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Old 01-10-2019, 04:42 PM   #1
Maddox
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Let's Talk Defense

I started a third team yesterday as an experiment and decided that I wanted to shoot for a defensively elite team since my current two teams currently rank 13th-15th in Def Eff every year. I started looking in my leagues and in the auction house for players who fit the mold. What I found what that the truly elite 90-100 guys in almost all defensive categories are mostly limited to CF and SS.

So some questions came to mind that I thought I would ask the forum.
  1. Of the defensive ratings what people rank the order of priority
    • Positional Rating
    • Range
    • Errors
    • Arm
    • DP Ability (for infielders)
  2. What rating is good enough in those categories
  3. What rating would you be looking for at each position. Obviously SS, 2b and CF should probably have the best where possible (80 or 90 plus in as many ratings as possible). But as you move to the corner positions (1B, 3B, RF, LF) should 70 in those ratings be enough? Less? Do I ignore arm completely for 1B?
  4. Who have you found to be defensive studs?
My team is still in the entry league so I have time to build it slow. Defense is what I am shooting for but I also need this guys to get on base too. I am not worrying about HR power at all.

I have Luis Aparicio at SS and Jose Oquendo at second, so the middle infield is set at least for the early seasons. I have some others I have my eye on that either are not available in the Auction House or are too expensive for my new team (guys like Brooks Robinson at 3b or Keith Hernandez at 1B)
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:54 PM   #2
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First, you cite poor defensive efficiency as the metric you use to determine your primary team is poor. However, one thing to consider is that the primary contributor to Defensive Efficiency is BABIP. Groundball and Extreme Groundball pitchers have been proven to have significantly higher BABIP than their neutral and flyball counterparts. This means that if you have predominately groundball pitchers, your defensive efficiency will be poor, even with elite defenders. This has been my exact experience, as my elite defenders, combined with an all gb pitching staff, have never finished ahead of any other teams in Defensive Efficiency.

The bottom line is that Defensive Efficiency is NOT an appropriate metric to measure true defensive capability in PT.



[Late Edit: Sorry, forgot my second point!]

Do not be afraid to play people out of position. I have won numerous great gloves with shortstops playing both 2B and 1B. This is a great way to make solid defenders elite. It also allows you to place players with specific defensive profiles at positions that lack players with those skills. The most blatant example of this is range, which is extremely difficult to find above 80 in both 3B and 2B, though it is relatively common in SS.

Last edited by Dogberry99; 01-10-2019 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:56 PM   #3
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Agree 100% with dogberry. Defensive efficiency is a bad stat. Especially with ballpark factors in play. Zone rating is much more useful IMO
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:03 PM   #4
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That being said....defense is super important and has been my main key to success as a low-spending team so far. Range is the most important pretty much across the board. I don't consider position ratings barely at all, because I'm in it for the long term and don't mind training players up. It would be a shame to skip over a player with a low rating, if that could be easily remedied with a bit of experience.

I don't think there is any value "good enough" for any defensive attribute. You always want the best possible and they go over 100. The question is "how much offense am I willing to trade for this?".
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogberry99 View Post
First, you cite poor defensive efficiency as the metric you use to determine your primary team is poor. However, one thing to consider is that the primary contributor to Defensive Efficiency is BABIP. Groundball and Extreme Groundball pitchers have been proven to have significantly higher BABIP than their neutral and flyball counterparts. This means that if you have predominately groundball pitchers, your defensive efficiency will be poor, even with elite defenders. This has been my exact experience, as my elite defenders, combined with an all gb pitching staff, have never finished ahead of any other teams in Defensive Efficiency.

The bottom line is that Defensive Efficiency is NOT an appropriate metric to measure true defensive capability in PT.



[Late Edit: Sorry, forgot my second point!]

Do not be afraid to play people out of position. I have won numerous great gloves with shortstops playing both 2B and 1B. This is a great way to make solid defenders elite. It also allows you to place players with specific defensive profiles at positions that lack players with those skills. The most blatant example of this is range, which is extremely difficult to find above 80 in both 3B and 2B, though it is relatively common in SS.


No problem. Like I said it is a 3rd team for me so it is more of an experiment. I have paid very little attention to defensive ratings when choosing a position players on my main teams. This is just me trying a totally different approach and looking for advice.


Oh, and my pitching staff for my main team is 2 Flyball, 2 Nuetral and 1 Ground ball pitcher
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:08 PM   #6
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I have been the crazy mad scientist that has been an advocate of training players to be elite at other positions.

You're right to focus on SS and CF. Take them and plop them in the corner OF positions and at the other IF positions (2b, 3b) and just leave them there. You want to do this particularly with players you plan on keeping around for seasons because it's going to take over a season for them to max out their fielding ratings at their new positions, and in the meantime, your defense will be poor. Expect that.

