MLB: James Anderson's Industry League Recap

MLB: James Anderson's Industry League Recap

AL LABR

Format: AL-only auction with 6-round reserve draft; standard 5x5 roto; weekly FAAB with trading

Years in league: 0

This was my first year in AL LABR. It is a league I'd admired from afar for many years, as I knew the quality of the managers in the league was second to none among industry leagues. My bread and butter is mixed leagues with snake drafts, so I was a little nervous to jump in the deep end in an auction format with only half the player pool available to me. However, it went as well as I could have realistically hoped. As I do in snake drafts, I was only interested in a portion of the player pool, and I went into the auction with pre-determined rough spending limits on those players with preferred targets at each position and price point. 

Here is the full auction board, which can be viewed better here:

Here was the sheet I was working off of with dollar values in parenthesis:

CAlejandro Kirk (7)Danny Jansen (5)Francisco Mejia (3) Reserves 
CChristian Vazquez (6)Jonah Heim (4)Ryan Jeffers (3) Matt BrashJeremy Pena
1BTrey Mancini (18)Alex Kirilloff (17)DJ LeMahieu (15)Yuli Gurriel (15)Luis GilJake Fraley
2BJose Altuve (22)Jorge Polanco (22)Brandon Lowe (21)Enrique Hernandez (18)Eli MorganTaylor Walls
SSTim Anderson (30)Jorge Polanco (22)Amed Rosario (18) Cole WinnJake Burger
3B

AL LABR

Format: AL-only auction with 6-round reserve draft; standard 5x5 roto; weekly FAAB with trading

Years in league: 0

This was my first year in AL LABR. It is a league I'd admired from afar for many years, as I knew the quality of the managers in the league was second to none among industry leagues. My bread and butter is mixed leagues with snake drafts, so I was a little nervous to jump in the deep end in an auction format with only half the player pool available to me. However, it went as well as I could have realistically hoped. As I do in snake drafts, I was only interested in a portion of the player pool, and I went into the auction with pre-determined rough spending limits on those players with preferred targets at each position and price point. 

Here is the full auction board, which can be viewed better here:

Here was the sheet I was working off of with dollar values in parenthesis:

CAlejandro Kirk (7)Danny Jansen (5)Francisco Mejia (3) Reserves 
CChristian Vazquez (6)Jonah Heim (4)Ryan Jeffers (3) Matt BrashJeremy Pena
1BTrey Mancini (18)Alex Kirilloff (17)DJ LeMahieu (15)Yuli Gurriel (15)Luis GilJake Fraley
2BJose Altuve (22)Jorge Polanco (22)Brandon Lowe (21)Enrique Hernandez (18)Eli MorganTaylor Walls
SSTim Anderson (30)Jorge Polanco (22)Amed Rosario (18) Cole WinnJake Burger
3BAlex Bregman (19)Jeimer Candelario (18)Josh Donaldson (17)DJ LeMahieu (15)Brandon WilliamsonSteven Kwan
MITony Kemp (5)Christian Arroyo (3)Ramon Urias (3)Tyler Wade (2)Josh WinderGabriel Moreno
CIBobby Bradley (8)Carlos Santana (8)Abraham Toro (8)Yandy Diaz (8)Tommy RomeroLeody Taveras
OFLuis Robert (32)Giancarlo Stanton (22)Leury Garcia (3)Tony Kemp (4)Randy DobnakTriston Casas
OFEloy Jimenez (25)Mitch Haniger (22)Chad Pinder (4) Thomas HatchOwen Miller
OFGeorge Springer (25)Alex Kirilloff (17)Kyle Isbel (5)  Richie Palacios
OFByron Buxton (25)Austin Hays (16)Riley Greene (3)  Evan White
OFAndrew Benintendi (22)Manuel Margot (14)Josh Lowe (1)  Gabriel Arias
UTFranmil Reyes (20)Luke Voit (15)DJ LeMahieu (15)Robbie Grossman (14)  
       
