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Old 07-03-2010, 12:02 AM   #1
battists
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Question Inaugural Draft - What is your approach?

OK, so, for once in a blue moon I'm actually playing the game, and I thought I'd ask you a question:

For all of you who play with an inaugural draft, what is your approach to the draft?

Categorically starting pitching first?
Best available player?
Find players "up the middle"?
Starter-position player-starter-position player, etc.?

What about age? Do you only sign younger players? Veterans first, younger players later?

Just curious to hear some opinions!

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Old 07-03-2010, 12:45 AM   #2
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Starting pitching the first two picks. Typically 3rd pick is best offensive player available. Then just kinda fill in from there. But I ALWAYS try to get two aces right off the bat.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:50 AM   #3
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I rarely take a pitcher with the first pick. Unless there are no great hitters available, or the starter has monster tatings. otherwise I go hitter in the first roundd -- and maybe even the second, before going after a starter. By the end of round 5, I like to have 3 fielders and 2 starters. I draft the youngest, quality (ML ready) players available. usually below the age of 28, but will take a 30-32 year old if his ratings are good enough.

Once I get to round 7 -- 8, I then try to pick up a few quality prospects, and also a couple relievers for the ML team.

After that, I basically just try to fill holes and draft the best available players/prospects.

Last edited by edm; 08-10-2010 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:26 AM   #4
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Rounds 1-3 I concentrate on taking the very best (cur and pot) 20-26 year olds that I can find(high INT/WE). This sets the tone of my team.

Rounds 4-6 I will fill in my roster to have 3 SP's and 3 position players...hopefully all 29 years and younger.

Rounds 7-8 I draft a CL and MR guy.

From here I look for the best players available... favoring high defensive ratings at multiple positions...OBP over slugging...LHP MR specialist.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
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My drafts start like this:

Rd 1- a young dominant SP that can hopefully anchor my rotation for 10+ years

Rd 2- fast, high contact position player; either a leadoff or #3 hitter

Rd 3- best closer available with highest stuff

Rd 4- best power hitter available


All draftees here are always under 30. Doing this I have a top player at four key spots. I usually do okay the first year or two but then I start winning championships like crazy with this method.

The only time I differ from this is when I start a league like my current one where the start year was 1903 and power and bullpens were non-existent. In that case, I repeat rounds 1 and 2.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:48 AM   #6
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:10 AM   #7
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It all depends upon the available talent in the draft, where my selections fall in the draft order, and what the other teams are going after.

With that in mind, I like to get a genuine #1 starting pitcher in the 1st round--a real ace. Then I'll look for the best available triple crown threat (#3 hitter) in the 2nd round. From there I look for another great pitcher, get strong up the middle (C, SS, 2B, CF), then look for more starting pitching and a closer. After that I'll get the rest of my starting position players. I try not to select anyone older than around 30-31 until I'm drafting my bench players and middle relievers. But a LOT really depends upon what I stated in the first paragraph.

Drafting is more of a "black art" than a science. Selecting young, unproven prospects with early round picks in an Inaugural Draft can result in glory, but most often in busts. If you don't win early, you probably won't be around to see your prospects make it to the Majors and prosper. I'd not select any more than 1 prospect in the first 10 rounds.

EDIT: Look for Left-handed pitchers, and left-handed or switch hitters, since they are in the minority.

Last edited by Crosley Field; 07-03-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:20 AM   #8
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I don't have any real early round strategy except for a best player available type approach. For me, that means getting impact bats. Obviously if there is one in a scarce position I will grab them, but I have no qualms about drafting a first basemen early if he has MVP potential. Other people are drafting the fictional equivalents of Derek Jeter, but I'm more than content to pick up an Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, or Adrian Gonzalez and watch them anchor my lineup. It's also imperative to get good starting pitching early, but I never reach for guys that aren't going to be impact starters either. If all the true aces are gone, I can't compensate by overdrafting.

In the later rounds, I just take a moneyball-like approach and find the guys who aren't being value but have much more valuable roles on the roster. This includes 31-year old outfielders, or maybe even an infielder who can only hit homers. You can find a use for those guys. Especially good to stockpile are back end of the rotation starters. These guys aren't impact guys by themselves, but if you have 8-9 of them for 5 spots, your depth is going to win you games. Also, some have trade value higher than initial draft value.

While my overall strategy is always based on prospects, I find it's better to start off with a roster that has talent that can be dealt than to overdraft players just because they are young.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #9
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I draft the best available player each round.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malleus Dei View Post
I draft the best available player each round.
I like this approach as well, not only for inaugural, but also the amateur draft.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:36 PM   #11
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Obviously, it depends on what is there and where you draft. But in general I try to get a top young starter also. But if an obvious top 3-hole hitter is available, I won't pass him up to draft a starter with some holes.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battists View Post
OK, so, for once in a blue moon I'm actually playing the game...
First of all, LOL'ing at this (the alternative was cringing...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasmame View Post
Starting pitching the first two picks. Typically 3rd pick is best offensive player available. Then just kinda fill in from there. But I ALWAYS try to get two aces right off the bat.
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Originally Posted by TribeFanInNC View Post
Obviously, it depends on what is there and where you draft. But in general I try to get a top young starter also. But if an obvious top 3-hole hitter is available, I won't pass him up to draft a starter with some holes.
I'm with these guys. Quality starters are scarcer than hen's teeth in this game. Then I follow MD's advice. Even if I end up with three great catchers that way, I can always trade two of them for what I need. [Note: I always allow trading of recently drafted players.]
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Old 07-03-2010, 02:52 PM   #13
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One piece of advice, because I have done it too many times, don't wait too long to grab a catcher.

