Hultzen's Chances = 80% (draft review 2)


Draft review, continued


2002:  The laughingstock Pirates took Bryan Bullington 1-1, Bullington signed for a discounted bonus, and then the next several pitchers taken were HS kids -- no other college pitcher could even argue to be a 1-1.

It's hard to say whether to dismiss Pirate picks... it was a tricky draft.  All of the first 5 picks disappointed.

Still, Bullington was a (RHP) 3-pitch guy with a great K/BB in college.  We'll include him, since he was fairly comparable then to where Hultzen is now.

For those who just joined us, Bullington injured his shoulder and, like Brad Lincoln, is pretty much a "Wish we knew what he'd been if he'd stayed healthy" result.


2001:  Mark Prior was the 1-1.  Dewon Brazelton was also hyped, but he was hurt a lot even in high school, pitched only one season at a small college and SSI is not including him in this group of "Kicked tail and took names in big-time CWS baseball" pitchers.


2000:  Adam Johnson the only SP taken high.... high school, as in.  No college candidates for 1-1 this year.


1999:  Josh Beckett the only pitcher taken high.  He was a prep player.


Well, that's about a decade's worth of drafts we've gone through... let's flip back real quick through the previous decade's drafts for a reality check ... 

1998 it was Mark Mulder ... 1997 Matt Anderson, a reliever, the only guy taken high ... 1996 Kris Benson and a reliever, Braden Looper ... now we're phasing well back before the Moneyball era.  1995 Kerry Wood, a HS pitcher, taken 1-4 ... 1994 the injured Mets' pheenom, Paul Wilson, actually taken 1-1 ... Dustin Hermanson, a very good ML starter, also taken high that draft ... 

Okay, that's plenty 'nuff.  We're ready for an executive summary.


=== Dr's Diagnosis ===

In the Moneyball era -- since James and the Oakland A's created the paradigm of isolating college SP's with great CTL ratios --

ML teams have little problem identifying top-of-draft college SP's who are going to be good in the majors.

About the only realistic challenge that ML teams have, with super-high draft pick SP's, is making sure that their college Big Man On Campus is not going to get injured.

Here, let's tabulate, since 1999:  

  • GOOD - Strasburg, Price, Lincecum, Scherzer, Morrow*, Verlander, Prior*, Jeff Neimann, Mulder 
  • DISAPPOINTING - Humber, Hochevar, Miller
  • INJURED - Lincoln, Bullington

It's interesting, too, that only 2 of those 14 college starters ran into serious injury problems.





RockiesJeff's picture

We all would wish the M's had drafted Lincecum rather than Morrow. Here the Rockies paid a higher price taking Greg Reynolds at the #2 spot in the draft. I think he was "signable" but seemed to me to be a huge reach. Add him to your list as sadly injured and bad.
One never knows but I think Hultzen has superior stuff to fellow #2 draft, Reynolds.


Hadn't thought about that R-Jeff but now that you remind, that had to have been it.  The Rockies had to have skipped all those mega-arms because of the dinero involved.
I had Reynolds like #10 in that draft and come to think of it, the Rockies probably did too :- )

RockiesJeff's picture

I can understand bottom lines and money but clubs will throw away a million or two like it is nothing on the hopes they can somehow defib a vet's career when presented with a need. I agree that such needs need to be filled as baseball over a long season exposes weaknesses over and over again. But, I would rather apply such funds, when you don't have luxury to make lots of bad calls or eat contracts, on a potential star over the hopeful retread. Thus, why go for a signable guy to save a bit but potentially miss out on a game changer?


Preconceptions abound.  ... it's also heresy to hire a $75,000 coach to make sure that Albert Belle's head is right, even though you've just laid out $50 mill for the player...
The first 10 picks of the amateur draft is CERTAINLY no place to pinch pennies, if you have a sense of proportion about what ML vets cost... my contention was that Strasburg was worth more like $50M than $15M, but ML teams do like their salary slotting where they can get it...

RockiesJeff's picture

Good point Jeff. If you are going to spend 50 mill on an Albert Belle, go at least to $80 grand for the bs (babysitting) coach. What a web we have spun!!!

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