Draft and Hold: A Rookie Speaks

By James Anderson

The full draft board can be viewed here.

As someone who rarely reads about other people’s drafts, I want to keep this short and sweet, but feel free to ask me any specific questions about the players I drafted or my general strategy in the comments or on Twitter @RealJRAnderson.

A couple quick notes:

  • Tout Wars is an OBP league.
  • Players are eligible at positions they played 15-plus games at the previous season.
  • There are no in-season transactions in draft and hold, I just have to use my 50-man roster every week to field the best lineup I can.

I was picking at the 15/16 turn. This is my top-16 for this format, with $ values on a 65/35 hitter/pitcher split:

  1. Mike Trout ($48)
  2. Mookie Betts ($38)
  3. Max Scherzer ($41)
  4. Ronald Acuna ($34)
  5. Jacob deGrom ($39)
  6. J.D. Martinez ($33)
  7. Aaron Judge ($33)
  8. Chris Sale ($36)
  9. Gerrit Cole ($36)
  10. Justin Verlander ($35)
  11. Christian Yelich ($32)
  12. Jose Ramirez ($32)
  13. Bryce Harper ($31)
  14. Trea Turner ($30)
  15. Blake Snell ($31)
  16. Paul Goldschmidt ($28)

Trout is by far the best player in OBP formats, and for the “it doesn’t matter where you draft” crowd, Mike Florio was able to secure $124 in projected value with his first four picks (Trout, Trevor BauerNoah SyndergaardLorenzo Cain), while I secured $115 in what turned out to be a best-case scenario first-four picks from my draft slot. I don’t have a solution, because this is a one-player problem, I’m just pointing out that having the first pick in an OBP league is absolutely a competitive advantage.

You will notice that I have some hitters ranked ahead of pitchers who have a larger expected earned dollar value. Dollar values don’t properly value all pitchers, because there are only a handful of pitchers who can be projected to make 30-plus starts. The dollar value assumes that all pitchers are just left in your lineup all season long, so pitchers who you are only going to be starting for two-thirds of the season aren’t properly valued, which inflates the dollar value of the top guys who you will indeed be leaving in all season.

My hope was for Judge to fall to 15, which I knew shouldn’t happen, but could happen based on ADP. I knew I was taking Cole with one of those picks (assuming Scherzer, deGrom and Sale were gone), and would have taken Verlander with the other pick if Judge hadn’t been there. Judge did indeed fall to 15, so I paired him with Cole, which essentially gave me a perfect start to this draft.

Here is my At Full Strength depth chart with the round in parenthesis:

CAustin Barnes (21)Victor Caratini (36)Garrett Stubbs (49)
COmar Narvaez (22)Nick Hundley (44)
1BJoey Votto (3)Yordan Alvarez (42)
2BYoan Moncada (10)Ben Zobrist (23)
3BAnthony Rendon (4)Erik Gonzalez (40)
SSJonathan Villar (6)Daniel Robertson (35)
CILuke Voit (12)Taylor Ward (48)
MIWilmer Flores (24)Chad Pinder (31)
OFAaron Judge (1)Yusniel Diaz (37)Myles Straw (50)
OFAaron Hicks (7)Jo Adell (33)
OFAustin Meadows (11)Anthony Alford (47)
OFNick Senzel (14)Tyler Naquin (43)
OFEnrique Hernandez (20)Dexter Fowler (30)
UTILJustin Smoak (13)Josh Reddick (29)
PGerrit Cole (2)Logan Allen (34)
PGerman Marquez (5)Joe Kelly (41)
PKyle Hendricks (8)Reyes Moronta (45)
PCollin McHugh (15)Jalen Beeks (46)
PJose Alvarado (9)Jonathan Loaisiga (32)
PA.J. Minter (16)Seth Lugo (25)
PCorbin Burnes (17)CC Sabathia (28)
PJhoulys Chacin (18)Jake Odorizzi (27)Dylan Cease (38)
PRyan Pressly (19)Mike Minor (26)Kyle Wright (39)

Multi-positional Guys: Villar (2B/SS), Moncada (2B/3B), Senzel (2B/OF), Hernandez (2B/SS/OF), Flores (1B/2B), Pinder (2B/OF), Zobrist (2B/OF), Robertson (2B/3B/SS), Gonzalez (2B/3B/SS) 

Also Drafted in TGFBI Champions League: Cole, Meadows, Minter, Pressly, Hernandez, Chacin, Odorizzi, Reddick, Sabathia, Fowler

Pitchers Who Share a Division with the Marlins or the Orioles or the Royals: Alvarado, Minter, Lugo, Odorizzi, Sabathia, Loaisiga, Beeks, Cease, Wright

Bottom Line: I think I have a decent shot to win the league with normal health if I can finish top-10 in saves, which is probably a 50/50 proposition at best. I made the choice to not invest much draft capital in closers – I got in with Alvarado at the end of the big run, but Minter is my only other guy who could get saves to start the season. Pressly, Kelly and Moronta could also chip in some saves, but I need to hit on Alvarado and need Minter to at least be a part-time closer in Atlanta.