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In all honesty, it’s a lot more difficult to speculate with any conviction on who the Jays might select at ten than at seventeen and twenty one as we did quite well last year. Alex Anthopoulos was on Buster Olney’s podcast the other day and said the same—that it’s difficult to figure out who is going to fall to ten. At the backend of the first round you’ve probably got two or three guys you know are going to be there and probably don’t mind “reaching” for someone that quite possibly could be available in the supplemental—especially so when you have extra picks as the Jays have had in recent drafts. This year at ten, the Jays are probably looking “up” at the draft board than down.

Just some information on the scheduling before we get going here. The draft is spread out over three days. The first day will comprise of the first two rounds. The second day will span rounds three to ten, and the third day rounds eleven to forty. The Jays will have two selections on day one, eight on the second day, and a selection for each round the third day. The draft starts on Thursday. What I’ll do is post the guys I think the Jays will select each day.

There are some philosophies and principles on drafting I’d like to discuss here as I think they’ll be applicable to how the Jays go about this draft. Ol’ Wolley Segap (Pat Gillick) was of the mind that torn between a position player and pitcher in the draft, always wise to go with the position player as he gives you the chance to win every night, as opposed to once every five nights. Pat Tabler has relayed this piece of information ad-nauseam these past few years come draft time and I’m sure as Sportsnet ramps up its coverage of the draft you’ll hear Tabler mention this as well as liking them “big and strong.” I mention Gillick’s mantra though because it is a particularly apt consideration when selecting early in the first round when there is less of a separation between prospects and you have multiple scouts and front office types viewing the same group of guys and thus more opinions floating around. The way the draft is shaping up too, it might be best for the Jays to nab one of the high school hitters out of Georgia (if they’re lucky) then go prep pitcher with their second and third round draft picks. The prep pitching stock, which the Jays have skimmed the top off of in recent years is down this year—that is there are not too many guys worth a first round pick. The strength of prep pitching this year is in guys who are projectable, but just don’t have the present stuff to warrant a high first round pick.

I should warn many that these next two drafts might be particularly hard on fans. Former Jays’ draft pick Kris Bryant is sure to be selected with an early pick and looks every part of a franchise corner infielder/outfielder. While the Jays were rumoured to have offered Bryant a sizable bonus to sign back in 2010, Bryant turned down the money and went to San Diego. I encourage fans not to watch video of him and I encourage fans not to think about the $1.5 million dollars the Jays gave Dickie Thon’s kid that year—money that could have been used to dissuade Bryant from attending college—lest readers are interested in crying, breaking collectible ice cream batting helmets, or general depression. Next year fans will likely have to live through more “what ifs” as Tyler Beede enters his junior draft year. Beede won’t go number one overall—as Bryant has a chance to this year—Carlos Rodon is simply too good. But, if Beede pitches as he did this year, even with questions regarding his command, he’ll be a very early first round pick. Then again, he considers himself a “rapper,” and in my estimation the Jays are already afflicted with too many players thinking they’re something that they most certainly are not, so perhaps it’s best he lands with another team.

As Gerry mentioned in a previous post on the draft, there should be some game theory at work. Take Keith Law’s latest mock. He has Colin Moran, a third basemen out of North Carolina, going first to the Astros. Law reasons that the next team most likely to select Moran would be the Indians at five. The Astros could float a number slightly higher than the slot allotment at five and see if Moran “bites.” The money saved could be then spent on later picks. If Moran went first it would throw the draft for bit of a loop and would certainly be good theatre for the baseball fan.

The Jays can go a number of ways here with their first pick.  They can go a bit off the board in hopes of saving some money.  They can simply select one of the higher ranked guys that fall, or they can go after someone with some track record of success or possessing high end tools yet has fallen for one reason or another.  Simply put, I just don’t know if there are that many guys out there the Jays would be willing to give $3 million to.  There are lots of projectable guys in this draft that you probably are more comfortable giving a million dollar signing bonus to or $800,000 than a multi-million dollar bonus.  Guys such as Phil Bickford or Matt Krook would look really good in the supplemental or early second round, but they’ll probably be drafted a lot higher as teams seek to collect value throughout the draft and save with their first round pick. 

