Last year, Baseball Prospectus introduced the Scoresheet Draft Aid to help Scoresheet Baseball players with their drafts. And many got to see a free trial last March. Since its inception, the most common piece of feedback by Scoresheet players who have used it is that it's "too good" and that it levels the playing field, erasing the edge that can be gained by an opponent through hours, days, or even months of research. This year, BP has welcomed Tim Collins, a new member of the tech team who is helping make it even better than the inaugural edition! So, look for upcoming improvements, including incorporation of the new prospect rankings by Jason Parks.
First, a recap of the basic functionality: Scoresheet Draft Aid is a tool to help with Scoresheet Baseball drafts, powered by PECOTA. (And remember that any "/fantasy" URL on the site can be accessed using "/f" instead, which can be useful for avoiding filters). To find the Scoresheet Draft Aid in the future, simply click on "Fantasy" on the main menu, which takes you to a page with this sub-menu:
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 (http://www.scoresheet.com) offers a lot of information to help new players become familiar with the game, 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 is 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):
People who are familiar with Team Tracker will find that loading a Team Tracker team from a Scoresheet team (an automated process described in the initial article about Draft Aid) in one window is a good starting point. After that, I open another browser window, pull up the new Scoresheet Draft Aid, and select my league from the pulldown box there:
If I click on "(show)" by the Batter Glossary entry, it explains some of the new stats:
Ditto for pitchers:
It's best just to dive into the Draft Aid and experience it 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 Murphy 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—and a specific league can be loaded. 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).
NOTE: After the initial release, two powerful new features were added to the Draft Aid program, and will be available again soon in 2013, though with Jason Parks' prospect lists instead of Kevin Goldstein's:
#1 Prospects, courtesy of Kevin Goldstein (example is taken live from P-NL300, a league I participate in):
#2: Spring Statistics (reached by clicking the link labeled "See Spring Stats for these Players" under the Scoresheet Draft Aid heading):
With apologies to Scoresheet owners who are losing their edge, we hope everyone enjoys this feature with their Fantasy or Premium Subscription and excels not only in the preseason draft, but also during the tricky in-season drafts as well. Not a subscriber yet? Just click here!
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