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Old 06-16-2018, 10:13 PM   #1
MisterTidster
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Whatís are your amateur draft strategies?

I’m about 75 years into my sim and I’m not really sold on any clear draft strategies yet. I’ll share my ideas for feedback and would love to know what has and hasn’t worked for you. I sim and play vs the AI. Normally I’m at the lower end of the draft order and not able to get the top guys.

I tried loading pitches one draft and hitters the next and that didn’t work well. A lot of development gaps would happen at certain levels (especially single A). Because of this, I do try to keep a balanced approach between pitchers and hitters. I almost never go for a low work ethic guy and will favor players with good personality traits if deciding between two similar players.

Top 5 I try to get one and not more two starters. 1st overall I’m looking for an elite guy that falls due to contract demands. It’s rare, but I nab them when I can. I don’t take a starter in the top two unless there is a total stud. In my experience it’s more common for a serviceable starter to come out of rounds 3-6 than hitters and there is a big drop off in getting a hitter you can build around after the second round. I will only rarely take a reliever early, as I tend to get relievers that I can use on my major league roster as throw ins from trades or by bundling borderline major leaguers in trades. I also rely heavily on international free agents for my relievers instead of the draft. I still like to have one or two promising young bullpen arms in my system. In this range the hitters I look for are high contact/high power or high power/high speed.

Rounds 6-10 I’m looking for two starters and the rest hitters. Starters I look for are 92+ velocity with above average stamina and neutral to gb looking predominantly at 3+ pitches with the best potential I can find. Hitters I look for lead off types (speed/plus eye/plus contact). If no other solid hitters are available, I will also sometimes add a power hitter with below average contact or better hoping for improvement.

Round 11-15 I’m looking for the best bullpen arms available. It’s rare for any to fully develop, but it does happen from time to time. This seems to be the last chance to get relievers that makes it past A+ regularly. I will also nab high defense infielders and high defense outfielders with above average contact. I do get an occasional everyday hitter that has the flexibility to plug a defensive hole out of the bunch and I can regularly get decent hitting bench players that can serviceably go in the starting lineup for short term injury stints.

Rounds 16-25 I’m looking for high school guys that have 4+ star potential at the single a level. I figure if you can at least get to single A you have a chance to at least get more potential and at the very least be young filler with a chance to be more. Hitters in this range I look for 60+ contact (80 point scale) relative to single A. I figure with decent contact they at least hit and can have a chance to improve their potential in other areas. Pitchers I look for decent stamina with three pitches or pitchers with the best stuff/velocity to fill in the lower level starting and bullpens with players that have a chance to be more.

Rounds 26-35 I’ll nab college relievers that can make the jump to A and A- if I need to fill in gaps. I’ll draft catchers with average+ arm/ability with above average contact relative to single A (catchers at all points in the draft seem hit or miss and mostly miss). Other than that I just go with guys with above average contact and power relative to rookie league favoring 5 star potential relative to rookie leagues.

I feel good about my strategy for getting enough guys to the majors with enough extra to trade for what I need and seems to do a good enough job filling the minor league rosters with guys that compete at each level with potential to become better. I rarely need to add veteran filler, but do regularly add MLFA to fill if I think it’s a player that can develop and become trade bait at some point.

I’m hoping to get some new ideas to hopefully refine my strategy or go a better route.

On a side note, I have considered the idea of minimizing my development budget and putting my scouting budget exclusively on majors and minors... the strategy there would be to draft the highest potential based on OSA scouting and always be trading for major league ready prospects. Has anyone given this a go?

Last edited by MisterTidster; 06-16-2018 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:05 AM   #2
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I have my setup for MLB/MiLB with real life service time and roster limits. This does tend to heavily increase the amount of time you have to spend on the minor leagues. I don't feel right letting the AI do it. I do let them setup lineups and promote/demote but I usually have 100 players on my shortlist for minors that I lock into certain levels and certain positions. I tend to cross train defense positions a lot. You almost have to when there is a roster limit.

But I do need some AI help just because of the insane amount of injuries. I mean it can be 30-50 guys on the DL in minors at any time. You would never be able to sim 1 day without making a dozen moves. Off season when DL goes away I have to either cut many players or make trades if they have real potential. A lot are young players who might kick around MiLB or the Indy's for 5 years and then pop.

My strategy is always best player available. But I rely on trades heavily in challenge mode. Even if its like 3 prospects for the 1 position I really need. Even Int Free Agents sometimes I can't wait 5+ years for them to come around other times I'll trade them to AI teams that dont spend money on IFA's and try to get a prospect that is 1 or 2 years away from the bigs.

