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With the draft coming up I thought it would be interesting to take a look at who the Jays have taken and how they did.

Taking full advantage of Baseball-Reference again I can sort by Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and filter to Jays by round. While not a perfect measure (none are) WAR does provide a good guide to overall value. 2 WAR per year = lowest you want from a regular while 10 WAR in a season is a Barry Bonds season (only Clemens did that as a Jay).

First Round
49 picks made: 1 over 30 WAR, 4 over 20, 2 over 10, 8 more over 2, 3 in positive territory, 13 negatives, 18 who never made it.
Highlights of those picks:
  • JP Ricciardi era: Aaron Hill (15 WAR), Rickey Romero (2.3), Travis Snider (0.1) with the rest either negative or in the minors
  • Gord Ash era: Roy Halladay (47), Vernon Wells (22), Alexis Rios (9), Felipe Lopez (7), Billy Koch (6), Gabe Gross (5), Dustin McGowan (1.7) with the 3 others negative or in the minors.
  • Pat Gillick era: Shawn Green (29), Chris Carpenter (24), Lloyd Moseby (24), Shannon Stewart (19.8), Steve Karsay (10), John Cerutti (6), Ed Sprague (2), Matt Williams (0.1), while the other 17 (!) are negative or minors only.
Obviously the jury is still out on JP, while Ash had a great record (7 useful, 3 not) and Gillick had issues (7 or 8 good, 17 or 18 not depending how you rate Williams 0.1).

What about other rounds? You might be surprised to know Halladay is not the WAR leader for Jay draft picks. In fact, he isn't even the 1st or 2nd best pitcher.
  • 2nd round: David Wells 50.1, Derek Bell 11.6, David Bush 5.7, Craig Wilson 3.8, Tim Crabtree 3.7, and Brandon League 1.7 with another 3 over 0 and 7 negative and 19 never making it.
  • 3rd round: John Olerud 56.8, Jimmy Key 45.6, David Weathers 9.0, Chris Stynes 6.7, Shaun Marcum 6.0, Greg Myers 5.9, Adam Lind 4.6, Ron Romanick 3.1, with 3 more over 0 and 3 more below 0 and 21 not making it (yet).
  • 4th round: 1.6 each for Xavier Hernandez and Casey Janssen with 3 others positive and 3 more negative (kind of a trend here) and 25 not making it.
  • 5th round: Dave Stieb 53.0, Pat Hentgen 31.2, Mike Young 22.2, Mike Timlin 18.1, Marc Rzepczynski 1.3 with 2 more + and 3 more -
  • 6 - 10 round: (1+ WAR only) Jesse Barfield 35.7 (9th round), Casey Blake 20.0 (7th), Glenallen Hill 9.2 (9th round), Ryan Freel 6.1 (10th), Josh Phelps 3.3 (10th), Scott Livingstone 2.2 (6th), Cris Carpenter 2.1 (7th), Pat Borders 1.9 (6th)
  • 11th-25th rounds: Jeff Kent 59.4 (20th), Alex Gonzalez 7.4 (13th), Reed Johnson 5.4 (17th), Brandon Lyon 5.0 (14th), Jay Gibbons (4.3), Mark Hendrickson 4.1 (20th), Ryan Thompson 3.6 (13th), Jesse Litsch 3.4 (24th), Ben Weber 2.3 (20th), Willie Blair 1.7 (11th), Vinnie Chulk 1.4 (12th-only one to make it)
  • 26th to 50th rounds: Woody Williams 26.0 (28), Orlando Hudson 18.7 (33rd & 43rd, signed after drafted 43rd round), Darren Hall 1.8 (28th)
  • 51st and beyond: Chris Woodward 1.0 (54th) - last guy drafted to make it was Tom Marsh -0.9 (70th) but he was signed by Philly later on after being re-drafted in the 16th round.
  • Guys who didn't sign : Scott Erickson 21.9 (44th), Jim Abbott 17.2 (36th), Mike Henneman 12.5 (27th), Ryan Franklin 11.7 (25th), Jeffrey Hammonds 9.9 (9th round), Darren Lewis 6.8 (45th), Chad Qualls 6.0 (52nd), Brad Hawpe 2.7 (46th), Mike Matheny 2.6 (31st), Rich DeLucia 2.2 (15th)
No one has made the majors who the Jays drafted in the 29th, 34th, 35th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 42nd, 47th, 48th. Back in the old days (pre-1998) the draft went until no one picked anyone rather than the 50 limit of today. Those extra round produced no one in the 51st, 53rd, 55th, 57th, 59th, 60th, 61st, 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 66th, 67th, 68th, 69th, 71st, 72nd, 73rd, 74th, 75th (last round the Jays ever drafted someone in).

