The Big Draft: A Primer, Part 2

In the first part of this “series”, I described the preliminary draft portion of the Big Draft process. This write-up will be a more in-depth look at the main event, the Player Draft. As I previously stated in Part One, the Player Draft is essentially a normal fantasy draft, where you get to build your roster from the ground up using the existing player pool.

In our last iteration, there were two key exceptions to this rule: 1) Major League free agents are exempt from the big draft and will not appear on the draft board. 2) No more than 10 players may be drafted from any one franchise. The thinking behind these two exceptions were the following: Even if the “drafting” team was the only one to offer a contract to a Free Agent, there is no guarantee that the player would accept due to the way the site is set up and if they turned down the contract in that situation the drafting team is now a player short. As far as the second exception, that was designed to promote as much parity as possible…we didn’t want any super-teams but we also didn’t want any teams totally devoid of stars either.

As far as the actual mechanics of the draft itself, we utilized a message board outside of WIS to post picks, keep track of rosters etc. To keep things moving along on that message board, we installed the Private World Rule that reads “The Big Draft shall be serpentine – Each round shall take 1 day, with 32 selections, in 20-minute slots (from 11:40am-10pm Eastern). Owners may draft ahead of their time-slot if AND ONLY IF all previous selections in the schedule have been made.” In other words, it worked just like any other slow-draft for fantasy leagues that you might have participated in previously. This is where the draft picks selected in the preliminary draft comes into play.

So, on Day One of the Big Draft, the team that selected the #1 overall pick in the Player Draft had from 11:40am until noon eastern time to post their selection to the message board. As soon as it was posted, the #2 team was free to post their selection and so on. To expedite this process, and to help keep track of which players were eligible and which ones were not, we found a couple of websites that were VERY useful, and are linked on the homepage of this blog if you want to check them out. One was a draft site that sent email alerts when you were on the clock, and the other was the forum page I mentioned earlier. As before, feel free to ask any questions you might have and/or let me know if this is a concept that interests you!

The Big Draft: A Primer, Part One

As a result of the request for more information on the Big Draft in the World Chat, I figured I’d give it a shot here on the blog so that I don’t create a million new World Chat messages. Like I said in the stuff I did post on World Chat, the idea here is to have as much of a say on the composition of your ML roster as possible. So the purist form of this idea would see a “Big Draft” happen every offseason, but the closest version that I know of consisted of playing three seasons with the hand-crafted rosters.

The “Big Draft” essentially happens in two parts: the preliminary draft and the player draft. The preliminary draft is short and sweet, just two rounds long most of the time. These two rounds are used for the participating owners to select a franchise and a draft slot for the serpentine Player Draft. For example, when we ran this theme most recently, I used my first round pick in the preliminary draft to select which franchise I wanted to have for the theme (which is the same franchise I currently own in S25), and in the second round I decided that I wanted to have the #12 overall draft slot in the Player Draft.

Obviously, picking early in the preliminary draft is highly advantageous and therefore figuring out the draft order for the first iteration of the preliminary draft is key to this whole thing. Last time, we used a random number generator set from 1-32, with each number corresponding to an owner…it was as close to virtual ping-pong balls as we could get. We also decided that in future iterations of the preliminary draft, the order would be determined by on-field results during the three seasons played with the resulting rosters. Unfortunately, we never got that far so I can’t say with 100% certainty that it works, but I can say that it was far and away the best of many proposals floated on the subject.

At the conclusion of the preliminary draft, everyone has a team and a draft slot for the main event, the Player Draft. The Player draft works much like your typical fantasy sports draft, where you draft any player from any team to your roster, as long as they’re eligible. The vast majority of players in the world will be eligible, but there were a few exceptions that we made in the last iteration for reasons that I think are best saved for another post so that it doesn’t end up being too much information all at once.

Let me know if you want to hear more, and/or if this is something that you would be interested in participating in!

S23 Awards Snubs

Much like I did for S22 when Champions had no theme, I’ve put together a look at the candidates for each of the end-of-year Awards using Wins Above Replacement. Once the results are published, I’ll make note of who won (and who I voted for.) Hopefully this helps others with their ballot as well!


Player Position Hitting WAR Fielding WAR Total S23 WAR
Chick Schwimer 7.35 1.33 8.68
JO Camacho 7.46 0.52 7.97
Del Quentin 5.76 2.00 7.76
Dizzy Campbell 6.13 1.26 7.39
Leon Seelbach 6.95 0.22 7.17


Player Position Hitting WAR Fielding WAR Total S23 WAR
Al Clarke 6.51 0.37 6.87
Blake Maxwell 6.50 0.18 6.68
Kevin Burke 4.92 1.33 6.25
Fernando Rodriguez 4.57 1.67 6.24
Toby Stone 6.80 -0.67 6.13

AL Cy Young

Player Pos Hitting WAR Fielding WAR Pitching WAR Total S23 WAR
BC Sierra 4.96
Freddy Wang 4.59
Patrick Rhodes 4.39
Rafael Beltran 1.83
Scooter Frank 0.65

