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First picks analyzed for AL Robinson 1991-2005

This is the complete list of first round picks from each of AL Robinson’s returning year draft – excluding this past year 2006. The data shown is:

Prev. League – league or leagues they played in preceding the draft. A+ is one of the high A leagues: Florida State, Carolina, or California. AA, of course, is Texas League or Eastern League (not American Association). 3A is a AAA level league. JP is Japan Pacific and JC is Japan Central. The x superscript indicates the player was a cross-over – eligible only in the NL the previous season. (If his league is AL, he was traded after the player lists were fixed.) The j superscript means he was a Japanese cross-over. The league in small caps indicates less than about a third of that player’s games were in that league. If only a few games were played in a particular league, then it is not indicated.

July 1 Age – The age of the player on the July 1 following the draft.

Pos. – For a position player – Scoresheet eligible positions at the time of the draft. For pitchers, it indicates how they were used the previous season. If they more of their innings were as a starting pitcher, sp is listed first. If they only had a few of relief appearances (or just one or two starts), I don’t bother to show it.

Previous Year’s Stats – combines all the stats of the leagues listed under Prev. League. If not enough games were played in a particular league to merit listing, then they are only included if it may have significantly helped that player get drafted so early. Afterall, if an excellent prospect is called up for a couple innings and gives up a couple runs, we would ignore it. However, if he pitched five perfect innings, we might give him an extra nod in his favour.

                For hitters:

                        OBA – On Base Average (or Percentage, if you insist)

                        Slg. – Slugging Average (same thing as Slugging Percentage)

                        BB:K – Walks to Strikeouts ratio

                        SB+3B – Stolen Bases plus Triples – not a perfect measure of speed, but it is something.

                For pitchers:

                        K/9 – Strikeouts per 9 Innings

                        HR/9 – Home Runs (against) per 9 Innings

                        K:BB – Strikeouts to Walks ratio

                        ERA – you know what that is

Pick Rating –A – an excellent pick producing more than probably hoped for

                        B – did about what was hoped for

                        C – useful, but disappointing

                        D – probably not much use

                        F – clearly a bomb of a pick

                These grades are somewhat relative to the pick – that is, I am much stricter on a top overall pick than someone drafted in the bottom half of the first round. It was difficult to maintain consistent standards, but I went over the list a couple times to give it a good shot. If a player was dropped, then did well the following season, I gave him a fraction of a grade credit – especially if he was a borderline drop. Similarly, I dropped a player a partial grade, if he was protected from the bubble and did poorly the next season. Of course, players with multiple good years got credit for them as long as they kept up their protection worthiness.

Year.overall – Year in which the draft took place. (All drafts are in February.) The number to the right of  the decimal indicates whether the player was first, second, third, fourth, or fifth pick overall of that year’s draft. No decimal indicates he was from the bottom half of the first round.

Who – why and/or what happened – I try to show here the most relevant information about the pick which is not indicated on the rest of the data line.

               

The sort: a long list of names with only a couple inches of prose can be boring. If I left them in the order that they were drafted, well, who cares? Since we are trying to figure out how to make the best possible picks and avoid the bad ones, the only sort which makes sense is by the Pick Rating. However, is it fair to compare the Pedro Martinezes and Vladimir Guerreros who crossed over and required almost no thought towards other potential picks with those other picks? I think not. So, I separated those cross-overs who clearly outclassed the other possible selections. If I were objective, I would separate all the cross-overs who come before the first non-corss-over, but that would give a bias towards non-cross-overs, so I just used my experienced judgment.

 

Use this list to think of a player characteristic and see how it is distributed over the list. That will tell you if that characteristic was undervalued or overvalued in a first round pick over the history of our league. (Hopefully, you will consider AL Robinson managers a fair representation of the leagues you are in. Several of our managers have played in other leagues and have fared about equally well.) For example, let’s say you want to see, if  we are undervaluing Home Runs / 9 innings as an indication of future performance. Look at all the HR/9 stats as you go down the list and look for a pattern. Are there more 1.0+ HR/9 towards the bottom? Is there a certain number where the distribution is pretty scattered and a threshold where suddenly a high percentage of the bad pitcher picks are found? Compare pitchers vs. batters. Compare different age groups within particular positions. Etc.

