These guys all have reasons not to draft them in your Ottoneu auction. This article is meant to point out reasons why you maybe should.
You’re going to find other more talented players for $1, but seeing as they’re more talented another owner may be willing to throw down an extra $1 on them. That’s where this list becomes useful. That spot in the draft where you don’t want to nominate a player you don’t want, out of fear you’ll end up with them, but you also don’t want to nominate guys you like and be outbid.
These are backups, and really more like the backups to your backups. They are 3rd or 4th infielders and 9th or 10th outfielders or starting pitchers. You’re not depending on them, but if you use them correctly, they offer more value than $1.
Okay here’s the list:
Ji-Man Choi (Own% 21.14%, Avg Salary $2.69, Last 10 adds $1.20)
Choi mashes righties (career 127 wRC+) and is set to fill a spot in the heart of the Rays lineup against them. But what really intrigues me here is combining him with his apparent platoon mate, Jose Martinez (career 160 wRC+ vs. lefties, Own% 34.9%, Avg Salary $4.19, Last 10 adds $2.20) to create a dirt cheap, yet highly productive pairing.
Eric Sogard (Own% 12.75%, Avg Salary $2.97, Last 10 adds $1.10)
According to this article by Fangraphs’ Ben Clemens, “his offensive skill set fits [the Brewers’] home stadium.” According to Roster Resource (and kinda sorta confirmed by spring training lineups so far) he’s going to lead off against righties, in front of Christian Yelich. He already has 2B/OF eligibility and will gain 3B eligibility quickly in-season.
Nick Ahmed (Own% 24.75% Avg Salary $3.05 Last 10 adds $1.60)
Fagraphs’ Jake Mailhot says “Ahmed’s offensive breakout began back in 2018… [he] made some real adjustments to his approach at the plate… And there may be some untapped power left in his bat… If he’s able to continue honing his swing to generate more contact in the air, it’s possible he could see a Crawford-esque breakout in 2020.”
Tommy La Stella (Own% 57.86%, Avg Salary $3.91, Last 10 adds $1.80)
This great article from John LaLoggia at Beyond the Box Score describes how La Stella changed his launch angle and embraced the Angels’ patient plate approach turning it into an all star first half. Roster Resource has him leading off ahead of Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Ohtani and he has been in the lead off spot in all five of his spring appearances to date.
Jordan Luplow (Own% 19.4% Avg Salary $2.47 Last 10 adds $1.80)
AKA Murderer of Lefties (198 wRC+ vs. lefties in 2019). But really he’s more than that. All this dude has done since joining an MLB organization is hit the ball (seriously go look at his wRC+ year-over-year). His 2017 & 2018 stints in the majors are really the only times he has stumbled. He finally got over the hump last season (137 wRC+) and I think he’s primed for a big season.
Homer Bailey (Own% 12.71% Avg Salary $2.58 Last 10 adds $1.20)
Brandon Warne over at Zone Coverage documented the changes Bailey made after moving over to Oakland; moving to the middle of the rubber, changing his pitch mix to emphasize his splitter and focusing more on the lower third of the zone. Add to that Bailey moves to the AL Central, the division which scored the least amount of runs (117 less than the next highest) despite the Twins scoring second most in the league.
(Photo by Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire)