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Here's a dumb and pointless exercise. But when it comes to dumb and pointless exercises, I'm your man.

How bad have J.P. Ricciardi's drafts been?

How the hell would anyone presume to know? Ask me in ten years.

Off the top of my head, I believe exactly one player (Khalil Greene) drafted since 2002 has played as many as 500 games in the major leagues. The vast majority have played zero.

Of course, the vast majority will end up playing zero. But ten years from now we'll have a much better notion of what to make of the selections of Romero and Purcey and Snider and the rest.

What we badly need here is a little context. There are 29 other teams in the majors. What did they get out of those five drafts?

Probably not as much as Toronto - the emphasis on college players during the first few years of Ricciardi's tenure brought players into the organization who were much more likely to reach the majors in less time than a high school player would require. But let's assemble all the draft picks, take note of how many Win Shares they've earned so far, and see who's selections have provided the most return so far.

Time for a Data Table!

1. Oakland 187 (Swisher, Teahen, Blanton, Street, Ethier, Quintanilla, Komine, Brown, Windsor)
2. Toronto 137 (Hill, Bush, Marcum, Adams, Janssen, Litsch, Lind, Mastny, Thigpen, Jackson, Roberts, Peterson)
3. Atlanta 115 (Francoeur, McCann, James, Escobar, Saltalamacchia, Meyer, Devine)
4. L.A. Dodgers 106 (Martin, Broxton, Billingsley, Loney, Kemp, Stults, Young)
5. Washington 102 (Zimmerman, Cordero, Bray, Bergmann, Owens, Rasner, O'Connor, Campbell)
6. Arizona 100 (Snyder, Jackson, Drew, Quentin, Owings, Cormier, Upton, Nippert)
7. Detroit 94 (Granderson, Verlander, Zumaya, Clevlen, Miller, Moorer, Maybin, Tata, Rogers, Giarratino)
8. Milwaukee 91 (Fielder, Weeks, Braun, Gwynn, Breslow, Taubenheim, Anderson, Eveland)
9. San Francisco 88 (Cain, Correia, Hensley, Lincecum, Lewis, Aardsma, Wilson, Sanchez, Frandsen, Ortmeier, Misch, Ishikawa, Sadler)
10. Colorado 86 (Francis, Tulowitzki, Spillborghs,Shealy, Iannetta, Baker, Salazar, Stewart, Esposito)
11. Baltimore 72 (Markakis, Ray, Maine, Loewen, Fahey, Fiorentino, Majewski, Hoey, Penn)
11. Boston 72 (Papelbon, Murton, Pedroia, Meredith, Lester, Ellsbury, Buchholz, Murphy, Alvarez, Hansen)
13. N.Y. Mets 67 (Kazmir, Bannister, Milledge, Pelfrey, Humber)
14. San Diego 66 (Greene, McAnulty, Stauffer)
15. L.A. Angels 61 (Weaver, Kendrick, Willits, Saunders)
16. Texas 56 (Kinsler, Loe, Littleton, Feldman, Danks, Narron, Meyer)
17. Florida 55 (Hermida, Johnson, Olsen, Tankersley, Vargas, Kensing, Reed, Chick, Andino)
18. Pittsburgh 53 (Capps, Maholm, Gorzelanny, Sharpless, Eldred, Bullington, Demaria)
19. Minnesota 52 (Crain, Neshek, Baker, Garza, Perkins)
20. Tampa Bay 50 (Upton, Young, Dukes, Sonnanstine, Orvella, Hammel)
21. Kansas City 49 (Greinke, Gordon, Butler, Costa, Howell, Murphy, Bayliss, Braun, Maier)
22. White Sox 48 (McCarthy, Reed, Fields, Anderson, Logan, Rupe, Ring, Tracey, Sweeney)
23. Cleveland 47 (Garko, Guthrie, Kouzmanoff, Sowers, Slocum)
24. Philadelphia 32 (Hamels, Kendrick, Bourn, Mathieson)
25. Cubs 20 (Hill, Marshall)
26. Houston 19 (Pence, Hirst, Zobrist)
27. N.Y.Yankees 19 (Halsey, Karstens, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, Clippard, Beam)
28. St. Louis 16 (Thompson, Reyes)
29. Seattle 13 (Morrow, O'Flaherty, Lowe, Feierabend, Jones, Bohn)
30. Cincinnati 8 (Wagner, Denorfia, Votto)


I dunno. Looks like Ricciardi could have done worse. But ask me in ten years.

Team   Year Round  OvPck  Player              POS    WS

OAK 2002 1 16 Nick Swisher OF 52
OAK 2002 1 39 Mark Teahen 3B 42
OAK 2002 1 24 Joe Blanton P 37
OAK 2004 1 40 Huston Street P 31
OAK 2003 2 62 Andre Ethier OF 24
OAK 2003 1 33 Omar Quintanilla SS 1
OAK 2002 9 278 Shane Komine P 0
OAK 2002 1 35 Jeremy Brown C 0
OAK 2004 3 9 Jason Windsor P 0

TOR 2003 1 13 Aaron Hill SS 39
TOR 2002 2 55 David Bush P 33
TOR 2003 3 80 Shaun Marcum P 17
TOR 2002 1 14 Russ Adams SS 15
TOR 2004 4 117 Casey Janssen P 13
TOR 2004 3 83 Adam Lind 1B 7
TOR 2004 24 717 Jesse Litsch P 6
TOR 2003 11 320 Tom Mastny P 5
TOR 2004 2 57 Curtis Thigpen C 1
TOR 2004 1 32 Zach Jackson P 1
TOR 2003 18 530 Ryan Roberts 3B 0
TOR 2002 4 116 Adam Peterson P 0

ATL 2002 1 23 Jeff Francoeur OF 46
ATL 2002 2 64 Brian McCann C 43
ATL 2002 20 605 Chuck James P 16
ATL 2005 2 75 Yunel Escobar SS 8
ATL 2003 1 36 Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 3
ATL 2002 1 34 Dan Meyer P 0
ATL 2005 1 27 Joey Devine P -1

LAD 2002 17 51 Russell Martin C 40
LAD 2002 2 60 Jonathan Broxton P 19
LAD 2003 1 24 Chad Billingsley P 17
LAD 2002 1 19 James Loney 1B 13
LAD 2003 6 181 Matt Kemp OF 13
LAD 2002 15 451 Eric Stults P 3
LAD 2002 4 121 Delwyn Young 2B 1

WAS 2005 1 4 Ryan Zimmerman 3B 46
WAS 2003 1 20 Chad Cordero P 41
WAS 2004 1 13 Bill Bray P 5
WAS 2002 11 317 Jay Bergmann P 3
WAS 2003 2 57 Jerry Owens OF 3
WAS 2002 2 46 Darrell Rasner P 2
WAS 2002 7 197 Mike O'Connor P 2
WAS 2004 34 1014 Brett Campbell P 0

ARI 2002 2 68 Chris Snyder C 31
ARI 2003 1 19 Conor Jackson 3B 23
ARI 2004 1 15 Stephen Drew SS 19
ARI 2003 1 29 Carlos Quentin OF 11
ARI 2005 3 83 Micah Owings P 10
ARI 2002 4 129 Lance Cormier P 5
ARI 2005 1 1 Justin Upton SS 1
ARI 2002 15 459 Dustin Nippert P 0

DET 2002 3 80 Curtis Granderson OF 48
DET 2004 1 2 Justin Verlander P 28
DET 2002 11 320 Joel Zumaya P 14
DET 2002 2 49 Brent Clevlen OF 2
DET 2006 1 6 Andrew Miller P 1
DET 2002 1 8 Scott Moore SS 1
DET 2005 1 10 Cameron Maybin OF 0
DET 2003 16 460 Jordan Tata P 0
DET 2003 11 310 Brian Rogers P 0
DET 2003 3 70 Tony Giarratano SS 0

MIL 2002 1 7 Prince Fielder 1B 41
MIL 2003 1 2 Rickie Weeks 2B 29
MIL 2005 1 5 Ryan Braun 3B 18
MIL 2003 2 39 Tony Gwynn OF 3
MIL 2002 26 769 Craig Breslow P 2
MIL 2003 19 549 Ty Taubenheim P 1
MIL 2003 24 699 Drew Anderson OF 0
MIL 2002 16 469 Dana Eveland P -3

SF 2002 1 25 Matt Cain P 28
SF 2002 4 127 Kevin Correia P 15
SF 2002 8 247 Clay Hensley P 15
SF 2006 1 10 Timothy Lincecum P 7
SF 2002 2 66 Fred Lewis OF 6
SF 2003 1 22 David Aardsma P 5
SF 2003 24 723 Brian Wilson P 3
SF 2004 27 820 Jonathan Sanchez P 3
SF 2004 12 370 Kevin Frandsen 2B 2
SF 2002 3 97 Dan Ortmeier OF 2
SF 2003 7 213 Patrick Misch P 1
SF 2002 21 637 Travis Ishikawa 1B 1
SF 2003 6 183 Billy Sadler P 0

COL 2002 1 9 Jeff Francis P 33
COL 2005 1 7 Troy Tulowitzki SS 19
COL 2002 7 201 Ryan Spilborghs OF 11
COL 2002 11 321 Ryan Shealy 1B 9
COL 2004 4 110 Chris Iannetta C 5
COL 2002 4 111 Jeff Baker INF 4
COL 2002 8 231 Jeff Salazar OF 4
COL 2003 1 10 Ian Stewart 3B 1
COL 2002 12 351 Mike Esposito P 0

BAL 2003 1 7 Nick Markakis OF 30
BAL 2003 3 74 Chris Ray P 21
BAL 2002 6 166 John Maine P 16
BAL 2002 1 4 Adam Loewen P 6
BAL 2002 12 346 Brandon Fahey SS 4
BAL 2004 3 79 Jeff Fiorentino C 1
BAL 2002 3 76 Val Majewski OF 0
BAL 2003 13 374 James Hoey P -2
BAL 2002 5 136 Hayden Penn P -4

BOS 2003 4 114 Jonathan Papelbon P 32
BOS 2003 1 32 Matt Murton OF 21
BOS 2004 2 65 Dustin Pedroia SS 17
BOS 2004 6 185 Cla Meredith P 12
BOS 2002 2 57 Jon Lester P 7
BOS 2005 1 2 Jacoby Ellsbury OF 2
BOS 2005 1 42 Clay Buchholz P 2
BOS 2003 1 17 David Murphy OF 0
BOS 2003 2 49 Abe Alvarez P 0
BOS 2005 1 26 Craig Hansen P 0

NYM 2002 1 15 Scott Kazmir P 41
NYM 2003 7 199 Brian Bannister P 17
NYM 2003 1 12 Lastings Milledge OF 9
NYM 2005 1 9 Mike Pelfrey P 0
NYM 2004 1 3 Philip Humber P 0

SD 2002 1 13 Khalil Greene SS 67
SD 2002 12 355 Paul McAnulty 1B 1
SD 2003 1 4 Tim Stauffer P -2

LAA 2004 1 1 Jered Weaver P 24
LAA 2002 10 294 Howie Kendrick 2B 13
LAA 2003 7 210 Reggie Willits OF 13
LAA 2002 1 12 Joe Saunders P 11

TEX 2003 17 496 Ian Kinsler SS 26
TEX 2002 20 592 Kameron Loe P 14
TEX 2003 4 106 Wes Littleton P 8
TEX 2003 30 886 Scott Feldman P 4
TEX 2003 1 9 John Danks P 4
TEX 2002 15 442 Sam Narron P 0
TEX 2002 1 10 Drew Meyer SS 0

FLA 2002 1 11 Jeremy Hermida OF 20
FLA 2002 4 113 Josh Johnson P 12
FLA 2002 6 173 Scott Olsen P 11
FLA 2004 1 27 Taylor Tankersley P 8
FLA 2004 2 68 Jason Vargas P 3
FLA 2003 2 53 Logan Kensing P 1
FLA 2002 9 263 Eric Reed OF 0
FLA 2002 14 413 Travis Chick P 0
FLA 2002 2 52 Robert Andino SS 0

PIT 2002 7 193 Matt Capps P 19
PIT 2003 1 8 Paul Maholm P 19
PIT 2003 2 45 Tom Gorzelanny P 14
PIT 2003 24 705 Josh Sharpless P 1
PIT 2002 6 163 Brad Eldred INF 0
PIT 2002 1 1 Bryan Bullington P 0
PIT 2002 17 493 Chris Demaria P 0

MIN 2002 2 61 Jesse Crain P 21
MIN 2002 6 182 Pat Neshek P 14
MIN 2003 2 58 Scott Baker P 11
MIN 2005 1 25 Matt Garza P 4
MIN 2004 1 22 Glen Perkins P 2

TAM 2002 1 2 B.J. Upton SS 27
TAM 2003 1 1 Delmon Young OF 18
TAM 2002 3 74 Elijah Dukes OF 2
TAM 2004 13 375 Andy Sonnanstine P 2
TAM 2003 13 368 Chad Orvella SS 2
TAM 2002 10 284 Jason Hammel P -1

KC 2002 1 6 Zack Greinke P 21
KC 2005 1 2 Alex Gordon 3B 12
KC 2004 1 14 Billy Butler 3B 7
KC 2003 2 42 Shane Costa OF 4
KC 2004 1 31 J.P. Howell P 2
KC 2002 5 138 Donnie Murphy SS 2
KC 2002 7 198 Jonah Bayliss P 1
KC 2003 6 162 Ryan Braun P 0
KC 2003 1 30 Mitch Maier C 0

CWS 2002 17 510 Brandon McCarthy P 14
CWS 2002 2 59 Jeremy Reed OF 13
CWS 2004 1 18 Josh Fields 3B 8
CWS 2003 1 15 Brian N. Anderson OF 5
CWS 2002 20 600 Boone Logan P 3
CWS 2002 3 90 Josh Rupe P 3
CWS 2002 1 18 Royce Ring P 1
CWS 2002 8 240 Sean Tracey P 1
CWS 2003 2 52 Ryan Sweeney OF 0

CLE 2003 3 78 Ryan Garko C 18
CLE 2002 1 22 Jeremy Guthrie P 12
CLE 2003 6 168 Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B 10
CLE 2004 1 6 Jeremy Sowers P 7
CLE 2002 2 63 Brian Slocum P 0

PHA 2002 1 17 Cole Hamels P 21
PHA 2003 7 205 Kyle Kendrick P 8
PHA 2003 4 115 Michael Bourn OF 4
PHA 2002 17 509 Scott Mathieson P -1

CHC 2002 4 112 Rich Hill P 13
CHC 2003 6 163 Sean Marshall P 7

HOU 2004 2 64 Hunter Pence OF 16
HOU 2003 2 59 Jason Hirsh P 4
HOU 2004 6 184 Ben Zobrist SS -1

STL 2002 16 492 Brad Thompson P 13
STL 2003 15 455 Anthony Reyes P 3

NYY 2002 8 246 Brad Halsey P 11
NYY 2003 19 574 Jeff Karstens P 2
NYY 2004 1 23 Philip Hughes P 1
NYY 2003 9 274 Tyler Clippard P 1
NYY 2006 1 41 Joba Chamberlain P 2
NYY 2006 1 21 Ian Kennedy P 1
NYY 2003 10 304 T.J. Beam P 0

CIN 2003 1 14 Ryan Wagner P 6
CIN 2002 19 555 Chris Denorfia OF 2
CIN 2002 2 44 Joey Votto 3B 0

SEA 2006 1 5 Brandon Morrow P 6
SEA 2003 6 176 Eric O'Flaherty P 5
SEA 2004 5 153 Mark Lowe P 2
SEA 2003 3 86 Ryan Feierabend P 0
SEA 2003 1 37 Adam Jones SS 0
SEA 2002 30 910 T.J. Bohn OF 0


There's an excellent chance I overlooked some players who made their debuts this season. If you think of anyone, don't be shy.
7 September 2007: Feeling a Draft | 56 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ayjackson - Thursday, September 06 2007 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#173993) #

I look at the draft this way:  to be a self-sufficient organization you want to draft 9 "average to star" position players and five "average to star" starting pitchers every seven or eight years and along the way, you'll also find your relievers and bench players.  It's a crude analysis but it tells us that over seven years, we need to draft 14 future pros that will ensure we maintain an above average offense and pitching staff.  This equates to two per draft.

JP drafted 1 (David Bush) in 2002, 2 in 2003 (Aaron Hill, Shawn Marcum), and 3+ in 2004 (Adam Lind, Casey Janssen [I see as a league average starter or slightly better], Jesse Litcsh).  It's too early for 2005-07, though 2005 looks weak and 2007 looks strong.  Along the way, plenty of bullpen arms and potential bench players were accumulated.

This crude measuring stick doesn't account for international free agents.  Really it's too early to tell, but despite the misses, JP is holding his head above water.  The 2007 GCL Jays count some 12 solid prospects in their midst. 

timpinder - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#173996) #

I think you missed Jesse Litsch. 

There's actually a draft score ranking system at "thebaseballcube.com" that ranks teams based on how many players have reached the majors.  Since 2002, the Jays have done very well.

Excalabur - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:41 AM EDT (#173998) #
One missed player: Morrow, SEA, '06 draft.  Not sure on his win-share status.
Dez - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 02:08 AM EDT (#173999) #
I think the reason people think JP has been bad at the drafts is his lack of first round success. The Adams and Romero picks in particular were thought to be strange picks at the time, and with the benefit of hindsight, they look even worse. Looking at some of those 1st round picks by Oakland that came after Toronto's illustrates that point. That being said, JP has done a great job at picking college pitchers past the first round, with Bush,Marcum,Janssen, and now maybe Litsch.
Pistol - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#174000) #
I think the reason people think JP has been bad at the drafts is his lack of first round success.

Perhaps Ricciardi should let Lalonde make all the picks and not just the ones after the first round.
Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#174004) #
In fairness, Hill and Snider were very good first round choices.  Still, Pistol does have a point...

It would probably be better to use Win Shares Above Bench, or WARP as one marker (using Replacement Players as the base) and the sum of Batting/Pitching/Fielding Runs Above Average as another.  One of the complaints about Ricciardi is that he did not draft "high ceiling" players and Runs Above Average might help assess whether the complaint has validity.  Perhaps someone who has been critical of Ricciardi's drafts can do the work using the listing Magpie has provided.

Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#174006) #
The Rick Ankiel story takes an ugly turn.  Like I said a week or two ago, this whole era is fit for an off-centre movie.  I wonder who will get to play Ankiel.
Ryan Day - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#174007) #

The Adams and Romero picks in particular were thought to be strange picks at the time, and with the benefit of hindsight, they look even worse.

Romero, yes, but Adams wasn't all that controversial. A bunch of players picked after him have done better, but guys like Kazmir and Hamels, the obvious "JP Screwed Up" choices, both carried some risk. (particularly Hamels) If you look at BA's commentary at the time, they were pretty positive, though not glowing, about Adams.

Jacko - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#174008) #
Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain say Hi! 

The big problem I have with JP's drafts is the lack of risk taking and creativity.  He seems to be very good at assembling hordes of soft tossing 5th starters and enthusiastic 4th outfielders, but not very good at developing true superstars.  In order to prosper, this team needs a few stars.  The Jays should be trying to hit home runs on the first round, not singles.   As Richard Griffin accurately points out frequently, all of the homegrown stars on Toronto were drafted during the Ash regime.  Of course, the all or nothing draft strategy that netted these players left the farm system pretty barren, so the conservative strategy was partly to restock the system with some depth.

And it's not just the high rounds I'm talking about.  There's always tons of players who fall out of the top 10 picks because of signability concerns, only to be snapped up by smart teams that are willing to pay the admission price.  Getting Rick Porcello this year would have been expensive, but the ROI is probably going to be very good. 

You can also find talent in the late rounds if you're willing to get creative.   The Boston Red Sox grabbed Lars Anderson in the 18th round in 2006 and then signed him for 800K.  Anderson was one of the top rated power hitting prospects in baseball in 2006.  Teams shied away because he was more or less committed to college.  The Red Sox took him anyways and convinced him otherwise.  Why can't the Jays pull off a move like that?   Nobody is going to cry over a blown 18th round pick if the player decides not to sign.

In recent years, it looks like the Jays have been trying to take some more risks by drafting some HS hitting talent.  They have even dipped their toes into the international market to sign guys like Balbino Fuenmayor.  I think it's an important step -- these guys are the equivalent of extra 1st round picks in a lot of cases.  The 1.9 MM the Yankees spent on Chien Ming Wang has proven to be money very well spent.

Squiggy - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#174010) #
I think the reason people think JP has been bad at the drafts is his lack of first round success.

Totally agree. While we are talking about perception vs. reality, I think it is skewed even further by the fact that the big two in the AL East have a monstrous hype machine in ESPN here in the US (I am in PA). Although Lester, Pedroia, Buchholz, Hughes, Chamberlain etc., have not yet done all that much yet, anybody south of the border is constantly hearing about what studs these guys are, and how brilliant the FO of their respective teams have been. Meanwhile, almost nothing is heard about the likes of Marcum, Hill, Janssen who have contributed as much or more to their big-league clubs.

That said, that Romero pick is not looking good right now, even through the most objective eyes.

MatO - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#174011) #
Other than the Romero pick the Jays have been around the #14 pick in the draft every year.  History shows there is at best a 50% success rate for this pick (I know DA Box did a study of this a couple of years ago).  Oakland is doing well so far not just because they have been picking college players but also because of all the extra picks they've been getting due to the loss of FA's.  Atlanta has done very well considering they choose predominently HS players.
Ryan Day - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#174012) #

He seems to be very good at assembling hordes of soft tossing 5th starters and enthusiastic 4th outfielders, but not very good at developing true superstars.

I think you're missing out on a rather large middle-ground there. Shaun Marcum might not be an ace, but he's a heck of a lot better than a fifth starter. Adam Lind should be more than a fourth outfielder, and Casey Janssen has been an excellent reliever and has the chance to be a very good starter. Jesse Litsch doesn't have to improve a whole lot to be more than a fifth starter, and he was just drafted three years ago.

Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#174013) #
Griffin's comments about the "homegrown stars" being drafted during the Ash regime is beside the point.  The strength of the Ash/Wilken regime was in drafting talent.  Steve Treder's Value Production Standings 98-01 in THT make clear that the Ash/Wilken regime was probably the best in the business at that; comparing Ricciardi to that standard is not really realistic. What Ash was not good at doing was utilizing the talent to make a winning ballclub.

One of Ash's best drafts was probably Orlando Hudson. Like Hill, he'll probably never be considered "a star", but he's a helluva useful ballplayer.  One of the nice things about the metrics is that they force you to look at these things with some objectivity.

Magpie - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#174015) #
I've added Litsch, Morrow, Chamberlain - I had Kennedy with St. Louis (they drafted him out of high school) - he's a Yankee now. Well spotted, everyone, and thanks.
Magpie - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#174019) #
One of the complaints about Ricciardi is that he did not draft "high ceiling" players and Runs Above Average might help assess whether the complaint has validity.  Perhaps someone who has been critical of Ricciardi's drafts can do the work using the listing Magpie has provided.

But I'd recommend waiting at least five years. Those high ceiling guys normally take longer to arrive, and many simply haven't had time to do anything yet.  High school players drafted in the first round in 2002 include Prince Fielder, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Jeremy Hermida, Zack Greinke, and Scott Kazmir - but it also includes Christopher Gruler, Clint Everts, Scott Moore, Denard Span, Sergio Santos, and John Mayberry. Who may yet be heard from.
Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#174021) #
All efforts of this kind are tough so early.  Russ Adams has generated many more Win Shares than Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain combined.

Speaking of early looks, Bryan Smith reviews the Cape summer league performance of some potential top draft prospects for 2009 in BP Unfiltered.  Grant Green (no relation) sounds interesting, and Smith's comments about Cole Figueroa do ring a bell.

Pistol - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#174023) #
In fairness, Hill and Snider were very good first round choices.

From what I picked up on Ricciardi had to really be talked into taking Snider (up until the few days before the draft Antonelli was the name floating around the most which fit JP's college picks MO).  Keith Law mentioned in a ESPN chat that Lacava is a big reason that Snider is a Jay now.

Hill on the other hand was definitely Riccardi's guy, particularly if you go by Rob Bradford's book (which I can't think of right now).
Ryan Day - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#174024) #
As I recall, people were talking about the Jays taking Matt Antonelli, who, according to Keith Law "projects as a utility player in the majors," but who BA recently proclaimed "the top second-base prospect in the minors." So that might not have been a terrible choice.
Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#174025) #
Rob Bradford's book is Chasing Steinbrenner.
Original Ryan - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#174026) #
As I recall from news reports at the time, Hill was not someone the Jays expected to get.  They expected him to be gone by the time of their selection.  When he did fall to their spot in the draft, they grabbed him.
BigTimeRoyalsFan - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#174028) #
Speaking of Mr. Lacava...Here's an excerpt from a chat today on ESPN about Pittsburgh's now open GM position-

Tim (Pittsburgh): Who will be the Pirates new GM?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (12:08 PM ET ) Tim,

This will be interesting. I think there'll be some sentiment for Tony LaCava, a well-regarded Pittsburgh native who works as a scout for Toronto.

Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#174029) #
LaCava is, of course, not a scout, but Director of Player Personnel for the Blue Jays.
Pistol - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#174030) #
Antonelli.... might not have been a terrible choice.

Right, but would anyone at this point consider trading Snider for Antonelli?
Jacko - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#174031) #
All efforts of this kind are tough so early.  Russ Adams has generated many more Win Shares than Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain combined.

Mike, are you on crack?  Who cares if Adams has more win shares at this stage? 

The Yankees (or any other team) would not trade a C- prospect for Adams.  Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy look like they will anchor their pitching staff for the next decade.  Injuries and bad luck could turn the trio into something like Carpenter/Escobar/Halladay, but even that is miles ahead of the meagre contributions of Russ Adams.

