Look, this isn’t going to be one of those dodgy, self-indulgent, self-serving examinations of a fantasy-industry eraser. I’m not looking for your approval my tout wars list; I know it was a triumph of game theory and modern writing principles. In fact, it is said by many to be the largest collection of human talent ever assembled for a virtual purpose (in an OBP 5X5 format).
If this team ultimately fails, it will be because real MLB players conspired against me. My process was flawless.
I opened with a classic Shandler’s Gambit: july rodriguez, Peter Alonso, jose altuve, corey seager— before moving on to a Modified Erickson-Zola Defense — Gunnar Henderson, Yu Darvish, Christian Xavier, max muncy – at which point the room simply couldn’t recover. Was over. Several participants nodded respectfully. The draft became a coronation.
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But then again, I didn’t come here looking for positive reinforcement. I do not need it. Clearly, I’ve built a fantastic fantasy team. An aspirational list, really.
Let’s not dwell on a pick-by-pick analysis when nothing can be reasonably criticized about the team. Instead, we’re here to focus on the endgame, beyond the top 250 picks. I’d like to highlight five late-round Tout picks (all mine, naturally) that deserve attention in deep mixed leagues…
Moncada is, for a variety of reasons, one of the most obvious candidates to bounce back from the game. For starters, played through an injury early last season after training an oblique late in spring training, an issue that contributed largely to his disappointing performance. The switch-hitting hitter was absolutely brutal from the left side last year (.204/.257/.325) — unusual by his career standards — and was particularly ineffective when driven against (.233 wOBA), as he was in 78.3 percent of his plate appearances left-handed. So he is a clear beneficiary of the new rules related to defensive switching. Moncada is also a 27-year-old who already has a 25-homer season and .915 OPS under his belt.
Just two years ago, he reached base with a .375 average. This is not a guy we should write off just yet.
I’ll allow for the possibility that I could have streamed Lauer at all the right times last season, inflating his true talent level in my mind. She has exceeded her ERA in each of the past two years, which is reason enough for people panicking about her regression to throw her name on the no-draft list. Let’s just keep in mind that when Lauer is shooting, he’s outstanding:
He finished 2022 with consecutive scoreless starts in which he allowed just one hit in 11.0 innings, striking out 16. In April, he had a 13-K performance against the Phillies followed by an 11-K effort against the Phillies. cubs Lauer’s K/9 over the past two seasons is 8.9, which is exactly what you should be looking for if you play in a max-innings league (which Tout doesn’t have, but any public Yahoo league does).
sounds like Abrams could be a member of the Best Shape of His Life club this spring, coming off a mostly (but not entirely) disappointing debut season at 21 years old. He basically lived on base in the minors (.331/.385/.511 career) and went 42-for-54 on stolen base attempts. in 114 lower level games. Abrams is definitely it’s going to work in this year’s much friendlier base-stealing environment. If he starts for the Nationals this season (which seems likely), he can be an elite contributor in a category as well as a respectable source of runs.
You may never make as unsexy a draft pick as Blackmon in 2023, the season in which he turns 37. No one will fight you over a former outfielder with modest power. Just keep in mind that Blackmon was one of the most stolen hitters in the game last season according to Sports Info Solutions. Blackmon’s slugging percentage and average may go up in the coming year. Also, we still like players who hit home at Coors, at or near the top of the lineup.
Baty absolutely wore down pitchers in the minor majors last season, slashing .315/.410/.533 with 19 bombs in 95 games. It’s off to a scorching start this spring, too., forcing his way into the Opening Day roster conversation. At 23, he ranks among the best hitting prospects in baseball and doesn’t have much left to prove in the minors. even if eduardo escobar he starts the season at third for the Mets, he can only hold off the rookie for so long.
As of this writing, Baty has +1500 to win NL Rookie of the Year at BetMGM, just for the record. He is a very reserve prospect with a significant lead.