Wednesday, August 27, 2014
All they really need is a time machine.
Then John Maffei of the San Diego Union-Tribune followed up with his:
The July 18 deadline to sign draft picks has come and gone, with Aiken rejecting the Astros’ last-minute offer. But the team could still sign the No. 1 overall draft pick under a clause at Major League Baseball’s discretion.
The other 29 major league clubs have signed off on that clause, industry sources said. The Aikens, however, would insist on a sign-and-trade deal before agreeing to terms with Houston.
If it’s a sign-and-trade deal, then, well, this is even more unusual.
Anyhow, now, in a brief interview with ABC 10 in San Diego, MLB commissioner Bud Selig has all but confirmed that an Astros’ after-deadline signing of Aiken is still in play. Here’s the key excerpt:
10News asked him, “Can you confirm if (his offer) was able to go past the July 18 deadline?”
Selig replied, “We’re working on that right now. There are a lot of things in movement there so it would be inappropriate for me to comment, but I would say we are working towards a hopeful solution.”
Needless to say, this would be a big coup for the Astros, whose 2014 draft, absent an Aiken signing, looks fairly disastrous.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
When the Toronto Blue Jays opted to utilize their first round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft on Phil Bickford, it was a curious selection that turned out to be a mistake. Seen as a long-shot to sign due to his commitment to Cal State Fullerton, the Blue Jays were unable to sway the right-hander away from school and had to wait an additional year to receive a compensation pick.
If only Phil Bickford could have seen just one year into the future.
According to Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA, Bickford has opted not to return to school this fall and is likely to opt for joining an independent league team this spring. From there, he will re-enter the MLB Draft in June.
In his lone season at Cal State Fullerton, the 6’4″ 185 pound righty went 6-3 with a 2.13 ERA and a 8.76 K/9 ratio in 76 innings of work, according to the team’s website. ..
Friday, August 22, 2014
The Cuban guys do almost always have better names. “Rusney” is pretty good, although the “Castillo” is uninspiring. Stuff like “Erisbel Arruebarrena” and “Odrisamer Despaigne” is just incredible.
[Rusney] Castillo got just over nine times the largest bonus ever handed out in the draft, the $8 million Gerrit Cole received from the Pirates. That’s partially because the Red Sox are expecting Castillo to help the 2015 team, which makes this something of an apples/oranges comparison, but he’s getting the money mostly because the Red Sox could give it to him…
Just look at the pennywhistles and moon pies that Rusney Castillo can buy now, even though no one knows exactly how he compares to the 90 best outfielders around the league. The headline for this could just as easily be “Scott Boras makes an excellent point about the draft” or “Scott Boras, unlikely freedom fighter” or “Agreeing with Scott Boras and then taking a long, long shower,” because Boras mentions this same point every June. And Boras was the guy who found loopholes to make Travis Lee and Matt White free agents in 1996, eventually getting them contracts that, if they were draft bonuses, would still be the two largest draft bonuses in history today.
Repeat: Matt White and Travis Lee were paid more as free agents almost 20 years ago than any player in the draft has received as a bonus since.
This isn’t a call to action. This isn’t a post with suggestions on how to attack the CBA. This isn’t an editorial slamming MLB and the MLBPA for conspiring to allow this. It’s just a note directing your attention to the Red Sox, who paid an awful lot of money for a player who might not be good at all, and being positively giddy about their ability to do so. If Castillo is the next [Yasiel] Puig, we’ll spend the next decade saying, “What a bargain! What a bargain!”, even though he was paid exponentially more for his first deal than almost every other unknown-yet-fascinating talent is.
Reaching into your pocket for your wallet is much easier. But don’t forget that it’s a lot more expensive than paying the players who fall into a team’s lap every June. That’s not going to change, even as we have Castillo as proof that it probably should.
