Apr
26

2011 Draft: Baseball America’s Experts Draft

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We haven’t quite reached mock draft season yet, that’s about a month away, but the gang at Baseball America put together their annual Experts Draft and posted it yesterday. It’s not a projection of who will be drafted where, but instead just a list of who they’d take at a given slot (in the first round), as if they were calling the shots for the teams. It’s a snapshot in time (a lot can and will change between now and the draft), but it’s a great overview of each player’s stock at the moment. Best of all: it’s free, you don’t need a subscription. So check it out, no excuses.

 

Categories : Asides, Draft

74 Comments»

  1. Gonzo says:

    I saw this yesterday. Everyone’s gonna hate me for this, but my initial reaction to picks 30+ were meh. I like the players, but I really think they can get a player with as much upside at #51.

  2. Tampa Yankee says:

    but a future rotation of Felix Hernandez, Gerrit Cole and Michael Pineda… that trio could be a reality by late 2012.

    Seattle could become quite good very quickly if Ackley and Smoak progress nicely as well along with that rotation and their Nintendo $.

  3. pat says:

    I excitedly looked for like 5 mins for who they said the Yanks were going to take in the first round. Alas, :(

    • Steve H says:

      An injury prone 8th inning guy for $12 mil/year sounds like a terrible idea, but I bet that’s what they’ll do.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Besides the odds being stacked heavily against a #31 pick making any positive impact to the MLB team, sure…

        • Steve H says:

          I’m pretty sure Soriano will contribute more to the Yankees than the potential #31 pick. That doesn’t make it a good signing. Even if they didn’t lose the pick, it’s not a good signing.

          • bonestock94 says:

            Eh, you never know

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Right, the pick is really a marginal concern.

            I don’t think it was a particularly good signing, but I also don’t think it was particularly bad. It’s their money. If they don’t mind throwing it around, I’m not going to complain. I think Soriano was a good reliever to take a shot on. He’s been injured a couple of times (which doesn’t necessarily make him “injury prone” unless you’ve examined his medicals), but on the whole has been a consistently strong relief pitcher. No constant ups and downs like Farnsworth or Karsay… yet people insist on comparing him to those guys. He’s started out a bit rough, but the stuff is still there. I’m fine with him.

            And who the hell cares about what inning he’s pitching in? For the same site where people always talk about using relievers by situation rather than by inning to almost an illogical extent (can’t just magically call a guy in when a situation turns ugly… there’s the whole warming up thing), people care an awful lot about what inning you pitch in and are very steadfast that you should only have one “closer.” If it’s a good idea to have one highly paid reliever, why not two? There is no salary cap and the Yankees are going to be spending twice as much as the average team anyway.

            • Steve H says:

              which doesn’t necessarily make him “injury prone” unless you’ve examined his medicals

              Not sure why I’d need his medicals to see that he has missed significant time with multiple injuries in his career. He has been prone to injury in his career. Maybe he’s Cal Ripken going forward, no one knows that, but his track record is injury prone.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Calling a player injury prone not only implies but directly states that they are prone to injuries. Not that they have been injured in the past, but that they are at a higher risk of being injured than other players. So, yes, you need medical expertise and to examine Soriano’s records to say anything meaningful on the subject.

                Otherwise, it’s a guessing game of speculation. You say Soriano has been injured twice, so he’s more likely to get injured again. I say that pitcher x has never been injured before so he’s probably going to need TJS, and pitcher y has pitched a lot of innings to his shoulder will probably fall off… Pure speculation. Not useful.

                The fact that Soriano has missed time in the past does not impact the Yankees in any way besides what it means about missing time in the future.

                • Steve H says:

                  You say Soriano has been injured twice, so he’s more likely to get injured again.

                  Nowhere did I say that.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Again… injury prone means prone to injury. By saying that he’s prone to injury you said that he is… wait for it… prone to get injured.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            Or they could get a Casey Kelly and get him to be a a cornerstone for a really good player regardless if he busts or not.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Of course you could take a good player like Casey Kelly. The chances just aren’t that great. And you could also take a good player #51, or #551… or just sign an equivalent talent out of Latin America.

