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Old 07-12-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
ToTheBackstop
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Defensive Range

I posted this in the Newbie forum yesterday, and it was kindly suggested to me that this might be better suited to the main discussion forum where the knowledgeable OOTP veterans hang out, so I'm reposting here (hopefully clarified):

I'm trying to optimize my team's lineup and wanted to get a better handle on how OOTP treats defensive range. The manual states "Range is a measure of how well a defensive player can reach a ball in play." I'm wondering if anyone knows whether this is a measure of a player's range strictly within his positional zone, or the player's range on the field in general? Or in other words, is a player with a high defensive range able to reach/impact balls in neighbouring positional zones?

For example, could I get away with playing a 20 range CF in between two 90+ corner outfielders, under the premise that the LF is going to be able to get most of the flies to left-center and the RF is going to reach most of the balls going to right-center, and hence the CF's poor range will be mitigated? Or does it not work that way, and in fact each player's defensive range is strictly applicable to their positional zone, such that (a) the LF will vacuum up everything in left, (b) the RF will track down all the flyouts to right, but (c) the lumbering CF is not going to get to a lot of balls in left-center and right-center?

(Similarly, if I have a 100 SS, does it follow that he's going to nab a lot of grounders in the 5.5 hole and I can go ahead and use a 50-range 3B with a bit more pop in his bat instead of a lighter-hitting 70-range 3B -- his extra range is more-or-less made "redundant" by the slick-fielding shortstop?)

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Old 07-12-2014, 02:41 PM   #2
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Interesting question. Looking forward to hearing any responses to this.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToTheBackstop View Post
I posted this in the Newbie forum yesterday, and it was kindly suggested to me that this might be better suited to the main discussion forum where the knowledgeable OOTP veterans hang out, so I'm reposting here (hopefully clarified):

I'm trying to optimize my team's lineup and wanted to get a better handle on how OOTP treats defensive range. The manual states "Range is a measure of how well a defensive player can reach a ball in play." I'm wondering if anyone knows whether this is a measure of a player's range strictly within his positional zone, or the player's range on the field in general? Or in other words, is a player with a high defensive range able to reach/impact balls in neighbouring positional zones?

For example, could I get away with playing a 20 range CF in between two 90+ corner outfielders, under the premise that the LF is going to be able to get most of the flies to left-center and the RF is going to reach most of the balls going to right-center, and hence the CF's poor range will be mitigated? Or does it not work that way, and in fact each player's defensive range is strictly applicable to their positional zone, such that (a) the LF will vacuum up everything in left, (b) the RF will track down all the flyouts to right, but (c) the lumbering CF is not going to get to a lot of balls in left-center and right-center?

(Similarly, if I have a 100 SS, does it follow that he's going to nab a lot of grounders in the 5.5 hole and I can go ahead and use a 50-range 3B with a bit more pop in his bat instead of a lighter-hitting 70-range 3B -- his extra range is more-or-less made "redundant" by the slick-fielding shortstop?)

Thanks!
I think you're underestimating what a 20 range CF would do (also, there are different settings for the scales, so please specify which scale [i.e. out of 100] you're using when asking questions). I understand that you're just making an example with an extreme, but no, I would never advise that you put a 20 range CF out there, even if you had Roberto Clemente clones playing in the corners.

When it comes down to it, the fielding stats available to us really don't allow for us to answer this question; consequently (lack of statistical means to determine = lack of functionality?), I believe the answer to your question is the latter of your suggested answers.

In the end, how much does it really matter what the answer is? An OF with 50 range is going to cover the same exact radius regardless of the answer. I mean, there are going to be balls hit in right-center that no RF could ever possibly get to, but that a proficient CF can.

And as it pertains to the redundant aspect, the SS isn't going to be fielding the balls to the left of the the 3B, or even be fielding the balls within the 3Bs range (better angle for the 3B to make the play). So while I tend to trade glove for a better bat with my 3B, there's still an acceptable limit of range that you need as a minimum.

