Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lineup Card (Part II)

Now that I've estimated 170 draft picks from my territory and divided them up between pitchers and position players, I round each up to the nearest five. This gives me 70 RHPs, 30 LHPs, 20 catchers, 10 first basemen, 10 second basemen, 15 shortstops, 10 third basemen, 15 center fielders, and 10 other outfielders.

I then apply one of my rules of thumb. If a position is targeted to yield between 0 and 20 draft picks, I add 5 to the projected number. Between 21-50, I add 10, and between 51 and up, I add 15. If my boss asks me to emphasize a particular position, I will add anywhere from 5-10 to the projected number of that particular position.

After applying my rule, I now have 90 RHPs, 45 LHPs, 30 catchers, 15 first basemen, 15 second basemen, 20 shortstops, 15 third basemen, 20 centerfielders, and 15 other outfielders. These are my targets for each position that I must scout in preparation for the 2006 draft in June. A total of 265 eligible draft prospects is what I'm shooting for. I will have a spreadsheet for each position. The first thing I do is populate the spreadsheets with about 125 or so players that I scouted last year but weren't eligible for the 2005 draft because they were either HS juniors or 4-yr college sophomores. In addition, I'll add all the players in my territory who were drafted in 2005 but failed to sign with the club that drafted them and are currently eligible for the 2006 draft. This gives me a good starting point.

I will rank them according to OFP (overall future projection)-- a number between 20 and 80, with 50 representing the average major league ball player. I'll also sort them by geography to help make my travel time more productive. Over the next six months it will be my job to re-scout the 140 or so players already on my spreadsheets and to find another 125 draft eligible players that will complete my lists. There won't be a day that goes by where I'm not constantly ranking and re-ranking them.

As soon as the new year rolls around, I will start pestering our national cross-checkers to come visit my top prospects. That's usually fine with them since it's probably dumping snowing up north. But invariably they'll migrate their efforts northward after the snow melts. This puts a little more pressure on me to identify my top prospects early.

Of course, at the same time I will also be looking to scout about 125 HS juniors and 4-yr college sophomores to populate a new database for the 2007 draft. Always looking ahead. Believe it or not I already have about 30 players for the 2007 draft database. These kids I saw in the spring when they were HS sophomores and 4-yr college freshmen.

Anyhow, that's how it all starts. At least for me. Now it's time to get down to business. Just drove 6 hours to Charleston, South Carolina, to watch workouts for the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, and The Citadel. Let's see what they got. Are you ready?


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