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Old 04-23-2018, 04:47 PM   #1
zonk84
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Thoughts on Player Development, scouting, and the farm system

As a longtime - going all the way back to OOTP2 - player, just thought I'd scribble down some thoughts on player development, scouting, and managing the organization... Call it half curiosity for opposing/alternate views on the topic, half knowledge sharing.

This, of course, used to be a lot a easier - once upon a time, you just signed a bunch of 'LEGENDARY' coaches, paired with a LEGENDARY scout - and voila... an assembly-line prospect mill. Changes over the last half dozen versions or so have have this process a lot more opaque - presenting a far bigger challenge, but also, I think, mimicking the reality of churning out a self-sustaining dynasty far better.

I strictly play with the standard MLB setup - and since the introduction of 'challenge mode', I've likewise learned to live without an edit (or some would say, cheating) here or there. I should also note - as a diehard Cubs fan - I've never had the heart to helm any team other than my beloved northsiders, so I'll also admit that team's market size and finances give me an obvious leg up.

In any case...

Game Settings
I generally use out of the box settings with a few minor changes - I do bump the aging/development settings a bit, though not as much as most might suggest (.950 aging/1.050 dev for hitters; .940 aging/1.055 for pitchers). I generally keep the talent change randomness where it is. I do absolutely enable the player personality settings... and I also go with the 20-80 scale for all ratings - as a min-maxer in all games strategy, I want a broader and more precise distribution than just 1 to 5 stars.

Front Office Spends

More is of course, more... so yes - unless absolutely impossible, I do max out both player development allocation (36m) and scouting (24m). The smart money will surely point out that this leads to diminishing returns - something closer to ~20m/~15m still more likely puts you in the relative top spenders - plus likely gives you room for a superstar contract, but churn baby, churn... As Branch Rickey once said - better to trade a guy a year too early than a year too late. I also control my minor league lineups - if you don't like micro-managing, then this advice is probably not for you... I micro-manage the hell out of my system, all demotions/promotions - and lineups/rotations - are at MY discretion.

Scouting settings
With higher scouting spends, I can likewise more or less equalize my individual allocations. If I'm spending 24m on scouting - this means I don't necessarily need to keep my major league scouting above minor league, amateur, and INTL - i.e., ~25% split with the top spend means I'm still likely outspending everyone else in each subset anyway.

If contract obligations start eating into this and I do have to bump it down - it pays to keep in mind WHAT you'll be paying for the following season. Did you lose a couple comp FAs, plus maybe fail to sign someone from the top three rounds? Make sure your amateur scouting remains a priority. Alternately, did you sign a comp FA or two? If anything is gonna slide, let it be amateur scouting.

In a neutral world, I find that INTL scouting is paramount - less to get good reads on the July INTL FA signings, but to up your chances on getting a real 'gem' of a discovery. Still - and you'll notice a recurring theme - don't expect dumping 6-7-8+ million into INTLs to lead to a steady stream of 60-80 prospects. Most of your discoveries are still going to be chaff hardly worth the effort. In my initial season, I like to also to make sure my minor league scouting is way, way up - Trader Jack is a piker compared to my trade-a-rama.... and generally speaking, I've found that the first out-of-the-box amateur draft is the most loaded.

It's tinkering around the margins, but my initial season is usually ~20% MLB, ~30% minor leagues, ~22% amateur, ~28% INTL. I adjust in subsequent seasons.

Your Scout
... matters a lot, of course. As a farm builder - even if/while the big club is in the midst of a dynasty - what matters most to me is higher ratings for the minors/amateur/INTL realms. I virtually ignore the Majors rating - I've got stats for that. As with most of this stuff, though - patience is the key. At least, don't be so quick to change scouts unless there's a clearly better option available. Give your scout a couple seasons - regardless of his ratings - to succeed or fail.... But - and here's where more micromanaging comes into play - I like to seek his advice and dump his advice into shortlists that I review from time to time. Especially in the early rounds of an amateur draft - don't LET him pick, but seek his advice and stash that advice away in a shortlist tracker. Monitor his hits or misses over time.

On the Ability vs Tools - as the manual says, ability is going to get you a lot of high floor/lower ceiling guys; tools will yield more top shelf guys who have a ways to go to hit the higher ceilings... but - note below - what are you spending on player development? I prefer neutral scouts - but in a change from editions past (where I used to lean towards ability), the fact that I'm spending a lot on player development means I've since discovered that I prefer tools a bit more. Which leads to...

