affinity for players with moderate power/speed left Jackie Bradley as a prime target. To my surprise, he was added for $2. If he can push 10 home runs and 15 stolen bases, I’ll be thrilled. To compare, Michael Brantley‘s 2013 season was worth $15.50 behind 10 home runs and 17 stolen bases.
Each year, I seem to over think my final couple of throws and this year was no exception. With Lucas Giolito on the brain, I had hoped Adam Dunn would go for a few bucks. He didn’t. Adding a player who produced $22 in value in the Ottoneu Auction for a buck is nothing to complain about, but his low average, high power profile is redundant given my roster already has Pedro Alvarez and Alfonso Soriano.
Rockies prospect Eddie Butler was my final selection as I once again hoped to throw a lesser prospect to secure Giolito later on. Having seen Butler, I’m excited to have him as a consolation prize. His power arsenal and heavy sink should afford him success in Colorado. Plus, I use a splits strategy anyway, so he’ll have a chance to provide plenty of return on investment even if I’m limited to pitching Butler on the road.
Overall, the Experts League Ottoneu Auction was a success. I accomplished my goal of adding an elite first baseman while rounding out a roster strong enough to warrant keeping 32 players. Plus, Posey and Dunn were added bonuses and will allow me to work a plethora of rookies in slowly.
7 Mar 2014 / Mike Newman /
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