Archive for ‘MLB Draft’

Thursday: 06.28.2012

The 2002 Draft: The East in Review

A while back I took a look at the first round of the 2002 draft and reviewed the picks of each team.  With 10 years in the bank, it is fair to look back and judge how everything went for the teams.  I would also like to review each team and will do so by division starting with the west.  Here are the 10 east teams and their 2002 performance.

Other divisions: WEST


A look at the 2002 drafts of the East division teams by the numbers.

*player in minors, but played in MLB recently


Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 6 (12%)

Combined WAR: -0.7

Best Pick: John Maine (3.7 WAR) in the 6th round

Still Playing in MLB: Adam Loewen*, Val Majewski* and Antoan Richardson*

Notable Picks: Hayden Penn and Brandon Fahey

Grade: F

Comments: Richardson was drafted in four of five years from 2001 to 2005 including in back-to-back years in the 27th round by the O’s before eventually winding up with the Giants in 2005.  He has toured the minors since getting a sniff with the Braves last year (4 PA) and has come full circle landing back in the Orioles organization.  This was a busted draft with a failed 1st rounder and the only notable pick getting traded for 30 below league average starts from Kris Benson (4.82 ERA, 94 ERA+).



Picks: 49

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: 35.9

Best Pick: Jon Lester (22.1 WAR) in the 2nd round

Still Playing in MLB: Lester, Brandon Moss, Ricky Romero (didn’t sign) and Brian Bannister (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: someone named Chris Smith who pitch in the MLB as recently as 2010 & in the minors last year

Grade: B+

Comments: Didn’t get anything but Lester, but he’s a star and came in the 2nd round as they were without a 1st rounder. That’s at least a semi-successful draft, if not an overwhelmingly successful one.



Picks: 48

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: 0.4

Best Pick: Phil Coke (1.3 WAR) in the 26th round

Still Playing in MLB: Coke, Matt Carson, Eric Hacker, Dane de la Rosa

Notable Picks: Brad Halsey and Brandon Weeden, yes that Brandon Weeden

Grade: D-

Comments: I gave them a D- instead of an F+ because they were without a 1st or 3rd round pick.  Coke at least did something and aided in the Curtis Granderson trade, though I doubt it hinged on him in any way, shape or form.  Do they get additional WAR if Weeden leads the Browns to several good seasons in the NFL?



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 9 (18%)

Combined WAR: 35.5

Best Pick: B.J. Upton (12.1 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Upton, Jacoby Ellsbury (didn’t sign), Mike Pelfrey (didn’t sign), Jason Hammel, Cesar Ramos, Chris Leroux* (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: Jason Pridie, Elijah Dukes, Wes Bankston

Grade: B

Comments: It would’ve been an A+++ had they been able to get their picks to sign, but Pelf and Ells went to college.  A solid B for a potential star in Upton who is still just starting his prime, the thinking behind the Pelf and Ells picks (essentially partial credit since they didn’t sign) and Hammel who only showed flashes with the Devil Rays before breaking out in Baltimore this year.



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 8 (16%)

Combined WAR: -0.5

Best Pick: Dave Bush (2.5 WAR) in the 2nd round

Still Playing in MLB: Bush, Erik Kratz, Drew Butera

Notable Picks: Russ Adams, J. Brent Cox (later a 2nd round pick of NYY in 2005)

Grade: D+

Comments: It might look like an F, but I guess 506 games from their first two picks is at least something even though they didn’t really pan out.  Bush teased and tantalized with impressive skills, mostly with Milwaukee, but could never really put it together despite his consistently strong K/BB rates.

He was actually at an NL-best 4.4 in 2006, his first year with the Brewers, but still posted a basically league average 4.41 ERA in 210 innings. Another thing that kept it from F-dom is that Bush yielded Lyle Overbay, who gave the Jays 10.9 WAR in five years.  That’s not particularly special, but enough to keep from failing.