Adams was a blown pick.  Deal with it.

MatO - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#174032) #

Mike, are you on crack?  Who cares if Adams has more win shares at this stage? 

I believe that is exactly the point Mike is making.  He's pointing out the flaw in the ranking because Adams rates higher today in this calculation than these obviously better prospects.

ayjackson - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#174033) #
Uh, I think that was Mike's point, Jacko.  Who's on crack?
Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#174034) #
Jacko, that wasn't what I meant at all.  My point was that using Win Shares to measure a draft choice's value 5 years after draft day had significant problems.  For the last six months, I have been pretty clear that I think that Russ Adams' best case scenario is as a utility player and that Joba Chamberlain is likely to be either a fine starter or a great closer when Rivera leaves. And no, I am not on crack...
Glevin - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#174037) #
It's still way too early to tell anything much about recent drafts. Win shares as a measurement here are pretty useless because it rewards mediocre and even poor major leageurs over top prospetcs. I mean look at Detroit's group since 2002: Granderson, Verlander, Zumaya, Miller, and Maybin is an incredible group of young players and certainly a grouping I would take over Toronto's. The problem many people have with J.P.'s drafting is that there are no stars, really no guys who are likely to develop into stars. I see a lot of guys who have the potential to be pieces, but none who are likely to be centrepieces of a championship team. It's very, very difficult to build a team like that because it's very easy to add pretty good players and nearly impossible to add superstars.  
Jim - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#174039) #

Only considering the players listed and not players who have made their major league debuts I would expect the following teams to leapfrog the Jays:

Atlanta

Arizona

Detroit

Milwaukee

SF

Boston

LA Angels

Tampa Bay

Kansas City

Yankees

I would imagine in time they will be in the 11-15 range.  Not bad considering many of the teams ahead of them will have chosen earlier or have much larger budgets.

 

Jacko - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#174040) #
Sorry Mike, apologies being so insulting. 

Do we have any tools which attempt to project win shares?  I know that BP has some kind of tool which attempts to predict the peak value of a prospect.  They might use one of their measure like WARP. 

MatO - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#174041) #
How do you determine who's a high upside guy?  Was Manny Ramirez who was drafted 13th overall in 1991 a high upside guy?  He was certainly never a five tool player that's for sure.  Were the 12 players drafted before him not high upside?  Consider the big 3 pitchers in Oakland or the big 3 in Atlanta who dominated for a number of years.  How many were the prototypical high upside blazing fastball pitcher.  Smoltz?   It's just not that simple or Albert Pujols wouln't have laster 13 rounds including being skipped by the Cardinals themselves 12 times in the draft.
Ryan Day - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#174042) #

What you expect with prospects isn't always what you get. After 2005, it would have been reasonable to expect Russ Adams to be a decent player. Not a star, maybe not even a terribly good player, but a roughly-average middle infielder. And I don't think we need to revisit the ups-and-downs of Alex Rios: He went from struggling prospect to Future All-Star at AA, to an emergency-yet-capable MLB fill-in, then slumped back down to the point where many people were insistent that the Jays couldn't possibly contend with him in right field, and has since come back to be their best hitter.

There are some good prospects who will flame out. There are some mediocre ones who will blossom.

Thomas - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#174043) #
Glaus reportedly received shipments of steroids in the 2003 and 2004, fwiw.
braden - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#174044) #

Things are about to get ugly for Troy Glaus.  Both ESPN and SI are reporting that he received shipments of banned steroids in 2003 and 2004.

Maybe they were for his wife's horses.

MatO - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#174045) #
The SI writer is to appear on the FAN 590 in a couple of minutes re the Glaus story.
Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#174046) #
Or to take an older example, Jimmy Key was drafted by Pat Gillick out of college in the 2nd round of the draft.  At the time, he would undoubtedly have been characterized as a low upside player.  Vernon Wells would be an example of a player characterized as a successful "high-upside" 1st round selection.  Key and Wells actually have had approximately the same value on an annualized basis...

Perceptions of potential are often built on fixed images, the 5 tool centerfielder, the big hurler with the blazing fastball, and so on. 

Glevin - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#174047) #

"How do you determine who's a high upside guy? "

There are players who are seen as "safe picks" with less upside. That is, they might have a 75% chance of being a middle to late of the rotation starter and a 0% of being an ace versus a player who has 33% chance of being an ace or dominant closer, and 67% chance of  not contributing at the ML level.   Determining who has upside can be difficult of course but the feeling for many about J.P. is that he went for guys who had no chance of being ML stars. Aaron Hill is not going to be a star major leaguer and nobody ever really thought he was going to. Russ Adams was never going to be a star. Romero was projected at draft time to be a middle of the rotation guy.  Romero is an example of this as he was taken as a "Safe pick": while the Tigers drafted Maybin straight out of high school as an unpolished and toolsy player 4 picks later.  Obviously "upside" doesn't work out a lot of the time, but at some point, you need to get guys who can hit 40 HRs or throw 200+ very good innings a year.

