Saturday, June 27, 2009

Draft Recap

One thing I have noticed with this draft compared to the others since the last change, GM's were more willing to take more of a chance on players with signability issues. Knowing if they don't sign, it is not a that much of a lost pick as in the past. The other drafts did take that into consideration but still opted for the safe bet. The changes do make the draft review longer as I will go through til pick 36.

1. Jung Wanatabe - Wichita Wingmen, P: Definitely the best starting pitcher in the draft that I can tell. He will one day have Cy Young aspirations. The amount of the projections being reached has been debated. With the change to OVR for the pitchers it could be a little hard to ascertain without knowing what will happen at rollover. Jung is a little difficult to really know because his physical stats are almost maxed to start, so little will be garnered there. His stamina will probably max before he makes it to the majors which I am betting could be in his 3rd season. His control will probably reach the mid to upper 80's by then and his pitches should be very close also. The splits, which is the toughest to raise, may not get all that close to the projected but will still be a big force at 80+. I would expect his total OVR to reach around 85 when the dust settles and I say that is not too shabby.
Grade: A+

2. Clay Merritt - Ottawa Ice, P: Since he isn't signed, I am reserving full judgment at this time. What I see from the scouts is that he has a lot of growth potential to turn into an exceptionally good left handed pitcher. Unlike Jung, he has lots of growth potential in the physical ratings to help him out.
Grade: A

3. Kenneth Scoroposki, El Paso Sand Walkers, 2B: He doesn't have the defensive skills to be a 2B and doesn't have the arm for RF. So LF/1B is all that is left. Physically a little low in the makeup department and his high health makes him a prime candidate for one of those bad injuries. Has the necessary tools to he a good long ball hitter.
Grade: A

4. Phillip Cooke - Tacoma TIE Fighters, LF: Defensively adequate for LF but 1B might be a better fit. A big pounding hitter that will be a tough out. In the minors he will probably hit a ton of home runs but in the majors expect him to be an OBP guy. The reason, his eye and splits are too high to be a consistent home run hitter as ML pitchers will likely walk him if they can't induce him.
Grade: A+

5. Odalis Torcato - Philadelphia Phillies, P: Health could be a concern. He could be a very good long setup guy in the pen. His vsR split is a little low but that is over ridden by his control and pitches and the fact he is a pure GB pitcher.
Grade: B+

6. Ernest Terrell - San Francisco Super Sonics, P: Exceptional control, good splits and pitches for this left handed pure GB pitcher.
Grade: A+

7. Marco Glover - San Diego Surf Babies, CF: From what I can divulge from the scouts, he is a project. CF is not out of the question which is a tough position to fill and a physically fine specimen. He hits with power especially against righties but has below average contact but his eye will make up for that. Maybe this guy will sign this year.
Grade: A

8. Bruce Stevens - Rochester Phantoms, P: Health is a concern but more importantly is his signability. He is too good a pitcher to pass on even with those issues.
Grade: B+

9. Albert Munoz - Cincinnati Waste Managers, RF: Has the arm for RF but range and glove could be troublesome. A power hitter with high splits and a good eye. I would expect his contact not to reach expectations though but. That might help in the end as he could be an OBP guy with 30 homers.
Grade: A

10. Rolando Terrero - Ottawa Ice, 2B: A Comp D pick and 2nd top 10 pick for Ottawa. Has the range and arm for 2B but the glove may prove too weak. Physically great with lead off speed but I don't see that happening against righties. Has a good eye and contact with enough pop for a consistent doubles and triples hitter.
Grade: A

11. Juan Gil - Richmond Poor Men, P: A starting pitcher with a patience issue. How much that will hurt remains to be seen. A GB pitcher with very good control and some very good pitches. His splits may be weak but shouldn't really be a big issue.
Grade: A

12. Domingo Guillen - Toledo Mud Hens, P: Signability issue and health issue, just like Bruce Stevens. I have not seen too many pitcher with 3 pitches that high with the control to go with them that sure makes up for the somewhat weak splits.
Grade: B+

13. Glen Hayes - San Diego Surf Babies, 2B: Signability issue. Fielding is too weak for a 2B so COF and maybe 3B backup. Has good physicality with a very good eye and contact. His splits are satisfactory and enough power to hit doubles.
Grade: A

