Getting the Most out of Absolute Baseball Part III
As I continue to write this series, I will go to the next part; How to improve your players. Let’s look at how to build your roster.
Building Your Roster
One of the things you are going to want to do is to make a list of all your players and their abilities. At the beginning of the season players who have not played will have no averages so the only numbers you can work with are the abilities.
Here is the Excel spreadsheet I used for my team.
I wrote down all the abilities in a table for all the players. I applied conditional formatting in Excel to get a feel for the their range of abilities.
Set Your Line Up
Once you have your guys in a spreadsheet and you can look at them, you can start to set your line up based upon batting skills. I should point out that you do want to give some consideration to defensive abilities so all positions on the field are filled in. Having said that, here are some approaches.
Traditional Power / Long ball.
A traditional way to set a lineup is to put speedy guys with good contact up front, with power hitters in the 3 and 4 slots, followed by your next best batters in descending order until you get to the pitcher.
With this approach you are looking to get guys on base then hit homers or extra base hits to drive them in. You are stealing to get into scoring position to make things happen. Not a lot of trickiness here.
This means you want guys with good eyes (they walk), followed by clutch power hitters (guys who hit well with runners in scoring position).
What you really want are guys with high on base percentage. Similar to above, but you are putting guys with high batting skill behind them. You will run a lot of bunts, and hit and run plays. You may actually put your best hitters at the top so they get on base then you sacrifice the guys behind them to execute the plays.
Player Improvement Strategy
With 1440 possible points, and given that each BAND is 30 points, this means you can make a maximum of 48 ability letter band improvements. In other words, if a player starts with a B and you want to make him an A, assuming you are starting from 151 you can make 48 improvements like this.
Since it takes 5 letters to go from E to S – you can only improve 9 skills from E to S. Not players, individual skills.
And this is the TOTAL season.
So this leaves you a couple of options.
- Focus on making your better players better.
- Try to nerf your bad players so they are not so horrible.
For this tutorial I am experimenting with focusing on a single skill to measure the change it makes in the players’ performance.
Power Through It
If you are trying to build up player stats, you just start simulating games and let the CPU manage. You will get 10 points for every win, 7 for every tie, and 5 points for a loss. Then you can add those points to your players’ abilities. A 144 games is a lot of games. It’s the same problem I have with most baseball games. It is an enormous time commitment. Like the real baseball season I can’t really believe people play 162 professional games plus spring training.
But Keep Some Balance
After the first month, my first four batters were pretty monstrous. Yet, I started to lose games. Why? Because I had neglected my pitching. I can’t tell if the other teams are getting better as I play through the season but my primary mechanism for playing has changed.
When I started I was focusing on simulating managing individual games. But to effectively manage individual games you need to know something about your players.
So I poured a lot of effort into learning about the skill system. Once I realized I could improve my players that became my focus.
I then simulated a full month worth of games to build my top 4 hitters into monsters. Sure enough, batting averages went up, but like I said the losses started to mount. It is a statistical oddity of baseball that you can have 3 or 4 players with very high batting averages all in a row and still not produce many runs.
Why? Because if they only get a hit 3 out of 10 times, who is to say those 3 hits will all occur in a row?
What Do you Want To Get Out of It?
The real question is this, what do you want to get out of a baseball simulator?
What I really like about Absolute Baseball is that it is not about trading players. It is about managing games and developing players. There is no way you can develop everyone in every skill. So you have to choose. Which skills are the most important for the way you want to manage your baseball team.
And that is the heart of every great simulator, great choices that feel like the kinds of choices you would have to make in real life. If you can be in that frame of mind, then you get to practice and you can learn.
Absolute Baseball is a fun and inexpensive Baseball Simulator that lets you focus on game management. There is some player development, but the game itself does a poor job of helping you study the players and their stats. You are better off loading this data into your own spreadsheet.
Still, as a manager, I found this game fun without being too serious and I could keep my head in the game as it were. I hope this additional information helps you get the most out of Absolute Baseball.