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An Early Judgement on Epstein's First 3 Drafts (2003-2005)


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#1 philly sox fan


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Posted 17 November 2007 - 10:33 PM

This fall the Sox and Theo Epstein received a lot of credit for the extent to which the expensive veteran laden championship team also included a number of home grown players. That naturally brings to mind Epsteiís famous declaration that he wants the Sox to become a ď100M player development machineĒ. Hmmm, at least we know one way that Epstein came up short in his desire. I suppose itís more accurate to refer to the Sox as a 150M player development machine. Eh, one of these days 50M will be just a rounding errorÖ

I think most people believe that in a general sense the Sox have succeeded on that goal. Sure people will always want and expect more, but the Sox are very clearly at worst on the cusp of being that PD machine.

Iíd like to look at the Sox success a little closer and try to put it into context a bit. Because Iím a draft guy I thought it would be interesting to look at the Sox performance in Epsteinís first three drafts, 2003-2005. It is, of course, still very early to judge these drafts. A good subjective analysis requires at least 5 years and a good quantitative analysis requires ten or eleven years. Much less time has passed so weíll be much less rigorous.

My experience with the draft is that a reasonable, but challenging goal is to try to get one good player from each and every draft. If an organization can do that it will be in great shape. Obviously, the better those players are and the more of them there are, the better. Ideally, in a three year span one of those good players will actually be a great player. So the challenge goal from these three drafts is three good players and the stretch goal is three good players including one great one. I donít think Iím giving anything away to state up front that the Sox did pretty well to date.

To date the 2003 draft has produced four major league players: Jonathan Papelbon, Matt Murton, David Murphy and Abe Alvarez. Papelbon has been an excellent closer for two years (minus one month of DL time). Murton and Murphy were both secondary chips in mid-season trades and at this point project as 4th outfielders. A lot of people think Murton can be more than that if given more of an opportunity in Chicago, but for now he is what he is. Papelbon is undeniably a good player and has performed great in a limited role. How one feels about Papelbon is largely determined by how much importance one places in the closer role. Is Papelbon someone who only pitches ~60 IP per year or is he someone who is brilliant in a highly leveraged role that makes a tremendous impact on winning games? How one answers that question doesnít have a whole lot to do with Papelbon himself. I will, however, note that at his current pace of ~60 IP/yr he will hit free agency with ~400 IP and 1600 batters faced. As a comparison, I hope Buchholz is still a year away from arbitration when he hits 400 IP/1600 BFP.

To date the 2004 draft has produced two major leaguers: Dustin Pedroia and Cla Meredith. Itís unlikely that anybody else will make much of an impact in the majors. Pedroia, of course, just won the Rookie of the Year award. You canít expect much more than that. Meredith was also involved in an in-season trade. He was flukishly brilliant in his first year in San Diego and just solid in his second year. There is some value in developing solid middle relievers, but they arenít going to appreciably change how a draft is perceived. This is the Pedroia draft and so far it looks like a good one.

To date the 2005 draft has produced three major leaguers: Craig Hansen, Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury. Hansen has been a pretty big disappointment and only got a call up because of his contract status. Buchholz blossomed into one of the premier pitching prospects in baseball and tossed a no-hitter to boot. Ellsbury earned the starting CF job and has a very good chance to be as good and likely better than Pedroia. In addition, Jed Lowrie and Michael Bowden are both good prospects. As has been talked about quite a bit this year, this has a chance to be a great draft.

The quickie summary is that the Sox seem well on their way to getting three good players from these drafts and either Papelbon or Buchholz may be considered great, although Papelbonís role and the ever present threat of injury looms behind both.

I wanted to put the Sox performance, to date, in perspective to the rest of MLB. So I took a quick scan thru these three drafts and noted interesting players. I ended up with 30-35 players from each draft and then did a real quick ranking of the top 15-20. Most drafts produce 15 good players and though itís very early Ė Iím sure some late round sleepers that Iíve missed will eventually become good players Ė these are the player pools that will contain most of those good players.

The exact rankings are not important. Iíd switch them around every time I took a new look. The idea is to place the key Sox players in roughly their places within their draft classes. I tried to balance ceiling and already banked production for players that have already made the majors.