Ultimately, what I am trying to say is that Markus is probably the only one that can supply you with the answer you desire, but in the meantime, I would focus on getting myself a stud defensive CFer, SS, 2B, and let the corners be the ones suffering a bit (if necessary). Range is a funny thing. It's certainly my #1 priority in evaluating a player's defensive ability, with error a close 2nd. I don't care as much about arm as most others, whether that's right or wrong I couldn't tell you.. C, 3B, SS, and RF really the only places I make sure my dudes don't have a noodle (anything yellow or better OK IMO).

Edit ... Disclaimer: I am just beginning to dig into OOTP15 now (coming from familiarity mostly with 13, however I do own and have used 14 some, although not extensively), so there may well be new/added fielding features that I am yet to discover.

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Old 07-13-2014, 12:47 AM   #4
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I am curious as what the range factor really means.
You hear "he has good range" IRL, but what if a hypothetical OOTP CF or SS has 90 range but 20 speed? Slow but good routes? Wouldn't he still be a bad defensive player?
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:46 PM   #5
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Thanks very much for the thoughtful response (and yes, I was using a 100 scale in my original post -- sorry if that wasn't clear.) Of course, it never hurts your team defensively to field a 100 range OF, as presumably he'll reach a lot of deep and shallow flies, but I'd like to minimize the radius overlap between the outfielders on flyballs where they'd have to move laterally, since there would essentially be diminishing value there. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have two outfielders who can reach the same ball, particularly to cover you in case one of them gets an initial bad break so that you have to rely on the other one to chase down the flyball, but otherwise there's not a great deal of added value in it. Theoretically you're not saving extra runs having two fielders reach the ball instead of one, so in principle you could swap one of the two fielders in your lineup with a slightly inferior one who wouldn't be able to reach that same ball but would add more runs with the bat, with the caveat that this weaker defender would also have shorter range for shallow/deep flies; in short, you'd definitely be losing runs in the field, but fewer than you would if the neighbouring fielder wasn't a plus defender.

Of course, this becomes all moot if OOTP treats things as if there is no radius overlap at all between outfielders -- and come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen an outfielder collision play (yet?) in OOTP (the quintessential overlap indicator), which might mean that game-wise there is none, and every defensive position is compartmentalized where one defender's range has no impact or bearing on his neighbour's range. I have seen PbP commentary that suggests there might indeed be overlaps (e.g. "there's some miscommunication... the ball drops between them", indicating that either of the fielders could have caught the ball; "3B cuts in front of SS, picks it up, throws to first", etc.), but that might just be cosmetic stuff and not how the game engine actually handles things.

(Right, my example above was indeed a hypothetical extreme -- I'm fortunate enough to not have any 20 range CFs [although I've seen the AI field some, which got my attention]; my primary outfield configuration is 86/79/96, and I started wondering "Do I really need all this range? If they're capable of overlapping in the field, can I just put in a 55 range OF with a slightly better bat? Am I leaving runs on the table?")
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuttang View Post
I am curious as what the range factor really means.
You hear "he has good range" IRL, but what if a hypothetical OOTP CF or SS has 90 range but 20 speed? Slow but good routes? Wouldn't he still be a bad defensive player?
I know where you're coming from -- I've been puzzled that I can have an outfielder who has a plus defensive range but a single-digit (out of 100) speed score; even taking into account the explicit separation between Speed and Range (as per below), it's as stretch to imagine how such a slow-footed player on the basepaths manages to cover so much green on the field ... but I just go with it.

The manual states:

Running Speed is strictly for offensive play. For example, Running Speed does not factor into an outfielder's range. However, Running Speed and Defensive Range are linked internally. For example, as a player ages, his speed and range will generally decline at the same pace.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuttang View Post
I am curious as what the range factor really means.
You hear "he has good range" IRL, but what if a hypothetical OOTP CF or SS has 90 range but 20 speed? Slow but good routes? Wouldn't he still be a bad defensive player?
i was worried about defensive speed too but i have a SS who has (out of 20) 13 range, 16 error, 20 arm, 15 double play, 12 familiarity SS, but only a 3 speed. he is a good fielder and is definitely worthy of playing SS
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ToTheBackstop View Post
I know where you're coming from -- I've been puzzled that I can have an outfielder who has a plus defensive range but a single-digit (out of 100) speed score; even taking into account the explicit separation between Speed and Range (as per below), it's as stretch to imagine how such a slow-footed player on the basepaths manages to cover so much green on the field ... but I just go with it.