Player Development Spending


I max it. I'll give away a SP before I consider cutting it. It's the first budget item I work towards maxing out.

But - patience is a virtue. I've read a lot of complaints about the lack of returns on this investment, but the complaints always seem to be about individual players... that's the wrong view to take - because we're working with the aggregate. The nature of the beast is that there are no sure things - so it happens... sometimes that can't miss prospect just misses and no amount of development dollars and coach coddling can prevent it.

What I've noticed over time is that this spending pays off at the aggregate level - sure, it hurts when that beloved top draft pick turns into nothing but org fodder... but meanwhile, I find that my system is brimming with guys that exceed expectations. Don't fall in love with just one or two guys. What's more - don't fret so much over the month to month reports. Monitor them to be sure - but more for purposes of selling high (again - another micromanagement shortlist use... throwing guys who seem to drop onto a shortlist makes for a ready list of trade bait - before other teams notice a prospect is no longer as highly thought of).

In short - you should be measuring your farm system progress and success by taking a broader, more holistic view of your prospects - not just the cream and truly judging it is a multi-season, not multi-month endeavor. Be patient.

Minor League Staff
The bane of the modern OOTP farm director... because it's extremely difficult to figure out who is actually any good at developing talent and who isn't... but actually, isn't this the case in real life?

First, I think the "reputation" ranks are damn near bunk. Sure - all things being equal, the blue-green-yellow-orange-red flags are better than nothing. But especially for purposes of filling out your farm staff - you're mostly going to living with yellow or lower hires.

It goes without saying (or should) - but you should always check the coach 'narratives'... prioritize the guys who 'prefer young players'; avoid like the plague the ones who like veterans.

On the rare occasion you're able to lure a well-thought-of prospect lover coach - it's also a good idea to max out the contract offers (i.e., coaches will almost always agree to more years than they request - so by all means, give that rare gem 5 years).

For hitting and pitching coaches - it pays to know your system. I like power arms and I like guys who throw ground balls. This means I don't have a lot of use for pitching coaches that match up with finesse pitchers - coaches work best when paired with strengths. Stay away from 'neutral' coaches - my experience is that they're only "last resort" hires... they won't hurt, but they don't seem to help. On the hitting side, I like OBP and I like HRs... but - again, know your system. Is your AA lineup comprised of a lot of high contact guys? Organizational philosophy be damned - you want an AA hitting coach who preaches contact, at least for the coming season.

At the A and rookie levels - where you've probably got multiple teams - this where more of that micromanagement comes into play. Generally speaking, I try to spread out the coach types - and assign players accordingly. Keep your power hitters with a coach that specializes in it as long as you can, etc. And above with coaches - the best way to evaluate them is by looking at the numbers. To be sure - if they don't have the horses, they don't have the horses - but a pitching coach with a couple season of 5+ ERA staffs isn't going to get a 3rd season.

Managers are a bit easier - with a trick... First - for minor league managers, you can completely and totally ignore reputation. With apologies to the good fans at Boise, I really couldn't care less if they win the NWL title - and wins/losses seems to be the prime reputation mover. Instead, when viewing a potential minor league manager hire - check his second tab ("development impact"). While the results you'll get are geared towards the major league roster - I've found that guys "good" or better only get even better when signed to manage a minor league club. Guys with "poor" aren't going to improve when handed a minor league team to run. Oddly enough, the favor prospects/favor vets doesn't seem to matter much - at least, not if you're populating the lineups yourself.

I know some people swear by the idea that you should seek out the 'controlling' sort - I generally do, too - but I think this is more important only when you happen to have a fair number of low work ethic minor leaguers... something I avoid.

Player Acquisition Strategies

Good prospects are good prospects, but it pays to pair your targets with your settings. Ordinarily, guy with high talent/low ability ratings - the 'raw' prospects - are red flags. A 60 talent/30 ability prospect is usually better than a 70/20 prospect... but if you're maxing out your development spends? You can buy more lottery tickets. I'll still generally lean towards a slightly lower ceiling with a higher floor - but especially the middle rounds of a draft or in trying to get the AI to toss in a lottery ticket or two? Your system with a maxed player development budget and finely tuned coaching staff has a better chance than most to see one of those toolsy guys hit paydirt. Just remember to be patient - and remember those sorts are still going to crap out more often than they pay out.

