Welcome to "You Look FAABulous", our look at the FAAB reports for Tout Wars and LABR. Each week, your friends at Mastersball will post the results of the weekly Tout Wars and LABR FAAB run, featuring the winning bid as well a the runner-up bids.
Included with each league report will be commentary from a Mastersball staff member participating in that league. We invite you to ask questions and post comments at the bottom of the report.
All contingency bids for awarded players are included. Sometimes, this bid is tied to a player that the owner received, so at times the bid amount is larger than the winning bid. We are including it to provide as much information and context as possible with each report.
There are five Tout Wars leagues, a 12-team AL only, 12-team NL only, 15-team Mixed Auction League, 15-team Mixed Draft League and a brand new 12-team Mixed Auction Head to head format. All use on-base-percentage instead of batting average with the Head to Head league also using other unique categories. You can see the complete standings for each league by clicking on the appropriate heading, located just under each player photo.
Here is the Tout Wars report. LABR was posted earlier.
|AHechavarria, TB||Larry Schechter 276||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 116||Lawr Michaels 93||Mike Podhorzer 8|
|Seth Trachtman 1|
|AMoore, Sea||Larry Schechter 135|
|AClaudio, Tex||Patrick Davitt 79|
|BRevere, LAA||Patrick Davitt 50||Mike Podhorzer 13|
|PBlackburn, Oak||Lawr Michaels 47||Larry Schechter 43||Seth Trachtman 4|
|DMarrero, Bos||Jason Collette 33||Seth Trachtman 1||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|BBoxberger, TB||Jason Collette 32||Rob Leibowitz 3|
|WHarris, Hou||Patrick Davitt 19|
|TWade, NYY||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 16||Steve Moyer 11||Seth Trachtman 2||Mike Podhorzer 2|
|MMahtook, Det||Mike Podhorzer 3|
|JhoPeralta, Bos||Mike Podhorzer 2|
|MCastro, Bal||Nando DiFino 1|
|NFeliz, KC||Nando DiFino 1|
|LMartin, Sea||Nando DiFino 1|
|MMinor, KC||Jason Collette 6||Nando DiFino 1|
|PKozma, Tex||Jason Collette 1|
|CGentry, Bal||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|JPhegley, Oak||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|SCishek, Sea||Patrick Davitt 0|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
A prelude to holiday fireworks paved the FAAB road with Larry Schechter putting $276 on new Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, making his costly gambit for at bats worth 27% of his total balance. For perspective, in AL LABR, the shortstop pulled 22% making both expenditures in the same ball park.
But, Schechter did not stop there, also spending $135 on Andrew Moore hoping the at-bats and innings push his team into gear.
Elsewhere, Patrick Davitt also pulled out a wad of cash, spending $50 on Ben Revere and an additional $79 on Rangers hurler Alex Claudio and then $19 more on Astros pitcher Will Harris.
I spent $47 hoping for some good stuff out of Paul Blackburn, with second placer Jason Collette making a pair of buys in Deven Marrero ($33) and Brad Boxberger ($32). Additionally, Collette and I consummated our second swap of the season with Jason sending me Cameron Maybin in exchange for Rays pitcher Alex Cobb.
Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton went the Yankees route grabbing Tyler Wade for $16, but the ever vigilant Mike Podhorzer is working to protect his lead with the buys of Mikie Mahtook, who is now starting for just $3 and new Red Sox Jhonny Peralta for a couple of bucks.
Especially during a season where finding helpful pitching from free agency is both difficult and necessary, Andrew Moore is an interesing pick-up. He debuted a few weeks back, but was sent back to Triple-A Tacoma since the Mariners didn't need a fifth starter until this week. On the farm, Moore has pitched to a 3.06 ERA and .94 WHIP, with 48 K and 8 BB in 53 IP. Despite fashioning excellent ratios throughout his minor league career, Moore isn't thought of as a top prospect. Southpaws that top out in the low 90s are crafty. Righties doing the same are off-the-radar. Backed by Safeco Field with a good defense and supported with a decent offense, Moore is more than just an AL only play, he's viable as a streamer in mixed formats.