2003 Draft Class

Table
Rank Rd Pick Name Pos Team School
1 1 1 Delmon Young RF Tampa Bay Devil Rays Adolfo Camarillo HS (CA)
2 6 181 Matthew Kemp RF Los Angeles Dodgers Midwest City HS (OK)
3 1 24 Chad Billingsley RHP Los Angeles Dodgers Defiance Sr HS (OH)
4 1 7 Nicholas Markakis OF Baltimore Orioles Young Harris Col (GA)
5 4 114 Jonathan Papelbon RHP Boston Red Sox Mississippi St U (MS)
6 1 12 Lastings Milledge CF New York Mets Lakewood Ranch HS (FL)
7 1 Comp. 37 Adam Jones SS Seattle Mariners Samuel Morse HS (CA)
8 1 2 Rickie Weeks 2B Milwaukee Brewers Southern U A&M (LA)
9 1 Comp. 36 Jarrod Saltalamacchia C Atlanta Braves Royal Palm Beach HS (FL)
10 2 45 Thomas Gorzelanny LHP Pittsburgh Pirates Triton Col (IL)
11 1 23 Richard Wood SS Anaheim Angels Horizon HS (AZ)
12 1 20 Chad Cordero RHP Montreal Expos California St U (CA)
13 1 19 Conor Jackson 3B Arizona Diamondbacks U California (CA)
14 1 Comp. 31 Adam Miller RHP Cleveland Indians Mckinney HS (TX)
15 3 78 Ryan Garko C Cleveland Indians Stanford U (CA)
16 1 8 Paul Maholm LHP Pittsburgh Pirates Mississippi St U (MS)
17 17 496 Ian Kinsler SS-2B Texas Rangers U Missouri (MO)
18 1 28 Daric Barton C St. Louis Cardinals Marina HS (CA)
19 1 9 John Danks LHP Texas Rangers Round Rock HS (TX)
7 210 Reggie Willits CF Anaheim Angels U Oklahoma (OK)
1 29 Carlos Quentin OF Arizona Diamondbacks Stanford U (CA)
2 43 Joseph Reyes LHP Atlanta Braves Riverside Poly HS (CA)
3 97 Matthew Harrison LHP Atlanta Braves South Granville HS (NC)
3 74 Christopher Ray RHP Baltimore Orioles Col William & Mary (VA)
1 Comp. 32 Matthew Murton CF Boston Red Sox Georgia Tech (GA)
6 163 Sean Marshall LHP Chicago Cubs Virginia Commonwealth U (VA)
6 168 Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B Cleveland Indians U Nevada (NV)
1 10 Ian Stewart 3B Colorado Rockies La Quinta HS (CA)
7 199 Brian Bannister RHP New York Mets U Southern California (CA)
2 62 Andre Ethier CF Oakland Athletics Arizona St U (AZ)
4 115 Michael Bourn CF-SS Philadelphia Phillies U Houston (TX)
7 205 Kyle Kendrick RHP Philadelphia Phillies Mount Vernon HS (WA)
1 13 Aaron Hill SS Toronto Blue Jays Louisiana St U (LA)
3 80 Shaun Marcum RHP Toronto Blue Jays Southwest Missouri St U (MO)


Delmon Young just used up one of his six pre-FA years with a very pedestrian season which will reduce his pre-FA value quite a bit, but I left him as the top player from this draft class. The next two Dodgers are pretty obvious choices combining strong banked performances and high ceilings. Markakis and Papelbon are an interesting pair because Papelbon has certainly been much better in his role, but Iíd give the advantage to the very good everyday player there.

I think for now, and noting that Iím giving extra credit for realized production, that Papelbon slides in pretty well as the 5th best player in his draft class. However, there are some very high ceiling players like Milledge and Jones just behind him that will pass him if they even come close to hitting their ceilings. It seems likely that over time Papelbonís within draft ranking will drift down towards the bottom of the top 10 even if he stays healthy. Thatís still very good, of course.

Trying to guess which teams will have the best draft is complete speculation though obviously the Dodgers are the very clear favorites as thatís the only team with two very highly ranked players. Whichever teams have the high ceiling talents that actually become pre-FA stars will be the real winners from this draft. Papelbon should be enough to keep the Sox ranked as a well above average team.

One of the things that I always check about individual draft classes is the extent to which the good players are clustered at the top. My impression of recent drafts is that top talent has become increasingly concentrated in the first few rounds. This is all anecdotal, but if true it has some interesting implications. These three drafts, at least to date, due appear to be heavily clustered.

Amongst the 19 players that I ranked only four were drafted past the first 50 slots. The four are: Ryan Garko at #78, Jonathan Papelbon at #114, Matt Kemp at #181 and Ian Kinsler at #496. In the past Iíve found that there usually is a breakpoint between the relatively fertile ďhigh roundsĒ and the very hit or miss ďmiddle roundsĒ in the slot 100-125 range so really only Kemp and Kinsler are much outside of the consensus top 100 prospects. And they make a nice matched pair for the old HS vs C debate as Kemp is a prototypical tools goof who can really play ball and Kinsler is very much a stereotypical late round college infielder success.

