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    Fantasy Draft FAQ by HeihachiMushroom

    Version: 2.0 | Updated: 03/01/05 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

      MVP Baseball 2005
     Fantasy Draft Guide
      Created: 03/01/05
         Version 2.0
    -Table Of Contents-
    I.	Version History
    II.	Introduction
    III.	Fantasy Draft Quick Reference List
    IV.	Fantasy Draft Order, Analysis
    V.      Fantasy Draft Tips Tips
    VI.	Sample Drafts & Testimonials
    I. Version History
    Version 2.0 (03/01/05)
    	-This is the updated version of the guide based on MVP Baseball 2005.
    While some of the material has been carried over from 2004, most is new
    material. The draft strategy has been changed, the analysis now reflects that
    change, the sample drafts were done in MVP 2005, and I have added a new tips 
    section to supplement the analysis portion. 
    II. Introduction
    This is my Fantasy Draft FAQ for the 2005 edition of MVP Baseball. I made
    a similar guide for 2004 and this one emcompasses much of what I put in that
    one. I have made some tweaks and this year's draft strategy allows even more
    freedom to shape your team exactly how you want to. I think Fantasy Drafts
    are excellent since it allows you to build a team from scratch and take them
    to glory. It allows makes the in-game league much more competitive since each
    team essentially has the same number of stars on their rosters. 
    There are two main parts to this guide. One is just a quick list that
    is suitable for printing off that can tell you what type of players you should
    be picking. The second is the real meat of this FAQ - it is the analysis based
    on that list that tells you exactly what you should be looking for as you make
    each pick. Everyone has a different style of playing, but this system will get
    you a well-balanced team. Plus, it will guide you in how to think if you'd
    like to make some adjustments. 
    Please note, this FAQ does not tell you exactly who to pick or even exactly 
    what positions you'll be picking, but rather gives you things to think about 
    in building your team. It will prevent you from getting into the 15th round 
    and realizing you don't have a 2nd baseman yet and all the starting caliber 
    ones are gone, just as an example. I may eventually add a Projected Draft 
    Order section, but I'm still undecided about how much time I want to put into
    this guide.
    I'm willing to take your own strategies. If you want to offer one,
    e-mail me (Mrslamt@aol.com) and put "Fantasy Draft Strategy FAQ" someone where
    in the subject. If you don't do that, its probably going to get deleted.
    III. Fantasy Draft Quick Reference List
    This is a quick list designed to give a basic outline of how you should
    structure your draft. Browse over it and print it out, but I recommend you hit
    the next part of the FAQ that tells exactly what you should do with this data.
    PP: Position player (Infielders and outfielders)
    SP: Starting pitcher
    RP: Relief Pitcher
    MLB Draft:
    1.  PP/SP
    2.  SP/PP
    3.  PP/SP
    4.  SP/PP
    5.  PP/SP
    6.  SP/PP
    7.  RP
    8.  PP
    9.  PP/SP
    10. SP/PP
    11. PP
    12. PP
    13. SP/RP
    14. PP
    15. RP/SP
    16. RP
    17. PP
    18. PP
    19. RP
    20. PP
    21. SP
    22. RP
    23. RP/PP
    24. PP/RP
    25. PP
    IV. Fantasy Draft Order & Analysis
    1-6: The Core Of Your Team
         This is the biggest change in this year's guide over the one for 2004. 
    If you recall, You really only had the freedom to take two pitchers and two 
    hitters in the first 4 rounds and then looked for a closer before drafting
    another hitter AND THEN another pitcher. I realize now that this is really 
    not the best way to do things. For one, I've moved the closer spot out of the 
    top six picks, but I'll explain that when I get to picking a closer. Secondly,
    and more important, I realized that by playing around with the order here you 
    can make your team speciailize more in either hitting or pitching - plus the
    option is still there to have a good balance of both. 
        With that said, what you do here really depends on what kind of team 
    you want to build. The only requirement by the end of Round 6 is that you 
    are carrying 3 position players and 3 pitchers. If you want a balanced team, 
    but you have concerns about weak bats go PP, SP, PP, SP, PP, SP. Maybe you 
    are more concerned with having a lights out pitching staff. Then perhaps your
    your order should go something like SP, SP, PP, SP, PP, PP. The more priority
    you place upon a certain position, the stronger you will be in that area of
    7: RP
         Another major change to this year's guide is where I have placed the 
    closer in the draft. I know a lot of people are probably thinking why this
    is as the closer is one of the most important roles on the team. I noticed,
    however, that if you wait until Round 7, there are still plenty of great
    closers around like Troy Pervical and Octavio Dotel. Personally, I don't
    want to place more priority on a closer because typically I'm bring them in
    for one inning. A guy like Pervical fits my needs just fine and I have no
    problem with a tight game coming under his hands.