Picks: 52

Played in the majors: 6 (11%)

Combined WAR: 27

Best Pick: Brian McCann (20 WAR) in the 2nd round

Still Playing in MLB: McCann, Jeff Francoeur, Tyler Greene (didn’t sign), Charlie Morton, Chuck James*

Notable Picks: Dan Meyer (big piece in Tim Hudson deal)

Grade: A-

Comments: They pulled a superstar talent in the second round with McCann and he is essentially the entire basis for their A- grade.  Francoeur gave them a solid four and a half years.  After a down 2008-2010, his career has been somewhat reborn in Kansas City.  Morton and James essentially cancel each other out.



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 9 (18%)

Combined WAR: 29

Best Pick: Josh Johnson (21.8 WAR) in the 4th round

Still Playing in MLB: Johnson, Jeremy Hermida, Robert Andino, Nick Hundley (didn’t sign), Tim Wood*, Ross Wolf*

Notable Picks: Scott Olsen

Grade: A-

Comments: Like Atlanta, their grade is built on a non-1st rounder becoming a superstar and he was an even later pick than McCann.  Hermida didn’t really pan out as a 1st rounder, but he has logged 2012 at-bats, 1708 of them for Florida, as essentially an average player (101 OPS+).  No, it’s not star-level by any stretch, but it’s not a complete bust, either.

Andino has been a late-20s bloomer with the Orioles netting 2.7 of 2.0 career WAR with them.  The Marlins got Hayden Penn for him in 2009, who never emerged.  If Hundley had signed or Olsen had panned out on his rookie year promise (181 IP, 8.3 K/9 as a 22-year old), this would’ve been an incredible draft for the Marlins.



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: -0.3

Best Pick: LOL

Still Playing in MLB: Mike O’Connor*, Sean White*, Jon Link*

Notable Picks: Clint Everts*

Grade: F—, even Texas thought this was a bad draft

Comments: I think I ended up giving the Rangers a Q- and the Expos were worse as they had just two guys deliver positive WAR and nobody cracked the 1.0 WAR mark.  Everts, their top pick, hasn’t made the majors yet he still plugging away in the minors at age 27.  He is now a bullpen arm in AAA for the Blue Jays.  Control has always eluded him, but he is enjoying his best stretch of finding the zone with Las Vegas albeit in just 16 innings (2.2 BB/9).  Beyond that, three relievers are still knocking around the minors from this draft, though none remain with the Expos/Nationals.



Picks: 48

Played in the majors: 2 (4%)

Combined WAR: 18

Best Pick: Scott Kazmir (15.2 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Matt Lindstrom

Notable Picks:

Grade: C-

Comments: Kazmir was a nice 1st round pick, but the Mets netted exactly none of the profit as they dealt him for Victor Zambrano, inexplicably.  If I am going to factor the positive returns of traded prospects, then I have to factor in the negative returns like this horrific trade.  In three years, they got 202 innings of 4.42 ERA from Zambrano.  Lindstrom never made it to the majors with the Mets.  He was traded for Jason Vargas and then Vargas was part of a big deal that netted J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed, all three of whom did nothing as Mets and two of whom (Vargs and Putz) have emerged elsewhere.



Picks: 48

Played in the majors: 7 (14%)

Combined WAR: 24.6

Best Pick: Cole Hamels (25.5 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Zack Segovia*, Bobby Korecky*, Sam LeCure (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: Scott Mathieson, Dusty Ryan

Grade: A-

Comments: A superstar 1st rounder is the only return here, but it’s an ace-level elite pitcher who has given them 1244 innings with incredible skills and continues to get better.  Plus he was a mid-round pick, it wouldn’t be as impressive if he was a top five star who panned out.  Of course, this is likely their last year with him as they are unlikely to re-sign him.  If things don’t turn around for the team there are rumors they could trade Hamels in July.