The manual states:

Running Speed is strictly for offensive play. For example, Running Speed does not factor into an outfielder's range. However, Running Speed and Defensive Range are linked internally. For example, as a player ages, his speed and range will generally decline at the same pace.
When I have that happen, I always assume that the guy is fast but lack base running instincts and technique. For example, maybe he doesn't round bases correctly, or perhaps he is late reacting when the ball is hit. Consequently, he is fast getting to balls in the field, but he is slow running the bases.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ToTheBackstop View Post
I know where you're coming from -- I've been puzzled that I can have an outfielder who has a plus defensive range but a single-digit (out of 100) speed score; even taking into account the explicit separation between Speed and Range (as per below), it's as stretch to imagine how such a slow-footed player on the basepaths manages to cover so much green on the field ... but I just go with it.

The manual states:

Running Speed is strictly for offensive play. For example, Running Speed does not factor into an outfielder's range. However, Running Speed and Defensive Range are linked internally. For example, as a player ages, his speed and range will generally decline at the same pace.
Thanx, I never imagined speed would be strictly for only offensive plays. From what the manual states, I figure you don't need to look at speed at all when judging a player's defensive prowess.
Learned something new again today^^

Btw, i play as the Pirates, which has basically 3 CFs playing the OF. Not sure yet how this plays in ootp as the OP questions, but it sure is fun to watch IRL ^^
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:28 AM   #10
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I had a SS who won 5 or 6 gold gloves and only stole something like 3 bases in a 16 year career. He was slow as dirt but he was a powerhouse and played great D
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ToTheBackstop View Post
Of course, this becomes all moot if OOTP treats things as if there is no radius overlap at all between outfielders -- and come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen an outfielder collision play (yet?) in OOTP (the quintessential overlap indicator), which might mean that game-wise there is none, and every defensive position is compartmentalized where one defender's range has no impact or bearing on his neighbour's range. I have seen PbP commentary that suggests there might indeed be overlaps (e.g. "there's some miscommunication... the ball drops between them", indicating that either of the fielders could have caught the ball; "3B cuts in front of SS, picks it up, throws to first", etc.), but that might just be cosmetic stuff and not how the game engine actually handles things.
I have had the 'miscommunication' happen more than a few times in 1.5 seasons so far. OF consisting of 75 in LF & 65 in both CF & RF.

not sure if that has anything to do with it though...
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by fuzzy_patters View Post
When I have that happen, I always assume that the guy is fast but lack base running instincts and technique. For example, maybe he doesn't round bases correctly, or perhaps he is late reacting when the ball is hit. Consequently, he is fast getting to balls in the field, but he is slow running the bases.
Yeah, that would have been my immediate presumption as well, but there's actually an explicit rating for Baserunning (separate from Speed) that would seem to cover that -- from the manual: Baserunning Instincts is a measure of a player's instincts when running the bases..

I can definitely buy that there are guys that are fast (high speed) but clueless on the basepaths -- I think we've all seen them in real life -- and that there are slow guys who have good baserunning skills, but it's difficult to envision a really slow guy that can have plus-plus defensive range even if he takes great routes to the ball and has near-psychic abilities in getting a great break when the ball is put in play. (But I just go with it -- this is just an odd quirk to me.)
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:21 PM   #13
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A good example of a real life player with good range but slow speed is J.J. Hardy - he has 8 career SBs and 2 Gold Gloves. He does it through good instincts and positioning. In OOTP poor speed can also represent being slow to get out of the batter's box and things like that that don't really affect defensive speed. Best to just think of it as an offense-only rating.