On that theme, a lot of these guys come with question marks.  Bickford, for example, lacks a true secondary pitch.  His fastball is impressive, but there’s no secondary plus offering.  Krook is a projectable lefty who has hit the mid-90s with the fastball and shown the ability to spin a breaking ball.  He drifts though with his wind-up, much like Brett Cecil did when he got lazy as a starter, and he’s shown ability to spin a breaking ball.  That’s very different than showing a true plus pitch.  Drafting at ten the Jays and even in the second round you’d like to see the guys to have several plus tools. 

Tools and geography are things to consider here as we look at some prospects.  The Jays have valued high end tools in past drafts to varying levels of success.  Geography also plays an important role here.  The Jays like their Californian high school arms.  The Jays have boosted their amateur scouting staff in California and have hit the region up for prep arms early in each of the past AA-reign drafts.  Look for that to continue.  The Jays also like guys with some track record.  Christian Lopes, for example, had a poor spring last year, which had many down on him.   The Jays nevertheless pulled the trigger.  If the Jays go the college route, look for them to select a guy who has legitimate plus tools—whether they’re refined or not.  Tools is the name of the game here, with the Jays being firm believers that to compete in the AL East you need that pitcher who can strike out Evan Longoria with a nasty slider, or the athletic position player who can beat you a number of ways. 

These guys are in no particular order

Ryne Stanek RHP Arkansas

Going into spring-ball Stanek, along with Mark Appel and Sean Manaea (especially after his dominant showing in the Cape), were very much the conversation for number one in the draft.  While Appel has performed this spring and put together one of the more impressive college resumes in recent memory, Stanek and Manaea have fallen out of the conversation for various reasons.  Manaea has been hurt this spring and just recently been shut down with shoulder and hip issues.  The shoulder issues are apparently bunk according to agent Scotty B, but the hip issue are legit as word is it’s a torn labrum.  Stanek’s “fall” is somewhat different.  Last year Stanek was good.  He featured a consistent mid-90s fastball and a very good slider.  He had one of those deliveries though that made you think he was a little too up tempo and wild to sustain over 200 plus innings or a career as a starter and might better be suited to pitch out of a bullpen.  Stanek seemingly took those concerns to heart and this spring he came back and pitched much more under control, however, his velocity has dropped to 91-93mph, touching 95.  See, Stanek took much of the guessing game that scouts engage in and ultimately helps a lot of guys in Stanek’s situation out—that Stanek would figure things out and maintain his stuff/velocity.  Stanek’s stock has dropped as a result and he’s a guy some see going in the teens as opposed to the top 5.  I say he’s still a talent.  He’s tall, long of limb, and still has some projectability in terms of his body.  He’s got a quick, whippy type arm action that generates a pretty good fastball out of a ¾ arm slot.  He has shown the ability to reach back for something more and he’s got two other big leagues pitches in the slider and changeup.  He’s been on the radar for a while, which teams will want to see in a college guy going this high. 

Austin Wilson OF Stanford

Many here will remember Wilson from the 2010 draft.  He was the big, RF prospect with big tools, that some including me wanted the Jays to select at 11.  The Jays passed and the Cardinals selected him later in the draft.  He went to Stanford and has had a somewhat quiet college career.  Part of that is due to Stanford’s encouragement to go the other way and hit line drives.  Wilson possesses immense raw power and such a hitting philosophy does little to display his very impressive physicality at the plate.  Wilson remains an unbelievable athlete.  Looking at him, you might say he’s going to have to move to first base, but he moves so well and has a plus arm in RF.  He still has many of the raw tools you look for in a hitter.  The swing isn’t long and is very quick.  He knows how to work with his hands, which some power hitters struggle and because of this there’s hope he’ll hit for some average.  He was hampered by injuries this season.  He has game changing ability with the bat, but will likely need more time than the average college hitter.     

JP Crawford SS HS California

The Jays will have been on Crawford for a while.  The SoCal high schoolers usually get high exposure and the Jays scout the region heavily.  Crawford is a tall, lanky SS who hits from an upright open stance.  He shows good actions in the field and ability to be a gap-to-gap hitter.       

Clint Frazier OF HS Red Head Georgia

Frazier has unbelievable bat speed.  Watching someone else hit after him can make you feel like you’re watching someone in slow motion.  He had a big spring, but there are swing and miss concerns.  He can run as well and can throw the baseball.  His bat speed is some of the best in the draft. 

Second Round

Chris Okey C HS Florida

Although a bit small, he shows excellent ability behind the plate and a good understanding how to hit. 