              A. Casey Kelly dominated A-ball at 19, had a rough season in AA at 20, and was still BA’s #31 prospect entering this season. He’s not a bust yet by any stretch.

              B. He was traded with Rizzo, another top 75 prospect who is already a strong AAA hitter at 21. Plus another 1st rounder who plays CF… Fuentes was really the first rounder in that trade who hasn’t proven anything, because Kelly has. And no one is calling Fuentes the cornerstone of that trade.

              C. The market for a player like AGone is limited due to his salary demands. The Red Sox most likely weren’t up against many other serious bidders who saw AGone as a long-term answer. The Red Sox didn’t just get a new player with the 3 prospects they gave up, they got a guy they were the front-runners to sign a year later anyway.

  4. Tank the Frank says:

    I don’t see how the Pirates don’t take Cole at # 1. What kind of pitching do they have? Nobody in the league of Cole I don’t think. You’ve gotta shoot for that # 1 starter if you’re the pirates. Plus Cole is further along in his development. He’s not an 18 year old out of high school. If he stays healthy, he can break in with the big league club maybe as soon as two seasons.

    • Andrew says:

      Rendon isnt a highschooler he plays third at Rice, so its not like he is a project

      • Tank the Frank says:

        Yeah but my point is that I think you have to go with the impact potential #1 pitcher rather than the bat if you’re the Pirates.

        • zs190 says:

          Positional player prospects of this caliber has better odds of success than pitching prospects, I think. I don’t remember the studies on this but I think that’s what they found.

          As for what pitchers they have, they just spent a ton of money getting 3 high-upside pitchers last draft/international signing period: Taillon, Allie(might be closer instead), and Luis Heredia.

          • Rick in Boston says:

            Cole does give them a pitcher they can have in the majors by the end of 2012. So, if Taillon, Allie AND Heredia all make it, you have a solid front three or rotation if you add Cole.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I don’t think it’s at all clear cut. They’re both really good prospects. The draft is far too uncertain to be drafting based on MLB need. If they think Rendon is a better pick, they should take him. If they think Cole is, they should take him.

          The Pirates have Luis Heredia ($2.6 mill bonus as a 16 year old), Jameson Taillon (regarded as best HS pitcher in 2010 draft), and Stetson Allie in their system… 3 of their top 4 prospects are pitchers. According to Keith Law, 8 of their top 10 are pitchers. According to BA 7 of their top 10 prospects are pitchers. I’m not sure why you’re so insistent that’s their big need anyway.

          • Tank the Frank says:

            I think it’s my perception of Cole and how hyped he’s been. I can’t locate any articles but seem to recall him being in the same breath as a Strasburg type… a can’t miss with big-time stuff. Add in the fact that he may be so close to the majors after he’s drafted, and you have my opinion.

            Teams don’t draft based on MLB need? That’s news to me. I realize a team may take the best available player on many occasions, but teams also draft with a strategy. They don’t go position by position looking to fill holes, but they go in with a plan to get pitching, get stronger up he middle defensively, get a power impact bat etc.

            I guess my insistence, if you want to call it that, is that I think Cole is the best player in the draft. That’s all.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              A. So your opinion is based on hearsay… Rendon is a very good prospect too. They are pretty widely held as the consensus top 2. There’s no guarantee the Pirates look at the two and feel Cole is better (though they certainly might).
              I would guess that being a Yankee fan and a regular on this blog is stilting your opinion, since Yankee fans bemoan Cole not signing regularly. Plus Rendon’s had a bad (injured) season which hurts his stock, but may or may not actually be a long-term concern.
              I’m not saying Cole shouldn’t be the #1 pick, I’m just saying if it is I don’t think it’s because the Pirates “need” a star pitcher more than they need a star hitter.

