Draft Day Software Review: Diamond Draft
by Ray Flowers
February 25, 2005
From the dawn of time human beings have searched
for ways to lighten the load of the daily grind. First we tamed fire
and then we invented the wheel. Then came along refrigeration, the
car and television. As we now move full-force into the age of
computers our daily lives are often greatly aided by the genius that
invents new and useful forms of software. In the case of fantasy
baseball, we have one such source in Keith Macari’s Diamond Draft
WHAT IS IT?
sitting there on draft day fumbling through your copious notes and
magazines every time someone makes a pick. What round was that
again? Which team still needs an OF? For that matter, who do I need
and who is left? That’s the strength of DDS, it does it all
for you. No more need to lug 5 magazines and that old spiral
notebook filled with rambling notes with you on draft day,
DDS can do all your work for you in one highly organized
spot. You’ll no longer have to divert half your attention to the
process itself; you’ll now be able to focus solely on making the
proper choices for your fantasy team.
I have to admit that
being a historian I’ve always been a pencil and paper kind of guy.
Therefore I’ve tended to avoided software aimed at aiding me to do
much of anything (I’m the guy who checks out library books that have
layers of dust on them cause no one has bothered to read them in 10
years). So it was with a bit of trepidation that I decided to work
with the DDS, a program designed to provide you with
everything you’ll need to choose your team on draft day. However let
me tell you that I’m greatly relieved that I changed my
EASE OF USE
The first thing you will
notice is that DDS is very easy to use. The start up screen
allows you to setup the parameters of your league to include the
number of teams playing, the amount of players and the positions
they play, the categories you are using and what type of league it
is (NL, AL, Mixed). I found particularly useful two key components
of the set up design; the ability to adjust the positions your
league uses as well as the statistics under consideration.
Most leagues have roughly 23 or so players, but what if you
league employs middle or corner IF…are infielders then worth more $
than OF? DDS does the work for you by calculating the player
amounts based upon the positional parameters you give it. Also of
particular interest is the ability to tailor the dollar amounts used
in the program based on your desired breakdown of pitching and
hitting categories. For example, you can choose to use the standard
breakdown of a 67% of your money for offense and 33% of your cash on
pitching. However if you don’t abide by the “standard” way that
player values are assigned, you can task the program to breakdown
the dollar values any way you deem fit (from 1% to 99%). This allows
you to precisely value players based upon your own ideas and not off
some subjective standard that you don’t abide by.
feature that I found particularly satisfying was that DDS
also allows you to choose from a list of non-traditional scoring
categories including: OPS, Runs Produces, XBH, Net SB, TB, Wining %,
Neutral Wins/Loses, Net Saves, K’s per 9 IP, and Holds to name a
few. Just about any stat your league will be using is covered by
DDS. This variety allows you to set up DDS to
precisely value the players you use at the positions you need, with
the dollar value breakdown that you deem appropriate. Neato-keano.
The next thing you notice are a series of clearly defined
icons that take you to the various tools available throughout the
program. The simplest setup allows you to pull-up just your team so
that you can see where you need to focus your resources.
However if this is too simple for you there are of course
other options. Other options include viewing all the teams in the
league in columns next to one another or you can view the entire
draft chart with all players that are available in your universe
(drafted players change colors to let you know they are no longer
available). This draft table can be ordered by position, dollar
amount, or any of the categories that you wish to view (i.e. HR, RBI
There is also another option that includes a
depth chart screen that actually closely approximates my pen and
paper system of listing the number of slots per position and filling
them as you draft your team. In addition, there is also a very
useful icon that leads you to a games played chart so that you don’t
miss out on that player who might give you a huge advantage because
he played SS 20 games last year.
One last feature that I will
mention is the icon that allows you to LINK to the Net. You can
program whichever websites that you would like to have at your
disposal (such as Wild
Pitch or you can just operate off of the over 200 links that the
program provides for you! This feature allows you to link to fantasy
related sites, baseball-related sites as well as the hometown
newspapers for all 30 teams, a super cool feature. I can’t say
enough about this function…if you draft someone who is hurt or has
been recently benched it won’t be because you couldn’t find the
information; it will be because you didn’t look.
As one final
bonus when your draft is all done DDS will automatically
transfer all of your data to WORD so that you can print out all the
teams that have been selected. From start to finish, DDS has
easy to set up.
~ Allows you to choose from a large list of
categories besides the standard 5x5 categories to tailor the dollar
values to your specific leagues needs (i.e. you can customize the
categories to produce the dollar amount projections that are
appropriate for your leagues settings).
~ Easily allows you
to store all of your leagues teams and players with a click of a
~ You are able to customize the order in which
the players are listed:
alphabetical, positional, by dollar
amounts, by fantasy category, by games played, by age or by team
(either their actual professional association or by the team they
were drafted on).
~ Personalized information for each player
is offered through the use of graphs and colors (red and green)
which enable the user to visually see how the player has performed
the last three years.
~ Allows you to access any website
you so desire by clicking on the Internet tab where you can store
your favorites (one of the tabs already is linked to http://www.athomeplate.com/).
You won’t have to worry about missing a player who is injured - you
can just click on his latest report through your web links.
Provides weekly updates to keep your kind fresh until the moment of
your draft (just click on a tab for a painless download). These
updates include adjusting dollar amounts based on spring performance
and injuries, as well as little quick hits describing how the player
~ You have access to player
projections using the Brock2 system.
~ Cost…it’s much
cheaper than comparable products.
~ And when your all done
with your draft, all you have to do is to click on one tab to send
all your info over to a fully completed, and printable, WORD
document which lists all players and
~ TIME. Though
extremely easy to use, there is no way to prepare for using
the software in your draft without doing a mock draft or two prior
to your real one. While this is by no mean a negative comment on the
software, you will have to spend an hour or so playing around with
all the features of the program in order to be comfortable with it.
In fact, when I spoke with Mr. Macari, he suggested that I do the
very thing I’m suggesting to you. So this really isn’t a negative at
all, it’s more like “breaking in” your new baseball glove so that it
will be ready for the big game.
Diamond Draft Software,
available at http://www.diamonddraft.com/,
is an absolutely wonderful tool to work with (remember, I have never
used a system like this before, so if I can work it, you can too). I
found DDS to be extremely user friendly in addition to
offering just about every piece of information you could reasonably
expect to have on draft day. Also of great interest to me is the
ability of DDS to directly access the Internet for up to the
minute injury and status reports…that’s something that I never
thought of being possible in a program of this nature. I also
greatly appreciated the ability of the software to customize the
dollar amounts of the players on the draft board according to the
specific categories that your league uses (no more worrying about
how to value Juan Pierre if your league doesn’t count SB, DDS does
it for you).
In the end this program offers you everything
you’ll need to get a huge leg up on your competition. Heck, there is
even a place on the program where you can store audio clips that you
can play at the draft to get a little rise out of your friends. When
one of your friends chooses Placido Polanco in the
6th round, anyone out there think that he or she would
deserve a Harry Caray “Holy Cow”? With Diamond Draft Software, you
can do just that.
On a scale of zero to 4 balls, I give this
one 4 balls.
Our Rating System is based on a four ball
system as follows:
One Ball: Average. It has something
to say but is nothing special.
Two Balls: Something men
usually have - also means its a cut above average, and worth
Three balls: Stands out from its peers and
is highly recommended.
Four Balls: More than just what two
men have when hanging out together, it means it is an exceptional
book that truly earns a walk - straight to the local book store to
get a copy.