On Thursday, I discussed the results of a recent AL-only auction I took part in, my second “real” auction/draft of the season. All the rest have been mocks.
It got me thinking ahead to my upcoming NL-only draft. That league is a 10-team, head-to-head 7×7 format, with OPS, batter strikeouts, holds and pitcher losses serving as the additional categories. Net stolen bases and net saves replace the standard SB and SV categories.
You can’t win your league on draft day, but you can lose it.
So the old adage goes.
Thus, while I feel confident about the team I assembled in an AL-only auction Tuesday, I know I will have to stay on top of FAAB every week and make the correct lineup decisions throughout the year to have a chance at winning. The competition in this league is stiff to say the least, with the likes of Al Melchoir and Scott White from CBSSports.com, Todd Zola and Ryan Carey from Mastersball, Keith Cromer from Baseball Prospectus and RotoWire colleagues Paul Sporer and Andrew Fiorentino all included, among others.
James Anderson posed an interesting question to me on Friday’s RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Podcast.
While discussing the Cincinnati Reds’ offseason, James asked me which Reds player I think I’ll own in the most leagues this year. I’ve been a lifelong Reds fan, and there are several players I hope to own in many leagues this year, including Joey Votto and Aroldis Chapman, but one player came to mind immediately: Devin Mesoraco.
That was the book on the Astros’ Chris Carter up until the second half of last season. After hitting 19 homers with just a .205 average and .281 on-base percentage prior to the All-Star break, Carter exploded for a .252/.338/.521 batting line and 18 homers in 269 second-half trips. The 52-point jump in OBP was buoyed by a four percent increase in walk rate between halves (from 7.9% to 11.9%), and he also shaved nearly two percent off his strikeout rate.
Rusney Castillo is still an unknown among the majority of American baseball fans.
The 27-year-old left Cuba in December of 2013 and signed a six-year, $72 million contract with the Red Sox last August, the largest deal ever handed out to a Cuban free agent. He reached Boston in time for the final 10 games of the 2014 campaign and impressed in 40 plate appearances, going 12-for-36 with a double, two homers, three steals (three attempts) and a 3:6 BB:K. Take a look at Castillo’s first major league home run, which he hit off right-hander Steve Geltz on Sept. 25.
Of course, 10 games is too small a sample to draw any meaningful conclusions, but the video below, produced by Baseball America, gives you a better idea of the tools Castillo brings to the table.