So the best players ever drafted by the Jays (via WAR, 20+ scores) are...
  1. Jeff Kent 59.4 (20th)
  2. John Olerud 56.8 (3rd)
  3. Dave Stieb 53.0 (5th)
  4. David Wells 50.1 (2nd)
  5. Roy Halladay 46.7 (1st)
  6. Jimmy Key 45.6 (3rd)
  7. Jesse Barfield 35.7 (9th)
  8. Pat Hentgen 31.2 (5th)
  9. Shawn Green 29.4 (1st)
  10. Woody Williams 26.0 (28)
  11. Chris Carpenter 24.2 (1st)
  12. Lloyd Moseby 24.1 (1st)
  13. Mike Young 22.2 (5th) [tie]
    Vernon Wells 22.2 (1st) [tie]
  14. Scott Erickson 21.9 (44th - did not sign)
  15. Casey Blake 20.0 (7th)
Interesting list eh? Kent, Olerud, Stieb, Wells - the 50+'ers - all belong in the HOVG (Hall Of the Very Good) with all deserving more considering for the HOF (Hall Of Fame) than they got/will get. The 40's have Halladay & Key - Halladay doesn't pass the 'bus' test yet (if he was hit by a bus today would he get in?) while Key is a solid HOVG guy. 20's to 30's has the guys who had solid All-Star careers but no one seriously thinks twice about the HOF for them (Barfield/Hentgen/Green/Williams/Carpenter/Moseby/Young/Wells/Erickson/Blake). Seems to divide out well.

As to what it takes to be a HOF'er...
  • For hitters only 20 players have 100+ WAR (A-Rod at 100). 45 have 75+ (Pete Rose at 75). Jeff Kent ranks #111 (Andruw Jones just below him, Dave Winfield & Sammy Sosa just above).
  • For pitchers only 6 have 100+ WAR (Young, Clemens, Walter Johnson, Seaver, Pete Alexander, Kid Nichols in that order). 23 have 75+ (Pedro Martinez just over). Stieb is #67 between Billy Pierce & Bob Caruthers just above Early Wynn. Halladay is barely below Dwight Gooden.
It is good to see that of the guys drafted who the Jays should've opened their wallets a bit more on doesn't include any HOF'ers with Erickson and Abbott being the big "If Only" guys. Of course, the guys not drafted includes many HOF'ers but so does every teams list.

So what do we see? That the Jays top 10 can come from anywhere (2 each from the 1st, 3rd, and 5th rounds plus one each for the 2/9/20/28th rounds). That the 20's can produce good quality (Kent, Williams) but that it is rare to find gems after the first 25 rounds (Hudson and Williams the only ones over 2 WAR, plus 8 unsigned guys who probably were near impossible signs anyways). However, HOF'ers can be missed (Mike Piazza in the 62nd round a famous example) so, as Joaquin Andujar said, youneverknow. The next Jays All-Star or HOF'er (after Kent & Halladay I suspect) could show up at any time and a 1st round pedigree is no lock.
Jays Best Draft Picks | 38 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#215378) #

Any reason why there seems to be a conflict between fangraphs and baseball-reference in regards to WAR?

BR has Cecil at 0.0war last year, while fangraphs had him at 0.4.  They now have him at 1.0 including this year.

BR has Romero at 2.4 last year, while fangraphs had him at 2.7. They now have him at 4.7 including this year.


Mike Green - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#215380) #
BBRef uses Rally's (aka Sean Smith's) WAR.  Sean's calculations are slightly different from Fangraph's.  The major problem area for Rally's WAR seems to be for catchers.  I am not sure why.
John Northey - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#215384) #
Regardless of the system, fine adjustments will not change much. I figured WAR is a nice method to quickly show career value that crosses positions and mixes in pitching/hitting/fielding. A guy who gets 20+ for his career is always going to be a solid player, a guy who scores below 0 for his career will never be a solid player.

It is interesting to see the success with late draft picks like Kent & Williams and how few guys drafted low became successes elsewhere (Erickson & Abbott). The draft of last year though might come back to bite with the number of higher draft picks who didn't sign.
ayjackson - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#215385) #
Rally has Doc at 47.4 through 2009.  Fangraphs has him at 52.3 up to the minute, including 2.8 of WAR this year.  If you added 2.8 to Rally's, Doc would be HOVG.
ayjackson - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#215389) #
I would say that the building of this team is going well so far.  As we look to the draft, and we consider the Paxton and Eliopolis picks where we need to be sure of signability, I wonder if we might not see a college closer selected.  It would be a departure (except where a conversion to starter is contemplated) from past trends, but it might fit the bill here.  What is out there for college closers?
ayjackson - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#215390) #
Law suggests that Matt Harvey, Kevin Munsen and Jordan Swaggerty are the top projected relievers.
uglyone - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#215391) #

yeah, John, sorry -  that was a great article. I didn't mean to go off topic like that.

