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Earlier versions of OOTP: New to the game? A place for all new Out of the Park Baseball fans to ask questions about the game.

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Old 07-16-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
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Baseball Noob - would appreciate some pointers

Hi, I purchased OOTP 12 last night after a brief discussion on here with some forum members. I think due to the server crashing last night, my initial thread has disappeared.

Recapping, I'm a total noob to baseball. I have a understanding of the rules, but none of the nuances of the game and even less about the intricacies of roster management, and absolutely nothing about what attributes or stats are important for each position.

So far my initial trepidation about my ability to fathom the game out seem to be well founded. I am finding myself overwhelmed with the plethora of choices, screens and how to utilise them.
I've tried accessing the online manual via the game but it doesn't work? I just get an internet browser open up with the following message appearing.

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '{' in /srv/www/vhosts/ootpdevelopments.com/subdomains/manuals/httpdocs/tools2.php on line 1284


Can anyone explain this? Is the manual not yet available?

Also would appreciate some pointers to both some
  • essential information I should read to help me get a grip on some must have knowledge
  • a recommendation on what game setup I should go with first to enable me to get my feet wet so to speak but that would not overwhelm me.
  • any other hints or tips for a complete noob like myself
I really love the seemingly endless depth to the game, however given my lack of baseball background it is also this feature that is making it such a daunting task for me to absorb.

Currently I've started a game in the Major's as a Commissioner and Manager with the NY Mets. I figured I would learn more by starting with a battling team as opposed to one with a pennant chance.
But boy... I found myself just delegating everything to the AI, because I just didn't have a clue what I was doing, and unable to really get a grasp both on what areas of the team needed help, let alone what sort of roster decisions would help.
Thanks in advance

Last edited by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; 07-16-2011 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:42 AM   #2
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the ottp manual is not finished and the ootp11 manual seems to be down after the recent crash, but if they get it back up the ootp11 manual should be up and it is very close to this game so should help a lot.

as for pointers I am not 100% sure...I know I found this game a little daunting at first and I was very familiar with the game.

some things you can try to simplify things would be:

-create a small league with only a major league. when you get dealing with minors you will basically have 2 or more teams to control at all times.

-load up the MLB quick start or the mlb template but play as a minor league manager...the GM of the team will make the roster moves for you and you can focus on managing the game

-ask the manager or bench coach for depth charts and pitching staff...I sometimes asked for both when I started and adjusted them as needed.

-try to catch a few games on TV. Watch it trying to see what they are doing and why and relating it to ottp. It takes awhile to learn that way but it really does help a lot as you pick up the game...before you know it you'll be questioning your teams GM and manager

as far as actual roster moves and how to better your team there are a lot of theories and every one in the majors even have different ideas. A traditional line up will have the #1 batter as a guy with speed that can get on base, #2 is a contact guy that can put the ball in play and move the runner #3 is usually the best hitter on the team, #4 is the guy that will hit with the most power, and after that you can pretty much place your other batters in ascending order to the batting average.

As far as your roster teams will normally have 25 players: 11-12 pitchers, 2-3 catchers, 6-7 infielders, and 5-6 outfielders. I usually start with the minimum for each group which gives you 24 then add to help my weakest areas. also it helps if your back ups can play more than one position..some times they will play in infield and outfield spots.

this will hopefully be a good start as for other questions the manual should help with a lot of them when it gets up and other specifics you can ask here or can look on the web for questions...sometimes you can find good answers but some of the official rules get a little hard to understand.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:45 AM   #3
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Okay. I've read a couple of threads here, and have decided to start with the APA league quick start game.
Perhaps a smaller game universe will make things a little simpler. Plus completing an inaugural draft will give me a chance to get to grips with the scouting model and what to look for in prospects.
One question.
When drafting a team from scratch what elements do people find important in terms of building a good base. Are there certain positions I should look to fill early on. I'm assuming an excellent starting pitcher would be important.
But from there would I focus on filling infield positions and are any of these more important than others to try and fill first?
Any other draft tips?

Last edited by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; 07-16-2011 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:55 AM   #4
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Well i had planned to give ya the link for the OOTP 11 manual but that seems to not be working right now.

