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Monday, November 21, 2011

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I spent time this morning writing a long post about the draft that apparently didn't get through. I won't rewrite the whole thing so I'll paraphrase.

People mentioned that positions like C, SS, and 3B are gobbled up quickly in the draft and thus it is important to keep spots in the first round since that is what the Phillies need. Of the third baseman projected to be starting in the majors (going into the upcoming season) 8 have been drafted in the first round. They are: Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Moustakas, Pedro Alvarez, Brett Lawrie, and Lonnie Chisenhall. Of those 8 basically the first four are bona fide stars in baseball. The jury is still out on the latter four. That at this point is a 50% success rate. Everyone else in baseball is from after the first round. That includes David Wright (a supplemental round pick- 38th pick I believe), Scott Rolen (a 2nd round pick), Adrian Beltre and Aramis Ramirez (undrafted free agents), Placido Polanco (19th round), David Freese (9th round), Ryan Roberts (530th overall), Kevin Youkilis (273rd pick) etc.

So yes, there is top level talent that can be had in the first round and some of those guys turn out to be legitimate studs. However, more important in the MLB draft is having a good scouting system that can find guys who have some fixable flaw that other teams pass over. Finding guys that may have dropped for an injury concern, or a bad final year heading into the draft. After that it is about having a good developmental system that can help fix those imperfections and help a guy improve to the point where he can come up and be a legitimate piece in the puzzle of getting to the playoffs.

If people were making the argument that the Phillies scouting is flawed I'd be with them. But people are acting like it is inconceivable that the Phillies gave up a first round pick here when the simple fact is that a majority of guys in the majors are not first round picks. Furthermore, we know the guys the Phillies target early in the draft and quite a few of them don't seem to turn out.

***Everyone else in baseball is from after the first round.***

How many 1st rounders make it to the Majors as a percentage?

How many non-1st rounders make it to the Majors as a percentage?

Sure, there might be more 3B, SS, C in baseball from rounds #1S-40 but the success rate drops off a cliff even going from round 1 to round 1S.

Thus, your chances of hitting on a major prospect are exponentially higher in the 1st round compared to other rounds.

If Sizemore is only getting 1 year offers I wouldn't care if the Phils vastly overpaid. With such a high payroll who cares if they empty whatever is left in their budget after taking care of the other needs on Grady no matter how much it is.

How many 1st rounders make it to the Majors as a percentage?

How many non-1st rounders make it to the Majors as a percentage?


That's sort of apples to oranges because clearly your sample base is considerably larger with every single round after the first versus the first. I'm simply saying- there are guys available after the first round that are capable of starting in the majors and being very good. A first round pick does not guarantee success. As I said, it requires good scouting and that is far more important in the MLB draft than having a first round pick.

The truth is that hitting on a non-1st round pick is very very very difficult. Even if you just look at it in equal numbers (# of 1st round hits vs # of 2nd round hits) its not even close. Thus, the more 1st round picks you have, the better chance you have of hitting. You do grasp basic statistics, right?

You cannot look at success rates of players who slip beyond the first round in a vacuum. Many fall because of bonus demands, questions about whether they'll sign or go to school or play another sport. Lots of big talent falls outside of the first round for this reason, and teams willing to bust slot can often offset the loss of a 1st round pick by spending more in later rounds. Sounds like this might change in the new CBA though, but if a team is willing to spend the $$, at least under the current rules, you can find similar talent in the late 1st round or 3rd round, if you open your wallet.

Brad, that IS changing under the new CBA. Teams will apparently be punished financially if they try to bust slot from now on. So there will likely be a dropoff in that type of behavior going forward. Thus, going forward, 1st round picks are even more important than they previously were where we already know that the success rate was far higher in the 1st round compared to any other round.

But yeah, the Phillies never do well with 1st rounders so it wasnt worth anything blah blah blah blah blah.

NEPP: What you're saying is all true. But here's the thing: it has been 6 or 7 years since the Phillies actually drafted a legitimate first round talent in round 1. Instead, their recent practice has been to draft a 2nd or 3rd round talent -- usually a so-called "high risk, high reward" player (though I'm yet to see any rewards collected) -- to whom they can pay slot money. To compensate, they'll then use some of their later round picks to draft players with early round talent, who have slipped to the later rounds due to signability issues. Then they manage to sign a few of those guys by paying them above slot. So, for the same price as 1 "real" late 1st round pick, they might get two or three 2nd or 3rd round talents.

I'm not saying I agree with the approach. I'm saying that, given the approach they have utilized, a first round pick in the Phillies' hands really doesn't have the same value that it would have in the hands of most other teams. Or, to put it differently: Greg Golson, Anthony Hewitt, Zach Collier, Joe Savery, Adrian Cardenas, Kyle Drabek.

