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Draft Newsbeat

Friday, July 28, 2017

NEWEST CBA COULD DIMINISH BIGGEST SPENDER’S DRAFT PICKS

The new CBA adds two surcharge thresholds on top of the competitive balance tax that was included in the previous CBA. Spend more than $217 million in 2018 and a team will be hit with an additional 12 percent tax on top of the 20 percent, 30 percent or 50 percent tax they will be hit with (depending on how many consecutive years they have exceeded the tax threshold).

But the penalties really kick in for a team that spends more than $237 million in 2018. Not only will the franchise be hit with a 42.5 percent or 45 percent surcharge tax on top of the competitive balance tax, but the team will also see its first draft pick dropped 10 spots. That pick is protected, but that protection is relatively meaningless, as the penalty is applied to the team’s second draft pick only if it’s one of the top six picks in the draft. It would be hard to envision a team finishing with a top-six pick (meaning it had one of the six worst records in baseball) with a $237-plus million payroll.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2017 at 09:36 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: collective bargaining agreement, draft

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

No. 4 pick Brendan McKay gets record bonus from Rays

University of Louisville pitcher-first baseman Brendan McKay, the fourth overall pick in the MLB first-year player draft, has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays for a record-setting bonus of $7,007,500.

McKay’s bonus is the highest since baseball’s current draft signing system went into effect in 2012. It surpasses the recent $7 million bonus received by Vanderbilt pitcher and Atlanta Braves first-round pick Kyle Wright, who broke the previous high of $6,708,400 established by Kris Bryant with the Chicago Cubs in 2013.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2017 at 10:44 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brendan mckay, draft, rays

Monday, June 26, 2017

Everybody wins by pushing the draft back

A few quick fixes could make both events work better, and a Sports Business Journal report reveals MLB is moving to improve the draft’s visibility. The report indicated the potential to move the draft back to July during the all-star break. Also, the draft would move out of MLB Network studios in Secaucus, N.J., likely rotating to the site of the All-Star Game.

Hosting the draft while the NCAA Tournament is going on (even during super regionals this year) doesn’t make sense. It’s an anachronism. Baseball has kept its draft in the first (or second) week of June while the college season now lasts three or even four weeks longer than it used to. And it is simply unfair to college baseball to have many of its top players having their attention split between helping their teams get to Omaha while having to deal with the pressure of draft day.

Moving the draft to the Monday of the all-star break—one day after the Futures Game, two days before the All-Star Game—would (a) put the draft in the “offseason,” at least for amateur players; (b) give major league teams time to watch all players before meeting to line up their draft boards, and (c) allow MLB to initiate, at the least, a medical combine if not a scouting combine.
9

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2017 at 10:43 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Luke Heimlich Will Not Pitch In College World Series

Oregon State lefthander Luke Heimlich, who was not drafted following a report that as a teenager he pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a 6-year-old female family member, will not pitch in the College World Series.

Zonk Tormundbane Posted: June 15, 2017 at 02:51 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: college world series, draft

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Posnanski: Almost Hall of Famers

1980: Here’s a fun trivia question: Before Ken Griffey was drafted in 1987, there had been 22 drafts meaning their had been 22 first overall picks.
Which first overall pick had the most WAR in his career?
If you are like me (which I know you are not) you immediately thought of Harold Baines, the first overall pick in the 1977 draft. Rick Monday had a terrific career. Both are good guesses.
But the answer (somewhat shockingly) is Darryl Strawberry in 1980.
Strawberry is, of course, one of the great what-if stories in baseball history. He had that big and glorious swing, he had this wonderful grace about him, the force just flowed from him. And it didn’t turn out.
But the truth is: He had a good career. too. He hit 335 homers and drove in 1,000 RBIs in his career. He won Rookie of the Year, was an eight-time All-Star and almost won the 1988 MVP award, the year he led the league with 39 homers.
His life went off the rails after he turned 30 and so we look back and think how good he might have been. But he was a wonderful even with all that went wrong. He still had more career WAR than Harold Baines.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 13, 2017 at 11:59 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, hall of fame, joe posnanski

Monday, June 12, 2017

Give Baseball Scouts a (Perfect) 80 for Tradition

“Eighty you’re a franchise player, 20 you’re nothing and 50 you’re average,” said Detroit Tigers General Manager Al Avila, the son of a scout and the father of a major-league catcher. “It’s always been that way.”

And if it hasn’t, there may be no one alive who remembers otherwise. Art Stewart, a senior adviser to Moore with the Royals, is 90 years old, born on Babe Ruth’s birthday in 1927. Stewart took his first scouting job with the Yankees in the early 1950s, when a Pittsburgh Pirates scout showed him a numerical grading system at a spring training game in Bradenton, Fla.

“That’s a funny way of doing it,” Stewart said he had thought at the time. But then, he said, he learned who had created it: Branch Rickey, the pioneering executive, who was working for the Pirates near the end of his Hall of Fame career.

“Branch Rickey is the one that came up with the number system. What we have today is just a takeoff of what Rickey did,” Stewart said. “He was so far ahead of the game, it was scary.”

When Stewart joined the expansion Royals in 1969, the team used a 1 to 4 scale, like a movie critic’s rating system: 4 was excellent, 3 good, 2 fair, 1 poor. But in late 1974, when Major League Baseball created a centralized scouting bureau, the 2 to 8 scale took hold throughout the game.

