Sunday, August 31, 2008

Setting Up A Dynasty

There are several factors in setting up a dynasty team in HBD. Everyone of them is as important as the next in many cases. Many owners scratch their heads because they know they have a good team and just can't win. What they are missing and how to correct it can be the most frustrating thing there is. And what I am about to demonstrate may or may not help, but at least it is a start. Many of the problems can be discovered by looking at team statistics which is a good way to begin. How to solve everything from there is not always the easiest.

The first step at examining a team should start with the ball park itself. The reason is the players abilities must match the stadium to be successful because you play 81 games there. If you can't win at home, you are not going to win in the playoffs or even go to the playoffs for that matter. I will use Cashman Field as an example, its stats are:

1B: -2
2B: -2
3B: -2
LF: 0
RF: 0

What does that actually mean? It means that hits can be hard to come by and Home Runs are more common. How it equates to the players is not that easy as some would believe. I have always had a pure power hitting team because that is what I was given at the start, but that hurts more than it helps sometimes.

Defense: It doesn't matter what park you are in, the players defensive skills need to be as close to the set elite standards as possible to be successful. Defense actually helps the pitching staff more than most think. If you have a good defense you don't commit as many errors although you probably may not turn as many double plays. But if your pitching staff walks a lot of batters the double play is a value. Players are going to commit errors regardless of how good they are especially the infield. That is something that is real world inherent and has been factored in, the SS position especially followed by 2B and CF. However to determine whether the player is good defensively one only needs to check his error rate and plus and minus plays. Age can play a factor also, so keep that in mind. Another piece to the situation that will not show up anywhere in the reports are short range players. A short range player with a good glove may not commit errors especially at 2B, it is just that he doesn't get to the ball and allows singles to get through.

Hitting: Although Cashman Field is considered a neutral Home Run park, it can be considered a pitcher friendly park also as opposed to a neutral park. To be successful is simple at Cashman Field, be able to hit the long ball against the opponents. What is wrong with my team and I have struggled to find the right players to fill that hole is left handed hitters or switch hitters. If you don't have power hitters, high eye and splits is more desired in the top tow slots and low eye and and high splits and contact for the last slots is more desired. Since hits are hard to come by at Cashman Field it is hard to come up with the right non power hitters.

Pitching: Above all else the pitching staff is the one that will help win games. Finding the ones that fit the park and parks that you visit is probably the toughest thing you will face. I have yet to come up with a definitive answer saying this pitcher will be good in this park and not that one. Sometimes it defies logic at how they perform at any given time. After the CY Young types, the best solution is to find what works best for your team. No one knows how a pitcher is going to perform every time out. He could be great one game and abysmal the next. OVR doesn't help either as a 55 OVR relief pitcher can be just as good as a 65. I tend to favor GB pitchers with good splits, especially vsR, and high control with two good pitches. Of course those abilities go hand in hand with my park. That is not saying another type of pitcher will work just as well. If a pitcher goes to a hitters park I wouldn't put much emphasis on his performance there by the way unless of course he shuts the team down. They say velocity allows a pitcher to have more strike outs, but then the drawback to that is he may give up more home runs. FB pitchers can keep the ball in the park also, but his other ratings has got to be good also and I would probably say low velocity pitchers would fair better in this realm. The low split pitchers that have good to great ratings in the other areas, can they be as good. My feeling is that they can, as long as there is a defense to go with them.

Lets examine my team and see how they stack up on offense/defense.

Carlos Aguilar - His defensive rating limits him to 1B and LF and should have very few errors and plus plays at 1B. His offensive ratings puts him batting in the number 2 slot, however with his speed makes him a number 1 slot guy. Although I am not that keen on him batting in the 1 slot, I don't have much choice.

Emmett Yearwood - His defensive rating better suits him to corner outfield as his range leaves a little to be desired at CF and 2B and will have hits to L and R CF along with some errors and minus plays, home field helps. Offensively he can bat just about anywhere in the lineup except slot 1.

Jeremy Glover - His defensive rating better suits him to corner outfield as his range leaves a little to be desired, will give up some singles RCF at 2B and some erros and minus plays. Offensively he is best suited for the number 1 slot but his power is too great for there, so slot 3 or higher is better.

Wally Harvey - His current defensive ratings make him a great corner outfielder at this time and as he grows will inherit the 3B position. Offensively he is best suited for the 3 thru 6 slot.

Clarence Hartman - His defensive ratings makes him nothing but a DH or emergency catcher. Hitting wise is a powerhouse and puts him in slot 4, 5 or 6.

William Nomo - His defensive ratings make him marginal at 3B at best and better suited for corner outfield. Offensively he would be a powerhouse if his contact was much better. Too slow and powerful for the 1 and 2 slot, better in slot 3 or 6+ to protect the real powerhouses. My theory is that it would take a disciplined hitting coach to make him a real walk/home run threat.

Al Carrasco - His defensive ratings make him a great corner outfielder. Offensively he makes a good late slot hitter.

F.P. Saipe - His defensive ratings suggest a glod glove SS when he attains the projections. Though a little short and young at the moment his error rate will be acceptable. Late in the batting order as he can surprise occaisionally.

Mendy Sung - His defensive ratings are great for a catcher. Hitting is not so hot, so last in the order.

Joaquin Valentin - His defensive ratings are pretty good for a catcher and his PC overrides his short arm. Coupled with a short range 2B does cause problems for him. Offensively strikes out a lot but still makes a good starter or backup.

Ronnie Brown - His defensive rating makes him a great SS or CF. Offensively will be s0-so. But is young and should be a great backup at either position.

Louie Mercado - His defensive ratings make him a decent enough corner outfielder. Ofensively he will be so-so.

As can be seen here I have a pretty good offensive unit. I also have a good defensive unit although it could be better. Future needs as to what I should draft is dictated by what is available in the farm system.

C: Is needed as minor is weak.
1B: Not that important as it is the easiest position to fill with power normally.
2B: Defensively I have a couple in the minors with defense but none with power.
3B: Defensively I have a couple in the minors and good hitters but not real power.
SS: Defensively I have a couple in the minors but none in the real hitting department, but I put emphasis on defense more than hitting at this position.
CF: Defensively I am short in the minors in all reality as the best are SS.
RF: Defensively and hitting wise I have several and not an improtant position unless their is a real power guy.
LF: Defensively and hitting wise I have several and not an improtant position unless their is a real power guy.

Draft Analysis: It depends on who and what might be available at my draft position (1st round) on offense/defense. A first round catcher is normally just a DH, but if there is one that is both I will take him in a heartbeat as he probably won't be there in the 2nd. A power defensive 2B/CF/SS would be my next choice but they go early.

Now we will examine my pitching staff.

Louie Martin - Great control, great splits, 1 good pitch and 2 decent pitches, velocity and mostly GB. A good fit to most parks.

Anthony Hall - Control a little weak, good splits for a lefty, pure GB, 2 good pitches, 1 decent pitch +1, velocity low. Will strike his share but walk a few also. Will give up occasional HR but not real bad because of control.

Ernest Lee - Good control, good splits, moslty GB, 3 good pitches +1, velocity low. In essence I think he is a good pitcher, but upon close examination the order of his pitches is awkward and I think this leads to problems regardless of what they say.

Buster Charles - Super control, decent splits, mostly GB, 1 great pitch, 2 good pitches +1, good velocity. Even with the low end splits, the pitches and control makes up for it.

Billy Nation - Good control, good splits, 2 good pitches +3, low velocity, split FB/GB. Being so young he should still be in the minors, he came with the team and was at AAA where he was stagnating. He will get much better as he gets older. He didn't work out well in the pen at the end of last season call up last year and I am hoping he can hold his own this year.

Long Relief:
Bob Delaney - Great control, good splits, 3 good pitches, mostly GB, low velocity. Will actually get better. This is one the ratings show one thing and the stats show another, it could be his age or that bad 4th pitch.

Rob Rehfield - Decent control, good splits, mostly GB, lower velocity, 3 pitches. Although not the greatest pitcher in the world, can get you into the 7th inning when called upon out of the pen limiting damage.

