Enter Mocking: Follow The BA Fantasy League

As part of our expanded fantasy baseball coverage this season, Baseball America will also have a staff fantasy league that you can follow along with. By analyzing what’s going on in our league, we hope that we can give you insight on techniques, strategies and ideas that might be applicable to your fantasy play. And for those whose teams perform poorly, it’s an excuse for you to mock them.

Our league is National League-only, with 12 teams. The participants are current BA editorial staff members, along with alumnus Conor Glassey. We used an auction format with a standard $260 budget and 23-man rosters. Following the auction we had a five-round reserve draft. Free agents will be picked up in a weekly waiver period, with a $100 Free Agent Acquisition Budget for the year. Players can be protected for future seasons, with a $10 increase in the previous year’s salary. We’re playing standard 5×5 categories with standard rotisserie scoring.

We held our auction on March 5 using the Yahoo online auction system. Most of the participants were gathered in a conference room, but a few drafted off site. This had its own issues, as you’ll see from Ben Badler’s roster below. Ben could not overcome technical difficulties with the Yahoo auction system, so his team was auto-drafted. Anyone who has ever participated in any kind of fantasy league that included an auto-draft participant knows how problematic that can be, and with the auction format it was that much worse. The auto-draft system hewed to its dollar values to the extreme, taking just two players priced at more than a dollar: Starling Marte and Mike Minor. Anyone else who exceeded his Yahoo projected value was left to the rest of the league.

Dealing with situations like this is exactly why we have this league. Everyone knows the basics of what fantasy baseball is all about, but the only way to discover all the twists and turns a league goes through is to play. We discussed allowing Ben to abandon his roster and going forward with 11 teams, but he bravely decided to soldier on and see what happens. It should be interesting to watch.

Aaron Fitt got Russell Martin for $9, only to lament the expenditure later. (Photo by Mike Janes).

Aaron Fitt got Russell Martin for $9, only to lament the expenditure later. (Photo by Mike Janes).

Beyond that obvious weirdness, the auction featured a lot of what you would find in any auction. Heated bidding for stars, and then heated bidding for seemingly inexplicable players, followed by Aaron Fitt’s predictable regret. For those who don’t have the pleasure of knowing Aaron personally, he is a notorious second-guesser, whether it’s obtaining a player in a fantasy auction or ordering lunch. He expressed immediate regret after grabbing Justin Upton for $30, and even more angst after paying $9 for Russell Martin. When a player came up later in the auction that Aaron felt he could not afford, he lamented, “I should’ve bid on this guy instead of the guys I bid on.”

Aside from Ben’s disastrous auto-draft and Aaron’s auction of regret, the player who had an obvious plan and stuck to it was Clint Longenecker, who had his established values for players and was not going to exceed those numbers. He was almost like the Yahoo Auto-Draftbot in his discipline, and in fact was the last team to acquire a player, even after the Auto-Draftbot. He grabbed Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, the 65th player put up for auction, for $14.

As a result, Clint’s roster includes just two players at $20 or higher, and a bunch of guys in the $10-$15 range. And as you’ll see in an upcoming post from Matt Eddy analyzing the surplus value on each roster after our auction, Clint definitely got the most value. Will that translate to actually winning the league? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out.

A clear league-wide trend was that no one in this league was willing to pay for saves. J.J. Cooper grabbed Jonathan Papelbon for $14 early in the auction, a move that he had every reason to believe would be a good buy, given the escalated prices often paid for closers. But when Craig Kimbrel went for just $24, and Aroldis Chapman (pre-injury) for $22 (also to J.J.), he realized that wouldn’t end up being such a good buy after all. Closers proved to be cheap and plentiful at $10 and below.

The first $1 player in our auction was the Cardinals’ Jon Jay, who went to Josh Norris after he was the 181st player thrown out for auction, which got a call of “good buy” from Matt and Clint, who were holed up in a cubicle just outside the conference room, earning themselves the designation of “nerd corner.”