Friday: 06.22.2012

The 2002 Draft: The West in Review

A while back I took a look at the first round of the 2002 draft and reviewed the picks of each team.  With 10 years in the bank, it is fair to look back and judge how everything went for the teams.  I would also like to review each team and will do so by division starting with the west.  Here are the nine west teams and their 2002 performance.


A look at the 2002 drafts of the West division teams by the numbers.

*player in minors, but played in MLB recently



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: 21.1

Best Pick: Howie Kendrick (14.9 WAR) in the 10th round

Still Playing in MLB: Kendrick, Joe Saunders, Kevin Jepsen, Bobby Wilson and Steve Delabar

Grade: B

Comments: They got a first round pick contributed nearly 700 league average innings before (with prospects) turning into Dan Haren.  Additionally, they got a late-round gem in Kendrick who has developed into one of the better second basemen in the league save his currently monstrosity of a season (84 OPS+ in 215 PA).  Plus there is the faintest outside hope that Jepsen and Wilson could still offer some plus value as they remain on the Angels roster.  Delabar is currently with the Mariners.



Picks: 51

Played in the majors: 14 (27%)

Combined WAR: 49.8 (artificially inflated by Jonathan Papelbon’s 16.2; they took him in the 40th rd.)

Best Pick: Nick Swisher (14.2 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Swisher, Papelbon, Joe Blanton, Mark Teahen*, John Baker, Jared Burton, Trevor Crowe*, Brad Ziegler

Grade: C-

Comments: They had seven picks in the top 39 and two other top 100 picks yet returned just 23.6 WAR on those picks.  I realize baseball prospecting is difficult, but for a team that was supposed to be on the cutting edge of scouting and analysis, that is not good.  There were five others guys in rounds two through four who netted 20+ WAR and they had so many cracks at those guys.

I would’ve given them a D, but Swisher netted Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney and Fautino de los Santos (who is still with them).  Gonzalez turned into a host of talent this past offseason while Sweeney was part of the deal that brought Josh Reddick and minor leaguers Miles Head and Raul Alcantara.  The former has a 1.074 OPS in High-A.  So ostensibly they are still adding to the WAR total delivered from this draft even with Swish and Blanton (and even Gio) long gone.



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 6 (12%)

Combined WAR: 7.0 (6.0 of which came from guys they didn’t sign)

Best Pick: Bryan LaHair (0.7 WAR, but -0.5 for Seattle) in the 39th round

Still Playing in MLB: John Mayberry Jr. (didn’t sign), Gaby Sanchez (didn’t sign), Travis Buck (didn’t sign)

Grade: F

Comments: They got 166 plate appearances out of the 2002 draft.  That’s it.  LaHair gave them 150 (w/a .661 OPS) while some guy name T.J. Bohn (30th round) gave them another 16 of .607 OPS.  Their first five picks were all high schoolers before they took a JuCo guys, followed by a Cuban and then two more high schoolers and another JuCo guy.  They didn’t take a four year collegian until the 11th round.  Not sure what that means, just pointing it.  This was a bad, bad draft.



Picks: 46

Played in the majors: 4 (8%)

Combined WAR: 0.1 (not a misprint)

Best Pick: Get real

Still Playing in MLB: Kameron Loe and Jesse Chavez

Grade: What is worse than F?  Q-

Comments: Holy hell.  I originally gave the Mariners an F- until I saw the Rangers draft.  This is what happens when you don’t pick in rounds two through five.  That’s because they signed Chan Ho Park, Juan Gonzalez, Todd Van Poppel and Jay Powell.  Those guys delivered a whopping 0.6 WAR to the Rangers.  That was the re-signing of JuanGone as he of course delivered 27.5 WAR from 1989 to 1999.  Why did they wait three more years to hire Jon Daniels as their GM?  The 2003 draft delivered John Danks, Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman, but 2004 was another shitshow.



