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the more you put into it, the more you get out of it

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 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 (


You will need Baseball America Top 10 scouting reports to read what tools oriented scouts think of each team`s top prospects ( If they aren`t among those 10, then, obviously, they aren`t so highly regarded.


Use ESPN`s baseball site ( 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 your players:

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:


  1. 530 Ana Guerrero, Vladi 27-r i?  99-42  of     207
  2.   5 NY  Vazquez, Javier 27-r 6`2 88?   230  85  42  34
  3. 300 Bal Lopez, Javy     33-r     90-34        24
  4.  39 Bos Schilling       37-r 6`5 97i?  200  99  60  31
  5. 504 NY  Sheffield       35-r     95-41  of     207
  6. 53  Bos Kim, Byung-H    24-r 5`9 rp>sp 150  75  31  36
  7. 52  KC  Affeldt, Jeremy 24-l 6`4 90    160  70  24  42
  8. 303 Ana Molina, Ben     29-r     73-30   C      31
  9. 26  Tor Batista, Miguel 32-r 6'1 93    180  62  21  39
  10. 460 TB  Lugo, Julio     28-r     74-33   ss-2b 479-???
  11. 607 TB  Young, Delmon   18-r 1st ov`rl pick of     210
  12. 368 KC  Stairs          35-l     88-35   1b-of     182
  13. 215 Cle Riske           27-r 6`2 90     75  99  30  32
  14. 243 Oak Rhodes          34-l 6`2 92?    65  90  30  33
  15. 205 Tex Cordero, Franci 28-r 6`2 98ov?  80  90   22  30
  16.  68 Sea Mateo, Julio    26-r 6`0 91 lr  85  72  34  34
  17. 543 Bal Bigbie, Larry   26-l     84-36   of        209
  18. 389 Oak Ellis, Mark     26-r     72-34   2b        433
  19. 537 Bal Mora, Melvin    31-r     80-37   of-3b?    212
  20.  80 Tor Towers, Josh    26-r 6`1 91p15 175  50  35  45
  21.  15 KC  May, Darrell    31-l 6`2 88    210  50- 20  44
  22. 128 NY  Lieber          32-r 6`2 tj8/02150  60  36  40
  23.  98 TB  Waechter, Doug  23-r 6`4 92 p3 160  65  18  38
  24.  77 Bal Ainsworth, Kurt 25-r 6`3 70ing 150  66  19  42
  25.  85 KC  Gobble, Jimmy   22-l 6`3 90AA* 180  50  20  46
  26.  48 Bal Lopez, Rodrigo  28-r 6`1 88    175  62  23  48
  27.  40 Cle Davis, Jason    23-r 6`6 96sk  175  48  20  45
  28. 304 Oak Miller, Damian  34-r     70-31   C          28
  29.  87 Cle Stanford, Jason 26-l 6`2 175    50  18  42
  30. 395 Ana Kennedy, Adam   28-l     74-33   2b        437
  31. 302 KC  Santiago, Benit 38-r     71-31   C          20
  32. 314 Sea Davis, Ben      26-b      69-31   C         27
  33. 175 Oak Blanton, Joe    23-r  6`2        p1 AA**
  34. 193 Tor Bush, David     24-r  6`2        p2 hA*AA**
  35. 184 Sea Hernandez, Fel  17-r  6`3 97 Venz.#1 prospect
  36. +431 Det Munson         26-l      77-32  3b        254
  37. 524 Ana  Guillen, Jose  27-r      82-33  of        210
  38. 525 Cle  Gerut, Jody    26-l      83-34  of        204
  39. 554 CW   Rowand, Aaron  26-r      78-33  cf        219
  40. 523 Det  White, Rondell 31-r      82-35  of        211
  41. 326 Tor  Cash, Kevin    26-b      66-28   C         24
  42. 511 TB   Cruz, Jose     29-b      80-33  of        211
  43. 519 Min  Jones, Jacque  28-l      80-33  of        213
  44. 538 KC   Guiel, Aaron   31-l      82-34  of        209
  45. 510 Sea  Winn, Randy    29-b      78-34sb of       212
  46. 210 NY   Quantrill      35-r 6`1  80    54  28  26
  47. 216 NY   Gordon         36-r 510  94    70  99  29  33
  48. 203 Bos  Timlin         37-r 6`4  90 ov?80  65  40  34
  49. 211 Oak  Bradford       29-r 6`5  85sub 75  72  27- 30
  50. 47  Ana  Shields, Scott 28-r 6`1  91 lr150  65   25  28

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 last year.


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.

John Carter