Common Drafting Mistakes
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  1. Not being prepared. Know what you need and how many players in each echelon who can fill your need. Many managers create a spreadsheet. I like to see all the candidates with a summary of their attributes in a more condensed document, so I use Word. See Draft Preparation. You probably don’t have to go that far. I enjoy it. But, you should have some list with players grouped (in addition to ranking) by desirability within each position.


  1. Going overboard on prospects – even if you are a rebuilding. Follow me here: if the chances are some of those relievers you could have drafted in place of some of the prospects you protected are going to be more valuable to a contender in August than that prospect who may or may never pan out (most do not), then you are protecting too many. The best team building deals are made close to the trading deadline. The five star / A prospects are usually worth grabbing aggressively – and you should hang onto them. It is difficult to have more than a couple of them. The four star / B+ prospects are worth taking a chance on – for trade bait, if nothing else. Have one or two in your possession. Lesser prospects are only worth taking if they can help your team directly. Don’t protect them unless they can help your team more than a veteran you could draft with the protection slot you need to give up in order to keep him. Rebuilding doesn’t have to be a 6 year project. A really good manager can usually turn any team into a contender in two. There will be plenty of disappointing prospects thrown back in the pond after they lose their prospect status. That is often the best time to give them a try.


  1. Over relying on your projected rate stats. Unless there is a large gap of a difference, what is more important – especially in the earlier rounds is:
    1. How healthy is this guy?
    2. Where is he in his career – on the way to establishing himself? just hanging on? almost but not quite ready? etc.?
    3. How much competition does he have for his job? (Don’t forget some teams may just trade if they feel inadequate at a position – but some of those teams my lack enough depth to offer much in a trade.)


  1. Not checking up on the latest health news for the players you draft. This is as much of a must during the draft as when you are making a trade. Keep in mind that just because a player comes off the disabled list doesn’t mean he is 100% back to his norm. Quotes about how well a player is throwing can be misleading. Players who come back too soon from certain major surgeries such as ligament transplants (Tommy John) need 18 months. Pitchers who come back sooner have a greater risk of re-injury. Sometimes it takes even longer for their command to come back.


  1. Over-rating the cross-overs and imports. Just because some players were rejected by another Scoresheet team, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth drafting in R14 – but make sure he isn’t damaged goods. Humans have a natural tendency to project an easy path to their desires. Try to keep your expectations of the newest import or cross-over realistic.

John Carter