We always hear that trying to predict the Major League Baseball draft is nothing more than guesswork, especially anytime before June 1st. However, once you get down to draft day, trying to project picks isn’t a totally futile exercise since we then know which teams are onto which players. Plus there’s all that stuff about knowing who’s healthy, who has performed well, who has slumped and so on.
I figured I’d take a look at the final mock drafts put out there by some of the most notable analysts on draft day to see who did the best job of predicting the picks. Here are the results, with the overall pick number is in parenthesis:
Jim Callis, Baseball America [link and link]
Total Correct Picks: 10
Correct Picks: Stephen Strasburg (1), Dustin Ackley (2), Donovan Tate (3), Tony Sanchez (4), Drew Storen (10), Chad James (18) Jiovanni Mier (21), Slade Heathcott (29), Brett Jackson (31), Tim Wheeler (32)
Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus [link]
Total Correct Picks: 6
Correct Picks: Strasburg (1), Ackley (2), Tate (3), Zack Wheeler (6), Bobby Borchering (16), Heathcott (29)
Keith Law, ESPN [link]
Total Correct Picks: 12
Correct Picks: Strasburg (1), Ackley (2), Tate (3), Tony Sanchez (4), Jacob Turner (9), Borchering (16), James (18), Chad Jenkins (20), Mier (21), Mike Trout (25), Heathcott (29), Wheeler (32)
Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com [link]
Total Correct Picks: 8
Correct Picks: Strasburg (1), Ackley (2), Tate (3), Tony Sanchez (4), Mike Minor (7), Storen (10), Grant Green (13), James (18)
Even though Callis didn’t have the Pirates taking Tony Sanchez in his original post, he did update his mock four hours before the draft on BA’s Draft Blog to reflect the move, so I was kind and gave him credit for that. Obviously, Strasburg was a gimme at numbero uno, as was Sanchez at four considering his predraft deal. Florida grabbing Oklahoma prep righty Chad James 18th overall was expected as well, because scouting director Stan Meeks is from Oklahoma, as is staff ace and budding megastar Josh Johnson. James’ talent warranted being drafted at that spot, and all of the other stars aligned perfectly.
As you can see, KLaw had the most correct picks with twelve. However, correctly predicting the most picks doesn’t automatically mean someone had the best mock draft, because correctly calling later picks is way tougher than calling early round picks. So in order to weigh the later right picks better, I assigned a point value to each slot and just tallied up the points everyone got. The scoring system wasn’t anything fancy, one point for the first overall pick, two points for the second, three points for the third, and so on. Arbitrary? Yes. Better than nothing? Also yes. With a 32 picks in the first round, the maximum number of points is 528.
So tallying them all up, here’s what we got:
- KLaw – 180 pts
- Callis – 151 pts
- Mayo – 58 pts
- Goldstein – 57 pts
Heh, so it looks like we know who has the most reliable sources, no? Or at least who lucked out with the most guesses, anyway. KLaw walks away with wins in both the Total Correct Pick and Point Tally categories, therefore we shall crown him the Master of the Mock Draft. Something tells me he’d appreciate that.