Previous versions of Baseball Mogul had a problem with extreme outliers. Babe Ruth is the best example. Baseball Mogul’s rating system assumes that player performance almost always falls within about 4 standard deviations of the league average: this should cover 99.994% of all players.
Unfortunately, Babe Ruth hit home runs at a rate that was 4-6 standard deviations above the rest of the league. In a simulation that produces a realistic distribution of outcomes, the chance of a result that is 6 deviations above average is about 1 in a billion (1,013,594,692 to be exact).
Yes! You can easily add player photos to Baseball Mogul. Go to Baseball Mogul's Help Menu and select 'Open Baseball Mogul Folder'. Double-click on the 'Photos' folder.
The 'Action' and 'Portraits' folders contain photos of real players. The 'Generic' folder is only used for fictional players created by Baseball Mogul. For Baseball Mogul to recognize a new photo, it needs to be a JPG with a filename matching the player's ID string (e.g. "abbotje01.jpg").
Player ID strings are formed by combining the first 5 letters of their last name with the first 2 letters of their first name, and then adding '01'. If that string is already is use, increment the number ("02", "03", etc.) until a unique ID is found.
An easy way to verify a player's ID is to open his Scouting Report and clicking the player's name. This will open that player's page at baseball-reference.com, where the player's ID string is part of the URL:
The photos included with Baseball Mogul are either 160x200 or 320x400. If your photo is a different size, it will be automatically resized on-the-fly.
As I have seen some confusion about "Peak" ratings, I wanted to take a minute to describe Baseball Mogul's scouting system and clear up any confusion.
The calculation of peak ratings is designed to be as realistic as possible, matching the predictions that actual major league scouts would provide. To quote Baseball America, "our view is not necessarily to what a player will do this season, but what his ultimate major league ceiling is, weighed against the likelihood that he will reach that ceiling."
The key word in that sentence is "ceiling". Baseball Mogul’s “peak” rating is the top end of the performance window projected for that player. A player’s most likely peak will always be a few points below the one you see on draft day. Some players with a peak rating of 92 will reach that level, but most won't.
To see how “peak” ratings work in real life, take a look at Baseball America’s list of top prospects in 2010:
Seven prospects were given the maximum grade of 80 by Baseball America: Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg, Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton, Jesus Montero, Desmond Jennings, Neftali Feliz and Dustin Ackley. A rating of 80 on the 20-80 scale translates to a rating of 92 on Baseball Mogul’s 50-100 scale. So let's see how these players rate seven years later, according to Baseball Mogul 2017:
It’s fair to say that Stanton and Strasburg reached their full potential. Stanton stayed there, but Strasburg has lost a few points of effectiveness over the last 3 years.
Heyward was in the MVP discussion in 2015, but followed it up with 2 disappointing seasons. Feliz was an effective closer for the Rangers in 2010 and 2011, but has pitched less than 55 innings in each of the last six seasons.
This kind of variability is what Baseball Mogul is modeling. Some players reach their projected ceiling (e.g. Stanton and Strasburg). Some become effective everyday players but don’t establish themselves as superstars (Heyward and Feliz). And some struggle to stay in the majors (Jennings, Ackley, Montero).
Note: To use the 20-80 rating scale in Baseball Mogul, select “Options…” on the Tools menu and change the selection under “Player Rating Scale”.
Create Modern Database will create the database for the current season (e.g. Football Mogul 18 will generate a universe at the start of the 2017-2018 NFL season).
Create Historical Database will create the database matching the start year of the universe that is currently loaded. Thus, if you wish to rebuild the database used when starting a game in 1986, you should start a new game in 1986 before clicking Create Historical Database.
When a database is created, it is saved to Football Mogul's "Database" folder as two separate files: a “Universe” file and a “Rookies” file. The Universe file contains all the league’s active players and is loaded when you start a new game. The Rookies file contains players that were rookies in the given season; it is loaded when the previous season is simulated, to fill the amateur draft pool.