MatO - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#174050) #
Wells was considered to be an overdraft at the time.  Rios was the opposite of paying above slot for high-upside.  He was also an overdraft and was drafted only because he agreed to take way below slot money at the time when the Jays were being squeezed by Interbrew.  The next year, Negron was also drafted because he accepted below slot money but he didn't work out.
Mike Green - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#174058) #
On an unrelated note,  Baseball Reference has now linked their minor and major league statistics.  So, if you search for Shaun Marcum, you get this. Firstinning.com and The Baseball Cube are still a little better because everything is on one page, but BBRef is definitely the goliath of the "industry". 
Ryan C - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#174067) #
Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy look like they will anchor their pitching staff for the next decade

Key words:  "look like".  Prospects very often turn out differently than they first appear, even the so-called experts can't predict with any degree of accuracy how a given prospect will turn out.  Look at Alex Rios, considered a "signability pick" at the time he was drafted and now looks like a perennial All-Star.  At the same time there are countless others who appear to be all-stars at first and end up amounting to bupkiss.

I'm not saying the Yankee prospects are not going to be good, they probably will be.  But the only thing we can actually measure are things that have actually happened, and even those we don't always measure very accurately.  If Baseball ended tomorrow Russ Adams will have had a better major league career than Phillip Hughes, and that's all we can say with any degree of certainty.  Anything more would be nothing but guesswork and speculation.
Frank Markotich - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#174075) #

It's really an exercise in futility to try to grade recent drafts this soon. Especially with respect to pitchers. If you have 5 guys who look like they'll anchor your staff for years, you normally end up with 1 good pitcher, 1 or 2 guys who are ok, and 2 or 3 guys who get hurt. Kerry Wood and Mark Prior looked like future hall-of-famers not long ago. And it's too simplistic to blame Dusty Baker; pitchers get hurt all the time, which is why you need quantity.

 

Manhattan Mike - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#174076) #

I'm not saying the Yankee prospects are not going to be good, they probably will be.  But the only thing we can actually measure are things that have actually happened, and even those we don't always measure very accurately.  If Baseball ended tomorrow Russ Adams will have had a better major league career than Phillip Hughes, and that's all we can say with any degree of certainty.  Anything more would be nothing but guesswork and speculation.

Yes, if baseball ended tomorrow, an argument could be made that Russ Adams has had a more valuable career than Phillip Hughes. But that's a silly way to look at things.

Russ Adams was drafted in 2002 out of college. Phillip Hughes was drafted in 2004 out of high school.

So you are comparing an older, more developed Adams who has had more opportunity to be valuable to his team simply because he happened to be born earlier to Hughes, who could very well still be in college had he opted not to sign with the Yankees.

Said another way using your warped logic: Miguel Negron may have been a more valuable prospect than Travis Snider since Negron has generated more wins for his minor league clubs in his eight season than Snider has in his two seasons.

 

Thomas - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#174079) #
On another unrelated note, today's interesting stat line of the day.

50 Plate Appearances. .188/.216/.500. Five of this player's 9 hits have been homers.

Who is this?

This is none other than Jason Smith's line with the KC Royals. Smith, of course, is formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays, among several other teams.

Mylegacy - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#174085) #

When we wuz contenders we were among the leaders in Latin America with Epy and his scouts. We gave that all away; today we get latino crumbs.

With our mid-pack payroll limits I FIRMLY believe we cannot build a contender on drafting just from the college pool of players. No international impact guys, no HS impact guys, only (if we get lucky) college impact guys. Of all the pools of players there are, we fish from just one pond for the most part. This year was an EXCEPTION because we had 234 picks in the first two rounds. Starting next year JP will revert closer to form - no more than one of our first 5 picks will be HS guys.

You heard it here first, bank on it. Would I lie to you guys?  I love all you like like brothers; only from an-uder modder.

Ron - Friday, September 07 2007 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#174087) #

Iíve already talked about JPís draft history numerous times so Iím not going to repeat myself here. But let me just say Iím not a fan of any GM that states he wonít draft a Boras client or a High School pitcher in the 1st round. It is absolutely foolish to artificially handcuff yourself in the draft by limiting your options in picking players.

ayjackson - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#174089) #
Of course, it's hardly handcuffing - there are plenty of good prospects out there.  If there was one player out there who was clearly better than the rest in JP's mind, and he was a Boras client, JP would draft him.  You may think he's an idiot and he may come accross as one often in the media, but I'm sure he isn't.  Also, saying is one thing, acting is another.
Eric Purdy - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 12:48 AM EDT (#174090) #
Never mind the first round, Ron. Ricciardi has drafted just one high school pitcher in the first ten rounds in his entire time as Blue Jays GM. That was Brian Grant all the way back in 2002. There's absolutely no way to defend that without coming across as either a fervent Ricciardi defender or someone who still thinks Moneyball is the gospel truth.
Ryan Day - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 01:33 AM EDT (#174092) #

With our mid-pack payroll limits I FIRMLY believe we cannot build a contender on drafting just from the college pool of players. No international impact guys, no HS impact guys, only (if we get lucky) college impact guys. Of all the pools of players there are, we fish from just one pond for the most part. This year was an EXCEPTION because we had 234 picks in the first two rounds. Starting next year JP will revert closer to form - no more than one of our first 5 picks will be HS guys.

What are you basing that one? Ricciardi's first pick in 2006 was a high school player. He took several high school players this year. He's added high-ceiling international players like Fuenmayor and Cheng over the past couple of years. He hired one of the Braves' top scouts to run the Latin America scouting department.