Clinton Hollon RHP Kentucky

Easy velocity, but a strong commitment to Kentucky.  On the small side, but some of the best raw velocity in the draft.

Andrew Thurman RHP UC Irvine

Solid pitchers body with a good four pitch mix. 

Cord Sandberg OF HS Florida

A raw athlete who looks the part of corner outfielder/middle of the order hitter.  Will need time to develop.

Draft Preview Part Two | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#273307) #
Don't know if I'd take Gillicks advise on the draft - his drafts were well known (especially in the first round) as being terrible drafts.  From 1977 to 1990 the Jays had many high picks (4 in the top 3, 6 in the top 10) but just 4 even reached 0.5 WAR in their career with just one cracking 15 (Lloyd Moseby in '78 who got up to 27.6 and held lots of Jay records for years and still leads in stolen bases, caught stealing, and Power-Speed #).  The other 3 were John Cerutti, Ed Sprague and Steve Karsay (the other over 10 at 11.2). 

Of course, his 2nd round picks in that time frame included David Wells (53.6) and Derek Bell (12.9).  3rd round Jimmy Key (49.6) John Olerud (58) and David Weathers (10.9).  5th round Dave Stieb (57.2), Pat Hentgen (32.7) and Mike Timlin (19.6).  So finding diamonds in the rough his teams were great at but finding the obvious ones in the first round...not so good at.

Now, whoever was responsible for the draft least the first pick...that is someone I'd talk to.  From 1991 to 1999 we saw 6 players drafted in the first round who would go well over 20 WAR (Green, Stewart, Carpenter, Halladay, Wells and Rios).  Since then only Aaron Hill has cracked 10 (24) with Romero just shy of 10 (he was over before 2012/2013 cost him 1.7 WAR...yes, he has been that bad).

So the perfect draft team is 1991-1999 first round picker and pre-1990 round 2-5 picker.
Gerry - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#273313) #

There is more uncertainty over this draft than any I can remember over the last ten years.  Starting at the top Houston are likely to select a player who cuts the best deal with them.

No-one seems to be sure who the Jays might take, as usual the Jays are very secretive.  As sam notes the Jays have been linked with about six different players.

With regard to my game theory question, if every team is trying to low ball their first round picks to save money for picks later in the draft, how many of those "pick them later" guys are out there?  Roughly four or five teams punted the middle rounds last year to give them money for rounds 10 plus.  If that number goes up to say fifteen teams, then there will be fewer extra players per team and maybe some of that extra money will go unspent.  Teams will have to make decisions on the fly and there will have been a lot of game theory calculations going on over the last week or so.

Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#273319) #
I think the hard slotting has made it very difficult to adopt a low-ball strategy. This isn't to say you can't draft a less talented player earlier on with the understanding that you will pay him the slot in accordance with his true talent level - but if you have the tenth pick and want to select the tenth best (or better) player available, then the hard slots provide at very least, a very strong focal point (to use the game theory expression) for negotiations.

I think that there is a lot less "on the fly" type decisions made in the draft than teams will ever admit. The reason for this is because teams have much better information about what a player will actually sign for than is permitted under the rules. I say this not becasue I have any inside perspective, but because otherwise teams would be taking ridiculous gambles.

Take last years' draft, and the Smoral signing. We took him with the 50th pick, and signed him for double the slot -- 2 million dollars. To scrounge up the extra million, we punted rounds 4 through 10.

The consequences of failing to execute on this strategy would have been absolutely cataclysmic, and there would be no acceptable fallback plan for failure. If Smoral walked, not only would you have failed to sign one of your top picks and lost his slot amount, but you would also have thrown away 7 rounds of talent. The only way you take this strategy is if you not only have a very good (almost certain) sense of what Smoral will sign for -- but also what all the other players you drafted will sign for.
hypobole - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#273322) #
Appel, Gray and Bryant are thought to be a tier above anyone else this year. Passing on them may be risky strategy on Houstons part. Are there going to be players that fall worthy of getting the 1st pick savings is only part of the equation.
The bigger part, in my estimation, is that talent that is clearly better at the top of the draft is much more likely to become a star level player. Going the Bryan Bullington route almost always backfires.
bpoz - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#273323) #
Thanks Sam.
I just looked at some draft history for the whole league and was not surprised to find a lot of 1st round busts. Matt Bush, Jeff Clemente and many others.

Just making it seems to be an achievement. Jay draft picks JPA & A Lind looked very good as they stood out. Of course we can still express disappointment in them.