Football Mogul creates databases by processing files in Football Mogul’s ‘Stats’ folder. To permanently alter the database used for a given season, edit these files as needed and then click ‘Create Modern Database’ or ‘Create Historical Database’:
League File (e.g. “2017_league.csv”)
Specifies the names of the conferences and divisions.
Team File (e.g. “2017_teams.csv”)
Specifies the team name, team abbreviation and home stadium.
Some Team files also contain a column labeled “Talent”, in the 1st column after the city names. If this field is not empty Football Mogul adjusts the ratings of all players on the team until the team’s total talent equals the specified value. The average talent level is 1000 and each 50-point difference roughly equals one win over the course of a 16-game season.
Example: You start a new game in 2016 and use the Single Season Simulator to simulate the season 100 times. In these simulations, the Atlanta Falcons average 8 wins per season. Because the real-life 2016 Falcons won 11 games, you should increase their Talent number by about 150 points to generate more realistic results.
Note that ‘Talent’ settings in the team file will alter player ratings. If you wish to use the exact ratings specified in the Player Ratings file (see below), you can eliminate this step by deleting entries in the ‘Talent’ column.
Players File (“Players.csv”)
Contains biographical data for each player: height, weight, college, birth date and draft data (year, team, round and pick number, if applicable).
Player Ratings File (e.g. “2017_player_ratings.csv”)
Player ratings for every player. The ‘team’ column in this file is ignored by Football Mogul. Players are always placed on the team specified in the Roster File for the given year.
If there is no Player Ratings file (or a player is omitted from the file) ratings are calculated from a player’s career statistics in the Seasons File (see below).
Note that Player Ratings can be changed by data in the Roster File (see below) and Team File (see above). To prevent these alterations, delete the relevant data in each of those files.
Roster File (e.g. “2017_rosters.csv”)
Specifies the team and position for every player (and salary/contract data if applicable). If a player is not included in this file, he will not be included in the database. For historical seasons, the Roster File is automatically created by analyzing the Seasons File.
The Roster File also includes depth chart information in a column labeled “String” (1 = 1st string, 2 = 2nd string, etc.). Football Mogul uses this information to make player ratings more accurate. For example, if a 2nd string player has a higher Overall rating than the 1st string player at the same position on the same team, Football Mogul will reduce the ratings of the 2nd string player and increase the ratings of the 1st string player. To prevent this adjustment for any player (or all players) delete the numbers in the ‘String’ column.
Seasons File (“Seasons.csv”)
This gigantic file contains all historical season-by-season stats. Stats are loaded for all players listed in the roster file. All other stat lines are ignored.
Combine Results (“Combine_Results.csv”)
Performances from the NFL combine. If a 40-yard dash time is listed, it is used to calculate the player’s Speed Rating.
Salaries File (e.g. “2017_salaries.csv”)
Annual salary, signing bonus, contract length and number of years remaining in current contract. Any data in this file overwrites any salary data included in the Roster File. If no salary data is available for a player, Football Mogul will assign a salary appropriate to that player’s age and ratings.
Team Records File (“Team_Records.csv”)
Used to calculate the ‘Conference Championships’ and ‘NFL Titles’ displayed on the Finances Page.
Salary Cap File (e.g. “2007_caproom.csv”)
If this file exists for the specified year, Football Mogul adjusts player salaries so that each team’s salary cap room equals the value listed for the team in this file. This file is useful if we have data for each team’s “room under the cap”, but don’t have salary and contract data for each individual player in the league.
Playbook files for each team are loaded from the “Playbooks” folder (not the “Stats” folder). Football Mogul generates a filename using the year and team name (e.g. “2013-Patriots”) and loads the offensive and defensive playbook files with those names (e.g. “2013-Patriots.opb” and “2013-Patriots.dpb”). If those files don’t exist, it looks for playbooks using just the team name (“Patriots.opb” and “Patriots.dpb”). If those don’t exist, default playbooks are loaded.