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1989 Draft Review


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#1 philly sox fan


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Posted 21 May 2006 - 11:27 PM

1989 Draft Review

Part 1: Shape of Draft
     Y0   Y1   Y2   Y3   Y4   Y5   Y6   Y7   Y8   Y9  Y10  Y11  Y12  Y13  Y14  Y15  Y16 
HS   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34
 C    21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37

WARP -0   16   53   81  136  126  196  207  211  198  180  171  126  123   94   70   58  
%pk   0    8   25   38   64   60   93   98  100   94   85   81   60   58   44   33   27   

#Pl   2   10   26   47   78   69   84   87   78   68   70   63   49   45   42   34   22
3     0    4    2    5    9    9   15   15   17   19   17   17   12   12   10    9    4
6+    0    0    3    5    7    7   10   10   11   10    8    7    6    6    4    3    3
Tot   0    4    5   10   16   16   25   25   28   29   25   24   18   18   14   12    7

The season to season WARP3 production pattern is fairly typical of a college oriented draft. The Y4 total is relatively high – though in this case Y5 is unusually flat with respect to Y4. The Y11 total is somewhat high for a college draft. There’s a good broad peak between Y6 and Y11.

The pattern for “#Pl” is typical – a quick peak close to 90 players per year in the Y5-Y7 range followed by a long decline phase.

The number of players in the “3” and “6+” rows are fairly typical for a strong draft – roughly 15-20 players in the “3” category and 10 players in the “6+” category at peak. What is unusual about this draft class is how quickly a handful of players started to make an impact at the MLB level. Four players were over 3 WARP3 in Y1 and three players were over 6 WARP3 in Y2. That’s a very, very quick return on a draft pick

Part 2: Types of Players
                         WARP3     # players    total players    % of players
                           100+          3             3                 2
                            90           1             4                 3
                            80           1             5                 4
                            70           3             8                 6
                            60           1             9                 6
                            50           3            12                 9
                            40           6            18                13
                            30           5            23                16
                            20           7            30                21
                            10          22            52                37   
                             0          68           120                86
                            <0          20           140               100

This draft has a fantastic high end with three players already over 100 WARP3 and another two players who will probably join them. Eight players over 70 WARP3 indicates that the high end is pretty deep as well. After that it thins out a bit into a draft with average overall depth.

Part 3: Top 40 Players
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1       4      109      Bos       Jeff Bagwell*     3B         C         125.3
  2       1        7      CWS       Frank Thomas*     1B         C         114.7
  3       3       79      Tor       John Olerud*    1B-LHP       C         111.6
  4      20      521      Tor       Jeff Kent*        SS         C          90.3
  5      13      331      Cle       Jim Thome*        SS        JC          89.4
  6       3       69      Cal       Tim Salmon*       OF         C          76.9
  7      17      435      Cle       Brian Giles*      OF        HS          76.0
  8       1       25      Min       Chuck Knoblauch   SS         C          74.2
  9      11      288      Cin       Trevor Hoffman*   SS         C          65.9
 10       4      111      Min       Scott Erickson*  RHP         C          58.3

The excellent top of this draft is almost exclusively pulled from the college ranks. In terms of clustering there’s an odd mix of players from the first few rounds and a quartet of excellent players drafted after the 10th. Note that while Olerud was drafted in the 3rd rd and is categorized as a 3rd rd pick he was widely regarded as one of the top players in the draft and he signed for the second highest draft bonus. He fell in the draft due to concerns about his health and signability.

There are three 100+ WARP3 players already. Kent and Thome are likely to reach that threshold as well. Bagwell and Thomas should make the HoF. Kent and Thome should retire with strong cases to join them. The recently retired Olerud will have to settle for the Hall of Very Good. This is by far the best top 5 from any of the drafts between 1987-1994.

The next five players are also quite impressive. Salmon, Giles and Knoblauch were all very good players. In a much more limited role, Hoffman has been an excellent player and although the HoF hasn’t really settled on reliever criteria it seems likely that Hoffman will eventually make it. Potentially there could be five HoF players from this draft class.

