Draft Day Rumblings

Dave · June 6, 2006 at 8:28 am · Filed Under Mariners 

So here’s the deal – in about 100 minutes or so, the Mariners are going to announce their selection with the fifth pick in the first round. Andrew Miller is probably going to be available when they select, and if you don’t know how I feel about Miller, read this.

However, it’s now becoming quite possible that the Mariners will not only have the chance to select Miller, but pass that chance up in favor of another player. The sound you will hear, if that happens, will be me throwing things around the room.

Andrew Miller is, by far, the best prospect in this draft. It’s not even close. Circumstances have conspired to make it likely that the M’s will have a chance to add the best prospect in the draft, one who is absolutely a perfect fit for the organization, and there’s a chance they might screw it up.

If you work in a high rise, you might want to have someone put a mattress outside your window, because in just under two hours, we’re either going to be really, really thrilled, or really, really pissed.


330 Responses to “Draft Day Rumblings”

  1. hbcondor3 on June 6th, 2006 2:19 pm

    If you guys want to feel a little better about some of our draft picks, do a little research on the 7th round pick by the Angels. This is a guy that hit .149 and struck out in half of his ABs as a junior in 2005. He then did not play baseball as a senior. Interestingly, he was also a 7th round draft pick in the NFL this year. I am sure he is a good athlete, but the 7th round???

  2. Cynical Optimist on June 6th, 2006 2:19 pm

    Fair enough. I was exaggerating to make a point when I wrote that. But I’m not sure I agree there’s much evidence that Lincoln has noticed “that a policy of expensive free agents without a farm system producing anything to back it up has led to a dramatic attendance decline.”

    Obviously he has to have noticed the decline, but I have no way of knowing what he attributes it to.

  3. Mike Snow on June 6th, 2006 2:28 pm

    Chris Minaker, according to the Stanford Daily, “can’t help smiling at the idea of winning a World Series for the Seattle Mariners someday.”

  4. Dave in Palo Alto on June 6th, 2006 2:29 pm

    It’s all a mystery to me — but Orta? Man, I can’t even find the “raw talent” niche to stick him. Must be a member of the Fellowship, or something. By God, we may win no games, but we’ll bring out the Sunday School groups in droves.

    Or maybe the thinking is we can just scout Venezuela for the real players.

  5. Mr. Egaas on June 6th, 2006 2:36 pm

    Does David Eckstein have a younger, smaller sibling we can nab?

  6. ChrisK on June 6th, 2006 2:40 pm

    I hope Bloomquist doesn’t have any younger siblings.

  7. Mike Snow on June 6th, 2006 2:41 pm

    We don’t need Bloomquist siblings, Minaker is a Bloomquist clone from Lynnwood.

  8. Mat on June 6th, 2006 2:42 pm

    Based on what BA reported for picks 2 through 4, Morrow will sign for somewhere around $3 million. Miller is better than Morrow, but is he three times better?

    We shouldn’t be concerned with the ratio–just the actual difference. That is, the question ought to be: is Miller worth $6M more than Morrow? The M’s only have one big bonus decision to make this year, so there’s no sense in asking whether or not Miller is three times the pitcher that Morrow is. Top 5 draft picks are guys to build your team around–not a place to go bargain basement shopping. Where the team should look to save money is on guys with marginal roles on the team–DH’s without a great track record, replacement level 4th and 5th starters, and guys who sit on the bench 13 days per fortnight.

    $9M is what? 10% of this year’s budget when you include major league and minor league players? Less? That doesn’t seem like a whole lot of money to me to spend on a guy who was the concensus best player in the draft and only dropped because other teams wouldn’t pay him.

  9. Rusty on June 6th, 2006 2:56 pm

    I’m surprised the lessons of Griffey and ARod didn’t play a little more prominently in this draft, i.e. take the #1 consensus pick in the draft if it’s available. Both Griffey and ARod were from out East where presumably they might chafe at playing in the far NW, where they had never visited. Both were drafted by the Mariners at a time when the team was still years from being playoff-bound.

    The main difference is that the Mariners had less of a revenue base from which to pay a big draft bonus back then, than they do now, which speaks even more for drafting Miller.

    This one’s a puzzler. Would Jongewaard have allowed Morrow to be picked over Miller?

  10. Adam S on June 6th, 2006 3:00 pm

    Right, the problem with “saving” $6M on Morrow, if it really is that much, is that four years down the road you’re spending $20M more to get a top FA starting pitcher than you would on a “solid” #4 because Morrow is a #3 or #4 starter while Miller could be a #1 (well 1B with the Mariners).

    Orta… all I can see is he was a stud in HS, which almost goes without saying if he got a scholarship to Miami. But I don’t see anything in the stats that shows potential, like a high K/IP rate; must be all “scouting” on this one. Supposedly he has four pitches that he can command, but you think if that were true he could get out ACC hitters.

  11. msb on June 6th, 2006 3:09 pm

    what were Callis’ numbers from his study covering 1990-1997? “This study includes 2,115 players who signed in the first ten rounds of those drafts. There were 100 more college players selected, and they reached the major leagues at a 39 percent rate. Their high school counterparts reached the majors at only a 28 percent rate … nearly all of that difference comes from replacement level players who fill part-time roles or only stick around the major leagues for a short time. The difference between high school and college players who become regular major-league starters is half a percent (8.8 for college, 8.4 for high school)”

  12. leetinsleyfanclub on June 6th, 2006 3:17 pm

    After reading the announcement about Morrow on the M’s website it would seem Fontaine got his man. Or at least he’s a very good actor.

  13. Mr. Egaas on June 6th, 2006 3:27 pm

    It’s not like the M’s website is gonna say “Whups, we biffed it. If we could do it all over gain, we’d have taken Miller. Tip your hats to the Tigers for not making the same mistake we did.”

  14. Benno on June 6th, 2006 3:48 pm

    I remember another person mentioned it, but the comment about the shoulder reached out from my monitor and poked my eye out. Seems to me that would be a huge concern for Morrow, unless this is a very common problem. I’m not sure how excited to get about a pitcher who has already been shut down due to shoulder problems. Perhaps the M’s just want to get ahead of the attrition curve there?

  15. Mike Snow on June 6th, 2006 3:49 pm

    Best name of the draft: Austin Bibens-Dirkx

  16. Mr. Egaas on June 6th, 2006 3:54 pm

    313. That, and the diabetes. Not to single them out, but if I get a kid who is a consensus top pick in the draft or another one that we can sign for considerably cheaper, had to shut it down early last year with shoulder problems and diabetes later on may have an impact of stamina and not being able to start, I’ve gotta take Miller.

    But, it’s a big difference in money, and it’s not my money.

    2-3 years down the line when Miller is ripping up the American league, it’ll just be another “I told you so.”

    Can’t say I’m super excited about any of the kids we grabbed today.

  17. MarinerDan on June 6th, 2006 4:12 pm

    From an outsider’s perspective, this looks like an awful draft.

    Mediocre RH relievers abound.

    I think we have to reevaluate our assessment of the M’s scouting department.

  18. eponymous coward on June 6th, 2006 4:13 pm

    Well, this is Bavasi’s quote here:


    “I’ve said before that no matter what free agent you sign at the major-league level, they will never have the true impact they could have until you have a minor-league system supplying the club with a core of players,” Bavasi said. “When you sign a [Jarrod] Washburn and you’re throwing him on top of the heap you have, all of a sudden his impact is felt at a greater level as opposed to signing guys like that and catching up with the farm system. … The free-agent market will always be important to major-league clubs — we’re not swearing off that — but scouting and player development will always be the lifeblood.”

    Now, maybe Howard thinks otherwise…but he did hire the dude. I suspect the organization believes this as a whole if Bavasi is making these kinds of statements.

    If the difference between Miller and Morrow really is 6 million, that’s a lot to swallow, but still, if the Mariners are willing to pay 4 million for one year of a stopgap DH, 6 million for the difference between Miller and Morrow for 8 years (assuming 2 in the minors and 6 in the majors) doesn’t strike me as budget-breaking… but perhaps low attendance means the team’s not willing to take a risk of paying a player 9 million who’s never thrown a pitch in pro ball, especially if the perceived difference between Miller and Morrow isn’t huge, and the attendance numbers are down a lot from last year.

    It still bugs me, because it’s a penny-wise, pound-foolish strategy, as pointed out in 307- especially as the team is more than willing to be inefficient with money when it comes to the Bloomquists/Ibañezes/Everetts/Washburns of the world- but we’re operating without insight into the front office thinking.

  19. arbeck on June 6th, 2006 4:34 pm

    I’d hold off ragging on the Morrow pick until we learn more. It could be that Miller let teams know not to draft him because he wouldn’t sign. Weren’t there rumors about him wanting to fall to the Cubs?

    If that is true, the Mariners didn’t want to gamble on him sitting out a year. Sure he might be a better player, but he doesn’t help your system if he’s playing in an independent league.

  20. Bender on June 6th, 2006 4:40 pm

    EC, the millions extra they would spend are on a guy who, statistically, has a pretty damned good chance of never even stepping on the field, let alone being a positive contributor.

    That’s probably why they’re gunshy.