2004 Draft Class

Table
Rank Rd Pick Name Pos Team School
1 1 2 Justin Verlander RHP Detroit Tigers Old Dominion U (VA)
2 2 64 Hunter Pence LF Houston Astros U Texas - Arlington (TX)
3 1 23 Philip Hughes RHP New York Yankees Foothill HS (CA)
4 2 46 Yovani Gallardo RHP Milwaukee Brewers Trimble Technical HS (TX)
5 1 12 Jered Weaver RHP Anaheim Angels Long Beach St. (CA)
6 1 7 David Bailey RHP Cincinnati Reds La Grange HS (TX)
7 2 65 Dustin Pedroia SS Boston Red Sox Arizona St U (AZ)
8 1 14 Billy Butler 3B Kansas City Royals Wolfson Senior HS (FL)
9 1 15 Stephen Drew SS Arizona Diamondbacks Florida St U (FL)
10 2 45 Reid Brignac SS-CF Tampa Bay Devil Rays St Amant HS (LA)
11 5 135 Jacob Mcgee LHP Tampa Bay Devil Rays Reed HS (NV)
12 3 75 Wade Davis RHP Tampa Bay Devil Rays Lake Wales HS (FL)
13 1 30 Eric Hurley RHP Texas Rangers Wolfson Senior HS (FL)
14 1 11 Neil Walker C Pittsburgh Pirates Pine Richland HS (PA)
15 1 Comp. 40 Huston Street RHP Oakland Athletics U Texas (TX)
1 17 Timothy Elbert LHP Los Angeles Dodgers Seneca HS (MO)
16 476 Mark Reynolds SS Arizona Diamondbacks U Virginia (VA)
6 185 Olise Meredith RHP Boston Red Sox Virginia Commonwealth U (VA)
12 366 Sean Gallagher RHP Chicago Cubs Saint Thomas Aquinas HS (FL)
1 18 Joshua Fields 3B Chicago White Sox Oklahoma St U (OK)
1 6 Jeremy Sowers LHP Cleveland Indians Vanderbilt U (TN)
1 9 Christopher Nelson SS Colorado Rockies Redan HS (GA)
4 110 Christopher Iannetta C Colorado Rockies U North Carolina (NC)
1 22 Glen Perkins LHP Minnesota Twins U Minnesota (MN)
1 3 Philip Humber RHP New York Mets Rice U (TX)
2 67 Kurt Suzuki C Oakland Athletics California St U (CA)
1 4 Jeffrey Niemann RHP Tampa Bay Devil Rays Rice U (TX)
13 375 Andrew Sonnanstine RHP Tampa Bay Devil Rays Kent St U (OH)
1 10 Thomas Diamond RHP Texas Rangers U New Orleans (LA)


This is the thinnest of the three drafts I looked at by a long shot. I had a hard time coming up with 30 really interesting players and the ranks of the ranked players thins out pretty quickly. Conveniently, this is the only draft that the Sox did not have a ton of extra high round picks. It looks like this was a pretty good year for that to have been the case (and making the Sox doubly lucky the next draft was extremely deep and thatís the one the Sox had their most extra picks).

Verlander is the no doubt player of the draft class right now. Heís a high ceiling prospect who has already banked a couple very good years. As long as he stays healthy heís going to be tough to beat.

Iíd group Weaver and Pence, Hughes and Gallardo together as the next tier. Weaverís been good, but not quite what his college stats might have suggested to some. The other three each made their debuts this past year and showed flashes of brilliance. Each of these players has a legitimate chance to be a highly valuable pre-FA star.

I put Pedroia in the next group with Bailey (high risk, high reward), Butler (big bat, no defensive value) and Drew (star talent with disappointing performance). Bailey and Drew have the best bets to separate themselves from the pack. Pedroia isnít seen as a player with a lot of additional upside so he could conceivably be passed by some lower ranked players who do break out, but heís a very solid candidate for the bottom of the top 10. Thatís not too shabby at all.

In terms of team ranking, the Tigers are obviously the leaders in the clubhouse. A lot of teams have a single good player/prospect so weíll just have to see how those players actually perform. Tampa is the real sleeper organization with a trio if high ceiling minor leaguers with very little high minors experience. If any 2 of them pans out this could be a great draft for them.

Again, the clustering looks good with mostly first and second round picks amongst the ranked players. The only players out of the top 50 selections are Pence (#64), Pedroia (#65), Davis (#75) and McGee (#135). And only McGee is past the top 75 selections.

I probably should have ranked Reynolds at #476. If he maintains his production he will be, like Kinsler from 2003, another stereotypical underrated late round college infielder.

2005 Draft Class

As I mentioned this looks like a fantastic draft class and itís very hard to rank players because almost all have very, very little major league experience. Itís also tough to rank Buchholz within the class because heís arguably the only elite pitcher. Iím probably selling Matt Garza a little short there, but I have Buchholz as the only pitcher in the top 12. The risk profiles of pitching prospects and hitting prospects are so different that itís tough to really place Buchholz with any confidence within this sea of elite hitting talent.

