Fantasy Baseball

21 Lessons Learned: 2013 Tout Wars Mixed Auction

Tout Wars Mixed League - New Fantasy Baseball Rules League Ideas

The 2013 Tout Wars Mixed Auction was once again – fantastic. We had a great weekend, which I’ll get into more later on, but first, I just wanted to share some lessons learned about the draft and some of the people and players involved. (Here are the results in spreadsheet form for all of the Tout Wars leagues.) I also posted my 2013 Tout Wars Mixed team and player salaries here.

2013 Tout Wars Mixed League


1. Adding OBP in place of batting average changed my approach significantly.

Once I decided to protect this category, my end-game play was 10 times easier than any year before it, which makes me think this is the way to attack every end-game. Pick one category to base those late picks on.

2. Emack doesn’t give a poop about what you think of him.

He admitted he hadn’t adjusted his rankings for OBP about one third into the auction. Could be just a great poker play. Either way, he makes the auctions more fun.

3. Everyone has a different plan for closers.

Craig Kimbrel, 2013 Tout Wars LeagueI got Craig Kimbrel for $22 after everyone else bailed. I was fine with that, but blown away when people would still pay over $12 for 15 other closers. That’s like passing on Robinson Cano at $35, but then having eight other second basemen go for over $20. (There were just four.) Why not pay the extra money for the security of having the best closer? I’ll take it.

4. This 2013 Rookie class is not going to be a good one — until we look back at it next year.

The most-expensive rookies went for just $6 this season (Bruce Rondon, Kyuji Fujikawa, Jedd Gyorko), but that likely would have been a different had Adam Eaton not gotten injured.

5. The 2012 Rookie class was a great one – until we look back at it next year.

I can’t remember a year when sophomores were so expensive. Players like Mike Trout ($43), Bryce Harper ($33), Yoenis Cespedes ($24) were obviously big purchases, but so were Anthony Rizzo ($18), Matt Moore ($16), Jesus Montero ($14) and Wilin Rosario ($12).

6. Jason Collette ruins everything.

There once was a time when you could slip in an underrated Devil Rays player and get him on the cheap. Then Orlando-based Jason Collette started running his yapper and now Rays like Alex Cobb ($7) and Matt Joyce ($4) are no longer quiet sleepers.

7. KFFL’s Tim Heaney is too nice.

When I first got to the auction, I moved someone’s laptop bag because I thought it was a leftover from the morning’s AL Draft. It turned out to be Heaney’s, and I pretty much screwed him out of a good seat. By then, I was kind of settled – and really lazy and hung over – and like a douche, I didn’t move. He finally sat in another spot and never said a bad word. If I had to deal with me, I would turn into a huge jerk, like me.

8. Emack loves it when well-meaning people jinx him.

Two different guys came up to Emack at Foley’s while we were watching the Syracuse game to tell him Syracuse has this game won, despite just an 10-point lead and six minutes left in the game. Emack then went into a profanity-laced tirade on how you just don’t do that!

9. I’m very jealous of Nando.

Not because he has 200 friends in any New York City bar he enters, but because he goes old school at the Tout Wars auctions and just uses paper and pen. Plus, his name makes him sound like an Antonio Banderas character.

10. There is only one player named Oscar Taveras.

I somehow missed that the rookie was taken for an obscene $1 in the auction, then I tried to draft him in the reserve draft. When told he was gone, I covered up my stupidity by saying, “No, I mean the other Oscar Taveras.” Smoooooth. They never knew.

11. There are different schools of thought on Wil Myers this season.

Ray Flowers has been quite vocal about how he opposes drafting Wil Myers in a draft this season. Emack and I were both hoping to get him and stash him. Emack won him for $4, but my thinking is – he’s the best hitting prospect in the minors, and he should be up in May, if not earlier because of injury. While the Rays would like to keep his arbitration clock from starting, that could not matter if they intend on signing him to a long-term deal, like they did Evan Longoria.

2013 Tout Wars Mixed League, Wil Myers

Rays OF Wil Myers hit 26 doubles and 37 homers in the minors last season, and he’s ranked as one of the top hitting prospects in the game by Baseball America.

12. Seth Trachtman is the Florence Nightingale of Fantasy Baseball.

Of the injured players above, Trachtman ended up drafting five of them (Beachy, Hughes, Luebke, Madson and Motte), as well as Victor Martinez, who is coming back from knee surgery, and Troy Tulowitzki, who is considered one of the most injury prone stars in the game. He paid a total of $32 for all of them, minus Tulo, who went for $29.