“Hey, you got a compliment from the nerds,” one league wag said.

Josh replied, “They can find their own piece of $1 garbage.”

And so it begins. We hope you enjoy following the league all season long. Here are the rosters coming out of the auction:

Ben Badler
Players Pos Team Cost
Starling Marte OF Pirates $17
Alexi Amarista 2B,SS,OF Padres $1
Brandon Barnes OF Rockies $1
Brian Bogusevic OF Marlins $1
Daniel Descalso 2B,3B,SS Cardinals $1
Scott Hairston OF Nationals $1
Juan Lagares OF Mets $1
Ed Lucas 1B,2B,3B Marlins $1
Donnie Murphy 3B Cubs $1
Wil Nieves C Phillies $1
Gaby Sanchez 1B Pirates $1
Hector Sanchez C Giants $1
Donovan Solano 2B Marlins $1
Matt Tuiasosopo 1B,OF Diamondbacks $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Mike Minor SP Braves $14
Luis Avilan RP Braves $1
Santiago Casilla RP Giants $1
J.J. Hoover RP Reds $1
Chris Perez RP Dodgers $1
Paco Rodriguez RP Dodgers $1
Alfredo Simon RP Reds $1
Alex Torres RP Padres $1
Nick Vincent RP Padres $1
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Joc Pederson OF Dodgers $5
Jonathan Gray SP Rockies $4
Wilmer Flores 3B Mets $3
Edwin Escobar SP Giants $2
Zach Lee SP Dodgers $1


J.J. Cooper
Players Pos Team Cost
Ryan Braun OF Brewers $40
Jason Heyward OF Braves $24
Billy Hamilton OF Reds $20
Chase Headley 3B Padres $17
Jonathan Lucroy C,1B Brewers $15
Neil Walker 2B Pirates $14
Wilin Rosario C Rockies $13
Yonder Alonso 1B Padres $9
Zack Cozart SS Reds $6
Drew Stubbs OF Rockies $4
Ryan Ludwick OF Reds $2
Marcell Ozuna OF Marlins $2
Arismendy Alcantara 2B Cubs $1
Cameron Maybin OF Padres $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Gerrit Cole SP Pirates $25
Aroldis Chapman RP Reds $22
Jonathan Papelbon RP Phillies $14
Jeff Samardzija SP Cubs $12
Ian Kennedy SP Padres $6
Alex Wood SP Braves $5
Josh Beckett SP Dodgers $3
Trevor Cahill SP Diamondbacks $2
Eric Stults SP Padres $2
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Derek Dietrich 2B Marlins $5
Tyler Moore 1B,OF Nationals $4
Pedro Strop RP Cubs $3
Alen Hanson SS Pirates $2
Pierce Johnson SP Cubs $1


Matt Eddy
Players Pos Team Cost
Carlos Gonzalez OF Rockies $43
Freddie Freeman 1B Braves $31
Matt Holliday OF Cardinals $25
Hunter Pence OF Giants $19
Pablo Sandoval 3B Giants $18
Jhonny Peralta SS Cardinals $16
Emilio Bonifacio 2B,3B,OF Cubs $6
Welington Castillo C Cubs $6
Charlie Blackmon OF Rockies $5
Ryan Doumit C,OF Braves $5
Corey Dickerson OF Rockies $2
Kyle Blanks 1B,OF Padres $1
Eric Chavez 3B Diamondbacks $1
Mark Ellis 2B Cardinals $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Cliff Lee SP Phillies $30
Francisco Liriano SP PIrates $12
Steve Cishek RP Marlins $10
Marco Estrada SP Brewers $8
Joaquin Benoit RP Padres $5
Rex Brothers RP Rockies $5
Josh Johnson SP Padres $5
Travis Wood SP Cubs $5
J.J. Putz RP Diamondbacks $1
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Javier Baez SS Cubs $5
Tommy La Stella 2B Braves $4
Will Smith RP Brewers $3
Carlos Villaneuva RP Cubs $2
Ryan Sweeney OF Cubs $1


Aaron Fitt
Players Pos Team Cost
Ian Desmond SS Nationals $30
Justin Upton OF Braves $30
Matt Kemp OF Dodgers $24
Pedro alvarez 3B PIrates $20
Jayson Werth OF Nationals $16
Russell Martin C PIrates $9
Cody Asche 3B Phillies $8
Garrett Jones 1B,OF Marlins $6
Eric Young OF Mets $5
Jose Lobaton C Nationals $3
Jordan Schafer OF Braves $3
Dee Gordon SS Dodgers $2
Darwin Barney 2B Cubs $1
Mike Olt 1B,3B Cubs $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Stephen Strasburg SP Nationals $36
Mat Latos SP Reds $20
Lance Lynn SP Cardinals $12
Tim Lincecum SP Giants $11
Yovani Gallardo SP Brewers $9
Brad Ziegler RP Diamondbacks $5
Jeff Locke SP PIrates $5
Tanner Roark SP Nationals $2
Kyuji Fujikawa RP Cubs $2
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Noah Syndergaard RHP Mets $5
Justin Turner 2B Dodgers $4
Matt Wisler RHP Padres $3
Chad Billingsley RHP Dodgers $2
A.J. Cole RHP Nationals $1


Conor Glassey
Players Pos Team Cost
Andrew McCutchen OF PIrates $48
Troy Tulowitzki SS Rockies $38
Buster Posey C,1B Giants $34
Matt Carpenter 2B,3B Cardinals $23
Peter Bourjos OF Cardinals $11
Daniel Murphy 1B,2B Mets $10
Matt Adams 1B Cardinals $9
B.J. Upton OF Braves $9
Gregory Polanco OF PIrates $7
Andre Ethier OF Dodgers $5
Juan Francisco 1B,3B Brewers $5
Alex Guerrero 2B,SS Dodgers $2
Brayan Pena C Reds $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Trevor Rosenthal RP Cardinals $19
Matt Cain SP Giants $17
Bobby Parnell RP Mets $8
Nathan Eovaldi SP Marlins $5
Jose Veras RP Cubs $3
Henderson Alvarez SP Marlins $1
Jake Arrieta SP Cubs $1
Charlie Morton SP PIrates $1
Francisco Rodriguez RP Brewers $1
Burch Smith SP Padres $1
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Kris Bryant 3B Cubs $5
Eddie Butler SP Rockies $4
Randall Delgado RP Diamondbacks $3
Robbie Erlin SP Padres $2
Josh Harrison 3B Pirates $1


Vince Lara-Cinisomo
Players Pos Team Cost
Giancarlo Stanton OF Marlins $33
Andrelton Simmons SS Braves $19
Mark Trumbo 1B,OF Diamondbacks $18
Miguel Montero C Diamondbacks $13
Todd Frazier 3B Reds $9
Jordy Mercer 2B,SS PIrates $8
Carlos Ruiz C Phillies $8
Chris Owings SS Diamondbacks $7
Lucas Duda 1B,OF Mets $5
Chris Heisey OF Reds $5
Josh Rutledge 2B,SS Rockies $5
Chris Young OF Mets $4
John Mayberry 1B,OF Phillies $3
Nate McLouth OF Nationals $3
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Clayton Kershaw SP Dodgers $48
Kenley Jansen RP Dodgers $19
Jordan Zimmermann SP Nationals $19
Zack Wheeler SP Mets $14
Jim Henderson RP Brewers $6
Tyler Clippard RP Nationals $4
Brett Anderson SP Rockies $3
LaTroy Hawkins RP Rockies $2
Ross Ohlendorf SP Nationals $1
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Sean Marshall RP Reds $5
Maikel Franco 3B Phillies $4
Max Fried SP Padres $3
Josh Satin 1B Mets $2
Travis Ishikawa 1B Pirates $1