In general I go for the dominate ace starting pitcher in the first round. Then the best player available next with emphasis on a four slot slugger. I like pitching so by the third round I am looking for a number two pitcher for my rotation or a closer. In no particular order I look for a number two slot high batting average player to move my speedster over (did I mention I like small ball?), a catcher, players up the middle as in shortstop, second base, center field. Depending what I did with the third round I will still be in the market for a number two stater or closer. A number three or four pitcher will high endurance to protect my bull pen (another mistake I have made too many times. My starting pitchers are great, but can't pitch a whole game and my bull pen ends up exhausted.) Speedsters are usually available later so I look for someone who is fast and a great fielder.

After that I look for the best available players for the position I haven't filled yet, remembering to keep a lefty/righty balance.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:31 PM   #14
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The very first task should be to closely evaluate the draft pool. You can't draft 'em if you can't find 'em. Before the draft begins, you should know the following...

1. Who the best fielding Center Fielders are.
2. Who the best throwing Catchers are.
3. Who the best fielding Shortstops are.
4. Which Pitchers (all roles) have the best movement scores.

And also,

1. Rank the top 100 Batters (by ratings)
2. Rank the top 50 Pitchers (by ratings)
3. Rank the top 3-5 players (at each position)

DRAFT DAY:

[DISCLAIMER] I'll state up front that I prefer good pitching, so before the player pool is created I have given the pitcher generation a very small edge. I don't know how this might effect AI drafting strategies. I also create a draft pool that is about 5 rounds longer than the actual draft (so that there are some reasonable choices towards the end of the draft).

My experience has been that AI drafting strategies seem to prefer batting over pitching. In my last inaugural draft I don't think that any pitchers were drafted in the first 3 rounds - so you might give a small preference to batters.

Drafting is an art as well as a science. You have to balance what you need against what is available (position by position) and how deep each position is (at the time of each of your picks). Don't make the mistake that I did and draft players entirely by their 3 ratings. Don't neglect running speed and fielding for batters (you might ignore these aspects but the AI drafters certainly won't).

To make things easy for myself, I take the draft pool and massage it into a spreadsheet. This helps me to identify what players to draft. This is a fairly easy process which entails the following elements...

1. Create customizable 'views' which contain the information that you consider most important, and use that when viewing the draft pool.
2. Turn on this view when looking at the draft pool and select 'Open Report' and then 'Open in External Browser."
3. Lastly, copy & paste the data into a prepared spreadsheet (see below for an example that I have used).

For draft day I also have a prepared worksheet that allows me to...
1. Identify the top overall players
2. Identify the top players at each position
3. Track what round each player is drafted
4. Track what team drafter each of the top players
(see below for an example of my Draft Summary Worksheet)

Inevitably, some other team will occasionally draft a player that you wanted. All is not lost. I have had great success in conducting post-draft trades to acquire additional players that I couldn't get in the draft.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:06 PM   #15
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Amber, I'd be interested to know what the columns mean that say +2, +3, +5. Do you convert the scouted ratings into a formula that tells you which are the "best players"?
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battists View Post
Amber, I'd be interested to know what the columns mean that say +2, +3, +5. Do you convert the scouted ratings into a formula that tells you which are the "best players"?

Happy to oblige.
+2 = The 2 most important attributes. For batters it is CON and POW (MOV & CON for pitchers).
+3 = All 3 of the attributes (i.e., CON, GAP, POW).
+5 = Double weight for the +2 attributes plus the 3rd (i.e., CON + CON + GAP + POW + POW.

Also, during draft day, for each player that I draft, I highlight them with an orange highlighter. For each player that the AI drafts, I highlight them with a yellow highlighter. That way, for each round it's easy to see what players are still available.
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Last edited by Ambermonk; 07-03-2010 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:57 PM   #17
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I'd suggest using Eye instead of Gap.

Way too easy for a bad player to move up the list because of a high Gap rating. Eye is MUCH more important.

Otherwise, it seems very, very sound.

I too have a master spreadsheet that's pretty similar to that with weights, etc.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamMan12 View Post
My drafts start like this:

Rd 1- a young dominant SP that can hopefully anchor my rotation for 10+ years

Rd 2- fast, high contact position player; either a leadoff or #3 hitter

Rd 3- best closer available with highest stuff

Rd 4- best power hitter available


All draftees here are always under 30. Doing this I have a top player at four key spots. I usually do okay the first year or two but then I start winning championships like crazy with this method.

The only time I differ from this is when I start a league like my current one where the start year was 1903 and power and bullpens were non-existent. In that case, I repeat rounds 1 and 2.
I'm not trying to brag or undermine you, just saying for the sake of scholarly discussion that I've found my method (listed above) to actually be quite conducive to winning in the first year, yet you can consistently build off it to have a dynasty.

My draft strategy is different than you in that I pretty much pick up a lot of players in the draft knowing that a lot of them will be traded. I especially don't try and force myself to get players for certain positions in the draft. But after the draft, I immediately look to acquire the players similar to what you have. Though I always have trading settings on hard and all that, I can always find a package of guys I'm willing to trade to get the guys I need. The advantage here is that the guys I am going for were picked before I could get them, thus they are better than the guys that I would have picked to fit their player type instead.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I'd suggest using Eye instead of Gap.

Way too easy for a bad player to move up the list because of a high Gap rating. Eye is MUCH more important.

Otherwise, it seems very, very sound.

I too have a master spreadsheet that's pretty similar to that with weights, etc.

Interesting idea. Perhaps I'll change my +5 to be CON, GAP, POW, EYE, SPD. I think that will give a more comprehensive idea of a player's future potential. Thanks for the idea.

By the way, in case it wasn't obvious, the numbers that I use are potential, not current.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:18 AM   #20
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