Here at Prospects1500, we want to be your go-to prospect site. We want you to think of us first when you want to find out about prospects. At this point, there is a full complement of 1500 prospects listed here. Next, you’ll get our overall Top 100 (or more). Then, we’ll continue to update you on prospects by teams, positions and every other category you might imagine.
What do you do then? How do you decide amid all of that information which prospects would fit best on your team? I’d like to take some time to walk you through an organized approach to building your team through your prospect drafts and trades. For some of you, there will be little completely new information here. Others may find some ideas they had never before considered. We’re all at different stages in our fantasy/dynasty lives. Two things I’d like to start with right away.
One is that there are lots of ‘right’ ways to go about this. I will share some of the things I try to do, but my approach is not the only way or even the best way. The key is finding what feels comfortable for you. As such-and this is the second point-none of this is to try to convince you of anything. The purpose is to help you find and/or tweak your own way.
As a former teacher and coach, I like to keep things to no more than three or four points with alliterative titles. In the case of my prospect approach, I use the three Ps.
It is best to start with a plan that incorporates a general philosophy that you believe is the best way to approach the acquisition of prospects. There are lots of different approaches that can work. You can focus on guys with the best tools, the highest ceilings, the highest floors, the best speed, the most power or the best contact skills. It’s not a big deal where you come down here. The important thing is to have a plan.
This is where it gets hard. Anyone can have a plan. It’s tough to find a way to execute that plan. Even if your plan is simply to ‘get the best prospects you can’ there has to be a process used to figure out how to find them.
I don’t believe any one theory or idea is a definitive answer. I do believe that every bit of information is a piece of the puzzle necessary to get a complete picture of a prospect.
In dynasty leagues, you can’t just grab a Top 100 list and decide you’ll get those guys. Most of those guys are already gone. The guys out there in your minor league drafts and/or first year player drafts are guys for whom there are not a lot of numbers and what scouting reports are out there can often be incomplete, second and third hand or sometimes both.
Once you have your plan, you can develop your process from that. Depending on your plan, you work back from that and see which stats or which scouting report thoughts are going to get you more players that fit your plan. I can say that my process involves a focus on K% for hitters. From there, I work through several other stats. Once I have a list based on those numbers, I try to find any non-numerical stuff I can. I use scouting reports and video to refine the list.
For pitchers, I look for lefties with good velocity and solid K rates (again). I like to focus on lefties for two reasons. One is that lefties with any ability get every opportunity to succeed. Also, I have a general theory that lefties have more room to grow once they become pros. There are mechanical/physiological differences between righties and lefties. Especially at lower levels, I’m not sure people who work with lefties completely understand those differences. Generally, I have a feeling that lefties can take off when they find someone who can relate to their intricacies.
(Completely off topic, I would make a bet on Matt Moore having a huge breakout this season. The combination of working in the same rotation as Mad Bum and having Dave Righetti as a pitching coach makes me a believer).
I’m stat heavy in what I do. You may take not scouting the stat line more seriously than I do and have a completely different approach. The key is to find something that you feel will get you the kind of guys that fit your plan.
Here is the real key. While it is certainly OK to tweak your plan as you go, it is important to give a plan a good chance to work. I’ve used the same basic plan for five or six seasons now. I have made some adjustments in the process in that time. I’ve found more information and made a more pronounced effort to combine stats with scouting. I’ve also refined the specific stats I use in my evaluations. I’m beginning to feel more comfortable that my process is actually delivering the players I want to find. You should continually evaluate what you are doing, but why you do it should not be the issue.
This has been somewhat simplistic in some ways, but I think it gives you a good place to begin an analysis/development of your own approach. I am hoping some of you will share your own ideas in the comments in addition to asking/answering questions.