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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bolts from the Blue 2021

The long-running Hardy House fantasy baseball league skipped 2020. Nearly all of the owners competed in an AL-variant of the league during the 60 game season, but it was not a keeper league, the draft was not an auction, and we experimented with some rules variations (especially in the free agent bidding process). We drafted quickly online last summer.

This past Saturday, March 27, we "met" online for our first Zoom auction. Most owners likely hoped it would be our last in that format, but the truth is that one to three owners seem to miss the auction every year and participate by phone. Zoom is probably a superior option for those owners. 

It is a 5 by 5 keeper league with many idiosyncratic rules. I've been playing in the league since 1989 and a couple of the other owners have been around that entire time as well. Most of the owners have a decade or two involvement at minimum. 

So this is my roster, with auction prices noted. My 9 pre-draft keepers are in red

C Jansen (TOR) $7
C Maldanado (HOU) $3
1B Walsh (LAA) $14
2B Semien (TOR) $19
3B Y. Diaz (TB) $9
SS Bogaerts (BOS) $29
MI Simmons (MIN) $3
CI M. Cabrera (DET) $9
OF Tucker (HOU) $13
OF Buxton (MIN) $21
OF Kepler (MIN) $21
OF Hicks (NYY) $20
DH Y. Alvarez (HOU) $29

P McCullers (HOU) $3
P Manaea (OAK) $3
P E. Rodriguez (BOS) $13
P Minor (KC) $5
P Turnbull (DET) $3*
P Staumont (KC) $5
P Fairbanks (TB) $16
P Loaisiga (NYY) $3
P D. Castillo (TB) $7
P Pressly (HOU) $5

3B Ruiz (BAL) $3
P Gibson (TEX) $2
P Dyson (KC) $1

Yes, that's a lot of faith in players from the teams I think are going to be competing for AL playoff spots -- the Houston Astros (5 players), Tampa Rays (3), Minnesota Twins (3), Toronto Blue Jays (2), and NY Yankees (2). There are some players from the bottom teams as well, including the team I grew up rooting for -- the KC Royals (3).

A couple of the players are guys I historically like for various reasons, but many of these guys I had no specific intention of drafting. Other players I wanted went for more money than I wanted to pay and I shifted to a strategy of buying lots of guys in the $5 to $20 range. Even then I paid a bit over my draft sheet price for a few of the picks. I needed to buy some stats and positional scarcity was starting to play a role. 

I'm worried that I may not have enough starting pitching, but I genuinely like my offense even though it might be a bit light on steals.  There are guys with checkered injury histories on my roster, including one player* currently on the COVID-19 restricted list. 

Feel free to leave criticisms in the comments. 

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