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Old 05-22-2019, 01:51 PM   #201
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I've been playing around with bunting for hits in the simulation module, with some pretty interesting results. The tests were run against an opponent with the infield shift slider set to max and using a lefty with groundball tendency.

It seems like having an elite "bunt for hit" rating has little benefit for "spray" groundball hitters, maybe increasing AVG by 2-4 points depending on the slider.

But with the "extreme pull" grounder tendency, it's huge. Without bunting, the average dropped 11 points compared to the non-bunting spray hitter. This shouldn't come as a surprise. But then when you add elite bunting ability back to that extreme-pull grounder guy...the average went back up...20 points! In fact the extreme-pull-grounder with elite bunting ability had the best batting average of any of my tests, even better than the spray hitter.

Now it's just a matter of finding if any such players actually exist
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:27 PM   #202
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Look at the Jorge Polanco Live card and see if he fits what you are describing.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:57 PM   #203
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Yep - that's a good one. He's got the extreme pull grounder tendency, and pretty good, but not elite bunting ability (75 rating). I plugged that 75 rating into the test and it did really well, only 2 points below the elite bunter I had tried earlier. So I guess they don't really need to be elite to beat the shift with bunting.

I ran a few more tests with various bunting abilities, and I think the break-even point is around a 60 rating. Players with at least a 60 "bunt for hit" rating and extreme-pull grounder tendency should (slightly) outperform a "spray" hitter of the same skill level, assuming the bunt slider is moved all the way over and your opponents shift slider is the same. This held true over hundreds of thousands of simulations.

At the very least, in my mind this carves out an exception to the "avoid extreme pull guys" rule. If they have a 60+ bunt rating they should be fine, or possibly even better!
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:13 PM   #204
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Thanks for doing those tests. Interesting that I seem to have come up with a player archetype that helps smallball strategy counter the shift. Might be challenging to field a whole lineup of this type of player, and have them be a competitive team. I'm glad the game engine can understand my thinking behind the bunting tactic though. How awesome is OOTP?

I'll see if I can find some players that fit this theme, and buy them on my collection account. Would be fun to test in PT. Are there any bunting stats that the game keeps track of?

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Old 05-22-2019, 05:36 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazzycat View Post
Yep - that's a good one. He's got the extreme pull grounder tendency, and pretty good, but not elite bunting ability (75 rating). I plugged that 75 rating into the test and it did really well, only 2 points below the elite bunter I had tried earlier. So I guess they don't really need to be elite to beat the shift with bunting.

I ran a few more tests with various bunting abilities, and I think the break-even point is around a 60 rating. Players with at least a 60 "bunt for hit" rating and extreme-pull grounder tendency should (slightly) outperform a "spray" hitter of the same skill level, assuming the bunt slider is moved all the way over and your opponents shift slider is the same. This held true over hundreds of thousands of simulations.

At the very least, in my mind this carves out an exception to the "avoid extreme pull guys" rule. If they have a 60+ bunt rating they should be fine, or possible even better!
Very interesting thread and interesting tests. Thanks for contributing. I also think your Smallballers team has a bit of the same DNA as my Fighting Frogs team that just made perfect level and is currently playing .500 ball there.

Do you think this bunt for hit finding extends to mere pull hitters as well? Or only extreme pull? I have a suspicion that one of the reasons my 66 Luis Aparicio is batting .270-.290 at diamond/perfect levels is this phenomenon you describe. He's only a pull hitter, but with a nice 82 bunt for hit rating. I suppose I could test this myself by putting his bunt for hit slider all the way up for a season and all the way back down for another season...the stats don't record bunt hits/bunt attempts but that would be a nice addition to the player cards in OOTP.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:09 PM   #206
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Do you think this bunt for hit finding extends to mere pull hitters as well? Or only extreme pull? I have a suspicion that one of the reasons my 66 Luis Aparicio is batting .270-.290 at diamond/perfect levels is this phenomenon you describe. He's only a pull hitter, but with a nice 82 bunt for hit rating.
Yep - it looks like it does. I ran a few more tests with just "pull" tendency, and the difference between a horrible bunter and a great one was a bit less than for the "extreme pull" guys, but still quite significant (~15 points instead of 20).

One other thing I noticed, strangely, is that the ability to bunt - even if that slider is set to "never" - still helps increase the batting average a bit, maybe 5 points or so. I guess the mere threat of bunting helps to keep the defense honest, so to speak.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:12 PM   #207
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Oh I should also mention I've been running all tests with my SmallBallers park setup, with the 1.1 AVG modifier. So these results are probably more extreme than should be expected in a neutral environment.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:15 PM   #208
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Are there any bunting stats that the game keeps track of?
Not that I'm aware of, unfortunately.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:23 PM   #209
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what do your rosters look like now?
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:09 AM   #210
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My SaberCats team is somehow playing close to .600 ball in Diamond and appear as though they will win their division. I shudder to think of them in a Diamond league but if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen.

I'm still saving for Trout, and I hope he doesn't jinx my team like he jinxed yours but I wanted to point out that I'm still saving because I spent 8k on this card back in the middle of May. It's a guy I have never seen before or after and he's been a good addition to the team: Walker Cooper at catcher.

I was platooning Joe Ferguson and Realmuto there and was not really satisfied with the results. Now it's 2/3 Cooper and 1/3 Realmuto and it's been working out well. Plus, I sort of hate using the exact same guys everyone else is using. So maybe it means my team isn't 100% max-min optimized. I don't care!
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:58 AM   #211
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Shored up my lineup on my Bees with high contact, high K, high Avoid K and solid defense (stronger infield especially) and went mostly groundball pitching. Leading my division - 1st in AVG, 4th in scoring runs, 8th in ERA, 9th in Ks.