Steve Elster - Decent control, great splits, GB/FB split, good velocity, 1 great pitch, 1 good pitch. Not enough pitches to be an effective starter but does well out of the pen.

Coco Hines - Super control, super splits, decent velocity, 1 great pitch, 1 decent pitch, split GB/FB. Lot of people may think he needs to be a closer and maybe he will one day as he has room to grow yet. But for now will be a primary setup man.

Luther Stanley - Good control, somewhat decent splits, good velocity, mostly GB, 1 good pitch, 1 decent pitch. This is an odd guy to have in this position. Matter of fact he is almost a long shot at being on staff, too young to start with. He was a call up last year when a pitcher went on the DL and no one else was ready at the time. He showed a knack in the late innings and I kept him on. So far it has paid good dividends.

Gerald Thompson - Good control, decent splits, high velocity, split GB/FB, 2 good pitches. Was the FOY in season 1, how I don't know. Last season he was ugly for most of the season. Has been a bit erratic this year but under control at least. Will get somewhat better, but it is doubtful he will be dominate again.

Juan Mendoza - Great control, low splits, mostly GB, high velocity, 2 good pitches. Not used often, but comes out of the pen to get a key out or two when needed. He is another that is here more by accident than ability but actually does a decent enough job to stay.

Dave Stewart - Super control, great splits, low velocity, mostly GB, 2 great pitches. The ideal closer almost. Does a pretty good job, though a high velocity might be more desirable.

Draft Analysis: The farm system really doesn't reveal much in potential help to the ML club in the near future. There are some definite possibilities for the pen however.

With the draft looming I must decide what is needed the most as there may be possibilities of getting at least 3 players or more to fill a void in the future. Whether it be pitching, a catcher or a defensive power guy that can help. I have the 15th and 43rd pick in the first round and 65th in the 2nd round. I should get three future ML players.

Ok, went and redid my draft one last time this morning. I had to set up another world and noticed something I had not seen before, or if I did never paid attention and wanted to see if it held true, which it did.

Here is how I set up my draft and I don't recommend it, just works for me and takes about an hour. I set the parameters for 25 any picks and 0 targets with 5's in weight except for DH which I give a zero (means I do not want to consider any). Rating threshold set to "None" and I run "Very Conservative". The first thing I do is pull up the top 100 and look at the projected health rating and move anyone with 65 or lower to the bottom. After doing that I go to the projected Pitcher Ratings and all pitchers to take out all the ones with control below 50 and durability issues. Next I look at the bios and take out any "Won't sign" and "Other Sport" ones. I don't want a hold out on those types. The "May sign", "1st round only" and "1 thru 5" ones I look at to see if the 'iffy' is worth keeping. If "Very Conservative" they will sign 85% of the time or better. Then I check the top 25 and make adjustments if I see someone that really fills a need, normally just the top 10 unless I am drafting late then one needs to examine the pitchers closely. After I get the top 100 done I go looking by position to see if there is someone I like that would go in the late rounds and bring him forward some, like into the top 100. Like a defensive specialist. I also check out relief pitchers. After all that I look at the pitchers in the top 100 more closely and move some out, like those with bad splits or bad pitches. Then I look at catchers heavily and may move some of them out also as I like defensive ones regardless of how they hit. I usually look at 2B, SS and CF to move forward last, then I check the health, pitcher control and durability of the top 200 and move the bad ones to the bottom. The reason is I might get a good late round pick, but I don't want a DL inhabitant. The real late rounders I don't worry about much as about the only chance to move past High A is by DITR.

Now for who I will draft, at 15 I should get a top 10 off my board. I don't see my first 3 being available at all, 4 and 5 is an outside chance. The next 3 are iffy and if I get one, that could be bad. Normally I would move guys up to forestall this problem, but this time the guys behind are not good enough in my estimation to move forward.

The draft was a bit surprising really as I got 3 of my top 25. More surprising was I got my #3 guy, the supplemental wasn't all that great, but the gut in second gave me two good 2B/CF so I am pleased. Made a mistake as I moved the RF's out and forgot the LF's and 1B's and didn''t move the catcher up far enough.

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