Why dont you start with something you are familiar with.

Theres logos and uniforms for the Australian Baseball League on Padresfan.

OOTP FaceGen Files

Under International

Why dont you create the ABL?
I have it as part of my 25 League Universe and although I am not a GM in that league I trade for players in it often.

Otherwise i would suggest a simple MAL setup with 3 levels of minors...and then you can search on here for various caps/logos/uniforms along with on Padresfan.

Or see if someone has a simple quickstart for 12.

if you use the search feature on here there might be a QS for the ABL or tips on creating an accurate schedule for it.

What would you say your level of baseball knowledge is?
I would put mine in the top 98% of all people on this board and even i let the AI deal with my minors. I do roster moves, trades,signings, drafts for the ML level only for most of my leagues, mostly because 90% of the time the AI does it right, also because I like to concentrate on just the level i am at.

Another option is start a simple 8 team fictional League with just a AAA a 5 round draft a 120 game schedule and start off as MGR only and let the AI GM deal with roster moves and drafting and such.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagofan76 View Post
Well i had planned to give ya the link for the OOTP 11 manual but that seems to not be working right now.

Why dont you start with something you are familiar with.

Theres logos and uniforms for the Australian Baseball League on Padresfan.

OOTP FaceGen Files

Under International

Why dont you create the ABL?
I have it as part of my 25 League Universe and although I am not a GM in that league I trade for players in it often.

Otherwise i would suggest a simple MAL setup with 3 levels of minors...and then you can search on here for various caps/logos/uniforms along with on Padresfan.

Or see if someone has a simple quickstart for 12.

if you use the search feature on here there might be a QS for the ABL or tips on creating an accurate schedule for it.

What would you say your level of baseball knowledge is?
I would put mine in the top 98% of all people on this board and even i let the AI deal with my minors. I do roster moves, trades,signings, drafts for the ML level only for most of my leagues, mostly because 90% of the time the AI does it right, also because I like to concentrate on just the level i am at.

Another option is start a simple 8 team fictional League with just a AAA a 5 round draft a 120 game schedule and start off as MGR only and let the AI GM deal with roster moves and drafting and such.
Thanks for the info.
I would put my baseball knowledge in the bottom 1% of all people on this board
When I was younger through the efforts of my late Father (who was from the US) I gained a great knowledge of American Football as we would watch alot of games together on the TV. Whilst he was a baseball fan - due to a lack of coverage of the game here in Australia at the time, he didn't really have the same vehicle as we did with football to develop a mutual interest in the game.

Perhaps naively, I chose the game because I do have an affinity with sports management games, and especially love the challenge of developing a team over a number of years. I've enjoyed playing the NFL management game Front Office Sports Football and soccer game Football Manager.

Basically, whilst I have an understanding of the rules of baseball, it's the kind of stuff you know by following a sport for years or growing up with it in your blood that I really lack. And with a game such as this I would imagine it's those things that really count.

On the plus side, I am a sports loving kinda guy with an ability to learn given enough time. I may just have to ask really stupid questions frequently here to try and aid my development!
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:32 AM   #6
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The only dumb question is one not asked. Growing up not knowing hardly a thing about soccer, I picked up Football Manager and have played it for the past 10 years and love soccer now and learned so much about it. I think these games really help you to understand what you are watching, so ask away, this board is one of the best for getting help. I found starting a small 8-12 team league with AAA should help you really get into it. Best way to learn is to do. just backup on occasion and if you really screw the pooch you can always reload and try it again.

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Old 07-16-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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The ottp11 manual seems to be back online OOTP Baseball Manual - OOTP 11

you should be able to browse though it or use the search feature for any specific questions. The search is actually really good showing you not only all the pages with the topic you wanted but shows a percentage of how relevant it is, so you wont spend more time looking for what you need than learning it
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:09 PM   #8
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My recommendation for starting a new league is create something with a level of familiarity and something you can look at background for.

Create a historical league during the 1980s, then restructure the league to have 12 or less teams. Have a fantasy draft.