 

 

Cross-overs incomparable to available AL properties

 

                Previous Year’s Stats

Prev. July 1    OBA,  Slg.,  BB:K,  SB+3B  Pick

Leag. Age  Pos. K/9,  HR/9,  K:BB,  ERA   Rating  Year.overall

                Who – why and/or what happened

 

NL*   26   sp   11.4, 0.6,   4.6,   1.90   A+      98.1    

                Martinez, Pedro J. – C.Y. season; continued that pace for 7 yrs.

 

NL*   30   sp    9.4, 0.5,   2.4,   2.81   A       93.1

                Cone, David – wonderful for 7 seasons (except only 72 Ing. in ’96)

NL*   28   of   .426, .586,  1.2,   12     A       04.1

                Guerrero, Vladimir – back injury in ’03; still no decline, yet

 

JC^   29   of   .463, .692,  1.1,    7     A-      03.1

                Matsui, Hidecki – first yr.: .788; ‘06: only 51 games

 

NL*   37   sp   10.4,  0.9,  6.9,   2.95   B       04.3

                Schilling, Kurt – had another excellent year in him.

 

NL*   32   of   .418, .596,  1.0,    4     B       98.2

                Justice, Dave – .839, .889, .961, .763, .786, retired

 

NL*   33    c   .378, .687,  0.37,   3     B       04.4

                Lopez, Javy – back to normal excellence, then decline since

 

NL*   34   sp    8.6,  0.8,  4.0,   3.30   B-      97.1

                Fassero, Jeff – very good for. 2 yrs. then struggled; rp after ‘01

 

NL*   31   3b   .367, .510,  0.43,   2     B-      97.2

                Williams, M – OK for 2 years, very good in 3rd, then marginal

 

NL*   29   cf   .398, .571,  0.53,  30     B-      00.1

                Everett, Carl – injuries 01 & 02, decline in ‘04 (at 33).

 

NL*   30   of   .338, .515,  0.75,   3     C+      92.1

                Mitchell, K. – ’89 MVP; oft injured, still a hitter after ‘92

 

NL*   26   3b   .388, .629,  0.61,   7     C       05.1

                Beltre, A. - ultra-career year.; will it ever reprise?

 

nl-AL*26   3b   .330, .518.  0.40,   5     C       00.2

                Batista, Tony – good ’00, poor ’01, worse ’03 & ’05.

 

NL*   28   sp    9.4,  1.1,  4.2,   3.24   D       04.2

                Vazquez, Javier – well established. 3.xx ERA now in high 4.00s.

 

NL*   29   sp    8.4,  0.9,  2.4,   3.50   F       02.1

                Park, Chan Ho – leg injury and arm burn out.

 

* crossed over from NL list

^ import from a foreign league

 

There are 125 more first round picks in the grand list below. I will give a heading every 25 names – one for each grade, although you may be shocked to notice almost half our no. 1 picks ended up Ds or Fs – essentially useless.

 

I have a bar separating this larger grand list into 5 groups of 15 players – the best picks, the above average picks, the average picks, the below average picks, and the worse picks. This is to help you see the distribution of a particular occurrence more easily – by counting the number of occurrences in each group. For example, at a quick glance this way, I can see the worse group of picks has the highest portion of pitchers. I believe the below average picks has the second highest number of pitchers.

 

Except for the As, within each grade I lumped all the pitchers together to make it easier to look at the statistics which differ between hitters and pitchers. Otherwise, I attempted to put the players in the precise order of value for the pick – not that I can be that precise.

 

 

                Previous Year’s Stats

Prev. July 1    OBA,  Slg.,  BB:K,  SB+3B  Pick

Leag. Age  Pos. K/9,  HR/9,  K:BB,  ERA   Rating  Year.overall pick

                Who – why and/or what happened

 

AL    34  3b   .464, .595,  1.5,    5    A       97.3     

                Martinez, Edgar – impact hitter for another 7 years.

 

AL    28  of   .333, .422,  0.5,    3    A       93.2     

                Buhner, Jay – impact hitter for the next 5 years.

 

A+AAal 22  cf   .388, .542,  0.6,   27    A       99 

                Beltran, Carlos – could soon top this list..

 

JP^    27  of   .466, .539,  1.5,   22    A       01.1     

                Suzuki, Ichiro – still going strong after 6 years.

 

AL    23  sp    4.6,  1.0,  1.9,  4.27   A       93.3     

                Fernandez, Alex – very good for 6 yrs until bad shoulder

 

AL    28  rp    9.2,  0.9,  4.1,  2.97   A       01 

                Foulke, Keith – provided four more incredible years.