Erickson is a bit out of place in this company, but he was a 20 game winner early in his career.
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
 11       1       23      Bos       Mo Vaughn         1B         C          56.4
 12       5      114      Atl       Ryan Klesko*    LHP-1B      HS          51.3
 13      43     1120       LA       Eric Young*       OF         C          46.4
 14       3       85      Min       Denny Neagle     LHP         C          45.7
 15       5      127      NYY       JT Snow*          1B         C          45.5
 16       1s      27      Hou       Todd Jones*      RHP         C          43.7
 17       6      161      Bos       Paul Quantrill*  RHP         C          43.4
 18       3       72      Hou       Shane Reynolds   RHP         C          40.5
 19       1        1      Bal       Ben McDonald     RHP         C          39.4
 20      45     1156      Cal       Chad Curtis       OF         C          39.0

There is a mix of very good players – some with relatively short careers – and solid players with long careers. It always depends on how stringent you are about what constitutes a “good” player, but I’d say this draft produced 15-18 “good” players.

Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
 21       1       17      Mil       Cal Eldred*      RHP         C          36.7
 22      10      267      Min       Martin Cordova    OF        JC          32.4
 23       1       13       KC       Brent Mayne        C         C          31.2
 24      20      518       SD       Tim Worrell*     RHP         C          29.4
 25       8      201      Cle       Curt Leskanic    RHP         C          29.0
 26      15      386       SF       Pat Rapp         RHP         C          27.5
 27      14      371      Min       Mike Trombley    RHP         C          25.9
 28       9      231      NYY       S Hitchcock      LHP        HS          22.4
 29       1       22      LA        Tom Goodwin       OF         C          21.4
 30       2       35      Hou       Brian Hunter      OF        HS          20.0

Cordova won a RoY award, but this group is a typical assortment of back of the rotation starters, relievers and role players.

Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
 31       3       71      Cle       Jerry DiPoto     LHP         C          17.3
 32      17      425      Bal       Greg Zaun*         C        HS          17.3
 33      25      643      Cle       Robert Person   SS-OF       JC          15.9
 34       5      116      Phl       Steve Parris     RHP         C          15.2
 35      47     1197      Tex       Danny Patterson  RHP        HS          14.9
 36       5      123      Cle       Alan Embree*     LHP        HS          14.4
 37       1       18      Pit       Willie Greene     SS        HS          14.3
 38      20      512      Mon       FP Santangelo     SS         C          14.1
 39       2       39      Cal       Joe Grahe        RHP         C          12.5
 40      32      821      CWS       Joe Borowski*    RHP        HS          12.5

In comparison to some of the other very good drafts this is a weak group. The strength of this draft is really the top 5 and top 20 players and it thins out pretty quickly after that.

Part 4: Top Players Prior to Free Agency
Rank    Car Rank    Player               Pre-FA      Post-FA     
  1         2        Frank Thomas*         65.8         48.9         
  2         1        Jeff Bagwell*         61.8         63.9         

  3         7        Brian Giles*          52.8         23.2         

  4         6        Tim Salmon*           49.2         27.7         
  5         8        Chuck Knoblauch       45.8         28.4         
  6        11        Mo Vaughn             44.8         11.6         
  7         3        John Olerud*          43.2         68.4         
  8         5        Jim Thome*            40.3         49.1         

  9        10        Scott Erickson*       36.7         21.6         
 10         9        Trevor Hoffman*       34.7         31.2         
 11        18        Shane Reynolds        31.1          9.4         
 12        20        Chad Curtis           30.1          8.1         

 13        19        Ben McDonald          28.4         11.0         
 14        21        Cal Eldred*           27.3          9.4         
 15        14        Denny Neagle          25.5         20.2         

 16        16        Todd Jones*           23.7         20.0         
 17         4        Jeff Kent*            23.4         66.9         
 18        17        Paul Quantrill*       23.3         20.1         
 19        12        Ryan Klesko*          21.4         29.9         
 20        25        Curtis Leskanic       21.3          7.7         
 21        13        Eric Young*           21.3         25.1         
 22        22        Martin Cordova        21.2         11.2         
 23        29        Tom Goodwin           19.6          1.8          
 24        15        JT Snow*              19.1         26.4          
 25        28        Sterling Hitchcock    19.0          3.4          
 26        26        Pat Rapp              17.5         10.0          
 27        30        Brian Hunter          16.9          3.1          
 28        27        Mike Trombley         15.8         10.1          
 29        24        Tim Worrell*           9.4         20.0
 30        23        Brent Mayne            8.4         22.8

Thomas and Bagwell are the only players to clear 60 WARP3. Thomas’ small edge is due to an extra half season of playing time prior to free agency. I’m not a self-loathing Sox fan obsessed with Bagwell for Anderson, so I’ll just say the White Sox GM doesn’t get enough credit for not trading Frank Thomas for a setup reliever.

