Enjoy yourself. Do not agonize over
who will be protected. That`s a waste of energy, because there is no accounting for other manager`s logic. You will need all
the time you can spare to rate all the reasonably worthwhile players who are going to be available by position. You can get
started as soon as your favorite sites have updated stats. However, you could save time by waiting for the Scoresheet player
lists to come out. Continue reading to find out why.
First, go team by Major League team
using your favorite projected starters site. (Mine is Rotoworld http://rotoworld.com/content/playernews.asp?sport=MLB. You have to access each team`s projections individually through a player on that team, however,
once you get each team save that site to your web browser`s favorites and put them all together in a folder.) Group the players
by position. If several players on the same team are vying for the same position, lump them together. Otherwise, try to rank
the players within their positions as you go along. You could keep the long term prospects separate.
On an electronic document, write
down all the information you want to remember about that player at a glance: O+S, age, K:BB, ERA, recent injuries, etc. Use
your document skills to align the stats. I use Word. Turn on automatic numbering, but don`t worry about their numerical ranking,
yet. Don`t forget to leave room for their Scoresheet number. The time saver is waiting until you have the Scoresheet player
lists, so you can enter their number and fielding range at the same time you enter all their other info. Scoresheet even provides
their age and handedness, which I use for my stats-at-a-glance ranking sheet.
Do not use a ``+`` in your stats.
One year, I used a plus sign to indicate the level of A ball they played in and the Scoresheet computer considered that a
roster balancing override plus. I now use hA for high A (California, Carolina, & Florida State) Leagues.
Use colors to indicate his status
with the team. I use maroon for over-the-hill veterans, black, if they are in their prime; dark blue, if they are still improving;
bright blue, if they are rookies getting their first full shot at starting; turquoise, if they are prospects likely to get
a shot during the season; mustard-green, if they are longer term prospects; and lighter versions of these colors, if they
aren`t starters. See my top 50 draft list several paragraphs below. Looks nice, doesn`t it?
Since many of the players unprotected
will not be the most established and will have likely spent a good deal of time recently in the minors if not all of it, you
will need the Baseball Cube or some way of viewing a player`s minor league stats (http://www.sports-wired.com/players/).
You will need Baseball America Top
10 scouting reports to read what tools oriented scouts think of each team`s top prospects (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/features/03top10s/index.html). If they aren`t among those 10, then, obviously, they aren`t so highly regarded.
Use ESPN`s baseball site (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players) to get strikeouts per inning and strikeouts per walk histories. If you don`t want to wait for Scoresheet`s
fielding ranges, you can get an idea what they might be from the Range Factors and Zone Factors on this site, too. If you
are looking at a veteran and therefore don`t need minor league stats, this is a better site than Baseball Cube, because it
doesn`t have as much invasive annoying advertising.
Check your favorite baseball news
site for the latest details on a player`s injury recovery, job prospects, etc.
After the protection lists come
out, you can begin comparing who`s the best available, who else is available at what you need, and who else might be worth
a shot merging the lists. It might be helpful to see who else needs players at the positions you are interested in, but don`t
rely on your guessing what others will do too heavily.
See my article on Using the Plus.
Other bits of advice on ranking
1) This one comes from Scoresheet
Canada`s original franchisee George Watson, who has won even more championships than I: Ask yourself realistically who is
really better? In other words, don`t get blinded by the hype.
2) Although, the stats might tell
you one player is clearly better than the other, if one of them is getting handed a job, and the other isn`t, go with the
man with a job. Their managers probably know something the statistics aren`t saying.
Here are the first 50 players from
my AL Brett Phase II draft list for 2004:
- 530 Ana Guerrero, Vladi 27-r i? 99-42 of
- 5 NY Vazquez, Javier 27-r 6`2 88?
230 85 42 34
- 300 Bal Lopez, Javy 33-r 90-34 C 24
- 39 Bos Schilling 37-r 6`5 97i? 200 99
- 504 NY Sheffield 35-r 95-41 of 207
- 53 Bos Kim, Byung-H 24-r 5`9 rp>sp 150 75 31
- 52 KC Affeldt, Jeremy 24-l 6`4 90 160 70 24 42
- 303 Ana Molina,
Ben 29-r 73-30 C 31
- 26 Tor Batista, Miguel 32-r 6'1 93 180 62 21 39
- 460 TB Lugo, Julio 28-r 74-33 ss-2b 479-???