 

NL*    30  rp    9.7,  0.9,  4.7,  2.93   A-      96 

                Wetteland, John – great reliever for next 3 yrs.

 

NL*    32  sp    5.1,  1.0,  2.4,  3.97   A-      92.3     

                Viola, Frank – excellent for two more years

 

a+aa-al*21 sp    9.7,  0.5,  2.3,  3.29   A-      05 

                Kazmir, Scott – sore shoulder prevents A projection

 

NL*    30  1b   .367, .432,  0.9,    4    A-      94 

                Clark, Will – off years: 90, 93, 96; ret. suddenly 01

 

AL*    28  cf   .365, .438,  0.6,   28    A-      01 

                Cameron, Mike – 3 very good to good years, before x-ing for 3 more.

 

col.   22  3b  .547, .772,  2.9,   17    A-      02 

                Teixeira, Mark – .950 (’05), .900 (’06), or 1.000 (‘??)

 

NL*    27   c   .289, .381,  0.4,    0    A-      99.1     

                Johnson, Charles – .961 in 2000! merely good 4 of next 5 years

 

h.s.   18  of                             A-      04.5

                Young, Delmon – projecting the best hitting prospect.

 

 

AL     24  sp    6.1,  1.1,  2.0,  4.84   B+      92.5     

                McDonald, Ben – 2.43 ERA in ’90 as a rookie

 

AL    32  sp    5.7,  1.1,  3.0,  3.96   B+      95 

                Wells, D. - old fat guy with an elbow injury: surprise!

 

NL*    30  sp    4.8,  1.0,  1.3,  4.62   B+      96.4     

                Hill, Ken – off year to best year., then mediocrity.

 

3A-nl* 24 sp-rp  9.4,  1.1,  3.6,  4.24   B+      05.3     

                Haren, Dan – 3.73 & 4.12 for about 220 ing. each year and going?

 

A+     22  cf   .392, .611,  0.3,    7    B+      96 

                Erstad – very good in 97, 98; great in ’00; not much since.

 

AL    32   c  .336, .447,  0.6,    2    B+      92

                Harper, Brian – emerged as a good hitter in ’88.

 

NL*    31  1b   .427, .463,  1.9,    3    B+      00 

                Olerud, John – career spikes 93 & 98; decline from ’04 on

 

NL*    33 3b-of .388, .576.  0.7,    8    B+      96.2     

                Bonilla, Bobby –two more good years.

 

NL*    25 2b-3b .336, .374,  1.2,   28    B+      92.4     

                Jefferies, Gregg – had two good years: ’93 & ’94.

 

NL*    39  sp    5.5,  1.1,  2.2,  3.85   B       94.3     

                Martinez, Dennis – had two more fine years of 180 innings.

 

AL     28  sp    5.4,  0.7,  2.0,  4.82   B       93.2     

                Hanson, Erik – last good year: 3.47 215 innings.

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AA-3A-ws 21  rp 13.0,  0.3,  4.3,  2.28   B       03.4     

                Rodriguez, K- - 3.03 in 86 innings, but cut, then 1.82, etc.

 

AL     31  rp    8.0,  0.7,  2.3,  3.73   B       97 

                Mesa, Jose – ’95: runner-up C.Y.; ’97: 2.40/80 ing; then ??

 

NL*    29  ss  .327, .401,  0.5,   17    B       05.2     

                Renteria, E – ’03: car. yr.; ’04: BB:K & speed way down

 

AL     29 of-2b .364, .443,  0.9,   15    B       03 

                Catalanotto – had 2nd best year (.823) and he qualified at 2b

 

3A     25  3b   .373, .521,  0.5,   21    B       02.4     

                Hinske, Eric – Rookie of the Year, then downhill.

 

NL*    34  1b  .356, .441,  0.6,    6    B       98.3     

                McGriff, Fred – good player for another 5 years.

 

3A-NL* 23  1b  .350, .471,  0.7,    1    B       99.5     

                Konerko, Paul – 4 good years, then 1 bad, then 3 v.g. years

 

AL     33   c  .339, .485,  0.6,    0    B       00 

                Fletcher, Darrin – one more very good year, then: not good.

