The complaining has already begun, based on some of the names we have heard the Cardinals have brought in for workouts. Workouts! I feel like Allen Iverson. “We’re talking about…practice”.
We all want upside, that is to say we all want our favorite team to draft big leaguers. And I’m sure Cardinals front office people care a lot more about finding big leaguers than we do, after all, it’s their jobs are on the line. In order to stay level-headed, let’s just remember:
- 57% of all college hitters in the first round bust. 11% become stars. Including the stars, 19% become every day regulars.
- 65% of all high school hitters bust. 9% become stars. Stars included, 19% become every day players.
- I’ve already ranted about high school pitchers, but college pitchers aren’t much better so I’ll just lump them together. 69% of all pitchers drafted in the first round bust. Just 3% become stars during their first six seasons. Including stars, 12% became average regulars or better.
- About 7 of the 10 names you hear called tomorrow evening are going to flop, even some of the ballyhooed (and expensive) “big upside” players.
Numbers are from ’90-’99 drafts.
If you read the scouting reports, it would lead you to conclude every one of these players is going to succeed at one level or another in the big leagues. They’re just simply not. Most of them will fail utterly due to injuries or just the lack of being able to adjust to pro ball.
In the nineties, the 19th overall pick was good for an average of .5 wins above replacement per year. This is probably meaningless, but 2 out of the ten were position players – Alex Rios and Shannon Stewart, and both players were the only players who did not bust.
Not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, I for one love draft day. But the reality is very few of these players will be as good as advertised. We may read some glowing reviews on a player from Baseball America or wherever, but obviously doesn’t make a player a guaranteed major leaguer, let alone a star. Let’s be patient before judging a draft. In all honesty, we can’t even judge the 2005 draft properly yet. And even the teams that are considered to be the best at drafting take some flops at times.
Tools are good. Upside is good. Actually realizing that upside is much, much better, and we won’t know what player A or player B will perform for sure for quite a while. Let’s not completely rush to make snap judgments.