NL Cy Young

Player Pos Hitting WAR Fielding WAR Pitching WAR Total S23 WAR
Tyrone O’Malley 6.91
Rollie Spiers 4.56
Matt Thompson 4.12
Eric Torres 3.71
Yeico Nunez 2.18

AL Rookie of the Year

Player Pos Hitting WAR Fielding WAR Pitching WAR Total S23 WAR
Chick Schwimer 8.68
Simon Franco 6.50
Dwight Obispo 3.72
Richie Buck 2.34
Footsie Carlyle 1.76

NL Rookie of the Year

Player Pos Hitting WAR Fielding WAR Pitching WAR Total S23 WAR
Damian Roberts 5.81
Tim Taylor 5.77
Ernest Snavley 4.28
Matt Young 3.36
Shaggy Nady 1.55


S22 Awards Snubs

As luck would have it, I was actually a member of the last completed season of Champions before the mass exodus so I have a (tiny) bit of historical data on the world. What I do have is enough to provide an example of one of the more popular segments from the blogs that I run in my other worlds: the Awards Snubs. The idea is pretty simple: I use the Wins Above Replacement statistic to analyze the season that each candidate for the various awards had to determine if the most deserving guy won or if someone got “snubbed.” The following data is from S22 here in Champions:


Actual Winner: Kevin Burke (7.64 WAR)

Other Candidates: Bryant Pierce (6.99 WAR), Leon Seelbach (8.22 WAR), Esteban Strop (6.37 WAR), Juan Noesi (5.64 WAR)

Did anyone get Snubbed? Yes; of the five candidates, Seelbach had the best season, but he did not end up with the MVP award.

Who did I vote for? I honestly don’t remember, but I usually let the WAR totals guide my ballot. However, I have refined my WAR calculations since then and the totals I came up with previously have Burke coming out on top rather than Seelbach so it was probably him. For what it’s worth, the WAR totals above are much more accurate as they take each hitter’s home park into account.


Actual Winner: Pedro Coronado (10.01 WAR)

Other Candidates: Toby Stone (8.68 WAR), Joel Williams (9.60 WAR), Garry Robinson (7.10 WAR), Blake Maxwell (6.94 WAR)

Did anyone get Snubbed? The updated numbers suggest that a snub did not actually occur in this category.

Who did I vote for? As I hinted at above, the preliminary round of WAR totals actually had Stone running away with this award so I cast my vote for him I believe. Between adjusting for the parks and not adjusting for certain positions quite as much, Stone’s total dropped from 11.07 in the first number-crunch to 8.68 while Coronado saw his total go from 7.02 to just over 10 and the lead.

AL Cy Young

Actual Winner: Bret Sewell (5.66 WAR)

Other Candidates:  Gregory DeShields (0.98 WAR), Tyrone O’Malley (7.67 WAR), Cy Fontenot (3.37 WAR), Sal Dempster (2.91WAR)

Did anyone get Snubbed? Yes; O’Malley out-performed the field by 2.01 WAR or more but went home empty handed.

Who did I vote for? If I stayed true to my voting pattern, O’Malley’s name showed up on my ballot even though it was closer in terms of WAR the first time.

NL Cy Young

Actual WinnerValerio Park (3.54 WAR)

Other Candidates Jack Osbourne (3.87 WAR), BC Sierra (5.61 WAR), Bernie Caballero (0.54 WAR), Albert McRae (2.01 WAR)

Did anyone get Snubbed? Yes; Sierra’s season was worth 2.07 more WAR than any of the other five candidates, but Park went home with the hardware. Those numbers take batting, pitching and fielding all into account, though, so if you go strictly by pitching WAR Sierra’s lead is more like 1.4 WAR rather than a little over 2 WAR.

Who did I vote for? Probably Sierra…my initial numbers had him with the highest WAR as well, although it was much closer (he only beat out Park by about half a win that time around.)

AL Rookie of the Year

Actual Winner:  Bryant Pierce (6.99 WAR)

Other Candidates: Russell Porizo (-0.11 WAR), Trent Ducey (3.69 WAR), Roland Woodson (4.91 WAR), Michael Nomura (2.96 WAR)

Did anyone get Snubbed? No, looks like the voters got it right on this one.

Who did I vote for? Almost certainly Pierce…he had a pretty good argument for the MVP award as a rookie. When you can say that, you deserve to win something and none of the other candidates were that close. The second highest WAR total (Woodson) was just over 2 full wins behind.

NL Rookie of the Year

Actual WinnerKent Dietrich (3.17 WAR)

Other CandidatesJin Ho Chong (1.72 WAR), Miguel Zapata (0.60 WAR), Norberto James (3.12 WAR), Rodrigo Ortiz (0.79 WAR)

Did anyone get Snubbed? It was a close one, but there wasn’t a snub here.

Who did I vote for? The initial numbers where high on Chong, so I most likely went for him in the voting process. It’s also worth noting here that Dietrich’s defense was poor enough last season that in my first round of WAR calculations he ended up with a negative total…and then once I factored parks in, he jumped all the way to the front of the line.