 

AL     26  dh   .340, .558,  0.4,    4    B       01.5     

                Fullmer. Brad – ‘00 a leap; ‘01 set-back, ‘02 rebound, ‘03 injured knee

 

AL     29  cf   .360, .461,  0.5,   36    B       03 

                Winn, Randy – steadily good OF after career year in ’02.

 

NL*    28  ss   .333, .410,  0.4,   16    B       04 

                Lugo, Julio – established himself as a good shortstop.

 

3A     23  2b   .363, .495,  0.5,   46    B       95.1     

                Durham, Ray – fine career, but low impact until 4th year.

 

AA-al  22  cf   .409, .506,  1.4,   47    B       96.1     

                Damon, Johnny – blossomed in year 3; peaked year 4 & 5.

 

AA-3A  24  2b   .381, .470,  0.7,   30    B       02.2     

                Hudson, Orlando – stuck in AAA 100 g.; slow sure developement

 

AL     23  ss   .299, .388,  0.5,   48    B-      01.2     

                Guzman, Cristian career year!, shoulder. injury, then so-so

 

AL     33  sp    5.8,  1.3,  1.9,  4.11   B-      99 

                Burba, Dave – good for two more years.

 

AL     35  sp    5.1,  1.1,  3.4,  3.96   B-      99 

                Saberhagen, Bret – 22 very good starts (2.95). The End.

 

AL     30  rp    8.0,  0.4,  2.0,  2.35   B-      92 

                Aguilera, Rick – not protected, but very good in 3 of next 4 yrs.

 

AL     26 sp-rp  5.5,  1.0,  2.9,  4.24   B-      98 

                Mendoza, Ramiro – 3.25 in 130 ing., but not protected.

 

NL*    30  ss   .306, .383,  0.8,   19    C+      05 

                Cabrera, O. – ’04: v.g. 2nd half after trade to World Series bound Bos.

 

AL     32 cf-of .393, .468,  1.0,   22    C+      97 

                Martinez, Dave – pretty decent, but not protectable

 

AL     26 of-dh .338, .423,  0.5,    2    C+      01 

                Giambi, Jeremy – .841 in 371 AB (1.157 in ‘99 3A)

 

AL*    37  sp    6.0,  1.1,  2.2,  3.87   C+      96 

                Hershiser, Orel – WS hero; OK, but slowly downhill.

 

NL*    34  sp    7.5,  1.0,  2.7,  3.57   C+      02.3     

                Appier, Kevin - good comeback in 01 & sort of in ‘02 (3.97).

 

AL     32 sp-rp  6.8,  1.1,  1.7,  4.25   C+      98 

                Wakefield, Tim – 4.58 /  217 ing., but not protected.

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AA     21  ss   .339, .451,  0.4,   20    C       94.1     

                Gonzalez, Alex  S. – as a prospect ranked higher than Jeter or Nomar.

 

NL*    31  ss   .348, .394,  1.2,   32    C       94.5     

                Fernandez, Tony - reduced playing time, then position switch.

 

NL*    32  ss  .325, .410,  0.4,    3    C       04 

                Aurilia, Rich – had an off year, then crossed back.

 

NL*    33  3b  .350, .437,  0.8,    7    C       99.2     

                Zeile, Todd – good for another 2 years, then downhill

 

AL     34  1b   .384, .507,  0.7,    2    C       99 

                Clark, Will – only 77 games, but excellent in final ‘00.

 

AL     34  of  .332, .457,  0.6,   10    C       99 

                Surhoff, BJ – OK for two more years. Weak choice.

 

NL*    34  of  .347, .535,  0.6,   17    C       00 

                Vaughn, Greg – career year in ’98; worthless from ’02 on

 

AA     22  cf   .394, .560,  0.5,   25    C       98 

                Encarnacion, Juan – starter late from late ’98 on, but never very good

 

Cuba*  31  sp                             C       03.2     

                Contreras, Jose – 6 minor league starts, then 3.30/71 ing.; “04: 5.50

 

NL*    30  sp    4.8,  0.8,  2.4,  3.62   C       95.3     

                Burkett, John – released by Tex., pitched OK with Florida.

 

aa-3a-al^ 29 sp  5.1,  1.5,  2.0,  3.82   C       98.4     

                Irabu, Hidecki – 4 yr. Japanese star; for MLB: 4.06, 4.84, then 7.24...

 

AL     28  of   .341, .511,  0.3,    8    C-      03 

                Jones, Jacque – ‘02: career yr.; just OK since.