Giles is a very interesting player. I double checked his pre-FA total because we’re not used to thinking about late blooming players as extraordinarily valuable. Like Thomas, Giles benefited from an extra partial season beyond the CBA proscribed six full seasons, but that’s not a huge factor. Giles was extraordinary valuable pre-FA (at least once he got to Pitt and a chance to start) because he was in his physical prime and basically at peak production right at the start of his career. His late start puts somewhat of a ceiling on his final career production just because he’ll have fewer years than a similarly talented player that got his start at age 22/23, but Giles will have spent more of his pre-FA years in his physical prime than the younger player. It’s for that reason that Ryan Howard is one of the most valuable assets in all of baseball. He started this year seemingly close to his physical prime with zero full years of service time. Assuming his production doesn’t dramatically fall off at 30/31, Howard is going to be extraordinarily valuable in his pre-FA years. He’ll probably be a risky post-FA signing not unlike Jim Thome the player he replaced, though Giles has been a very good post-FA player despite his late start.

A relatively large group of five very good players exceeded 40 WARP3 in their pre-FA service time. Salmon, somewhat famously, never made an All-Star team, but clearly these were all All-Star level players at service time restricted prices.

It’s a testament to how great the top eight players are that there are only seven players between 25-40 WARP3. If you wanted to draw the line for “good” players at 25 WARP3 pre-FA then this very good draft would only have 15 “good” players. That select group excludes a couple long career relievers (Jones and Quantrill) which is a function of their role and not that big of a deal. However, it also excludes Kent and Klesko. Kent is going to be a borderline HoF player so it’s a bit odd to think of him as not a “good” player in terms of the draft, but it is true that his early career value is substantially lower than you might expect for a player of his stature. Klesko is not in Kent’s league as a player, but overall he has been a “good” player. His pre-FA production is low in part because he was a aprt time platoon player early in his career.

Part 5: Players by Round
Round   WARP3    WARP/pk    WARP/pk (87-94)    Players    20   40   60   80   100
  1      407.2      15.7          17.9             18       4    1    1          1
  1s      46.4      11.6           6.6              3            1
  2       40.1       1.5           4.1             10       1
  2s       0.0       0.0           0.0              2
  3      305.7      11.8           4.6             10            2    1          1
  4      203.2       7.8           2.8              7            1               1
  5      127.7       4.9           3.1              6            2
  6       55.6       2.1           3.0              6            1
  7       23.5       0.9           2.5              3
  8       46.5       1.8           2.3              4       1
  9       29.8       1.1           1.1              6       1
 10       34.9       1.3           1.1              3       1
 11       79.4       3.1           1.8              4                 1
 12       11.2       0.4           0.8              3
 13       99.8       3.8           2.0              2                      1              
 14       25.9       1.0           0.7              1       1             
 15       39.2       1.5           0.8              3       1
 16       10.2       0.4           0.3              1
 17       97.0       3.7           1.5              4                 1
 18       20.9       0.8           1.1              3
 19       15.8       0.6           0.4              3
 20      139.3       5.4           1.3              5       1              1
 21        0.8       0.0           0.4              2
 22        8.4       0.3           0.5              1
 24        8.8       0.3           1.0              2
 25       15.9       0.6           0.6              1
 27        0.3       0.0           0.1              1
 28        0.1       0.0           0.5              1
 29       -0.1       0.0           0.2              1 
 31        6.9       0.3           0.0              3
 32       12.8       0.5           0.3              3
 33       -0.1       0.0           0.1              2
 34       -0.3       0.0           0.0              2
 35       10.8       0.4           0.1              2
 36        0.3       0.0           0.3              1
 37       -0.4       0.0           0.1              1
 38        0.7       0.0           0.1              1
 42        9.9       0.4           0.0              1
 43       46.4       1.8           0.4              1            1
 44        0.4       0.0           0.3              2
 45       39.0       1.5           0.3              1       1
 47       14.9       0.6           0.2              1
 51        0.4       0.0           0.0              1
 52       10.1       0.4           0.0              1
 55        0.1       0.0           0.0              1
        2045.4

The most interesting thing to note here is how dramatically a player that slips in the draft due to signability issues can skew the data. The 1989 3d rd was 3-fold higher than average, but much of the production came from Olerud who of course was not a typical 3rd rd talent. Out of the 305 WARP3 produced by the third round Olerud produced 110 WARP3 himself. If he had been drafted in the 1st rd, which is what his talent merited, than the 3rd rd would be much closer to average and the 1st rd, which now looks a little below average, would actually be above average.