As soon as I read it, though, the one thing that stuck out to me was the part about J.P.'s first rounders compared to Ash's....I was wondering how Cecil hadn't earned a positive WAR in particular.

And then I double checked both sites and was just surprised to see a different WAR number on each, and thought you guys would be able to sort it out for me. and you did.


Alex Obal - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#215392) #
I never would have guessed Jeff Kent. The positional bonuses in WAR must be huge.
Mike Green - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#215394) #
Actually, it's almost exclusively batting and longevity, Alex.  For fun, here's the Stieb calculation.  As you can see, Stieb has a comparable peak/prime as Kent, according to WAR, but less at the edges.

The Hall of Merit subpoenaed Stieb, and probably will do the same for Kent. 
John Northey - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#215395) #
Most forget just how good Kent was and for how long.

17 seasons, 2034 games at 2B, 157 at 3B, 117 at 1B, 7 DH, 3 SS

Traditional stats: 2461 hits, 377 home runs, 1518 RBI
Slash Numbers: 290/356/500 855 OPS 123 OPS+

Those are amazing figure for a second baseman. His HR's are the most ever for a second baseman - 63rd all time, tied with Norm Cash and more than Pujols (for about a week or two more). More RBI than Mickey Mantle - that surprised me, as even with Bonds ahead of him in the lineup that is amazing.

His most similar player is Dave Parker at 820 - scores below 900 indicate a fairly unique player and Kent was that. A guy who could play 2B but hit like a corner outfielder. I figure he'll be the first 'drafted by the Jays' guy to reach the HOF.
Mike Green - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#215396) #
I don't know, John.  I fully support Kent's case, but I fear that he's going to be the second baseman lost behind Alomar and Biggio.  Joe Gordon was a fairly similar player, and Gordon made it via the Veterans' Committee about 50 years after he reitred.
sam - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#215399) #
Matt Harvey has Daniel Bard written all over him.  I hope we get a shot at him with one of our supplementals. 
Alex Obal - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#215400) #
Those are pretty damn good numbers for Kent.
John Northey - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#215401) #
Kent's big advantage is the counting stats that writers pay attention to. Tell most writers that Kent has more RBI than Mantle and more HR than any other second baseman and, with the passage of time weakening their annoyances with him, they will easily vote him in within 2 or 3 ballots.
Thomas - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#215403) #
Tell most writers that Kent has more RBI than Mantle and more HR than any other second baseman and, with the passage of time weakening their annoyances with him, they will easily vote him in within 2 or 3 ballots.

I disagree, John. In fact, I will be very surprised if Kent makes it to the Hall on his first three ballots. While writers have, IMO, failed to make adequate positional adjustments, they tend to adjust reasonably well when comparing eras and the difference in the ability to accumulate strong offensive numbers.

I don't think writers are going to be swayed by comparing Kent's RBI totals to Mantle's. Fred McGriff has more RBI than Joe DiMaggio and Mantle and it hasn't helped him. Dave Parker has more RBI than Eddie Matthews. Chili Davis more than Brooks Robinson, Johnny Mize and Duke Snider. It hasn't helped their cases.

The all-time high HR total is an impressive stat and here his RBIs may be more determinative, both in comparison to other modern second basemen and other modern players. However, I'm not convinced it will be enough. Kent has almost no other positive attributes, as he has a poor defensive reputation and a strained relationship with the media. He only made five All-Star teams. While Kent is one of the game's greatest offensive second basemen, people will ask why he led the league in errors at second base as many times as he won the Silver Slugger award (four each). He grounded into a ton of double plays and didn't add value on the bases.

Roberto Alomar doesn't have the counting stats Kent does, but he has a far better defensive reputation and added value on the bases with nearly 500 stolen bases. In fact, Alomar's career OPS was only 41 points behind Kent's and he broke the .900 OPS barrier in more seasons than Kent (4 to 3). And, Alomar couldn't make it into the Hall on his first ballot.

In fact, not only will Kent not be voted in during the first two or three ballots, I predict he won't make it in during his first ten. If anything, he will be a last-years-on-the-ballot inductee or will go in via the Veteran's Committee.