 

NL*    29  rf   .332, .483,  0.5,   41    C-      00.3     

                Mondesi, Raul – 4 more decent years; top year: ’97.

 

AL     31  cf  .349, .399,  0.6,   24    C-      95.5     

                Javier, Stan – 130 games of .740; crossed over the next year.

 

AL     25  cf   .330, .433,  0.3,   22    C-      01 

                Encarnacion, Juan – 120 games of .700, then crossed over for top years.

 

AL     26  of   .372, .387,  0.6,    9    C-      02 

                Grieve, Ben – ‘01: huge power drop; ‘03:part-time; ‘05: gone

 

NL*    28 3b1b-of.350,.481,  0.5,   11    C-      02.5     

                Young, Dmitri - only 54g groin+ no 3b; ’03: .909 ops

 

NL*    31  sp    9.4,  1.1,  2.5,  3.68   C-      05.4     

                Clement – sore shoulder at ’04 end; ’05: bad 2nd half

 

NL*    30  sp    7.1,  0.8,  2.5,  3.59   C-      04 

                Redman, Mark – coming off career year in Florida.

 

NL*    33 sp-rp  6.6,  0.6,  2.4,  3.54   C-      04 

                Batista, Miguel – not well established; back to NL

 

AL     25  sp    5.8,  1.3,  2.9,  4.61   C-      04 

                Lohse, Kyle – ’04-’06 ERAs: 5.34, 4.18, 5.83.

 

NL*    26  sp    6.2,  1.4,  1.9,  4.61   C-      97 

                Watson, Allen – never improved – not worth an R14.

 

AL     28  sp    6.1,  1.0,  1.8,  5.32   C-      99.3     

                Baldwin, James – 2nd R14 try for a comeback

 

NL*    28  sp    6.2,  1.8,  1.9,  5.64   C-      01.3     

                Valdes, Ismael – under 4.00 before ’00 shoulder. inj., then  always > 4.00.

 

AL     27  sp    7.4,  0.8,  2.6,  3.81   C-      92.2     

                Hanson, Erik – ERAs of 3.18 & 3.24 in ’89 & ’90.

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NL*    32 2b-of .346, .372,  0.5,   20    D+      96 

                Roberts, Bip – leg injury in ’95,  just 90 games in ’96 of .668.

 

NL*    24 ss-of .341, .420,  0.4,   11    D+      96.5     

                Cordero, Wil – leg injury &  position switches; best year.: ’94.

 

A+-3a 24   c   .408, .568,  0.8    13    D+      98 

                Hinch, A.J. – result: Oak.’s starting catcher at .635 – this was his peak.

 

AL     28  of   .391, .490,  0.7,   20    D+      02 

                Catalanotto, Frank – from career year to litany of injuries, then cut

 

3A     24 2b-ss .408, .575,  0.7,   27    D+      01.4     

                Ortiz, Jose - we drooled over him; but played only 53 games in Col.

 

NL*    34  sp    7.1,  0.6,  3.9,  3.60   D+      95.4     

                Gross, Kevin - last good year of rare long career as 3rd starter.

 

AL     38  sp    5.8,  1.5,  4.6,  3.78   D+      03 

                Reed, Rick – melted at 38.

 

AL     27  sp    6.3,  0.9,  1.7,  5.27   D+      98 

                Baldwin, James – expected comeback did not come.

 

AL     24 sp-rp  9.5,  0.9,  1.9,  3.87   D+      92

                Gordon, Tom – role instable; better in ’93, best in ‘98

 

NL*    29  sp    5.6,  0.7,  2.8,  3.00   D+      05.5     

                Pavano – ’03: work load jumped from 135 ing. to 220 ing.

 

NL*    31  sp    6.1,  1.3,  2.3,  2.93   D       94.2     

                Fernandez, Sid – knee problem in last good year ‘93.

 

AL     30  rp    9.0,  0.4,  2.0,  3.09   D       98.5     

                Jones, Todd – from career year to 4.97.

 

AL     32  rp    7.3,  0.5,  1.8,  2.64   D       94.4     

                Henneman, Mike – 5.19; had one more good year in ’95.

 

AA     25  3b   .386, .551,  0.8,    9    D       00 

                Lamb, Mike - .701 playing almost entire season. Cut.