              B. Teams *shouldn’t* draft for MLB need is what I said. Not that some don’t.
              I did not say that they shouldn’t have a draft strategy. I agree that up-the-middle position players and left handed arms are generally more valuable all else equal. And some clubs may be more interested in stock-piling arms or bats. HS players or college players. The strategies are mostly because they think that will yield them the best players on the whole, not necessarily players who fill immediate MLB holes.

              And… again… pitching prospects are not a huge “need” for the Pirates. They’ve got several high end prospects: Taillon was considered the best HS arm in the 2010 draft and is already the BA #11 prospect going into his first pro season, Heredia was considered the best arm in 2010 IFA, and Stetson Allie is already a top 80 BA prospect before throwing a MiLB pitch. I would not have a problem with them drafting Cole, but if they do it will not be because they need pitching prospects more than position prospects. They’re a bad team and need both. They’re scoring 3.7 runs/game this season… some more offense wouldn’t hurt. Their team ERA is actually right on line with the Yankees so far. Their pitching talent isn’t good, but overall not really any more of a concern than the line-up.

              C. You admit that you’re going on some articles you’ve read and the general hype… You don’t know if Cole is the best player. Neither do I, there’s disagreement even among professional scouts. Rendon is a hell of a prospect, whose had some bad luck on getting injured this season. The consensus is pretty widely that they’re the top 2 players in the draft.

      • jsbrendog says:

        they have this guy, pedro alvarez. he plays 3b

        • zs190 says:

          For now, he is. According to scouting types that have seen him play, he’s not projected to stay at 3B long term, I think. Could and probably should move to 1B in the near future.

        • Card Shark says:

          This guy, Pedro, is he moving to 1b in the future anyway?

        • I could see him sliding over to first base if they get Rendon.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          You can’t draft with MLB positional needs in mind… Your odds of getting an impact player aren’t that great. You just need to take who you feel is the best pick. Besides Pedro Alvarez not being that great and being able to switch positions, you can also trade he or Rendon at some point.

          • Mister Delaware says:

            I know this is the common logic but I don’t really buy it when you have talent that projects similar, especially the further you get down the defensive spectrum.

            (Not that 3B is at the bottom, but if KC has Hosmer near ready at 1B, I would argue they take an OF over another 1B even if the 1B is ranked slightly higher.)

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I disagree. Having too many good players at a position is a good thing. There’s almost always some positional flexibility. Even with Hosmer, if you have a slugger behind him who can only play 1B… DH one of them. Trade Billy Butler, trade the prospect, trade Hosmer. I think most of the time you’re a lot better off trading guys with established value (even if it’s only in the low minors).

              You’re usually talking about guys who are s few years away at best, and not at all certain to perform anyway. Especially after somewhere around the top 20-ish: in the top 20 or so there’s a pretty good shot both guys you’re looking at can be MLB impact players, but after that the chances are stacked against you… there might be a bit more than a handful of 2nd rounders and a few 3rd rounder who actually make an MLB impact. If you really think one guy is the guy… I think you have to take him instead of second guessing yourself. Especially up at the very, very top of the draft where you’re giving out big bonuses and could easily land a huge star.

              Position definitely has to be factored in. A (future) SS/C/CF with a similar overall grade to a (future) 1B/LF is more valuable, or a LHP than a RHP. If you’ve got a guy graded the best available and have a good feeling about his work ethic and contract demands, though, I think you’ve got to do it.

              When you’re looking at multiple guys who are really close to you and opinion is divided in the front office, etc… I don’t know, I’ve never run a draft before. If you really can’t decide between two guys I don’t know that position is any better a deciding factor than any other arbitrary factor.

              And the MLB draft is especially complicated without slotting and binding entry.

