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Old 05-22-2019, 10:03 AM   #1
Juggernt
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Terrible Catchers

I'm playing in the 11th year of a fictional league starting with 1990 numbers, and the entire time, there has been a single catcher rated 70/80. Most of them top out in the high 40's. There have been no defensive superstars. I wonder what gives.

There's not really a way to bump up just catchers defensively during player creation without lifting up everyone else. I made a small tweak upward that way and suddenly had a slew of players in all other positions (but not C) with 100+ ratings and arms (so I obviously ticked that downward again).

Any ideas on making the catchers across the game not awful?
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
Syd Thrift
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I don't think there's a way to play with the way players are created in the league, no. I will say that generally speaking if your fictional league is very large you'll tend to not to see 70/80 *anything* because, for a variety of reasons, the more players you generate, the more smoothed-out the bell curve of actual talent will be and the less distance there will be between "major league capable" and "best at the position".

I find that generally speaking you want 3-5 rounds per minor league level. It's possible that if you started with 1990ish numbers, you also started with a 50 round draft and 4 or 5 level of minors (AAA, AA, A, short season A gets you to 4 and I think most teams nowadays have 5 minor league clubs). If you draft for 50 rounds, that's like twice as much talent coming in as you actually want: a 4-level minor league should have more like 16 rounds for the draft and a 5-level system has 20. If it makes you feel any better about doing this, nearly all OOTP draft picks, especially the later-round ones, tend to sign whereas IRL teams only tend to bring in around half of the guys they draft.

Other than that... depending on how much control you like to take over your league, you can always select defense for catchers as a primary thing before you go about looking for offense. That's going to have the side effect, of course, that you'll get a lot of catchers in your league hitting below the Mendoza Line, but it's a way to go. I personally tend not to do the "I'm going to control one team and see how good I can get" style but instead like to control the roster moves, pitching staffs, and lineups of every team in the majors and kind of watch the game evolve. I totally understand that this is not for everyone. I sometimes (well, often) wonder if I'm a bit weird for liking to play the game this way.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:33 AM   #3
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aren't good offensive catchers rare in real life too? Not everyone can be Buster Posey. Oh sorry I misread you post that you are talking about defense too.

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Old 05-22-2019, 02:42 PM   #4
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I personally tend not to do the "I'm going to control one team and see how good I can get" style but instead like to control the roster moves, pitching staffs, and lineups of every team in the majors and kind of watch the game evolve. I totally understand that this is not for everyone. I sometimes (well, often) wonder if I'm a bit weird for liking to play the game this way.
Yes, you are . And, so are plenty more people; including "moi". It's a game. Different strokes. Different ways to enjoy it.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:43 PM   #5
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/s...-catchers.html
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:53 PM   #6
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I don't necessarily want one for my team (well I do, but there's a larger point), I would just like there to be a few good catchers in the league. Sure, Johnny Bench only comes along every generation or so, but even defensively, the Cs that the game is currently creating are simply mediocre at best. There are next to no good arms, and just few total defensive ratings 80 or better. I don't need every C to be Pudge Rodriguez, but a few more good ones would make a better picture for me.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juggernt View Post
I don't necessarily want one for my team (well I do, but there's a larger point), I would just like there to be a few good catchers in the league. Sure, Johnny Bench only comes along every generation or so, but even defensively, the Cs that the game is currently creating are simply mediocre at best. There are next to no good arms, and just few total defensive ratings 80 or better. I don't need every C to be Pudge Rodriguez, but a few more good ones would make a better picture for me.
I haven't played OOTP 20 yet, but I know when I fast-simmed in fictional leagues to build history in the past there would always be a few catchers with elite long-term offensive and/or defensive production. I'm not sure if the game is overcompensating for the modern climate of catchers in real life, but it's entirely possible your league is just going through a dry spell at the position, especially since so much of the game is up to the whims of the development engine.

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I don't think there's a way to play with the way players are created in the league, no. I will say that generally speaking if your fictional league is very large you'll tend to not to see 70/80 *anything* because, for a variety of reasons, the more players you generate, the more smoothed-out the bell curve of actual talent will be and the less distance there will be between "major league capable" and "best at the position".

I find that generally speaking you want 3-5 rounds per minor league level. It's possible that if you started with 1990ish numbers, you also started with a 50 round draft and 4 or 5 level of minors (AAA, AA, A, short season A gets you to 4 and I think most teams nowadays have 5 minor league clubs). If you draft for 50 rounds, that's like twice as much talent coming in as you actually want: a 4-level minor league should have more like 16 rounds for the draft and a 5-level system has 20. If it makes you feel any better about doing this, nearly all OOTP draft picks, especially the later-round ones, tend to sign whereas IRL teams only tend to bring in around half of the guys they draft.

Other than that... depending on how much control you like to take over your league, you can always select defense for catchers as a primary thing before you go about looking for offense. That's going to have the side effect, of course, that you'll get a lot of catchers in your league hitting below the Mendoza Line, but it's a way to go. I personally tend not to do the "I'm going to control one team and see how good I can get" style but instead like to control the roster moves, pitching staffs, and lineups of every team in the majors and kind of watch the game evolve. I totally understand that this is not for everyone. I sometimes (well, often) wonder if I'm a bit weird for liking to play the game this way.
Not to derail the thread, but I'm curious about your approach to the God-mode style of play (for lack of a better term). For free agency (if you use it), do you stimulate bidding wars or do you just determine what team will sign which player? For trades (again, if you have them on), do you just have balanced deals (or deals that are one-sided but understandably so, like a contender giving up a good prospect for a rental), or do you incorporate the fact that some GMs can be incompetent and make clearly bad trades?

I used to play this style with Madden franchise mode when I was 15 or so. Really I just set the teams up so my Jets would go 16-0 every year and the Patriots would always be atrocious, the only time I did much of anything with another team was if they finished with a worse record than the Patriots. Then I'd infuse their roster with some of the many 80+ overall free agents that weren't good enough to sign with the Jets. I considered myself a master at rebuilding teams.
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:37 PM   #8
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I think I've played pretty much entirely in the reserve roster era so I haven't really had to worry about free agents so much, although even in the old times you're going to have a pool of veterans that none of the minor league teams have signed yet, and on top of that I like to have at least one level of minors below (often unaffiliated) that I have teams "trade" players from if they need a backup infielder due to injury. etc.

Otherwise I follow the actual league transaction tables. If I'm, like, in 1901 and a bunch of players jump from one team to the other, I find their closest equivalents on each team. Likewise, if there's a trade I try to approximate the trade as best I can, keeping in mind each team's needs and so on. So, like, if I see this transaction:

April 27, 1950

The Philadelphia Phillies traded Johnny Blatnik to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ken Johnson.

...my thought process goes like this: "OK, Johnny Blatnik is a corner outfielder in his late 20s who is currently being completely blocked from playing in the majors by the Phillies. Ken Johnson is a guy sitting at the end of the Cardinals' bullpen, also in his late 20s. What are the two players on each team that fits this the best? At the same time, what do the Cardinals need more, a primary LF or a primary RF? Is there a primary 1B who fits this bill as well?"

Over time I've learned to be more and more lenient on these things and to above all think of how both players will fit in on the next team. Everyone can use pitching somewhere, and during this period guys at the end of the rotation and bullpen guys are a bit fluid so pitching is easier to find, but with Blatnik I could see myself going after anyone blocked at 1B, 3B, LF, and RF, for example. I also find that full season he played in the bigs in '47 interesting and I might take this to mean a guy who's been recently kicked out of a starting role. Also, this might be a good opportunity for either team to dump an angry or bad-chemistry player.

I *usually* ignore purchases from independent minor league teams since I do those moves to fill space. The lone exception might be when, like, the Yankees purchase a Joe DiMaggio from San Francisco. Often times good players will develop on their own in the minors so this becomes a necessary gateway for those guys (well, and for a player like Joltin' Joe in particular, see below).

The two other major-ish things that I do are...

- I *do* have a draft, but it's mostly there, particularly in the early days (right now I'm doing a league I started in 1876 that's currently in 1885), to give the independent minor leagues players to add to their rosters. I let teams get 3 or 4 rounds per level of minors they have, and produce enough players overall based on how many teams there are. If nobody has any minor league affiliates (like now) I give teams one round to draft and base their draft position on their finish (not reverse order!) in 5 years' time in real life. So for 1885 I used the 1890 standings. If a team doesn't exist in 1890, they don't get a pick in 1885.

- I will also manually create superstars and then put them on the first team they're a part of. Two reasons I do this: one, the game doesn't really do a great job of creating players who are heads and shoulders better than the rest of the league (it's not necessarily supposed to; the fictional algorithms do well to create a league environment similar to how modern day ball looks). Two, I kind of enjoy creating these guys and seeing what they do, if they make the Hall, and so on.

So far in the 19th century league I created a player modeled after King Kelly named Joe Fletcher (I usually keep the fictional names) and another guy whose name escapes me modeled after (I think) Old Hoss Radbourn. Joe "King" Fletcher has won 4 MVPs and is still raking but the Radbourn comp had a horrible hit to his talent after a really awesome first season and has since washed out of the league. The next guys I create with this probably won't happen until 1888 or so, when I see a couple of very good players with relatively short careers in Ed Delahanty and Sliding Billy Hamilton.

Oh, and the one other thing I've done is there's no color line because, well, it's my game and I don't want a color line.
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