Only thing I try to avoid in draft is pitchers with only 3 pitches and the 3rd one being the changeup with current under 45 and like 70/80 potential. They will almost never develop especially the college guys. Sometimes the High School kids develop the change but you can wait 7 years for it. And with roster limits and service times its tough to keep them. But they are great trade tokens still even though the AI is giving up pieces because they think they are getting SP while he will only be a RP.

I routinely see AI teams in the playoffs and its because of the players they got from me. So I don't feel like I'm swindling them or I try not too.

I tend to max scout budget and focus on Majors and Minors because the way I trade. I feel focusing on Majors you can sometimes spot a players decline earlier and trade them while if you cut Major scouting budget it might take you longer to detect and not trade them. Minors is important because of the heavy trading I do.

Even if I have to move 10 players who will never see the show for 4 players that will never see the show. I rather make that move then just release them and try and take shot.

And I want my scout to have Legendary Minor league scouting. IFA and Draft I'm super concerned with. I can still draft 4 star players nowthey might not be 5 sdtar future HoF but quality. And then you can package 4 of those guys for 1 stud.
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:48 AM   #3
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I'll share some of my strategies from doing countless drafts since OOTP 12. (I only play MLB QS, so I don't know if this would apply to fictional universes.)

Rounds 1-5 I will always draft the best player available, regardless of what my team needs are. You can always trade that player later on if you're stacked at the position. I will never pass up on a player for a lesser player that fits the needs of my team. Never. I usually go for position players first and then grab a SP or two in the first five rounds. I try to spread out the HS vs College player somewhat evenly, if possible. I don't want five HS players nor 5 college players. Bottom line, best player available, with preference to position players.

Rounds 6-10 is where I grab the majority of my SP. There are usually a bunch of pretty good SP left in these rounds. Also, any position players still left that look good, I'll grab. From these rounds on, I really don't care if they are HS or college players. I just want the best players.

Rounds 11-40 (or whatever the final round is for you) is where I look for my team needs. Say I'm short on catching and 2B prospects. I'll draft six or seven of each of them in these rounds in the hope that one or two become something. Besides that, I look for players that are above average-really good in one or two things. Pitchers that have high control and nothing else, OF that have high contact/speed, things like that. Finally, these are the rounds to find your RP, especially the later rounds. I've found RP in the 30s that end up making my big league club in some capacity. All it takes is for one average RP to get a big scouting upgrade and you suddenly have a big league middle inning RP on your hands. Not saying it works every time, but I can usually find at least one per draft that will make the big leagues eventually.

In a nutshell, those are my strategies. BPA early on, then look for specific needs. Hope that's helpful to someone!

EDIT: Forgot to add, stay away from low work ethic players. I try to stay away from low intelligence players too, but especially low work ethic. Those players will almost never develop in to what they should be.

Last edited by The Yurpman; 06-17-2018 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterTidster View Post
Iím about 75 years into my sim and Iím not really sold on any clear draft strategies yet. Iíll share my ideas for feedback and would love to know what has and hasnít worked for you. I sim and play vs the AI. Normally Iím at the lower end of the draft order and not able to get the top guys.

I tried loading pitches one draft and hitters the next and that didnít work well. A lot of development gaps would happen at certain levels (especially single A). Because of this, I do try to keep a balanced approach between pitchers and hitters. I almost never go for a low work ethic guy and will favor players with good personality traits if deciding between two similar players.

Top 5 I try to get one and not more two starters. 1st overall Iím looking for an elite guy that falls due to contract demands. Itís rare, but I nab them when I can. I donít take a starter in the top two unless there is a total stud. In my experience itís more common for a serviceable starter to come out of rounds 3-6 than hitters and there is a big drop off in getting a hitter you can build around after the second round. I will only rarely take a reliever early, as I tend to get relievers that I can use on my major league roster as throw ins from trades or by bundling borderline major leaguers in trades. I also rely heavily on international free agents for my relievers instead of the draft. I still like to have one or two promising young bullpen arms in my system. In this range the hitters I look for are high contact/high power or high power/high speed.

Rounds 6-10 Iím looking for two starters and the rest hitters. Starters I look for are 92+ velocity with above average stamina and neutral to gb looking predominantly at 3+ pitches with the best potential I can find. Hitters I look for lead off types (speed/plus eye/plus contact). If no other solid hitters are available, I will also sometimes add a power hitter with below average contact or better hoping for improvement.