Mylegacy - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 01:59 AM EDT (#174093) #

What are you basing that one? Ricciardi's first pick in 2006 was a high school player. He took several high school players this year. He's added high-ceiling international players like Fuenmayor and Cheng over the past couple of years. He hired one of the Braves' top scouts to run the Latin America scouting department.

As I said, he took more HS guys this year because we had so many picks, reduced the risk with the extra bodies. As to last years number 1 pick - Snider was a man in all but name. The guy is 6 foot-ish and 240 pounds-ish,  physically there is very little projection - he was more like a college pick.

As to our "new" look in Latin America it's proof that JP agrees that we need more than what he's been doing for us to contend. If we hadn't stopped the Latin search we'd be way ahead of where we are now. However, I do agree our Latin moves are at least a step in the right direction.

Pistol - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#174095) #
Never mind the first round, Ron. Ricciardi has drafted just one high school pitcher in the first ten rounds in his entire time as Blue Jays GM. That was Brian Grant all the way back in 2002. There's absolutely no way to defend that without coming across as either a fervent Ricciardi defender or someone who still thinks Moneyball is the gospel truth.

The number of high school pitchers taken after round 1 that turn into good starters is really low (granted, it's also low for college pitchers).  From 1990-1999 there were only 13.

Not taking a HS pitcher in the first round seems silly, but after that I don't have any problems with it.
brent - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#174099) #
I think people are still feeling frustration from earlier threads maybe a year ago. To generalize, most posters in the box know or felt that as a team in the A.L. East the team needs to draft right-handed power arms, left-handers (not too soft tossing), and power bats. If you have these pieces, it will hopefully be easier to find a second baseman, catcher or bullpen arm. I believe going out of this mold makes people feel uncomfortable with JP's picks. Personally, I like that he has drafted heavily on lefties. I absolutely hate how JP handles the major league prospects. He gives way too much playing time to some and too little too others. He cuts his losses too slowly and doesn't seem to sell high. However, most of his trades seem to have worked out well enough. I view JP as at least a league average GM. Anyone clamoring for his firing better have someone in mind who could more than just adequately replace him. Watching the Ash teams made me quit following baseball until JP came and started trading / dumping players.
Frank Markotich - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#174101) #

Mylegacy alluded earlier to how being a midpack payroll team has certain ramifications.

I've come around to the conclusion that the Blue Jays, if they hope to compete in this division on a regular basis, simply have to bump the payroll to somewhere in the Red Sox range, i.e. near the tax threshold. The Red Sox and Yankees spend the money and also are both being very well run right now. There is only so much you can do to "outoperate" them. No matter how smart you operate, you can only achieve a marginal gain over a smart, capable opponent. If that opponent can outspend you by a huge margin, he's going to prevail other than years where luck is on your side.

Barring some structural change in MLB, either we'll have to content ourselves with this situation or Rogers can go the whole hog with respect to payroll (and here I include amateur bonuses, scouting expense worldwide, posting fees etc.), with the idea that if you spend money you can make money too.

It's Ted's team and he can run it as he sees fit. But Lord knows he has the money to do it if he feels like it.

 

moffydream - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#174102) #

I think main problem of JP's draft is considering signablity&injury too much-which makes lack of  impact players.

And drafting guys who has fell down because of signablity&injury also weakens Yanks&Redsox- who loves to draft that kind of players.

Why not use some money to guys who has potential to be superstar?

Manhattan Mike - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#174103) #
Of course, it's hardly handcuffing - there are plenty of good prospects out there.  If there was one player out there who was clearly better than the rest in JP's mind, and he was a Boras client, JP would draft him.  You may think he's an idiot and he may come accross as one often in the media, but I'm sure he isn't.  Also, saying is one thing, acting is another.       I'm a JP supporter but your argument makes no sense. No freaking way did anyone in baseball consider Ricky Romero a better prospect than Mike Pelfrey or Cameron Maybin. Or Kevin Ahrens and J.P. Arencibia better prospects than Rick Porcello.       Argue that JP doesn't want to take a risk in signing a player who is going to demand a huge signing bonus. Argue that Rogers Communications doesn't want to pay for that risk. Even argue that the Jays don't want to deal with certain agents. But don't be foolish to think that the JP and the Jays drafts the best talent out there every time because that's not true.         And, if it is true that Ricciardi drafts the player whom he believes is the best talent available, he shouldn't be in the position that he's in because NO ONE in baseball believed that Romero was more talented than Pelfrey/Maybin or that Arencibia/Ahrens were more talented than Porcello.
Leigh - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#174105) #
There's absolutely no way to defend that without coming across as either a fervent Ricciardi defender or someone who still thinks Moneyball is the gospel truth.

"Moneyball", which is best characterized by the ability and willingness to exploit market inefficiences, has been and always will be gospel truth.
ayjackson - Saturday, September 08 2007 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#174106) #

I didn't say more talented, I said 'better in JP's mind'.  JP clearly looks at an equation that maximizes probability of making the big leagues and impact when there.  I think Kevin Ahrens is a safer bet to make the big leagues than Rick Porcello.  I think he has star upside as well.  And for financial reasons, which didn't get into in my brief, casual retort, Porcello was an exceptional example.  The Romero pick was a better argument for signability, as Maybin was safer and at least on par for impact.  At the time he seemed to be more interested in safe pitchers at that point in time.

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