Thomas - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#215404) #
Just to clarify, that is more an estimation of how the typical Hall of Fame voter will evaluate Kent's career as opposed to how I would.

Also, if John or another would like to back up their "easily within two or three years" statement, I'd bet a B-R sponsorship or a charitable donation that Kent doesn't make it into the Hall in his first five years on the ballot.
92-93 - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#215408) #

 It would be a departure (except where a conversion to starter is contemplated) from past trends, but it might fit the bill here.

Trystan Magnuson (supplemental round, 2007) begs to differ, and he's off to a very nice start this year in NH (24.1ip 1.11era 23k 5bb)...all those Jays fans dying for the Jays to develop a Canadian might be very happy to see that red maple leaf on the JumboTron in the coming years.

John Northey - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#215411) #
Gambling is out for me, just know too many with serious issues to ever get into it.

However, as to Kent's chances it would've been a good idea for me to check when he is eligible and who he is against.

His first time on the ballot is in 2014. That is the year after the steroid ballot (2013 has 1st timers Clemens, Bonds, Piazza, Sosa plus Schilling and Biggio and David Wells [OK, not same class but worth noting] with possible left overs Palmerio, Bagwell, Walker, McGwire and Raines). Depending how 2013 goes will determine 2014 to a large degree. In 2014 we'll also see Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, and Mike Mussina. So in 2013 we have (sans steroids) up to 6 likely HOF'ers and 2014 has 5 more. 2015 will see Randy Johnson and anyone else who retired after last season (Smoltz?) while 2016 will have anyone retiring after this year (Griffey Jr, Trevor Hoffman likely).

Big pluses for Kent is that Biggio is the only 2B on the list for those 2 years worth noting. Some writers would like to 'stick it' to Bonds by putting in Kent first I'm certain too. Negatives are largely one big factor - the number of potential candidates on the ballot. If the steroid factor keeps a big gang around (Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro, McGwire, maybe Piazza) then the ballot will be very crowded and few will get in for 10-15 years.

Kent is very qualified for the HOF. However, the voters have been very odd lately - putting in unqualified guys like Rice and Sutter while leaving quality guys like Raines & Blyleven on the outside looking in. Predicting them before the first few articles are written (to give a clue as to their group think) is a challenge. Kent has the key markers - tons of RBI & HR plus playing a middle infield position - but also was rarely seen as the best on his team due to playing with Bonds.
Mike Green - Friday, May 21 2010 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#215413) #
FWIW, I anticipate that Roy Halladay will be the first drafted Blue Jay to enter the Hall of Fame in 2026.  Save the date!
ayjackson - Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#215424) #

Trystan Magnuson (supplemental round, 2007) begs to differ

Except that he was drafted as a conversion project which has been successfully abandoned.  I'm not sure he has that big fastball, closer stuff either.  But he was signable.

ayjackson - Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#215426) #
Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech might be a signable closer project for our Paxton pick.  According to Law, he can hit 98 in short bursts.  He is 6'5" and turns 21 in July.
sam - Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#215429) #
I agree. I think one of the things AA will try to inject into the system with this draft is some real fireballers. I don't think we have any really right now.
92-93 - Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#215434) #

Good point, I guess I tried to forget the Magnuson as a starter experiment, considering his lack of success in Lansing as an experienced college senior.

ayjackson - Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#215437) #

I guess I tried to forget the Magnuson as a starter experiment

I guess they went to the well once too often.  But 40% of our starting rotation were college closers.  Marcum and Cecil, I believe.  Marcum was also a SS, I think.

Mike Green - Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#215440) #
After JP arrived, the club made a number of efforts to convert closers to starters- Bush, Marcum, Magnuson, Cecil and a lefty who I have now forgotten who ended up having arm troubles. 
ayjackson - Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#215446) #

After reading up a fair bit on this draft class, it really looks like a prep-arm first round - and right-handers only.  There are a number of interesting high school pitchers that may be available when we pick that include:

  1. Karsten Whitson
  2. Stetson Allie
  3. Dylan Covey
  4. AJ Cole
  5. Caleb Cowart
  6. Aaron Sanchez

I see a possibility of two prep bats that could be chosen:

  1. Josh Sale, OF - another Travis Snider from Washington
  2. Nick Castellanos, 3B - tall, athletic 3Bman of the future (big bat, big D)

I see two possible college bats:

  1. Zach Cox, 3B - monster bat, likely average D
  2. Michael Choice, RF - monster bat, 6.6-60 speed, solid outfield arm and defence

I don't see a college pitcher worthy ahead of any of the above.  I see college switch hitting catcher Yasmandi Grandal to be as good as the above group, but not any better.  therefore, I don't think he'll be selected due our depth at the position.

