The 2022 NFBC Unauctioned — Building an Offense

On Tuesday, I built a $14 offense using only $1 players from the NFBC average auction values in March. My player pool to choose from for that exercise was 78 players. But what about those that weren’t purchased at all? Surely they could have been had for a buck, too! That group is now my pool to choose from for this thrilling offense. There were a total of 110 players that I have a Pod Projection that weren’t rostered in a single NFBC auction in March. As a reminder, there were 25 auctions run since Mar 1, so this 14-player offense will be solely composed of hitters who failed to be bought in any of them.

I now present to you…the best of the worst:

The Unauctioned Offense
Player Position Avg* HR* R* RBI* SB*
Austin Hedges C 0.195 12 33 37 1
Martin Maldonado C 0.195 12 41 40 0
Bobby Bradley 1B 0.213 21 50 58 0
Rougned Odor 3B 0.213 17 41 46 2
Carlos Santana CI 0.233 18 60 61 1
Andy Ibanez 2B 0.263 13 42 40 2
Ramon Urias SS 0.250 12 49 48 3
J.P. Crawford MI 0.254 10 75 55 8
Seth Brown OF 0.225 20 54 60 5
Jurickson Profar OF 0.235 10 52 44 9
Steven Kwan OF 0.272 5 30 26 3
Josh Naylor OF 0.261 11 40 41 2
Cristian Pache OF 0.229 10 43 39 5
Oscar Mercado Util 0.240 8 35 30 9
Team Totals 0.234 179 645 625 50
*ATC Projections

As a reminder, while I am displaying ATC projections above, I actually used my own Pod Projections to make my selections. I haven’t compared the projections from each source for each player, but assume that I’m a bit more bullish on these guys than ATC, especially on the playing time side, which would boost the squad’s counting stats. That said, these are some ugly totals! Some of my options were reaaaalllly bad, so while you might think my selection is questionable, you don’t realize what my other choices looked like!

Who hates drafting catchers? How about drafting catchers from a pool of catchers no one wanted?! That sounds scary, I know. I really just went for playing time here as Austin Hedges and Martin Maldonado figure to earn the lion’s share of at-bats for their teams. While they both have some power, they are both projected for the same hilariously poor .195 batting average. Good thing their at-bats aren’t even higher or they would sink my fake team’s average even more!

At the very least, I need some power coming from my first baseman. Bobby Bradley returned to the Majors last year and did pretty much what we all expected — hit for lots of power and strike out often. I’m not sure how much more upside there might be from here, but an undrafted team needs power from somewhere. Oy vey, how did I end up with Rougned Odor on this undrafted team two years in a row?! Trust me, the third base options were that bad. I somehow have ended up drafting Odor far more often than I want to admit over the last couple of years, so it’s clear he still holds a small place in my heart. He makes the most of his power with a high FB% and used to be good for double digit steals, but hasn’t swiped one since 2019. The Orioles infield, minus first base, is up in the air, so while Odor isn’t very good, his competition ain’t great shakes either, except for the other Orioles hitter I rostered for this exercise, of course.

Ughhh, who wants to leave a draft with Carlos Santana as their corner man? He was brutal last year, but he’s still the Royals’ starting first baseman, owns excellent plate discipline, and delivers the counting stats earned from playing time that the majority of my other options are unable to attain.

I don’t know how the third base situation is truly going to shake out in Texas. Our Roster Resource page thinks it’ll be Andy Ibanez at the hot corner, with Brad Miller in left field, but I still like Nick Solak, so I don’t think it’s a given Ibanez has every day at-bats. That said, I like Ibanez too and he could be a nice find if he does indeed serve as the team’s regular third baseman. He’s shown good contact ability, along with some power and a touch of speed. It’s the type of skill set that doesn’t excite fantasy owners since there’s no real stand out skill. But put altogether, it results in respectable fantasy contributions that end up undervalued.

I liked Ramon Urias more before the park changes at Oriole Park. I still like him though, as he has power, is willing to take a walk, and doesn’t swing and miss that often. Hitting more fly balls will be important and allow him to better tap into his power, as a FB% well below 30% isn’t ideal for fantasy owners. I can’t remember if J.P. Crawford’s former prospect status was built upon his defense, his offensive potential, or both, but neither have been anything to write home about throughout his short career so far. That said, it all comes down to his power and the hope he experiences a spike one of these years, as the rest of his skills are actually pretty solid.

This is an interesting outfield. I don’t know what to think of Seth Brown. Initially, it looked like he would be the Athletics’ cleanup hitter and earn strong side platoon at-bats. But I don’t think his leash is very long and he’s definitely prone to slumping. So while I like him if he’s given a chance, I don’t know whether to expect 500 ABs or 300. I think the power is real here, so that’s the upside. Jurickson Profar’s last year was one to forget, as his BABIP was weak and HR/FB rate fell to the lowest mark of his career. I figure he’ll rebound and he doesn’t have a whole lot of competition for at-bats in left field.

Woah, I went Guardians outfield crazy. The team has a host of outfield options, with no real standouts, so it’s hard to call who opens the year with a starting job. And even then, it’s difficult to say if they will keep that job even a month in. If Josh Naylor is healthy, I think he’s a lock for a strong side platoon job. I would hope Steven Kwan would also be given a fair chance given his solid overall skill set, though one that isn’t as valuable in a fantasy league unless you count OBP. Finally, I won’t be jumping off the Oscar Mercado until the Guardians do, as I still love his power/speed skills and think he’s better than his results so far. He’s the biggest speculation and an easy cut if he doesn’t win a starting job out of the gate.

On a rebuilding Athletics club, Cristian Pache has to be given every day at-bats, at least until Ramón Laureano returns, right? The A’s are one of the teams that would likely be okay with weak offense, as long as it came with elite defense. However, he didn’t show elite defense last year, as his UZR was actually just negative. Hopefully that will improve, as it will increase the length of his leash to show off his stolen base potential and convince us that his first ever double digit HR/FB rate at Triple-A last year was a sign of blossoming power.

While this team ain’t good, it does highlight a bunch of cheap sleepers who could yield nice profits if given the playing time.

Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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8 months ago

That’s fun. Watch this team break out this year because you’ve hit the lotto for every one of them.