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: 4.2

Best Pick: Chris Snyder (4.0 WAR) in the 2nd round

Still Playing in MLB: Snyder and Sergio Santos

Notable Picks: Dustin Nippert (2-time top 100 prospect), Lance Cormier and Brian Barden

Grade: C-

Comments: One pick after the sixth round (Nippert) made the majors for this draft.  Santos, originally drafted as a shortstop, was traded with Troy Glaus to Toronto for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista which netted the D’Backs 11.6 WAR going forward.  That saved them from a D grade.  The Blue Jays have clearly coveted Santos for some time as they traded for him twice.



Picks: 51

Played in the majors: 11 (21%)

Combined WAR: 25.1

Best Pick: Jeff Francis (8.6 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Francis, Micah Owings (didn’t sign as 2nd rounder, went in the 3rd round three years later), Matt Garza (didn’t sign), Jeff Baker, Ryan Spilborghs, Ryan Mattheus and Drew Sutton (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: Ryan Shealy

Grade: C+

Comments: Strong 1st round pick and some decent fringe players that were basically league average (Spilborghs and Baker) for about 1100 games.  Baker turned into Al Alburquerque which would have been a coup as he was great in his pro debut, but it was with the Tigers.  Garza was a 40th round gamble out of high school, but stuck with his commitment to Fresno State and became a 1st round pick for Minnesota three years later.



Picks: 52

Played in the majors: 9 (17%)

Combined WAR: 37.6

Best Pick: Russell Martin (18.1 WAR) in the 17th round

Still Playing in MLB: Martin, James Loney, Jonathan Broxton, James McDonald, Eric Stults, Robert Ray, Doug Mathis* (didn’t sign), Luke Hochevar (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: Delwyn Young, Greg Miller (#8 prospect in 2004)

Grade: A+

Comments: Solid 1st rounder in Loney, plus another hit in the 2nd round with Broxton and then their best pick 15 rounds later.  Not to mention the fact that McDonald and Stults were picked in the 11th and 15th rounds and they are still contributing in the majors, although not with the Dodgers.  They should’ve been more patient with McDonald, but they still get credit for the pick.  While not a draft or prospect maven, I feel like four impact players and another contributor in Stults is an excellent return.



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 7 (14%)

Combined WAR: 7.9

Best Pick: Khalil Greene (7.4 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: George Kottaras, Paul McAnulty, Lance Pendleton, Andy LaRoche (didn’t sign), Jared Wells*,

Grade: D-

Comments: After Greene, the 2nd through 11th rounders didn’t even make the majors and when you consider that McAnulty (12th) and Pendelton (13th) have been negative contributors as major leaguers, there was no positive value from the 2nd round until Kottaras in the 20th round.  LaRoche was taken in the 21st round, but stuck around at his JuCo for another year and ended up going in the 39th round of the 2003 draft to the Dodgers.



Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 9 (18%)

Combined WAR: 38.3

Best Pick: Matt Cain (27.6 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Cain, Fred Lewis*, Kevin Correia, Clay Hensley, Travis Ishikawa, Alex Hinshaw* and Matt Palmer*

Notable Picks: Daniel Ortmeier

Grade: A+

Comments: When you get a star, the draft is a success.  And it’s a resounding success when you supplement that star with a handful of contributors as the Giants did here.  All of their top four picks (Cain, Lewis, Ortmeier, Correia) made the majors.  Most of Hensley’s positive value came elsewhere, but now, at age 32, he’s dealing out of the Giants’ bullpen with a sub-2.00 ERA.  Sharp draft here for the Giants.

Monday: 06.11.2012

The 2002 Draft: 1st Round in Review

The amateur draft has come and gone and while it wasn’t as talent-laden as last year’s first round, there was still plenty of excitement surrounding a handful of guys and the teams that secured those talents are eager to see how those prospects pan out.  Fans of every team of course want to know how their team did.  They want analysts and pundits to give a grade and project the future of the players with perfect comparisons to current players.

