Friday, April 22, 2011

The 2008 Draft - A One Year Too Early Look

It's commonly said that it takes 4-5 years to properly evaluate a baseball draft. So naturally, let's take a look at Neal Huntington's first draft one year too early.

The scouting rule of thumb is:
Draft 50 players
Sign 30 players
Get 20 to AA
Get 1 starter and 1 bench/bullpen guy from each draft class

Let's see how the Pirates 2008 draft class has done so far:
Drafted 50 players (check)
Signed 32 players (check)
Got 8 to AA so far (not great)
Got Alvarez to the majors as a starter (very good, even if he is starting slow this year)

There are 6 more players that have the strong possibility of getting to AA in the form of Robbie Grossman, David Rubinstein, Jarek Cunningham, Quinton Miller, Benji Gonzalez, and Calvin Anderson. That would make 14 players, which is still less than the rule-of-thumb, but would be a good group of 14 players from the draft.

Right now Chase d'Arnaud, Justin Wilson, and Matt Hague are in the holding tank at AAA awaiting a callup. It's quite possible that 1 of the 3 will at least be a bench guy and 1 guy will be a starter. That would be 2 starter and 1 bench/bullpen guy. That doesn't even account for the 6 guys mentioned above that have yet to reach AA. It's quite possible that 2 of the 6 will reach the majors and be at least a bench player.

So out of Huntington's first draft, it's very realistic to see 2 starters and 3 bench guys, at worst. That would be a very successful draft class and give us all confidence that future draft classes will be as fruitful.

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