Auction values are very fickle, and my perspective on how they should be presented is different from what you will see on the majority of websites. Each player will only appear at one position, and if they are eligible at another, that will be noted after their name. You will not see an infinite list of players that are valued at 1. Why? I am ranking who I think should be bid on. If they won’t be bid on, then their value is zero and will only be chosen if you have a mini draft to fill out your bench.
My goal is to present to you 276 players in a 12 team/23 player league with a 260 unit budget. In the end, after all my rankings are revealed, the total value will be 3,120 units. Now, will there be players called out that aren’t on my list? Of course. It happens in my league all the time. What do I do when that happens? I don’t bid on that player as I don’t believe he’s worthy of a roster spot. My first auction strategy article covers prepping for an auction, and what I am presenting to you is exactly what the end product should be in your preparation (or you can save time and use my rankings). The reason there are 23 players ranked is that you have to account for the corner and utility spots that will be filled by first baseman.
In an auction, as in a draft, you must decide what positions to spend your draft capital on. If you decide that first base isn’t deep with quality players, then you may want to use one of your high-priced slots here. Waiting on a first baseman is an option, but there is a distinct cutoff after M. Olson. If you wait, you may end up filling your first base slot with a player worthy of only a corner or utility spot.
|C. Bellinger (OF)||LAD||28|
|M. Carpenter (3B)||STL||20|
|J. Gallo (OF)||TEX||13|
|M. Muncy (3B)||LAD||10|
|J. Martinez (OF)||STL||7|
|Y. Gurriel (3B)||HOU||4|
|I. Desmond (OF)||COL||3|
Freddie Freeman has my highest value at 38. He can anchor your team with his BA, RBI, and Run production. He’ll get 23-27 HR which isn’t elite, but his elite BA allows you to get those high HR, low BA guys later in the draft so as it doesn’t kill your BA. The Braves are an improved team this year and with more potential free agent moves, Freeman has a chance to improve on last year.
Paul Goldschmidt is next at 37. His home/away splits were mind-boggling. He was immensely better on the road last year. Humidor effect? Doesn’t matter now in St. Louis, and this may allow him to outperform expectations. My only concern with him is his age. Will he start to decline? His second half surge makes you think not yet. He contributes in all stat categories except SB, but 7 for a first baseman is a bonus as well.
So why do I have Jesus Aguilar at 26? He’s only one of two who hit 30 and drove in a hundred that is eligible at first… shouldn’t he be worth more? We have no idea if his 2018 season is reproducible so it’s factored into his pricing. Will you have to pay more than 26? Maybe. Should you? Maybe. Again the art of the auction and why I like it better than a draft format for baseball. It’s easy to have pick 72 in a draft and see that his current NFBC ADP is 77 with a range of 46 to 114 and decide to fill your 1B spot with him if you need a first baseman because, most likely, all of the first baseman ranked ahead of him are gone. What’s difficult is when someone calls his name out early and, let’s say, 3 other 1B are still available that you have ranked ahead of him. At what price do you stop?
I think one of the hardest players to value was Miguel Cabrera. I have him just outside the top 12. He is currently sitting at ADP 161, making him the 15th first baseman off the board in the NFBC which includes those with dual eligibility. He missed the majority of the year last year and he turns 36 in April. One of his generation’s greatest hitters, but can you risk valuable units on this aging veteran coming off basically a missed season?
Another interesting aging veteran is Edwin Encarnacion. He is the other first base eligible player to go 30/100. He has posted 7 consecutive 30+ HR seasons, but his output has declined each of the last 2 years. Entering his age 36 season and moving to a new ball park in Seattle, there is a chance that streak comes to an end. His value is lumped in there with Votto, Abreu and Carpenter. They will all provide good counting stats, but provide little upside and have the potential for decline.
Continue to monitor the position during the preseason. There are a few teams with questions at first such as the two NY teams. You may pivot to a Luke Voit or Peter Alonso over the likes of Josh Bell if you see them in line for full-time duties at first.
Be on the lookout for more auction value rankings and strategy articles here on FantasyAssembly.com If you only do draft formats, we have you covered too with consensus rankings by our staff. Always happy to answer questions here in the comment section or on twitter @gasdoc_spit.