Thus, the more 1st round picks you have, the better chance you have of hitting. You do grasp basic statistics, right?

____________________________________________

I felt we were having a nice discussion about this. Thank you though for acting like a child and taking an unnecessary pot shot.

Basic statistics are a component but still that doesn't change what I'm saying and you are not addressing. The key is to have a good scouting system so you find guys beyond the first round. If that were the discussion I'm on board. I do not agree though that the Phillies erred in signing Papelbon because they lost a first round pick over it. People are acting as if the first round pick was guaranteed to hit. The MLB draft is like scratching off lottery tickets. Your chances go up some by having a volume of picks but if you do your diligence in scouting you can help your odds out more of hitting on guys. That is where the Phillies lack quite often in the draft.

Also, I don't think the change in the CBA in regards to slot will have the effect you do. Some guys fall because of what they want in the first round. I think that will still cause guys to fall because teams that were never willing to spend the money are still not going to spend the money. I think what you'll see more is guys slipping out of the first, getting drafted, and then declining the money offered and going back into the draft the following year. I think you'll see far more teams getting compensatory picks in following years after they can't sign the guy they drafted.

Also what BAP said, and it was something I left out from my lost post.

The Phillies don't value first round picks the way many on here seem to. Plus they spend them drafting toolsy players that they can sign instead of guys who are potential immediate impact guys. I would agree there is a problem inherently with that philosophy but if the Phillies don't value being in the first round I don't quite understand why it's such a point of contention other than people think it's important to have a first round guy.

In this particular instance we have a scenario where the Phillies can either have a shut down closer for the next 5 years or a first round pick where they draft a Collier type player.

Collier and Cardenas weren't 1st rd picks.

@bap: yes but the rules change with the new CBA so the Phillies will be less likely to bust slot like that on those types of players. Thus, the value of a 1st round pick goes back up.

@tti: Using the lottery analogy, a 1st round pick is like having 10 tickets whereas a 2nd/3rd round pick is like having 1 ticket. Sure, you can still win but the odds are that much worse. We have a great scouting dept as has been shown by our ability to hit on guys in the later rounds (Cosart, Singleton, etc) but with the new CBA, that changes due to the financial penalties. For better or worse, the Phillies have one of the lowest draft budgets in baseball and have consistently spent a pittance on the draft under the current regime. Thus, those financial penalties will significantly alter Wolever's draft strategy.

***Collier and Cardenas weren't 1st rd picks. ***

Exactly, both were supplemental picks like D'Arnaud.

And...Drabek was a big part of netting us Roy Halladay FWIW. So that was a good pick.

Is Kyle Drabek due for a 2nd "Tommy John"? He did not put up numbers commensurate with his hype in 'll.

And about Grady Sizemore -- anyone know if you get a second chance with microfracture surgery? I know it's a different animal, but that injury was the end of the Eagles' Jon Runyan.

Wiggington's #s vs LHP has been pretty legit throughout his entire career, even in his latest down years. I think he will make a solid bench addition.

So what is roster looking like so far?

12 pitchers
8 starters(mayberry 1b, lf=?)
5 bench:
Wiggington
Thome
Schneider
Valdez
??

Francisco tendered? if not, does minimart still make the team? Does DOM stay in AAA?

***In this particular instance we have a scenario where the Phillies can either have a shut down closer for the next 5 years or a first round pick where they draft a Collier type player. ***

Was it a sure thing that Papelbon was going to sign if we held off 2 weeks? No other reliever has signed yet as every other GM was waiting for the CBA to come out. Even if he did sign, we could have just resigned Madson at that point. Its not like Papelbon had 5 offers on the table and was definitely 100% going to sign the day we nabbed him.

BB: I believe they were supplemental 1st round picks.

I cant imagine Mini Mart making the team if/when we sign another SS. At that point, barring injury, he's in AA as Galvis is in AAA. I see BenFran tendered and Dom in AAA to get reps.

***Is Kyle Drabek due for a 2nd "Tommy John"? He did not put up numbers commensurate with his hype in 'll.***

Who cares...he was a key part of a trade that netted us the best pitcher in baseball.

TTI: None of your scenarios are even related, which makes your arguments hard to follow.

You say that team scouting > 1st round pick, but they arn't even related. You can have both, 1 or other, or none.

You also say that Papelbon > 1st round pick. Again...you can have both, 1 or none. Who exactly were in the bidding war with Papelbon besides the Phillies?

What the Phils should have: good scouting, Papelbon, 1st round pick.