I say the 1980s because there is a good diversity with types of players (prior to the power explosion and disapearance of speed), you've possibly heard of them and lived during their playing time, and there is time for the league to advance, and you can do a quick internet search to find out about them.

www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen or www.wikipedia.com

Under 12 teams so your league will be small enough to follow and learn about stars and what makes them stars.

Then have 1 level of minors. This way it's familiar to a Junior Club in Football or Rugby.

Start off with basic rules for the minor leagues, use wikipedia to see what rules you want. Later you can expand it if you like.

As for learning about the game and it's history you can check out various movies and books...but that can be another thread.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:11 PM   #9
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Appreciate all the help.
So far despite my crappy season I'm really enjoying the game. Spent the first season just observing things and checking out the reports and in general trying to get an understanding of the game universe. Finished a tad under .500 with a disappointing finish to the last qtr of a season after challenging for the divison pennant for the first 3/4 of the season.

Now need to try and analyse my list during the offseason and see what I can do to improve my team for next season. This is probably where my lack of baseball knowldge may hinder me, but we'll see how I go.

Thanks again for the helpful advice, and will no doubt be back here asking more questions soon.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot View Post

Now need to try and analyse my list during the offseason and see what I can do to improve my team for next season. This is probably where my lack of baseball knowldge may hinder me, but we'll see how I go.

Thanks again for the helpful advice, and will no doubt be back here asking more questions soon.
You could always post what you have questions about. Most people on here will try to help ya, in whichever way they can.
Do you sign pitcher A with a 4.055 ERA but with 34 BB vs pitcher B with a 3.12 ERA and 75 BB that type of thing. people like AESP, Biggio, Gambo and others are great at analyzing players.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
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You asked which positions are most important. I was raised to believe that the most important ones (speaking of fielding and defense) were up the middle: shortstop, catcher, center fielder.

I hate having a catcher with a weak arm. He can turn many opponent singles into doubles. Shortstops get more chances than other infielders, and can make the difference in how many double plays you enjoy.

Others here know more about baseball than I do and might have other opinions.

As you play you will discover which ways of losing are most annoying to you: blown leads in the 9th inning? Always playing catch-up because your starters are weak? Watching your infielders turn double play balls into errors? Always lacking decent pinch hitters at crunch time?

Be alert to your emotional reactions and you'll probably quickly develop your own priorities. You'll also discover whether you prefer pitchers' duels or [base]balls-to-the wall slugfests.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:31 PM   #12
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You asked which positions are most important. I was raised to believe that the most important ones (speaking of fielding and defense) were up the middle: shortstop, catcher, center fielder.

I hate having a catcher with a weak arm. He can turn many opponent singles into doubles. Shortstops get more chances than other infielders, and can make the difference in how many double plays you enjoy.

Others here know more about baseball than I do and might have other opinions.

As you play you will discover which ways of losing are most annoying to you: blown leads in the 9th inning? Always playing catch-up because your starters are weak? Watching your infielders turn double play balls into errors? Always lacking decent pinch hitters at crunch time?

Be alert to your emotional reactions and you'll probably quickly develop your own priorities. You'll also discover whether you prefer pitchers' duels or [base]balls-to-the wall slugfests.
I agree 100% Give me Yadier Molina/Pudge as a C, Ozzie Smith or even Ozzie Guillen at SS and Griffey or Lofton in CF or even Mays. I also like a RF with a good arm even if he isnt the best fielder. Dawson/Vlad type.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot View Post
Thanks for the info.
I would put my baseball knowledge in the bottom 1% of all people on this board
Don't worry about it. You're not alone. I have almost zero knowledge about baseball when I started playing OOTPB 2 years ago. By googling aspects of the game I didn't understand, watching MLB through cable TV, and playing OOTPB I'd like to think that I'm now able to understand and appreciate the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagofan76 View Post
Another option is start a simple 8 team fictional League with just a AAA a 5 round draft a 120 game schedule and start off as MGR only and let the AI GM deal with roster moves and drafting and such.
This a great way to start playing OOTPB if you're just learning to play it. Personally, this is similar to the way I play OOTPB. I'd like to keep it simple and focus on the fundamentals.