Table
[td=*]3B [/td][td=*]Kansas City Royals [/td][td=*]U Nebraska Lincoln, NE [/td][td=*]7 [/td][td=*]1 Comp. [/td][td=*]42 [/td][td=*]Clay Buchholz [/td][td=*]RHP [/td][td=*]Boston Red Sox [/td][td=*]Angelina Col, TX [/td][td=*]8 [/td][td=*]1 † [/td][td=*]28 [/td][td=*]Colby Rasmus [/td][td=*]CF [/td][td=*]St. Louis Cardinals [/td][td=*]Russell County HS, AL [/td][td=*]9 [/td][td=*]1 † [/td][td=*]10 [/td][td=*]Cameron Maybin [/td][td=*]CF [/td][td=*]Detroit Tigers [/td][td=*]T C Roberson HS, NC [/td][td=*]10 [/td][td=*]1 † [/td][td=*]11 [/td][td=*]Andrew McCutchen [/td][td=*]CF [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Pittsburgh Pirates[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Fort Meade HS, FL[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]11[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]23[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jacoby Ellsbury[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]CF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Boston Red Sox[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Oregon St U, OR[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]12[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]107[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jordan Schafer[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]CF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Atlanta Braves[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Winter Haven HS, FL[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]13[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Matthew Albidrez-Garza[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Minnesota Twins[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Fresno St U, CA[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]14[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Michael Pelfrey[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]New York Mets[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Wichita St U, KS[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]15[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1 Comp.[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]36[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Travis Buck[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Oakland Athletics[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Arizona St U, AZ[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]16[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]83[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Micah Owings[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Arizona Diamondbacks[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tulane U, LA[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]17[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]140[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Bryan Anderson[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]C[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]St. Louis Cardinals[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Simi Valley HS, CA[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]18[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]73[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kevin Slowey[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Minnesota Twins[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Winthrop U, SC[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]19[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]75[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Yunel Escobar[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SS[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Atlanta Braves[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]20[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]66[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chase Headley[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3B[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]San Diego Padres[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U Tennessee, TN[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]118[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jeremy Hellickson[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tampa Bay Devil Rays[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Herbert Hoover HS, IA[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]61[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Nolan Reimold[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Baltimore Orioles[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Bowling Green St U, OH[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]93[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Brandon Erbe[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Baltimore Orioles[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]McDonogh School, MD[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1 Comp.[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]45[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jed Lowrie[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2B[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Boston Red Sox[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Stanford U, CA[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1 Comp.[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]47[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Michael Bowden[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Boston Red Sox[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Waubonsie Valley HS, IL[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]68[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Donald Veal[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]LHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chicago Cubs[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Pima CC, AZ[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]136[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Joshua Bell[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3B[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Los Angeles Dodgers[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Santaluces HS, FL[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]5 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]166[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jonathan Meloan[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Los Angeles Dodgers[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U Arizona, AZ[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]85[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]William Inman[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Milwaukee Brewers[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tunstall HS, VA[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]114[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Justin Maxwell[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]CF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Mont/Washington Nationals[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U Maryland College Park, MD[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]11 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]349[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]William Horne[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]New York Yankees[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U Florida, FL[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]121[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Brent Lillibridge[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SS[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Pittsburgh Pirates[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U Washington, WA[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]241[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Steven Pearce[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1B[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Pittsburgh Pirates[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U South Carolina Columbia, SC[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jeffrey Clement[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]C[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Seattle Mariners[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U Southern California, CA[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]56[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Christopher Mason[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]RHP[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tampa Bay Devil Rays[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]UNC Greensboro, NC[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3 †[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]99[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Taylor Teagarden[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]C[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Texas Rangers[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]U Texas Austin, TX[/color] [/td]
Rank Rd Pick Name Pos Team School
1 1 † 1 Justin Upton SS Arizona Diamondbacks Great Bridge HS, VA
2 1 † 7 Troy Tulowitzki SS Colorado Rockies Long Beach St, CA
3 1 † 5 Ryan Braun 3B Milwaukee Brewers U Miami, FL
4 1 † 12 Jay Bruce CF Cincinnati Reds Westbrook HS, TX
5 1 † 4 Ryan Zimmerman 3B Mont/Washington Nationals U Virginia, VA
6 1 † 2 Alex Gordon


I gave Upton the top spot on the basis of his Griffey and ARod upside, but at least in terms of his pre-FA production there is a risk that he could end up heading down the Delmon Young path eating up service time before he really becomes a strong performer.

The next group of hitters is pretty obvious. I stuck Bruce, the only pure prospect, ahead of Gordon, who struggled last year. The other three have all already had a lot of success.

I stuck Buchholz ahead of three terrific high upside HS hitters, but I can see the argument to put him lower, no-hitter be damned, just because of the risk profile. He should rank about here, but there are just so many potential elite talents here that it doesnít matter where they rank today. Some of these guys will be pre-FA stars and hugely valuable. Many of them will be disappointments of varying degrees. Unfortunately, nobody knows which ones are which.

I put Ellsbury below all of the unproven HS CF, but above Schafer. I think Schafer is a better minor league prospect, but I donít think itís homerism in this case to give Ellsburyís demonstrated ability at higher levels an advantage. Yeah, I think I do have Garza too low, but whatever.

In terms of which teams will rank the highest it just depends on which high ceiling prospects hit. A lot of teams have good reasons to think they will have one of the best 3-5 players from this impressive draft class. The Sox, Cardinals, Atlanta, Twins and DBacks are all in excellent shape with a couple ranked prospects. The Sox have an additional advantage with a couple other good prospects in the unranked group.

