UFLB Announces Plans for Top Prospects Auction in February
The UFLB franchise auction wrapped up a week ago, and in a few months, franchises and scouts will get a chance to start stocking the cupboards, just before MLB spring training begins.
The UFLB Top Prospects Auction is slated to start Saturday, February 19, featuring the top players in MLB organizations who have yet to play a Major League game.
This one-time event allows all 30 franchises, and all scouts the opportunity to bid on the best and brightest prospects that are already drafted or signed, as chosen by UFLB Directing of Scouting Bryan Hernandez.
“You are going to see rising stars like Julio Rodriguez of the Mariners, who almost wasn’t on this list as the Mariners were thinking of calling him up. Spencer Torkelson is the first basemen of the future for the Tigers and Marco Luciano is a great shortstop in the Giants’ system, who I wish the Dodgers would have drafted,” chuckled Hernandez, who lives in L.A. and bleeds Dodger blue.
The total number of prospects for this auction is still to be determined and will be announced later when Hernandez reveals his full list.
Successful scouts can retain the rights to these prospects until they lose their rookie status — 50+ innings pitched for pitchers, 130+ at-bats for position players, or accumulated 45 days on an MLB active roster. UFLB franchises will have 14 spots available on the 40-man list, which can be a combination of recently drafted prospects and players eligible to be called up to the 26-man active roster.
“I really like the timing of this event for a few reasons,” said Dean Millard, Head of Baseball Operations for UFF Sports. “It gives franchises a few months after the franchise auctions to prepare a budget for the Top Prospects Auction. It also gives us some excitement in the offseason. We’ll have winter owner meetings in January and this Top Prospects Auction in February, then the 26-round Veteran Player Draft and Futures Auction in March before the season gets going in April.”
The Top Prospects Auction will also give those new to Ultimate Franchise Fantasy Sports an introduction into how franchises fill out their 40-man list and how scouts serve as a feeder system for UFLB as a whole.
“This is a very unique league on a number of fronts,” said Millard, who is also serving as UFLB Commissioner. “The scouting platform alone puts UFFS on another level, and franchises will purchase prospects from scouts either in auctions or through direct sales. Scouts are also bidding on players through their annual scouts-only Futures Auction — featuring prospects eligible for future MLB First-Year Player Drafts — as well as registering players on the Open Market for $20 worth of Score Coin (SCO), with each transaction pouring more SCO into UFLB’s progressive prize pool.”
This one-time Top Prospects Auction is a significant revenue generator for the initial prize pool, with all franchises and scouts able to bid on every prospect available. As witnessed in prior sport launches for hockey, American football, and basketball, some big spenders may emerge to load up on top talents, but the entire league benefits from the prize pool injection with $25 from each prospect going towards platform development and the remainder providing that base for the prize pool in addition to 10% from the Franchise Auction revenue. The other sports have voted in favour of spreading that base over three seasons: 55% to Year 1, 35% to Year 2, and 15% to Year 3.
Some franchises may purchase several players from this Top Prospects Auction and some franchises may come away empty-handed. That is the reality, with all these prospects available to the highest bidder. There are no guarantees and franchises are only limited to filling out their 40-man list — meaning a maximum of 14 prospects from this auction. But there are also no obligations to bid or buy any prospects here, and a strong showing in the subsequent