              • Mister Delaware says:

                I understand all the common logic, I just don’t agree with it as a blanket BPA statement. You don’t pass on guy you graded out at 70 for a guy you graded out at 60 because of position, but maybe you should pass on a 70 for a 67, especially if that 70 is an expected quick moving college player. Pittsburgh might be a good example of what I’m talking about or atleast close enough to make the hypothetical if you pretend Pedro Alvarez is an average to slightly plus 3B not expected to move. Even if you like Rendon a bit more than Cole, you’re necessitating a second move in the near term to maximize returns rather than grabbing a guy who could quickly produce for your club.

                (Again, this isn’t “drafting for need” of passing on Rendon for a guy slotted to go 20th, just making roster availability a factor when the choice is a toss-up or near toss-up. And, while its cheating to highlight an obvious best case for my argument, Tampa Bay was debating Beckham or Posey until shortly before the draft. Factoring in near term roster need there rather than strict BPA wouldn’t have hurt.)

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Every situation is little bit differently, but I think BPA is generally the way to go. You can second guess yourself to death on various factors, but I think you just take the pick (not necessarily player, because you have to factor in signability, work ethic, etc.) you like the best after thorough research and trust your judgement.

                  How many guys from the MLB draft quickly produce for their club? It’s quite rare. I don’t think short-term returns are the way to draft.

                  Even if Alvarez were an above average 3B, one of those guys could still move to 1B or OF. Guys like Tex, Youk, and Pujols move positions and it doesn’t seem to hurt their offense. I think there are very few situations where you’re going to have too many guys at one position ultimately, especially in the AL where you’ve got the DH.

                  The problem is that it’s hard to say that

                  Come on… really? The Rays had a bigger need at SS in 2008 than C. At the time their SS was 28 and hit .690 on the season, while their C was 24 and hit .757. Navarro was a 3 WAR player that season and Barlett was a 1.8 WAR player… how would looking at their current or near future roster have helped at all?

                  *If* you can correctly identify the best player, that’s the right move. Of course no one can identify that player 100% of the time, but if this is your job I think you have to trust your ability to identify the right pick. Outside of the first few picks there’s usually no right answer. Opinion is going to split, especially when you get out of the first round or even top 20.

                  If you’re in a situation where it’s really a toss up for you and you really like two or more guys almost equally… I don’t see why position is any more of a deciding factor than any other factor… HS/JC/NCAA, P/Hitter, certain skills and tools that have historically translated… I’m sure there are plenty of debates within war-rooms and this is ultimately where the Opp or Cashman makes his money. If you think position is where you’re going to make the decision… ok. I just think you are trying to assemble assets. The assets with the best long-term value are the ones that you want. Returns on prospects vary dramatically. The 67 prospect and 70 prospect are rarely 67 and 70 players. Depending on where you’re drafting neither has much chance to make it, but it one does then chances are that the other didn’t.

                  • Mister Delaware says:

                    How many guys from the MLB draft quickly produce for their club? It’s quite rare. I don’t think short-term returns are the way to draft.

                    Referring to it as short term rewards ignores that I said “if you have them graded nearly equally”.

                    Even if Alvarez were an above average 3B, one of those guys could still move to 1B or OF. Guys like Tex, Youk, and Pujols move positions and it doesn’t seem to hurt their offense. I think there are very few situations where you’re going to have too many guys at one position ultimately, especially in the AL where you’ve got the DH.

                    I don’t worry about a position move hurting their offense, just their value. Your grade of Rendon (or your retroactive grade of Alvarez) dips if you move him from 3B to 1B. That has to be factored in as well.

                    Come on… really? The Rays had a bigger need at SS in 2008 than C. At the time their SS was 28 and hit .690 on the season, while their C was 24 and hit .757. Navarro was a 3 WAR player that season and Barlett was a 1.8 WAR player… how would looking at their current or near future roster have helped at all?

                    Because best case, Beckham comes up in maybe three years. The Rays were already opening their window, picking Posey would have easily worked into that window. Not saying this was obvious by any means, but if you’re ignoring strict-absolute BPA, this would have factored. (And, like I acknowledged, there are times when the flipside would ring true.)

