The common perception these days is that high school pitchers are the riskiest demographic in the draft, while in reality they’re no more riskier than their college counterparts. This train of thought really came to the forefront once Moneyball was released. Erik Manning at Future Redbirds (h/t BtB) points out that while hitters are a far safer bet when it comes to the draft, high school and college pitchers come with basically the same risk and are likely produce at a similar level in the future. John Sickels at Minor League Ball put together a list of the best pitchers in 2008 according to Win Shares, and of the 65 starters with at least 10 WS, 24 were from HS and 23 were from four-year colleges. Taking it one step further, 11 of the top 20 pitchers in WAR this year are HSers, and just four are from four-year colleges.
I’ve long been a fan of taking high school players over college players. College players spend three years under an amateur coaching and training staff during their prime development years, and often develop bad habits hitting with/pitching to players with metal bats. The top arms often experience workloads that their bodies may not be ready to handle just yet. What do you guys think? Do you but into the idea that college players are a better pick because they’re safer, or do you feel otherwise?