         I understand that not everyone thinks like me though. If you are really
    itching to get an elite closer like Mariano Rivera or Eric Gagne, then you
    still can. All you have to do is swap the spot where you take your closer with
    a starting pitcher. So if you take Eric Gagne early on, you will only draft
    two more starting pitchers in the first six rounds. You will then use this
    spot to get your third starting pitcher. 
         At the end of 7 rounds, you should now have 3 position players, 3 
    starting pitchers, and a closer.
    8: PP
         We are now going to focus on building around the core of the batting
    order. Who you take here all depends on who you already have. If you have 
    a bunch of sluggers who tend to lack speed, you may want to focus on getting
    a speedy player for your leadoff spot. Also keep in mind that position players
    do have to do more than hit. If your drafting for an AL team, you can probably
    just go for a slugger here to play DH and thus not have to worry about their
    poor defensive abilities. People drafting for an NL team will have to be much
    more cautious. 
    9-10: PP/SP
         Another change to this year's guide rounds out the top ten rounds of the 
    draft. I have applied the same principle that was used to pick the Top 6 here.
    Whatever part of your game you'd like to strenghten a bit can be done here. 
    If you already have a stellar starting staff, maybe you'll just want to go for 
    a hitter first to balance things out. 
         The team you have drafted now are going to be the guys who should have
    the same role all season. You now should have 5 position players, 4 starting 
    pitchers, and a closer. 
    11-12: PP's
        Your next two picks will probably focus on getting your 6th and 7th
    batters. Essentially, these guys are going to be similar to your 2nd and 3rd
    hitters, but in reverse. Your 6th hitter should be a good hitter from at least
    one side of the plate. Make sure he compliments the guy in the 5-slot. If your
    5th hitter is strong from the right but a little weaker from the left, you
    might want to think about getting a 6th hitter who is a little stronger on the
    left side of the plate. Your 7th hitter should be another good hitter, one who
    is good on both sides of the plate. You'll want to use him to get RBI's when
    the middle of your order is on base.
    13: SP/RP
         This is probably where you want to get your 5th starter, but some may be
    eager to get a very good reliever in this spot. Your starter should be a young
    pitcher who you will build up over the years into your rotation. Don't worry
    about having a low stamina, just make sure he has good stuff. Should you choose
    the reliever, scroll down to Round 15 and see what you should be getting there. 
    14: PP
         You will continue to build your lineup here. Since good hitters are hard
    to come by at this point, think about the other parts of the game that go
    into building a winning franchise. I would suggest looking for a speedy guy
    who can lay down a bunt for those late-inning fights where you need to get
    a baserunner on to reach the top of your lineup. Also, guys here who have weak
    bats tend to have good defense and that should always be a top priority.
    15: RP/SP
         Most of you will be picking a reliever here, but I put the SP here for 
    those who switched this with the 13th Round. Go read that section if you are
    selecting your 5th starter here. Now for a relief pitcher, you are going to be
    looking for your set-up man here. Make sure this guy has some good stuff as he 
    is going to serve as the bridge between your starter and your closer and you
    don't want a good game for your starter blown before your closer gets a chance 
    to finish it up.
    16: RP
         This is probably going to be your main lower to middle inning reliever. 
    This is going to be the guy you want in should your starter not get your team 
    in a strong position to win and you want someone you hold down your opponent's
    bats as you start a rally with your own. This guy should have at least 3 pitches
    as most of the guys at this level do. Just don't take any of those guys with 
    two pitches for this slot. You are going to need a variety of pitches for this
    guy as he may be the one who wins a lot of your close games.