I suppose it's also pretty obvious - but I avoid guys with low work ethics, fragile injury histories, etc. That's not to say I won't grab one if he's clearly a notch above anything else available, but if it's close? No brainer. Take the hard worker. Take the intelligent hard worker. etc.

Another key component to pay attention to is service time when you're making trades. If we're going to be plowing dollars into player development, stands to reason that we want guys who are going to max out taking advantage of those spends.... and unlike the ratings, with all their variances and aspects - a guy either has 3 years or he's got less than a year. When pillaging enemy systems in trades - I'm usually focused on acquiring farm hands I can get a good 2+ years of worry-free development out of before I have to start worrying about adding him to the 40-man to protect him from the rule 5, minor league FA, etc.

A few other odds and ends...

A prospect has to play to develop, of course - hence why I set my own minor league lineups and rotations. However, I don't worry too much about roster size. Until Markus lops off this exploit, I have no compunction about minor league rosters of around ~40 players per team (of course, yes - I know there's a game setting to be more stringent about roster size). All of my minor league rotations go 6 deep - which lets me squeeze an extra rotation slot.

I also tend to like multi-position flexibility, so all but the most prized (or defensively limited) players learn multiple positions... though - a warning - it pays to have a longterm plan. Most SS's can easily and quickly learn to play all over the IF - but if a guy is your SS of the future, time spent learning to play 2B/3B is time he won't be improving at SS. You have to pay attention to who looks like a future starter and who looks like a future utility player. You also have to pay attention to which position learnings aren't "taking" - a guy struggling to learn a new position is also likely to see his offense struggle. Micromanaging! Learn it, live it, love it! This is also true of SPs - as the evolving game manual notes - most pitchers start out with potential rotation futures... and most of them will fail out and end up in the bullpen. If a pitcher never seems to develop that 3rd pitch, sometimes its best to just move him to the bullpen and let him develop as a reliever.

The red/green arrows for promotion/demotion suggestions shouldn't be used a crutches - use them for "at a glance" only looks, but make your decisions based on the numbers. I don't care what the arrow says - if a guy is hitting 190 - he's not ready to be promoted. Promotion decisions are best made by examining the stats and the ratings AND the arrows. Also - keep in mind that there are times where it is necessary to fish or cut bait. A 23 yo with 2.5 years of service time still in shortseason ball? It's time to move him up to A and let him sink or swim.

Don't be too jumpy with promotions/demotions - generally speaking, I prefer to give guys a slow, steady progression. Let the streaks even out, etc. Ordinarily, I'll do mass promotions three times a year - right after spring training, in the middle of June, and then finally with the Sept roster expansions.

As noted in several places above - I love using shortlists. I have internal shortlists and external shortlists. I have a couple dozen. I review them regularly. Plus - a shortlisted player will spawn news items, too - so it's a good way to keep tabs on who might be worth an out of sequence promotion... as well as track guys you might target for trade in other orgs.

Use "shop a player" and "make this work now" a lot - even if you don't pull the trigger on the trade. This can help you find your own scout's blind spots... Does a 20/20 minor leaguer keep coming up as a missing piece of a "make this work now" trade? Chances are, this is a guy your scout is never gonna appreciate - and onto a short list he goes (a "monitor by hand" shortlist)... but the fact that multiple other team scouts like him means he's probably worth more than your scout thinks. More data always beats less data.

Finally... and this is where the line between min-maxing and true exploits probably lies - hose the AI whenever possible.

I'm sure OOTP vets with more character than I will scoff, but -

Always monitor the waiver wire. While much improved, the AI still is far too quick to add players to its 40 man roster, and then far too quick to waive them. ABC -- Always Be Claiming. Whether you slide them through waivers yourself, find room on your own 40 man, or just immediately be flipping them in trade... ABC.

Ditto the free agents - the AI will often make... puzzling decisions to release players - I think because it hasn't discovered the beauty of over-stuffed minor league rosters, but check the available FAs regularly - and in particular, for teenagers.