Finally, lets put all three drafts together and look at the combined group of notable draft products for each team. I split the 30 organizations into three groups. Imo, there is a pretty clear Top 12 organizations who have two or more very good players/prospects. Any of these organizations can make claim to be amongst the very best handful of teams in this period if their prospects hit their ceilings.

I thought there was a second tier of ten teams with at least one very good player/prospect and then another eight teams that are, at least so far, really bringing up the rear. All of these rankings are very much subjective to change over time and I certainly donít think these rankings right now are set in concrete or anything. Just a quickie subjective moment in time ranking.

Table
[td=*][color="#000000"]Rank[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Team[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Players[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Mil[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ryan Braun[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Yovani Gallardo[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Rickie Weeks[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Will Inman[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Boston[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jonathan Papelbon[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Dustin Pedroia[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Clay Buchholz[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jacoby Ellsbury[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Bowden/Lowrie/Murton/Meredith[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]LA[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Matt Kemp[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chad Billingsley[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Scott Elbert[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jonathan Meloan[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Josh Bell[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Detroit[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Justin Verlander[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cameron Maybin[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cinn[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jay Bruce[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Homer Bailey[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]TB[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Delmon Young[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jacob Mcgee[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Reid Brignac[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Wade Davis[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Hellickson/Neiman/Mason[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Arizona[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Justin Upton[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Stephen Drew[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Conor Jackson[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Micah Owings[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Reynolds/Quentin[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]KC[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Alex Gordon[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Billy Butler[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Anaheim[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jered Weaver[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Brandon Wood[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Reggie Willits[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]10[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Pitt[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tom Gorzelanny[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Andrew McCutchen[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Paul Maholm[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Neil Walker[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Lillibridge/Pearce[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]11[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Atlanta[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jarrod Saltalamacchia[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jordan Schafer[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Yunel Escobar[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Matt Harrison[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jo-Jo Reyes[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]12[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]StL[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Colby Rasmus[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Bryan Anderson[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Daric Barton[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]13[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Colorado[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Troy Tulowitzki[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ian Stewart[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chris Iannetta[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chris Nelson[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]14[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Baltimore[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Nick Markakais[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Nolan Reimold[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Brandon Erbe[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chris Ray[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Taylor Teagarden[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]15[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Texas[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ian Kinsler[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]John Danks[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Eric Hurley[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Thomas Diamond[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]16[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Wash[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ryan Zimmerman[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chad Cordero[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Justin Maxwell[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]17[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]NYM[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Lastings Milledge[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Mike Pelfrey[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Brian Bannister[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Philip Humber[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]18[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Minn[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Matt Garza[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kevin Slowey[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Glen Perkins[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]19[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cle[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ryan Garko[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Adam Miller[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kevin Kouzmanoff[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jeremy Sowers[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]20[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Houston[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Hunter Pence[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]21[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]NYY[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Philip Hughes[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Alan Horne[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]22[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Seattle[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Adam Jones[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jeff Clement[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]x[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]23[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Oak[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Huston Street[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Andre Ethier[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Travis Buck[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kurt Suzuki[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]24[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SD[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chase Headley[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chi-NL[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Donald Veal[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Sean Marshall[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Sean Gallagher[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]26[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Toronto[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Aaron Hill[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Shaun Marcum[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]27[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chi-AL[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Josh Fields[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]28[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Phl[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Kyle Kendrick[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Michael Bourn[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]29[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Jonathan Sanchez[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]30[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Fla[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chris Volstad[/color] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td]


I like the Brewers in the top spot because I still believe in Weeks upside and I like the variety of their top players Ė a middle of the order slugger, a high upside middle of the diamond player and a front of the rotation (if not quite ace) pitcher.

I put the Sox second partly because theyíve already banked three good seasons and have very good depth. If the Sox drop off from this lofty ranking it will be because their elite talent doesnít quite match some other teams. Papelbon is great in his role, but itís not unreasonable to question whether a 60 IP/year pitcher can be a ďrealĒ star. Buchholz has the requisite talent to be a star, but banking on 1200 IP over the next six years is a risky proposition. Where the Sox excel is in the depth of prospects brought into the system over these three years. There are a lot of organizations that struggle to come up with three good prospects and the Sox have a couple potential Top 100 types stacked up in the 5th and 6th spots.

The Sox have had an advantage in terms of the number of extra picks theyíve had over the years, but thatís offset by the fact that all of their picks have been in the bottom half of the first round and lower. Almost half of the bolded players from the other Top 12 teams never made it past the slot #15. The Sox are amongst the best organizations in baseball in producing talent despite never having had the opportunity to select 40-50% of the best players from these drafts. Thatís pretty impressive and imo easily makes up for the fact that they have extra picks in the 30s and 40s.

One of the things that I thought was interesting about this exercise is how many teams fail to even reach the three good prospects from three draft threshold, never mind actually getting three good MLB players.