PLiam Hendriks (25)Raisel Iglesias (23)Emmanuel Clase (23)   
PAlek Manoah (22)Framber Valdez (14)Carlos Hernandez (7)Jake Odorizzi (2)  
PJustin Verlander (20)Luis Severino (13)Reid Detmers (5)Luis Patino (5)  
PLuis Garcia (18)Patrick Sandoval (13)Corey Kluber (7)Casey Mize (3)  
PNathan Eovaldi (16)Jordan Montgomery (10)Nestor Cortes (4)   
PShane McClanahan (16)Tanner Houck (10)Dylan Bundy (3)   
PShane Baz (16)Drew Rasmussen (8)Marco Gonzales (5)   
PAndrew Kittredge (10)Jonathan Loaisiga (2)Clay Holmes (2)Pete Fairbanks  
PCody Morris (1)Hector Neris (2)Jorge Alcala (2)Phil Maton  

With the hitters, I wanted to spread the money and risk around, rather than paying up for any super expensive guys. I had hoped to get Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez to pair with Tim Anderson for a mini White Sox stack, but both went for over what I had them valued at, so I pivoted to Byron Buxton and George Springer. This is my first share of Buxton through 10 drafts, so as much as I love his talent, I'm well aware of the injury risk. I just felt I needed to get a player with his blend of power and speed after missing on Robert, and as they say, you can't take the money with you.

I knew I was going to get one of the elite closers. I bid to $25 on Liam Hendriks and he ended up going for $26. I would have preferred Emmanuel Clase at $21 than Raisel Iglesias at $23, but Iglesias was up first and I was going to bid him up to my max to make sure I secured that player archetype. With the starting pitchers, I just went and got my guys -- that's the area of the player pool I typically do the best in, and I had a pretty good idea pre-auction which guys I valued more than the consensus. I had a pretty good idea I would get Cody Morris for $1, and in LABR, once a guy gets optioned to the minors, you can swap them out of your lineup for a reserve, so I just needed to make sure I got a good ratios/strikeouts reliever (Clay Holmes in this case) to swap in for him once the season started.

I went over budget on a couple players (Buxton, Trey Mancini) due to auction dynamics. I missed on some players (Alex Kirilloff, Luis Severino) who went for under what I had them valued at. In the case of Kirilloff, my wife called me when he was up and I looked away for 30 seconds and he was gone. With Severino, he was nominated after I'd already spent $8 on Tanner Houck (also a value) to be my SP3.  My biggest regret of the auction was not saving enough money to buy Andrew Kittredge for a secondary source of saves. I love Luis Garcia, and I got him at my max price of $18, but I could have bought Kittredge + Luis Severino instead of Garcia and one of my $4 starting pitchers, for instance. The biggest surprise for me was that name value/pedigree seemed to be valued over proximity when it came to prospects.

Tout Wars Draft and Hold

Format: Mixed league 50-round snake draft; 5x5 roto with OBP instead of AVG; no in-season roster moves

Years in league: 3

Finishes: 3/15 (2019), 8/15 (2020), 3/15 (2021)

I've finished third in this league two out of the three years, and last year I unintentionally punted saves by trying to get cheap closers in Adam Ottavino, Pete Fairbanks and others. With that experience fresh in my head, I wasn't going to wait on saves again. I also grabbed catchers in Rounds 3 and 4 (Will Smith and J.T. Realmuto, respectively), which is something I've really liked as the draft has played out. I think Smith would be a consensus third-round pick if we had OBP ADP, and you'd probably see him go late second round in drafts as well. I was surprised Realmuto made it back to me, as I was deciding between Smith and Realmuto in the third, but I would have likely grabbed Yasmani Grandal or Daulton Varsho as my second catcher at some point had Realmuto been gone.

Here is the board through 20 rounds, you can follow along with this draft here:

My focus in a standalone league like this is to dominate OBP, HR, R, RBI and finish middle of the pack in SB. I waited a bit on starting pitching to make sure I was able solidify my offensive core, but needing to get mid-round starting pitching is a position I'm comfortable being in. 

The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational

Format: Mixed league 30-round snake draft; standard 5x5 roto; weekly FAAB, no trading; competing with managers in 31 leagues (465 total teams) in overall standings

Years in league: 4

Finishes: 15/195 (2018), 11/315 (2019), 79/385 (2020), 19/435 (2021)

I rank second in the all-time TGFBI ranks behind Kenyatta Storin, and I'm hoping this is the year I join Clay Link and Todd Zola as an overall champion. The competition has its flaws, as dozens of managers stop competing with every week of the season once we get past April, but I think it's an awesome experience on the whole, and the annual slow draft this time of year always gets me in a good mood -- even this year. 

