Before we get all of our panties in a bunch about the draft, which starts in a mere 40 minutes, let’s remember one thing: a lot of these players aren’t going to reach the majors. Maybe one of these players (Bryce Harper) has the chance to become a once-in-a-generation player. Maybe half of these picks make the majors. Maybe five or six become all-stars.
Attrition is going to happen regardless of how many players a team drafts, but a good drafting team can limit that number. Just as an example, take the Giants.
The Giants have two amazing pitchers in the majors right now, one drafted out of high school and one who had all sorts of concerns over delivery in his draft. Now this is gonna be arbitrary, but between 2000 and 2006, when these two pitchers were drafted, the Giants had nine first round picks. Nine. Only Lincecum and Cain can be considered successes; Noah Lowry had some success, but is no longer pitching in baseball. This is a successful drafting franchise. They draft a lot of pitchers and the pitching talent that’s developed and can’t be used (or peaked) is traded off, like Alderson for Freddy Sanchez, which turned out to be an OK deal. There’s a number of teams that haven’t had a single first round pick pan out in the last 12 years. And it’s more than just stumbling into talent by way of massive picks, the draft-heavy A’s haven’t developed a great prospect since Chavo in 1996 and that blew up in their faces.
Take, on the other hand, the Astros. They’ve had 28 picks in the first four rounds, years 2000-2006. Of those 28 picks, only seven reached the majors, only one of those was a first round pick (Chris Burke). And only Hunter Pence and Chad Qualls, both second round picks, have performed above average in that time (and I guess Kirk Saarloos, but really?).
Half of major league baseball’s best talent doesn’t even come from the draft, it comes from international signings.
With that in mind, let’s play a little.
Memories of Kevin Malone has a list of draftees associated with the Dodgers.
Keith Law says the Dodgers are leaning heavy toward Drew Vettleson.