|SDyson, SF||Phil Hertz 203||Mike Gianella 171||Craig Mish 126||Brian Walton 66|
|Tristan H. Cockcroft 60||Grey Albright 21|
|SVogt, Mil||Tristan H. Cockcroft 111||Phil Hertz 187||Steve Gardner 98||Andy Behrens 76|
|Craig Mish 54||Todd Zola 47||Grey Albright 31|
|Derek Carty 16|
|DSantana, Atl||Steve Gardner 80||Grey Albright 8||Scott Wilderman 1|
|JHwang, SF||Grey Albright 73||Tristan H. Cockcroft 60||Steve Gardner 58||Todd Zola 47|
|Mike Gianella 33||Scott Wilderman 11||Andy Behrens 0|
|TraThompson, LAD||Craig Mish 43||Andy Behrens 11||Scott Wilderman 1||Grey Albright 1|
|AMejia, StL||Craig Mish 31||Derek Carty 0||Andy Behrens 0|
|PEspino, Mil||Scott Wilderman 6|
|MTauchman, Col||Craig Mish 2|
|ASanchez, Was||Craig Mish 2||Derek Carty 0|
|PKivlehan, Cin||Scott Wilderman 2|
|KYates, SD||Scott Wilderman 1||Phil Hertz 0|
|JBlevins, NYM||Grey Albright 0|
|JGrimm, ChC||Grey Albright 0|
|MReynolds, NYM||Derek Carty 0|
|KTomlinson, SF||Steve Gardner 46|
|BStewart, LAD||Phil Hertz 8|
|RMcMahon, Col||Phil Hertz 2|
|RRivera, NYM||Craig Mish 1||Grey Albright 0|
|TLyons, StL||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1|
|TKelly, Phi||Phil Hertz 1|
|VCaratini, ChC||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0||Grey Albright 0|
|PSewald, NYM||Scott Wilderman 0|
|ZDuke, StL||Grey Albright 0|
Brian Walton's Commentary
In looking at injured Giants closer Mark Melancon, like most owners, I tried to determine a proper balance. We don’t know if he will come back from a second disabled list stint due to shoulder problems but we also are unsure if Hunter Strickland or Sam Dyson or someone else will get the saves in the interim.
With Melancon my only closer in this league, I made a balanced bid of $66 for free agent Dyson. It was blown out of the water by three others, led by Phil Hertz of BaseballHQ at $203.
There is a new head of the catching hierarchy in Milwaukee, as the Brewers acquired discarded Oakland backstop Stephen Vogt this past week. That has pushed Manny Pina to second-fiddle and Jett Bandy to the hangar for maintenance. This led to bidding from two-thirds of the league, won by Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN at $111.
Jae-gyun Hwang was a popular darkhorse pick this spring, but it has taken almost half the season for the Giants to bring the third baseman up from Triple-A. For a last-place San Francisco team that needs a spark (or two), Hwang could provide it. On the other hand, playing time ahead is sketchy with Eduardo Nunez’ return very close. Gray Albright made the $73 addition.
Though shut out of the big-boy bidding this time, I feel a bit better in that I had stashed new Phillies outfielder Nick Williams among my reserves all season long and am getting two players off the DL, including Rockies ace Jon Gray.
I also had my antennae pointed at Vogt and Hwang, but wasn't nearly aggressive enough to get the job done. I was actually looking at Vogt for UT/SW, it's that bad. The tempered bids were a result of being close enough to the trade deadline to hope for a difference maker, even if it is for fewer weeks. Already carrying three closers (Oh, Iglesias and Maurer - I didn't say good closers, I stayed out of the Dyson bidding.
|SDyson, SF||Ron Shandler 203||Scott Pianowski 69||Scott Engel 53||Tim Heaney 30|
|Scott Swanay 29||Al Melchior 16|
|CFrazier, NYY||Ray Flowers 191||Brent Hershey 110||Fred Zinkie 20|
|KMarte, Ari||Gene McCaffrey 137||Al Melchior 12|
|SFeldman, Cin||Scott Pianowski 31||Scott Engel 9|
|VVelasquez, Phi||Tim Heaney 27|
|MGivens, Bal||Zach Steinhorn 26||Scott Swanay 17|
|EHernandez, LAD||Brent Hershey 21|
|AMoore, Sea||Fred Zinkie 21||Al Melchior 2|
|MMinor, KC||Scott Swanay 18||Zach Steinhorn 18|
|JLeclerc, Tex||Scott Engel 16||Al Melchior 1|
|ASanchez, Det||Fred Zinkie 13|
|SPearce, Tor||Al Melchior 12||Derek Van Riper 0|
|RNolasco, LAA||Scott Pianowski 11|
|CEdwards, ChC||Zach Steinhorn 8||Fred Zinkie 0|
|ABarnes, LAD||Brent Hershey 3|
|DNava, Phi||Al Melchior 2|
|CKuhl, Pit||Al Melchior 2|
|OAlbies, Atl||Fred Zinkie 1|
|AMejia, Min||Derek Van Riper 0|
|BStewart, LAD||Ron Shandler 57|
|SDrew, Was||Gene McCaffrey 27|
|LGregerson, Hou||Zach Steinhorn 23|
|KBarraclough, Mia||Zach Steinhorn 22|
|MBowman, StL||Scott Engel 19|
|HStrickland, SF||Ron Shandler 18|