Round 11-15 Iím looking for the best bullpen arms available. Itís rare for any to fully develop, but it does happen from time to time. This seems to be the last chance to get relievers that makes it past A+ regularly. I will also nab high defense infielders and high defense outfielders with above average contact. I do get an occasional everyday hitter that has the flexibility to plug a defensive hole out of the bunch and I can regularly get decent hitting bench players that can serviceably go in the starting lineup for short term injury stints.

Rounds 16-25 Iím looking for high school guys that have 4+ star potential at the single a level. I figure if you can at least get to single A you have a chance to at least get more potential and at the very least be young filler with a chance to be more. Hitters in this range I look for 60+ contact (80 point scale) relative to single A. I figure with decent contact they at least hit and can have a chance to improve their potential in other areas. Pitchers I look for decent stamina with three pitches or pitchers with the best stuff/velocity to fill in the lower level starting and bullpens with players that have a chance to be more.

Rounds 26-35 Iíll nab college relievers that can make the jump to A and A- if I need to fill in gaps. Iíll draft catchers with average+ arm/ability with above average contact relative to single A (catchers at all points in the draft seem hit or miss and mostly miss). Other than that I just go with guys with above average contact and power relative to rookie league favoring 5 star potential relative to rookie leagues.

I feel good about my strategy for getting enough guys to the majors with enough extra to trade for what I need and seems to do a good enough job filling the minor league rosters with guys that compete at each level with potential to become better. I rarely need to add veteran filler, but do regularly add MLFA to fill if I think itís a player that can develop and become trade bait at some point.

Iím hoping to get some new ideas to hopefully refine my strategy or go a better route.

On a side note, I have considered the idea of minimizing my development budget and putting my scouting budget exclusively on majors and minors... the strategy there would be to draft the highest potential based on OSA scouting and always be trading for major league ready prospects. Has anyone given this a go?


Itís always good to also draft for fielding. Itís a change that one of those non hitting but great glove guys can at least develop to hit .250 at the most in the majors.


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Old 06-17-2018, 09:30 AM   #5
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Bpa every single round. Anything else and you're hurting yourself long term.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:47 AM   #6
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i'm excluding anything related to TCR or anything we cannot know or predict with accuracy. to keep it simple, excluding personality too. work ethic and intelligence are important to weigh, though.

if i reference rounds and when stuff goes away, it's based on ~39round draft with 30 teams.. size will affect what i say. may be different for your league, but similar patterns will exist.

i have a well thought out hierarchy of player quality based on ratings and roles etc. when a RP is equivalent to a batting or sp prosect. what i consider batting and sp equivalents. not whimsically choosen, but over time slowly evolved in ootp. (how personality fits in too) i have an extremely high threshold for elite prospects -- then ranges of quality i view as equivalents get a bit larger as you go down. that creates the framework for implementing best player available. while it's something that should remain consistent, you may tweak your preferences over time to maximize results.

the elite-tier prospects are 99% gone by pick 10-20ish most years -- excludes small chance all teams underscouted same player, and if you did too that's a needle in a haystack anyway

mlb sp are probably tougher to find than mlb batters and more likely to be gone by 'next' pick. RP run out last. that stuff is more important in a deep draft class and considering probabilty they are as good as they look... most years you have ~1.5 good chances at a solid mlb player, then it's a total crapshoot after that. a bad draft is easy to have. don't give up on any experiment after 5 drafts. if you average 1-2 sold mlb players each year, it's not the draft holding you back. (50/50 on the 1.5 good chances and then luck boils down to ~2/year, lol, and not speaking of pine-riders, rather everyday players for more than a few years)

by round 2-5 you'll be picking just for MiL. needle in the haystack surprises are not skill nor does any method to dig them up consistently exist and we cannot predict TCR. So, after the mlb quality is gone i am looking to stock my MiL with solid AAA-quality potential.... by round 7-12ish this becomes difficult. you may find batters that can reach AA, but SP/RP will inevitably be A-ball capped at best (1 or both movement and controll will be ~1/200)

diversity in assets is good to match trade partner depth weaknesses, plus more likely to fill a variety future mlb needs at a cheap price. i may lean sp in first round, but inevitably mix in batters too. context dictates. however, you don't need "5" of any other 1 position... heavy SP drafts should be the norm if you want a winning MiL system.

i consistently trade players before FA or old age. i exclusively trade for prospects unless i really screw up and need a mlb player "now." between those returns, the draft and IAFA, i typically have a bunch of trading assets. at the same time i am consolidating those down to a stream of high-end needed future positions. i aim for their development to be ~2 years before the current mlb players is a FA. it's a large enough leeway that at worst causes a little polishing at the mlb if 2 years late.

even if you don't fill all needs at all times, you have an inevitably cheap team most years and can over pay a short-term FA to keep their years down... heck that's a bonus in prospects too because i typically trade them just like any other vet, eventually.

don't like all the trades? even the calvalcade of moderate to good quality prospects and an occasional stud should be a playoff caliber team consistently.

