Friday, April 7, 2017

Improvements to Baseball Mogul 2017


Baseball Mogul 2017 includes more than 130 improvements and bug fixes. As you would expect, we have included hundreds of new major and minor league players, and all MLB player and team statistics through 2016 (including the playoffs, off-season awards, and updated contracts and salaries).

But Baseball Mogul 2017 also includes proprietary data that you can't find anywhere else:
  • Hand-edited pitch repertoires and fastball velocities for more than 6,000 pitchers from 1881 through 2017.
  • More than 600,000 lines of PITCHf/x pitch data, including velocity and usage patterns for every season from 2002 and 2016.
  • More than 1.9 million lines of minor league stats from 1880 through 2016, at every level from AAA down to the 'D' leagues.
I've also made some major improvements to the simulation engine:

The first is a new model for improvement and decline at different defensive positions. The sim continues to adjust ratings based on age and playing time, but I've added a lot more data to the model. This means that each specific ability (such as an outfielder's range or a catcher's ability to hold runners) is calculated from all available data major and minor league data (including some data from foreign leagues). Additionally, each ability at each position has its own "maturation curve" -- and these curves change over time from 1890 through 2017 according to my analysis of the historical data.

The second is a new system for normalizing historical stats, leading to much more accurate player ratings and simulation results in historical years. The game now calculates individual averages and standard deviation for each statistic by season, defensive position and stadium. (Previous code used all-time averages for standard deviation, and normalized player statistics over their entire career.)

Finally, I planned a longer beta-test cycle this year, ensuring that the initial release was much more stable and bug-free. Baseball Mogul 2017 went on sale three days ago and the most serious bug that's been reported so far is that the home and away teams are flipped in the 2017 MLB schedule (this bug has already been fixed in the version currently for sale in our store).

Anyway, here's a longer change list. I'm sorry I haven't been able to describe these improvements in more detail, but it's easier for me to code and test changes and new features than it is for me to write about them.

2017 Database

  • Updated major and minor league statistics from 1880 through 2016.
  • Added biographical data for all 2016 MLB debuts and hundreds of new minor league players.
  • Updated 40-man rosters for opening day.
  • Imported more than 600,000 additional lines of PITCHf/x pitch data.
    • Added filters to fix data errors on-the-fly

Historical Simulations (1901 – 2016)

  • Rewrote code for deriving player ratings and statistical projections from historical data.
    • Improved historical accuracy for fielding error rates.
    • Improved historical accuracy for determining pitcher "Endurance" ratings.
  • More accurate defensive ratings, especially for designated hitters and pinch hitters.
  • Incorporated more data in player aging model.
    • Created more accurate career paths in both historical and modern leagues.

Simulation Engine

  • New model for player improvement at defensive positions.
  • More realistic adjustments for playing time at all levels.
    • Improved player health model and injury rates.
    • Improved realism for platoon advantage by player type.
  • Reworked code for simulating minor league games.
  • Updated Win Expectancy data.
  • Improved logic for intentional walks.
  • New system for generating fictional players to improve long-term stability of talent pool.
  • Bug fixes (e.g. small errors in Payroll Budget related to a bug estimated concessions revenue).

Artificial Intelligence

  • Improved selection of defensive starters and starting lineup
    • More realistic use of defensive substitutes
    • Improved logic for 25-man and 40-man rosters
  • Improved long-term (multi-year) roster management
  • Improved management of pitching rotation
    • Includes better logic for picking "alternate starters" from active roster
  • Bug fixes (such as the computer over-riding changes to a player’s position)

Interface / Options

  • Improved Player Rating Editor
    • (e.g. dynamic updating of Predicted stats when ratings are changed)
  • Improvements to Sortable Stats Dialog
    • "40-Man Rosters" added as selectable category when viewing/sorting.
    • "Pitches Thrown", "Strikes Thrown", "Strike Percentage" and "Pitches/Game" added.
    • "Steal Tendency" and "Steal Success" player ratings added to Sortable Stats.
  • Improved heat maps (in Charts Tab of Scouting Report).
  • Improved interface and readability in Play-By-Play screen.
  • Optimized League Builder to increase speed by about 400%.
  • Schedule importer now supports 3-letter team abbreviations.
  • Bug fixes
    • Errors converting between rating scales (“50-100”, “20-80”, “1-20” etc.)
    • etc.

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