Each of the 30 organizations had at least one good prospect/player although that was partly my choice. I had to go back to find Volstad for Florida and Sanchez for SF for example. Five organizations didnít have a second good prospect/player including the Astros who drafted a very good one in Hunter Pence. When a single player can make a draft, any team can have a good draft. Only 18 teams have three good players. Thirteen teams have four with the Sox (Ellsbury), Rays (Davis) and DBacks (Owings) by far the strongest. Only seven organizations had at least five good prospects/players with those same three the standouts at that level too. Come to think of it, to have the Rays and DBacks as your two closest peers when it comes to draft success is pretty much all you need to know about the Sox success and the Sox have done it without any Top 5 picks.

#2 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 17 November 2007 - 10:38 PM

1993, 1994? I think you mean 2003, 2004. Just a heads up.

#3 philly sox fan


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Posted 17 November 2007 - 10:43 PM

Er... yeah.

#4 Eric Van


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Posted 17 November 2007 - 11:12 PM

Papelbon is undeniably a good player and has performed great in a limited role. How one feels about Papelbon is largely determined by how much importance one places in the closer role. Is Papelbon someone who only pitches ~60 IP per year or is he someone who is brilliant in a highly leveraged role that makes a tremendous impact on winning games? How one answers that question doesnít have a whole lot to do with Papelbon himself.

I think that if you polled sabermetricians you would get a very solid consensus: it's an overrated job in the regular season but a crucial one in the post-season, where the extra days of rest allow the elite closers to get 4-6 outs per game.

If a team (like the Royals) whose goal is simply to make the post-season produces a Papelbon, it's indeed hard to justify that as the production of a "great" player. For a big-payroll perennial contender, however, where missing the post-season is an active disappointment and the goal is nothing less than winning the WS, it's hard not to call an elite closer a great player.

#5 Gunfighter 09


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 12:22 AM

Simply great work.. I think your analysis does a good job of capturing the value of the development machine Theo has created.

My only quibble and it is somewhat of a side note, but I have to think Micah Owings is ahead of Clay in his class and should be a top 5 guy in the 2005 group.

His rookie year numbers: 27 starts/8-8/ 109 ERA+/1.28WHIP and 106K/50 BB in 153 IP, compares favorably with rookie seasons by guys like Becket, Peavy or Sabathia. I know pitching in the NL West provides some inflation, but I think you have to add some significant value to him because of his prowess as a hitter. He had a 153 OPS+ over 62 PA with 12 extra base hits including 4 HR and 15 RBI in the 9th spot of an average line up. I have to think he would be on your list if they played him at first base like he did in college even without his ability to serve as a solid number two or three starter his rookie year.

Edited by Gunfighter 09, 18 November 2007 - 12:35 AM.


#6 philly sox fan


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:04 AM

I didn't look up everybody as I was mostly just trying to "feel" out the rough rankings and paid the most attention to guys I thought were right around the Sox players. I may have overlooked Owings banked good year because he didn't have the kind of elite prospect pedigree as most of the other top guys from his draft class.

My impression is that he was a bit lucky last year and fwiw his FIP (4.80) and xFIP (4.98) do suggest that may be true. I still think he's behind Buchholz an Garza, but probably should have bumped him up at least a few spots.

#7 keving18

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:24 AM

Papelbon is undeniably a good player and has performed great in a limited role.

Philly, being the closer on a championship is no limited role.

Would you say the same about Mariano Rivera? Papelbon has been the Sox' Rivera so far.

#8 keving18

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:30 AM

And Pedroia should be #1, Philly.

You forgot to include clutchness and intangibles.

#9 philly sox fan


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:47 AM

Papelbon is undeniably a good player and has performed great in a limited role.

Philly, being the closer on a championship is no limited role.

Would you say the same about Mariano Rivera? Papelbon has been the Sox' Rivera so far.


No, I agree that a closer on a championship team is a key role. My comments along those lines were pretty much exclusive to the regular season and team context neutral.

If Papelbon was drafted and developed as a closer by the Royals would he be a great player? By these team context based opinions, no.

And that very much *is* a limitation. Every non-closer great player would still be a great player on a last time. That's a big difference to me.

#10 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 10:04 AM

Philly, great information. Fascinating.

I did have one question though. There's been a lot of discussion on SOSH about how the big-money teams should have a draft advantage because they have the resources to go after players that are "tough signs," particularly by drafting them after the 10th round and paying them above-slot bonuses. Trouble is, it seems like there are only a couple of players that might fit this category (Horne? Kinsler? I'm not sure), which is weird to me since you hear that some of these players are as talented as the guys drafted in the late first and second rounds.

So my question is - have your studies been able to conclude anything about these above-slot draft picks?

Thanks.

#11 thrawnqq

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 10:24 AM

Great work Philly.

As I dont usually pay close attention to the NL, I wasnt familiar with the two Dodgers players. Gotta keep my eyes peeled for them next year.

Thanks,

Todd

#12 RoDaddy

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 12:02 PM

Philly, great information. Fascinating.