My Thieves got off to a rocking start, leading the entire league for a while and were running away with their division but now they are just a game up in their division. Probably overachieving at the start. Good at scoring runs, HR, and defense, middling at everything else. A balancers team I guess.

I too fear when these two get promoted to diamonds.

My Barnstormers (formerly Negro League theme Giants, but with zero card options, I expanded to pre-1947 major leaguers) are a doormat in Diamond after winning the silver league and making game 7 in the gold final last year...
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:18 PM   #212
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what do your rosters look like now?
The pace of upgrades has slowed way down at this point, so changes have been minimal since last time I posted them.

For the SmallBallers I upgraded just one SP recently, 92 Catfish Hunter. And still have about 18k to spend.

For the SabreCats I added Trout, and also swapped my 1B from Goldschmidt to Harmon Killebrew (I was worried about Goldy dropping from diamond and losing his value) but no other changes.

For the Balancers I have only made one minor move, upgrading my backup catcher to 84 Victor Martinez. It's actually getting quite difficult to find players who fit the mold who are not super-expensive. It's just much harder to find good value adds from these well rounded players, because when all the ratings are good the OVR is good, which means a high price. I do have about 13k banked right now.

In other updates the SmallBallers will be winning their division again, no surprise. But they actually cooled off a bit from their hot start...it's looking like for the very first time they are in real danger of not crossing the 100 win threshold. Maybe a warning sign I need to pick up the pace of upgrades...my pitching staff in particular is pretty vulnerable to HR, that's probably my biggest weakness.

Much more surprisingly, the SaberCats will ALSO be winning their division. After a very cold 1st month with Trout, they have been playing extremely well. Actually they are on a 10 game winning streak right now, and they lead the league in HR by 25. Their offense has improved from terrible to just below average, and when combined with their elite run prevention, it seems like enough to win some games.

Good news for the Balancers as well - they are no longer terrible. They have climbed out of relegation status, and appear to be merely below average.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:34 PM   #213
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For the SabreCats I added Trout, and also swapped my 1B from Goldschmidt to Harmon Killebrew.
I absolutely HATED Harmon Killebrew when I was a kid. I was a Senators fan and Killebrew kept hitting more homers than Frank Howard, so that got me steamed. However, I grew up so now I just dislike him for no reason.

But coincidentally, I've been using Killebrew on my SaberCats-like team for a while, so just for fun, here's what you can look forward to.

It's funny that you switched to him, because every now and then I toy with replacing him but I haven't found a really good choice that I wouldn't have to fiddle with platooning. I keep coming back to thinking about the 89 OVR Pujols (he has an 84 in HR vs both sides).
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:27 PM   #214
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I absolutely HATED Harmon Killebrew when I was a kid. I was a Senators fan and Killebrew kept hitting more homers than Frank Howard, so that got me steamed. However, I grew up so now I just dislike him for no reason.

But coincidentally, I've been using Killebrew on my SaberCats-like team for a while, so just for fun, here's what you can look forward to.

It's funny that you switched to him, because every now and then I toy with replacing him but I haven't found a really good choice that I wouldn't have to fiddle with platooning. I keep coming back to thinking about the 89 OVR Pujols (he has an 84 in HR vs both sides).

Actually I LOVED Harmon Killebrew and it was pretty much universally known he was one of the nicest people in baseball. One ump said he only once ever barked at a ball/strike call. He grew up in Idaho and said the first major league game he saw was one he played in. That guy could hit the ball a country mile. Metropolitan stadium had a seat painted red where he hit a ball 522 feet in 1967. I have a picture somewhere of me with Harmon in 1975 I think. He played a half season with the Royals before retiring and I was in Kansas City visiting family and got a photo.

For the record, I always liked big Frank too. That dude was a giant.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:25 PM   #215
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Yeah, I've heard that KIllebrew was a real nice guy - my dislike of him was simply based on a youthful enthusiasm for my hometown team, not on any logic or actual factual basis.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:35 PM   #216
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Yeah, I've heard that KIllebrew was a real nice guy - my dislike of him was simply based on a youthful enthusiasm for my hometown team, not on any logic or actual factual basis.

Now hating Calvin Griffith I could understand.....I have the same feeling for Norm Green the turd.

Anyway, I've got some super fantastic Senator cards in my real baseball card collection. Sam Rice 1933, General Crowder 1933, and of course a few Roy Sievers cards.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:20 PM   #217
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My GM hate is reserved for Bob Short, of course.
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:51 AM   #218
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The SmallBallers finished the season strong, ending up with 102 wins and a +200 run differential. The streak remains intact! The SaberCats won 97 games as well, but that's with a +7 pythag. Both teams should have decent chances to advance tomorrow, with relatively beatable opponents. I've done the scouting, set my rotations, and now it's just up to good old luck.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:13 AM   #219
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Mike Trout just got further away from me - I couldn't stand Tim Salmon's continued poor performance in LF so I purchased the 96 OVR Ted Williams. Bad defense in LF but he hit 6 HR in 49 PA so he started out with a bang!
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:38 PM   #220
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Mike Trout just got further away from me - I couldn't stand Tim Salmon's continued poor performance in LF so I purchased the 96 OVR Ted Williams. Bad defense in LF but he hit 6 HR in 49 PA so he started out with a bang!
My Giancarlo just led the league in HR with 44, so LF is doing alright. I'm kinda hoping he stays injured IRL so his ratings can't change (sorry yankees fans)
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