They say the early bird gets the worm and, in this case, it was 14 scouts who swooped in and snatched up future stars in Ultimate Fantasy League Baseball during the inaugural Futures and International Free Agent Auction.
As with most sports on the Ultimate Franchise Fantasy Sports platform, the early adopter scouts seem to make out like bandits in the inaugural auction where three years of draft-eligible prospects are available for selection after winning a spot. With only 14 different scouts bidding on spots and selecting players, there could be some nice payoffs if history repeats itself, as hockey’s nine initial scouts — supplying players to the Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League — are right in the middle of reaping their rewards from that sport’s first Futures Auction in August 2020. Hockey now has more than 40 active scouts — 43 scouts currently own the rights to 2,465 hockey prospects — among the platform’s 144 total scouts across the four major North American sports in football, basketball, baseball and hockey.
For baseball and UFLB, a total of 199 players were selected by scouts over four days — with a total of $10,955 USD worth of SCORE Coin (SCO) spent in the auction — while passing over 31 prospects that will now be available on the Open Market, slated to start Saturday, April 2.
“Overall, I think some of the big-name prospects got great value like Termarr Johnson and Druw Jones,” said UFLB Director of Scouting Bryan Hernandez. “I’m excited to see what they will do in the Show.”
When the auction began this past Friday, there were 180 prospects up for grabs — 60 from each of the 2022, 2023 and 2024 MLB draft classes — as well as 50 International Free Agents, ranging in age from 15 to 23. Of the 31 players heading to the Open Market, 10 are from 2023 and 19 are from 2024, leaving just two International Free Agents on the Open Market, where they can be registered by scouts for $20 USD worth of SCO on a first come, first serve basis. Finders keepers!
“It’s basically anyone who’s not already on a roster, in a scouting stable, or a league-owned free agent. Retired players are also off limits,” Dean Millard, Head of Baseball for UFFS, said of the Open Market eligibility rules, noting the youngest prospects available are from that 2024 draft class. “You can grab minor league players, or guys in MLB that weren’t drafted (in UFLB Veteran Player Draft). If they are a pro player, you must sell them within 24 hours or put them up for auction, but that’s some quick ROI or a player for your affiliated franchise.
“Or you can stockpile some minor league players or future players, as long as you have their information, and are the first to register them. You just need $20 USD worth of SCO for each player, and you can get as many as you want!”
Pro players who are registered and sold to a franchise must go on the active roster, unless they have minor league options. It is also up to the franchises to trigger forced auctions for those pro players registered by scouts, who have 24 hours to sell the player before an auction can be triggered. Franchises can request a forced auction through Hernandez, 24 hours after a pro player is registered.
Hernandez will be tracking the players taken in the auctions, particularity the ones he sees as massive value picks.
“One player in my opinion was the value selection of the entire auction, and that is Jaison Chourio. He was the 20th-ranked IFA player and one of the two top prospect signings of the Cleveland Guardians this year. Both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline ‘praise Chourio’s athleticism’ in the outfield and think he’ll be able to stick in center field as a top-of-the-order hitter down the road,” elaborated Hernandez.
For more information on scouting, email Bryan_UFLB@UFFSports.com.
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