Early in a dynasty - I tend to focus on quantity over quality. It probably goes without saying, but the first thing I do in starting a new game is sign the bejeesus out of the available FAs (minor league offers only!). This is another area where I've found the OOTP AI much improved, so it's no longer as potent a weapon as it once was, but by immediately scarfing up middling vets - I've now got a huge menu of trade offers to make... and I trade to a ridiculous degree in my first year. Like 30-40-50+ trades. Painstakingly maxed out trades. Trades where I slowly but surely add 3-4-5 players. Trades where I finagle a few spare dollars (I never complete a trade without first checking if the AI will kick in some cash). Cash never goes to waste. If absolutely nothing else - you can hobble AI teams with draft bonuses and minor league FAs. In some cases, the AI will essentially "buy" a minor leaguer not in my future plans anyway.

That's money you can use to blow past your amateur bonus budget. Money you can use to give yourself some budget padding (just keep in mind - your max cash resets to 10m every year, so you have to rinse/repeat to bump your reserves back up past 10m every offseason). This is no longer as valuable as it once was - I notice the AI no longer seems nearly so enticed to receive cash back in trades once you've built enormous reserves - but still... an extra 10 mil of budget padding is nice.

After a couple seasons - I go the other direction (quantity for quality) - if I've got 4 blue chip SS prospects, I'm a lot more willing to do 3-1 or 4-1 trades to get a top shelf prospect at a position I'm lacking... but early on, in the first season or two? I'm pouring a ton of money into my farm, so I want to spread it around.

Thus endeth the magnum opus on How to Build a Farm System for the Ages...
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:14 PM   #2
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As someone who enjoys building up a farm system and developing players, this is an excellent post! As you mention a few times, the key is patience! That can't be stressed enough.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:39 PM   #3
zonk84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philthepat View Post
As someone who enjoys building up a farm system and developing players, this is an excellent post! As you mention a few times, the key is patience! That can't be stressed enough.
Yeah - patience and big picture seem to be the key.

Like everyone, I've had more than my share of 80 prospects go down the crapper... but longer term, when you watch the entire organization over the course of several seasons - I guess (in Sickels parlance), it's probably better to have 5 B+ prospects than one A prospect.

I used to hate the new coaching attributes and org options - but I have to hand it to Markus... Over time, I've come to accept the idea that "real life" MLB works the same way -- if it were as easy as just hiring all the LEGENDARY guys to man your coaching positions, everybody would do it... I guess I also have come to the realization that my local beat writers and team bloggers might not be totally honest with me: Maybe my beloved Cubs actually haven't always hired the world's greatest minor league instructors every offseason!
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:59 PM   #4
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I usually spend half the average amount for player dev, while others spend 3 times the max amount. My farm system is usually in the top tier despite not having a losing season in 20+ years (and few if any top 20 overall draft picks), I rarely have prospects bust, and I don't see weaker IFA rates in terms of quality compared to other people. I strongly disagree with your point on spending money in player development, as I find it's a huge money sink with no actual evidence of working.

I also disagree with your 4 blue chip SS strategy. If you have 4 blue chip SS, that means you can shift them to 2B/SS. So you don't need to do 3-1 type deals. Also instead of trading for prospects, you should aim for young major leaguers, which reduces the risk on your part (ie less likely to bust since they're already MLB ready).

Otherwise solid advice, but I always recommend against using the player development budget. In multiple leagues I've just never seen any evidence to justify using it.

Last edited by ThePretender; 04-23-2018 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePretender View Post
I usually spend half the average amount for player dev, while others spend 3 times the max amount. My farm system is usually in the top tier despite not having a losing season in 20+ years (and few if any top 20 overall draft picks), I rarely have prospects bust, and I don't see weaker IFA rates in terms of quality compared to other people. I strongly disagree with your point on spending money in player development, as I find it's a huge money sink with no actual evidence of working.

I also disagree with your 4 blue chip SS strategy. If you have 4 blue chip SS, that means you can shift them to 2B/SS. So you don't need to do 3-1 type deals. Also instead of trading for prospects, you should aim for young major leaguers, which reduces the risk on your part (ie less likely to bust since they're already MLB ready).

Otherwise solid advice, but I always recommend against using the player development budget. In multiple leagues I've just never seen any evidence to justify using it.
I'll admit -

You might be right on player development sans some of the exploits (relative to no penalty for bloated rosters - so long as you make sure you don't have prospects not playing, etc).

