June 14, 2017
TTO Scoresheet Podcast
The 2017 MLB Draft: A Scoresheet Perspective
We’re breaking our self-imposed semi-hiatus to focus on one of the highlights of the Scoresheet calendar: the 40th round. We wanted to present a brief analysis of the 2017 draft before the standard Wednesday supplemental. Before we begin, the standard caveats apply. Namely, if you want in-depth analysis on each of these prospects, you can find the coverage elsewhere on Baseball Prospectus. We make no claims towards being draft experts, even if we collectively make up about a third of MLB Network’s viewing audience on draft night.
What we try to do is analyze players keeping their Scoresheet value in mind—you’ll see some of our standard advice apply here. We tend to prefer college players over high school players with all but the highest upside, not because we’re Moneyball fetishists, but because we think low-A players, especially pitchers, tend to be wasted draft spots unless they’re easy keepers. We’ll go for up-the-middle talent and devalue first basemen to an even more extreme degree than in real life. And we’ll look for players with potential for “keeper value,” which is probably closer to a mean approximation of their real-life value than their ceiling or floor.
Notably this year, we think that 40th round picks are far more valuable in the National League than in the American League. We’d probably rank about five National League draftees ahead of all but Royce Lewis, and we’d consider drafting for need over taking a first rounder if you are managing an American League contender. In the National League, most teams should be able to take a first rounder with some keeper value in Round 40, and there may even be some stragglers available in Round 41. We think the talent in that league is about six players deep, and Kyle Wright, Hunter Greene, and Adam Haseley are the top three players on our overall board.
1. Royce Lewis