Gordon Lakey, who started his scouting career in 1970 and now works for the Philadelphia Phillies, spent three years with the bureau in the mid-’70s. He said its first executive director, Jim Wilson, had encouraged the use of double-digit numbers — not just 2 through 8 — to further differentiate prospects. Not all teams took their reports from the bureau, Lakey said, but enough did that the 20 to 80 scale became the vernacular.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:50 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey, draft, scouting

Friday, June 09, 2017

Did Moneyball teach us nothing? MLB is still selling jeans

“The draft is radically, radically different than 15 years ago, but probably not in some hugely measurable way when it comes to height and weight,” another executive said. “Maybe the interesting conclusion is that more teams than ever are leaning heavily on data to help them make smarter selections, yet players still look the same.”

Indeed, data is more important to every team now than it was in 2002. Not only do teams dig deep into college stats, like the Moneyball A’s did, but they have access to advanced TrackMan data from showcases and tournaments, or they have medical coordinators charting biomechanics and workloads. They have analytics departments that put that data into historical perspective. Some scouting executives are coming from the internet’s analytical community. The result of all this data appears to be, broadly, a confirmation of what scouting wisdom had been: Good major leaguers usually do make good jeans salesmen.

“Teams understand college data much better now than they did when Jeremy Brown was drafted,” said Nick Faleris, the co-founder of the scouting website 2080 Baseball. “What teams know now would point to Jeremy Brown going a bit lower than he was.”

That’s not to say there aren’t still players for whom subjective and objective indicators force difficult decisions. Faleris points to two: Prep shortstop Nick Allen is considered the best defensive shortstop in the draft, “with all the boxes you’d want to check off on a hitter, but he’s only 5-8—and that’s being generous.” And Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall is uber-athletic, with underwhelming statistics. “You look at Kendall, and you see a major league body, so people are overlooking some pretty significant warts.”

Balancing those two factors remains, as it was in 2002, a challenge—the draft is hard. But no team will ignore the players’ performances, and no team would argue that either player’s body is irrelevant.


Thursday, June 08, 2017

Luke Heimlich sex crime surfaces as Oregon State baseball nears College World Series

Two months ago, as the Oregon State University baseball team marched toward the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, compiling one of the best records in college baseball history, a crime surfaced from a star player’s past.

A Benton County sheriff’s sergeant, on a sweep to track down sex offenders who let their registrations lapse, located one at Gill Coliseum, the heart of Oregon State’s bucolic campus. It was Luke Heimlich, the ace left-hander who statistically is the nation’s best pitcher and is among the top prospects in next week’s Major League Baseball draft.

As a teenager, Heimlich pleaded guilty to a single charge of sexually molesting a 6-year-old female family member. Heimlich registered as a sex offender in Benton County after arriving at Oregon State. When he was cited in April for missing an annual update, it put the case in Oregon court records for the first time.

OSU’s top pitcher was 15 years old when the crime occurred in his family’s home in Puyallup, Washington, according to court documents obtained last week by The Oregonian/OregonLive through a public records request. Juvenile court records in Washington, unlike in Oregon, are not automatically confidential.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 10:42 AM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, draft, oregon state, sexual abuse

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Inside The Draft Room: The 2002-2003 Dodgers - MLB Trade Rumors

Some good scouting/draft stories from Logan White.

“We actually had him over Xavier Paul, who we took in the fourth round. Xavier was going to Tulane, but I knew I might be able to sign him if we took him in the fourth. But if I took Matt in the fourth and Xavier in the sixth, I probably would just be able to sign Matt. So that became part of our strategy in how we drafted them. That’s where Mike did a great job. And that’s an important part of scouting – to get a feel for where you have to take a player. It helps you maximize your draft.

“Mike did a good job of knowing we didn’t have to take Matt there, so it allowed us to take Matt in the sixth round. I didn’t want to let him fall too far because it’s dangerous trying that. When you look back you might even say it was stupid to wait that long; somebody could’ve taken him.”

Kemp, a two-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger, looks like a player with his athletic build. Playing in front of a bunch of scouts because his high school team included a highly rated pitcher, it’s amazing that he fell to the 181st slot.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2017 at 08:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, scouting

Baseball Rediscovers the Two-Way Player

Players might convert—Dodgers All-Star closer Kenley Jansen spent his first five minor-league campaigns as a catcher—but no one has simultaneously succeeded as a full-fledged member of a pitching staff and everyday lineup.

“It wouldn’t shock me if at some point in the future somebody does find their niche as a guy who can do both,” said Padres general manager A.J. Preller, who will pick third in the draft. “We’d be open to at least going down that path with certain guys.”

Preller said the Padres “have already talked internally” about a roadmap for how to proceed should they wind up selecting Greene or McKay, two players expected to come off the board within the first five picks. It would likely involve a rigidly defined, closely monitored schedule of pitching and hitting, at least for the first summer.

Reds GM Dick Williams said that in light of Greene and McKay’s unusual skill sets, teams “have to take a long look” at them as two-way threats. He added that Cincinnati scouted them both “with an open mind.”

But ultimately, Williams said if the Reds choose either Greene or McKay with the No. 2 pick, “we need to have a clear preference” about whether their futures belong at the plate or on the mound. Falvey expressed the same sentiment with nearly identical language, saying that the Twins would prefer “a clear preference of one versus the other.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 06, 2017 at 11:42 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brendan mckay, draft, hunter greene

Friday, May 26, 2017

Big League Talent Harder to Find in 2017

An area scout was discussing his region. But based on conversations with scouts around the country, he may as well have been talking about the whole 2017 draft class.

“I feel like a beachcomber with a metal detector,” he said, “and all I keep finding is a broken earring here or there.”

Scouts do not expect to look back at the 2017 draft with fondness. But they will look back and find big leaguers, even impact big leaguers, who came out of this class.

They’re just harder to find, and a bit less obvious.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 26, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

 

 

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