  21. MarinerDan on June 6th, 2006 4:41 pm

    #318 — Alex Rodriguez told the Mariners the same thing, that he wouldn’t sign with Seattle and don’t bother picking him. Can you imagine if we had let that scare us away?

    In addition, Miller doesn’t have the leverage that ARod had (he was signed to go to Miami) — it is very unlikely that Miller would return to UNC or sit out a year and re-enter a much stronger draft.

    Lesson to be learned: Draft the best player available and then work like an SOB to sign him.

  22. dw on June 6th, 2006 4:43 pm

    That, and the diabetes.

    For the umpteenth time, the diabetes isn’t an issue with durability or endurance. He wears a pump on the mound, as does Jason Johnson. And the last I looked, Jason Johnson was still a 100+ pitch starter in the majors, not a 7th inning guy. Ron Santo held together just fine through 15+ seasons with Type 1, and this was before the days of the pump.

    If he has any endurance issues, it’s going to be related to his shoulder troubles, not to his diabetes.

  23. JAS on June 6th, 2006 4:51 pm

    Adam Morrison is a type one diabetic. Being a diabetic myself, I can tell you that exercise only helps – no hurts. Also, Morrow doesn’t wear a pump on the mound. He monitors his blood sugar throughout the game, then make necessary adjustments as he goes.

  24. lylepdx on June 6th, 2006 5:03 pm

    yeah, this diabetic thing is pretty stupid.
    if adam morrison can do it in a much more physically exhausting sport, there’s no reason to worry about morrow. and let’s at least give the mariner’s FO credit enough to assume they talked to doctors (ie. people who know a lot more about diabetes than anybody on here does) and assured themselves through that that he’s gonna be okay.

  25. Nick on June 6th, 2006 5:12 pm

    #320 If Miller doesn’t get the deal he wants, he’ll almost certainly go back to UNC. After all, Hochevar’s example shows that it can work.

  26. gwangung on June 6th, 2006 5:13 pm

    In addition, Miller doesn’t have the leverage that ARod had (he was signed to go to Miami) — it is very unlikely that Miller would return to UNC or sit out a year and re-enter a much stronger draft.

    What’s your evidence for this?

  27. Choska on June 6th, 2006 10:22 pm

    This is a pretty disappointing, but not surprising, result.
    The assumption on the board is that Lincoln made the call not to sign Miller because he was cheap. I’ll play devil’s advocate for a moment.

    Given Bavasi’s track record of wasting tens of millions of dollars, why in the world would Lincoln give Bavasi the green light to roll the dice on Miller. Bavasi = Ken Lay in terms of shareholder value.

    I’m not saying that keeping Bavasi on a short leash is the right decision. What I’m saying is that from Lincoln’s point of view I get the decision. Factor in the possibility that Miller could return to college leaving the Ms with nothing, and the decision to reduce risk with a safe pick makes tons of sense.

    The problem is that if this is what happened, then Lincoln has learned exactly the wrong lesson from the past few years.

    First, if Lincoln is making this decision because he just doesn’t trust Bavasi, then he should have fired Bavasi 8 months ago.

    Second, the reason Bavasi has burned millions of dollars is because he has spent it on truly marginal veterans. The right response is to stop wasting it on those vets, and spend it on the young kids.

    Again, I’m not saying I like this decision. But given the Ms track record of attempting to make low risk decisions, and getting the corresponding low returns, nothing that happened should be even the least bit surprising.

  28. Replacement level poster on June 7th, 2006 12:08 am

    Sweet, Chris Tillman is now my friend on myspace. DMZ on the other hand still won’t add me.

  29. BelaXadux on June 7th, 2006 12:13 am

    A very strange draft, watching Fontaine work. I’ve been concerned in the past with the paucity of quality starting pitchers he’s brought into the Mariners’ system, lots and lots of good relievers, and I like his judgment on position players a bunch, but he’s acquired few frontline starters, although Rohrbaugh and Justin Thomas are his guys and looking fairly good. To me, this draft sounds like, If W. Bloomquist wore a pitcher’s glove, we just got eight or nine of him. With the HS guys, it’ll take a couple of years to know if Fontaine’s judgment is sound, here, but all in all it’s a thoroughly disapppointing lot for the slot the team was drafting in. —Although since they will probably lose 90 this year, maybe they figured they will have a better shot taking Andrew Miller in the ’07 draft. “See you again, same slot next year.” I don’t know that this was ‘a bad draft year,’ but I’m confortable at this point in saying the Ms sure didn’t beat the spread on that line. Bah.

  30. thehiddentrack on June 7th, 2006 12:38 am

    Passing on the best talent in the draft, a bunch of high school pitchers, and a bad college pitcher.

    Why don’t they just clone Gil Meche?

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