2021 BABS Game Plan 1 – Setting the Foundation

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There is good news and there is bad news.

The good news is that we’re getting smarter. The marketplace seems to be coming to terms with all the advice we’ve been doling out over the years and the results are in the rankings…. they ain’t half bad. BABS agrees — her ranking list mirrors the ADPs as closely as she ever has. At least early on.

The bad news is that we now have to dig a little deeper to find market inefficiencies. Actually, that’s not so bad. Leagues are rarely won at the top of the draft board anyway. The later picks are the ones that make a difference. Getting a 3rd round value in the 6th round — not so much anymore. But landing a 13th round value in Round 20? Still possible, and the type of pick that can win a league.

This initial publication of the BABS Draft Plan gives you all you need to get a head start on your draft prep. This foundation update includes the official launch of the BABS database and spreadsheet, and provides an overview of the positional talent pool. And the FISH List? Wow – what an outpouring of support! I’ve had to make some tweaks, but it looks like this prototype may become a fixture here. BABS grills a mean halibut.

(* Asterisked links are for members only.)


*The FISH List, Take 2: The positive response to the prototype has us taking another look at this new tool.

FISH List Reveals Effective Strategy: Guest columnist Rob DiPietro discusses his two FISHy revelations.

*Mock Draft Solitaire: How to prepare without the annoyance of other people.

Rotisserie Baseball Hall of Fame inducts four new members (BABS is not interested; you might be).

Positional analyses of the talent pool
*First base
*Second base
*Third base
*Starting pitcher
*Relief pitcher

Asset Group Analyses
How the marketplace is ranking players:

Player History Scans
Trend analyses of key players:
SAMPLE (Ketel Marte)


*Report Tutorial | Variables Cheat Sheet (PDF)

*BABS Database 
Complete Major League BABS ratings, current and historical, with sorts and filters
*DatabaseReport Key

*BABS Draft Suite
Your draft aids — cheat sheets, software support
*Master Spreadsheet | *RotoLab | ADPs from NFBCBlank roster grid

Minor League BABS Scouting
*Major league equivalent BABS ratings for 2019 minor leaguers (Class AA and AAA players).


*February 10
Do you have a question that would be best answered by one of our experts and benefit everyone? Submit it on our Contact Page and put MAILBAG in the Subject Line. We’ll select the best ones to respond to in each of the four Game Plan installments.

Reader forums
It’s your community of really smart BABSians. Ask questions, offer insights, vent – it’s your neighborhood. *Enter here


The BABS Project 3.0 (FREE PDF files)
Book 1 – Why we need a new system
Book 2 – The Broad Assessment Balance Sheet
Book 3 – BABS in practice

Looking ahead  

In the February 24 update, we start taking a deeper dive into the player pool, identifying players to target and avoid, intriguing asset groups, our regular report updates, and more!

6 thoughts on “2021 BABS Game Plan 1 – Setting the Foundation

  1. Patrick Vassalotti


    Will Fish 2 work if I eliminate all National League players?

    1. shandler Post author

      It’s doable, but will require a bunch of number-crunching. One method:
      1) Download NL players from the BABS database, sorted by ADPs. Import into a spreadsheet, then renumber sequentially.
      2) Download a second set of NL players from the BABS database, sorted by BABS rating, then number sequentially.
      3) Use VLOOKUP to assign the two sets of rankings to each player.
      4) Copy the player data and rankings into the appropriate columns in the FISH List spreadsheet.

      1. Harrison Russin

        Thanks for this method.
        One problem I’m encountering: in step 2, I can’t download all NL (or AL) players from BABS as a CSV… I can only download NL batters and pitchers separately. In other words, I can’t get a BABS-sorted rating for all players, only for batters and pitchers separately.

        I’ve tried this with the master BABS excel sheet but the fields seem to be different in that sheet.

        1. shandler Post author

          Hmm, yeah, that’s a problem. The FISH List was essentially intended as a laboratory project this season – we were not expecting it to generate this much buy-in so quickly. Long story short – we’re not prepared to provide these different options, and we don’t have the resources to add anything at this point. It looks like this is going to become a bigger project later on, focusing on a more robust application for 2022. Sorry.

          1. Harrison Russin

            Got it — thanks!
            I did manage to make it work in the BABS Master Excel sheet.
            1) In the BABS master sheet, filter out all AL teams (or filter as appropriate)
            2) copy-paste the resulting NL-only spreadsheet into a new sheet
            3) Create a new column and create a BABS-order sequential
            4) Re-sort by ADP and renumber sequentially appropriately.
            5) copy-paste the FISH excel sheet columns Y-AH to the end of the new NL-only BABS sheet
            6) adjust the formulas in Y and Z appropriately to match the right original cells
            7) drag down to auto-fill all the cells (in my new NL-only sheet, these are columns W through AF)
            8) Create a new column for the FISH list, and paste in the appropriate formula from the FISH excel sheet for column D (=SUMAB5:AH5) and adjust the columns appropriately (i.e., in my new NL sheet this is Z5:AF5)
            9) drag down in column D to autofill
            10) voilà, should have an appropriate NL-only FISH list.

            1. shandler Post author

              Thank you for posting this! Next time around, we’ll make it easier for everyone.

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