Saturday, March 16 – 2:55 PM
With my Mixed Tout auction draft exactly a week away, I’m getting annoyed. Why did the powers that be at LABR decide against making their mixed league draft an auction? I mean, I feel like I’m just about finished with my Tout prep, as I’ve spent a good chunk of the past few days mapping out my strategy, but it sure would be nice if I had a comparable mixed auction draft for reference, just to be sure that my values aren’t totally out of whack. Instead, I’ve been studying the AL and NL LABR results and trying to adjust accordingly. The other tool I now have at my disposal are the results of the inaugural Online Mixed Tout draft, which was held this past Monday. Again, it’s not an auction, but hey, I really need to stop complaining! I can guarantee you one thing. I’ll have plenty to discuss in next week’s column. Until then, I figured I’d talk about a few picks, all made in the second half of the Online Tout draft, that have the potential to bring in a great deal of profit. All of these guys are on my target list as long as the price is right, but please do me a favor and don’t tell any of my 14 league mates. Thanks.
Who am I kidding? Of course they’ve heard about these players. Maybe their target lists look a lot like mine. OK, you can tell them.
Denard Span (Selected at 16.14 by Tim McLeod)
For some reason, Span isn’t getting any respect this year. I snagged him at 16.5, a mere nine picks earlier, in my NFBC Draft Champions league. I know he’s been nothing special since his 2009 breakout campaign and that injuries have marred each of his past two seasons, but hitting atop a potent Nationals’ lineup, 90-100 runs is well within reach. Add in a solid batting average and 20-plus steals and we’re looking at a quality #3 OF in a 15-teamer who can be comfortably drafted as a #4 or even #5.
Lorenzo Cain (Selected at 20.9 by Mike Podhorzer)
I’m pretty certain that I’ll see Mike at some point during next weekend’s Tout festivities, and you can bet that the first thing I’ll do is tell him what a tremendous pick this was! Seriously though, Cain is a perfect example of the post-hype sleeper. I was thrilled when I got him for six bucks at Tout last year only to be dismayed when injuries limited him to 61 games. Cain has the Royals’ starting centerfield job all to himself, and at 26, there’s room for improvement. A fully healthy season could yield double-digit homers, a quality batting average and 20-plus swipes. Sounds familiar? Yep, think of Cain as a less proven version of Denard Span.
Shaun Marcum (Selected at 19.14 by Tom Kessenich)
The risk you’re taking by drafting Marcum has nothing to do with his performance and everything to do with his health. But is there really such a thing as risk in the 19th round? After avoiding the DL entirely in both 2010 and 2011, elbow issues limited the veteran righty to 21 starts last year. The good news is that he’s healthy now (no injuries through three spring training appearances!) and by joining the Mets, he gets the opportunity to enjoy spacious Citi Field. The owner of a career 3.76 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 2.65 K/BB ratio, Marcum is a virtual lock to land on my roster come Saturday if I can get him on the cheap.
Felix Doubront (Selected at 22.13 by Eno Sarris)
I know, the control needs a lot of work and a disaster outing seems to always be right around the corner for the young southpaw. But Doubront is young, last year being his first full big league season, and he can rack up plenty of strikeouts (9.34 K/9 in ’12). Pitching in the AL East means that the chances of him posting a sub-4.00 ERA are slim, but as an endgame flier, I’m really liking this kid.