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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Baseball America: Luhnow Leads Scouting Directors With 21 Opening Day Players

Score one for the…

Of the 750 players on Opening Day rosters, 572 of them (76 percent) came through the draft. The players range from the 1988 draft (Blue Jays lefthander Darren Oliver, originally picked by the Rangers) to the 2012 draft (Dodgers lefthander Paco Rodriguez). From a round standpoint, there’s No. 1 overall picks such as Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez, Joe Mauer, Justin Upton, Luke Hochevar, David Price, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, to a 50th rounder such as Jarrod Dyson.

But I was curious about which scouting directors had the most players on Opening Day rosters. With the help of Baseball America technology manager Brent Lewis, and Baseball America’s Executive Database, I discovered that the 572 drafted players are the product of 93 different scouting directors. Here are the men with 10 or more draft picks on Opening Day rosters, with the players listed in chronological order from when they were drafted.

Jeff Luhnow (21)

Colby Rasmus, Jaime Garcia, Mitchell Boggs, Adam Ottavino, Allen Craig, Chris Perez, Jon Jay, Luke Gregerson, Shane Robinson, Clayton Mortensen, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, Tony Cruz, Brett Wallace, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Ryan Jackson, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal.

Luhnow was scouting director for the Cardinals from 2005-11, and was responsible for drafting many of the players on the team’s 2011 World Series team. He is now the general manager for the Astros.

Eddie Bane (10)

Jered Weaver, Mark Trumbo, Martin Maldonado, Peter Bourjos, Hank Conger, Jordan Walden, Andrew Romine, Garrett Richards, Mike Trout and Pat Corbin.

Bane was the Angels scouting director from 2004-10, and he now works as a special assistant in the Red Sox front office.

Repoz Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:50 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

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   1. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:17 AM (#4404983)
Interesting article, even though the different tenures and different average draft positions undoubtedly have an effect on the various scouting directors' numbers and player lists.

Luhnow leads the list of 23 scouting directors with 21 players, but just at a glance, I'd rather have 19 of the other scouting directors' groups of players. I'm sure Astros fans are hoping the quantity-over-quality nature of Luhnow's list is due to the Cardinals' average draft position during Luhnow's tenure rather than a tendency by Luhnow to be overly conservative.
   2. Russ Posted: April 05, 2013 at 06:05 AM (#4405007)
Luhnow leads the list of 23 scouting directors with 21 players, but just at a glance, I'd rather have 19 of the other scouting directors' groups of players.

I agree... Clark's list is pretty much an outlier in the list of lists. The amount of quality there is pretty startling.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: April 05, 2013 at 06:11 AM (#4405010)
It's also relevant to the discussion we had recently about how quickly a team can rebuild. Obviously we'd have to include existing prospects, international signings, whatever FAs a low-mid budget team might sign plus the occasional lucky trade ... but none of those lists look particularly close to 5-year rebuilds. It is hard to tell, as Joe mentioned, given the different tenures, draft positions, etc.

The guy with the Expos/Nats for 8 years did a nice job on pitching and R Zimmerman and Desmond. That would certainly be a nice core of a team as the current Nats show. If we played a new GM taking over in 2005 game, he grabs Zimmerman in the 2005 draft, Strasburg hits in 2010 but the Nats are still 69-93 and the 2011 Nats made it to 500. And just 24 of the 44 players used in 2011 were acquired through non-FA/non-trade means. LaRoche and Werth were the major FAs, Morse and Ramos the major trades.

The Braves guy has a very strong list but that's over 10 drafts. The Marlins guy has been at it for 10 years and he has a couple of big names (Stanton, Johnson) and a couple of other average guys but that's a long way from a champion. The Pirates guy has done OK and they might push 500. The guy with the Royals from 2001-8 was pretty good -- Greinke, Aviles, Butler, Gordon, Moose and Hosmer. Not a lot of depth and the Royals might finally be making a move after improving their rotation from outside.

Eddie Bane led the Angels effort from 2004-10 and grabbed Weaver and Trout (and Trumbo and Bourjos and some other pieces). That could be the core of a strong rebuilt team but you'd still need a lot of pieces.