My fictional league has 2 sub leagues of 8 teams each (a total of 16 teams for the entire league), with only a single level of Minors (AAA) and a 112-game schedule. I turn off most of the options (coaching, scouting, minor league option years, rule 5 draft, financials, etc.), and let the AI take care of the details. As GM I only get involved with the signing and releasing of my players, as well as to initiating and reacting to trades.

Don't let the the complexity of the game overwhelm you. If you try to keep it simple at the start, and focus on the basics you'll eventually get the hang of it, and find it a very enjoyable experience...

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Old 07-29-2011, 06:41 PM   #14
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Here's my take on positions and what I look for.

Starting Pitcher: In modern day leagues, you'll want to have 5 of these guys on the roster. They'll take turns through the rotation. There's different thoughts on how to build a rotation. Some people like to have that defined #1 ace, some rather use their resources to get two very good pitchers, and some prefer to spread it out over all five. For me? I always want to have two good starters.

The other thing you're looking for is the number of pitches they throw. The theory here is that it's not necessarily stamina that allows a pitcher to pitch deep into the game (although it DOES matter, as the guy's arm will eventually get tired), but how well they can keep opposing lineups off balance. Think about it like this: The first time through the opposing teams lineup will probably be fine with two pitches. But once they get to the third time through the lineup in the 5th and 6th inning, the opposing team will know what to look for.

In real-world terms, I've heard David Price of Tampa Bay say that he somtimes doesn't throw his changeup until the third time through the lineup, because his fastball and slider are so good he doesn't need it until the opposing team is getting used to them.

As far as the actual ratings go for pitchers:

Stuff: In general, the nastiness of the pitches. This ties in with strikeouts.
Movement: This ties in with how many or few homeruns the pitcher gives up.
Control: Ties in with walks.


Relief Pitchers/Closers: These guys vary. The general theory on bullpen use is a hot topic, especially when it comes to closers. But essentially, it boils down to high, mid, and low leverage situations.

You're in the field, the bases are loaded, it's the bottom of the 9th inning, there's no outs, and you're up by 1 run. That's a very high leverage situation. A walk, a hit, an error, a deep groundout, a deep flyball, etc, etc, etc will get a run in. So you want your best relief pitcher out there.

You're in the field, it's the start of the 8th inning and your team is up by 6. That's a low leverage situation. You can throw out your mop-up guy and be okay 99% of the time.

It's all about mixing and matching your talent with the leverage of the situation.

The other factor is handedness. If they have a lefty coming up and you need an out badly, maybe you bring in your best lefty pitcher rather than your best pitcher in general.

Infielders coming...
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:26 PM   #15
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Catcher

Catchers are probably the most difficult players to evaluate through statistics. There isn't a great defensive metric out there to figure out how well they're playing in the field. How well they call the game or work well with a rotation is 1) debated and 2) not in the game

So, you're left with their scouted defensive ratings. Arm is very important. As a previous poster said, if you can shut down an opponents running game, you've helped yourself out a lot. While you probably don't NEED a super arm to get by, I'd at least look for an average arm. What you don't want is the opposing team stealing 3 or 4 bases on you in a game.

Catching ability is how well they can stop wild pitches/block balls in the dirt. Those will also let the other team freely move around the bases.

All of that is why the catchers defense is typically more important than their offensive output.

That brings me to my next point that I'll bring up for each position but explain now. Each "group" of positions have a typical offensive output based on how difficult it is to play defensively. That seems strange at first, but if you think about it, it makes sense. Players that play up the middle (Catcher, SS, 2B, CF) are generally not as good hitters as corner positions (3B,1B, LF, RF). It takes more defensive skill to play up the middle, so you'll generally have faster, more rangy guys playing there rather than jacked up muscle heads who hit 40 HR a year.

All of this means that each position has a "scarcity" factor. For example, in each league you might only have two or three 2B who can hit 35 HR. But you probably have ten 1B who can hit 35 HR.

You have to work that into the way you build your team. It doesn't mean you should move your 1B to 2B, because then your defense would suffer greatly. But let's say you're drafting and it comes down to a great hitting SS and a great hitting 1B. Offensively, they are equal. With everything else being equal, I'd take the SS in a heartbeat (as long as his defensive ratings said SS to me), because it's much harder to find a great SS than a great 1B.