14. Destin Sellers - Portland Bar & Grillers, 2B: Fielding is not good enough for 2B which leaves COF and maybe a backup at 3B. Physically good. A good eye, decent splits and good contact with enough power for a homer every once in a while. With his speed, makes him an everyday lead off hitter.
Grade: A+

15. Ellie Roenicke - Trenton Troglodytes, 1B - Health could be a minor concern. What hitting numbers, very good eye and splits are good enough that he won't take the walk easily though with the power and contact won't strike out often either. Pitchers just might walk him rather than challenge. The price paid could cause a ripple effect!
Grade: A-

16. Reid Finley - Boise Posse, P: A starting pitcher that is physically good. May have trouble getting the control to a satisfactory level. Splits should be good. Has a an exceptional out pitch but the rest are just good.
Grade: B

17. R.A. Everett - Sioux Falls Stoned Presidents, P: A starting pitcher that is physically good. Control is a little tell tale but adequate with the GB, splits and pitches.
Grade: A

18. Matty Maduro - San Jose Bad News Bees II, P: A little weak in the health department. A long reliever or spot starter is in his future as his stamina dictates. Has the control, splits and pitches to get the job done. I have had problems with this kind of pitcher for some reason. I think it is mainly due to the fact they are starters in the minors to get their IP's. Once they get around to being ML ready for the pen, they seem to get that almost career ending injury, so be forewarned.
Grade: B+

19. Wiki Batista - Richmond Poor Men, P: WoW, a shut down closer, enough said.
Grade: A+

20. Evan Hamilton - Scranton Beet Farmers, SS: The oops guy. A highly defensive SS, not much in the hitting department except he will normally make contact.
Grade: B-

21. Brian Martin - Augusta Polar Bears, P: A starting pitcher with control a little lower than one would like to see, has decent splits and a pretty good stable of pitches.
Grade: B

22. Brian Petersen - Portland Bar & Grillers, 2B?: Unknown

23. Brad Matusz - Oakland Surenos, P: A outstanding left handed relief pitcher. Could be a closer but more than likely will be a shut down long setup.
Grade: A+

24. Efrain Zhang - Austin City Limits, P: A FB power right handed starting pitcher with very good control and splits. Pitches are not all that great for a FB power pitcher.
Grade: B-

25. Julio Martinez - Philadelphia Phillies, SS: Fielding ratings are too weak for SS but very good for 3B. Hitting is average.
Grade: B-

26. Paul Swindell - Charlotte Gooners, SS: Projects to a minimal defensive SS which may not be reached but then there is always 2B/3B. Has a good eye and contact with just enough power to hit a long ball every now and then.
Grade: B

27. Dave Hernandez - Indianapolis Sluggers, P: Left handed starting pitcher with great control, decent splits but the stable of pitches are not that great for a power pitcher.
Grade: B-

28. Gabe Borland - Las Vegas 69ers, C: Has a bit of a weak arm to be considered as a premier defensive PC catcher. A very good power hitter in the offensive categories. I had my eyes on him with the 3rd pick.
Grade: A

29. Will Krause - Columbus Criminals, SS: A very defensive SS if projections are reached. Definitely won't hit for power but no slouch at the plate either.
Grade: B+

30. Mark Duran - Little Rock Pebbles, SS: Chances are he will be turned into a 3B as he no where close to SS material. Has some power with some pretty decent hitting ratings.
Grade: A-

31. Alberto Miro - Hartford Cream and the Clear, LF: Though drafted for a 2B, lacks the ability and minimal for LF. Has good contact and a fairly decent eye. I choose this player as being the "red herring" of the draft.
Grade: C

32. Wally Kane - Trenton Troglodytes, 2B: A big health risk. Has the range for 2B but not he glove. Hitting is not that bad with light power.
Grade: C

33. Manuel Felix - Portland Bar & Grillers, SS: Chances are that another supposed SS will be turned in to a 3B. His hitting ability is well above average with some power.
Grade A-

34. Dale Jones - Jackson Holes, 2B: 2B is definitely out but RF is the place to be. Has an average eye but splits, power and contact is good. Why he isn't sigend is a good question, but then my scouts could be wrong.
Grade: B+

35. Joe Rolls - Charleston Apologists, P: A probable right handed closer with very control and outstanding splits. With 3 less than desirable pitches for a power pitcher.
Grade: B

36. Vinny Christman - Cleveland Katanas, P: Has low control you would want from a starting pitcher but is helped by the fantastic splits. The pitches are not bad just in an odd order.
Grade: B+

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Draft Follow Up

Several things come to mind with the Sand Walkers draft this season. I was rather happy with the my draft. I didn't work real hard on the draft board as I usually do for a change. The reason that I didn't was because I took a look at the draft order and decided the second pick, which would have been #61, just wasn't worth it and signed a Type A FA instead a few days before the predraft. Made Toledo happy maybe.