    17-18: 2 PPs
         It is time to fill out your main position player roster here. If your a
    National League team, you'll be looking for strong backups. If you're an
    American League team, you are still going to be looking for a 9th hitter. Find
    a really fast guy as he will ultimately serve as a lead-off guy for the top of
    your order. Even if you are an NL team, speed might be something you want here
    as you may need a pinch runner as well. One more thing to do is to balance
    your lineup. If you have a guy who is really strong from one side of the plate
    and weak on the other (i.e. Trot Nixon, who is excellent from the right, but
    mediocre on the left), you may want to find a guy who counteracts that as a
    later inning replacement or perhaps even a starter in some games. Regardless,
    one of these guys should be of the caliber that if someone gets hurt or you
    need another starter, they can step up in this role.
    19. RP
         If you lack a left handed reliever, this is probably where you are
    going to want to pick one up. You should probably carry two lefties on your
    bullpen at least, so its crucial to have one by now. Think of this guy as the
    left-handed specialist, the kind of guy who you might just bring in to face
    one or two left-handed hitters and then put in one of your strong relievers.
    20. PP
         This is pretty much an extension of the last two rounds you picked up
    position players. You want a good backup player here, probably one who can
    play a little defense and can hit pretty well. You'll probably be using this
    guy as a sub only, but he still needs to be pretty good. Make sure you have a
    good balance in your backups as well. If you don't have a backup infielder
    yet, make sure you pick one up here. For your backups you'll want a catcher, 
    two outfielders, a corner infielder (1B/3B), and a middle infielder (2B/SS).
    Keep in mind, if you are drafting for an AL team, one of these "backups" is
    going to be in your starting lineup because of the DH spot. 
    21: SP
         Technically, this guy is going to be a spot starter, but we'll be using 
    him mostly to be a reliever. You'll want to find a guy with good stamina here
    though as you may need him to pitch in those games where your starter 
    absolutely blows it and is out in the first few innings. Youth is also good
    here as in a couple of seasons, this guy could probably make it into your
    starting 5.
    22: RP
         You are just filling out your bullpen here, so just find the best 
    availible guy who is to your liking. You may want to look for a young reliever
    here as they tend to run pretty cheap.
    23-24: RP/PP
         The same logic we used back in rounds 9 and 10 applies here, though its
    much less important. My advice is to look for the top 3 players left for every
    postion and see if any of them will fit your roster. If there is no one you are
    really crazy about, just go for a reliever. 
    25: PP
         This is the last guy on your team. You should pick a player who provides 
    some purpose for you and just doesn't fill a roster spot. Therefore, maybe you
    don't even want the highest rated player. Maybe you really just want a late 
    inning defensive replacmenet or pinch runner and there is a SS 7 or 8 names 
    down the list who does just that. Take him as if worse comes to worse, he can
    always be exchanged for someone on your AAA team and really tear it up down
    That's it - your team is set to go capture glory.
    If you choose to do the Minor League draft yourself, this strategy will work 
    just fine. You are looking for players with potential there so keep an eye out 
    for any top prospects. 
    V. Fantasy Draft Tips
    Below you will find some of my own helpful hints to keep in mind when you 
    are building your team. This portion of the FAQ is just as important as the
    breakdown above and serves as a supplmemnt to it in order to have a successful
    1. Position Scarcity
         Anyone who plays fantasy baseball knows how important position scarcity
    is in building a successful team. For those who are unfamiliar, position
    scarcity refers to the fact that there are only so many top notch players at
    every position. For example, there are a ton of outfielders who have 25+ home
    runs seasons and knock in over 100 RBI's. At second base, there are far fewer
    players availible who get that kind of production. When you do your draft, even
    though a guy like Alfonso Soriano is rated lower than a lot of first basemen,
    you may want to take him first because he really is one of the few superstars at
    his position. The last thing you want to do is get to the middle of the draft,
    realize you haven't drafted a certain position yet, and have lousy players to
    choose from. This rule will help you in drafting catchers and middle infielders
    a great deal.
         A good way to handle this aspect is to keep a balance of who you draft.
    Maybe you should tell yourself going in that out of your first 4 hitters chosen,
    two will be outfielders and two will be infielders. It might be a good idea to
    set up these sort of parameters for yourself prior to running the draft.
    2. DEFENSE
         Perhaps the most overlooked part of baseball these days is good defensive 
    play. I would hope that the 2004 season kind of taught this lesson more as the
    team that won the World Series probably did so because of strengthening the 
    defense midseason. Should you ever stumble upon two players who both have
    similar hitting skills, check out what else they can do. If one is even a 
    marginally better fielder than the other, it'd be a wise idea to take the man
    with the glove. 
