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Collette Calls: AL LABR By the Numbers

Jason Collette

Jason Collette

Jason has been helping fantasy owners since 1999 at RotoJunkie, Fanball, Baseball Prospectus and now here at RotoWire. He covers the Tampa Bay Rays at theprocessreport.net. You can hear Jason weekly on many of the Sirius/XM Fantasy channel offerings throughout the season as well as on the Towers of Power Baseball Hour Podcast on iTunes. He was selected as the Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year by FSWA in 2013.


AL LABR By The Numbers

Percentage of dollars spent on hitting: 68.7%, down from 71.0% in 2013
Percentage of dollars spent on pitching: 31.3%, up from 29.0% in 2013
Number of batters greater than or = $25: 19, down from 22 in 2013
Number of pitchers greater than or = $20: 10, the same as 2013

Percentage Spent By Position:

1B 14.9%
2B 12.3%
SS 9.1%
3B 10.6%
OF 34.7%
C 8.7%
DH 2.7%


Percentage Spent By Pitching Role:

SP 70.6%
RP 29.4%


New Bloods into the AL Hitting Pool:

There were 54 players that were bid on during the active phase of the auction that were not in the 2013 draft. Some of those players were in the National League, while others were not close enough on the radar in the AL in 2013 to be bid on. The big-name crossovers went for big money, but a few players that were in the AL last year made large jumps in their auction values.

Player Team POS 2014$ 2013$ Difference
Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF 25 0 25
Carlos Beltran NYY OF 24 0 24
Jose Abreu CHW 1B 24 0 24
Brian McCann NYY C 21 0 21
Norichika Aoki KC OF 19 0 19
Xander Bogaerts BOS 3B 19 0 19
Alfonso Soriano NYY OF 17 0 17
Dexter Fowler HOU OF 17 0 17
Brad Miller SEA SS 17 0 17
Adam Eaton CHW OF 17 0 17
Yan Gomes CLE C 16 0 16
Kole Calhoun LAA OF 15 0 15
Jonathan Villar HOU SS 15 0 15
Avisail Garcia CHW OF 15 0 15
Brian Dozier MIN 2B 14 0 14
Logan Morrison SEA OF 13 0 13
David Freese LAA 3B 12 0 12
Corey Hart SEA OF 11 0 11
George Springer HOU OF 11 0 11
Oswaldo Arcia MIN OF 10 0 10


Bogaerts, Miller, Calhoun, Villar, Garcia, Dozier, Springer, and Arcia all saw their lots improve significantly with their major league clubs and the experts were aggressive in acquiring these 0 to 1 year players.

New Bloods in the AL Pitching Pool:

There were 45 new names in the final auction results that were not in the 2013 final results, but the amount of new names from outside the league was much slimmer. Masahiro Tanaka and John Axford led the charge in terms of new names to the league, but several 2013 AL pitchers saw their fortunes improve greatly in this draft.

Player Team POS LABR 2013 Price Difference
Koji Uehara BOS RP 19 0 19
Masahiro Tanaka NYY SP 19 0 19
Danny Salazar CLE SP 19 0 19
Sonny Gray OAK SP 17 0 17
John Axford CLE RP 14 0 14
Neftali Feliz TEX RP 13 0 13
Hideki Kuroda NYY SP 13 0 13
Corey Kluber CLE SP 13 0 13
Tommy Hunter BAL RP 10 0 10


Uehara went from being undrafted to the third-highest paid closer in the league. Salazar went from being undrafted to being the 10th-highest dollar amount for starting pitchers. He was drafted for the same price as Tanaka and went for more than the likes of Alex Cobb, Jered Weaver, and Jon Lester. Gray took the strong finish to the season and the postseason into a $16 bid, going for more than CC Sabathia, R.A. Dickey, and Hiroki Kuroda. Tommy Hunter was drafted on his new role as the closer and went $10 despite the fact he has little ability to retire lefties.

The Helium Hitters:

These are the hitters that were drafted in 2013 for at least $1 and saw their values rise by more than $5 in the 2014 auction:

Player Team POS 2014$ 2013$ Difference
Josh Donaldson OAK 3B 23 6 17
Wil Myers TB OF 24 8 16
Jacoby Ellsbury NYY OF 35 24 11
Chris Davis BAL 1B 31 20 11
Brandon Moss OAK 1B 20 11 9
Matt Dominguez HOU 3B 11 2 9
Adam Jones BAL OF 33 25 8
David Ortiz BOS DH 24 16 8
James Loney TB 1B 10 2 8
Jason Kipnis CLE 2B 33 26 7
Leonys Martin TEX OF 18 11 7
Rajai Davis DET OF 13 6 7
Jackie Bradley BOS OF 8 1 7
Michael Brantley CLE OF 15 9 6
Jurickson Profar TEX 2B 15 9 6


Josh Donaldson leading that list warms my heart as the person who owned him in 4 leagues last season. A full season of Wil Myers appealed to the experts, as did Ellsbury changing over to Yankee Stadium. If you want these guys in your own auctions and drafts, you need to decide whether to pay the price, reach, or pass in order to find the values.