Josh Leventhal
Players Pos Team Cost
Jay Bruce OF Reds $29
Ryan Zimmerman 3B Nationals $23
Adrian Gonzalez 1B Dodgers $20
Martin Prado 2B,3B,OF Diamondbacks $15
Wilson Ramos C Nationals $15
Everth Cabrera SS Padres $14
Will Venable OF Padres $13
Khris Davis OF Brewers $9
Marco Scutaro 2B Giants $3
Jorge Soler OF Cubs $3
Jose Tabata OF PIrates $3
Rafael Furcal 2B,SS Marlins $2
Casey McGehee 1B,3B Marlins $1
Jordan Pacheco C,1B Rockies $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Zack Greinke SP Dodgers $27
Shelby Miller SP Cardinals $15
Kris Medlen SP Braves $14
Addison Reed RP Diamondbacks $10
Patrick Corbin SP Diamondbacks $9
Dan Haren SP Dodgers $8
Mike Leake SP Reds $7
Carlos Martinez RP Cardinals $6
Edwin Jackson SP Cubs $3
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Jameson Taillon SP Pirates $5
Juan Nicasio SP Rockies $4
Taylor Jordan SP Nationals $3
Kyle Kendrick SP Phillies $2
Adeiny Hechavarria SS Marlins $1


Will Lingo
Players Pos Team Cost
Paul Goldschmidt 1B Diamondbacks $51
Hanley Ramirez SS Dodgers $38
David Wright 3B Mets $30
Michael Cuddyer 1B,OF Rockies $14
Curtis Granderson OF Mets $11
Adam LaRoche 1B Nationals $9
Angel Pagan OF Giants $9
Dan Uggla 2B Braves $8
Yasmani Grandal C Padres $7
Rickie Weeks 2B Brewers $4
Cody Ross OF Diamondbacks $3
Seth Smith OF Padres $2
Gregor Blanco OF Giants $1
Chris Stewart C PIrates $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Madison Bumgarner SP Giants $30
Johnny Cueto SP Reds $16
Rafael Soriano RP Nationals $10
Jason Grilli RP PIrates $9
Josh Collmenter RP Diamondbacks $2
Arodys Vizcaino RP Cubs $2
Craig Stammen RP Nationals $1
Edinson Volquez SP PIrates $1
Tony Watson RP PIrates $1
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Wandy Rodriguez SP Pirates $5
Jonathan Broxton RP Reds $4
Austin Hedges C Padres $3
Corey Seager SS Dodgers $2
Franklin Morales LHP Rockies $1


Clint Longenecker
Players Pos Team Cost
Yadier Molina C Cardinals $20
Chase Utley 2B Phillies $15
Anthony Rizzo 1B Cubs $14
Nolan Arenado 3B Rockies $12
Aaron Hill 2B Diamondbacks $12
Starlin Castro SS Cubs $11
Justin Morneau 1B Rockies $11
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C Marlins $11
Carl Crawford OF Dodgers $10
Denard Span OF Nationals $10
A.J. Pollock OF Diamondbacks $8
Michael Morse 1B,OF Giants $6
Justin Ruggiano OF Cubs $6
Ike Davis 1B Mets $4
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Cole Hamels SP Phillies $23
Doug Fister SP Nationals $13
Jhoulys Chacin SP Rockies $11
Matt Garza SP Brewers $9
Tim Hudson SP Giants $9
Kyle Lohse SP Brewers $8
A.J. Burnett SP Phillies $7
Wade Miley SP Diamondbacks $5
Jon Niese SP Mets $5
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Jaime Garcia LHP Cardinals $5
Albert Almora OF Cubs $4
Jason Hammel RHP Cubs $3
Ryan Vogelsong RHP Giants $2
Travis Snider OF Pirates $1