- 607 TB Young, Delmon 18-r 1st ov`rl pick of 210
- 368 KC Stairs 35-l 88-35 1b-of 182
- 215 Cle Riske
27-r 6`2 90 75 99 30 32
- 243 Oak Rhodes 34-l 6`2 92? 65 90 30 33
- 205 Tex Cordero,
Franci 28-r 6`2 98ov? 80 90 22 30
- 68 Sea Mateo, Julio 26-r 6`0 91
lr 85 72 34 34
- 543 Bal Bigbie, Larry 26-l 84-36 of 209
Oak Ellis, Mark 26-r 72-34 2b 433
- 537 Bal Mora, Melvin 31-r 80-37 of-3b? 212
- 80 Tor Towers, Josh 26-r 6`1 91p15 175 50 35 45
- 15 KC May, Darrell 31-l 6`2 88 210 50- 20 44
- 128 NY Lieber 32-r 6`2 tj8/02150 60 36 40
- 98 TB Waechter, Doug 23-r 6`4 92 p3 160 65 18 38
- 77 Bal Ainsworth, Kurt 25-r 6`3 70ing 150 66 19 42
- 85 KC Gobble, Jimmy 22-l 6`3 90AA* 180 50
- 48 Bal Lopez, Rodrigo 28-r 6`1 88 175 62 23 48
- 40 Cle Davis, Jason 23-r 6`6 96sk 175 48 20 45
- 304 Oak Miller, Damian 34-r 70-31 C 28
- 87 Cle Stanford, Jason 26-l 6`2 175 50 18 42
- 395 Ana Kennedy, Adam 28-l 74-33 2b 437
- 302 KC Santiago, Benit 38-r 71-31 C
- 314 Sea Davis, Ben 26-b 69-31 C
- 175 Oak Blanton, Joe
23-r 6`2 p1 AA**
- 193 Tor Bush, David 24-r 6`2
- 184 Sea Hernandez,
Fel 17-r 6`3 97 Venz.#1
- +431 Det Munson 26-l
- 524 Ana Guillen, Jose 27-r 82-33 of 210
- 525 Cle Gerut, Jody
26-l 83-34 of 204
- 554 CW Rowand, Aaron
26-r 78-33 cf 219
- 523 Det White, Rondell 31-r 82-35 of 211
- 326 Tor Cash, Kevin 26-b 66-28 C 24
- 511 TB Cruz, Jose 29-b 80-33 of 211
- 519 Min Jones, Jacque 28-l 80-33 of 213
- 538 KC Guiel, Aaron
31-l 82-34 of 209
- 510 Sea Winn, Randy 29-b 78-34sb of 212
- 210 NY Quantrill 35-r 6`1 80 54 28 26
216 NY Gordon 36-r 510 94 70 99 29 33
- 203 Bos Timlin 37-r 6`4 90 ov?80 65 40 34
- 211 Oak Bradford 29-r 6`5 85sub 75 72 27- 30
- 47 Ana Shields, Scott 28-r 6`1 91 lr150 65
My openings were at catcher, starting
pitcher, and a 5th 1B/DH/OF. Hence, I had some catchers ranked way higher than I otherwise would have. Too bad
I didn`t follow my own advice and rank Kevin Cash higher than Ben Davis!
You can see the rank #, Scoresheet
#, team to remind me who`s fighting for a job where, and name with the first name only for players with common last names
or players who I`m still getting to know. I show every player`s age followed by which way they bat (or pitch, if a pitcher).
For pitchers, I also included their
height, because I believe taller pitchers have longer development curves. Shorter pitchers develop control more quickly, but
burn out their arms sooner. That`s my theory, anyway. The next number is their fastball speed another stat of merely theoretical
value. I might also have some cryptic notes such as the type of pitch (c,sl,etc.), type of pitcher (sub submarine, lr long
relief, etc.), or if they were recently overused or injured. A column in the middle represents a typical number of innings
for that pitcher. Then the three columns on the right represent projections based on their historical performance and stage
of development: K/Ing x100, K/BB x10, and ERA x 10. The numbers are multiplied so I can keep them to two digits without any
decimals. If you see an arrow next to any of those numbers, that indicates a remarkable decrease or increase in those numbers
For hitters, you see their projected
OBA + SlgA, followed by the OBA portion of that number. If they are significantly adept basestealers, then they get an ``sb``.
The columns on the right are for their positions and ranges.
Prospects get their what round they
were drafted (e.g. p1), and league indications. rl - rookie league, la - low A, ha - high A, AA, or AAA followed by a
rating of their domination. a ``-`` means they struggled, no symbol means they were about average for their position, * means
they were outstanding, ** means they dominated.
Perhaps, this is the most challenging
part of playing Scoresheet: assimilating all this information and finding the fine differences between these players. Wing
it, if you want to. At my age, though, organizing myself systematically like this is the only way I can handle it.