February 24, 2012
Some projects are a labor of love, and working on the latest Baseball Prospectus Fantasy product - Scoresheet Draft Aid - was that for me. A look behind the scenes at how this unfolded involves resident Scoresheet expert Ben Murphy discussing various possibilities with Scoresheet Baseball's crack programmer Dave Barton. With my inattention to this project - something about books and former Royals utility infielders kept me from thinking much about it - Mr. Barton wrote on January 26, "I don't know about aiming for opening day this year." Well, I wasn't going to have any of that, and starting in the second week of February, I pitched a tent in the (virtual) Prospectus office and worked to get this out in time not only for Opening Day, but even in time for most Scoresheet drafts.
For those who don't know much about Scoresheet Baseball, it's a simulation game with the current season being the basis for the simulation results, giving it the excitement of Fantasy Baseball combined with the realism of a simulation game. The site (www.scoresheet.com) has lots of information to help introduce new players, including how to order a team (there's a much-reduced price for newcomers), and even a recent Podcast with yours truly. Many public league drafts will be starting on March 1, so if you're interested, now's a great time to try it out.
But I'm not here to plug Scoresheet baseball, I'm here to help people WIN at it. To do that, I'll walk through the first steps I took to prepare for my NL Public League (#300):
First, I went to my old friend Team Tracker, and clicked on "Load Teams" (If you don't have a Team Tracker team set up for your Scoresheet squad yet, shame on you - er - click on "Edit Teams" to create one.) After Dropping all the players from my roster, I selected my Scoresheet League in the drop box labelled "Scoresheet League", and entered my team number (3) in the box labelled "Team #", and click the button labelled "Add Scoresheet Team to My Team".
This results in my team being populated with the keepers I selected earlier this month:
From there, I return to the main Team Tracker page and see how my forecasts look...
People who are familiar with Team Tracker will notice some new statistics on this page. Well, at this point, I open another browser window and pull up the new Scoresheet Draft Aid and select my league from the pulldown box there:
And if I click on "(show)" by the Batter Glossary entry, it explains some of the new stats:
Ditto for pitchers:
The Draft Aid itself is really best to just dive into and experience for yourself - for Scoresheet owners, notice that only the players available in your chosen league show up. The columns can be sorted by whichever stat is needed (my personal favorite is R-TAv', though Ben prefers SSSIM). The display can show as few as 10 or as many as 100 players. For spreadsheet addicts, it can be exported to your favorite format. Obviously, the biggest advantage comes for the Scoresheet game system, since a couple factors are built into the product - righty/lefty platoon advantages and defensive range - as well as being able to load up a specific league. But for people who don't have a Scoresheet team, choosing the top option ("(Select Your League Below)") displays all players, and gives an interesting perspective on future value for baseball players in general, and also for fantasy games and other simulation games such as Strat-O-Matic (though there's always the delayed gratification of waiting an entire year to see how the cards look in that type of game).