So drafting #1=10 or #20-30 there are still good picks out there. But we all know that.

We will all be expressing a lot about games theory, which I really enjoy speculating on.

I wonder where Mark Appel will be drafted, and will he sign. He can wipe out a huge portion of a teams draft budget. He not only cannot be a bust but he must be like S Strasburg to be worth it. Then again after 7 or so years you will know for sure what that draft year produced. So if you got nothing then blowing the whole budget on 1 player that made it is worth it.
For example if I knew in 1993 what I know today would I blow the whole 1993 budget on just 1 player.

I know that the rules are different today ie I cannot spend 2nd & 3rd round money on other players.

IMO AA had his cheap picks lined up & sort of presigned last year. He has probably done the same this year.

In 2010 1st round picks Sanchez & Syndagaard signed for $500,000 which is a lot lower than what K Comer signed for. That still puzzles me. At the moment I regret the loss of Syndergaard more than I regret the loss of Comer.
bpoz - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#273325) #
I would like to state the rules of the draft. For my benefit if nothing else. I want to make sure that I am understanding this correctly.

So Rounds 1-3 are protected and can be used next year. Rounds 4-10 are not protected so if unsigned the team loses the player and the budget to sign him.
So if you pick a good player in round 2 & another in round 6, you can play hardball with the #2 since he is protected but not #6.
metafour - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#273326) #
and I encourage fans not to think about the $1.5 million dollars the Jays gave Dickie Thon’s kid that year—money that could have been used to dissuade Bryant from attending college
The Jays did not choose to sign Thon over Bryant. It was either/or between those two, and the money was actually offered to Bryant first because he was the better prospect. Bryant was simply set on college unless he was going to be blown away by an offer (over $2 million, possibly $2.5 million), and when he declined, the money went to Thon.
Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#273327) #
Where did we hear that metafour? If that's just your recollection no problem, but I'd love to know the source for that kind of thing.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#273328) #
Fortunately, this year there are likely to be one or two position players available at #10 who are at least as good as any pitcher likely to be available then.  I wonder if Crawford would have been a lock in the Ricciardi era, sharing intials with both Arencibia and the boss...
sam - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#273329) #
I might like to see a source for that too metafour.  I do doubt your recalling of the events.  Thon was the earlier draft pick and much was made at the time that Anthopoulos was handling the Thon negotiation--highlighting the desire and priority of the organization to get Thon signed.  Moreover, as I recall, rumour was Thon had agreed to sign well in advance of the deadline, however, the Jays did not announce his signing until deadline day of fear of driving up the bonus demands of other prospects--as was the practice back then.
metafour - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#273330) #
Where did we hear that metafour? If that's just your recollection no problem, but I'd love to know the source for that kind of thing.
Its recollection, but I know that the "offer" to Bryant was up to $1.2 million and logically would have been pushed up (like Thon's was) if there was any indication that they were close to accepting. It was simply going to take a huge offer to sign the kid, which is why he fell to the 18th round in the first place...when that happens it is because the kid is virtually unsignable. If someone thought they could get him signed for $1.5 million, well, he wouldn't have been passed up 18+ times by every team. The point is that Thon's offer had no impact on Bryant. Its not like we would have offered $2.7 million to Bryant but chose to give Thon $1.5 of that was always going to be a one-or-the-other scenario, and Bryant's demands were much higher than Thon's.
hypobole - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#273331) #
Whether it was the money going to either Thon or Bryant, or a different scenario altogether, I found the Jays decision puzzling at the time and still do, although the athlete/non-athlete labels may provide a bit of a clue.

Yes, there were questions how well Bryant would adapt without aluminum bats, but he was more well regarded by all sources I saw and much more by some. I believe KLaw had Bryant as a top 20 talent (FWIW he was much higher on Aaron Sanchez than others also).

Thon was nowhere close to that and although there are helium guys like Syndergaard who climb teams draft boards late, I've never heard that associated with Thon. To me he seems a Hayden Simpson, a kid who one organization saw a lot more potential in than anyone else did.

metafour - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#273333) #
I found the Jays decision puzzling at the time and still do

What is puzzling? They had a set amount of money available which really wasn't close to what it was going to take to sign Bryant anyway.  They made a run at him anyway and he declined as expected.  They were so far off that they were able to agree in principle with Thon very early.