So in regards to catchers, defense will always be my #1 priority for them, but if you get a chance to land a solid hitting catcher who can field as well, DO IT.

With all of that out of the way...

First Base

Look hitting all the way. These guys should mash. Arm doesn't really matter here. You don't want an error machine, but your number one priority is to have someone who hits very well here.

Second Base/Shortstop

These are you middle infielders, and are arguably the most important defenders on the team, but certainly the most important defensively in the infield.

It's tougher to come by hard-hitting middle infielders, so if you find one in the draft, go for it. What they may lack in power they can make up for with good contact and eye ratings. Also, look for speed.

Defensively, you want everything here. Range is extremely important. Arm is important for SS, not as much for 2B.

Third Base

Think of 3B as in-between what you look for at 2B/SS and 1B. You want a power hitter, but defense is very important. They need a good arm. Range is less of a factor at 3B than it is up the middle.

Outfielders next....
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:33 PM   #16
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Left Field/Right Field

Corner outfielders tend to be sort of a mixed bag. As with everything else, different teams look for different things here.

In general, corner outfielders tend to be pretty good hitters, but some teams may sacrifice power for a really speedy corner outfielder...think of Carl Crawford here (Even though he should probably be a CF). He might hit 20 HR at the absolute most, but he's super fast and makes up for it with a great average and a good eye.

Range is much more important in CF than it is in LF and RF. Arm is also important in the corner positions but is MUCH more important in RF. Always put the better arm in RF, as they have to make the longest throw in the field (RF to 3B).

Center Field

The general of the outfield, the CF is typically the fastest player on the team. He needs great range and a great arm.

Because of the neccesary defensive skills, again, good hitting CF are more rare than corner OF's, so jump on the opportunity to grab one.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:37 PM   #17
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Thanks again everyone for the very beneficial advice.
I'm having a great time so far.

I originally started out with a small fictional league just to get a feel for things, basically letting the AI manager make most of the hard decisions and all of the game-day decisions.

Slowly I've felt my understanding improve to an extent that I'm taking over more functions and assuming a more hands on role in things like roster management (promotions, demotions), line-ups & draft and trades.
I'm playing the odd game or two myself as well, with some good results and also some not so good.

I then set up a fictional Historical league starting in 1936 and have done really well over the course of 4 seasons(with albeit a fair bit of help from my AI manager) winning back to back World Series in 38 & 39 with the Dodgers. The success has emboldened me to try assume more control for my next season.

I even watched my first game of baseball (Giants v Phillies) in about a decade yesterday on my day off from work. Not sure I gleaned a great deal from it that I could immediately extrapolate to playing OOTP(and being an Aussie I still would prefer to watch 5 consecutive days of cricket!!).

One area that I do feel is holding me back some is my nil to limited understanding of most of the statistics (other than the basic ones) and their correlation & significance to strategic or tactical decisions that I as a manager should be making based on my interpretation of the data.

As a result until I can get a better understanding of how to process the data, I think I am going to have to rely on the AI manager to make a fair amount of the decisions.

Anyway, once agian thanks for time you have all taken to help me along the steep learning curve, it's greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; 07-29-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:44 PM   #18
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Catcher

Catchers are probably the most difficult players to evaluate through statistics. There isn't a great defensive metric out there to figure out how well they're playing in the field. How well they call the game or work well with a rotation is 1) debated and 2) not in the game

So, you're left with their scouted defensive ratings. Arm is very important. As a previous poster said, if you can shut down an opponents running game, you've helped yourself out a lot. While you probably don't NEED a super arm to get by, I'd at least look for an average arm. What you don't want is the opposing team stealing 3 or 4 bases on you in a game.

Catching ability is how well they can stop wild pitches/block balls in the dirt. Those will also let the other team freely move around the bases.

All of that is why the catchers defense is typically more important than their offensive output.

That brings me to my next point that I'll bring up for each position but explain now. Each "group" of positions have a typical offensive output based on how difficult it is to play defensively. That seems strange at first, but if you think about it, it makes sense. Players that play up the middle (Catcher, SS, 2B, CF) are generally not as good hitters as corner positions (3B,1B, LF, RF). It takes more defensive skill to play up the middle, so you'll generally have faster, more rangy guys playing there rather than jacked up muscle heads who hit 40 HR a year.

