OOTP Player Development

Discussion in 'The Dugout - OOTP Online League' started by PAgamer07, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    I thought it would be a good idea to help some of the newer players (and veterans) understand how player development works and hopefully get the most out of your prospects.

    I have been playing OOTP since 2004 and have a lot of experience with the engine itself. I used to frequent the OOTP boards just as much as I do here but not any longer. The main premise has been the same throughout the various titles.

    I am by no means claiming to be an expert, I am trying to help provide some guidance and knowledge for how to get the very best out of your prospects. I am sure people will disagree with my assessments, and that is perfectly fine. I also hope that others of you agree with what I am saying. So I hope this is helpful to some of you.

    Part 1: Behind the Scenes

    There is a lot going on "under the hood" in OOTP that although I can set variables for a lot of it, there is still randomness involved. And that is a good thing. If it was predictable, it wouldn't be a very good simulation of baseball.

    [​IMG]


    Above you will see our league's settings for player development and aging. I will break each of these factors down for us. And no... we aren't changing them.

    Batter Aging Speed: This affects how quickly batters lose their skills as they age. The higher the setting, the quicker they will lose their skills.

    Batter Development Speed: This affects how quickly batters develop their overalls and thus attempt to meet their potential ratings. The higher this is, the quicker they develop.

    Pitcher Aging Speed: Same as batter Aging speed

    Pitcher Development Speed: Same as Batter Development

    Talent Change Randomness: This is what determines how random prospects potential changes are. The lower this is set, the more their potentials will change throughout their careers. The higher? Less.

    Create and maintain hidden players: Unfortunately, this has no impact on our league as coaches and scouts are disabled.

    Show and use personality ratings: This is for the things you see on their BNN player page. Greed, Desire for Winner, Work Ethic, etc.

    Show and use player morale system: I will go into more detail later here, as this affects development somewhat.

    As you can see, there are numerous factors at work within the engine itself. Obviously there are some things that we as commissioners cannot control, but this is the basics.

    Part 2: Newly Drafted players

    So you've drafted your players and you have some scattered either in Rookie Ball, or some of the players who signed bonuses are showing up in your DFA. Where do you put them now? You need to make a commitment to these players first and foremost. They are the future of your team and you need to make sure that you are not putting too much pressure on them to perform. If they don't perform, bad things can happen.

    The absolute first factor that should play into your decision making is how well developed are they now? Are their overall ratings close to their potentials? Are their overall ratings very low? That sort of stuff.

    The lower their overall ratings, the lower in your system they should be playing. As we use MLB's actual player scouting ratings system (20-80), I don't want to be too specific here. Not everyone plays using this scale and I am trying to help you in your offline leagues and even others not on the site. Just keep in mind that the lower on your ratings scale the ratings are, the lower in your organization they should be playing.

    The second factor that should play into your decision making is, how old are they?

    Age of your prospects is very important. You have to realize that outside of a couple of once in a generation players, nobody makes the big leagues as a high school player. They have to earn their stripes in the minor leagues and grow and develop as players.

    I recommend setting a goal of getting your prospects to AAA by age 22 to 24 if at all possible, and then up to the big leagues by 23-25. There will always be outliers. Guys who develop really well, and guys who develop very slowly and blossom in their late 20's. But for the most part, these are good target ages.

    So a High School player is going to require a lot of patience. The majority of them have huge gaps between their overall ratings and their potentials. Your goal is to close this gap through managing them properly through your minor league system. I always recommend starting your High School Players professional careers in Rookie Ball. They have plenty of time, and really have a small body of work. So make them prove to you they are ready.

    The College Player is a completely different animal. Most come out of College in their 20's. Does this mean they can skip Rookie Ball or Short A? Of course not. If a lot of their ratings are at the lower end of the scale, they need to be in your lower levels to work on these skills.

    But your College Players with a lot of potential on the other hand will come out of College very, very nicely developed. This is where your judgement is crucial. Depending on their age, and what you set as that target age to make the big leagues, you have to make a decision on where to start their careers.

    Under no circumstances would I ever recommend putting a minor leaguer in AAA to start his career. Even the most developed players will meet excellent competition their, and he may struggle. Agree to disagree with me, but I wouldn't recommend this.

    Instead, you need to decide between A and AA. You need to factor in how close their overalls are to their potentials. Is the player nearly maxed and 22 or 23 years old? Throw him in AA. Is he still off the pace of his potentials? Throw him in Single A.