I understand if you think the 1st round pick is the less important of those 3 things, but none of them should relate to each other if the Phillies didn't make a mistake.

Supplemental isn't 1st rd, in my book. Close enough, I suppose. Cardenas was a strong pick-2006 Baseball America HS player of the year.

I'm curious to whether the Phillies think they made a mistake.

Cardenas netted us Blanton who directly helped us win a WS...so another good pick regardless of it being a supplemental pick. Remember, at one time he was a Top 100 prospect.

NEPP: Exactly, MLB performance is hardly the measuring stick for successful draft picks.

Sometimes getting 1st round guys with great potential are well worth it when its another team who watches them bust in the Majors.

NEPP: you've been all over the place in your arguments as it relates to the closer position the past two weeks. First the Madson deal was bad because it was too much money. Then the Papelbon deal was good even with it costing more money. Then the CBA came out and it was a bad deal again but it was good for Madson because now he could get more money. Now you are saying that we could've waited for Papelbon but by following your logic that would've been for more money most likely because there is no compensation involved. Which is it?

lorecore: You think scouting and draft picks aren't related? That's baffling to me. Re-read what I've said about the subject the past few days. I'm not discounting first round picks entirely. I understand that you can find superstars in that round. What I'm saying is that it is far more important to have good scouting beyond just first round picks. First round picks do not guarantee hitting on players.

Secondly, the argument absolutely posited the past few days by numerous people has been that the Papelbon deal was a blunder by Amaro because we lost a first round pick. Giving the scenario around the signing the choice involved is either a top flight closer or a first round pick. I'm okay with losing the pick to sign a guy like Papelbon. I'm just following the logic of what others have argued.

I think the larger issue is that people view the MLB draft in the same light as the NFL or NBA draft. However, the two drafts are not analogous in any way whatsoever. In the NFL and NBA drafts you are trying to find impact guys in the first round that can come in and instantly contribute to your team. Guys like that in the MLB draft are an absolute rarity and often it takes a few years in the minors before a guy is ready to play. That's why it's more important to hit over the collective nature of your picks rather than having first round draft choices. I just don't understand why that is a hard concept to grasp.

Great point, lorecore.

For a team like that the Phillies that builds through trades, top picks are an essential part of that trading prospects. Top picks are more hyped than lower picks and thus carry more weight in trade talks. Sure, Drabek and Cardenas haven't panned out yet but both netted us big pieces for the MLB club regardless. Without those picks and picks like Marson, D'Arnaud etc, we dont make several big trades.

Also, yes sometimes picks can help you by being traded for someone else that puts you over the hump but again that is not unique to first round picks. If you have anyone who creates buzz with scouts on other teams they can be flipped for guys.

That follows with the second part of my idea that you need a good developmental system in place.

***NEPP: you've been all over the place in your arguments as it relates to the closer position the past two weeks. First the Madson deal was bad because it was too much money. Then the Papelbon deal was good even with it costing more money. Then the CBA came out and it was a bad deal again but it was good for Madson because now he could get more money. Now you are saying that we could've waited for Papelbon but by following your logic that would've been for more money most likely because there is no compensation involved. Which is it?***

We dont know what it would have cost had we waited. Yeah it might have been more but its also a possiblity that we were bidding against ourselves when we offered a 4 year deal. From the reaction across the Majors, that sure seems like a possibility. Pretty much everyone was shocked at the size of the deal in dollars/years. I'm happy we got Papelbon but it seems stupid to have not waited...especially given that the 29 other teams did hold off on the reliever market.

***That follows with the second part of my idea that you need a good developmental system in place.***

And losing picks is a great way to ensure that you dont have a good minor league system to even make those trades. Scouts can be fantastic at their jobs but when you tie their hands with less picks, you get a smaller return on investment.

I wonder if the Phils lawyer up for this CBA thing. I realize the MLB does what it wants but it just looks bad. Though the Sawks will bitch about a reversal.

NEPP's question about "how many make it" intrigued me and a Google search found a study of MLB Draft success rates from 1987-2001 on mlbbonusbaby.com

Q: How many First Round picks make it to the majors?
A: 79% Bench Warmer or better, 39% Starting Position or better.

Q: How many non-First Round picks make it to the majors?
A: On Average per Round, 37% Bench Warmer or better, 10% Starting Position or better.

round 2-10/11/12 might be more interesting.

Did people see that Clint Barmes got a 2 year, 10.5 million dollar deal from the Pirates?

There are some nice deals being given out to middle infielders this off-season. It's beginning to look like the offer to Rollins may have to be higher than initially anticipated.

http://blogs.delawareonline.com/philledin/2011/11/21/phils-finalize-minor-league-staff/

The minor league staffs announced. Andy Tracy gets the Williamsport, Morandini promoted to Lakewood, Coach Sandberg returns to LHV!