Friday, August 15, 2014
The Angels hooked a good one.
he leading 2006 Rays draft managed to produce three productive major leaguers: Evan Longoria (1st Round, 3rd pick, 38.5 career rWAR, 5.81 WAR/Season), Alex Cobb (4th Round, 3rd Pick, 7.1 career rWAR, 1.94 WAR/Season), and Desmond Jennings (10th Round, 3rd Pick, 11.7 rWAR, 3.02 WAR/Season). However, the 2009 Angels drafted Mike Trout, Tyler Skaggs, and Garrett Richards, so they may be on the way to passing the 2006 Rays. In addition, the Angels’s total includes Patrick Corban and Randal Grichuk, whom they traded away. However, since the point of this exercise is identifying the teams who are getting the best value, even if it gets traded away, this is a reasonable inclusion.
On the opposite end, the 1994 Phillies drafted four players who reached the majors, all of whom had negative WAR. The 1997 White Sox failed to sign 2nd Round pick Jeff Weaver (who would go on to have 15.5 career rWAR), had six total 1st Round and Supplement 1st Round Picks, and still wound out on -1.77 WAR/Season….
Accounting for this, we can calculate the WAR/Season above the expectation that a team got in their draft, which can be looked at as a measure of value. Not surprisingly this list has several teams picking near the bottom of the round who find a star (a la Mike Trout), or teams who find a star in the later rounds (Such as Paul Goldschmidt)...
Not surprisingly, the 2009 Angels draft class comes out on top. In fact, in future years this class may look even more impressive if Skaggs, Richards, Grichuk, and Corbin continue to develop.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The Competitive Balance Lottery for the 2015 MLB Draft took place this afternoon. Twelve competitive balance picks are awarded, with the first six taking place after the first round’s conclusion and the next six taking place following conclusion of the second round. Here are the results, per MLB.com (Twitter links)...
Competitive Balance Round A
Competitive Balance Round B
As MLB.com’s Jim Callis explained earlier in the week, teams that have one of the 10 smallest markets or one of the 10 smallest revenue pools are eligible to receive a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds (Round A) or between the second and third rounds (Round B).
Its about time the Cardinals got some help to become more competitive.
Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:20 PM | 26 comment(s)
competitive balance lottery
Friday, July 18, 2014
Aiken: “Not On My Way Here”
The signing deadline for players selected in this year’s Rule 4 draft came and went at 5PM Eastern. And the number one overall pick, Brady Aiken, did not sign with the Houston Astros, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com.
If you aren’t up to speed, the Astros selected Aiken with the first overall pick and the parties agreed to a $6.5 million bonus in early June. But following a physical on June 23, the Astros became concerned about something in his left elbow and subsequently offered Aiken $3,168,840. Aiken’s agent, Casey Close, lashed out at the Astros, saying there was nothing wrong with Aiken…
since [the Astros’] offer to Aiken was at least 40% of the his slot value (it was exactly that, actually) they will be given the number two overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation in addition to whatever pick they have…
The practical fallout for Aiken: he has to wait a year [if he goes to junior college or the independent leagues] or maybe three [if he goes to college] to cash in and when he does it’s unlikely that he’ll do as well as he was set to do this year. And many, depending on how much stock they put in the Astros’ word on Aiken’s health, may consider him damaged goods.
The practical fallout for the Astros, they will be without a top pick. This, a year after their 2013 top pick, Mark Appel, has struggled mightily. More significantly, may have their reputation among agents and future draft picks substantially damaged. Casey Close is not a bomb-thrower. That he was as angry with the team as he has been suggests some seriously toxic dealings between the parties.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
“We are extremely disappointed that Major League Baseball is allowing the Astros to conduct business in this manner with a complete disregard for the rules governing the draft and the 29 other clubs who have followed those same rules,” said Close, who serves as a family advisor to Aiken.
The standoff could lead the Astros to lose their reported $6.5 million agreement with Aiken and $1.5 million deal with their fifth-round pick, high-school right-hander Jacob Nix, who also is advised by Close.
At issue: Whether the Astros are using a medical concern to pressure Aiken into accepting a lower bonus so that they can sign Nix and their 21st-round pick, high-school left-hander Mac Marshall.
Posted: July 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM | 119 comment(s)
Monday, July 07, 2014
Self-serve beer stations are up and running in Target Field, so Minnesota Twins fans and those who attend the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities next week can decide what they want and even how much they want of it.
. . .