The Helium Pitchers:

These are the pitchers that were drafted in 2013 for at least $1 and saw their values rise by more than $5 in the 2014 auction:

Player Team POS LABR 2013 Price Difference
David Robertson NYY RP 19 5 14
A.J. Griffin OAK SP 15 4 11
Justin Masterson CLE SP 13 2 11
Chris Archer TB SP 14 4 10
Alex Cobb TB SP 18 9 9
Dan Straily OAK SP 13 4 9
Anibal Sanchez DET SP 21 13 8
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA SP 13 5 8
Drew Smyly DET SP 12 4 8
John Lackey BOS SP 9 1 8
Greg Holland KC RP 23 16 7
Ivan Nova NYY SP 11 4 7
Rick Porcello DET SP 11 4 7
Jose Quintana CHW SP 10 3 7
C.J. Wilson LAA SP 16 10 6
Ubaldo Jimenez BAL SP 7 1 6


Experts are clearly believing in the new Justin Masterson as he went from a speculative bid to a solid starter price, even if he went a dollar cheaper than Archer. Both pitchers share similar flaws, but Masterson is more accomplished in how he gets lefties out while Archer struggled to do so last year. Porcello and Smyly, both afterthoughts in 2013, are now both double-digit pitchers due to the improvements each made last year. After Iwakuma goes for $5 in two straight drafts, he finally goes for double-digits in the season where he will start the year on the disabled list. Lastly, if you thought Alex Cobb was going to be a sleeper in your league, it is time to wake up.

The Deflated Hitters:

These are the hitters that were drafted in 2013 for at least $1 and saw their values fall by at least $5 in the 2014 auction:

Player Team POS 2014$ 2013$ Difference
Ichiro Suzuki NYY OF 1 20 -19
Paul Konerko CHW 1B 2 19 -17
Jesus Montero SEA C 2 16 -14
Josh Willingham MIN OF 8 20 -12
Austin Jackson DET OF 17 27 -10
Kendrys Morales FA 1B 7 17 -10
J.P. Arencibia TEX C 2 12 -10
Jeff Keppinger CHW 2B 1 11 -10
Josh Hamilton LAA OF 20 29 -9
Ian Kinsler DET 2B 19 28 -9
Billy Butler KC DH 18 27 -9
Nick Markakis BAL OF 14 23 -9
David Murphy CLE OF 5 14 -9
Justin Maxwell KC OF 1 10 -9
Michael Bourn CLE OF 17 25 -8
Melky Cabrera TOR OF 12 20 -8
Dustin Ackley SEA 2B 8 16 -8
Michael Saunders SEA OF 7 15 -8
Stephen Drew FA SS 2 10 -8
Jose Bautista TOR OF 26 33 -7
Brett Lawrie TOR 3B 18 25 -7
Mark Teixeira NYY 1B 16 23 -7
Asdrubal Cabrera CLE SS 15 22 -7
Adam Dunn CHW 1B 8 15 -7
John Jaso OAK C 4 11 -7
Erick Aybar LAA SS 14 20 -6
Dayan Viciedo CHW OF 8 14 -6
Brian Roberts NYY 2B 3 9 -6
Tyler Flowers CHW C 2 8 -6
Lonnie Chisenhall CLE 3B 1 7 -6
Albert Pujols LAA 1B 29 34 -5
Desmond Jennings TB OF 21 26 -5
Ben Zobrist TB 2B 20 25 -5
Mike Moustakas KC 3B 12 17 -5
Lorenzo Cain KC OF 10 15 -5
Trevor Plouffe MIN 3B 8 13 -5
Alex Avila DET C 8 13 -5
Yunel Escobar TB SS 4 9 -5
Andy Dirks DET OF 2 7 -5


That's a large list! This is where the league made its shift into investing into more pitching as they walked away from some of the batters that hurt them last year. Suzuki and Konerko are in their statistical swansongs, and Montero is gaining weight and losing opportunities in Seattle. Jackson dropping $10 was surprising as his stolen base production could increase under new manager Brad Ausmus. Hamilton's awful 2013 combined with his current calf injury dropped his value, but not as much as one might have expected. The list is chock-full of disappointing 2013 production, yet some 2014 values are there if you believe in the skills. Drew at $2 presents an excellent profit opportunity, as does a $5 Murphy in Cleveland as well as a $7 Morales assuming he and Drew do not wait until after the amateur draft to sign their deals and land in the American League.

The Deflated Pitchers:

These are the pitchers that were drafted in 2013 for at least $1 and saw their values fall by at least $5 in the 2014 auction:

Player Team POS LABR 2013 Price Difference
Brandon Morrow TOR SP 9 19 -10
Derek Holland TEX SP 2 11 -9
Tommy Milone OAK RP 1 10 -9
Jeremy Hellickson TB SP 3 11 -8
CC Sabathia NYY SP 15 22 -7
Matt Harrison TEX SP 1 8 -7
Jered Weaver LAA SP 18 24 -6
Matt Moore TB SP 15 21 -6
Trevor Bauer CLE SP 1 7 -6
Justin Verlander DET SP 26 31 -5
Jarrod Parker OAK SP 8 13 -5
Jake Peavy BOS SP 8 13 -5


Morrow is not hurt, yet. Holland and Hellickson are already injured and will be out at least the first two months of the season. Sabathia lost 30 pounds in the offseason and the radar gun readings from the first outing last week were only 89mph. ALERT - They were the exact same last year when he opened the Grapefruit league. If he's going to fall to the low to mid teens, invest! Injury concerns depressed the values of Harrison and Verlander, while Moore's inconsistent command level set his price. If Parker goes for under $10 in one of your auctions and does not end up on your team, you are missing out on a good opportunity.

Lastly, if you would like to see how the auction went in the order the bids happened, click that link. Sometimes, higher prices come due to in-draft inflation and other auction dynamics in play. If you wonder why player A went for more or less than player B, check the auction order sheet to see if auction dynamics came into play.