Maybe it's because I didn't want to drop any of my current players. Maybe it's because of the Tout Wars rule requiring all players added via FAAB must be in active lineups for at least one week. But unlike in previous years, I really haven't been a frequent participant in FAAB bidding so far this season in the Mixed Auction Tout Wars league. In fact, through six FAAB periods, I've made only four purchases, tied for the fewest in the 15-team league. Am I letting opportunity after opportunity slip away? Honestly, when reviewing the players acquired through FAAB so far, I'm not overly impressed. For the most part, that is. Here are six exceptions. All of these guys could turn out to be among the most profitable buys of 2016. But just to be clear, I still do not regret passing on them.
Chris Tillman ($16 by Cory Schwartz on 4/4)
Through eight starts this season, Tillman sports a 2.58 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 rate, proving that his disappointing 2015 campaign was the outlier. The fact that the 28-year-old righty opened the season on the Tout Wars waiver wire goes to show that there were many doubters, and I was one of them. Being that starting pitching has turned out to be the strength of my team, Tillman's resurgence doesn't bother me too much. But the takeaway message here is that there is reward potential for fantasy owners willing to look beyond one poor season.
Drew Pomeranz ($24 by Joe Pisapia on 4/4)
Pomeranz's big league career got off to a shaky start, but maybe all he needed was a move away from Coors Field. Pitching mostly out of the bullpen for the A's from 2014-2015, the former top prospect posted a combined 3.08 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. And he's thriving as a starter for the Padres this season, boasting a 1.80 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through seven outings to go along with 51 strikeouts in 40 innings. There is little reason to doubt Pomeranz's ability to remain a viable mid-rotation mixed league starter from here on out.
Melvin Upton Jr. ($81 by Cory Schwartz on 4/18)
Remember him? Well, you might not recognize the first name, but I'm sure you can figure this out. The funny thing (or maybe not so funny for Justin Upton owners) is that the elder Upton, after disappearing from the fantasy radar for several years, is the more valuable fantasy commodity right now. Through 37 games, he's on pace to finish the season with 18 homers and 26 steals. Perhaps it is crazy to expect those totals, but even a 15/20 year would qualify as a pleasant surprise.
Aledmys Diaz ($94 by Al Melchior on 4/18)
Hitting .387 with six homers, 19 RBI and 25 runs scored through 33 games this season, Diaz has taken full advantage of the playing time opportunity created by the injury to Jhonny Peralta. The sample size is small, but Diaz figures to remain a mixed league asset at least until Peralta returns. And even after Peralta comes back, reports suggest that the Cardinals will look for ways to keep Diaz's bat in the lineup.
Jeanmar Gomez ($133 by Gene McCaffrey on 4/11)
Meet Jeanmar Gomez, your major league saves leader. What? The Phillies, at 21-15, have far exceeded expectations, and the contributions of Gomez, who has saved 14 games in 15 chances while registering a 2.49 ERA, cannot be overlooked. Philadelphia's closer situation was a complete mystery entering the season, but thanks to the 28-year-old righty, it is a mystery no more. Now listen, I'm not saying that Gomez is guaranteed to hold onto the job through the end of the year. Prior to this season, he had recorded only one save in his entire career, and his big league numbers, which include a 4.08 ERA and 1.40 WHIP through six-plus seasons, can best be described as mediocre. What I am saying, however, is that saves can be found on the waiver wire throughout the season, even in deeper leagues. You just have to be aggressive, and a little lucky.
Travis Shaw ($149 by Scott Pianowski on 4/4)
Pablo Sandoval who? As if Boston's decision to sign Sandoval to a lucrative five-year contract didn't look bad enough following his underwhelming first season in Beantown, Sandoval's 2016 campaign ended after only three games due to a torn labrum in his shoulder. And this ensures that Shaw will be Boston's starting third baseman through the end of the season, although we sort of knew that already after Shaw beat out Sandoval for the job this spring. Batting .328 with five home runs and 25 RBI through 36 games, the 26-year-old has picked up right where he left off last season, when he posted a .274-13-36 line in just 226 at-bats.
Considering the continued struggles of Pedro Alvarez, Shaw would surely look nice in my starting corner infield slot.
OK, maybe I do regret passing on him.