Andrew Miller and today’s draft

DMZ · June 6, 2006 at 11:55 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

So, you may have noticed, but I was hoping against hope that Miller would be there for the M’s. The team has a ton of money to sign him, he’s as much a stellar prospect as anyone about to be drafted is (though, yes, maybe not on the Griffey-Rodriguez level), and while I’m not in favor of drafting for need, the system could really use a pitcher of his talent.

I read the news after I got out of a meeting today, having read Dave’s post, and my reaction as I went down the list was
1) The Royals are fools, I can’t believe it’s true they’re not–
2) oh my gosh, Dave’s right
3) no way, it’s happening
4) this is so awesome
5) yup, that’s my team

Now, here’s the other thing. You’ve also read us heap praise on scouting director Bob Fontaine. I think we all have an enormous amount of respect for him, and if he really wanted to take someone else over Miller, well, he’s better at this stuff than I am. But the quotes supporting the pick are really irrelevant for determining whether that’s what happened, or whether he and Bavasi went to ownership and said “We want to draft Miller, he’s an outstanding pick, but it’s going to take at least $6m to get him and there’s a risk he won’t sign at all”. The team would say the same thing in either case.

And really, we don’t know if Miller’s going to turn out better. He may get injured, or not sign, or take up addictive drug abuse… so I’m not going to spend a lot of energy grinding my teeth and complaining about this.

But if I had to bet, I would bet on two things:
– Andrew Miller will prove to be the superior pick, even if he signs for $6m or $8m
– Ownership, in the same way that the four teams ahead of them did, figured that draft picks are risky anyway, so better to gamble on getting 80% of the player for 50% of the cost than wager more and potentially win big

And it’s that second one, more than anything else, that has me down, because beyond the loss of the pick and its implications for how they want their baseball people to go about putting a team together, it means they’re not learning from their mistakes.


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