The be completely honest this continuous talk about us "failing to sign" Bryant is starting to get really annoying.  He slipped to the 18th round.  He was not going to sign.  If someone thought he was worth his price tag at that time he wouldn't have dropped that far in the first place.  He was a write-off and not even worthy of being talked about, but of course, now that he's going Top 3 its a huge discussion about how we botched some negotiation that wasn't even there in the first place because the kid was going to go to school unless you parked a Brinks truck in front of his house.
smcs - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#273334) #
If Smoral walked, not only would you have failed to sign one of your top picks and lost his slot amount, but you would also have thrown away 7 rounds of talent.

But the Jays would have had almost $1MM extra to spend on guys from round 11 and beyond. The Jays drafted 3 guys in the BA 500 in the later rounds that they did not sign that they may have taken a run at if they hadn't signed Smoral.
sam - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#273335) #
Metafour, clearly you seem to be privy to some sort of information on this issue that we're not so I don't think it's worth arguing over the details here.  Guys slip for a variety of reasons.  Teams often place a value on a guy and then as he falls as most teams sign guys they think they'll sign, teams circle round to those difficult signs and draft them hoping to negotiate within their budget.  Back then guys got signed to million dollar bonuses in the teens all the time as money was made available or over the course of the summer the kid showed a bit more.  In Bryant, the questions weren't really about the aluminum bat--and for most scouts that's really never a consideration--it was about his longish swing and whether if hit tool was developed enough/or going to develop. 

The bottom line here is the Jays had a shot at Bryant and missed.  It looks bad now because the guy they missed on looks really good.
tercet - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#273337) #
In Retrospec spending 2 mill on Deck, 2mill on Comer, and 1.5 on Thon do look pretty poor, but no one has a crystal ball..

But I think its safe to say the Jays will do what they did last year, sign a bunch of college seniors very cheap from rounds 4-10 or 5-10, and go for expensive guys early.  If we could get Manea or Stanek in round 2 I would be thrilled.

Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#273338) #
Sam. I don't think signing Ryan Kellogg (203 in the 2012 BA 500) or whoever else you are referring to (I can't find anyone else highly-rated who didn't sign) would have been much of a face-saving fallback plan for failing to sign Smoral (24 in the BA 500)and punting 7 rounds of draft.

Especially after the high-profile failure the year before.

No GM would risk that disaster.
sam - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#273339) #

Sorry, are you sure you meant that for me?

Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#273341) #
Yikes. Sorry Sam. That was for SMCS.

But I will say this re: Bryant. BA's scouting report for him for 2010 specifically questioned whether his power was a creation of his aluminum bat, and wondered whether it would ever show up in actual games.
smcs - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#273347) #
No GM would risk that disaster.

I think we agree that the Jays had an idea of what each of their top 7 guys would sign for, and then punted on the next 7 (hence, I don't think there was that much risk involved in the strategy). I don't think that, had Smoral not signed, the draft strategy would be a failure, and that they would have rolled that slot money into other guys. Because the Jays only have 3 picks in the first 3 rounds this year, it would be more glaring if one of them didn't sign, but I think the fundamental strategy would be sound.

The other guys were Cole Irvin, drafted in the 29th round, ranked 273, and Brandon Lopez, drafted in the 34th round, ranked 154.
Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#273348) #
SMCS. I don't want to get caught up in the semantics of what's constitutes a disaster and what doesn't, but I will say this -- there were plenty of talents in the BA top 500 that were drafted in rounds 4 through 10 who signed for their slot amount or less. By punting those rounds, we gave up on 7 talented potential prospects (all of whom could have been in the BA 500). If we had punted these picks and failed to sign Smoral, but then signed the dregs of the BA 500 (with no guarantee they would sign for the money you were offering), my view is that this would be a pretty terrible consolation prize, and a fundamentally unsound strategy.
hypobole - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#273349) #
Thanks beyonder, I don't feel so old now - my memory isn't the best, but I was positive I'd read the aluminum bat thing somewhere.

"In Retrospec spending 2 mill on Deck, 2mill on Comer, and 1.5 on Thon do look pretty poor, but no one has a crystal ball.."

It's not a crystal ball thing. Deck was worth $2 mill at the time - a consensus top 10-15 pick. Comer got $1.65 mill but although BA ranked him #102, others including KLaw had him higher and others much higher, so the bonus wasn't puzzling. Thon was ranked #199 by BA and not in anyone's Top 100. Giving this kid $1.5 mill was puzzling.
John Northey - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#273350) #
Oy do we get weird arguments here sometimes.