I have no special insights, extended numbers or tests - just a guess... and I imagine Markus won't share the insights (nor would I want him to - it's more fun to guess, experiment, and theorize).

However, my guess/theory is that like most things in sabermetrics - everything regresses to the mean. I think bumping the player dev budget to the max basically moves an org-wide modifier mean up a notch of two. Random variance and the other factors cause players to fall short, hit the mark, or beat it - but especially if you're going "bloat" (my total player count is probably near double AI teams), you end up with a lot more moderately useful players.

I have found - via my OCD-level use of shortlists - that it means I end up with draft classes that continually set records for MLB service time.

I.e., , ordinarily - a team is lucky if a draft class yields half a dozen guys that ultimately taste the big leagues. I find that nearly half my draft classes end up playing in the majors (whether with me or someone else) - which ultimately means more trade chits.

Obviously, you'd rather have nab...say... that one guy who posts 50 career WAR and a whole lot of nothing elsewhere than 10 guys who tally 5.

But - in the OOTP context? I think the result is I can pretty much autopilot spare OFs, utility guys, relievers, back halves of my rotation. This is in addition to having the chits to trade for whatever blue chippers I want.

That said, I'm obviously advantaged by managing a team with a big market. The choices would (all) get harder with a smaller market team.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:58 PM   #6
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This is a very good post with lots of great tips and a good overview of the important areas in player development. While I might not do as much micro-managing, I still found myself nodding yes throughout this post.

A few of the ideas push the envelope of exploitation in my opinion, such as claiming waiver casualties and then pushing them through waivers yourself. It is clear that all is fair in love and war, and the OP considers this to be combat instead of an art form. I can't argue with those tactics either in the way they are presented here, especially since the game certainly allows it.

I see many posts from newbies asking questions about this topic, so it might be nice to see this stickied in the "new to the game" forum.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:22 PM   #7
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Great post. Dont know that i can endure the level of micro managing with the minors that you do but i completely understand it.

Ive been using about 90% of the same manuevers as you and i picked up a few more from reading this post.

In challenge mode with a small market team ive use the same tactics with the waivers. Its a great way to get some lesser prospects and cash to infuse your budget through trades
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:23 PM   #8
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Also want to point out that a nice thing to eliminate in non challenge mode is the development budget. Ive always been 50/50 on if i feel it actually does much and i love that it can just be eliminated
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:36 PM   #9
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note about diminishign returns:

you can set these budgets after you sign all the players you need for the upcoming year... if there's one heavy contract bid you intend to make an dthe demand isn't dropping you can guesstimate close enough to leave room...


just set these after that point... if you can't max it, set it lower.

always spend all the money you can (not necessarily on payroll, that has to be smartly spent money with an eye to future concerns, of course)... stuff that's set yearly should be maxed as much as possible after you have other concerns mapped out.

leave whatever wiggle room you want to build in.

diminishing returns doesn't matter if it's money unspent at the end of the year... rather get somethign than nothing.

adjust scouting to how ootp works... it's not equal amounts of inaccuracy all over...

ie major league scouting requires less for good accuracy than the others. overspending doesn't help much here. spend only enough to be accurate with MLB players to give coach good info for decisions and trade info etc. ~4-6M will be good. i like to keep it at ~6 and zero out international spending.

international scouting: if you don't have these leagues activated, it doesn't apply to fictioanally created international FA and IAFA on july 2nd.. it may apply to scouting discoveries, but that's a very small piece of the pie and you'll still get a rare good one.. maybe less often but it was so rare anyway it doesn't matter. you can easily argue that you'll get more ROI if you dump that into MiL and Amateur spending.

if you mostly trade for MiL prospects, spend more there than the draft.

equal alottment satisfies some OCD needs, but it won't be optimal. allow context to dictate. high accuracy when drafting 30th still nets you a middling prospect etc... trading for a high-end prospect more often nets you a better propsect. after 2-3 years in mil, they are very accurate ratings with a high budget and a legendary scout.

IAFA - buy up as many as you can afford.. as many as will take your 5M cap ... quantity over quality because the ratings are incredible inaccurate no matter how much you spend. every other year, splurge and time it with payroll dumps, if you can... those years you lighten payroll should coincide with the non-penalized years for IAFA spending.

note that there's a 100% penalty for every dollar spent when you go nuts like this, and budget appropriately.. if 50M budget set in offseason, you can spend ~25M. if closer to 5M, don't penalize yourself next year etc etc... wiat for a year you can really splurge.