    3. Left Handed Pitching
         Having a solid core of lefties on your pitching staff is crucial as it
    may be the thing that gives you an edge over a team on a certain day. My
    general rule of thumb is to have at least one third of your pitching staff be
    lefties. Since the guide here has you draft 12 pitchers, that means you will
    want 4 lefties. Two of these should be in the bullpen, one as a starter, and
    the 4th is really up to you. Of those two that are in the bullpen, you'll
    want one of your LRPs (the guys you call on when a starter gets knocked out
    early) to be a lefty.
    4. Building a Lineup
         Building the perfect lineup in a Fantasy Draft can be quite a daunting task
    since you need the right players in the right roles. For batting order, I
    have provided these tips to show you how to build your lineup. Keep in mind, you
    can always have the CPU optimize your roster, but even then, I sometimes see
    the need to make a change here or there.
    1. Good contact hitter, ideally fastest player on the team
    2. Great contact hitter, speed not as vital as the leadoff spot
    3. The best hitter you have - contact over power is ideal
    4. The second best hitter - make sure he has a lot of power
    5. Another great hitter - can probably have more power than contact
    6. Similar to the 3-spot, a good contact hitter with some pop
    7. Similar to the 2nd hitter - a good contact hitter
    8. The slower of the two players left
    9. Should be somewhat speedy
         Balancing your lineup is important too. You don't want to have a team
    entirely made of righties as you will end up at a disadvantage against lefties.
    Half of your starting lineup should be something other than a righty. I always
    try to carry 4 righties, 2 lefties, and 2 switch hitters. It is also important
    to have variety in the skills of your players. Since most people tend to like
    to keep the same lineup from day to day, make sure that a player who is weak
    from one side of the plate is surrounded by two guys who are stronger. You
    don't want to leave baserunners floating in a crucial situation.
    5. Fictional Players
         Don't be afraid to draft those fictional players. Keep in mind, a lot of
    the fictional players actually have real life counterparts who for one reason
    or another are not associated with the MLBPA. There are lists floating around
    the net of who these players are if you feel weird about using Matt Derksen
    instead of who he really is - Hanley Ramirez. However, these are the guys
    who are going to be the big stars once everyone else retires. So if you wish
    to take your team through the decades, you'll want to have some of these guys.
    I usually try to take a few as defensive replacements and pinch runners. 
    I figure I can bring them into bat when my team is in the lead and if they
    don't work out, then at least I can have a nice prospect for my AAA team. 
    6. Balancing Youth & Experience
         Believe it or not, a team full of young players probably isn't the best
    way to go. While youth is very important and should always be considered in
    picking a player, you'll want your share of veterens as well. Young players
    can be built up to replace older players over time, but that doesn't mean you
    should only have young players. If a young player progresses too much, his
    contract demands may increase when its time to resign him. You can't afford
    to sign every young player who gets better and this is why having older players
    works. Older guys tend to stay around the same rating and thus will have about
    the same salary every year. Its easier to build your team when you have a good
    idea of what kind of salary you'll be dealing with.
    7. Draft To Suit Yourself
         This whole exercise would be useless if you did not have fun. Therefore,
    above anytthing you should always let your heart come into who you pick. If
    there is a player you really like, take him. On the same end, you don't have
    to take a player you may really not like (for those Red Sox and Yankees fans
    who can't stand having the others players on their teams). Granted, I still
    would and try to trade that player after the draft. Also, if there is a hitter
    who has an awkward stance or a pitcher with an unusual delivery to you, then
    don't feel obligated to pick them. The CPU picks in the order the players are 
    listed, but usually there are several players with the exact same rating
    below. Taking these players will have no negative effects whatsoever. And 
    again, you can always just take them and trade them later. 
    8. Write It Down
         It may seem geeky to have a notebook next to you, writing down all the
    moves, but it will help. If you don't mind getting some weird stares from the
    rest of the members of your living space, then just get a cheap one-subject
    notebook. You can buy them for a dollar at any office suppplies store and
    their value will pay that off tenfold. I always write down my draft as I do it
    and will even write reminders that I still need to draft a certain position.
    Once the draft is done, you still have uses for the notebook. I use my
    notebook through the season to work on transactions and project stats. How
    you use it is up to you, but I think it'll really make your life a heck of
    a lot easier if you use one. 