Even discounting Olerud there was very good production in the 3rd through 6th rounds. Additionally, four excellent players were drafted between the 11th and 20th rounds.

Part 6: Players by School
      totWARP3     20+WARP      totPlayers      20+Players    totPercent    20+Percent
HS       316.3       169.7           30                4         15 (17)       11 (11)
JC       204.6       121.8           20                2         10             8
  C      1524.4      1318.3           89               24         75 (83)       82 (89)

The college ranks dominated this draft. There’s a 5-fold advantage in the totWARP3 group and nearly an 8-fold advantage in 20+WARP3 and 20+Players.


All HS players over 20 WARP3
         
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1      17      435      Cle       Brian Giles*      OF        HS          76.0
  2       5      114      Atl       Ryan Klesko*    LHP-1B      HS          51.3
  3       9      231      NYY       S Hitchcock      LHP        HS          22.4
  4       2       35      Hou       Brian Hunter      OF        HS          20.0

Hitchcock and Hunter barely eked over my 20 WARP3 “useful” threshold, but this was a two player HS draft class. Giles has been an excellent player and Klesko has had a good career. Both players were relatively late picks which means the perceived elite HS players were all busts.

One of the reasons I favor “blend” drafts is because it would make sense that a “blend” team would be better prepared for a drafts that highly favor players from either school type. If a team heavily favors HS (or C) players and a draft class happens to be overwhelmingly made up of C (or HS) players, then it would seem that the school type specific team would be at a great risk to getting shut out for the draft. On the other hand, if you’re a HS oriented team like the Braves and you manage to draft one of the two good HS players in the entire draft, then I guess there’s not much incentive to change your approach.

All JC/CC players over 20 WARP3
         
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1      13      331      Cle       Jim Thome*        SS        JC          89.4
  2      10      267      Min       Martin Cordova    OF        JC          32.4

There isn’t much depth, but Thome has a shot at 500 HR and the HoF. Each of the drafts from 1987-1989 produced one great JC/CC players. For whatever reason, none of the drafts from 1990-1994 produced any.

All C players over 20 WARP3
         
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1       4      109      Bos       Jeff Bagwell*     3B         C         125.3
  2       1        7      CWS       Frank Thomas*     1B         C         114.7
  3       3       79      Tor       John Olerud*    1B-LHP       C         111.6
  4      20      521      Tor       Jeff Kent*        SS         C          90.3
  5       3       69      Cal       Tim Salmon*       OF         C          76.9
  6       1       25      Min       Chuck Knoblauch   SS         C          74.2
  7      11      288      Cin       Trevor Hoffman*   SS         C          65.9
  8       4      111      Min       Scott Erickson*  RHP         C          58.3
  9       1       23      Bos       Mo Vaughn         1B         C          56.4
 10      43     1120       LA       Eric Young*       OF         C          46.4
 11       3       85      Min       Denny Neagle     LHP         C          45.7
 12       5      127      NYY       JT Snow*          1B         C          45.5
 13       1s      27      Hou       Todd Jones*      RHP         C          43.7
 14       6      161      Bos       Paul Quantrill*  RHP         C          43.4
 15       3       72      Hou       Shane Reynolds   RHP         C          40.5
 16       1        1      Bal       Ben McDonald     RHP         C          39.4
 17      45     1156      Cal       Chad Curtis       OF         C          39.0
 18       1       17      Mil       Cal Eldred*      RHP         C          36.7
 19       1       13       KC       Brent Mayne        C         C          31.2
 20      20      518       SD       Tim Worrell*     RHP         C          29.4
 21       8      201      Cle       Curt Leskanic    RHP         C          29.0
 22      15      386       SF       Pat Rapp         RHP         C          27.5
 23      14      371      Min       Mike Trombley    RHP         C          25.9
 24       1       22       LA       Tom Goodwin       OF         C          21.4

The draft is so overwhelmingly college oriented that this is basically the same list as the Top 40 from Part 3 minus Thome, Giles, Klesko and the stragglers nobody cares about at the end. Again, the top four is just ridiculously good. The second tier players include multiyear All Stars in Knoblauch, Hoffman and Vaughn and the quality depth goes down to Ben McDonald at #16.