Finally, Rizzo used to do this with the DBacks for 7 years and Uggla, Hairston, Upton, Quentin, Santos, Reynolds, Anderson, Scherzer is a strong list. Almost none of those guys ever got much of a chance with the DBacks but is a deep group. I'm not sure any of them were good at the same time though.

If you were starting with a system as empty as Pitt (when Hutchinson took over), KC (Moore) or Houston, I don't see how you can realistically expect to compete in 5 years. You don't even get to draft until middle of your first year. In any given draft, you're lucky to get one good and one decent player. By your 5th year, you've only had 4 drafts and you've only got 2-4 of those drafted players in the majors. I think it would be extremely difficult to be a 500 team by year 5/6 in that circumstance.
   4. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4405074)
Walt alludes to this but it's important to remember that these hauls aren't over equal amounts of time. Also, opportunities aren't evenly distributed - some org have more openings or are more willing to use rookies in those spots.

I'm sure Astros fans are hoping the quantity-over-quality nature of Luhnow's list is due to the Cardinals' average draft position during Luhnow's tenure rather than a tendency by Luhnow to be overly conservative.

I think it was both - also, maybe a bit of doing what they were good at. If the Cards are relatively good at identifying collegians who are interesting marginal prospects and at developing them, then they should focus on them a bit more than higher ceiling / lower likelihood of making it / equivalently rated prep options. (I'm pretending for a second that things like publically available predraft rankings are a reasonable method of gauging a player's perceived pre-draft value.) And, indeed, when I've looked at STL drafts during the Luhnow period, I'd see a lot of guys who I thought fit that build - much in the way Oakland drafts looked in the just before Moneyball era. (Some of that may be Megdal's influence, I dunno)
I would not characterize the most recent Houston draft (where they had a lot of money to work with) as conservative - furthermore, I thought they were relatively creative with the Correa pick and how that allowed them to get more top talents (mind you, you could argue that that option was happenstance).
   5. depletion Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4405120)
I didn't find the word "Mets" on this page.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4405132)
Why wouldn't you count the Latin American signings as well? Shouldn't be too hard to tell who was scouting director when a guy was signed, and I would think the scouting director is proving his value a lot more in choosing who to sign, than through the draft, where good teams are penalized by draft order.
   7. thetailor (Brian) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4405443)
I really love this list:

Logan White (12)

Eric Stults, James Loney, James McDonald, Jonathan Broxton, Russell Martin, A.J. Ellis, Matt Kemp, Wesley Wright, Xavier Paul, Justin Ruggiano, Clayton Kershaw and Paco Rodriguez.

Does this team win a theoretical matchup against the others? I think Kemp and Kershaw are enough.
   8. DA Baracus Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4405510)
Does this team win a theoretical matchup against the others? I think Kemp and Kershaw are enough.

I think Clark wins: Adam LaRoche, Adam Wainwright, Kelly Johnson, Jeff Francoeur, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, Jordan Schafer, Tommy Hanson, Tyler Flowers, Yunel Escobar, Jeff Locke, Kris Medlen, Cory Gearrin, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, J.J. Hoover and Mike Minor.

Kemp and Kershaw are obviously the best players between the two but that's a deeper team.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4405529)
Yea, that Braves list is ridiculous. There is a reason Roy Clark is considered one of the best at what he does.

I mean, if you're only talking about two players (Kemp and Kershaw) would they even beat Dana Brown's team (Harper and Stras, not to mention Jordan and Ryan Zimemrman, Ian Desmona, and Danny Espinosa)
   10. Walt Davis Posted: April 05, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4405628)
I wasn't that impressed by White's list given his rep. I also assumed the guy in Texas would be more impressive but I guess a lot of their young talent was stolen from the Braves. Clark's list is even more impressive if you add Andrus and Feliz. Does Luhnow get credit for Tavares?

Anyway, I don't know if these guys are in charge of Latin American signings too. I'd assume so but maybe teams run international scouting differently.
   11. Danny Posted: April 06, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4406167)
I had no idea that Anthony Recker and Landon Powell were competing for a roster spot again this year.

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