For 1B, don't train anyone who is not at least 6'0" tall as we have determined that height is a major factor in 1B defensive play.

Aside from my catchers, I have nothing but converted CFs and SSs on my roster aside from an elite defensive 2B, a RF (Roberto Clemente) and another 2B who plays 1B for me. Oh, and the DH, but his defense doesn't matter.

It's something you have to commit to long term but it gives you so much positional flexibility when everyone is trained up.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:10 PM   #7
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I've got a team that has turned into a monster defensively. Team has only a 2.50 era overall with four pitchers in the top four for the league in ERA (two under 2.00).

C - Tony Pena
1B - Dan T Murphy (not great defensively but had to have a bat)
2B - Mark Belanger
3B - Luis Aparicio
SS - Andrelton Simmons
LF - Kevin Pillar (stellar zone rating)
CF - Willie Wilson
RF - Richie Ashburn

SS's can be trained to be crazy good at other infield positions. I like having the best defensive catchers I can find since the entire staff benefits. A.J. Puk has a 1.89 ERA and Cal Quantrill is 1.40.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazzycat View Post
That being said....defense is super important and has been my main key to success as a low-spending team so far. Range is the most important pretty much across the board. I don't consider position ratings barely at all, because I'm in it for the long term and don't mind training players up. It would be a shame to skip over a player with a low rating, if that could be easily remedied with a bit of experience.

I don't think there is any value "good enough" for any defensive attribute. You always want the best possible and they go over 100. The question is "how much offense am I willing to trade for this?".
You mention training players up and I know you can play players out of position and they gain "experience" at that position. Do their defensive ratings (Range, errors, arm) take a hit if they are out of position?

I have players out of position on my main teams but I have paid little attention to their defense so I just don't know how it works.

What does the actual Positional rating have an affect on. Say a SS is 100 at SS and 50 at 2B what does that affect?
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddox View Post
You mention training players up and I know you can play players out of position and they gain "experience" at that position. Do their defensive ratings (Range, errors, arm) take a hit if they are out of position?

I have players out of position on my main teams but I have paid little attention to their defense so I just don't know how it works.

What does the actual Positional rating have an affect on. Say a SS is 100 at SS and 50 at 2B what does that affect?
Defensive ratings like range & error are static, they don't change. Each position requires a different mix of skills, but the overall position rating is based on a combination of those underlying skills, and experience.


For example I have Lorenzo Cain on my team. He starts out with pretty good CF ratings but zero experience in LF, so no position rating. However the requirements for a good LF are much lower than the requirements for a good CF, so he is a really good left fielder. Even though he started with a zero value in LF, he ended up with a 98 once fully trained just because the underlying attributes were the perfect fit (elite range, solid error & arm). In RF he would have capped out lower because his arm is not elite (every position is different).
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:26 PM   #10
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Well if you're going with a defensive-focused team, you're actually putting the cart before the horse with the top post.

What matters the most completely depends on what pitchers are on your team. That's step 1. There's a couple ways you can go with that: heavy groundball staff (higher BABIP but less XBH) or a heavy flyball staff (lower BABIP but potentially more gap hits). Get a bunch of pitchers that fit the profile you want to build to first. If you have a lot of strikeout pitchers, the defensive value will matter less overall. Generally regardless of what type of pitchers I pick, I tend to focus on movement and control with an adequate level of stuff. High stuff is for teams where you have a weaker defense behind them but isn't bad for this type of team either.

Second, you need to get elite defenders that complement those pitchers. You don't want "good enough" defenders, you want elite, even if you're giving up offense for it. You can put worse defenders on whichever area you're not focusing on (ie you can probably put worse defenders on 1B and 3B if you're focusing on outfield defense. However, I would only punt on one of the OF corners if you're focusing on the infield, two bad defenders in the corner seems to spell trouble even if your CF is elite). I prefer range over all else in the OF, while arm is important at 3B/SS only and error rating is important, along with height at 1B).

Combine that with appropriate strategy settings and you can build a cheap and pretty good team. ZR is the metric you want to be looking at - unlike in real baseball, OOTP's ZR should be a perfectly accurate measurement of how well a player is doing defensively. Team defensive efficiency will fluctuate due to luck but team ZR is a good predictor of the future performance of your defense.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:27 PM   #11
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Here's a calculator to determine the potential defensive ratings at every position. FYI, it may be off by 1 point, possibly 2 at the most due to rounding issues.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
NOTE: Be sure to carefully match the categories. They are in the order that they download which is a different order than the profile screens.
NOTE2: Height only matters for 1B. Left-handed throwers cannot earn ratings at 2B, 3B, and SS.

