Altuve is the obvious choice, but he's no secret, of course. In my long-standing 12 team AL only keeper league (23 starters, 5 minor leaguers), he went for 30 bucks at this year's auction. (Note, I calculated draft inflation in this league at 32.8%). So, the word is out on Altuve.
It was a unique situation this year, obviously, as an entire team became eligible for drafting at one time. (Except for Carter and Peacock, who were retained from last year's Oakland team, Carter at 10, peacock at 5). So what did this 24 year old roto league think of Astros at the draft? Let's look at the prices:
Veras 7 (Me)
Castro 6 (me)
Harrell 5 (me)
Also, in the minor league portion of our draft (player must be in the minors on opening day), there was a lot of interest in future Astros. Correa, Singleton (by me), Springer, DeShields and Cosart were all drafted pretty early. In fact, the first 4 went in the first 12 picks.
You can tell by my picks, who I like. I think Castro is primed for a breakout year, Harrell is the best of the fantasy pitching options, and Veras?.......well, i was fishing for a few extra saves. Who do you think is fantasy worthy, now and down the road?
One could argue that anything over a buck was an overpay for Veras! But, he was the last "closer" on the board, and he still might be good for 20 saves. Or not. In my league, up to 15 players can be kept, as per the original Waggonner-Okrent rules for roto.
Minor leaguers have salaries of 5 bucks when they come up, and that salary is good for 3 years, plus, players can be extended at a cost of 5 additional bucks for every year added. So, Singleton will be presumably valuable for a few years, as long as he's not Justin Smoak! Correa and DeShields (!) went before I took Singleton, and Springer went soon afterwards.
Folty, McCullers and even Wojo ,if they continue on their current paths, may be roster worthy someday soon.
One owner, based in Cincinnati (our league spreads across the country), texted me this morning, bemoaning the fact that he now has 4 Astros on his roster ( he picked up Marwin as a replacement for Jose Reyes). He figures that's the end of his fantasy season all by itself. He is licking his wounds today after Norris' implosion yesterday.
I really think Harrell is the better cheap, end-game fantasy play over Norris, K's notwithstanding.