Back to the original question - I don't think there would be much overlap between the outfielders even if they all had 100 range. I think what you're really asking is if there are diminishing returns if you keep adding defensive talent. From the many seasons I've played, if there are some, they're pretty minor. I do think if you have to choose between two superior corner OFers or one elite CFer, you should go with the CF as the really great ones tend to put up twice as high a ZR as a corner OFer. Also think about it this way - each ball a really elite CFer gets to is likely a double or worse turned into an out. Don't be afraid to load up on defense even if you already have great players.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:23 PM   #14
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most people tend to stick with C, 2B, SS, CF are the key defensive positions, and defense should always be the top prioity, if you need some pop in your lineup LF or 1B would be the first places most would sacrifice
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToTheBackstop;3721088
I'm trying to optimize my team's lineup and wanted to get a better handle on how OOTP treats defensive range. The manual states "[FONT="Book Antiqua"
Range is a measure of how well a defensive player can reach a ball in play[/FONT]." I'm wondering if anyone knows whether this is a measure of a player's range strictly within his positional zone, or the player's range on the field in general? Or in other words, is a player with a high defensive range able to reach/impact balls in neighbouring positional zones?

For example, could I get away with playing a 20 range CF in between two 90+ corner outfielders, under the premise that the LF is going to be able to get most of the flies to left-center and the RF is going to reach most of the balls going to right-center, and hence the CF's poor range will be mitigated? Or does it not work that way, and in fact each player's defensive range is strictly applicable to their positional zone, such that (a) the LF will vacuum up everything in left, (b) the RF will track down all the flyouts to right, but (c) the lumbering CF is not going to get to a lot of balls in left-center and right-center?

(Similarly, if I have a 100 SS, does it follow that he's going to nab a lot of grounders in the 5.5 hole and I can go ahead and use a 50-range 3B with a bit more pop in his bat instead of a lighter-hitting 70-range 3B -- his extra range is more-or-less made "redundant" by the slick-fielding shortstop?)

Thanks!
This is a seriously complicated question and even as one of the two main guys who do the ratings for the MLB quickstart, I have no clue how to answer you.

In the end I suspect only Markus knows this, as the complete effect of defensive ratings and their interplay with one another in OOTP are frankly a bit of a black box.

injury log is probably the only person other than Markus who may know this. I'll try to remember to hit him up and see what he says.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by wuttang View Post
I am curious as what the range factor really means.
You hear "he has good range" IRL, but what if a hypothetical OOTP CF or SS has 90 range but 20 speed? Slow but good routes? Wouldn't he still be a bad defensive player?
No. The range rating is independent of speed. Speed only affects base-running, not defense.

It's touched on elsewhere in this thread but there are plenty of real life examples of guys with great range but average or worse speed. Andruw Jones f.e.

Two current examples are Mets outfielders Juan Lagares and Matt Den Dekker.

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Old 07-15-2014, 07:31 AM   #17
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No. The range rating is independent of speed. Speed only affects base-running, not defense.

It's touched on elsewhere in this thread but there are plenty of real life examples of guys with great range but average or worse speed. Andruw Jones f.e.

Two current examples are Mets outfielders Juan Lagares and Matt Den Dekker.
This drives me absolutely crazy. It also drives me crazy that you can have an arm in the blue in the OF, but red in the IF. I'm not seeing much of this since converting to OOTP 15, though, so maybe a correlation factor was put in on that point.

I understand some 'slow' players have great range in real life, but specifically in the OF, speed is #1 factor in range. It just is! Wingspan, stride, ability to evaluate where the ball is headed and make a quick first step are all crucial, but speed is number one. I do wish we had correlation there. At least some correlation there, even if it's that you must have at least yellow speed to have green range, and green speed to have blue range.

OP, you do post an excellent question, and I do understand what you're asking and why it is of concern to you. I would say that the answer really only matters pertaining to the middle infielders and the CF, in which case I always go for players with excellent range anyways, so it seems the answer doesn't matter to me. I do hope Markus chimes in, because I have been checking this frequently to see if the man has spoken!
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:22 AM   #18
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This is a seriously complicated question and even as one of the two main guys who do the ratings for the MLB quickstart, I have no clue how to answer you.

