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Tout Wars Mixed Auction: Defending the title

I got to enjoy my last moments as Tout Wars mixed auction's defending champion this past weekend as the 2019 league kicked off.

But I needed to eat a meal, first:

OK, fine, I'll stop talking about food.

This is a 15-teamer with 5x5 rotisserie (OBP replaces BA) and $260 auction cap.

I rambled on about my team on my first RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Podcast of the year – with new co-host Jeff Erickson – but here's the print form.

Believe me, the crown was heavy in this auction room packed with great competition.

Check out the full draft results for the Mixed Auction and the five other leagues. Here's what I scraped together, in order of purchase:

  • Walker Buehler $23
  • Ronald Acuna $39
  • Brad Hand $18
  • Carlos Correa $29
  • Wilson Ramos $15
  • Patrick Corbin $22
  • Gleyber Torres $20
  • Jose Abreu $16
  • Travis Shaw $19
  • Wil Myers $16 (then 1st break, after about 90 minutes)
  • Ramon Laureano $9
  • Tim Anderson $6
  • Nomar Mazara $9
  • Yusei Kikuchi $3
  • Jake Bauers $5
  • Mike Foltynewicz $4 (then my Dollar Days began)
  • Adam Ottavino $1
  • Shohei Ohtani $1
  • Sonny Gray $1
  • Lewis Brinson $1
  • Ryan Brasier $1
  • Trevor Richards $1
  • John Hicks $1

Reserves, Pick 1 of 15, snaking: Fernando Tatis Jr., Yandy Diaz, Touki Toussaint, Yonny Chirinos, Sandy Alcantara, Jason Kipnis

Budget result: $186 Hitting (71.5%), $74 Pitching (28.5%)

Not far off from what I wanted, and one of the most hitter-skewed results among the 15 teams. Maybe the pitching budget could've been closer to 30%. I'll get to that later.

The Good

Involved in significant bidding for most of the draft

You don't want to go mute until the endgame or spend all your money early. Being involved in the action at every possible stage of the auction gives you the most control over the player pool.

I threw some money out there early on core players and some bargains I couldn't let go.

I ran through many targets within a 10-minute window.

Doubling up on top-20 starting pitchers and buying an elite closer

My aim this year was to work within the top 24 names for a big chunk of my SP budget and leave the depth to the endgame.

With Buehler and Corbin, both won during the early phase of the auction, I avoid bidding wars on riskier names in the middle tiers.

After all, a big reason why I won last year was saving money to purchase Blake Snell and Miles Mikolas for $6 each. I aimed to do that after getting this trio to give me an elite skills base.

It went to mixed results.

Getting at least 5 sources of double-digit stolen bases. (#DDSB)

Instead of chasing singular speedsters – against which Jeff Erickson recently warned – I continued the DDSB plan that helped me win last year's crown.

Acuna, Myers, Torres and Laureano have legit baselines for 10-plus steals. Perhaps Correa, Brinson and Bauers – maybe Ohtani, when he returns – stand to at least come close.

Per the RotoWire Draft Software projections, my starters will swipe 137 bags, placing me third (13 roto points). Not gospel, but a good guideline that I got where I wanted, within the top three of the SB category.

Multipositional eligibility

A group of players with multi-positional eligibility is headline by one of my top targets: Shaw, who's eligible at 1B, 2B and 3B and gets a boost with the OBP scoring.

He joins Myers (3B/OF), Torres (2B/SS) and Bauers (1B/OF) to help me shuffle several positions when needed.

Jose Abreu $16

Wasn't expecting to spend up at first base, but the return was too good at this deal. 25-plus homers, 90-plus RBI sounded good.

Nabbing several sleeper targets

  • Mazara: New hitting coach Luis Ortiz is trying to change Mazara's launch angle, and for someone who's already averaged
  • Brinson, for all his plate-discipline flaws, has been one of spring training's best power bats with five.
  • Richards has a filthy changeup and is building on his arsenal this spring.
  • Gray is reuniting with former college pitching coach Derek Johnson, the Reds' new guru and the man who cultivated the Brewers' surprising run on the mound last year.

Quality reserves

Winning last year's title paid off with the first reserves pick: Tatis. Possible double digits in homers and steals, though I may have to wait until June for the top prospect to debut.

Diaz could creep toward 20 homers to complete his possibly elite OBP. Tampa Bay typically changes hitters and pitchers for the better, and the typically groundball-heavy bat is too buff not to get more from his bat. I'll be keeping an eye on his launch angle.

Toussaint is having a fun spring with plenty of strikeouts and is a good Folty handcuff, and if Chirinos wins the "bulk" RP battle for Tampa Bay, he could be this year's Ryan Yarbrough.

Kipnis is forgotten (for good reason) but still can pop 20 homers and fill in as a Utility for Ohtani, notably against RHPs.

Alcantara is probably going to be my first cut, considering his control problems, but I want to see where he goes.

The Meh

Jumping Torres from $15 to $20 immediately after the nomination

I dig Torres, especially here, but I might've been able to save a few bucks. I'm a big fan of bid jumping to a level from which you can maneuver, but this gave me none of that. Not a crippling misstep, but a decently sized regret.

Tim Anderson $6

He's an OBP drain, so I'm hoping a few others overperform their expectations there. At least Anderson offers similar production to Adalberto Mondesi, who went for $24 and has the same drawback in this scoring format.

Mike Foltynewicz $4

Maybe too much injury optimism to think Folty (elbow) will pitch in April. I'm wasn't a fan of him before the injury (negative regression from last year), but this leaves little risk, and if he pitches for five months, this could be a bargain SP3.

Getting 1.5 closers instead of 2

Brasier could net double-digit saves, but I would've liked to have landed a third reliever with a path to save opportunities coming out of the auction.

The Major Mistake

Leaving myself short on key topper dollars in the endgame

I found myself being upended on several sleepers near the end and not being able to shape my rotation and offensive depth to my whims, a big part of my success last year.

Leave. Those. Topper. Dollars. For. The. Endgame.

Final Thoughts

I accomplished my power-speed and "top three pitchers" goals but will need things to break right with my depth hurlers to make another run toward the top. To be frank, not sure I have those avenues this time.

But seriously. Trevor Richards. Go pick him up:

The RotoWire software liked my draft, so I was a good company man:

Disagree? Have other thoughts on how I did? Tweet me or @RotoWire for next Tuesday's podcast, and Jeff will read them with gusto.