Player Career Paths

by Clay Dreslough, Baseball Mogul Lead Designer

Summary: An overview of how players develop and age in Baseball Mogul -- and how you can use the Player Editor to adjust individual players.

Players in Baseball Mogul each have their own 'Base Career Path' that is defined by four numbers. These numbers can be viewed and changed in the Player Editor, which is only available in Commissioner Mode. (In normal play, these values are hidden from view -- you must rely on player stats and scouting reports to assess how a player is developing and aging).

Peak Years

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The first two numbers that define a player's career path are his Peak Start and Peak End. Peak Start is the age in years at which the player's performance level peaks. Pead End is the age at which it begins to decline.

(If a player's Peak End is set equal to or lower than his Peak Start, the player will peak for one year at Peak Start and then decline).

A typical career progression is shown in Figure 1, with Peak Start and Peak End labeled. Players generally improve linearly from draft day until Peak Start . After Peak End, their decline is exponential. That is, their ability reduction will be slow at first and sometimes hard to detect. But it will acclerate in proportion to the number of years that the player is past the end of his or her peak years.

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Potential

The rate at which a player improves, from Draft Day until his Peak Start is defined by his Potential rating.

Potential is a rating between 20 and 500 (the average rating is 100). A prospect with a Potential of 200 will improve twice as much each year as the average player. A prospect with a Potential of 50 will develop half as much each year.

If you use the Player Editor to increase the Potential of a player that has not yet reached his peak, it will increase that player's Peak Rating -- essentially it will increase the player's ceiling.

If you wish to increase the speed at which a player develops without increasing his peak talent level, you should increase his Potential and reduce his Peak Start.

(Player development is affected by many factors such as Farm System quality and playing time. Potential is each player's inherent development, all other things being equal).

Longevity

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Longevity defines how slowly a player declines after his Peak End. Like Potential, the average rating is 100. A player with Longevity below 100 will have a steep decline in his ability. A player with Longevity above 100 will have a slower decline.


Taken together, Peak Start, Peak End, Potential and Longevity are referred to as a player's "career parameters".

How Baseball Mogul Sets Career Parameters

When you start a new game in Baseball Mogul, whether in 2009 or 1909, the game assigns career parameters to each player. These parameters are random by default. Kevin Youkilis might have a Peak End of 27 one time you play, and 35 the next time you play. Pedro Martinez might pitch into his 40s, or he might lose all his effectiveness at 34.

To choose non-random parameters for every player, check 'Simulation Mode' when you start a new game. This will set the Career Paramters for every player to the following values:

Career Parameter Default / Average Value
Peak Start
26 years old
Peak End
31 years old
Potential
100
Longevity
100

Projected Debut and Retirement

Baseball Mogul also records a projected 'debut' and 'retirement' year for each player. These are the years during which it is presumed that the player will be most capable of competing in the major leagues. A player's Projected Debut will generally occur before his Peak Start, and his Proejcted Retirement will occur after his Peak End. Taken together, Projected Debut and Projected Retirement define a player's "career window". It is possible for a player to play outside of his "career window", but he will generally not be as successful.

For historical players, Baseball Mogul will set Projected Debut and Projected Retirement equal to that player's actual debut and retirement years. This adds an extra level of realism to the simulation, allowing it to squeeze the player's best years (more often that not) into the player's actual historical major league career.

If you use the Player Editor to set a player's Projected Debut or Projected Retirement to '0', the Baseball Mogul simulation engine will ignore these values and only use Peak Start and Peak End to determine a player's career progression.

Final Notes

Peak Start, Peak End, Potential, Longevity, Projected Debut and Projected Retirement are the six Vital Stats that can be changed in the Player Editor for each player -- these values define the base career path for each player. However, actual player development will vary from this depending on playing time and injuries. In addition, unless Simulation Mode is turned on, every player will have a random increase or decrease in his ability level each year. These changes can be hard to detect, but can have a significant effect over multiple seasons.