                    *If* you can correctly identify the best player, that’s the right move. Of course no one can identify that player 100% of the time, but if this is your job I think you have to trust your ability to identify the right pick. Outside of the first few picks there’s usually no right answer. Opinion is going to split, especially when you get out of the first round or even top 20.

                    Herein lies the basis of my point. With the draft as such a crapshoot, one of the very few things you can control is how a player fits in your future. If the Yankees are picking this year and there’s a 60 catcher and a 59 OF, I’d say you take the OF because, best case, the catcher adds to a list of very good catchers in the system. Best case on the OF is a productive major leaguer you can use.

                    If you’re in a situation where it’s really a toss up for you and you really like two or more guys almost equally… I don’t see why position is any more of a deciding factor than any other factor

                    Like I said above, because this is under your control. The same way a team would never draft a 2B in the 1st round, supp 1st and 2nd round because it jams up the low minors, they should atleast consider not doing so when you’re looking at doubling up in the majors in the near future.

                    Again, this rarely would come into play, only with quick moving college bats at a low spectrum position. I just don’t like the whole BPA must always every time absolutely be BPA.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Alvarez, Meet 1b.

  5. Clint Holzner says:

    I really hope that one day I get over this whole Gerrit Cole thing, it is still unsettling. He would be really nice to have right about now.

    • Gonzo says:

      Considering the fate of the Big 3, I am sure he is very happy right now.

        • pat says:

          (Because they’re all dead)

        • Gonzo says:

          Is there a specific question you had in mind?

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Yes: what the hell are you talking about?

            What happened to IPK, Joba, and Hughes has very little to do with what would have happened to Cole. It’s a false narrative that the Yankees can’t develop pitching prospects.

            It’s like me saying: “man, Cole should be pissed he’s going to get drafted by the Pirates because of Bullington, Benson, Maholm, Lincoln, Moskos, Van Benschoten… basically everyone they draft.” Or: “man he should be pissed he got drafted my the Mariners because they moved Morrow to the pen (Joba), Aumont isn’t living up to his potential (Hughes), and Josh Fields isn’t that great (IPK).”

            • Gonzo says:

              You are reading too much into my post. This is for you and Mister Delaware. Even if it’s a false narrative, it still may be true. And if your Cole, would you risk millions?

              Cole seems like a logical fellow. He did after all make his decision with his dad regarding going to college with charts on how much he could make money wise. So let’s make this purely about finance since we know Cole has done that in the past.

              How much money do you think IPK’s, Joba’s, and Hughes’ next contracts are going to have in them? I am not going to get longwinded about why each of them will have lower paydays than expected, but there is one common denominator, the Yankees. Bash away, but before you do look at this.

              Since Hughes is most like Cole if Cole had signed, we’ll use him as an example.

              Look at Hughes’ innings pitched since he’s been with the Yankees.

              2005 19 86.1
              2006 20 146
              2007 21 110.1
              2008 22 69.2
              2009 23 105.1 including playoffs 111.1
              2010 24 176.1 including playoffs 191.1

              Cole’s in college so far.
              2009 85.0
              2010 123.0

              Ok, so Hughes may be totally fine and can rebound 120%, but I believe that even so this prolonged dead arm has cost him some money. Money that I am sure he would like and Cole would like. Maybe the innings pitched didn’t have a negative impact on Hughes. Maybe it did. If you’re Cole, and worth a ton of money, would you like to find out first hand?

              • Gonzo says:

                In other wordsd Cole is probably experiencing confirmation bias right now. He decided it was smart to go to college, and he is now, rightly or wrongly, saying, “damn I made the best choice.”

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  If he’s as rationale as you say he’s not looking at any one example as proving a larger point. No.

                  Again, I can look at similar examples for the Pirates or Mariners. If he looks at these examples as financial doom for him, why is he happy he didn’t go to NY but also happy he’s going to Pittsburgh or Seattle where the same thing might happen?

                  • Gonzo says:

                    From a pure $ standpoint. He made his first dedcision partly based on $. All evidence afterwards, thus far, would be just confirmation for him. Does the new information, thus far, make his decision look silly?

