WDL – Who Do I Pick?

Winter Developmental League
Who Do I Pick?

As the Winter Developmental League draws near, I’ve been asked again about the process and the type of players that should go. I’ll start with this:

The purpose of the WDL is development and not winning every game at any cost. 

The WDL is unique in that playing time matters most. Tests in OOTP 18 and again confirmed in OOTP 20 show that playing time alone equates to the POTENTIAL for current rating improvements. In multiple tests, player ratings did not decrease, regardless of performance.

So, who do you send? 

To me, the ideal WDL candidate is perhaps a college draftee from 2019 who is maybe 22+ y/o. Someone who maybe made A+ ball, but is someone who needs more innings on the mound or AB’s against non-college pitching.

Maybe it’s a 23 y/o at AA who had a bad 2019 season, someone who was blocked and had limited opportunity.

Maybe it’s an 18 y/o pitcher you took in the draft who was stuck behind other draftees and never got any innings.

Maybe it’s a non-top 20 prospect at A- ball, but someone with a very specific skillset that with extra opportunity could see improvements in the areas he suffers in.

Maybe it’s a someone with little potential at all, but someone who had a good season at A-/A ball.

Maybe it’s just someone you could be okay with if they got hurt over the valued prospect you don’t want to send.

Who would I not send? (Writing this without having looked at any current WDL draft pools. Sorry if I include a player you have or were planning on sending, you still can!!!)

To me, elite prospects who have shown minor league production and are advancing steadily are players I would probably NOT send.

For example, someone like Vlad Guerrero (injured, but my point stands), Juan Morin (19, shown he’s AAA ready), Nick Senzel (24, nothing to prove at WDL), Drew Lock (180 IP between AA/AAA last season, pitched very well), Pedro Cuevas (21 y/o, already at AAA, little room to develop further), Cody McCutc (already over 250 IP at AAA), etc..etc.

I personally would not advise sending anyone who you might think could crack your MLB roster this coming season. TO ME, the one potential downfall in the WDL is injury.

Why not have an age or level restriction?

Age: Again, to me, college players who are drafted at 22, even 23 who have little minor league experience should not be excluded from the WDL while a guy at 20 or 21 who has 2 or 3 years of minor league experience is eligible isn’t a fair method of determining eligibility.

That makes some sense, then why not use minor-league levels?

Because this would be easy to manipulate. Demote a guy, hold a guy back a level. I could set the in-game “base levels on” option to the players talent level rather than the players league level, but even then I see possible complaints (valid ones at that) of disagreement between human thought and OOTP thought.

Is there any other solution to keep things a bit more standardized and even across the board?

Well there sort of is. But it’s a solution that takes out a lot of choice. I could turn on the option to allow players to reject WDL selection. There are 5 levels of rejection including: “Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Very Often”.

What goes into a player choosing to reject going to the WDL? I honestly don’t know.

We had a suggestion or two for multiple WDL’s. One for say AA-AAA and one for R-A. That is not a suggestion I am anywhere near ready to go to.

If there are any questions, comments, ideas, on the league as whole, on a player you are considering, or anything that I have not mentioned, do not hesitate to ask away.