Monday, March 3, 2008

Basic Tips to Consider Before Your Draft

Before going into a draft, it is essential that you prepare well in advance. Here are a few basic Pre-Draft tips:

Research, research, and then, do some more research. Nothing is more important than solid research. Find sites and sources with player news. Read columns. Evaluate draft guides. Check out as much information as you can in order to determine which draft guides can help you the most. Just when you think you are finished, do some more. Trust me, every time you look at the information again you’ll learn something you didn’t know.

Don’t put too much into spring training. Every year, players post monster numbers in spring training or completely fall apart. Sadly, such play is rarely a projection for the regular season. In 2003, Mike Sweeney belted seven homers in spring training, but that was almost half of the 16 he ended up hitting for the entire season. Byun-Hyung Kim had the lowest springtime ERA of anyone that pitched 27 innings in 2004, only to post a 6.24 for the season. What more needs to be said? I’m not saying you ignore spring stats altogether, as they are useful in determining potential sleepers or understanding how a player might fit into the lineup. But the season is 162 games long, and there is no telling what might come of it.

Pay careful attention to your league’s settings. You must know what categories count in your league’s scoring system or how many pitchers you are allowed to start or whether your league includes a DH, etc. This are vital information you must know before determining your draft strategy. For instance, if you only start two pitchers, but half of the categories are pitching-related, a good hurler suddenly becomes far more valuable than a homerun hitter.

Rank players by tiers. Although ranking players can be a very imprecise process, it is an essential part of draft preparation. Don’t just count on rankings provided by an expert sight. If you skip this step, you really have no idea what kind of talent is out there. But keep in mind, it isn’t enough to rank players an all-inclusive list, you must take the time to rank them by position and divide them into tiers. Then come draft time, the tiers will guide your selections. If all the second-tier shortstops are on the board at the time of your third-round pick, you can afford to hold off on selecting one in order to use your pick to get a top-tier guy at another position and still probably get one of those second-tier shortstops in the next round.

Start developing a draft strategy. To have a successful draft, you have to establish a plan of action before the draft begins. How will you select you pitchers, by wins and strikeouts or ERA and WHIP? Will you ignore steals and concentrate on power, or do you want 5 category guys? Should you wait on pitching? Or, maybe should just go with the best player available and worry about trading for position players later. Whatever you decided, the most important thing is that you have a plan. Otherwise, you’ll be as lost on draft day.

No comments: