Baseball America’s decade of draft grades

The similarities of Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson
Game 65: He could be my grandfather

We all love draft grades, so Jim Callis of Baseball America went nuts and graded out each team’s draft from 2000-2009 (sub. req’d). He has the Red Sox coming up with the highest GPA at 3.40, with the Diamondbacks not too far back at 3.20. Boston’s four grade A’s and a B+ from 2001-2005 will do that. The Yankees came in 26th overall, ahead of the Mets, White Sox, Astros, and Mariners. They received four straight D’s from 2000-2003 since Phil Coke is pretty much the only thing they have to show for those efforts. Phil Hughes alone earned them a B in 2004, and the epiphany draft of 2006 was an A. Everything else was a C or C+, and their overall GPA is 1.95. I think they put you on academic probation for that.

The similarities of Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson
Game 65: He could be my grandfather
  • Jake H

    I like Jim Callis but he has some Sox bias. What I also don’t like is that they don’t take draft position into effect when grading these drafts nor do they take into account more or less picks.

    • Steve H

      I actually think Callis is pretty straight down the line. He’s always liked Hughes, even when others were jumping ship.

      There has to be some, even if in the subconcious, to kind of agree with what others are saying. Everyone praises the Sox drafts, so #1 they are probably good drafts, and #2 if you don’t praise them, it’ll look bad (especially if you’re proven wrong).

      • Mr. Sparkle

        Actually, he’s not. I knew before I even clicked the link that the Red Sox would be ranked #1. That stinks of bias and Jake is correct in that you can’t just flat out judge drafts on the players involved. There are a lot of other factors in play. Another he didn’t mention…signability. Some teams know they won’t be able to sign certain players due to not wanting to shell out a hefty signing bonus, so they pass. Therefore, some teams’ scores would be affected by this. Most likely not the Yankees, but it has a ripple effect on the entire draft.

        You can’t just look at the picks, say, “Oh, they drafted Hanley Ramirez that year…A+.” You have to examine why he might have been available.

  • nathan

    Its because we draft last everytime. Lol.

    I do think they fluffed the CJ Henry draft (was it 05), there was some quality names that they could have drafted over Henry.

    I do wonder if Brackman and Garcia didnt get hurt and if the Yanks had signed Cole would that have gotten them a B-. Its uncomfortable to be in the neighborhood of Mets, that’s Sucks-ville.

    • crawdaddy

      Who cares, it’s only BA making these rankings.

    • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      Its uncomfortable to be in the neighborhood of Mets, that’s Sucks-ville.

      the yankees have only missed the playoffs once during this time period, have made it to 4 WS, and won 2 of them.

      the mets have lost in the ws to the yankees and what, made the playoffs oen other time? but they have set the record for end of the season collapses

      • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

        for perspective obv

        • Steve H

          This. And like crawdaddy said, it’s rankings that shouldn’t get anyone riled up.

          The rankings have zero effect on the field. The drafting obviously does, but what’s done is done there. Give the Red Sox a 5.0 on a 4 point scale and it doesn’t help them or hurt the Yankees.

        • nathan

          and let that trend continue.

          I was just mentioning in the draft realm.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    The Sox produced quite a few good players buuut how the hell did they get first?

    • crawdaddy

      They missed on a quite a few too.

    • nathan

      I blame this on Rob Neyer

  • Pete

    “We all love draft grades”

    I don’t. Unless they’re compiled by running through each and every pick and making an assessment of each based on players available at that point in the draft, information available at the time, team budget constraints vs. asking prices, and juxtaposed against every other pick of that team’s draft. I love those.

    But if it’s “let’s grade each draft based on how its players have panned out”, then I’ll pass.

  • 28 this year

    What players did Boston produce in all those A drafts?

    Does it compare to the 06 draft for the Yanks?

    I don’t have subscription,.

    • Mike Axisa

      2001: Shoppach, Youkilis
      2002: Lester
      2003: David Murphy, Papelbon
      2004: Pedroia
      2005: Buchholz, Ellsbury

      • nathan

        I guess you can also add Bard, Masterson.

        Was Hanley an International draftee? Kind of glad that trade happened, lol.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Very glad that trade happened. Of course it’s with hindsight but it worked out well for both but damn I’d rather have Hanley.

      • Chris

        In 2003, the Red Sox got Papelbon, David Murphy and Matt Murton and that earned them a B+ (or possibly an A). In 2005, the Yankees got Brett Gardner and Austin Jackson, and that earned them at best a C+. That seems like pretty generous grading for the Red Sox.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Papelbon has a douchetastic windup that sears itself into your subconscious, though. That style and panache is worth an extra two letter grades by itself.

        • bexarama

          Wasn’t Papelbon supposed to be a starter, though? So he’d be more valuable if you picked him up as a starter…

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    The Seattle Mariners: Kent Dorfman.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Let the Sux continue to “win” the draft, as long as the Yanks continue to win where it counts.

  • MikeD

    We gave up the first half of the decade so the score doesn’t surprise me.

  • dutchsailor

    I think a more accurate assessment of those drafts would be to see how many players each draft has produced that are actually playing regularly and productive for the team, or else have gone in trades to bring in productive players. If you do that, I think that the Yankees are not too far behind the soks. Where were Cano, Gardner, and Cervelli in these drafts?

    • pat

      One was in the Dominican and one was in Venezuela.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      I can’t read the article but aren’t they doing that? But even if we’re looking at just productive players I’d agree the Sox beat the Yanks. I don’t think the Yanks are 26th but meh.

      • pat

        We have made up the difference in the international market. off the top of my head, I don’t think they have any of their own IFA players on the team right now.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          They have Jose Iglesias, who is like Honus Wagner, Dave Concepcion, Cal Ripken, Jimmie Foxx, Justin Smoak, and Lawrence Taylor all rolled into one.

          For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

    • Ted Nelson

      Flaws in the comment aside, there is a good point here… I mean how do you grade the 2009 draft at this point? Does everyone besides the Nationals and Reds get an F? No one else has had a player actually reach the majors that I know of. 2008 is largely the same thing. How these guys are doing in low-A ball only means so much, unless they’re used as trade bait based on MiLB performance… If in a few years Brackman is a Yankee starter and Casey Kelly never makes the show… it doesn’t matter what BA thought of their prospects. (Granted, focusing on the early decade only makes the Yanks look worse.)

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    The Seattle Mariners: Kent Dorfman

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    I’ve got a feeling that if BA did a similar grade of the International Free Agent market, the Yankees would be at the head of the class.

    • pat


      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Hard to compete with a haul that includes Soriano, Wang, Cano, Montero, Aceves, Cervelli, Miranda, Gary Sanchez, etc.

        • pat

          Not to mention guys who have been used in trades and guys who could prove to be useful at the mlb level, Melky, A-Viz, Nova.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            That too.

            • Mister Delaware

              I, I like these comments a lot!
              G, Get out of here if you like the Sox!
              A, is the grade that we should get!
              W, Why, do you think we should not?
              A, Again that’s the grade we should get!

              A+! Go Yanks!

  • cookie

    We’re on double secret probation.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      We’ve taken some liberties with our female party guests.

  • AndrewYF

    I wonder how BA viewed the Red Sox’s draft back then? I think I saw somewhere that the Red Sox’s farm system was consistently ranked in the bottom 5 of teams in the early part of the decade.

    Yes, the Red Sox had good drafts and the Yankees had bad drafts in the early part of the decade. That’s pretty obvious, and it resulted in two straight years where the Red Sox were better than the Yankees. But all that means pretty much nothing in terms of how recent drafts will pan out.

    The storyline back in the early part of the decade was that the Yankees drafted/developed their players very well and were an historically successful team based off the back of their farm system, and the Red Sox drafted poorly and never won when it counted. How else do you explain BA’s rankings in the early part of the decade? (The Red Sox were ranked near last, and the Yankees were ranked near first, even when the Sox had Lester, Youkilis, Ramirez and more in their system and all the Yankees had were Dioner Navarro, Nick Johnson and Drew Henson) I have a strong feeling that a similar situation is happening now, where recent success/failure is having an inordinate effect on current system rankings.