 

NL*    32  ss   .348, .381,  1.7,   12    D       93 

                Owen, Spike – last 3 years .605, .840, .600

 

NL*    29  2b   .275, .269,  0.9,    4    D       93.5     

                Lind, Jose – Gold Glove in ’92; had 1 starting year, then phased out

 

NL*    30  of   .371, .529,  0.5,    2    D       02 

                White, Rondell – injury prone; off year .666 in ’02.

 

A-a+   21  cf   .348, .541,  0.2,   54    D-      95 

                Rivera, Ruben – BA’s #2 prospect between A-Rod & C-Jones.

 

AL     24 2b-3b .288, .329,  0.6,    5    D-      95 

                Easley, Damian – still 2 more full seasons of torture.

 

AL     24  2b   .392, .413,  0.7,    8    D-      94 

                Easley, Damian - 230 AB false alarm until ’97.

 

NL*    28 sp-rp  9.8,  0.6,  3.3,  3.38   D-      97.4     

                Sanders, Scott – ERA rest of career: > 5.50. Why?

 

A+AA-al 23  sp    7.9,  0.5,  2.1,  3.42   D-      00 

                Wells, Kip – didn’t become good until ’02 lasting 2 yrs.

 

NL*    31  sp    9.5,  0.2,  1.6,  3.02   D-      97 

                Slocumb, Heathcliff – ERAs over 5.00 the next 2 years.

 

aa-3a-al 25 sp   5.1,  0.5,  2.1,  3.45   D-      03 

                Rodriguez, Ricardo  – Ks down sharply in AA and levels higher

 

AL     38   sp   5.1,  1.3,  2.7,  3.26   D-      94 

                Darwin, Danny – ‘93 was best and last of good years

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AA-3A  22 ss-2b .343, .485,  0.4,   17    F+      03.3     

                Phillips, Brandon – finally made good in ’06.

 

NL*    32  3b  .331, .478,  0.7,    3    F+      00.4     

                Castilla, Vinny – could not hit in the AL.

 

3A     25  cf   .430, .542,  0.9,   34    F+      95.2     

                Bragg, Darren – old prospect, high hit rate, high altitude.

 

AL     36  dh   .374, .466,  0.7,    1    F+      92 

                Clark, Jack – shoulder injury ended his career

 

3A-AL  23 sp(yes)8.8,  0.6,  2.3,  3.68   F+      93 

                Rhodes, Arthur – breakthrough year: 1997

 

NL*    28  sp    6.1,  0.6,  1.4,  4.27   F+      99.4     

                Hamilton, Joey – a 3.00 ace 1st yrs (94-95); 6.52 in ‘99

 

NL*    31 sp-rp  5.9,  1.1,  1.9,  3.90   F+      03.5     

                Daal, Omar – bad shoulder ended inconsistent career.

 

NL*    27  sp    5.9,  0.7,  2.2,  4.47   F+      97.5     

                Avery, Steve – star 91-93,  6.42 in ’97,  >5.00 then on

 

AL     32  rp    4.9,  0.9,  1.1,  4.59   F+      92

                Gibson, Paul – very good in ’88 & ’90; a mistake?

 

 

NL*    28  sp    6.4,  1.0,  1.7,  4.15   F       96.3     

                Mercker – 4 good years as rp, then 2 good yrs. as sp; 6.98 in ’96.

 

AL     24  sp    5.4,  0.7,  1.8,  3.73   F       93.4     

                Valera, Julio – elbow trouble ended effectiveness

 

3A-AL  22  sp    6.0,  0.6,  1.6,  4.00   F       93 

                Mahomes, Pat – top Twins prospect; 8 organizations: 5.47 ERA

 

AA     23  sp    9.8,  0.7,  4.2,  3.49   F       94 

                Helling, Rick – includes 2 excellent AAA starts; had 1 good yr: 98.

 

3A-AL  29 sp-rp  9.4,  1.3,  3.7,  3.54   F       02 

                Hiljus, Erik – 6.50 ERA for rest of 46 inning career

 

3A-al  23  sp    8.7,  ?.?,  2.5,  2.64   F       93 

                Militello, Sam – us statheads’ all-time most disappointing pitcher

 

AA     22  sp    9.2,  0.8,  3.8,  2.90   F       95 

                Haynes, Jimmy – finally had 1 good year in 2002.