As I said in the previous post, I didn't really have that many choices with the third pick. I did have Jung Wanatabe as my number 1. Like I said, it was doubtful that he would fall to the third pick as he was taken number 1 overall. That left me with Kenneth Scoroposki, Brad Matusz, Gabe Borland, and Rolando Terrero to choose from. Not a bad bunch to choose from, but why wasn't Phillip Cooke on my board!!!!

I took Kenneth Scoroposki because he was the best power hitter on my board even though the formula builder and the OVR pointed to Rolando Terrero. To me Terrero was a little over rated due to his desirable makeup but had weak vsR and power. Gabe Borland would have been a good choice as a medium power hitting defensive PC catcher, but to me didn't deserve to be picked third. Brad Matusz would have been very good choice for the pen. I debated a long while before I decided who to put at number 2 and 3.

As for the Type A signing, Toledo got Grant Rivers and I probably would have gotten George Nichting. In the end, it was a well spent $1.3M.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Draft From the Third Slot

As I looked over my board initially, I thought it was a very good draft. But before I go into detail about the draft you must understand the history of the team. When I took the team over, it was in disgustingly bad shape. There was maybe two or three players in the minors that had a chance to play in the majors. Most of the players in the majors, half didn't belong. This made the team a 4 to 5 year rebuild. I usually rebuild a team through Rule V, the draft, and IFA's rather than spending money on FA. I have spent rather sparingly on FA's just to remain competitive though.

The season 9 draft was not done by me but had a pretty good draft class. Since then I drafted pitching the first year and was pretty successful. The second was position players and that was not all the bad as I got three pretty good players I think. But what was lacking was scouting money, there are two ways to do a rebuild. The slow way is to take HS players, the quicker way is to take college players.

The reason I say that, HS players take longer to get to the ML level. They may seem to reach potential just as fast as college players but will actually take longer to mature for the ML level than college players. So the point of the first two seasons was to get the budget to $20M in training, college scouting and adv scouting. At the moment, the budgets are pretty locked in for the next two seasons before upping the HS budget and lowering the college to get more of an even mix. Also, the chances of me having a top 10 pick will lessen each season.

Right now the team needs are relief pitching and power hitters and that is the focus of my draft. The draft pool actually reflects my needs very well for the first round and I draft best player available. After the first round there really isn't much that will help. With the third pick in the draft, I have already narrowed down my choices as to which player I am going to draft. Which one I will take depends on the other two GM's. I also keep the rookie team pretty well stocked, so if I end up accidently getting all pitchers or position players I won't have to scramble to keep the team running smoothly.

The best player on my board is a pitcher, my chances of getting him is very slim unless there are better players on the other two GM's boards. That could very well be as I don't have many HS players on my draft board and there is a chance he is not on either of those teams boards also. He may not be what I need, but I can't refuse the best player.

The second best player is a position player that I desire. The position he is tagged at being able to play is not even close to ML standards but I still can't refuse and I can find a place for him to play. Normally I look at SS's both hitting and fielding wise as the best possible position player before going to another. My board doesn't have one that deserves a top 10 pick IMO.

The third choice is another pitcher which I would be ecstatic with.

Even though the chance of the first player falling to me with the third pick is slim, though I have been surprised before, I am forced to leave him there. The second and third choices are real tough as I could use either one. The difference in OVR is two points so that is a non-issue and chances are pretty good that both will be there.

Using the 20/10 rule I run into an odd situation. Their projected ratings match the OVR well enough. One pitcher won't make the the projected pitching ratings which is also a non-issue. The other pitcher won't make the projected fielding ratings and one pitching rating will probably fall short at least. The position player will fall short in one rating also. Knowing this helps in a way. I can now adjust their projected OVR's in my head as to what their real future OVR's will be. One will drop at least 5 points, maybe more, the other two will roughly have a two point drop. That makes all three about equal to one another. So it boils down to whom I think is the best.

