For all position players there is a fielding number given, showing the player's Scoresheet fielding range. That range will be used for that player when he is playing that position in Scoresheet for the entire season! Range can be thought of as equivalent to outs made per nine innings (meaning larger range numbers are better). This range number is derived from that player's performances over the past 2 seasons, including chances per 9 innings, percentage of balls hit in his zone that he got to, double plays, his amount of playing time, and some Scoresheet subjective analysis. Errors are NOT included in these numbers; a player's errors in Scoresheet are based on what a player actually does each week of the upcoming major league season.
Fielding ranges explained
While pitching and hitting stats are more important, these fielding range numbers should still slightly influence how you rank players. The way ranges work is that pitchers for a Scoresheet team with a good fielding range give up less hits per week than they did in the majors; a low range team will force pitchers to give up more hits per week than they actually did in the majors. A difference of .10 in fielding range is a difference of .1 (a tenth) of a hit per nine innings that your pitchers will give up. We have come up with a fairly simple rule of thumb when comparing 2 players at the same position. For a full time player, each .10 in range is worth about .025 in batting average - or another way to look at it is that each .10 in range is worth about a difference of 5 home runs if the two players have the same batting average. To go into hundredths, a difference of .04 is worth about 10 points in batting average, or about 2 home runs. What fielding range really does is take away hits from the other team. But for comparing 2 players, it is easier to think of a bad fielding range as taking away from that player's offensive contributions to your team. Please note that a player's season-to-date errors do not factor into these range calculations; a player with a lot of errors will hurt you even if he has good range.
Any player listed at a position in our draft packet automatically qualifies at that position. If a player qualifies at an additional position because he played at least 20 games there in the majors last year then a range for that secondary position is also listed. If a player is not shown in this draft packet as qualifying at a position then he does NOT qualify there even if he did play some at that position in the past.
In this context, to "qualify" simply means that the player can play this position without penalty once the season starts. For roster balancing during the draft, a player only counts at the primary position he is listed at in this draft packet. But once the season starts, a player CAN play at positions other than where he's listed on our enclosed player lists (except only pitchers can pitch, and only qualified catchers can be used at catcher in Scoresheet. Also, only players who are qualified at any one of 2B, SS or 3B can play those positions in a Scoresheet game). Unless a player is shown in these draft lists as qualifying at a position, or has played in at least 10 games there so far in the majors in the upcoming season, we'll consider him out of position. If a player becomes qualified at a new position during the season we will indicate his eligibility and new range in the weekly results. *NOTE: Players who start the season at a new position will qualify there for the very first week's games. Rookies that are called up have league average range at their position. Finally, if an OFer switches from LF or RF to CF during the year (or vice versa), we will not change his OF range - the ranges for outfielders stay the same for all of the season, just as for all players.
We do have penalty formulas for a player playing out of position. These penalties increase his number of errors, and also raise opponent's batting averages due to the range limitations. Though you may not notice it directly on the game report, it is this range penalty that will hurt you the most when you play a player out of position. The severity of the penalties depend on how badly the player is out of position. Here are some examples of out of position penalties if you move a player to a position at which he does NOT qualify. Remember, if a player qualifies at a second position then his range at that position is listed in this packet or published in the weekly results. These examples assume the player is an average fielder at his listed position, and combine both the range and error penalty. A good fielder at his real position will do a little better than the numbers shown below, a poor fielder a little worse. (For player who are above or below average, if playing a 'harder' position, you take the difference from average a player has at his main position and add or subtract that difference from the numbers shown below. If moving to an 'easier' position, such as 2B to OF, the difference added or subtracted to the numbers shown below is about half their real difference.)
- an average 1B has an: OF range of 1.94
- an average 2B has a: 3B range of 2.53; SS range of 4.40; OF range of 2.04
- an average 3B has a: 2B range of 3.97; SS range of 4.33; OF range of 2.01
- an average SS has a: 2B range of 4.14; 3B range of 2.61; OF range of 2.07
- an average C has a: 1B range of 1.73; OF range of 1.93
- finally, a DH has a: 1B range of 1.70; OF range of 1.90 (in addition to making the average number of errors for that position when playing there in Scoresheet.)
In addition, any average infielder is assumed to be able to play 1B with average 1B range, and average OFers can play 1B with a range of about 1.79 (the average range for all positions this year is the same in the AL and NL). The switches above will also automatically be done for you by our computer before bringing in AAA players. Since the computer conducts this position switching automatically, a general rule of thumb is that you should only list players on your lineup card at positions for which they really qualify!
A numeric range difference has the same importance at all positions, (except for CF), so a .10 difference between 2 shortstops is the same as a .10 difference between 2 left fielders. A player's Scoresheet errors are based on what he does in the majors each week of the current season, while range is based largely on what he did the previous 2 seasons. The range of the player in center field for you is about 1.4 times as important as either the left or right fielder when figuring your overall team range. This means you should have at least one high range outfielder to play center field for you. The 'average' CFer has a range of about 2.15, while the 'average' LFer and RFer have ranges of about 2.07. Since the range of your CFer matters 1.4 times as much as at other positions, it is better to have a 2.16 range player in center, along with two 2.07 range players in left and right, than it is to have three 2.10 players filling your three OF spots. (Most Scoresheet teams have a player of at least 2.11 range playing CF for them.) (AAA) players play 3B with average range, are .09 below average at 2B, are .14 below average at SS, are average at 1B, have a 2.01 range in the OF, and have 0.83-0.18 numbers at catcher.