|NWilliams, Phi||Tim Heaney 16||Brent Hershey 4|
|PBaez, LAD||Zach Steinhorn 13|
|JChacin, SD||Scott Engel 11||Fred Zinkie 0|
|ECarrera, Tor||Brent Hershey 5|
|VCaratini, ChC||Brent Hershey 2|
|JLocke, Mia||Fred Zinkie 0|
|YPetit, LAA||Fred Zinkie 0|
Zach Steinhorn's Commentary
After saving 38 games for the Rangers last season, Sam Dyson has been a mess for much of 2017, so much so that Texas designated him for assignment last month. Strangely enough, Dyson has now found himself back in a ninth inning role, with the Giants, and he's 2-for-2 in save chances for his new club. Barring a meltdown, Dyson figures to remain San Francisco's closer for however long Mark Melancon is sidelined, which could be awhile. Although 203 FAAB bucks is quite a chunk of change to fork over for a shaky stopper, winning bid amounts carry minimal importance at this stage of the season, when owners have a pretty clear idea as to their team's needs. You either get the guy you need or you don't, and it's better to get him than not to get him.
I was actually expecting Clint Frazier to be this week's most expensive FAAB purchase, and he fell just short. Frazier's impressive big league debut on Saturday that included a home run and a double was followed by an 0-for-3 showing (one walk) on Sunday. But just by watching him play, it's clear that he's ready for the big leagues, and the Yankees probably would not have called him up for a short-term tryout. Still, with Jacoby Ellsbury now back, it's tough to envision how they can find everyday at-bats for Frazier once Matt Holliday and Aaron Hicks return. Something will be figured out, but this is a situation worth monitoring.
My plan last week to purchase at least one and preferably two high-end setup men to help out in ERA and WHIP was foiled when Scott Pianowski grabbed all three of my targets. So I was back at it this week and the results were better, as I did manage to scoop up my top two choices in Mychal Givens and Carl Edwards Jr. As I currently reside near the bottom of the pack in both ERA and WHIP, I'll now have a little more flexibility in deciding which blowup-prone starting pitchers to bench in a given week without sacrificing much in the strikeout department.
FINALLY! The national nightmare is over as Ketel Marte is back in the bigs! Long-time followers know this is a tongue-in-cheek comment, emanating from being more optimistic than most -- OK, than everyone -- coming into the season. It's that Marte is anything special, when I gravitate towards a player it's more a playing time feel than skills appreciation. I read the team leaves poorly; the Diamondbacks sent Marte to Triple-A. At Reno, admittedly a great hitting environment, Marte slashed an impressive .338/.391/.514, earning the call. Of course, the move was instigated after Nick Ahmed was shelved with a broken hand. Chris Owings and Brandon Drury remain the Snakes starting keystone combo, but if Marte can pick up the playing time given to Ahmed, he'll be useful in NL only. I don't see him as mixed-worthy yet, but stranger things have happened -- especially this season.
|KGausman, Bal||Ray Murphy 204||Adam Ronis 117||Tim McLeod 105||D.J. Short 35|
|Corey Parson 16||Rudy Gamble 11||Perry Van Hook 0|
|RTapia, Col||Rudy Gamble 133||Perry Van Hook 21||Tim McLeod 2||Greg Ambrosius 0|
|SDyson, SF||Adam Ronis 114||Scott White 34||Corey Parson 31|
|CFrazier, NYY||Scott White 104||Perry Van Hook 27||Adam Ronis 23||Greg Ambrosius 0|
|AMejia, Min||Corey Parson 12|
|AHanson, CWS||Tim McLeod 8|
|TomHunter, TB||Greg Ambrosius 5|
|JTomlin, Cle||Rudy Gamble 3|
|ABarnes, LAD||Perry Van Hook 0|
|DSpan, SF||Greg Ambrosius 0|
|HStrickland, SF||Perry Van Hook 0|
|KMarte, Ari||Adam Ronis 13|
|JHellickson, Phi||Corey Parson 2|
|ABradley, Ari||Perry Van Hook 0|
|AKnapp, Phi||Perry Van Hook 0|
|CVazquez, Bos||Perry Van Hook 0|
|KSmith, CWS||Perry Van Hook 0|
|TBarnhart, Cin||Perry Van Hook 0|
|BParker, LAA||Greg Ambrosius 0|
|DSantana, Atl||Greg Ambrosius 0|
|JBonifacio, KC||Greg Ambrosius 0|
|JLeclerc, Tex||Greg Ambrosius 0|
|NWilliams, Phi||Greg Ambrosius 0|
Perry Van Hook's Commentary
The normal two factors for very high bids were present this week:
Newly promoted prospect, check. Clint Frazier went for $104 to Scott White.