All of this means that each position has a "scarcity" factor. For example, in each league you might only have two or three 2B who can hit 35 HR. But you probably have ten 1B who can hit 35 HR.

You have to work that into the way you build your team. It doesn't mean you should move your 1B to 2B, because then your defense would suffer greatly. But let's say you're drafting and it comes down to a great hitting SS and a great hitting 1B. Offensively, they are equal. With everything else being equal, I'd take the SS in a heartbeat (as long as his defensive ratings said SS to me), because it's much harder to find a great SS than a great 1B.

So in regards to catchers, defense will always be my #1 priority for them, but if you get a chance to land a solid hitting catcher who can field as well, DO IT.

With all of that out of the way...

First Base

Look hitting all the way. These guys should mash. Arm doesn't really matter here. You don't want an error machine, but your number one priority is to have someone who hits very well here.

Second Base/Shortstop

These are you middle infielders, and are arguably the most important defenders on the team, but certainly the most important defensively in the infield.

It's tougher to come by hard-hitting middle infielders, so if you find one in the draft, go for it. What they may lack in power they can make up for with good contact and eye ratings. Also, look for speed.

Defensively, you want everything here. Range is extremely important. Arm is important for SS, not as much for 2B.

Third Base

Think of 3B as in-between what you look for at 2B/SS and 1B. You want a power hitter, but defense is very important. They need a good arm. Range is less of a factor at 3B than it is up the middle.

Outfielders next....
Thanks so much for this information, just read it and it's going to help me appreciably, especially the positional nuances you've elaborated on (eg physical traits of each position & their relationship to likely offensive capabilities, type of reliever to use in a given situation). For a baseball neophyte like me this is precisely the information I am lacking. Really helpful stuff, thanks

Last edited by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; 07-29-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot View Post
Thanks again everyone for the very beneficial advice.
I'm having a great time so far.

I originally started out with a small fictional league just to get a feel for things, basically letting the AI manager make most of the hard decisions and all of the game-day decisions.

Slowly I've felt my understanding improve to an extent that I'm taking over more functions and a more hands on role in things like roster management (promotions, demotions), line-ups & draft and trades.
I'm playing the odd game or two myself as well, with some good results and also some not so good.

I then set up a fictional Historical league starting in 1936 and have done really well over the course of 4 seasons(with albeit a fair bit of help from my AI manager) winning back to back World Series in 38 & 39 with the Dodgers. The success has emboldened me to try assume more control for my next season.

I even watched my first game of baseball (Giants v Phillies) in about a decade yesterday on my day off from work. Not sure I gleaned a great deal from it that I could immediately extrapolate to playing OOTP(and being an Aussie I still would prefer to watch 5 consecutive days of cricket!!).

One area that I do feel is holding me back some is my nil to limited understanding of most of the statistics (other than the basic ones) and their correlation & significance to strategic or tactical decisions that I as a manager should be making based on my interpretation of the data.

As a result until I can get a better understanding of how to process the data, I think I am going to have to rely on the AI manager to make a fair amount of the decisions.

Anyway, once agian thanks for time you have all taken to help me along the steep learning curve, it's greatly appreciated.
I could go into a huge ramble right now, but for now I'll keep it simple.

Statistics are either predictive or descriptive.

Quote:
What are the characteristics of a good predictive statistic? A good predictive statistic should be relatively stable from year to year. It should be useful in models designed to predict and plan for upcoming seasons.

What are the characteristics of a good descriptive statistic? A good descriptive statistic should inform about a player's past performance. A good set of descriptive statistics should provide a good feel for how valuable a player has been in the past.
Getting a grasp on which statistics are which is extremely challenging, and a quick google search on "baseball stats" should bring up some sort of argument as to which stats are which.

Even the GM's of real life teams don't agree on which statistics have merit.

To put my opinion simply, stats that are context sensitive are not really worth too much. I don't put much value into RBI's because they tell me what someone did (drove in a runner while batting), but they are very context-sensitive (someone needs to be on base, or you need to drive yourself in by hitting a HR).