One other worthy selection may be Austin Wilson, but I don't think he's better than the above players.  He does however carry a large price tag to buy out his committment to Stanford, so I don't see the investment being worth it when similar talent may be available at or close to slot.

sam - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 03:21 AM EDT (#215450) #
I think monster bat maybe pushing it for those two college prospects. Cox certainly profiles are hitter who hits for average, but most scouts agree that there's limited power there for a corner. Choice apparently has raw power but his swing has "many moving parts." So there's legitimate question marks. Whereas Wilson some say looks like a young Vlad Guerrero. I don't know, I think he's worth it. He's got frnachise right fielder written all over him. My favorite quote is "he plays the game with character."
Spifficus - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 05:27 AM EDT (#215452) #
Cox's current swing apparently doesn't lend itself to power development, no. Last year, however, by all accounts he was an all-or-nothing hacker with a lot of game-power. That previous power track record combined with the still-excellent bat speed and strength, plus hit tool, and the skills for 3B makes me interested. I'm also intrigued with what I read about Castellanos. If either of these two are available and scout as well as they sound, I'd be very happy with one of them being the Jays' first pick.

With Wilson (and similar toolsiness players), I worry about development vs the cost and opportunity. I just have Reggie Taylor worries - tonnes of tools, and no idea how to use them. I doubt he's actually that bad, but I've always preferred the easier to project sort, personally.
ayjackson - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#215456) #
The money that Wilson would command in the first round might be better allocated to buyout Parker's committment to Clemson at #34.  Whitson/Parker would be a nice start to the draft.
sam - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#215458) #
Cox would likely command the same amount of money since he's a draft eligible sophmore.
ayjackson - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#215463) #

Has he committed to play QB for an SEC team?

We should find out more about bonus demands over the next few weeks.

ayjackson - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#215464) #

Ne'er mind, I was thinking about Parker and you were referring to Wilson.

Have there been reports that Cox would be a tough sign?

sam - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#215468) #
Yes there have, more of the variety that he has leverage because he can easily return to school considering he's a draft eligible sophomore. In fairness, Wilson would most definitely be a tougher sign considering the history Stanford recruits have had in signing.

I think the general consensus in this draft is that there are a few players outside Harper that have superstar potential and Wilson is one of them. Also, Wilson reminds me a lot of Joe Carter.

I think with our Third Round pick we should go after high school pitcher Zack Lee. He looks the real deal but is a top ranked quarterback whose committed to LSU. Maybe if we throw big money his way we can entice him out of playing football. He has frontline stuff. Worse case scenario he doesn't sign and we get compensation like Barrett last year.

Just to confirm we have two third round picks, one which is protected and one that is not (Barrett)?
Mick Doherty - Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#215477) #

FWIW, I anticipate that Roy Halladay will be the first drafted Blue Jay to enter the Hall of Fame in 2026.  Save the date!

Mike, you think Doc is going to have to wait past first ballot? I don't think there's much chance he's still pitching in 2021, which I believe would be his age-44 season. I know, if anyone can, but ...

I think he's a first-ballot slam dunk, so let's say he retires at 40, in 2017. (I have his win total, currently at 154, at -- generously -- about 275 at that point.) That puts him in the HOF in 2022. And barring multiple WS rings in Philly, he wears a Jays hat into the Hall.

Save that date, sir!

ayjackson - Monday, May 24 2010 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#215498) #

Just to confirm we have two third round picks, one which is protected and one that is not (Barrett)?

Pick #93 is our regular turn in the 3rd and pick #113 is compensation for not signing Barrett.

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#215520) #
You're probably right, Mick.  44 would be pushing it, but I do think that Doc will stick around for the 300th win which will (if everything goes as planned) happen after he's 40.  We'll have to save a block of dates, just in case. 
Sano - Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#215527) #
Interesting article on Paxton's non-signing and the legal ramifications of that.

Makes me think a couple things
1) There's absolutely no way that Paxton signs with us. As much as they say that there's no bitterness, it sounds like the negotiations were bungled from the get-go and Paxton has had to suffer some pretty serious consequences as a result.
2) Beeston sure made Paxton's life pretty miserable with those comments.  Again, I would think he'd know what he's saying so it makes me wonder whether it was done on purpose.
3) I think even less of JP now.

92-93 - Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#215536) #

3) I think even less of JP now.

I sincerely hope this is some twisted joke, because Ricciardi's name doesn't even come up in the article.

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