    This is ultimately a judgement call and later, I will discuss how to evaluate their minor league performances. But use this as a guideline for now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
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  2. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Part 3: Ratings Development

    Hopefully everyone has a pretty good grasp of how ratings change over the course of a player's career. You will have changes in their overall ratings and changes in potentials. A players overall rating will never be more than his potential rating.

    We will take a look at 36 year old Stephen Drew.

    [​IMG]

    Above you will see his current ratings as they display in game. As you can see, Mr. Drew is in line with his potentials. At his advanced age, he is due for some regression in potentials, but right now he is trying to hold on. Not only will you see that his ratings are all equal (current/potential), but his "stars" are both even as well. This is a very good indicator that the player is developed fully. If the overall "star rating" is less than the potential "star rating" that means that the player still has room to grow.

    Below you will see his development thanks to StatsLab's awesome development tracker. You will see the just in the course of a season, Mr. Drew has had numerous fluctuations in his ratings.

    I highlighted a couple of things here. First the yellow shows his Contact Potential. You will see that it has been going up, and going down. This means that he is right on the border between 50 and 55. And really.. at this age, Id say he was closer to 50.

    The second shows his Gap hitting potential. It is not fluctuating, so that leads me to believe this won't go up, and of course since he is 36 years old, will only be going down.


    [​IMG]

    So why did I highlight this? I wanted to show that a player's potential AND overall will fluctuate throughout their careers. This is an excellent indicator of how a player is trending. For your prospects, you just want to make sure their potentials are not going down. That is the first sign of a "bust". Once you see their potentials going down, you want to try to figure out what is wrong and if it can be corrected.

    You also want to be able to ensure your players are developing at a natural pace and want to identify any players who may turn into superstars from unknowns. Think Albert Pujols.

    [​IMG]

    As you will see above... 2B Antonio Reyes has had an excellent minor league career and the only negatives you see on his development page are pitching related. You also see that he has had some boosts to his potentials, and is really blossoming as a potential All-Star.

    Also note that not only does hitting or pitching ability improve, but fielding ability as well. High Schoolers especially. Their fielding ratings rarely end up as poorly as they start. So expect progress here.

    Proper development in your minor league system can help ensure your prospects develop fully and this is the goal of this article. Does it always work? No... but it works more than not.

    Part 4: Factors which affect Development

    So now that we have discussed exactly what is meant and how players actually develop within the game, let's take a look at the factors which will impact their development through your organization. All of the factors I will discuss here contribute to a players development. I am sure some more than others, but all need to be taken into consideration.

    As I mentioned above the morale system plays a factor in a player's development. An unhappy player will tend to become frustrated with himself or his team. You want to do everything in your power to try to keep your players happy. Because not only can it affect your team's performance, but the player's performance and progression.

    [​IMG]

    Above you will see the morale screen of a random player. The top box shows the players overall morale. This is determined by the 5 factors at the bottom section of the screen. All of these should be pretty self explanatory so I won't delve too far in depth. But the main thing you want to look at is the top box, which is their overall morale. Angry and Unhappy are not good. You really want to try to fix this if you want your prospect to develop. And this is something that you can control.

    Another factor which plays into the players development is his performance. This is one of the biggest factors and once again, one you have a lot of control over. How well is the player hitting or pitching at the level he is in? Well let's take a look at another random player and his stats.

    [​IMG]

    As you will see, the above player is slowly but surely progressing through a minor league organization. About 500 rookie league and short A at bats, and now 300+ at bats in Single A. He's actually putting up some good stats and could soon be ready for the next level. Slow and steady advancement through a minor league system is key to helping with positive ratings growth. This player is probably progressing nicely in his development.

    A great sample size of at bats to see if a player can handle his current level is anywhere between 150-300 ABs. For pitchers? I feel that 50-100 IP at a specific level gives a good sample size of how well they can handle that level of the minor leagues.

    Their actual ratings at the level they are playing at are very, very important as well. Meaning, if their ratings can't handle the level they are at... they shouldn't be there.

    [​IMG]

    You will see the above player and his struggles in the minor leagues. He was very much rushed through the system but the for the purpose of this discussion... I want to look at his ratings. For a hitter, contact is one of the main indicators of what level of an organization he should be in. The player has a contact rating of 45, and yet was batting at AAA. This was far too low to be able to compete. Think about your own minor league systems, and take a look at some other systems to gauge what sort of ratings the players should have to be in those levels.

