Saturday, June 07, 2008

MLB DRAFT - POST MORTEM



More than any other year in the 10+ years that I've been following the draft, it seems as if there was a much greater emphasis on college players over HS players than ever before.

Whether this is a residual effect of the current crop of "Moneyball" GM's making their marks on teams scouting department or just an attempt to shift developmental costs from their own minor league systems to the colleges, I'm not sure. Time will tell.

From an economic standpoint, it makes some good common sense. A lot of these guys can take 2-3 years to develop and mature (student-athletes are eligible for the draft after HS in 2 years if enrolled in a junior college and 3 years if enrolled in a four year program).

For hitters, there seems to be no downside. The pros are a little more leery about trusting premium HS pitching arms to the whims of college coaches however. We'll have to see if the numbers reflected this year were just an anomaly or a trend that continues. More and more, the college game is being televised on cable packages, so some of these guys are coming into the pros with a more developed reputation than in the past as well.

The other trend I do like about the draft is the compensation picks for losing free-agents. I think it has helped the smaller market teams recover and rebuild faster than ever before.

I would suggest one more enhancement to the draft, we can call it The Slavik Plan for Competitive Balance, and that is to instead of simply tying the draft order to the teams prior year record, a formula is developed that also includes the teams prior year payroll as well. In this way, if in any given year the Yankees or the Sawks fall off the cliff due to injuries to key players, and finish with the worst record in baseball, they would in no way draft first. No more Brian Taylor to the Yankees, although that one didn't work out to well.

There may have to be some sort of horse-trading with the players union on this, since it's tied to salary, but I think if you added a minimum team salary that teams would have to surpass, then this would compress the team's together even further in terms of competition on the field.

At least the small market teams would have some measure of hope of catching lightning in a bottle with their younger talent versus the large market teams more established veteran talent.

I'm sure the agents would continue to "game" the system with outrageous salary demands to drive their clients to the desired team, but you could add some sort of "loss of future draft picks" provision for going over slot guidelines.

Anyway it's worth a try. We'll have to see what develops down the road.
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UPDATE ON GIANTS DRAFT-PICKS FROM:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/06/SPON114Q8C.DTL&feed=rss.giants

Great to see Giants, A's picks giving it the ol' college try
Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday, June 7, 2008

Posey, the Florida State catcher chosen fifth overall by the Giants on Thursday, is almost too good to be true. He's an exceptionally well-mannered kid who only wants to talk about his teammates. He's a dean's-list student with a near-perfect GPA and a long-term future in finance. When you learn that he has excelled as a catcher, shortstop and pitcher in college, you're not surprised that in a game against Savannah State last month, he played all nine positions, looking comfortable with every switch.

"I'll tell anybody that will listen," said Mike Martin, who has coached the Seminoles for 29 years. "He's Jason Varitek behind the plate and he's Derek Jeter as a hitter. I really believe he's that good."

Baseball America recently rated Posey as the No. 2 pure hitter in college ball. Its No. 3 choice was Gillaspie, the Wichita State third baseman taken by San Francisco as the 37th overall selection. A left-handed hitter batting out of a low crouch, hands back, the bat pointing straight up, he's the picture of balance. He drilled a dead-pull single to right early in the game, then wisely played to the conditions (wind blowing out to left) for a three-run, opposite-field homer in the sixth
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Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 2. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 3. Bryan Reynolds 6-2, 210 OF Switch hitter with average speed and polished hitting approach. Fits Giants mold of high-floor, low-ceiling prospects.
  • 4. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 5. Sandro Fabian 6-0, 180 OF Dominican signee from 2014, shows some pop in his bat. Below average arm and lack of speed should push him towards LF.
  • 6. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • 7. Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Potential high-ceiling player the Giants have been looking for. Great bat speed, early returns were impressive.
  • 8. Garrett Williams 6-1, 205 LHP Former Oklahoma standout, Giants prototype, low-ceiling, high-floor prospect.
  • 9. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 10. Seth Corry 6-2 195 LHP Highly regard HS pick. Was mentioned as possible chip in high profile trades.
  • 11. Jacob Gonzalez 6-3, 190 3B Good pedigree, impressive bat for HS prospect.
  • 12. C.J. Hinojosa 5-10, 175 SS Scrappy IF prospect in the mold of Kelby Tomlinson, just gets it done.
  • 13. Shaun Anderson 6-4, 225 RHP Large frame, 3.36 K/BB rate. Can start or relieve
  • 14. Garett Cave 6-4, 200 RHP He misses a lot of bats and at times, the plate. 13 K/9 an 5 B/9. Wild thing.

2018 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Ethan Hankins 6-6, 215 RHP Forsyth Central HS (GA) Mi 90's FB tops at 96-98, plus breaking ball. Vanderbilt commit.
  • 2. Kumar Rocker 6-5, 250 RHP North Oconee HS (GA) Heavy 98 FB, sharp mid 90's slider. Vanderbilt commit.
  • 3. Matthew Liberatore 6-5, 200 LHP Mountain Ridge HS (AZ) High 3/4 arm slot, 91-93 FB tops at 95, with good feel for pitching. Arizona commit.
  • 4. Slade Cecconi 6-4, 195 RHP Trinity Prep HS (FL) High 90's FB tops at 97, with mid 80's breaking ball. Miami commit.
  • 5. Carter Stewart 6-6, 200 RHP Eau Galle HS (FL) Highest spin rate breaking ball in draft. Mississippi State commit.
  • 6. Luke Bartnicki 6-3, 210 LHP Walton HS (GA) Low 90's FB with command, workable slider. Georgia Tech commit.

2018 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Brady Singer 6-5, 200 RHP Florida Sergio Romo-esque slider from whippy low 3/4 arm slot. Mid 90's FB, sharp slider and change-up. 3.4 K/BB rate.
  • 2. Casey Mize 6-3, 210 RHP Auburn Forearm issues, 96 FB with split/slider mix, 6.2 K/BB ratio.
  • 3. Logan Gilbert 6-6, 205 RHP Stetson Loose arm action, 3 pitch mix, 93-96 FB 3.2 K/BB.
  • 4. Ryan Rollison 6-3, 200 LHP Mississippi Smooth delivery from 3/4 arm slot, 89-93 FB tops at 94/95. Late 1st, early 2nd rounder. 2.8 K/BB rate.
  • 5. Shane McClanahan 6-1, 175 LHP South Florida Thin build, 3/4 arm slot, tall and fall delivery. 93/96 FB range. 3.0 K/BB rate.

2018 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects in Tampa Bay Area

  • 1. Connor Scott 6-4, 180 OF Plant HS (FL) Florida commit.