Way Too Deep League FAAB: Week 12
For an explanation of league rules, see the introductory post.
Week 12 was pretty quiet in terms of volume, but featured our largest bid this season. One player went for $42, out of a total season FAAB budget of $100.
In fact, that bid was mine, along with the second largest bid of the week. I spent $50 on FAAB players this weekend. Because the rest of the week was fairly quiet, I’d like to focus on my decision-making as a case study in very deep league FAAB. My team is currently in first place, largely thanks to a dominant set of hitters. My pitching staff is much thinner, which explains the bids below.
WEEK 9 FAAB RESULTS ($100 BUDGET FOR THE SEASON, NO ZERO BIDS)
PLAYERS WHO WENT FOR $10 OR MORE
Gallen, Zac SP | MIA: $42
I made an aggressive move for Zac Gallen this week, knowing that I was blowing most of my remaining FAAB budget. My team somehow managed to comfortably sit in first place with a rotation of Kyle Hendricks, Robbie Ray, Mike Soroka, Jerad Eickoff and Wade Miley. I managed to acquire various call-ups throughout the season like Nick Margevicius, Peter Lambert, Devin Smeltzer and Dario Agrazal, but none were good enough to stick to their club’s major league other than Lambert, who hasn’t been good enough for fantasy. I was short a starter.
I’ve had my eye on Gallen as a potential solution to my starter problem for a few weeks. Gallen was the lesser-known prospect in the Marcel Ozuna trade behind Sandy Alcantara. Before the season, most rankings had him in the 10-20 range in the Marlins system, as a guy with lots of pitches but an overall 4-5 starter projection. Some noted that he added a little bit of velocity during the 2018 season, but still considered him a decent but not great starter.
That changed in 2019. Zac Gallen had a breakout start to the Triple-A season. In 14 starts, he pitched 91 innings (an impressive 6 1/2 innings per start) with a 1.77 ERA, 34% strikeouts and 5% walks. His fastball remained elevated in the 92-94 mph range, while Gallen maintained a wide variety of pitches. That eventually earned him a call-up this week, when he held St. Louis to one run in 5 innings.
Why did I bid so aggressively? First off, my team really did need another good starter. I had only four starters going into this week, and one of those was Peter Lambert. Gallen immediately slots into the empty spot in my starting rotation, and has a strong chance to remain there even after Jerad Eickoff returns. Second, there are fewer and fewer unowned prospects left in the minor leagues. Gallen is probably the best unowned player in this league that will be called up before September. At some point, a large FAAB balance is no longer useful. I opted to place a big enough bid to guarantee Gallen rather than a more reasonable bid in the 20s because I couldn’t find any unowned starters who I expect to be called up soon that are better.
PLAYERS WHO WENT FOR $5 OR MORE
Lorenzen, Michael RP | CIN: $8
This is another one of my bids, although far more conventional. While Raisel Iglesias is still the likely favorite for saves for the Reds, Lorenzen has been getting a few lately. Either way, he is a strong holds candidate, and pushes Ryan Brasier to the bench for now.
PLAYERS WHO WENT FOR LESS THAN $5
Hernandez, David RP | CIN: $2
Castro, Harold SS | DET: $2
Garcia, Greg 2B | SD: $2
Adams, Austin RP | SEA: $1
This is a very boring list of players. The only one worth noting is Harold Castro, who has become the everyday second baseman for the Detroit Tigers. Castro was called up after hitting a strong .328/.371/.484 at Triple-A. Castro never showed much power before 2019, so he may be yet another beneficiary of the juiced ball. His .282/.310/.436 batting line in June is definitely good enough to be started in this league, although we’ll see if it lasts. He has also been playing some outfield and third base and was a shortstop entering this season, so he might gain some useful eligibility as well.