Fans attending Twins games can go to a cash register, show their ID and preload a $10 or $20 card. For the All-Star Game, a $50 card will be available. Fans then scan the card at the machine and can choose between four beers and regulate how much they want to have poured. Bud and Bud Light will cost 38 cents per ounce, while Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale will cost 40 cents per ounce.
. . .
The machine allows a customer to use the card to pour up to 48 ounces of beer every 15 minutes.
Delaware North will also use the All-Star Game festivities to show off some new food items, including lobster corn dogs and a Hangover Burger, which features two hamburger patties with bacon, American cheese and a fried egg with mayo, ketchup and sriracha.
I for one welcome our new robot overlords.
Friday, June 06, 2014
Thursday, June 05, 2014
fun project by one of the authors at brewcrewball. thought folks might be interested. if you are just going to nitpick how the lists were constructed go (anatomically impossible act).
Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 79 comment(s)
Want to check out the draft in just about any way possible? Click the link.
Posted: June 05, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 79 comment(s)
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
That 2005 draft had a couple huge hits — I count two MVPs and about half a dozen All-Stars in that first round — and some huge busts. Who from that draft panned out the way you expected and who surprised you, for better or worse?
That was probably the best draft in the past 10 years. I thought Jeff Clement was going to be a really good player. Mariners fans will hate hearing this, but that was one of the picks that changed at the last minute. … Up until that final weekend, the Mariners were really locked in on Troy Tulowitzki. That was going to be their guy.
If you’d told me that [Clement] wasn’t going to catch, I would’ve said OK, but if you told me he was never going to do anything offensively in the big leagues, that would’ve surprised me.
The other thing I remember too was Jacoby Ellsbury. It seemed like Jacoby Ellsbury, at least according to the information I had, was the second choice, from 15 to 22, for about five of those eight teams, but the guy they had rated higher got to them.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
1. Chipper Jones, SS, Braves, 1990
By career wins above replacement, Alex Rodriguez has been by far the most valuable first-round pick in draft history, but no team ever got more out of the No. 1 overall choice than the Braves got from Chipper Jones. Rodriguez, who went 1/1 in 1993, chased big free agent money at the first opportunity, leaving Seattle after compiling 38 WAR in his team-controlled years. Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) forced a trade to his home city of Cincinnati after 11 years with the Mariners, but Jones, a regional high school shortstop who settled in at third base in the major leagues, spent his entire 19-year, soon-to-be Hall of Fame career with team that drafted him.
“He looks just like you, poindexter!”
Surprise, surprise: The St. Louis Cardinals have drafted more active major leaguers than any other team. Many of them are currently Cardinals, which helps explain the team’s winning ways: Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal, Joe Kelly, Kevin Siegrist, Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Matt Adams, Jon Jay, Kolten Wong and others have never known another organization….
The Padres, Royals and Rangers rank right below St. Louis. The Padres, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, have minted the second-most active major leaguers, but some of those players have hurt more than they’ve helped (more on that in a moment). The Royals’ problem clearly hasn’t been graduating draftees to the majors; it’s been how little those homegrown prospects have progressed after their promotions. And while the Rangers have exported some of their star draftees, including Chris Davis and Ian Kinsler, they’ve compensated by being active on the international market, which isn’t reflected here.
Let’s turn our attention to the bottom end. The Rays, despite their well-deserved reputation for smarts, have amassed the third-fewest debuts, in part because they move their players up the ladder slowly, but also because they haven’t struck gold as often as they did when they routinely drafted in the first few picks.
Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:05 PM | 9 comment(s)
Monday, June 02, 2014
Dirk Hayhurst with a tip for college pitchers who are close to getting drafted.
Posted: June 02, 2014 at 09:23 AM | 6 comment(s)
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I don’t usually link to content behind the pay wall. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed David Rawnsley work over the years and appreciate his take on the draft, especially the top five picks.
1. HOUSTON ASTROS ($7,922,100)
BRADY AIKEN - LHP - Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS
This is the Astros’ third consecutive try to map out a top of the draft strategy. Their 2012 strategy looks to be an “A” effort, with their 2013 strategy, on very early impressions, less so. I would expect the Astros to look for under slot potential and play different players off one another for their two additional picks in the top 42. That works best with a quality high school talent that is not a Scott Boras client.