Here are the first 21 rounds:

This was such a weird draft for me compared to the seven previous drafts I'd done on NFBC this offseason. I misjudged the market, at least within my draft room. I assumed speed and saves would really be pushed up with people competing for the overall, but my league waited on speed and saves to the extent that some of my early picks to address those categories look like reaches in hindsight. My big worry is that I'm light on HR and RBI. On the one hand, I think I can grind my way to a solid finish in the non-speed hitting counting categories as non-competitive teams drop out in the dog days of summer, but even so, I have regrets about my build. I love Jazz Chisholm, but taking him at pick 61 when I already had Trea Turner and Whit Merrifield was a clear mistake, especially considering Tommy Edman was there for me at pick 90 and Myles Straw lasted until late in the 10th round. Chisholm has the upside to make that pick look great, but odds are I should have taken any of Austin Riley, George Springer, Jose Altuve, Jorge Polanco or Eloy Jimenez there. I was flummoxed at the time, because I planned to take a second closer + Will Smith (LAD) there, but Smith went well ahead of ADP at pick 55. I also ended up with my worst duo of mixed-league catchers through nine drafts, which really irks me, and was partly due to me picking on a turn and my targets getting taken higher than I was expecting. To my surprise, it's my TGFBI draft that I have the most regrets about out of these three industry leagues. 

Side-by-side Rosters

I will update this as my Tout Wars and TGFBI drafts get completed, but I wanted to get the article up while AL LABR was still fresh in my mind. Bold indicates a player I got in 2/3 of these drafts, and bold + italics means I got them in 3/3 of these drafts.

ALLABRTOUTDRAFT & HOLDTGFBASEBALL INVITATIONAL
CJonah Heim $4CWill Smith 3.36CCarson Kelly 18.270
CRyan Jeffers $4CJ.T. Realmuto 4.55CDanny Jansen 19.271
1BTrey Mancini $191BTrey Mancini 13.1861BBrandon Belt 14.210
2BChristian Arroyo $12BJose Altuve 6.852BJazz Chisholm 5.61
SSTim Anderson $28SSDansby Swanson 8.115SSTrea Turner 1.1
3BJeimer Candelario $183BJeimer Candelario 11.1563BJeimer Candelario 13.181
MIRamon Urias $1MIJosh Rojas 17.246MIAmed Rosario 8.120
CIBobby Bradley $6CIAlex Kirilloff 15.216CIJesus Aguilar 17.241
OFByron Buxton $27OFBryce Harper 1.6OFWhit Merrifield 3.31
OFGeorge Springer $26OFChristian Yelich 7.96OFAndrew Benintendi 11.151
OFMitch Haniger $20OFAndrew Benintendi 12.175OFMichael Conforto 12.180
OFEnrique Hernandez $14OFEnrique Hernandez 14.205OFEnrique Hernandez 15.211
OFKyle Isbel $3OFHarrison Bader 19.276OFAustin Hays 16.240
UTAledmys Diaz $2UTEvan Longoria 21.306UTEvan Longoria 21.301
PRaisel Iglesias $23PZack Wheeler 2.25PJosh Hader 2.30
PAlek Manoah $21PKenley Jansen 5.66PEdwin Diaz 4.60
PLuis Garcia $18PCorey Knebel 9.126PAlek Manoah 6.90
PTanner Houck $8PLuis Garcia 10.145PCharlie Morton 7.91
PCorey Kluber $4PTrevor Bauer 16.235PLuis Garcia 9.121
PNestor Cortes $4PSteven Matz 18.265PZac Gallen 10.150
PCarlos Hernandez $4PEric Lauer 20.295PEric Lauer 20.300
PReid Detmers $4PCorey Kluber 22.325PCarlos Hernandez 22.330
PCody Morris $1PCarlos Hernandez 23.336PReid Detmers 23.331
BETriston CasasBEJ.D. Davis 24.355BEClint Frazier 24.360
BEClay HolmesBE BEJosh Lowe 25.361
BEOwen MillerBE BEJ.D. Davis 26.390
BEEli MorganBE BEDylan Bundy 27.391
BERichie PalaciosBE BE 
BEJosh WinderBE BE 
    BE 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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