John Manuel
Players Pos Team Cost
Domonic Brown OF Phillies $21
Christian Yelich OF Marlins $15
Brandon Belt 1B Giants $14
Aramis Ramirez 3B Brewers $14
Anthony Rendon 2B,3B Nationals $13
Devin Mesoraco C Reds $10
Carlos Quentin OF Padres $10
Travis d’Arnaud C Mets $7
Chris Denorfia OF Padres $7
Didi Gregorius SS Diamondbacks $6
DJ LeMahieu 2B,3B Rockies $5
Juan Uribe 3B Dodgers $5
Junior Lake OF Cubs $3
Ben Revere OF Phillies $3
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Jose Fernandez SP Marlins $42
Homer Bailey SP Reds $17
Hyun-jin Ryu SP Dodgers $16
Bartolo Colon SP Mets $13
Sergio Romo RP Giants $10
Huston Street RP Padres $10
Mark Melancon RP Pirates $6
Kevin Siegrist RP Cardinals $1
Justin Wilson RP PIrates $1
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Danny Espinosa 2B Nationals $5
C.J. Edwards SP Cubs $4
David Hale SP Braves $3
Jimmy Nelson SP Brewers $2
Tyler Thornburg SP Brewers $1


Josh Norris
Players Pos Team Cost
Bryce Harper OF Nationals $46
Yasiel Puig OF Dodgers $34
Carlos Gomez OF Brewers $33
Evan Gattis C,OF Braves $17
Jedd Gyorko 2B,3B Padres $13
Oscar Taveras OF Cardinals $9
Kolten Wong 2B Cardinals $8
Jimmy Rollins SS Phillies $7
Ryan Howard 1B Phillies $6
Scooter Gennett 2B Brewers $4
Jeff Baker 1B,3B,OF Marlins $1
Christian Bethancourt C Braves $1
Jon Jay OF Cardinals $1
Jake Marisnick OF Marlins $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Michael Wacha SP Cardinals $24
Julio Teheran SP Braves $20
Tony Cingrani SP Reds $13
Tyson Ross SP Padres $6
Brandon Beachy SP Braves $5
Matt Harvey SP Mets $5
Brian Wilson RP Dodgers $3
Vic Black RP Mets $2
Brandon McCarthy SP Diamondbacks $1
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Robert Stephenson SP Reds $5
Lucas Giolito SP Nationals $4
Jesse Biddle SP Phillies $3
Rafael Montero SP Mets $2
Jenrry Mejia RP Mets $1


Jim Shonerd
Players Pos Team Cost
Joey Votto 1B Reds $38
Jean Segura SS Brewers $25
Allen Craig 1B,OF Cardinals $23
Brandon Phillips 2B Reds $15
Chris Johnson 1B,3B Braves $9
Gerardo Parra OF Diamondbacks $9
A.J. Ellis C Dodgers $6
Darin Ruf 1B,OF Phillies $5
Marlon Byrd OF Phillies $4
Brandon Crawford SS Giants $4
Nate Schierholtz OF Cubs $4
Nick Hundley C Padres $3
Skip Schumaker 2B,OF Reds $1
Luis Valbuena 2B,3B Cubs $1
Pitchers Pos Team Cost
Adam Wainwright SP Cardinals $34
Craig Kimbrel RP Braves $24
Gio Gonzalez SP Nationals $22
Andrew Cashner SP Padres $15
Bronson Arroyo SP Diamondbacks $5
Jorge de la Rosa SP Rockies $3
Dillon Gee SP Mets $3
Joe Kelly SP Cardinals $3
Wily Peralta SP Brewers $2
Reserves Pos Team  Cost 
Archie Bradley SP Diamondbacks $5
Kyle Crick SP Giants $4
Andrew Heaney SP Marlins $3
Scott Van Slyke OF Dodgers $2
Julio Urias SP Dodgers $1