A guy drafted in the 18th round is EXTREMELY unlikely to sign if he has any talent.  Period.  Only 3 times has an 18th round pick by the Jays made the majors.  Two combined for under 50 games.  The third is Ryan Roberts who had a 91 OPS+ lifetime, 3 full time (sorta) seasons, while mainly playing 3B/2B.  Not exactly a super-star.

Reed Johnson you get in the 17th round as the best the Jays ever did.  16th is Darin Mastroianni, 15th Rich DeLucia (didn't sign - just 3 WAR anyways), 14th Brandon Lyon, 13th Ted Lilly (didn't sign) then Alex Gonzalez the first (solid player).  12th Doug Mientkiewicz (did not sign), 11th Willie Blair , 10th Ryan Freel (3 times over 100 games).  19th is Bob File, and the 20th is the big 'wow' Jeff Kent who is worth more in WAR than the rest of the picks from 10-19 combined I think.

So, can a star be found in the 10th-20th rounds?  Yes.  Odds of it happening?  Extremely slim.  Should teams blow $2-3 million on those picks?  If I ran a team I'd have a lot of trouble doing that.  To date only Ted Lilly was a 'dang it' miss in those rounds. 

As to the old 'why punt rounds 4-10'... outside of Dave Stieb (who was an outfielder at the time) there really hasn't been a lot of 'wow' players in those rounds.  The Jays have done well in the 5th with Stieb, Michael Young, Pat Hentgen and Mike Timlin.  Casey Blake was a 7th rounder, Jesse Barfield a 9th.  And that is it for 10+ WAR guys from rounds 4-10.  6 guys plus Pat Borders (who finished around 0 but sure was vital in '92).  Are those 7 worth risking $2-3 million a year on those picks?  Maybe.  Are they worth risking twice that?  Remember, this is 36 years worth of drafting we're talking about, 30 that we can pretty much say for certain that 'this is it'.  That means 30 x 7 = 210 picks _at least_ that produced a total of 7 solid players (ie: worth more than a AAAA guy).
92-93 - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#273352) #
I don't really get the idea of looking at WAR from certain rounds as if that means something. Bryant clearly wasn't an 18th round talent, so whether or not guys taken in that round have historically provided MLB value means very little to me when I'm trying to understand if the Jays missed an opportunity to secure talent at a relatively reasonable price.
Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#273354) #
A few points John:

1) I don't think you can compare the current draft process with the processes in place years ago. Signing bonuses alone are a huge confounding variable, and arguably the quality of scouting has gotten much better (due to statistical advances, availability of video, etc.). These days, Kris Bryant situations are much more common. Bryant was predicted by some to be a late first round pick. Our own Daniel Norris floated obscenely high bonus demands before settling for something far less.

2) Even if you are prepared to treat them unequivocvally, looking at one team's draft results is a very small sample size. The way to do it is to look at the average WAR for a specific slot over a period of time. And the truth is that even if you were to do this, you would be dealing with a relatively small sample size, with huge swings in WAR from year to year, and slot to slot.

3) The question is not whether rounds 4-10 are worth much, but rather, are they worth more than the difference between Matt Smoral and the other guy we would have drafted with the 50th pick? I know nothing about Matt Smoral, but my own back of the envelope analysis tells me that if you look at the expected WAR that would be produced by picking legitimate talents in rounds 4 through 10, (I took the pool of career WAR accrued by all players drafted in a slot, and divided it by the number of players) you would be much better off making those picks than with the overage of Matt Smoral vs. a replacement notional player drafted at 50.
Gerry - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#273356) #

From Keith Law's chat today:

Ryan (Markham)

Klaw - I hear the Jays have shown *no* interest in Clint Frazier. Do you think that is true, and if so, care to speculate on why that would be? Thank you

  (3:09 PM)

I do, and I think there are a lot of reasons. Many people don't like the swing mechanically, he struggles with offspeed stuff, and he may end up a LF. He's not a lock - he's a very good prospect, but I hear readers treating him like he's the next Mike Trout, which he's not.

sam - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#273357) #
Thank you for passing that along Gerry.  As I should have elaborated in my discussion, a lot of these guys come with very real question marks.  For Frazier, it's his general swing.  It's a tad unconventional and elaborate.  You question then the ability to hit for average or simple consistency.  If you draft him and try to tone his swing theatrics down, does that alter his power?  A team that has real faith in their development team might be the best fit here.  Do you commit $3 million to someone with these questions? 

