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Thursday, January 11, 2018

THT: The Boston Red Sox Are the MLB Draft Kings

Which team has accumulated the most “Future WAR” with its draft picks during the draft era while averaging the least advantageous spot on the board? Remarkably, the Boston Red Sox are the only ball club to amass over 2000 Future WAR while averaging the second-lowest picks in the draft. Only the New York Yankees have worked with a lower average pick, and they are 14th in total Future WAR.

djordan Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:02 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston red sox, draft

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   1. Man o' Schwar Posted: January 11, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5605008)
The Cubs are dragged down here by the staggeringly awful performance from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. Despite having teams that weren't in contention to win anything (1989 excepted), their drafts were truly horrendous.

Starting in 1988, here is the cumulative WAR by years for all players the Cubs chose in the June draft:

1988: -1.6
1989: -3.0
1990: -0.6
1992: -3.4
1993: +6.8 (3.1 for Kevin Orie, 2.2 for Brooks Kieschnick, and 2.9 for Jose Molina)
1994: +6.2 (6.4 for Kyle Farnsworth)

I skipped 1991, when they actually found a couple of decent players (Doug Glanville, Steve Trachsel, and John Lieber). Then in 1995, they drafted Kerry Wood, and things started to get a little better. But those were dark times if you were a Cub fan looking for help from the farm system.

   2. John DiFool2 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:44 PM (#5605119)
Mike Harkey was the biggest bust that I can remember.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2018 at 08:51 PM (#5605126)
Is this counting players who don't sign? It seems like it from reading the article that someone like Roger Clemens is counted for the Mets. That would seem to really skew the results since a lot of times these guys are drafted with no chance that they'll come to agreement.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5605144)
Yes it does. The article says the Red Sox would still be first even if you account for that. I’m with you though, I think that would be a better look. I’d be curious how much it moves the results. I wouldn’t be shocked if it didn’t make a big difference. Every team takes flyers on guys they don’t expect to sign.
   5. djordan Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:30 PM (#5605157)
Yeah #3, I tabulated Total Future WAR first, then went deep on the Top Five teams. The Mets were fourth in terms of Total Future War, then found that the Muts only signed 56% of the players drafted who would eventually make the majors, vs the Sox, who signed 81%.

Here's the deleted scene of my research which I couldn't explain but was interesting. I calculated the Annual Total Future War for each draft class, up to 2014. I went back and forth with Allan Simpson, who wrote "Baseball America's Ultimate Draft Book," trying to account for the fall in Total Future WAR from 1968 until 1976. I don't possess the evidence (and the NFL draft doesn't show as much of a drop in their version of "Value" for those years,) but I believe that the Vietnam War explains at least part of this drop.

Would love to hear your thoughts. See below.

1965 1011.9
1966 1029.7
1967 1061.5
1968 1131.2
1969 1092
1970 950
1971 978
1972 984
1973 861.6
1974 945.3
1975 637.1
1976 1144
1977 988.2
1978 1359.3
1979 1025.3
1980 659.9
1981 1405.9
1982 1684.9
1983 978.8
1984 1088.4
1985 1372.7
1986 1271.2
1987 1092.7
1988 957
1989 1080.5
1990 852.6
1991 928.1
1992 863.1
1993 835.4
1994 772.1
1995 871
1996 750.5
1997 825.5
1998 905
1999 928.5
2000 935.5
2001 804.1
2002 978.1
2003 764.3
2004 828.5
2005 991.2
2006 815.6
2007 741.2
2008 584.9
2009 621.4
2010 473.4
2011 360.5
2012 179.5
2013 73.3
2014 41.8

   6. SoSH U at work Posted: January 11, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5605164)
I don't possess the evidence (and the NFL draft doesn't show as much of a drop in their version of "Value" for those years,) but I believe that the Vietnam War explains at least part of this drop.

Would love to hear your thoughts. See below.

I think it's just another way of illustrating what we already know - there was a dearth of Hall of Fame quality players that debuted from the mid 70s to the early 80s (for instance, there were no obvious Hall of Fame pitchers debuting between Blyleven in 1970 and Clemens in 1984).

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