Tuesday, June 8, 2010

RETHINKING THE DRAFT

I did a quick analysis of the relative success rate of pitchers drafted out of high school vs. pitchers drafted out of college.

I looked at all pitchers drafted in the first round of the 2000-2004 drafts - long enough ago to tell who's going to make it and who's not, but not too long ago that scouting and evaluating methods would have changed much.

In those years, a total of 111 pitchers were drafted in the first round - 61 from a 4-year college, 45 from high school, and 5 from junior college.  The five from junior college included only one player who has played in the Majors - Phil Dumatrait.

Of the pitchers drafted out of college, 39 (64%) have played in the Major Leagues.  The top 10 ranked by WAR are:

Name Pos WAR
Jered Weaver RHP 14.5
Justin Verlander RHP 14.3
Mark Prior RHP 13.7
Joe Blanton RHP 11.7
Jeremy Guthrie RHP 10.1
Huston Street RHP 8.9
Noah Lowry LHP 8.3
Joe Saunders LHP 8.2
Chad Cordero RHP 8.0
Paul Maholm LHP 7.5

Of the players drafted out of high school, 45 (56%) have made the Majors.  A slightly smaller percentage, but a much more impressive top 10:

Name Pos WAR
Zack Greinke RHP 20.5
Scott Kazmir LHP 18.1
Matt Cain RHP 16.5
Adam Wainwright RHP 14.3
Cole Hamels LHP 12.5
John Danks LHP 12.1
Chad Billingsley RHP 9.7
Jeremy Bonderman RHP 6.9
Gavin Floyd RHP 5.6
Phil Hughes RHP 2.2

Doug Melvin said in an interview yesterday:
“College pitchers can get there early but they can leave early, too."
I give him credit for having done his homework and for using the pick as it probably should be used - a long term investment with a high ceiling rather than a quick fix.

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