It would have been a very, very good year for some junior grade asst GM clutching Bill James’ early 1980s college uber alles draft study to have his boss’ ear.

#2 philly sox fan


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Posted 21 May 2006 - 11:32 PM

Part 7: Players by Position
                 P         Pos       C       INF       OF       
totWARP       784.3     1,261.1    112.3    868.0    280.8
20+WARP       507.8     1,102.2     31.2    791.1    279.7

totPlayers      74         66        15      29        22
20+Players      13         17         1      10         6

The group of pitchers is a little thin on high end talent. Catching is weak and the outfielders are thin behind the top two players. The group of infielders is off the chart great.

All Pitchers over 20 WARP3
         
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1      11      288      Cin       Trevor Hoffman*   SS         C          65.9
  2       4      111      Min       Scott Erickson*  RHP         C          58.3
  3       3       85      Min       Denny Neagle     LHP         C          45.7
  4       1s      27      Hou       Todd Jones*      RHP         C          43.7
  5       6      161      Bos       Paul Quantrill*  RHP         C          43.4
  6       3       72      Hou       Shane Reynolds   RHP         C          40.5
  7       1        1      Bal       Ben McDonald     RHP         C          39.4
  8       1       17      Mil       Cal Eldred*      RHP         C          36.7
  9      20      518       SD       Tim Worrell*     RHP         C          29.4
 10       8      201      Cle       Curt Leskanic    RHP         C          29.0
 11      15      386       SF       Pat Rapp         RHP         C          27.5
 12      14      371      Min       Mike Trombley    RHP         C          25.9
 13       9      231      NYY       S Hitchcock      LHP        HS          22.4

In the 1988 review I mentioned that Wakefield wasn’t the only position player to pitcher convert to lead his draft class in pitching. His fellow late round college infielder, Trevor Hoffman, pulled off the same feat. Again, that speaks to the extreme difficulty in scouting and projecting pitchers.

Are there any aces? No. Erickson and Neagle both won 20 games once, but they didn’t have a sustained several year period as a classic #1 starter.

Are there four good #2/3 quality starters? Yes. Erickson and Neagle certainly were. I can see where someone might see Reynolds and/or McDonald as borderline candidates, but I would count them.

Are there any closers or special relievers? Yes, Hoffman although he wasn’t drafted as a pitcher much less as a reliever. Todd Jones has been a closer off and on, but a second or third tier one at that. Jones and Quantrill are rare relievers who were able to stay healthy and good long enough to exceed 40 WARP3. Those kinds of long careers aren’t terribly valuable to the team that drafted the player, but they’re worth noting.

Did MLB as an industry do a good job clustering talent? Marginally good, I guess. The four key starters were drafted within the first 4 rds (first 111 picks), but there were surely a lot of busts between McDonald at #1 and Reynolds et al at #72-111.

All Catchers over 20 WARP3
         
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1       1       13       KC       Brent Mayne        C         C          31.2

This draft did not produce any longterm starting catchers.

All Infielders over 20 WARP3
         
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1       4      109      Bos       Jeff Bagwell*     3B         C         125.3
  2       1        7      CWS       Frank Thomas*     1B         C         114.7
  3       3       79      Tor       John Olerud*    1B-LHP       C         111.6
  4      20      521      Tor       Jeff Kent*        SS         C          90.3
  5      13      331      Cle       Jim Thome*        SS        JC          89.4
  6       1       25      Min       Chuck Knoblauch   SS         C          74.2
  7       1       23      Bos       Mo Vaughn         1B         C          56.4
  8       5      114      Atl       Ryan Klesko*    LHP-1B      HS          51.3
  9       5      127      NYY       JT Snow*          1B         C          45.5

This group includes potentially five players that will exceed 100 WARP3 and maybe four that will make a HoF. That’s very impressive.

Are the HS infielders clustered at the top? What HS infielders? Klesko technically qualifies, but he’s more accurately characterized as a corner player. He’s basically split his MLB career between 1B and LF. Generally when I use the term “infielder” I mean the non-1B infielders.

