Player Development Part 1

A criticism leveled at OOTPB 2006 is that lower-level talent does not do well in the big leagues. In fact, they do not make the major leagues at all. I decided to do a multi-dimensional look at this issue. First, lets consider what round the best players are being drafted.

I looked at the year 2035s top leaders in average, HRs, ERA and strikeouts. These are all from my 18-year sim with default modifiers. This sim had no scouts turned on, so I am running yet another 18-season sim with scouts on (sigh), but I still think there are some interesting results.

Of the top ten hitters for average in both leagues, seven were drafted in the first round, two were drafted in the second round, and one was an undrafted player signed by a team. Only two of the first round players were drafted in the top ten (sixth and ninth), with the rest in the middle to lower portion of the draft. Second round picks faired a little better for HR hitters. Six first round picks and 4 second round picks were on the leader boards for both leagues.

Pitching was dominated by top five picks. Every pitcher on the ERA leader board was drafted in the first round, with the lowest being the number six pick in the draft. The lowest. There were three number one overall, one number two, and two number three overall picks leading the leagues in ERA. For those pitchers not on the ERA leader board (there were four), only one was a first round pick on the strikeouts leader board. The only third and fourth round picks on any of the leader boards I looked at were leading their leagues in strikeouts.

So what do we learn from this first cut? First round picks are important for both hitters and pitchers, but the higher drafted first round pitchers excel in OOTPB 2006. My OOTP 6.5 career is filled with busted high first round pitcher draft picks, so this seems a bit off in OOTPB 2006. At least along this dimension it does. Middle first round and high second round position players do very well in OOTPB 2006.

I will next take a look at the Jacksonville Sharks draft choices to see if these trends hold for an individual team. In other words, do players picked in the lower rounds ever contribute and/or excel at the big league level in OOTPB 2006?

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