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Old 06-17-2018, 01:00 PM   #7
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sorry but its crazy to draft a certain ratio of pitchers to hitters.

if a draft is stacked with pitchers, why would i draft less talented hitters?

this is MLB and not NFL or NBA. most guys you draft wont be ready for a few years yet. so drafting for "need" makes no sense
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:31 PM   #8
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this is MLB and not NFL or NBA. most guys you draft wont be ready for a few years yet. so drafting for "need" makes no sense

Yep. I draft the best guy in front of me at the moment. If all else fails I draft a good fielder to fill out my low minor league teams so at least the young pitchers will have some good fielders behind him.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:29 PM   #9
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I always draft best player available. Always. If the top guy when I pick is a catcher 4 rounds in a row, I'm drafting 4 catchers. I also tend to shy away from HS players and kids with poor work ethic/attitudes in the early rounds. I play with injury ratings hidden but I would also avoid injury prone guys early, as well. I really wish OOTP would have a mentor/tutor system like Football Manager does to help improve personalities.

When it comes to rounds 20+, I will start taking guys who are good at only one or two things instead of more rounded players. I figure that a guy who has elite speed, or a tremendous glove, or a dominant curve ball, or can play 7 positions has a better chance of developing into a useful bench piece over a guy that needs to moderately raise most or all of his tools to succeed.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:40 PM   #10
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I set my teams up to be player development factories. I pay a lot for my scout, my scouting expenses, my minor league staff, and my development budget. So, I'm always looking at what they might be years later, not an immediate impact player.

I take the best player available in the early rounds. If that happens to be an impossible to sign player, I try to gauge whether or not I want to pay a big bonus, or whether he'll still be there in the next round or two, but I will go for them, too. The only thing that might drop a player lower in the sequence for me is a "fragile" rating.

Later, say round 10, I try to look at position (in consideration of my existing rosters), to avoid stacking too many players in one position, since there's only so much play time. Also, I begin looking for hitters (that are listed as pitchers), or vice versa. High skill positions like starting pitchers, shortstops, center fielders become more prominent after round 15 in my search since those can be good for trades if they get any development. And any player with even a slightly below average offense rating with a wide range of defensive skills (such that he could play 3 or more positions well), will make my list by this point.

I treat personality (intelligence, work, ethic, etc.), age, speed, stealing ability, pitch velocity, etc. as bonuses.

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Old 06-17-2018, 11:33 PM   #11
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I should try and draft future captains with the late picks. I am always scouring the Indy's and Mexican leagues for bench captains. Placebo maybe but I always feel like 2 or 3 captains and the team really performs well. But they are really hard to come by.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:34 AM   #12
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I feel like you're overthinking this. Draft the best possible player every round (barring a contract demand you can't afford or something like that). I feel like you're really limiting yourself by looking for specific positions in specific rounds.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:00 AM   #13
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don't think i have seen anyone with 4 star potential last past the first round in my league
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:34 PM   #14
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don't think i have seen anyone with 4 star potential last past the first round in my league
A lot will depend on how good your scout is and what he favor tools or ability etc. And how much you spend on scouting. If you load up the extreme scout tendencies you will see a huge difference in ratings. From heavily favors tools to HF ability.

Then the next factor that lets high prospects hang around in say rounds 1-5 but especially 1-3 is if they are impossible to sign.

I know at least in my playthroughs of OOTP19 in order to get an impossible person to sign I have to throw 2x or 3x the money they are requesting. If anyone is requesting around 3 million I just go over the top at 8 million.

You only got 1 shot to sign them and when I tried just to go a couple million over they never accepted now I just blow their doors off. I've spent 30 million in a draft before. Its not my money and I'm not the owner so if I have budget room I am using it at draft.

I usually budget 15 million for draft. If i use it at the draft cool. If not I can use the remainder at the deadline to take expiring contract of a player on the trading block. Then flip that player for a prospect because you can eat the contract and trade him for free. Kinda how NBA teams deal players. Here take this guy owed 10 million rest of the year here is a draft pick. I'm just using that in MLB terms and getting a prospect. That's mostly for rebuild mode though.
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