----------------------
  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.

Symbols:
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
play. 

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
there. 

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
draft.

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. 

--------------------------------------------