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June 9, 2013

Dissecting the Draft

Draft Wrap

by Nick J. Faleris


The MLB First-Year Player Draft concluded on Saturday afternoon, and with it concluded the sixth installment of the “shadow draft/shadow system” project I have been running dating back to 2008. This Dissecting the Draft series has explored the process of formulating a strategy for draft day, from exploring candidates for first-round selection to examining the strengths and weaknesses of the draft class and the effects thereof on our establishment of loose goals, or “wants,” within our overarching strategy.

The below table constitutes my “work sheet” for the three days of the draft. It contains each of the slots where a pick was to be made, the amount allocated to each slot by Major League Baseball, an estimate as to what bonus a particular selection would command, and a running tally as to how much of my total pool allotment I expect to have available after each signing (assuming signings in each of the first 10 rounds—remember, these are the rounds that comprise the total pool allotment, and you only have access to the money if you sign the player you draft in that slot).

For this “shadow draft” we stepped foot inside the Red Sox’ war room and picked at each of their slots for the first 20 rounds. Total pool allotment for Boston was $6,830,200. You are permitted to spend up to 5 percent over your total allotment without incurring any loss of picks in future drafts (though you are taxed for the overage). Including that additional 5 percent, our total allotment for the 2013 draft came out to $7,171,710.

One last note on reading the table: In order to calculate how the total budget would be affected by a non-signing in the first 10 rounds, take the total available amount, subtract the amount in the “slot” column (which is the money MLB awards for use on that signing), then add back the amount in the “Estimate” column (which is the amount we estimate spending).

Rd

Slot

Estimate

Player

Total Avail

$7,171,710

1(7)

$3,246,000

$2,900,000

Dominic Smith, 1B/OF

Serra HS (CA)

$4,271,710

2(45)

$1,229,600

$1,229,600

Riley Unroe, SS/2B

Desert Ridge HS (AZ)

$3,042,110

3(81)

$671,200

$1,500,000

Jon Denney, C

Yukon HS (OK)

$1,542,110

4 (113)

$454,800

$42,110

Luke Farrell, RHP

Northwestern

$1,500,000

5 (143)

$340,500

$300,000

Dan Slania, RHP

Notre Dame

$1,200,000

6 (173)

$254,900

$400,000

Chris Rivera, MIF/C

El Dorado HS (CA)

$800,000

7 (203)

$191,100

$300,000

Malik Collymore, MIF

Port Credit SS (ON)

$500,000

8 (233)

$157,500

$40,000

Mitch Garver, C/OF

New Mexico

$460,000

9 (263)

$147,200

$30,000

Jerad Grundy, LHP

Kentucky

$430,000

10 (293)

$137,400

$30,000

JJ Altobelli, MIF

Oregon

$400,000

11 (323)

$100,000

$200,000

Edwin Diaz, MIF

Ladislao Martinez HS (PR)

$300,000

12 (353)

$100,000

$150,000

Ty Ross, C

LSU

$250,000

13 (383)

$100,000

$125,000

Tyler Kuresa, 1B/OF

UC Santa Barbara

$225,000

14 (413)

$100,000

$150,000

Dan Child, RHP

Oregon State

$175,000

15 (443)

$100,000

$150,000

Mark Payton, OF

Texas

$175,000

16 (473)

$100,000

$450,000

Christian Jones, LHP

Oregon

Back-up for left over money

17 (503)

$100,000

$300,000

Zach Alvord, CIF

Tampa

Back-up for left over money

18 (533)

$100,000

$100,000

Mike Reeves, C

Florida Gulf Coast

$175,000

19 (563)

$100,000

$1,400,000

Ryan Boldt, OF

Red Wing HS (MN)

Back-up for Denney

20 (593)

$100,000

$100,000

Reed Gragnani, MIF

Virginia

$175,000

*Note: Eighth-round pick Garver signed for $40,000 while this piece was being written, so the estimated amounts for picks eight, nine, and 10 were slightly (but not significantly) adjusted to keep consistent the overarching strategy.

Finally, as a reminder, based on the strengths of the draft class, the placement of our picks, and with an eye toward the current state of our “Shadow Farm System,” we identified five “wants,” which represent loose and realistic guidelines for an ideal draft (outside of simply taking players we consider to be draft-worthy):

  1. Two middle-infielders;
  2. One corner infielder;
  3. One college pitcher;
  4. One catcher; and
  5. One “best available” with at least two potential future plus tools (this can be satisfied by one of the four above selections, as well)

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