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2012-366 Day 263 – Softball Draft Strategy

In a couple of hours I’ll be in the middle of my fifth softball draft. It’s always a fun mental exercise, if not the most efficient use of time, trying to put together a team and seeing what other people are doing. I’ll share some of my strategies and elaborate a bit on them, as the chances of the other coaches seeing this in the next few hours (heck, ever) are slim to none, and slim left town. Even if they do, most of them already know how I do what I do.

1) Get a high draft pick – This one is usually taken care of for me, since I have no power to speak of and they have pity on me. We do a snake style draft (first person picks at the start of the first round, end of the second round, start of the third round, end of the fourth round, etc.), however, so I have to be careful because my turn will not be coming up again for a while.

2) Get a quality package – Since my second pick is devalued, if there is a group of people on the board (they are allowed to sign up as a group of up to 4) that is going to give me the best bang for my buck, I’ll draft them and forgo my second pick. I can’t remember the last time I only picked one person in the first round.

3) Get some power – This one is optional, but since I am a line drive hitter and have only one early pick, if I want someone who hits home runs I have to get them with my first pick. I’ve put together teams without home run hitters before, but it’s nice to have one to bat cleanup.

4) Prioritize a couple of good women – Here is where the strategy diverges the most among coaches. We have a co-ed league, with mandatory minimums of women in the field (but no limitation of where they bat in the order). Some coaches will wait on picking women until the end and place them at the bottom of the lineup, hoping to work around them both hitting and in the field. I take the opposite tack, trying to draft a couple of good players early that can play key positions and that I can also sprinkle throughout my lineup so as not to have a black hole at the bottom of the order.

5) Defense, defense, defense – I try to construct a primary defensive alignment that I can use with minimal holes, and then rotate people through a couple of positions. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve seen lost on defensive errors and I try to prevent that in the draft before we even play the first game. I’m not always successful, but I want to place myself in the best position to succeed.

6) Loyalty – It also helps to have several quality players who want to play with you every year. I’ve had one of my best friends as my pitcher for the last few years, and have slowly added to the entourage. It helps to have a solid core to start with and build on.

I’m looking forward to another great year, and letting you all know about it. I’m sure you are too.

Weight: 227 Loss: 13 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 297.7 miles (+3 miles)
Fitocracy Level: 25 ID: disciplev1

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , .

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