    Finally... there has been a consensus in the OOTP community that personality traits such as work ethic or intelligence can play a role in player development. Obviously, there are players who progess just fine with low attributes in each. But any little edge a prospect has over another certainly cannot hurt.

    The biggest thing to remember is to use patience with your prospects. Baseball is a game of patience. 162 games a year is a marathon. It could take months of real life time before your players are completely ready. But it will be worth it in the end. So please... don't rush things.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
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  3. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Part 5: Advancement through your Organization

    This seems to be one of the biggest problems and one of the most asked questions and I hope this section helps with some of these questions.

    First of all... why is proper advancement through the minor leagues important?

    For starters, without proper advancement your players through the minor league system, you can hurt their development. They face tougher and tougher competition as they progress through your system and poor performance dictates poor development. The better a player is hitting or pitching, the better his morale, his confidence and his ratings improve.

    Secondly, it is very difficult for you and others to evaluate your own players. Without a solid sample size at each level of the minors, it's hard to tell how good (or bad) the player really is. Think about it... If you have a guy who had 50 at bats in AA and had an OPS of .900 and in AAA has 50 ABs and his OPS is .600, does that mean he is a bad player? Does that mean he just isn't ready? I can't tell and most people can't tell. Give them plenty of playing time at each level. That same player over his next 100 at bats could have brought his OPS down to .700 at AA. So then you would have known he wasn't ready to be brought up.

    So how do you know a player is ready to be moved up?

    First... never listen to your "scouts"! You will see green an red arrows in your organization which tell you what level your scouts think the players should be playing at. Don't listen to them. You can certainly factor this into the decision, but this should not be the deciding factor. You also never, ever want to "auto" your minor leagues, or have your manager's settings set to automatically demote or promote players. You are the GM, and that is one of your most important responsibilities.

    As mentioned so far throughout this article, player ratings and their performance with an adequate sample size at each level should play into your decision when to advance them. Some players may be playing very well at a certain level for a long time and yet you don't think their ratings are where you want them. You have to at least try to advance them to the next level. It's possible they are just overachievers. Or maybe they are due for a potential increase which would be significant for you.

    There are examples all across the league of "1 star" players performing very well at the big league level with very modest ratings. These players most likely performed well for their teams in the minor leagues, and have proven themselves with outstanding stats for whatever reason (that's an entirely different article).

    Obviously there is a fine line between moving someone to the next level because he is performing well and not having good enough ratings. But that is something you will have to evaluate over time. What works and what doesn't. Take a look at your competition in the minor leagues. For instance the South Atlantic League (A). What sort of ratings do other team's pitchers and hitters have? Can your players compete there?

    When should they get a call to the show?

    As mentioned earlier, Age, ratings and performance all should be in your decision making process. Below... I will compare two players.

    [​IMG]

    The one above is only 23 years old. So that is a perfect time to make your ML debut. He had a sizeable amount of at bats in Rookie League in 2017, A and AAA in 2018, and made his debut in 2019. He had excellent stats at all levels and this was a natural progession even though he skipped AA. Finally... his ratings are nearly maxed. This kid deserved to be called up and went on to win a Rookie of the Month award this year.

    The player below is also 23 years old. Once again, a great age to make a ML debut... if you're ready. First of all... his ratings are nowhere near maxed. I can understand calling him up if he had great AAA stats, but he doesn't have that. He does not have a large enough sample size hitting at any level, and along with that, has never performed at any level he has been in. Why this 2.5 star prospect is in the big leagues and about to be ruined is beyond me. But there is no reason for him to play.

    [​IMG]

    So now I hope everyone sees what I mean by how important it is and HOW to advance your prospect through the minor leagues. Not only can you "kill" a player, but you lower his trade value and everyone's evaluation of the player at the same time.

    Part 6: Conclusion and Final Thoughts

    I hope this really helped some of you. There will always be outliers to everything I have mentioned, and that is what makes OOTP such a great game. Easy to learn, impossible to master. But I do feel that this will help some of you.

    It is important to always keep in mind that just like real baseball, it is important to be patient with your prospects. Even if you do all the right things you will have busts. But you should have more success stories than failures. You also will have early bloomers- kids who are ready to play at 21. And late bloomers- guys who don't fully develop until 28 or 29. The worst thing you can do is rush a kid and shatter his confidence and ability forever. The league will be around for many, many season. So make sure you do it right.

    Remember that good performance means good development. Some guys could be mashing the ball and still aren't progressing. It doesn't necessarily mean they are busts (unless in advanced age), they could just be slow developers. Just hang in there. The ratings will increase.