I just got this newsflash from the year 2037...
With Jayson Werth's second interview for the Orlando Marlins skipper position this afternoon, it appears Hall of Famer Dom Brown will stay as the bench coach for Tuffy Goosewich in St. Louis.
In related Phillies news, Shane Victorino Jr signed a letter of intent to play for his father at Stanford this year.

It was really interesting a few threads back to read Amaro just getting bashed incessantly by the same characters, yet when pressed for answers as to what they'd do better, the answers are either completely lacking or incredibly stupid.

For instance, aksmith scoffed at the Wiggington signing (a solid addition assuming he's a bench guy) because he's too old and stinks in the field. Yet last week he was lamenting the fact that Rube didn't sign 37 year-old Jamey Carroll to a 2-year deal (which is what would have been required, as the Twins gave him 2 years) as a "stop-gap" when Carroll is a slap-hitting, below-average shortstop who is worse is basically every facet of the game than Rollins. It would make the team older and considerably worse-off for the next two years, in what is almost universally seen as the end of this core's championship window.

And G-Town_Dave railed against Rube leaning towards keeping Francisco, yet when pressed to who would give the Phils more production at a similar cost, he admitted he doesn't know enough to think of anybody.

It has gotten to the point where if you are not carrying a pitchfork around asking for Rube's head, you're immediately labeled as a FO apologist. That would be fine if people actually had legitimate ideas as to how he could do his job better- which they rarely ever do.

I haven't read through the last couple of threads, but I think the Papelbon/draft pick compensation situation boil down to this:

Teams place some value on the draft pick they would have to give up, $X million. X varies for each team, based on the team's preferences and the exact pick to be given up (team with the 16th best record gives up pick #16, team with the best record gives up #30, team with the worst record gives up whatever # pick the first pick in the 2nd round ends up being).

The Phillies signed Papelbon for $50 million, and the unseen next-best offer from Team B was $Y million. For the Phillies' offer to command the same negotiating power in the new-CBA market, they would have had to increase it to $50 + X million, where X is the value Team B assigned to the draft pick they would have given up, and thus the amount that Team B would have increased their offer.

The Phillies, then, erred in signing Papelbon early only if their X is more than Team B's X. Setting aside the obvious caveat that all teams value draft picks differently and assuming that all teams agree on the value of each draft pick, this is only true if Team B is one of the teams with a protected first round pick (one of the 15 worst teams in the league last year).

BAP suggests that a 1st round pick is worth less for the Phillies than for other teams. If true, this increases the degree to which signing Papelbon early makes sense.

One thing that is almost certain, even if you remove all of my possibly-invalid assumptions: Papelbon erred by signing before the new CBA was agreed upon.

I should also mention that I'm not evaluating whether signing Papelbon was a good or bad move, just the timing of the signing w/r/t the new CBA.

TTI: Giveing up a 1st rd pick for Papelbon isn't the problem, it's giving it up unnecessarily (if that's the way this all shakes out). The success rate on 1st rd picks isn't 100%. You're right. But it's way, way, way higher than any other round. You're arguement that no one should care about 1st rounders is a little odd.

Jbird: Where did I say no one should care about 1st rounders?

Verlander wins MVP.

just a stupid choice, imo. if Boston had made the playoffs it was going to be Ellsbury. b/c our new closer blew the final game of the season, it's Verlander.

in the NL, Kemp was acceptable as a non-playoff participator b/c he had such a great season. but the same somehow doesn't apply in the AL w/ Bautista or Ellsbury?

Verlander had a great season but it was not great enough for him to win both the Cy and MVP. in my opinion, of course.

I don't think the change in the CBA in regards to slot will have the effect you do. Some guys fall because of what they want in the first round. I think that will still cause guys to fall because teams that were never willing to spend the money are still not going to spend the money.

•Peanut Chicken which came with bok choy and brown rice (which was actually a tasty combination of brown and black rice)
•Chicken Linguine which had a roasted garlic tomato sauce and came with spinach and plum tomatoes and linguine.
•Ginger Lime Beef which had onions and nappa cabbage on a square noodle

Verlander got a bit lucky grabbing the MVP. About half the voters jumped on the pitcher for MVP! bandwagon and shipped their first place votes over to JV, whereas the half that voted first place for hitters split votes between Ellsbury, Bautista, Granderson, and Cabrera.

Just going by the numbers for Ellsbury, both traditional and SABR, I think he really deserved it. That was a massive season lost in the mix.

Very interesting topic..!
thank you for sharing.

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