Are there a lot of mid-round college sleepers? Not a lot, but a couple are off the charts great. Bagwell and Kent are mid round college infielders, but they’re much, much better than the type of player that I’m referring to. They do share one important characteristic of this type of player – they had to switch positions. Bagwell made the relatively uncommon move from 3B to 1B. A fair number of these players moved from SS to 3B (like Kent did initially) or SS to 2B (like 1st rd pick Knoblauch). I think that helps to explain how the scouting community missed these players. That they played SS in college is a testimony to the fact that although they did not have 1st rd athleticism or tools, they were at least somewhat athletic and toolsy. The shortstop is generally the leader on the infield so you can imagine that these players might have the kind of leadership and work ethic intangibles that would allow them to squeeze every ounce of ability out of their talent. But you can also imagine scouts questioning their ability to play major league defense at SS and failing that whether or not they would develop enough power for 3B or have the quickness and agility to play 2B. That’s a reasonable way to explain the “why” these players are missed, but it’s not clear how to prevent future ones form being missed.

Snow is more typical in terms of career value, but again he’s a 1B which isn’t quite an infielder to me.

All Outfielders over 20 WARP3
         
Rank    Rd     Pick     Team       Player           Pos      School       WARP3
  1       3       69      Cal       Tim Salmon*       OF         C          76.9
  2      17      435      Cle       Brian Giles*      OF        HS          76.0
  3      43     1120       LA       Eric Young*       OF         C          46.4
  4      45     1156      Cal       Chad Curtis       OF         C          39.0
  5      10      267      Min       Martin Cordova    OF        JC          32.4
  6       1       22      LA        Tom Goodwin       OF         C          21.4
  7       2       35      Hou       Brian Hunter      OF        HS          20.0

Salmon and Giles have both had very good careers. Salmon was a relatively high pick from college and Giles a very late pick from HS. It’s just generally hard to see patterns with the outfielders. Young has had a solid career, but he spent much of it at 2B. The rest of these players had relatively brief careers as regulars.

Part 8: Players by Team

The next table ranks teams by their total WARP3 production. That can sometimes be deceiving so I’ll also break the teams down into smaller groups as well.

Rank   Team     WARP3      Key Players (WARP3)
  1      Cle     259.4      Thome (89.4), Giles (76.0), Leskanic (29.0)
  2      Min     248.0      Knoblauch (74.2), Erickson (58.3), Neagle (45.7), Cordova (32.4)
                            Trombley (25.9)
  3      Bos     229.8      Bagwell (125.3), Vaughn (56.4), Quantrill (43.4)
  4      Tor     210.2      Olerud (111.6), Kent (90.3)
  5      CWS     131.0      Thomas (114.7)
  6      Cal     130.3      Salmon (76.9), Curtis (39.0)
  7      Hou     122.0      Jones (43.7), Reynolds (40.5), Hunter (20.0)
  8      NYY      97.5      Snow (45.5), Hitchcock (22.4)
  9      Cin      73.2      Hoffman (65.9)
 10       LA      69.2      Young (46.4), Goodwin (21.4)
 11      Bal      67.7      McDonald (39.4)
 12      Atl      66.6      Klesko (51.3)
 13       KC      45.8      Mayne (31.2)
 14      Pit      43.9      Greene (14.3), Wagner (11.1)
 15      Mil      36.7      Eldred (36.7)
 16       SD      30.5      Worrell (29.4)
 17      Oak      30.3      Abbott (11.0)
 18       SF      30.1      Rapp (27.5)
 19      Mon      28.2      Santangelo (14.1)
 20      NYM      27.0      Huskey (12.0), Fordyce (10.1)
 21      Tex      24.8      Patterson (14.9), Eischen (8.6)
 22      Phl      19.2      Parris (15.2)
 23      Det      15.3      Doherty (12.3)
 24      Cub       4.5      Stevens (5.4)
 25      Sea       2.8      Salkeld (2.4)
 26      Stl       1.1      Cromer