Follow Up on Formula Builder Warning

I've heard back from WIS and they say the formula builder turns OFF weight and player type (in the position settings, top of page), but leaves the position targeting active.

If you say so.

I've used the formula builder for 3 drafts, and in all 3 ended up drafting NOTHING like what I had in position targets.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Formula Builder WARNING

I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding about the draft settings page that arose with the introduction of the formula builder. I know I've misunderstood it myself for my last 3 drafts.

You can use EITHER the player settings OR the formula builder, but NOT BOTH. THEY DON'T WORK TOGETHER - THEY'RE 2 DIFFERENT SYSTEMS. If you check the formula builder box on the draft settings page, it cancels anything you've done with the player settings.

The way this can become a real problem is this: there's no way in the formula builder to specify how many of WHICH POSITION you want to draft.

A lot of owners are filling out the player settings section AND using the formula builder, then wondering why they drafted 21 pitchers in a row (actually happened in the last Kinsella draft...another team drafted 18 pitchers in a row). Both these teams bumped up some of the pitcher ratings in the formula builder, seeking to move pitchers up in the rankings. They also thought that the player settings would keep them from "overdrafting" pitchers. What they didn't know is there WERE NO PLAYER SETTINGS.

To me, this just renders the formula builder useless. I've made the same mistake in all of my last 3 drafts and got unbalanced results (position vs. pitching) all 3 times - had to go running around trying to sign minors free agents and waiver guys just to fill the rookie teams.

By the way, I sent a ticket to WIS to confirm that I understand this correctly; but there is confirmation in the second paragraph of the draft settings page instructions:
"To generate your draft board, you have two options (both of which rely on your college and high school scouting departments): The simple approach to the left or the formula builder outlined below."

The Draft

Help for those of you want it. I wouldn't say this will cover everything as I have a tendency to miss something somewhere or be an end all solution as others have their own ways of doing it.

First of all, you need to set the draft settings. You must decide how you want to do it. There is more than one way. I usually set targets something like 1 for each position player and 3 for 2B and SS. For pitchers I set starters for 7 and depending I set RP at 1. The rest I set for any. I set the weight for 5 in each category, I still want it set to best player available by OVR. I set the Type to slugging for position players and control for pitchers. This way it doesn't move players that much for best player available and if it does there is normally a good reason.

If you use the formula builder, after talking with a few owners in other worlds I am in, we came to this conclusion. It does a good job at setting up the draft pool if you use it to set either position players or pitchers but not both. If you set the position players, you may need to rank DH's and catchers separately. If you use it for pitching, position players will need to be moved around pretty extensively or you won't get to draft any. I used the formula builder rather extensively to see how it worked and figured out that I don't really like it at all. If you use the formula builder make sure you set the targets.

I usually set the rating threshold to none so I will draft the best player as opposed to skipping down the list to fulfill my targets.

Round 1 and supplemental I always set to very conservative, I don't take risks on the first round at all and conservative with the rest. That is me and I wouldn't say whether this is right or wrong. If the player is that good you may want to take a chance. If you have it set to very conservative and you have an iffy pick that it jumps over, there is usually just cause.

For the players themselves. The first thing you need to understand is the BIO, that indicates signability. If it is anything other than "Will sign for slot money" there is a risk involved. "Will sign if the deal is right" is not all that risky. "Wants to be drafted in 1st round or first 5 rounds" is a lot more riskier, but MOST sign after a hold out and more money of course. "Probably not, Undecided or wants to play another sport" gets dropped off to the end of my draft board as these are the riskiest. Hope I didn't miss any.

One thing you need to know about the players is the current rating, is static and seen by everyone the same as far as I know. The projected ratings can vary with every owner and the amount spent on scouting.

Things to pay attention to about with player ratings. Watch makeup, durability and health ratings in the physical characteristics plus patience a little bit. Watch the fielding ratings and position of the player, many do not really coincide in the draft but doesn't mean he can't play another position. Just because you are an NL team doesn't mean a DH can't be a 1B or catcher, you really need to look. A pitchers control, splits and pitches of course.

With the new OVR ratings for pitchers, some are not rated as high as in the past. Care should be taken as a pitcher with an OVR of 65 could be better than a position player with a 75. Relief pitchers also are lower in the rankings than they used to be.