In the end I suspect only Markus knows this, as the complete effect of defensive ratings and their interplay with one another in OOTP are frankly a bit of a black box.

injury log is probably the only person other than Markus who may know this. I'll try to remember to hit him up and see what he says.
Hey, thanks very much in advance for offering to follow-up, Lukas -- and thanks to all who have chimed in with thoughts on my OP. kingcharlesxii encapsulated it nicely -- I'm indeed wondering if there are diminishing returns in slotting high defensive range players beside each other.
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:21 PM   #19
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Outfield range can often mean good instincts as well as speed. There are plenty of fielders through history that had some speed that weren't great. Then there is Dwight Evans - one of the best RFers ever in my opinion - who positioned himself well and got a great jump (though granted Fenway didn't require him to cover a lot of ground). As for arm strength discrepancies between infield and outfield the manual covers it:

Note: Arm is not strictly a measure of strength. If a player has a high infield arm rating, but a low outfield arm rating, it doesn't mean that his arm suddenly gets weaker in the outfield, of course. Rather, it implies that in the infield, his throws are strong, accurate, and timely. In the outfield, he is weaker, partly because of arm strength, but also because of experience, accuracy, hesitation, and so forth.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:54 AM   #20
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Thanks very much for the thoughtful response (and yes, I was using a 100 scale in my original post -- sorry if that wasn't clear.) Of course, it never hurts your team defensively to field a 100 range OF, as presumably he'll reach a lot of deep and shallow flies, but I'd like to minimize the radius overlap between the outfielders on flyballs where they'd have to move laterally, since there would essentially be diminishing value there. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have two outfielders who can reach the same ball, particularly to cover you in case one of them gets an initial bad break so that you have to rely on the other one to chase down the flyball, but otherwise there's not a great deal of added value in it. Theoretically you're not saving extra runs having two fielders reach the ball instead of one, so in principle you could swap one of the two fielders in your lineup with a slightly inferior one who wouldn't be able to reach that same ball but would add more runs with the bat, with the caveat that this weaker defender would also have shorter range for shallow/deep flies; in short, you'd definitely be losing runs in the field, but fewer than you would if the neighbouring fielder wasn't a plus defender.

Of course, this becomes all moot if OOTP treats things as if there is no radius overlap at all between outfielders -- and come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen an outfielder collision play (yet?) in OOTP (the quintessential overlap indicator), which might mean that game-wise there is none, and every defensive position is compartmentalized where one defender's range has no impact or bearing on his neighbour's range. I have seen PbP commentary that suggests there might indeed be overlaps (e.g. "there's some miscommunication... the ball drops between them", indicating that either of the fielders could have caught the ball; "3B cuts in front of SS, picks it up, throws to first", etc.), but that might just be cosmetic stuff and not how the game engine actually handles things.

(Right, my example above was indeed a hypothetical extreme -- I'm fortunate enough to not have any 20 range CFs [although I've seen the AI field some, which got my attention]; my primary outfield configuration is 86/79/96, and I started wondering "Do I really need all this range? If they're capable of overlapping in the field, can I just put in a 55 range OF with a slightly better bat? Am I leaving runs on the table?")
Just like real life, centerfielders in OOTP are really important because the majority of balls in the outfield are in their range. This means the range for a CF is huge. Using a cf with below average range for a cf is going to hurt your pitchers on flyballs. Ideally, your outfield range would have the guy with the most range in center because you need him to field the most balls.

My experience after 7 or so versions of OOTP is that there are certain areas your players are expected to cover in the OF. Your right and left fielder aren't going to help your center fielder unless they have exceptional range (like in the high 80's or 90's on a 100 point scale). Your centerfielder is still going to get the most balls hit to him so that's where you want to focus your best defensive outfielder.

Positional rating/awareness comes into play but only if your best outfielder has a very poor rating in center field. Personally, I'd take a guy with 85 range and a 5 rating at center field over a guy with 70 range but a 7 rating in center. The guy with the 5 rating in center will get better over time but the player with the 7 rating is never going to gain more range in his defensive ratings.
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