Did three teams have great drafts? Five teams had really just tremendous franchise changing drafts. As you’ll see these drafts were so good that they significantly shrunk the number of teams in the merely good draft range.
Rank   Team     WARP3      Key Players (WARP3)
  1      Cle     259.4      Thome (89.4), Giles (76.0), Leskanic (29.0)
  2      Min     248.0      Knoblauch (74.2), Erickson (58.3), Neagle (45.7), Cordova (32.4)
                            Trombley (25.9)
  3      Bos     229.8      Bagwell (125.3), Vaughn (56.4), Quantrill (43.4)
  4      Tor     210.2      Olerud (111.6), Kent (90.3)
  5      CWS     131.0      Thomas (114.7)

Cleveland, Toronto and Boston all drafted two very good to excellent players. The extremely impressive WARP3 totals for the individual players, however, overstate the actual value recouped by the teams. Cleveland foolishly traded Giles for Ricardo Rincon. Kent produced a disproportionate amount of his WARP3 in his post-FA years. The Sox topped the Indians mistake by trading Bagwell for Larry Anderson.

Out of 216 team drafts between 1987-1994, this Twins draft is the only one to produce five players that exceeded 20 WARP3. The Twins are known as a traditional scouting, HS oriented team, but they went heavy on collegians at the top of this draft and landed three very good players within the first four rounds.

The White Sox draft is a classic “one great player = a great draft” draft. The White Sox picked Thomas at #7 overall and may as well have called it a day.

Were there a half dozen very good drafts and another half dozen good, above average drafts? No, the top drafts were so good that there weren’t enough players left over for a good middle class.

Rank   Team     WARP3      Key Players (WARP3)
  6      Cal     130.3      Salmon (76.9), Curtis (39.0)
  7      Hou     122.0      Jones (43.7), Reynolds (40.5), Hunter (20.0)
  9      Cin      73.2      Hoffman (65.9)
 11      Bal      67.7      McDonald (39.4)
 12      Atl      66.6      Klesko (51.3)

  8      NYY      97.5      Snow (45.5), Hitchcock (22.4)
 10       LA      69.2      Young (46.4), Goodwin (21.4)

In some years Salmon might be enough to think about the Angels in the great draft category, but he doesn’t stack up to the superstars drafted by the teams in the top five. It’s a little odd to think that Hoffman may make the HoF and that the Padres didn’t have a great draft, but relievers, even great ones, accumulate WARP3 at a much slower pace so it’s difficult for them to pack a lot of value in their pre-FA years.

Did half the teams have mediocre to bad drafts? The deep drafts at the top have an effect here as well. A little over half the teams (14 in a 26 team league) generated very little value from this draft.

Rank   Team     WARP3      Key Players (WARP3)
 13       KC      45.8      Mayne (31.2)
 14      Pit      43.9      Greene (14.3), Wagner (11.1)
 15      Mil      36.7      Eldred (36.7)
 16       SD      30.5      Worrell (29.4)
 17      Oak      30.3      Abbott (11.0)
 18       SF      30.1      Rapp (27.5)
 19      Mon      28.2      Santangelo (14.1)
 20      NYM      27.0      Huskey (12.0), Fordyce (10.1)
 21      Tex      24.8      Patterson (14.9), Eischen (8.6)
 22      Phl      19.2      Parris (15.2)
 23      Det      15.3      Doherty (12.3)
 24      Cub       4.5      Stevens (5.4)
 25      Sea       2.8      Salkeld (2.4)
 26      Stl       1.1      Cromer (2.6)


#3 Worst Trade Evah


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Posted 22 May 2006 - 05:43 AM

Catchers are really a problem. Should teams think about just taking outfielder/dh types and just making them catchers? How many skills do you really have to have to survive at catcher? Just seems like teams are giving up huge amounts of offense there.

#4 philly sox fan


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Posted 22 May 2006 - 06:57 AM

I think in the full eight year summary there will be 13 pretty good or at least mostly fulltime catchers so that's about 1.5 per draft. When there are so few successes it's kind of hard see meaningful patterns or make suggestions.

A lot of folks have suggested from a strict numbers standpoint bad defensive catchers who can hit would be a net gain, but teams just really are not at all comfortable about going down that direction.

Interestingly, there are a couple examples of doing the opposite of that - good hitting catchers becoming 1B/DH hitters. Both Konerko and Mike Sweeney were drafted as HS catchers and eventually were switched over to 1B to maximize the development of their bats.

Could they have stayed at catcher and been more valuable?

Should teams prefer offensive oriented HS catchers with the idea that if their bats take a huge leap forward you can always move them to 1B/DH if they truly can't handle C?