I must have missed this from about a month ago, but Jim Callis of Baseball America put together a “grade point average” for the last four draft grades Baseball America has given out. This should give us an indication how the Luhnow era is going. Go to the link if you would like to see how the all major league teams, but for our purposes let’s look within the NL Central to see how the Cardinals did against their division rivals.
So the Cardinals were slightly below league average, while the Cubs and Astros were rather odious. Odious is putting it mild for the Astros, who were the worst of the worst. When handing out draft grades, Baseball America is looking for bottom line results; guys who made it to the majors and are producing, or hot prospects that they strongly believe will make it. It’s not a scouting director’s fault if his team goes cheap, and they surely don’t have any control over when their team picks.
To try and account for this, let’s fudge around a bit to try and neutralize. I’m sure there’s probably a better way to do this, but for now I’m simply going to divide each teams original GPA by their average amount spent and then multiply that by a new budget that will be the same for each team. The average team in the NL Central was $5M.
|Team||2008||2007||2006||2005||Average||GPA||GPA $ Neutral (ish)|
If there’s one thing the Reds have done well, it’s drafting players. With these “neutralized” rankings, the Cardinals have done as well, per dollar as the Brewers, who are well known for their strength in drafting players. The Pirates have had to spend a little bit more money, being they draft a lot higher than your average team due to their perennial stenchocity. They’ve had some painfully bad whiffs. (Daniel Moskos over Matt Wieters, anyone?)
To help you adjust in your head a little more, here is where the team had its highest draft picks during this span.
The Pirates had the most high draft picks due to their perennial poopiness, and really have had little to show for it. The Reds and Brewers also have benefited from picking in the top half of the draft.
Finally, here is the amount of Top 200 picks each team had to choose from with each year.
|Team||2008||2007||2006||2005||Avg. Top 200|
No wonder we liked the 2005 draft so much. Not only did the Cardinals go “high ceiling” in that draft, they had a lot of picks to play with that year. As it turns out, the Cardinals have had more picks than their competitors, but it hasn’t really helped them in the rankings.
What can you say about the 2007 draft for the Astros? They had no 1st or 2nd round pick, because Ed Wade just had to sign Carlos Lee for 6-years, $100 million. And he just had to sign a 40-year old Woody Williams. Both players helped the team go 73-89 that year, job well done. The Astros didn’t have a pick until the 3rd round, and they didn’t sign that pick, or their 4th round pick. This super-work apparently gets you a two-year extension from Drayton MacLane.
I know this isn’t a perfect way to look at things, but hopefully it gives you an idea of how Luhnow has played the cards he’s been dealt.
(Credit where credit is due, I pretty much stole this post idea from FutureSox.com)