Last edited by NoOne; 04-23-2018 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:08 PM   #10
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I have been doing a lot of similar stuff since OOTP18, and really work hard on keeping my minor league system strong

good post
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:41 PM   #11
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This post says international scouting budget affects the player discoveries, while I've seen other people state that amateur scouting affects player discoveries, and international scouting helps only if you have international leagues running (presumably, not helping you make discoveries, but rather that you get more accurate info on those other leagues).

On the scouting page in the Front Office, it says, "The amateur and international budgets further influence the quality of players discovered by your scout, both in the national independent and international leagues (if not disabled in the league options)." That implies that there are either 2 types of scouting discoveries, or there is 1 type that is affected by scouting budgets.

In the league settings, players menu, there are settings about how many free agents and things to generate each year. 3 of settings seem to be for free agents that are available to all the teams, but only 1 is a per-team setting, and that is International Scouting Discoveries.

The scouting budget page tells nothing about this (and btw, there seems to be other mistakes there about players with 1 day of professional service time being considered major leaguers for scouting, when surely it should be ML service time).

There is an international scouting page in the manual that says that when you scout internationally, there is a chance you can find a hidden player, which is a player that other teams are not yet aware of, giving you the chance to sign the player before anyone else. However, if you wait too long, other teams will hear about the player eventually and be able to sign them. It also states that this hidden player setting can be changed in the game options under the "player and picture options" settings page. Of course, that settings page is now called "players & facegen" under game settings. But no such hidden player setting exist there or anywhere else I look.

So I don't know what the deal is with all of this.

Do you devs think you could maybe take a day once a decade to read through and update your game manual to correct all the outdated information? Sheesh. You guys apparently don't even take care to document all your coding changes internally. As a former programmer myself, I think I'd probably be horrified to see your code and the lack of comments and documentation and other best-practices. Are you trying to guarantee job security for yourselves in that nobody else would be able to navigate your code? /rant
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:51 PM   #12
Qeltar
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Thanks for all the great thoughts in this thread.

I am new to the game and started with a Marlins system in a shambles. I'm "learning on the job" so to speak. After the amateur draft I spent hours meticulously going through my entire farm system, culling the chaff and moving guys where I thought they fit and would get playing time.

I just got my first player development update on July 1... seeing those red "-"s drive me nuts! I think there are a lot more green "+"s but you know what I mean.

I don't understand some of the seemingly odd movements either. One guy had his potential contact go up by 5, potential power go up by 5 and potential eye go up by 10.. and his overall potential rating drop from 2.5 to 1 star. ??? My scout, who was very up on the guy before, now thinks he's junk. Is there some hidden meaning to this I just can't see?

It is fun to develop a farm system basically from scratch.. though pretty intimidating as well. I don't really trust the AI, especially with the many two-ways and "converted" players I have.... and there's a lot of guys. Plus I keep signing guys off the FA list. I signed a guy last week and he made player of the week his first week, feels nice.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qeltar View Post
Thanks for all the great thoughts in this thread.

I am new to the game and started with a Marlins system in a shambles. I'm "learning on the job" so to speak. After the amateur draft I spent hours meticulously going through my entire farm system, culling the chaff and moving guys where I thought they fit and would get playing time.

I just got my first player development update on July 1... seeing those red "-"s drive me nuts! I think there are a lot more green "+"s but you know what I mean.

I don't understand some of the seemingly odd movements either. One guy had his potential contact go up by 5, potential power go up by 5 and potential eye go up by 10.. and his overall potential rating drop from 2.5 to 1 star. ??? My scout, who was very up on the guy before, now thinks he's junk. Is there some hidden meaning to this I just can't see?

It is fun to develop a farm system basically from scratch.. though pretty intimidating as well. I don't really trust the AI, especially with the many two-ways and "converted" players I have.... and there's a lot of guys. Plus I keep signing guys off the FA list. I signed a guy last week and he made player of the week his first week, feels nice.
I just started playing OOTP with last years game. From one rookie to another, after spending over 200+ hours experimenting/learning the game from the ground up and cheating my way (through Commissioner Mode) to 7 World Series titles in 10 years... you'll learn to appreciate the subtleties this game has to offer, if you haven't already.