    VI. Sample Drafts & Testimonials
    If you have run a draft using this guide, I encourage you to e-mail
    me the results of your draft as well as any comments you have about it. I
    will then post your results in this section. Whether you have positive or
    negative feedback, I want to hear how well this works for people.
    If you'd like to have your results posted here, e-mail me (see my
    address below). Please write the players you drafted in the order you
    selected them, the number pick you were given, and optionally, write some
    comments about how it all went. Should you finish a season using this team,
    you can later send me the results and I will post them along with your
    draft info. As I receive these, they will go here.
    First, my own examples more or less using my strategy. I occassionally change
    the strategy a bit on the fly, so I've noted anywhere where I have done that
    with the slashes and backslashes. 
    Fantasy Draft #1, Pick #10
         1. M. Tejada
         2. Ol. Perez 
         3. A. Rowand
         4. M. Clement
         5. P. Konerko
         6. J. Beckett
        /7. J. Hiarston Jr.
        \8. O. Dotel
         9. D. Mirabelli
        10. K. Lohse
        11. W. Pena
       /12. En. Chavez
       \13. C. Fossum
        14. B. Inge
        15. S. Williamson
        16. L. Ayala
        17. M. Cairo
        18. J. Davanon
        19. J. Ginter
        20. Re. Johnson
        21. J. de la Rosa
        22. J. Colome
        23. G. Friesen
       /24. R. Castro
       \25. J. Putz
    -Team Ranking-
    Pitching: 10th
    Batting: 1st
    Defense: 18th
    Baserunning: 3rd
    Overall: 7th
    Fantasy Draft #2, Pick #12
         1. J. Santana
         2. M. Ordonez
         3. M Buerhle
         4. M. Mora
         5. A. Huff
         6. J. Vasquez
         7. B. Ryan
         8. B. Upton
         9. J. Lieber
        10. T. Long
        11. M. Redmond
        12. T. Sledge
        13. K. Wells
       /14. U. Urbina
       \15. M. Scutaro
        16. J. Frasor
        17. J. Molina
        18. S. Schoenwise
        19. R. Johnson
        20. J. Encarnacion
        21. M. Wood
        22. J. Eischen
        23. M. Koplove
        24. J. Offerman
        25. W. Delgado
    -Team Ranking-
    Pitching: 2nd
    Batting: 19th
    Defense: 14th
    Baserunning: 2nd
    Overall: 2nd
    Fantasy Draft #3, Pick #27
         1. B. Sheets
         2. J. Damon
         3. V. Castilla
         4. J. Westbrook
         5. J. Rollins
         6. C. Sabathia
         7. B. Looper
         8. L. Overbay
         9. P. Burrell
        10. J. Garland
        11. T. Salmon
        12. T. Hall
        13. N. Lowry
        14. T. Murphy
        15. J. Riedling
        16. A. Rhodes
        17. D. Wilson
        18. E. Burks
        19. T. Tucker
        20. W. Harris
        21. W. Ledezma
        22. B. Weber
        23. R. Ankiel
        24. N. Logan
        25. B. Fullmer
    -Team Ranking-
    Pitching: 9th
    Hitting: 17th
    Defense: 16th
    Baserunning: 27th
    Overall: 14th
    Fantasy Draft #4, Pick #1
         1. V. Guerrero
         2. C. Beltran
         3. M. Prior
         4. T. Glavine
         5. W. Miller
        /6. S. Takatsu 
        \7. L. Gonzalez
         8. B. Crosby
         9. M. Olivio
       /10. A. Harang
       \11. C. Wilson
        12. R. Winn
        13. A. Otsuka
        14. B. Hill
        15. O. Daal
        16. R. Mendoza
        17. E. Marrero
        18. R. Rempster
        19. V. Wilson
        20. J. Olderud
        21. E. DuBose
        22. A. Alvarez
        23. K. Ginter
        24. J. Brower
        25. R. Gload
    -Team Ranking-   
    Pitching: 10th
    Batting: 4th
    Defense: 2nd
    Baserunning: 5th
    Overall: 1st
    Copyright 2005 Heihachi Mushroom
    Do not use this FAQ without permission. 
    If you would like to post this FAQ elsewhere, e-mail me.
    E-Mail: Mrslamt@aol.com
    Violators will be hurt. Badly. I promise.