The best stats (again, in my opinion) are ones that boil baseball down to it's core. How many times, on average, does a player get on base? How many bases does a player take per at bat? Those two things explain a lot, as far as the offensive side goes.

Two stats tell you the answer to those questions. OPS and wOBA. I prefer wOBA because it weighs each outcome correctly in reference to all possible outcomes.

With OPS, a homerun is worth 4 times as much as a single, but in reality, a homerun is not worth 4 times as much as a single. It's a complicated formula and a much more complicated process to determine how much more a HR is worth than a single, but all that work is done for us by some really smart dudes.

wOBA tells us how much a player contributed offensively. Anything under .300 is pretty bad, anything over .400 is very good.

For pitchers, FIP is another complicated stat but knowing where it comes from gives us a good reason to use it.

Most people look at ERA to gauge a pitcher's quality. While it's not horrible, it is again context sensitive. The defense behind the pitcher probably impacts the number too much, so we don't really know what we're looking at without studying lots of other factors.

FIP, which stands for Fielding Independent Pitching, boils pitching down to what the pitcher can surely control. The pitcher can strike people out, he can walk batters, or he can give up home runs. Anything that's hit into the field is partly his fault but also the fielder's. So, they're removed from the equation to make a more reliable predictive statistic.
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee Hotel Foxtrot View Post

Thanks again everyone for the very beneficial advice.
I'm having a great time so far.

I originally started out with a small fictional league just to get a feel for things, basically letting the AI manager make most of the hard decisions and all of the game-day decisions.

Slowly I've felt my understanding improve to an extent that I'm taking over more functions and assuming a more hands on role in things like roster management (promotions, demotions), line-ups & draft and trades.
I'm playing the odd game or two myself as well, with some good results and also some not so good.

I then set up a fictional Historical league starting in 1936 and have done really well over the course of 4 seasons(with albeit a fair bit of help from my AI manager) winning back to back World Series in 38 & 39 with the Dodgers. The success has emboldened me to try assume more control for my next season.

I even watched my first game of baseball (Giants v Phillies) in about a decade yesterday on my day off from work. Not sure I gleaned a great deal from it that I could immediately extrapolate to playing OOTP(and being an Aussie I still would prefer to watch 5 consecutive days of cricket!!).

One area that I do feel is holding me back some is my nil to limited understanding of most of the statistics (other than the basic ones) and their correlation & significance to strategic or tactical decisions that I as a manager should be making based on my interpretation of the data.

As a result until I can get a better understanding of how to process the data, I think I am going to have to rely on the AI manager to make a fair amount of the decisions.

Anyway, once again thanks for time you have all taken to help me along the steep learning curve, it's greatly appreciated.
Great!

By the way, I'm presently reading, "Baseball For The Utterly Confused." It's a great read for those who are just starting out in learning about baseball.

My favorite chapter is: Chapter 7 - Managerial Strategies. It's really great help for me in understanding the basics of managing a baseball team & the basic strategies that a manager employs in a baseball game. (You can apply these strategies to OOTPB.)

Here's a summary of the book's contents:

Preface vii

Introduction: For the Love of the Game 1

Chapter 1 Rules of the Game 13

Chapter 2 Momentous Moments—from the Beginning Through
World War II (1823–1945) 27

Chapter 3 Batter Up—the Art of Hitting 39

Chapter 4 Momentous Moments—the Golden Age of Baseball
(1946–1957) 53

Chapter 5 The Art of Pitching—a Comprehensive Lesson
(So, Heads Up) 65

Chapter 6 Momentous Moments—Expansion (1958–1967) 83

Chapter 7 Managerial Strategies 97

Chapter 8 Momentous Moments—Divisional Play (1968–1975) 117

Chapter 9 Stats—Keeping Score, Sabermetrics, and Fantasy Baseball 131

Chapter 10 Momentous Moments—the Dawn and Rise of Free Agency
(1976–1993) 151

Chapter 11 Defining and Climbing the Standings 185

Chapter 12 Momentous Moments—the Wild-Card Era (1994–Present) 193

PS

Being a history buff, I also love the historical chapters...

Last edited by themonk; 07-30-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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