10/12/2012 7:12 AM
I just bought a team, and put them in Tacoma. With ballpark ratings of -4's across the board, this is the most pitcher-friendly park on the list.

This team is very young with a total payroll of only around $25M. There is a little bit of young talent, but for the most part, this will be a project. I have the #3 draft pick this year.

So how do I build a winning team here? I assume I am going to need ball players with a high OBP, and will have to manufacture runs. But is this what I focus on first? Or do I build a great pitching staff? And what about defense? How important is that in such a pitcher's park? Is range very important in a park like this?

All thoughts are appreciated.
10/12/2012 8:23 AM
Defense, pitching and the ability to steal.
10/12/2012 8:34 AM
I'll add too as a bonus would be a catcher who shuts down the opposing teams running game. A smart visiting owner may try to create more runs in your ballpark; if you can prevent this with an excellent throwing catcher that would be a good thing.
10/12/2012 8:50 AM
Yeah, I was counting that in defense.

In pitcher's parks, you don't want to give up bases.   No walks, no errors, no SB.    Make the other team earn every base.   On offense, you want to put the ball in play and take the extra base. 
10/12/2012 10:36 AM
Keep those things in mind, but build the team the same way every team should be built.  Gather talent as it comes, in the order that is the most obtainable.  It is the same in every world.  Above rec middle of the field players are among the rarest, SS/CF will be in high demand world wide, so pay out the nose for them when you see them, if you can.  Starting pitching the same, get the best you can, and go for SP/SS/CF first if you can.  COF/3B/1B are pretty easy to obtain, as you have the built for the position guys as well as aging former CIF guys that can play those positions as their ratings start to decline, they will be a little less expensive, and in lower demand, making them easier positions to fill.  The hardest position to fill with a difference maker is C.  You can find a hitter there, or a defender there, without much problem...but to find both in one guy will be very rare, and expensive when he arrives. 

I rarely draft/sign 1B, 3B and LF/RF if I can help it.  Those positions are easy to fill with ML guys.  Draft and look for C/SS/CF/2B types that are stars, they will make the core of the team in the future.  Pitching is always in high demand, and in that ballpark velocity/control is the teller, other than the other ratings as well, and you will want to get the best you can.  Concentrate on SP, as relievers are also pretty easy (and cheap) to find and sign.  SP and SuA is what you want.

10/12/2012 10:48 AM
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/12/2012 8:50:00 AM (view original):
Yeah, I was counting that in defense.

In pitcher's parks, you don't want to give up bases.   No walks, no errors, no SB.    Make the other team earn every base.   On offense, you want to put the ball in play and take the extra base. 
Agree with all of this except "put the ball in play."

You won't be able to manufacture runs any more easily than you can homer in Tacoma-- it's not Las Vegas.  With everything (-4) you can make the argument that it's a ton easier to hit one homer than 3 singles.  Partial evidence for this comes from the fact that power-based offenses do better in the playoffs (in MLB, don't know about HBD) where it's harder to score runs (please don't tell me about this year's O's-Yanks series, that's one series against 80 years of data).

Agree with emphasizing walks and their prevention, error prevention, and to a modest extent SBs.  But I'm not convinced that changing your emphasis away from power and towards splits and contact will help you here.

10/12/2012 10:52 AM
Throw strikes.  Get guys who can walk.  Get guys who can steal.
10/12/2012 10:57 AM
I wasn't implying that you should ignore power, I was implying that you want to avoid strikeouts.    Low contact = more strikeouts.   Strikeouts do not advance runners.
10/12/2012 11:04 AM
Thanks, everyone. As far as defense goes, yes, glove and arm to minimize errors makes sense. But what about range? I guess that's an age-old topic of discussion. Is range more important in big pitchers' parks, or in smaller hitters' parks? Plus plays? e.g. is it better to have a 2B that makes 20 errors per season, but has 20 plus plays? Or one that has 10 errors, but only 5 plus plays?
10/12/2012 11:30 AM
http://www.whatifsports.com/forums/Posts.aspx?TopicID=455857&Page=11

You can make your own determination but Howell is a C playing RF in Memphis(not quite Tacoma but -2 across the board except for -3 at 3B).  

He got to almost as many balls as my standard RF did.
10/12/2012 11:36 AM
Yeah, I was following that thread for awhile. Right field is one thing - shortstop or 2B is another.
10/12/2012 11:51 AM
I'm playing my first season in Detroit with a largely holdover roster from the previous owner.  Got the pitching and defense parts alright, but I have a very low contact hitting team.  We lead the league in strikeouts and are last in runs.  First thing I look at when I open up a box score is whether we wasted a Quality Start from my pitcher or not.


10/12/2012 12:02 PM
Posted by bjschumacher on 10/12/2012 11:36:00 AM (view original):
Yeah, I was following that thread for awhile. Right field is one thing - shortstop or 2B is another.

Most hits are going to be in the OF.   I don't skimp on range at SS ever(and only occassionally at 2B).   I don't think park effects matter a whole lot on ground balls.

10/12/2012 2:45 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 10/12/2012 12:02:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bjschumacher on 10/12/2012 11:36:00 AM (view original):
Yeah, I was following that thread for awhile. Right field is one thing - shortstop or 2B is another.

Most hits are going to be in the OF.   I don't skimp on range at SS ever(and only occassionally at 2B).   I don't think park effects matter a whole lot on ground balls.

Can you support that with some sort of evidence (eg, that's the way it works in SLB, or something)?  My first assumption around the sim is that most effects are fairly simple, and the simplest thing to do would be to have the singles park effect be a direct modifier of OAV, just like pitch calling.  In which case all singles would be affected equally, whether it be groundball or line drive.  I'll freely admit that this is an assumption for which I have no support.
10/12/2012 3:01 PM
Without question, my support is anecdotal from reading box scores.  Hits are "Single to RF" or "Groundball single to RF".   So, if it's not specifically a groundball, I assume the IF had no play regardless of range or park effects.   I could be 100% off on this. 
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