As for the difference in current ratings and projected ratings, I use what I call the 20/10 rule. That concludes that a player can advance up to 20+ points on the playing bump ratings and 10+ points on rollover ratings in the first two or three seasons. There are some ifs, ands, and buts to this rule. One of the big differences is a player with very good patience and makeup. I use the 20/10 rule more often after their first spring training. The reason I speak about this is the fact that some players can be over rated in projected. When they need to gather 30+ points in several ratings categories, chances are good he is rated incorrectly. When they are signed and put on a roster, their ratings tend to shrink.

Now as for what player to draft, that could be tough. Do you need a big slugger? Is pitching your need? Do you take a player you don't need in hopes of trading for what you do need next season? That is a question of preference.

Monday, June 15, 2009


IFA Market

The Oakland Surenos were wowed by Alex Martin to the tune of $17.3M. Alex is is a power hitting PC catcher with a bit of a weak glove.

The Tacoma TIE Fighters snapped up Jesus Felix The Cat for the cheap sum of $3.2M. Everyone must have been turned off by his little black bag or nobody needs a a quality setup pitcher.

AL North - Augusta Polar Bears has taken the early lead.
AL East - In a surprise, the Washington D.C. Revenge have the Katanas chasing them.
AL South - The Jackson Holes in the lead and not a surprise.
AL West - The Boise Posse have their bad guys trapped.

NL North - The Sioux Falls Stoned Presidents have the current lead.
NL East - The Indianapolis Sluggers have hit their way to a lead.
NL South - Charleston Apologists can't seem to lose.
NL West - The Las Vegas 69ers and Oakland Surenos claim the lead.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

IFA Market News

Louie Yang was singed by Wichita for $10.6M. A Lefty that could make the Majors as a starter. He is a GB pitcher with fantastic control with some good splits, hopefully the bad 3rd pitch doesn't cause too much trouble.

Jimmie Ibanez was signed by San Diego for $10M. Projects to be a good defensive SS with some pretty good hitting abilities.

San Diego struck again by signing Torey Martis for $6M. This pitcher may fit the Surf Babies mold as most were turned off by the low control and lackluster splits.

The Tacoma TIE Fighters snuck into the IFA fray and snagged Jesus Felix for $3.2M. A left handed setup/closer type with very good and hard to come by 3 pitch tools.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Really it is anybody's guess as to how things end up even in real life. Here we go with a big guess.

1. Cincinnati Waste Managers
2. Columbus Criminals
3. Augusta Polar Bears
4. Scranton Beet Farmers

This one is tough to sort out folks which means any of the four can wind up winning.

1. Cleveland Katanas
2. Washington D.C. Revenge
3. Rochester Phantoms
4. Wichita Wingmen

It is gonna get tougher for Cleveland.

1. Jackson Holes
2. Richmond Poor Men
3. Charlotte Gooners
4. Little Rock Pebbles

Speaking of tough, this one is impossible.

1. Boise Posse
2. San Diego Surf Babies
3. San Francisco Super Sonics
4. Portland Bar & Grillers

These teams are so close to one another it is tough but I like Boise because of the stadium which could be good or bad.

1. Hartford Cream and the Clear
2. Sioux Falls Stoned Presidents
3. Ottawa Ice
4. Trenton Troglodytes

Things are a bit funny here and there is a known entity at work but could turn into a 3 way battle.

1. Burlington Lake Monsters
2. Indianapolis Sluggers
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. Toledo Mud Hens

Another one that could prove very interesting.

1. Charleston Apologists
2. Nashville Kool Kats
3. Austin City Limits
4. El Paso Sand Walkers

It is getting tougher for the projected top 2 and they know it but the bottom 2 aren't ready yet.

1. Oakland Surenos
2. Las Vegas 69ers
3. San Jose Bad News Bees II
4. Tacoma TIE Fighters

This one is harder still, I like the looks of Oakland but Vegas and San Jose can throw a monkey wrench in anyones plans.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First IFA Bonus Baby Goes To...

The San Francisco Super Sonics with the signing of Eduardo Pena for $14.9 plus a $54K MLB contrsct. If projections are reached and that will be easy, should be a #1 or #2 starter with the capability at playing a few positions in his spare time. Lacking a little everywhere to be a super starter but could be considered a Cy Young candidate throughout his career. Needless to say, he will be feared by batters.