New closer, check. Sam Dyson went for $114 to Adam Ronis.
They were joined by a $204 winning bid on resurgent Orioles starter Kevin Gausman from Ray Murphy. Rudy Gamble also joined the big spenders landing Rockie outfielder Raimel Tapia for $133.
Those of us in the budget groups took different routes. I need to again replace a catcher with Tom Murphy sent down by Colorado and got my first choice of $0 bids with Austin Barnes who had a great week for the Dodgers. I also went the $0 path to get a pitcher and got my second choice, Hunter Strickland, temporarily closing for the Giants. I did put in small bids for both Frazier and Tapia but chose not to go all in with questions of future playing time for both and not needing an extra outfielder.
Paying attention to the little things yields big benefits. Not only do the Rockies play seven games this week, they're all at home. Further, Carlos Gonzalez is still banged up, hence the aggressive bid on Tapia.
I wonder how much the bidding would have been on Gausman if he didn't show his old form against the Jays Sunday afternoon?
This has been a particularly trying season for those of us taxed with providing rest-of-season projections with pitchers. My working theory is not all fly balls are created equal. Some are generated from hitting underneath the ball, usually on a high pitch. Others emanate from squaring up a pitch with an uppercut stroke, often on lower pitches, where the swing path and the ball's movement are on the same line, transferring maximum energy to the ball, elevating exit velocity. Both types (and varying kinds in-between) have always existed. My contention is the current landscape where there's no shame in whiffing has helped shift the ratio of fly balls to include more of the hard-hit variety. In turn, this has effectively broken any algorithm regressing HR/FB, since the empirical calculation relied on a different proportion of fly ball styles.
Further, I believe not all pitchers are affected by this equally. Those working lower in the zone have a greater chance of seeing their home run totals soar. This helps explain the plight of Rick Porcello, Masahito Tanaka and Gausman. To be fair, this isn't the only factor, but the increase in homers isn't linearly distributed across the pitching inventory,
For the record, I believe the power spike results from a confluence of factors, including balls being manufactured in a different factory, not so coincidental with the home run increase. This isn't to say MLB is behind the change, but it's entirely possible for the ball to meet specifications yet be a little harder, or have slightly lower laces.
|JReddick, Hou||Jake Ciely 64||Paul Sporer 38||Dr. Roto 7||0|
|SGennett, Cin||Paul Sporer 38||Paul Sporer 27|
|DLamet, SD||Jake Ciely 17||Paul Sporer 7|
|LCastillo, Cin||Jake Ciely 16||Paul Sporer 11||Dr. Roto 7|
|ZGodley, Ari||Paul Sporer 8|
|MPina, Mil||Peter Kreutzer 6|
|OArcia, Mil||Vlad Sedler 4|
|LChisenhall, Cle||Paul Sporer 4|
|DSpan, SF||Jake Ciely 2||Paul Sporer 2|
|JBlevins, NYM||Peter Kreutzer 0|
|BPhillips, Atl||Paul Sporer 6|
|TBarnhart, Cin||Peter Kreutzer 5|
|TWolters, Col||Peter Kreutzer 4|
|MClevinger, Cle||Paul Sporer 3|
|ACabrera, NYM||Vlad Sedler 1|
|KMarte, Ari||Vlad Sedler 1|
|TTulowitzki, Tor||Vlad Sedler 1|
|AFrazier, Pit||Paul Sporer 1|
|AEscobar, KC||Vlad Sedler 0|
|AChafin, Ari||Peter Kreutzer 0|
|CGreen, NYY||Peter Kreutzer 0|
|PMaton, SD||Peter Kreutzer 0|
I'm seeing a lot of Josh Reddick activity in mixed leagues. How about this at the midpoint of the season: .309-8-33-7-50. Standing out are seven steals and 50 runs. Obviously, doubling this for the second half isn't wise, but the point is Reddick is perceived a a platoon option, but he's producing enough when he plays to be in most mixed lineups.
Enjoy the holiday. Remember, the key to a happy and safe 4th is making sure you're around on the 5th, preferably with your full complement of digits.