On March 11, I participated in the Tout Wars mixed league online draft. It is my first time in Tout Wars and I appreciated the invite. This is a 15-team league that is 5×5 Roto, but uses On-Base Percentage instead of average. It is a weekly league with a FAAB budget of $100 for the season. A minimum bid of $0 is allowed and there are unlimited disabled list spots.
I had the 12th pick overall and will give you my thoughts on the picks.
Round 1, Pick 12: Edwin Encarnacion (1B). I am a huge fan and the only concern for me is the wrist, which he had surgery on in September. He looked fine in the spring and has 78 home runs the last two seasons, at least 90 runs scored, at least 104 RBIs and at least a .370 on-base percentage during that span. He stole 13 bases two years ago and seven last season.
Round 2, Pick 4: Jason Kipnis (2B). Even with two straight seasons of poor second halves, Kipnis’ overall numbers have been good. If he can avoid the bad second half, the stats could get better. Kipnis draws walks and had a .366 On-Base Percentage in 2013. Kipnis could hit 20 home runs and steal 30 bases.
Round 3, Pick 12: Alex Rios (OF). Rios will not help my On-Base Percentage, but it’s still one category. The Rangers offense will be excellent and Rios will provide power, speed and good counting stats.
Round 4, Pick 4: Starling Marte (OF). Marte could be better if he took more pitches and didn’t strike out as much. Still, he will score runs, hit some home runs and provide a lot of stolen bases. He will hurt my RBIs.
Round 5, Pick 12: Homer Bailey (SP). He’s one of my guys and I am not afraid to take him a little early. He made big strides last season and it’s no fluke. His velocity went up and he gets ground balls in a hitter’s park.
Round 6, Pick 4: Desmond Jennings (OF). Many look at Jennings as a disappointment since expectations were high. After 13 home runs and 31 stolen bases in 2012, Jennings had 14 home runs and 20 stolen bases last season, as he had a hand injury and a hamstring injury. There’s potential for a 20-30 season.
Round 7, Pick 12: Mat Latos (SP). At the time I drafted, he was slated to pitch April 6. It looks like he will miss more time, but is expected back in mid-April. Latos is solid across the board.
Round 8, Pick 4: Wilson Ramos (C). I wanted to get one Top 10 catcher and worry about the second one late in the draft. I was thrilled to get Ramos, who I see having a breakout season. Injuries have been an issue, but he batted .272 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs in 287 at-bats last season.
Round 9, Pick 12: Pablo Sandoval (3B). Sandoval is a very good hitter and two broken hamate bones caused him to miss some time over the last few seasons. He lost weight and is in a contract season. My gut tells me a good season is ahead.
Round 10, Pick 4: Steve Cishek (RP). Time to get my first closer and Cishek is ranked in my Top 10. He saved 34 of 36 games with a 2.33 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a 26.3 strikeout percentage. He is undervalued.
Round 11, Pick 12: Hisashi Iwakuma (SP). I don’t mind taking some risk. If he misses one month and gives me five good months, it will be worth it.
Round 12, Pick 4: Cole Hamels (SP). Same as above. The reports get better each day and Hamels could be a steal here. I can put both guys on the disabled list to start.
Round 13, Pick 12: John Axford (RP). Closers flew off the board and Axford was good last season after a rough start. The Cardinals detected he was tipping his pitches and he was excellent in St. Louis, so maybe there’s some truth to it.
Round 14, Pick 4: Alfonso Soriano (OF). He is 38, but should be able to DH sometimes. He has 66 home runs over the last two years and two consecutive seasons of at least 101 RBIs. I don’t expect 18 stolen bases again.
Round 15, Pick 12: Jed Lowrie (SS). It was time to find a shortstop and Lowrie will be excellent as long as he is healthy and that has been a problem for him.
Round 16, Pick 4: Tyson Ross (SP). As a starter, Ross had a 25.7 strikeout percentage and 8.8 walk percentage to go with a 3.06 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 94 innings in 2013.
Round 17, Pick 12: Ivan Nova (SP). He went 9-6 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 19.8 strikeout percentage and 7.5 walk percentage last season. Nova gets ground balls and allowed nine home runs in 139 1/3 innings last season.
Round 18, Pick 4: A.J. Pollock (OF). Expecting double-digit home runs and stolen bases.
Round 19, Pick 12: Mitch Moreland (1B). Looking for some power for my corner infield spot.
Round 20, Pick 4: Justin Ruggiano (OF). Playing time might be an issue, but he can hit for power and steal some bases and goes to a better park.
Round 21, Pick 12: John Lackey (SP). Was terrific last season. Hope he can do it again.
Round 22, Pick 4: Derek Norris (C). Has some power, will get a few steals and he has a good on-base percentage.
Round 23, Pick 12: Cody Allen (RP). If Axford falters, I have the backup.
Round 24, Pick 4: Omar Infante (2B). Filling my middle infield spot with a solid player.
Round 25, Pick 12: Martin Perez (SP). A 9.8 swinging strike percentage indicates more strikeouts could come.
Round 26, Pick 4: Drew Stubbs (OF). If he plays every day, could be a source of power and speed.
Round 27, Pick 12: Carlos Carrasco (SP). I dropped him in first FAAB period for Rougned Odor of the Rangers, who will begin the season in the minors.
I think the team is solid overall. I have good power, speed and a decent On-Base percentage. I took some risk with Iwakuma and Hamels. If they don’t miss too much time, they will turn out to be excellent values. Working the waiver wire is always key, but I am pleased with this foundation.