Experiment, start over, experiment, start over. That's the beauty of it all. It freaked me the hell out when I first started with all the overwhelming options. It freaked me the hell out when I saw one of my top SP's in my farm league go "negative" in many areas in my first scouting report... but I quickly realized that's just how it goes. This game isn't meant for the faint of heart (coming from a once bi-yearly MLB: The Show guy).

You fail a lot. But the subtleties... when you actually take the precious time to at least try and learn them... is what makes this game worth playing, overall.
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Qeltar (04-24-2018)
Old 04-24-2018, 12:44 AM   #14
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Thanks, appreciate it.

So far I am succeeding pretty well, but I did it by starting at the bottom. Not too much farther you can fall as Miami 2018. OTOH, I had few building blocks to work with.

I've done quite a few pretty nice trades and FA pickups.. lots of making lemons from lemonade. I love when I pick up someone's refuse and make it something great or use it in a trade.

Also had some interesting "trade-ups"... NY was desperate for a 1B so I traded them Bour and change for Chad Green and change. He's been rock solid in my pen even though my scout keeps saying he's an SP. In the latest update OSA bumped him to 4.5 stars and now when I shop him the Jays are willing to trade Osuna for him. Wow. Probably a cost thing (Green's not even arbitrarion eligible yet) but while I have a lot of "high stuff" guys, a closer who has actual control and won't walk the bases full of runners might be nice... Green's control is pretty good, not superb. My other bullpen arms are powerful but unreliable.

I tried to change Green to a starter a couple of times. Didn't go well.

The red minuses are unnerving but I figure that's going to happen... especially with the kids. I only have a real issue with the flatly illogical ones like I mentioned above.

Last edited by Qeltar; 04-24-2018 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:00 AM   #15
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It just dawned on me how unorganized I really am in OOTP management.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:37 AM   #16
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I just finished my third season as GM/Manager of DET and there are some things I know I should be doing but have a hard time making myself do. My payroll is ridiculously small (I think under $50 million next season). All but a handful of my players are not yet arbitration eligible or just now getting into arbitration and it's too early to consider extending them. So I have all of this extra money and I can't make myself max out other budgets. It feels like wasted money to me even though I know it probably isn't.

Also have been pretty annoying letting my assistant GM handle the minor league stuff. I do promote/demote guys occasionally, but when I see a player sitting in the same R league for 3 seasons and he's played well in all of them I just get annoyed. I'm not sure I want to try to take all of that on myself, however. Sounds tedious to try to make sure A- has enough pitchers, etc.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:59 AM   #17
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It is at first but once you have things set up, it's not too bad. Sort of like starting with a messy house, spending a few weeks really dealing with it, and then just maintaining things.

One question for the vets: are changes in ratings based on in-game performance? I am a bit confused because I have a few guys tearing the cover off the ball and their ratings either didn't move in the last update, contained offsetting + and -, or even went down.

One reclamation project of mine, just nabbed player of the week and month honors in the SAL. He's slashing 350/430/850 (!) and yet in the most recent update his overall dropped from 1.0 to 0.5.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qeltar View Post
It is at first but once you have things set up, it's not too bad. Sort of like starting with a messy house, spending a few weeks really dealing with it, and then just maintaining things.

One question for the vets: are changes in ratings based on in-game performance? I am a bit confused because I have a few guys tearing the cover off the ball and their ratings either didn't move in the last update, contained offsetting + and -, or even went down.

One reclamation project of mine, just nabbed player of the week and month honors in the SAL. He's slashing 350/430/850 (!) and yet in the most recent update his overall dropped from 1.0 to 0.5.
Players perform above their ratings all the time. I've got a LF that has generated about 3 WAR a season for two seasons in a row and yet he's been consistently rated one of the worst LFs in MLB. *shrug*
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:20 AM   #19
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that's why looking at overall "star" ratings isn't all that valuable, in my opinion

look at the performance/stats, and look at the individual tools of contact/ power/ eye/ strikeout/ defense/ speed and judge from that
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:23 AM   #20
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Yeah I am trying to do that also, but it's very hard when tracking literally hundreds of players. I was hoping to rely on the ratings as a bit of a shorthand but it seems wildly off at times.
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