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I don’t think that’s the case…

                      A. What have the Pirates and Mariners done? Pirates haven’t developed any pitching studs. I’m not sure the Ms get any more credit for Felix than they do for Griffey or A-Rod. These are special players. Pineda is about it… One hard throwing guy who has busted onto the scene in a big way. That’s one example. Again, one example doesn’t prove a rule.

                      B. The fact that Yankees prospects haven’t reached their potential is not necessarily proof that the team mishandled them. Cole could just as easily look at how well Manny and Dellin nd their other prospects ahave done as proof he should have some to the Yankees. Or look at the 200 IP workload Felix was handed at 19 as a sure sign the Mariners would ruin his arm before his 30th birthday and sap about 1/2 his earning potential.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      He actually calculated when he would hit free agency and combined it with injury risk.

                      Felix didn’t crack 200 ip until he was 22 btw.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      …like happened to Mark Mulder or Mark Prior…

                      There’s a lot of room between silly and obviously a great decision. If he enjoyed his time at UCLA, I don’t think it was necessarily a bad decision at all since his draft stock is so high. He’s going to get a big payday, and got the college experience he was apparently looking for. I think the “rational” approach of guestimating his career earnings was pretty well BA anyway… depending on the assumptions you put in you’re going to get different results.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Not saying it’s foolproof, but he, and his family, are on record saying they did just that. That is, calculate his potential earnings.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “He actually calculated when he would hit free agency and combined it with injury risk.”

                      Again, you can get the results you want based on the assumptions you input.

                      “Felix didn’t crack 200 ip until he was 22 btw.”

                      He was over 190 at 20 and 21… Huge difference between 190 IP and 200 IP, right?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Just saying about Felix. Never said it was a huge difference. Just stating the truth. However, I never said that Cole would have, justly or unjustly, weighed in favor of the M’s coming out of high school.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      My point isn’t about how he’d weight the Ms coming out of high school. It’s that I don’t see any reason for him to feel that he’d have been any worse off in the Yankees’ system out of HS than in another unknown organization after college. The two orgs he’s most likely to end up in just happen to the Pirates and Ms.

                      I don’t think he should necessarily regret his decision. I just think that
                      -the Yankees are fine at developing pitchers… Hughes was already in the org 4 years and in the bigs when Cole was drafted anyway… his contemporaries are more guys like Vizcaino, Banuelos, Bleich, Marshall, Phelps, Mitchell, Brackman…
                      -he’s not out of the woods by any stretch and college arms get burned out all the time too. High profile college pitchers can also fall short of expectations.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I see your point. All I am saying is that in August 2008, he made a decision that he believed was the right one. Information since August doesn’t make me believe he would think that decision was a bad one.

                      Ultimately, he’s the one that crunched the #’s on coming out of college vs. high school. I wasn’t privy to that information. However, you are just saying “It’s that I don’t see any reason for him to feel that he’d have been any worse off in the Yankees’ system out of HS than in another unknown organization after college.” However, you are not backing it up with empirical evididence. I am sure Cole’s family used empirical evidence. I am not swayed to believe you just because you don’t see a reason.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Gotta run Ted Nelson. But great sparring with you. Check you later.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I also don’t think there’s any reason to believe he made the wrong choice.

                      My original problem is with using Hughes, Joba, and IPK as the evidence he made the right choice.

                      My other thing is that I don’t think it’s possible to create a totally objective model, and then use totally objective inputs to come to a totally objective conclusion. Nor do I think one should… every prospect is different. There are just too many factors.

                      He made his decision, and I agree he’s probably good with it. It’s worked out about as well as possible so far. And the moment he signs that first contract I’ll have a hard time ever feeling bad for him financially.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Bah! You made me come back here. I have dinner plans! LOL.

