Friday, August 20, 2010

MLB Draft Thoughts / Links

My Thoughts
1- Karsten Whitson got terrible advice.
Major League teams, for the most part, have very good information as it pertains to potential draftees. Because teams employ so many scouts across the entire country that speak with these potential picks, they almost always understand what it will cost to sign a player before they draft him. This explains why players with "signability" issues drop into the later rounds. Knowing this, it utterly shocks me that the Padres could not sign the ninth overall pick, and without knowing the entire story, I am inclined to blame KW's "advisors" (I use the term advisor loosely). 
How much higher can he expect to go when he's eligible in 2013? Does he know there could be a slotting system by then?
I hope for their parts, the advisors took all of this into consideration when deciding college was the kid's best option.
My last point on this topic: Whitson's father said something along the lines of "It was always Karsten's dream to play college baseball, not professional baseball." Not only do I find that hard to believe, but I also find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe the Padres wouldn't know this BEFORE they picked him so highly.
The only winner in this situation is the University of Florida, the school KW will presumably attend for the next three years.
2- This was my Top 10:
 1- Bryce Harper (Actual choice: 1)
 2- Manny Machado (3)
 3- Zach Lee (28)
 4- Jameson Taillon (2)
 5- Brett Eibner (54)
 6- Josh Sale (17)
 7- Yasmani Grandal (12)
 8- Christian Colon (4)
 9- Kaleb Cowart (18)
10- Stetson Allie (52)
We'll see in a few years how I did.
3- As the final numbers trickle in, it looks like the Pirates spent the most of any team this year(~$12m). All the talk about small market teams not being able to afford the best talent is simply not true. This sums things up nicely.
4- Teams are finally realizing that the draft is one of the cheapest ways to compete with the big boys.
5- The teams that get screwed most with the late signing deadline are the college teams. Look at what the Red Sox alone took from LSU (Anthony Ranaudo, Garin Cecchini, Lucas Leblanc) all on deadline day. That leaves these Paul Mainieri with about a week to enact contingency plans.
6- Ty Linton, drafted by the D-backs in the 14th round, hits hard: Exhibit A.
7- In Monday's column, I suggested the Mets not sign Matt Harvey. After seeing that he agreed to take slot money, I love the move.
8- Teams that spent the most money acquired the best talent. Isn't that how it should be?
9- Arkansas' Zack Cox should have been drafted higher than 25th. He reminds me of Brett Wallace (pedigree as a proven college hitter, build), a player that was essentially traded for Matt Holliday. So, even as a trade chip, he's much more valuable than many guys picked ahead of him.
10- The whole draft process reminds me of the way venture capital firms. Players (investments) cost a bit now with the possibility of striking it rich later. If the GMs (portfolio managers) can land one superstar per class (vintage), your fans (investors) will be thrilled with the return.
Thoughts of Others
-Keith Law's NL and AL reviews. [ESPN]
-Bryan Smith's AL East, Central, West, NL East, Central and West reviews. [Fangraphs]
-Reviews by John Manuel and Aaron Fitt. [Baseball America]
-Kendall Rogers' review. [Yahoo]
-As Jayson Stark explains, it will be very difficult to implement a hard slotting system for the draft. If it happens, I think college baseball will be the biggest beneficiary. [ESPN]

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