That, of course, is exceedingly difficult.  Check that, it is very easy to do, it is exceedingly difficult to do so with any measure of accuracy.  Unlike the NFL and NBA drafts, the MLB draft takes several years to pan out (and the NFL/NBA ones can, too, but you will almost always see immediate returns the following season as well as have some projects that may pay off a few years later whereas it is insanely rare for an MLB draftee to pay dividends in year 1) as these kids, whether high schoolers or collegiate athletes, simply aren’t ready for the highest level of their profession.

With that in mind, instead of assessing the future of 17 to 22 year olds who I know very little about, let’s look back at the draft from 10 years ago and grade that with the benefit of 20/15 hindsight (20/20 hindsight is for lames).  Let’s start with a review of the first round.

It was a talent rich first round in 2002, though little did we know then that it would be so for the middle to late round team as opposed to those atop the draft.  Except for Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton at #2, the remaining top five picks were colossal busts.

  1. Bryan Bullington, RHP, Pittsburgh
  2. Upton, OF, Tampa Bay
  3. Chris Gruler, RHP, Cincinnati
  4. Adam Loewen, LHP, Baltimore
  5. Clint Everts, RHP, Montreal

Gruler and Everts never even made it to the majors while Loewen has converted into a hitter and is now with the Mets in AAA after spending 2011 in the Blue Jays system.  Bullington spent 82 innings in the majors with a 5.62 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 1.7 K/BB.  He has been in Japan for the last two years and seems to have found himself there.  Last year he had a 2.42 ERA and 3.2 K/BB in 204 innings and though he is up to 3.96 this year, his skills are a bit better with a 3.5 K/BB in 64 innings.

This quintet has yielded exactly 12 WAR with Upton’s 12.1 hilariously leading the way as it is higher than the total.

Things turned up immediately (6-10… when converting this from Word into WordPress, it started every set of players back at 1):

  1. Zack Greinke, RHP, Royals
  2. Prince Fielder, 1B, Brewers
  3. Scott Moore, SS, Tigers
  4. Jeff Francis, LHP, Rockies
  5. Drew Meyer, SS, Rangers

Three strong picks here as Greinke and Fielder are of course stars while Francis has delivered a solid 8.6 WAR which a lot of teams would probably take if you could guarantee that out of their first round pick, although you would like more out of a top 10 pick.  The pair of shortstops were the failures here and while both made the majors, they contributed a slick -1.2 WAR between the two of them.

Moore never made it to the majors with the Tigers (he made it with the Cubs & Orioles) as he was part of the Kyle Farnsworth trade with the Cubs in 2005.  He was still just 21 at the time, but hadn’t done anything particularly special in the low minors for the Tigers.  He is actually still plugging away in AAA having logged 1732 plate appearances there with an .839 OPS.

He is 28 years old and raking for the Astros AAA affiliate with a .330/.413/.571 line in 214 plate appearances playing all around the diamond, but primarily third base.  Meyer, meanwhile, logged 1487 plate appearances in AAA through 2010, but managed a mere .636 OPS and appears to have hung ‘em up for good.  He is now 30.

This quintet has yielded 51.9 WAR with Greinke’s 28.2 leading the way.

The hits picked up in the next 10 (11-20):

  1. Jeremy Hermida, OF, Marlins
  2. Joe Saunders, LHP, Angels
  3. Khalil Greene, SS, Padres
  4. Russ Adams, SS, Blue Jays
  5. Scott Kazmir, LHP, Mets
  6. Nick Swisher, OF, Athletics
  7. Cole Hamels, LHP, Phillies
  8. Royce Ring, LHP, White Sox
  9. James Loney, 1B, Dodgers
  10. Denard Span, OF, Twins

Only a pair of this 10 pack has failed to return positive value (Adams -0.4, Ring -1.0) while four of them have yielded more than 13 WAR (Hamels 25.4, Kazmir 15.2, Swisher 14.2 and Span 13.2).  Yes, I am surprised that Kazmir has out-WAR’d Swish and Span, too.  Apart from the two busts, the top pick of these 10 has actually yielded the least amount of value as Hermida has netted just 1.8 WAR.