I did have one question though. There's been a lot of discussion on SOSH about how the big-money teams should have a draft advantage because they have the resources to go after players that are "tough signs," particularly by drafting them after the 10th round and paying them above-slot bonuses. Trouble is, it seems like there are only a couple of players that might fit this category (Horne? Kinsler? I'm not sure), which is weird to me since you hear that some of these players are as talented as the guys drafted in the late first and second rounds.

So my question is - have your studies been able to conclude anything about these above-slot draft picks?

Thanks.

I had exactly the same question. It's a relatively small sampling size (3 years), but tentatively, this suggests tough signs are not worth the time or money!? Also, the Sox and other big-spending organizations have additional advantages in the International market, further (in addition to tough signs) compensating a lack of high draft picks. Have you considered International signings in evaluating team success in developing talent?

This is great reviw and analysis, Philly - thanks.

#13 philly sox fan


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 12:20 PM

I did have one question though. There's been a lot of discussion on SOSH about how the big-money teams should have a draft advantage because they have the resources to go after players that are "tough signs," particularly by drafting them after the 10th round and paying them above-slot bonuses. Trouble is, it seems like there are only a couple of players that might fit this category (Horne? Kinsler? I'm not sure), which is weird to me since you hear that some of these players are as talented as the guys drafted in the late first and second rounds.

So my question is - have your studies been able to conclude anything about these above-slot draft picks?


That's a good question. I know Jim Callis did a study of over and under slot players and found that there is good bang for you buck in general, but I can't find the link.

But I think a lot of that was due to elite top 5 overall talent falling into the middle of the first round and signing for 2+M as opposed to pretty good talent falling into the middle and late rounds and signing for 500-800k.

Examples of the former are Weaver, Drew, Maybin and Pelfrey who were candidates to go #1-5 and fell to #9-15. This year Matt Weiters is another example. He could have gone as high as #2, but instead slid to #6 and get the 2nd (or 3rd) highest bonus anyway.

Examples of the latter are pretty much only Alan Horne as far as I can tell on a quick scan. Kinsler was just a typical low rd bonus guy who was missed and subsequently broke out. Although, it is important to note that this has become more pervasive in the last couple of years. In a few years we may look back at the 2006/07 drafts and see a bunch of guys like (hopefully) Kalish and Anderson who fell to late rounds, signed for just decent bonuses and broke out as very good major leaguers.

It's nice to collect "tough" or over slot signs in the middle or later rounds, but these players are generally viewed as 2nd and 3rd tier talents. You've got a collect a lot of those guys to hope to even get one whereas all of the elite talents who fall a little bit should have pretty good shots to make the majors and make an impact. I think people tend to over-rate individual players who fall in the draft and sign for several hundred k.

This issue also ties into the notion that teams may be doing a better job of clustering talent at the top of the draft. A 1st rd pick who signs for 2M is a better bet than 4 tough signs who fall to the middle rounds and sign for 500k.

I was thinking about doing a more thorough look at some point, but this also ties into the incessant whining that the Sox should have known that Porecello would be available at #20 because "top talent falls in the draft all the time". Except that's not really true. Elite top 5 players very, very rarely fall past the middle of the 1st rd. If they're really good and really expensive, they may fall like Weiters et al mentioned above, but they don't fall that far. Just off the top of my head, the last time an elite top 5 draft talent fell past #15 was Rick Ankiel in 1997. That's a long time ago.

You can argue that there has been more talk, and perhaps more pressure, about elite players falling into the 20s in the last couple of years so it was just a matter of time. You can add in the Boras factor and also that a lot of teams that will cough up several million for a falling C position player probably want nothing to do with a HS pitcher at that price. There is a case that a Porcello type slipping through to the 20s was coming, but the absolute certainty with which people whine about it is very much misplaced imo.

#14 philly sox fan


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 12:22 PM

Have you considered International signings in evaluating team success in developing talent?


There's a bigger lag time with international players and much less published bonus data, but it's something I'm very interested in and I have been collecting some data to try to pull together that story.

#15 The Boomer

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 02:20 PM

I had exactly the same question. It's a relatively small sampling size (3 years), but tentatively, this suggests tough signs are not worth the time or money!? Also, the Sox and other big-spending organizations have additional advantages in the International market, further (in addition to tough signs) compensating a lack of high draft picks. Have you considered International signings in evaluating team success in developing talent?

This is great reviw and analysis, Philly - thanks.


Great work as always, Philly. I'm not sure if RoDaddy's proposition (tough signees aren't worth the money) is always true. In 2006, the Yankees matched the Red Sox Lars Andersen signing by the late drafting and lighting promotion of Joba Chamerlain. The Sox had a few other tough signs like this in 2006 (i.e. taking Ryan Kalish away from U. Va.) that it's too early to write off.

Edited by The Boomer, 18 November 2007 - 02:21 PM.


#16 Mike F


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 05:18 PM

Nice work Phiily.

Mariano demonstrates exactly what Eric said above.

#17 nolasoxfan

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 05:50 PM

Outstanding work.

