After taking a break last off-season, the MLB Pro WDL is returning for a fourth season. The league will once again take place in Hawaii thanks to our partners at Maui Jim and the University of Hawaii.
As has been the case in the past, each division will have its own team of 35 players competing in a 35-game season that is set to take place from early December through early February.
The league office has once again reached agreement with six veteran managers to coach the selected players. These managers are: Joe Torre (AL East), Jim Leyland (AL Central), Mike Scioscia (AL West), Bobby Cox (NL East), Tony La Russa (NL Central), and Dusty Baker (NL West). Each manager has been given the same ratings, preferences, and tendencies.
I will be talking to each division individually to find who wants to run the team. This entails exporting lineups which attempt to the best of their ability to give even playing time to everyone on the roster. If anything, it is expected that they error on giving more playing time to players from other organizations. If those in the division want to share duties, that is fine.
2021 WDL ROSTER RULES
- I have turned on the ability for players (Option set to rare) to decline a WDL invite. This can be viewed in-game in the MLB->WDL drop-down->Transactions->Select Roster. A list of those not interested in playing in the WDL can ALSO be found on each division’s roster selection sheet.
- EACH ORGANIZATION MAY REJECT THE WISHES OF ONE PLAYER WHO IS ON THIS LIST. EVERYONE ELSE MUST COME FROM THE VALID PLAYERS LIST.
- If selecting an international complex player, the player MUST BE AT LEAST 19 YEARS OF AGE.
- That’s basically it. Read below for more on some opinions on the type of players that should be selected. If there are any questions, just ask!
Now a refresher on the league as a whole:
Winter Developmental League
Who Do I Pick?
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. A reminder that we have tested and proven 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 2021 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 2021 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 an older international complex player who you want to give some extra game-time to.
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. Someone who is close and can use Spring Training to develop.
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.
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.