All 10 players have at least reached the majors and if Ring gets one more game (he is still in Colorado’s system), then all of them will have played at least 100 games, too.  The other flameout in this group, Adams, was in AAA as of 2011 with the Mets at age 30, but posted a mere .542 OPS in 72 plate appearances.

And the final 10 picks yielded a star and few other impact players as well one who switched positions and could end up as an impact guy when it is all said and done (21-30):

  1. Bobby Brownlie, RHP, Cubs
  2. Jeremy Guthrie, RHP, Indians
  3. Jeff Francoeur, OF, Braves
  4. Joe Blanton, RHP, A’s
  5. Matt Cain, RHP, Giants
  6. John McCurdy, SS, A’s
  7. Sergio Santos, SS, Diamondbacks
  8. John Mayberry, OF, Mariners
  9. Derick Grigsby, RHP, Astros
  10. Ben Fritz, RHP, A’s

I should’ve mentioned this out front, but this is the Moneyball draft.  The A’s hit on Swisher and Blanton, but missed on McCurdy, Fritz and their three sandwich picks (Jeremy Brown, Steve Obenchain and Mark Teahen who yielded a combined 0.7 WAR, all from Teahen).

Cain might not feel like a superstar name, but he gets paid like one and pitches like one despite being overshadowed by teammate Tim Lincecum.  He has four straight 200+ inning seasons and when combined with his league-leading 86 innings from 2012, he has a 3.19 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 7.4 K/9 and 2.5 K/BB in 1166 innings.  And that 2.5 K/BB is held down by some of the earlier work as it continues to rise going 2.1, 2.1, 2.3, 2.9, 2.8, 5.1 since 2007.  This year’s 5.1 is driven by improvement in both his strikeout and walk rates.

Brownlie bounced around the minors and independent ball for seven years with four organizations, McCurdy never made it past AA, Grigsby was a terribly sad story as he never made it past A-ball lasting just two years before falling victim to crippling depression after the death of his mother and Fritz knocked around the minors and Indy ball for nine years, spending the majority of his time in the low minors with modest skills.

Mayberry is hoping to be a late-bloomer after a breakout at age 27 last year, though he has performed dismally in 55 games this year thus far.  Meanwhile, Santos is rewriting his story as a big time late-inning reliever and has put together a pair of strong seasons before being traded to Toronto where he is currently working back from an injury.

So that’s the first round (sans the supplemental round) and it turned out quite well.

  • 24 of 30 picks at least reached the majors (80%)
  • 9 of 30 picks delivered at least 12 WAR (30%)
  • 15 of 30 picks deliver at 7.4 WAR (50%)
  • The 6 non-double-digit guys are in the 7.4 to 8.9 WAR range and counting (20%)
  • The top 30 delivered 217.5 WAR

Compare that with the two drafts sandwiching the 2002 iteration.  The 2001 draft delivered 132.2 WAR from its top 30, 103.7 of which came from four of the top five picks (Joe Mauer, Mark Prior, Gavin Floyd, Mark Teixeira) led by Mauer’s 33.8 and Teix’s 42.6.  Only Dewon Brazelton, the third pick, delivered negative value in the top five (-3.5 WAR for the then-Devil Rays).  The 2003 draft delivered 125.7 WAR led by Nick Markakis’ 20.4.  Three of the top six never saw the majors and four of the 22 who made the majors delivered negative value “led” by Brandon Wood’s -4.0 WAR.

Both the 2001 and 2003 drafts delivered a supplemental gem as David Wright was selected 38th by the Mets as a comp. pick for Mike Hampton in 2001 and Adam Jones was selected 37th (as a shortstop) by the Mariners as a comp. pick in 2003 for their failure to sign John Mayberry Jr. the year before.

Upcoming pieces will tour each division and look at how all 30 teams did individually.