The general consensus seems to be that about 1.5-2 seasons of playing at a position will get a player maxed. If you are out of the playoff race, you might as well be training players at new positions.

PM me if there's an error. The 1B formula is a bit wonky (it uses height + some weird cutoff points) and seems to occasionally not work quite right.

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Old 01-10-2019, 05:48 PM   #12
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I tried this in beta and had good results with a ftp team.

In the outfield I used Vukovich in LF, Kiermaier in CF, and Ichiro rs in RF

Had 1 season where all 3 won the gold glove
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:49 PM   #13
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Here's a calculator to determine the potential defensive ratings at every position. FYI, it may be off by 1 point, possibly 2, at the most due to rounding issues.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
that's incredibly useful, thanks!
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:50 PM   #14
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Here's a calculator to determine the potential defensive ratings at every position. FYI, it may be off by 1 point, possibly 2, at the most due to rounding issues.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
Thanks. I will check it out tonight as I do more evaluation
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:01 PM   #15
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Now, I've gone probably a bit too overboard with my defense. Even with elite Diamond+ defenders, I'm struggling to hit the ball in Perfect. But, I'm 1.5 GB of my division right now and probably would be in 1st with better bullpen performance. Blake Treinan and Edwin Diaz are somehow my worst performing relief pitchers.

I've created a graphic of my D with their max Positional Ratings listed (most are trained up to the listed number). It's actually not my true lineup right because I can't keep Jose Ramirez's bat out of the lineup and Tulo is struggling, so I've put Mookie at 2nd and Ramirez at LF. My next target, before I finally give in and sacrifice some D, is probably the better Ozzie Smith card for SS. He's rated really well and really only held back by his 1 Power, but I wouldn't mind that at all. Also, probably finally just going with a 100+ D catcher. EDIT: Oh yeah, 95 Ripkin would be a nice addition, too.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:09 PM   #16
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Man, how is that a 14th rated offense?
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:18 PM   #17
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Man, how is that a 14th rated offense?
LOL, welcome to Perfect!

Seriously though, no catcher production, a really slow start for Trout, and down years for Tulo & Arod. Oh, and I let JD Martinez hit full-time too long (.929 OPS vsL, .567 vR). I recently picked up Stargell, a great platoon with him (1.008 OPS in 8 games!).

Check out my full rankings on both. I need to move the needle more toward offense. It's 100's of thousands to do so without sacrificing much D.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DonkeyKongSr View Post
LOL, welcome to Perfect!

Seriously though, no catcher production, a really slow start for Trout, and down years for Tulo & Arod. Check out my full rankings on both. I need to move the needle more toward offense. It's 100's of thousands to do so without sacrificing much D.


Serious question, has anyone had any luck with a good hitting catcher? I have gone to using the strongest DEF rating guys that I can find, and just accepting the .220 to .230 BA. I just never see any production from the C position.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:29 PM   #19
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Serious question, has anyone had any luck with a good hitting catcher? I have gone to using the strongest DEF rating guys that I can find, and just accepting the .220 to .230 BA. I just never see any production from the C position.
Nope. I posted elsewhere about this, but I now have Darren Daulton up for auction. A 25K card that was doing nothing. Posey is actually a recent addition to the team. His name is all over the catcher leaderboard in my league. Most of the other Sanguillens are performing better than mine and he's only worth 5K, so I might just keep him.

Once I get my Daulton money, I'm probably targeting the 90-rated Yadi or one of the lesser Bench cards so I'll at least get elite D if their bats do nothing.

EDIT: My Sanguillen is the one hitting .229. One is hitting .378!
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by <Pion> View Post
I've got a team that has turned into a monster defensively. Team has only a 2.50 era overall with four pitchers in the top four for the league in ERA (two under 2.00).

C - Tony Pena
1B - Dan T Murphy (not great defensively but had to have a bat)
2B - Mark Belanger
3B - Luis Aparicio
SS - Andrelton Simmons
LF - Kevin Pillar (stellar zone rating)
CF - Willie Wilson
RF - Richie Ashburn

SS's can be trained to be crazy good at other infield positions. I like having the best defensive catchers I can find since the entire staff benefits. A.J. Puk has a 1.89 ERA and Cal Quantrill is 1.40.
Just a suggestion for you, but try Pillar in Center and Wilson in Left. I know that Pillar has like 120 rating or something in LF, but his 100+ in CF is better than Wilson's CF - mainly due to the error and the range for Pillar being better - and CF is more important defensively. I suspect you will get a better combo that way. Wilson already comes with 90+ LF so you dont need to train him up.
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