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UFLB Top Prospects Auction a Smashing Success as Franchises and Scouts Stock Up for the Future

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

The future of UFLB was on full display over the past three days in the one-and-only Top Prospects Auction. Franchises and scouts bid on 142 spots for the right to select baseball’s budding stars, combining to invest a grand total of $146,675 USD worth of SCORE Coin (SCO).

When the dust settled, 21 of the 30 franchises in Ultimate Fantasy League Baseball walked away with at least one prospect and seven scouts also got into the game by targeting players on the cusp of MLB stardom as their initial acquisitions.

Each winning bidder was able to select a prospect from the player pool provided by Director of Scouting Bryan Hernandez, and the competition was intense from the outset. Circa Sports Swingin’ Trout came out swinging early and often, putting up $7,010 for the honour of selecting the first-ever player in UFLB history, Bobby Witt Jr. — a shortstop in the Kansas City Royals’ organization and the second overall pick from the 2019 MLB Draft. That set the tone for a frantic bidding pace, with more than $111,000 invested on Day 1.

“The overall auction went great. There were a few surprises with players dropping,” Hernandez said after hosting a terrific three-day event.

The biggest bidding war took place for the No. 3 spot, with the Arctic Eagles paying $7,015 for the right to select outfielder Riley Greene of the Detroit Tigers. Ahead of next weekend’s 26-round Veteran Player Draft, where they will be drafting second overall, the Arctic Eagles only grabbed two prospects here — also landing San Diego Padres shortstop CJ Abrams at spot No. 20 with a winning bid of $2,000.

Swingin’ Trout, backed by Circa Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, spent the most in this auction — shelling out more than $31,000 for eight players as a franchise, but combined with their affiliated scout Sammy Stevens, that number jumps to almost $65,000 on 41 total players. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Greene and Texas Rangers hurler Jack Leiter highlighted the haul for Stevens, while Swingin’ Trout also selected high-profile prospects such as Adley Rutschman, a catcher with the Baltimore Orioles and the first overall pick from that 2019 MLB Draft, Detroit Tigers infielder Spencer Torkelson, and Orioles pitcher Grayson Rodriguez.

The only franchise to fill up all 14 prospect spots was the Woodpeckers, who did the trick in two days and were able to take Monday off and enjoy the holiday. The birds started filling their cupboard with New York Yankees infielder Anthony Volpe at the No. 13 spot for $2,760 en route to spending a total of $19,945.

Hernandez has experienced auctions in the past from a bidding point of view, but this one was quite a bit different.

“It was a little more stressful than other ones, just because I put it together and was trying not to stress over the hiccups,” said Hernandez, who endured mixed emotions from the sidelines in his admin role. “I love baseball and not being able to get any of these prospects was a little painful.”