A quick question: Why is WASH rated so low? I would think that the combination of Zimmerman, Cordero, and Maxwell rates @ least 2-3 spots higher on your list.

Edited by nolasoxfan, 18 November 2007 - 05:51 PM.


#18 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 08:49 PM

This issue also ties into the notion that teams may be doing a better job of clustering talent at the top of the draft. A 1st rd pick who signs for 2M is a better bet than 4 tough signs who fall to the middle rounds and sign for 500k.

Thanks for the response. From reading your stuff, I've always found it intruiging how large of a competitive advantage teams could get by increasing their draft efficiency/player development by even a small amount. But as discussed in another thread, the talent evaluation people are always at the bottom end of the budget scale.

Elite top 5 players very, very rarely fall past the middle of the 1st rd. If they're really good and really expensive, they may fall like Weiters et al mentioned above, but they don't fall that far. Just off the top of my head, the last time an elite top 5 draft talent fell past #15 was Rick Ankiel in 1997. That's a long time ago.

You might count Craig Hansen among this group . . . . :bravo:

#19 OCD SS


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:58 PM

I think people are worrying way to much about the individual ranking spots (which seems to be a common problem when someone puts some prospects on a list).

Philly, how do you (if it's even possible) address the overall talent level of a draft? The 2005 draft is already being talked about as a historic talent class compared to other recent drafts. Is it possible to measure a team's sucsess on a relative scale when there is so much talent to choose from?

#20 philly sox fan


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Posted 18 November 2007 - 11:06 PM

Philly, how do you (if it's even possible) address the overall talent level of a draft? The 2005 draft is already being talked about as a historic talent class compared to other recent drafts. Is it possible to measure a team's sucsess on a relative scale when there is so much talent to choose from?


That's a really interesting question. There certainly are big year to year differences.

Here are a couple rankings from my 1987-94 studies:

Rank	 Year   totY11	totWARP3   PostDraft (yrs)
		 1	  1989	1575	   2045		16
		 2	  1987	1573	   2218		18
		 3	  1988	1520	   1998		17
		 4	  1991	1473	   1836		14
		 5	  1990	1337	   1795		15
		 6	  1993	1190	   1313		12
		 7	  1992	1131	   1320		13
		 8	  1994	1105	   1105		11
		ave			 1363

That's total WARP thru year 11 (basically the end of pre-FA service time for everybody) and total thru whenever I wrote that.

The late 1980s drafts where ~50% more productive thru Y11 than the 1992-94 drafts.

Producing 100 WARP in a 1100 WARP draft is definitely a different thing than producing 100 WARP in a 1500 WARP draft.

It's definitely something you could only do retrospectively (I think), but you could do some kind of correction factor so that it's more valuable to produce the same 100 WARP in the lower WARP draft class environment.

#21 Eric Van


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Posted 19 November 2007 - 06:34 AM

That's a good question. I know Jim Callis did a study of over and under slot players and found that there is good bang for you buck in general, but I can't find the link.

Nate Silver at BP did a comprehensive two-part study just three months ago of players taken within the first 100 picks who were paid more than $500K over slot. Not quite the same thing as giving a 17th round pick 2nd round money, but still relevant. Let me quote the conclusion:

Adding it Up

It might surprise you how many of the above-slot players have turned out to be busts. Although the failures of football guys like Henson and Borchard are fairly well known, you probably wouldnít stop to think about Vince Sinisi or Mike Nixon. Our final tally is as follows:

Do It Again?

Yes 18 {Burrell, J.D. Drew, Beckett, Sheets, Crawford, Nady, Sizemore, P Chris Young, Mauer, Teixeira, B.J. Upton, Kazmir, Francoeur, Jered Weaver, Justin Upton, Maybin, Andrew Miller, Ian Kennedy}

Maybe 11 {Patterson, Matt Belisle, Prior, Loewen, Guthrie since he was released, Delmon Young, Niemann, Stephen Drew, Gordon, Hochebar, Scherzer}

No 28 {Choo Freeman, Chad Hutchinson, Henson, Eric Munson, Nick Stocks, Neil Jenkins, Joe Borchard, Beau Hale, Ben Diggins, David Espinosa, Jason Stokes, Bobby Hill, Dane Sardinha, Jason Young, Brazelton, Gavin Floyd, Kid-bro Garciaparra, Roscoe Crosby, Mike Gosling, Bobbie Brownlie, Mike Nixon, Weeks (not worth #2 overall), Vince Sinisi, Chuck Tiffany, Humber (not worth #3), Grant Johnson, Matt Tuiasosopo, Pelfrey}

It would seem that the majority of players who sign for above slot are not worth the money. However, that isnít the whole story. In fact, itís a patently misleading story, because it mis-states the whole nature of the draft. With the exception of the top few overall picks, the draft is a boom or bust exercise; the vast majority of major league draft picks are failures. You could go a decade without getting a major leaguer from your third-round pick, but if the next year you got Grady Sizemore, youíd be coming out ahead. So, if you can get just a few more Sizemores by going above slot from time to time, your return on investment would be very adequate.