    Remember that some players will lose potential throughout their careers and some will gain potential. But "lumps" can be minimized by being careful in your approach, and this could lead to "bumps" in their potential.

    Try not to let the CPU handle a whole lot with your prospects. Or you will one day see your prized SP prospect had his position changed to a MR and not getting the experience he needs. On the other hand, by micromanaging your prospects not only do you get the most out of them, but you can also teach them things. Is your organization too deep at 1B? Do you have a prospect that has good range? Teach him 3B! Just change his position (make sure minor league lineups are not set to auto) and watch as he learns 3B. He will go from no rating, to an actual rating there.

    Finally... if you are paying attention you will wonder, why isn't my power hitter gaining any power? Why isn't my SP increasing his control? That's because these are the very last things to develop for a player. It will come, but you have to be patient.

    So really... I hope this helped some of you and shed some light on the development of your players and increases some trade value of some of your guys too. (y)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
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  4. sonn

    sonn Walk On

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    o_O
     
  5. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    If this is set to 1, the player will never change his potential ratings. They stay the same from when they are drafted until they retire. Potential, not overall. Does that help?
     
  6. sonn

    sonn Walk On

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    You used the word 'more' to describe both the the higher and lower numbers for talent randomness.

    I know what you meant I'm just pointing a grammar error Roggie style.
     
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  7. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    LOL. Oops. I need an editor...
     
  8. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

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    Great stuff PA, appreciate the effort / sharing of knowledge.

    I was curious your thoughts on a guy like Millsap. He has performed well at every level, but his potentials keep dropping despite his good performance (his OVR has actually gone up too though). So is it something I'm doing wrong, or is it maybe something along the lines of his original potentials just were off what he can actually become?
     
  9. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Wait til it's done. There will be 6 parts I think, then see if it may have answered your questions.
     
  10. NeuroticTruth

    NeuroticTruth dont know , dont care

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    Ok, np :).
     
  11. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Sections 3 and 4 finished.
     
  12. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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  13. Brandon S.

    Brandon S. Freshmen Phenoms Commissioner

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    I agree with PA that you should NEVER let the CPU set the lineups or depth charts or anything in the minor leagues. Took me about an hour to sign / release promote / demote and get everyone playing the positions i want at the levels i want. An hour is not that much of a time commitment compared to other games.
     
  14. Kasper

    Kasper The Ghost Himself

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    awesome Jesse- I knew some of this stuff but the under the hood stuff was really interesting.
     
  15. Timpegoose

    Timpegoose Walk On

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    The CPU setting depth charts for me has been fine. I wouldn't let them touch promoting or demoting players though.
     
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  16. goldenglove2

    goldenglove2 Walk On

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    Is there any reason that a player would lose talent, but it wouldn't show up on StatsLab?
     
  17. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Well anything prior to 2018 isn't shown because we weren't using it. Who is the player and I'll see if I can figure it out.
     
  18. goldenglove2

    goldenglove2 Walk On

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    Alfredo Lopez. It was weird because it had his other downgrades to potential, but not the contact rating (from 75 to 70).
     
  19. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Very interesting. Here is his complete page and you are right, the only thing it shows is the 55 to 75 jump 5/21/18. http://traditionsportsonline.com/tso-ootp/StatsLab/development.php?player_id=29614

    Do you know when it happened? If it was just recently it may have been because last sim or sim before I never updated statslab (i dont think), so it may have missed it. But it should be catching all development. Very odd.
     
  20. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

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    Well... I have noticed that sometimes the CPU will put guys in positions you dont want them at and this tends to be positions the AI thinks they should play. It mostly happens with Pitchers. But definitely if you want a guy to learn a new position, its impossible to do this with auto depth charts and line ups.
     
  21. Timpegoose

    Timpegoose Walk On

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    Oh yeah definitely. I try and tweak it every once in a while manually, but I don't really care to spend the time setting 6 minor league teams worth of lineups.
     
  22. goldenglove2

    goldenglove2 Walk On

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    The game is really wonky after players are drafted and such (that explains the 55-75). Not too worried about it though.
     
  23. ty5oke

    ty5oke Walk On

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    If you use the "Force Position" option on the player strategy it seems to work pretty good with the CPU setting them at the right spot.
     
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  24. sawemoff

    sawemoff #FearTheBeard

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    Where is this button in the player strategy?
     
  25. ty5oke

    ty5oke Walk On

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    In the player strategy screen -> left side -> under depth chart settings

     
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