2. MIAMI MARLINS ($6,821,800)
ALEX JACKSON - C/OF - Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) HS
The Marlins aren’t tied to any drafting strategy except the best high-ceiling athlete available. Alex Jackson has been getting intensive attention from the Astros recently and from other teams drafting in the top five as well. The future position doesn’t matter if the bat is impactful as it’s believed to be.
3. CHICAGO WHITE SOX ($5,721,500)
TYLER KOLEK - RHP - Shepherd (Texas) HS
The White Sox have entered a new era where high-ceiling high school players take a more prominent spot on their draft board. Tyler Kolek may be creating second thoughts among some teams, but part of the reason for that is that he is such a unique talent. Really, how many 6-foot-5, 250-pound high school pitchers come along regularly touching triple digits?
4. CHICAGO CUBS ($4,621,200)
CARLOS RODON - LHP - N.C. State
The Cubs are in the organizational mindset to swing for the fences as their fan base starts to get restless. At the beginning of the year they probably weren’t thinking too hard and long about Carlos Rodon but it is certainly a potential reality now. In the back of their heads they have to be thinking about the potential correlation between Rodon now and Mark Appel after his junior year at Stanford, though.
5. MINNESOTA TWINS ($3,851,000)
NICK GORDON - SS - Olympia (Fla.) HS
The Twins are showing plenty of patience in building their prospect base with young high ceiling players such as Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Kohl Stewart. A college pitcher such as a Aaron Nola or Kyle Freeland could mix right in age-wise with that core, but the Twins already have a good thing going for the future and should stay on track.
Posted: May 27, 2014 at 11:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
Jim Callis’ latest mock draft. I would think it would be difficult for the Cubs not to take one of the big arms if Jackson goes ahead of them.
1. Astros: Brady Aiken, LHP, Cathedral Catholic HS (San Diego)
Houston likely will choose between the top three pitchers and Jackson, and is believed to prefer the two left-handers. The Astros may save money versus the $7,922,100 assigned pick value to spend later in the Draft but won’t compromise on talent at No. 1.
2. Marlins: Alex Jackson, C/OF, Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego)
Miami is looking at the same players as Houston, with talk that ownership could dictate a Rodon selection. Recent word has senior club officials enamored with Jackson, the best bat and position player available.
3. White Sox: Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
Chicago almost certainly will take a pitcher, with a preference for college arms and Rodon No. 1 on its list. If Rodon is gone, the White Sox could pass on Aiken and Kolek and opt for Louisiana State right-hander Aaron Nola.
4. Cubs: Nick Gordon, SS, Olympia HS (Orlando, Fla.)
Though Chicago needs and wants pitching, it could spend a top-10 choice on a position player for the fourth straight year. If Aiken and Rodon aren’t available, there’s a growing sense that the Cubs would pass on Kolek in favor of Gordon or Jackson. A healthy Hoffman would have been the obvious choice here, and if Chicago doesn’t see an obvious fit, it could cut a deal with Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost and save money to spend elsewhere.
5. Twins: Tyler Kolek, RHP, Shepherd (Texas) HS
Minnesota may just see which of the top five prospects remains on the board at No. 5. If the Twins go outside that group, it likely would be for a college starter such as left-handers Kyle Freeland (Evansville) or Sean Newcomb (Hartford). If they want a money-saver, the pick could be Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West High outfielder Monte Harrison.
Posted: May 27, 2014 at 10:42 AM | 7 comment(s)
Monday, May 26, 2014
Alex Jackson seems to be getting some pre-draft helium.
“Many of the Astros people believe that picking a pitcher at the top is a gamble because of the historical predictability of pitchers,” says another club official friendly with the Houston front office. Last year, if they hadn’t been able to do a deal with (Stanford pitcher) Mark Appel, (North Carolina third baseman) Colin Moran was in their mix. I think it’s certain that Alex Jackson is a name they are looking at closely.”
Posted: May 26, 2014 at 02:41 PM | 1 comment(s)
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