                      As far as Hughes, IPK, and Joba. I never said there was a direct corelation. I started this off by saying “Considering the fate of the Big 3, I am sure he is very happy right now.” I never said there was a definitive Yankees and mishandling of pitching prospects correlation. Look at what I wrote. Never said it. All I said is that taking the information regarding the big 3 since 2008, I am sure Cole is happy with his decision.

                      If he were to have the luxury of sitting down today and retroactively deciding, with charts and graphs and all, about his decision to sign and not to sign, would he not include the big 3 into his calculus? Even if he gave it microsopic thought, where do you think it would weigh? Do you think knowing this now would make him happier about his decision? If it comes down to pure $’s, I am sure he is happier.

                      Maybe we agree to disagree. Makes sense to me though.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                A false narrative is by definition false. It can’t be true.

                If he is rational, why would be irrationally assume that different employees coming from different backgrounds and working for the Yankees decades apart all “couldn’t develop pitchers?” Why would he irrationally state that the Yankees can’t “develop pitchers” but also that they developed good pitchers (IPK, Vizcaino, Coke, Clippard…) and let them get away?
                If he’s rational, he’s not buying that the Yankees can’t develop pitchers.

                Why would he ignore Morrow, Aumont, and Fields while assuming that it was the Mariners and not Felix or Pineda who are responsible for their success?

                If Cole were to take every example of a pitcher who got hurt, or didn’t develop, or had his workload jump as proof that the organization was going to cost him money… there wouldn’t be a single organization he’d be willing to sign with. This crap happens to players on every team.

                • Gonzo says:

                  No, he rationally calculated injury risk. The Cole family actually had spreadsheets and calculated injury risk go into their decision making.

                  As for the Yankees, maybe there is something going on there that we don’t know about. Not saying there is, but turning a top 5 BA prospect into a reliever isn’t helping their cause. Rationally speaking, your right, we shouldn’t take a narrative, becasue we don’t have perfect information. We can only take data that comes out of the black box.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Injury risk while in college or on his career? I can rattle off a bunch of college arms that were ruined. Perhaps the chances are higher of an injury out of high school, but that’s not definitive proof that college is the way you’ll make more money in your career. I could make a model that said both go to college or sign depending on the inputs and I could also make different models that said different things. There’s no one right answer. It depends on your assumptions and your model.

                    I don’t even think the data is very clear, though. They didn’t turn a top 5 prospect into a reliever, they turned a former top 5 prospect into a reliever. I can list dozens of former top 5s who never made it. I don’t think all of their respective org.’s are to blame.

                    It could be a problem, but could it really be a problem that has persisted to over a decade, through repeated organizational turn-over across scores of employees? Everyone the Yankees hires can’t develop pitchers? Was Rothschild, Eiland, or a former coach to blame on Hughes? All of them? It’s just really far flung to believe that every employee the Yankees hired for 15 years all couldn’t evaluate, develop, or coach pitchers. I think the chances are very slim and there are much more reasonable explanations.

                    Their recent results have actually been great… so why bother judging Nardi and Opp and other on other people’s results? 3 solid MLB pitchers drafted in the first round in a 3 year span? That’s awesome. Vizcaino, Banuelos, Betances, Brackman, etc., etc…

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Like I said, we don’t know. The facts are, before Hughes, the team only had only one top 20 pitcher since ’96 (Contreas, so not really a draft guy). They’ve had 2 since 2007, so maybe something is going right in the draft since DOpp took over, who knows. Maybe nothing was wrong with picther develpment before 2005. Maybe they didn’t have anything to work with whatsoever, who knows.

                      We know that since 2005, when Nardi took over as a minor league pitching coordinator, there have been some interesting choices in pitcher developments. Maybe there’s something to that, who knows. I sure don’t. I am just stating the facts.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Peace out Ted Nelson. Always good chatting with you. Keep up the good work.

                      BTW, no snark intended whatsoever.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Yeah, I agree. There are a lot of factors. Evaluating the players up front (performance and work ethic). Developing them. Keeping the good ones or trading them for good value in return. Luck. Luck. Luck. Etc.