13. Dodgers RP Kenley Jansen was the most expensive non-starter/non-closer.

I always find it a little interesting to see which middle relievers end up going for the most money. Jansen went for $9, despite Brandon League currently owning the closer’s gig in Los Angeles.’s Cory Schwartz snatched him up, along with another L.A. reliever, Ernesto Frieri ($7), who is expected to set up for Ryan Madson (elbow) once he’s ready to close.

Kenley Jansen, 2013 Tout Wars League

Tout Wars owners treated Dodgers RP Kenley Jansen like a player that will eventually get some saves. Photo Credit: Robbie

14. Nando and Al are saving up to buy a subscription to Sports Illustrated.

Both Nando ($6) and Al Melchior ($7) left money on the table in our auction. To be fair, CBS probably told them to keep expenses down on this trip.

15. Paul Singman is no longer a rookie.

This year’s draft was important for three reasons for young Paul Singman:

  1. He shook off the nerves from last year and worked the auction like a quiet, redheaded veteran.
  2. He could finally join us at Foley’s for a beer because he turned 21 this year.
  3. He found his first pubic hair.

(I told him he did great as a rookie in Year One, and I relayed the story about another rookie from a few years ago, who bought Joel Pineiro for $52 because he didn’t want to leave money on the table. Paul nodded his head politely like you do when you talk to your crazy drunk Uncle that tells you about what it was like before the Internet.)

16. Today’s Fantasy owners should know the story.

I talked with Jeff Erickson for about 30 minutes at Foley’s and we discussed the history of and its metamorphosis into This company changed the face of Fantasy Sports in the mid-‘90s, thanks to three guys from Chicago.

17. Old school CBS is a good thing.

After the draft, I got to have several good chats with a lot of guys that once worked at CBS, besides Emack and myself. From Rick Wolf to Scott Engel to Lawr Michaels, just a great solid group of Fantasy brains. Engel and I were talking about our Fantasy Content staff from 2003-04, which was just five people at that point. Three of those five are now in the FSWA Hall of Fame (Engel, ESPN’s Tristan Cockcroft and’s Michael Fabiano), one is a two-time FSWA Writer of the Year in different Fantasy Sports (Daniel Dobish) … and me. To be fair, I can eat way more wings than them.

18. It remains to be seen if injury discounts are a good thing.

I mentioned I took Eaton for $3, but there were several other dinged-up discounts out there: David Wright (ribs, $28), Aaron Hill (hand, $19), Hanley Ramirez (thumb, $17), Curtis Granderson (forearm, $11), Chris Perez (shoulder, $11), Chase Headley (thumb, $11), Jason Motte (elbow, $10), Derek Jeter (ankle, $7), Ryan Madson (elbow, $6), Brian McCann (shoulder, $6), Mark Teixeira (wrist, $5), Brandon Beachy (elbow, $1), Cory Luebke (elbow, $1), Johan Santana (shoulder, Res), Alex Rodriguez (hip, Res) and Phil Hughes (back, Res).
Curtis Granderson, 2013 Tout Wars Mixed League

19. Kyle Elfrink reminds me of a tall, old, young kid, guy.

When you hear Elfrink talk on his SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Drive Radio Show, you hear a guy that could be about 45 years old, with the perfect radio guy voice. But then you meet him and he looks like a 20-year-old student. And then you talk to him and you realize he’s soooooomewhere in the middle.

20. 9 Players People Love Way More Than Me.

These are the guys that were bought for much more than what I priced them at: Mike Napoli ($22, $13 diff.), Chris Davis ($16, $12 diff.), Yu Darvish ($24, $8 diff.), Ian Desmond ($25, $8 diff.), Matt Kemp ($37, $7 diff.), Anthony Rizzo ($18, $7 diff.), Mark Trumbo ($17, $7 diff.), Kenley Jansen ($9, $6 diff), and Kyle Seager ($12, $6 diff.).

21. 9 Players I Love Way More Than Other People.

These are the guys that were bought for much less than what I priced them at: Michael Bourn ($15, $10 diff.), Martin Prado ($14, $10 diff.), Adam Jones ($20, $9 diff.), Alex Rios ($15, $9 diff.), Derek Jeter ($7, $7 diff.), Roy Halladay ($7, $6 diff.), Ryan Braun ($40, $5 diff.), Josh Johnson ($8, $5 diff.), Salvador Perez ($10, $4 diff.), Hisashi Iwakuma ($3, $4 diff.)

So those are some of the things I learned during the 2013 Tout Wars Mixed Auction. I’ll relay some more stories in the coming days, like how Nando, Emack and I drank and ate our way through the city, mixed with several interesting characters that came straight out of a J.K. Rowling book: Peng, Occe, Ray Flowers …

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