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AL Tout Squad

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This past Friday evening over in Flushing, NY at Citifield AL Tout Wars 2010 was held.  

This is my tenth season in Tout Wars, but it was my first time in the AL after 9 seasons over in the NL. Tout Wars plays like a local league. We all know each other rather well and despite the fact that I have never played in the AL, I have played against most of the competitors over the years, so it was easy to slide right in and have a good time.

For those unfamiliar with Tout Wars, the one major difference I really find between Tout Wars and your local league is the pace of the auction. The pause between nominations is very limited and the pace of the auctioneer is consistent and quick too. Generally speaking there are also not a lot of bids starting at $1, with players being pushed to their projected value quite quickly. All things I appreciate a great deal. You can get a sense for this in the video of the opening on Tout which you can find here.  

Onto the results:

You can find the complete AL Tout Wars rosters here. Note that there is an error on their sheet. I bought Frasor at $10, not $4 and didn't leave any money on the table.

Jorge Posada                   14
Gerald Laird                      3
Kendry Morales                25
Kevin Kouzmanoff           16
Jose Bautista                    3
Dustin Pedroia                 26
Marco Scutaro                  16
Alex Gonzalez                   3
Bobby Abreu                     24
Torii Hunter                       23
Johnny Damon                 19
Luke Scott                           9
Jose Guillen                       7
Jim Thome                          1
Javier Vazquez                  21
Ben Sheets                         6
Joel Pineiro                         6
Mike Gonzalez                  14
Jason Frasor                     10
Jon Rauch                          10
Daniel Hudson                   1
Jeremy Guthrie                   2
Brett Cecil                           1
Kevin Millwood                 Reserve
Pat Neshek                         Reserve
Hector Rondon                 Reserve
Aaron Crow                       Reserve
 
So heading into AL Tout I put together a pre-draft split of $205/$55. The premise behind it was to stack my lineup, avoid some of the dregs in the lower echelons of hitting, if possible, and concentrate on the pitchers with upside in the under $10 range with one $20 slot for a closer or anchor.

Mostly this worked – Abreu, Hunter, Pedroia, Morales, Posada, Vazquez, Kouzmanoff, Scutaro were all pre-draft slot prices. Note that I try to slot on a by hitter basis, trying to avoid to assign dollars to specific positions as that can lead to confusion and reduce flexibility in readjusting your budget in mid-auction. I bring a spreadsheet of my own design to the draft and use a draft-grid/tier to look at the player pool as a whole.

While generally speaking, I was pleased with the draft, I let a few players go by when I had money slotted for them (Juan Rivera went for $13, Nick Johnson for $12, Podsednik for $12, LaPorta for $11) where I should have gotten too. Instead I landed Scott and Guillen, both under projected value, along with Thome at $1, left me with more money remaining to spend elsewhere than I had originally intended. So with it being that late in the auction, I set about targeting what remaining players still held some value. Noting both Rauch and Frasor were available and that they were favorites to land their teams' respective closer jobs, I resolved to make sure I got both of them with only $28 remaining. Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope that they do indeed end up with the lion-share of saves and offer a potential strength to trade from in the mid-season. So my split ended up being 195/65 or 75|PERCENT| on hitting rather than my intended 79|PERCENT|.
In the reserve round I focused on pitching from two different perspectives – needed two pitchers to step in immediately (Millwood and Neshek) with Hudson going to the minors and Cecil a possible demotion candidate too. Neshek gives me a back-up of Rauch too in terms of saves. So that leaves me with Cecil, Hudson, Rondon, and Crow as all possible mid-season breakthrough rotation candidates/reinforcements.

Other fun things of note: a complete round around the table of White Sox players - just for White Sox's fan, Dean Peterson. There were also several failed attempts to start a Royals player run. At one point Charlie Wiegert of Fanball came in and asked if anyone was driving a Coca Cola truck. It was about to be towed as Citifield is a Pepsi-facility. Alas, that truck is impounded somewhere now.