                      My problem is when people point to 15 years and say that the Yankees not bringing up a top notch starter is evidence there is something wrong with their development system today. I don’t know who was in charge of what when exactly, but we’re talking about different scouts, decision makers, and coaches.
                      The bar also has to be set. Few teams are developing multiple legit aces in that time period. Lots of those who do are drafting them high in round 1. Lots of teams are having busts for various reasons, giving up on guys too early, etc.

                      It hasn’t gone well, but Milton, Contreras, and Wang isn’t necessarily the worst history.

                      More recently… Hughes, Joba, IPK, Brackman, Vizcaino, ManBan, Betances… all top 100. Noesi, Warren… close to top 100. D-Rob and Melancon have worked out. McAllister, Phelps, Mitchell, Stoneburner, etc., etc.

                      I think most of the “interesting choices” have come at the MLB level. I don’t think they’re all that interesting, though, as tons of top starting prospects who weren’t quite yet ready to start have been put in the bullpen over the years. Some have become starters again, some have stayed in the pen, some have been traded. I don’t really see why the Yankees choices are so interesting except that everyone loves to play monday morning QB.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Ok, I swear last post and I am off to dinner.

                      Nardi came up with the “Joba Rules,” and had Hughes scrap his slider, which was one of his good pitches out of high school. Could both decisions have led to the mess we have now? Who knows? My point is that he is more heavily involved in picting decisions when it comes to prospects than you are giving him credit for right now.

                      Could scrapping the slider helped Hughes avoid TJS, sure why not? It didn’t help with Brett Marshall though.

                      Maybe he spoke with his now picthing coach at UCLA, and he promised not to “Rice” him. Maybe he took out the Rice pitchers from his decision making. Who knows?

                      In business though, you can’t just say we got unlucky this quarter. The Yankees are a business, and they will start looking for answers even if there are no answers. And wehn they can’t they’ll do what I did and look at the facts. Then they’ll make a decision.

      • Mister Delaware says:

        Well, we don’t know for sure that Cole is a reactionary who extrapolates a potential overreaction due to insufficient information into massive panic situations.

  6. zs190 says:

    Jackie Bradley at #20 seems like a reach to me. Torn ligament in the wrist and even before that, he had no plus tools and is a guy that supposedly is better than the sum of his tools by playing with great instincts.

  7. OldYanksFan says:

    If Girardi has the balls to move Jeter down in the lineup, down he will go. But look at the contract Jeter’s status earned. Where he hits in the lineup is far less consequential. And let’s be honest… Girardi almost has to give Jeter every shot to carry his weight before he is ‘demoted’ to the bottom of the order.

    Let’s remember that Brett’s bat is his THIRD tool. He speed and Defense still play and offer value. Yes, he has been terrible, but he will improve (he almost has to). I mean, overall, how much better will Jones be against RHP?

    And while Jeter and Po will also improve some (they almost have to?), they are both cooked. We can only hope that Jeter can reproduce last year’s numbers. The dude does have amazing Karma on dinky infield squibblers that turn into hits. Posada is a pure guess hitter, and will be totally useless once the league stops throwing him FBs. Jesus will need to come up in another month or do to DH.

  8. Johnny O says:

    I can get into NFL mock drafts since I’ve seen almost all of the top college players live multiple times the past 3-4 years and have at least a half-educated opinion on which guys I want my favorite team to pick (J E T S!). Also, the top picks will likely be starters in the fall or important backups and therefore there’s some instant gratification.

    With the MLB mock drafts, I’ve never seen any of these guys play. And the likelihood of any of the Yankees picks reaching the MLB as Yankees is very slim. And if it’s a HS guy, he’s likely at least 4 years from MLB even in the best scenario. Hard to get too excited here.

    I’m looking forward to Axisa’s post draft coverage, but this mock draft just isn’t that exciting (and ends ~20 picks before the Yankees).

  9. Naved says:

    Slade for Cole

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