 

NL*    24  rp    8.8,  0.9,  2.3,  2.40   F       05

                Cruz, Juan – sent down, started, called-up to rp: 7.44

 

3A-AL  29  sp    6.8,  0.4,  1.9,  3.48   F       05 

                Madritsch, Bobby – torn shoulder; injury prone history?

 

AA-3A  24  sp   10.3,  0.5,  3.9,  2.76   F       05 

                Meyer, Dan – mysterious tired shoulder since trade

 

a+-al* 32  sp    6.5,  0.9,  1.9,  3.05   F       00.5     

                Martinez, Pedro (the other) – shoulder surgery – never recovered

 

3A-AL  24  sp    7.1,  1.1,  2.4,  3.88   F       97 

                Adams, Willie – 8.18 ERA the rest of MLB career.

 

AL     27  rp    8.8,  0.2,  2.4,  1.60   F       94 

                Olson, Gregg – came back to some degree in ’98.

 

NL*    27  of   .339, .407,  0.6,    1    F       96 

                Plantier, Phil – good at age 22 and 24. Useless after 26.

 

NL*    27   c   .401, .487,  0.7,    1    F       01 

                Meluskey, Mitch – never recovered from back injury.

 

AL     29  of   .362. .475,  0.5,   11    F       95 

                Jose, Felix – from good platoon player to washed up.

 

 

* crossed over from NL list

^ import from foreign league

 

There are many things this study can show. I’m hoping you will have some fun with this list, find them, and then, please, share them with other bright Scoresheet nuts on the Yahoo message forums scoresheet-talk or mcscoresheet. I’ll be there.

 

Is it possible to maintain a long dynasty even with always having one of the last picks? Our league has had a dominant owner who has averaged a 103-59 W-L record over the 14 years of this study. Oui, c’est moi. I used this study to see how well I used my first picks to maintain my dynasty. This answer is not at all. In fact, using these grades to determine my grade point average, it comes to a precise 1.7 or C-, which appears to be the average grade of this league’s first round pick if you exclude the no-brainer cross-overs. Considering, I usually had the last pick, that’s, perhaps, not as bad as it sounds. However, I did trade for a few early-ish first rounders. In fact, the way I did use first picks to my advantage is that I never traded one and accumulated those extra ones. Specifically my first picks have been: Hanson C- and Aguilera B-, Militello F, Helling F, David Wells B+, Erstad B+, Scott Sanders D- and Slocumb D-, Juan Encarnacion C, Carlos Beltran A, Mike Lamb D, Jeremy Giambi C+, Orlando Hudson B and Hiljus F, Rick Reed D+, Lugo B, and Meyer F. (An “and” with no comma means I had both those first-rounders in the same year.)

 

My second best pick – Boomer – could just as easily have been another disaster. I traded for the first pick of the second round and selected the 22 year old AA phenom Armando Benitez who gave me 48 innings of 5.66 ERA. He spent almost all of the following season back in the minors emerging the next year as a reliever. I’ll confess to one other near first round pick (2nd pick of R15 in 2000) that was yet another can’t miss pitching prospect who missed – completely: Ed Yarnell. He had over a strikeout per inning at Columbus (as did Sam Militello 7 years earlier), yet continues to this day as a journeyman pitcher of AAA and the Japan Leagues.

 

Seeing this study and knowing my league suggests that my success has more to do with the hard work of a) knowing all the players and prospects so as to out pick my rivals in the lower rounds; b) keeping on top of my team and making the trades and line-up changes as necessary; c) and the patience to not over-trade my future for insurance in any current year – because such insurance is pretty flimsy and often unnecessary; d) and finally good old lady luck. I’m going to say a) is a bigger reason than the others combined. Sure, I think I probably know how to read stats a tiny bit better than anyone in the league – what’s important and significant without getting totally confused – knowing when to grab a pitcher and dump a slugger, etc., but if I actually did know these things better, there should be some evidence of it in my first picks. There isn’t. Perhaps, 14 rounds of first picks really isn’t enough to show such a small edge. I conclude that baseball players’ career projections are far more unpredictable than we think. There is lots of luck in picking players everyone knows about, and even more with the ones we know less. So, if I’m not any better of a forecaster of future ability, and keeping a dynasty for a one and a half decades has to be more than luck, what’s left is  simply hard work. In drafting, that has paid off by picking lesser known or underachieving players deep in the second phase and throughout the third phase, while other managers are picking better known veterans who aren’t going to help them much or prospects they’ve pinned their hopes on who never will help them.

John Carter