The Doctor returns with a look at the draft history of high school and college pitchers, to see if we can learn a few things about pitching value.
Pos Years 1st Rd 2nd Rd 3rd Rd Overall Busts
COL LHP 84-91 - 4.4% + 54.7% +133.4% + 21.5%
COL LHP 92-99 - 7.3% + 61.1% + 15.0% + 8.0%
COL LHP 84-99 - 5.8% + 57.8% + 82.4% + 15.2%
Years Biggest Bargains Biggest Busts
84-91 Jim Abbott, Greg Swindell Drew Hall, Kyle Abbott
92-99 Barry Zito, Randy Wolf B.J. Wallace, Jeff Granger
Note that the two most valuable draft picks from 1984 to 1991 are notRandy Johnson, who was third on the list. Johnson is a future Hall of Famer, but was not a full-time starting pitcher in the major leagues until four years after he was drafted, and didn't become RANDY JOHNSON until 1993. And of course, along the way he was traded by the team that drafted him, the Montreal Expos, essentially for four months of Mark Langston. The point bears repeating: the sooner a draft pick renders his value, the less likely the team that drafted him will have already given him up for pennies on the dollar.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Rany returns with a look at the value of high-school hitters drafted between 1984 and 1999.
Using the technique described in the last part of this draft series, here's a breakdown of draft pick value for college and high school players, separated into pitchers and regulars, from 1984 through 1999:
All draft picks have a value that can be quantified. Using some of the tools he employed last time out, Nate takes a crack at doing just that.
For example: what is the value of a first-round draft pick? This is an essential thing for a baseball club to have a handle on. Under baseball's compensation rules, a team signing a Type A free agent must sacrifice its first-round draft pick (or its second-round pick, if it picks in the top half of the first round), while a team losing the same free agent acquires that first-round pick, as well as a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. If the value of these picks is material--above and beyond the signing bonus that would typically be paid to a draft pick--that ought to have a corresponding impact on a team's behavior in the free-agent market.
In the first of a series, Rany examines 15 years' worth of draft data to establish some basic rules.
Sexy, it's not. Neither is it all that telegenic, although it certainly could be if MLB ditched the conference call for an amphitheatre with good lighting and tried to make a production out of it. There's no denying its importance, though. There is no source of talent that comes close to matching what's available in what is officially called the Rule 4 Draft. Moreover, there is almost no way to build a successful ballclub without some measure of success in the draft. (The Yankees are trying to prove that last sentence incorrect. They are not succeeding.)