PeterG - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#273358) #
How many rounds go tonight?
Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#273360) #
2 rounds.
85bluejay - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#273361) #
As a Blue Jays fan, given the performance of both the big club and farm system so far this year, the draft may the most exciting event for us this year - So, I'm super-excited ; can't wait to welcome the next (Upper)Deck McGuire or Kevin "Chipper Jones" Ahrens to the organization. Given the performance of the Jays top picks this century, I'm likely to yawn.

Seriously, I looking forward to the draft - The cardinals have nabbed 2 young TOR guys the few years and have 2 1st rd. picks - watch them steal someone who drops - and what impresses me about the cardinals is how quickly their development people seem to make the right call on those top picks - allowing the team to keep the gems while dumping the mediocre(Wallace,Cox) while they have some value - most teams just seem to hold on until the prospect is worthless. - Also looking forward to what Jeff Luhnow (he of the cardinals pedigree) will do, he impressed last year - When was the last  time the Yankees had 3 1st rd. picks? 
Kasi - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#273362) #
I'd not worry very much about not getting Bryant. Players who are that unsignable drop into the late teens and 20s of the draft rounds and are 99%+ of the time not signed. Sometimes it works out, but those guys are going to college so its really hard to overcome that unless you pay top 10 pick money to a guy there. With the new rules that's not even possible anymore.

If we want to worry about what ifs, lets look at Mike Trout.
John Northey - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#273366) #
Beyonder and 92-93...
The point I'm making is that quality players rarely drop far in the draft.  The Jays have found exceptionally good players at that stage (such as Jeff Kent who wasn't seen as that at the time) but generally good players who drop that far are either virtually unsignable or have something wrong that we don't know about (be it an attitude issue or hole in their game we cannot see in stats or via the Keith Law's of the world).

As to merging all stats - I don't have a database of draft picks by round or the subscription needed at B-R to pull that easily.  I used the Jays as a simple example we'd all understand quickly.  Basically in 30+ years (not counting most recent 6) you have 11 guys who would be worthwhile drafted by the Jays for round 4 through 20.  17 rounds, 30 years = 510 picks with 11 who did enough to be worth a multi-million dollar bonus.  Yeah, the draft has changed but none-the-less do you REALLY think it changed THAT much?  Sure, Byrant might be the exception and join Ted Lilly as a 'dang, should've signed him' guy.  But if he does he'll be the 2nd EVER in Jays history drafted in the 4-20th rounds to get that tag.

Prospects and draft day is fun.  No doubt about it.  But to get mad at a club for not signing a guy they drafted in the 18th round is like complaining the Jays didn't draft Mike Piazza in the 61st round way back when.  Sure it would've been nice, but after the first round the quality of picks is all over the place and odds of making it drop drastically.  Every other ML club felt Bryant was not worth drafting in the 17th round when they normally are just getting filler.  So lets not beat on the Jays over this one...there is lots more we can beat them up over.
Beyonder - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#273368) #
Neither 92-93 nor I criticized the Jays for not signing Bryant.

All I will say is that despite the Jays draft history, picks 4 through 10 are worth more than the delta between Smoral and the hypothetical player selected at 50 and signed for slot. Draft in bulk, whenever possible.

And the baseball ref info is free. No subscription needed.
bpoz - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#273369) #
Right Kasi. And what if G Stanton in Miami, 2nd round in 2007.

Definitely M Smoral was the player who affected our draft last year. He took a lot of our saved $. We saved a little on DJ Davis & M Stroman & may have paid a bit higher for C DeJong whom I really like.

I think luck is a huge factor. The guy you want and did not get forces you to take a less attractive player, but this guy could be the superstar.
John Northey - Thursday, June 06 2013 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#273371) #
Baseball Ref is free, but not their PI which allows more detailed and easier access.

As to value, I go for quality over quantity.  Get the very best you can because the guys who are the best are rare and hard to get even as free agents (teams tend to sign long term before they get there).  Some you can never get as #1 overall requires a truly horrid season.  The Jays have only been as high as #2 3 times, #3 once, #4 once, and twice had #5 but never a #1.  Vernon Wells and Lloyd Moseby the only ones who were standouts plus Billy Koch who was an odd choice (reliever with a top 5 pick?)
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