Draft day, woo!

DMZ · June 6, 2006 at 1:18 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Andrew Miller falls to the M’s over signability concerns! Please oh please oh please!

So cross your fingers, pray to your diety or dieties of choice, and listen to the quite boring broadcast starting at about 10am our time.

At the PI, Andriesen says the team’s “expected to take a college pitcher“.

Now, with the high cost of signing a top pick, most teams stick with college-seasoned players with their top picks, particularly when it comes to pitchers.

It’s close: last year’s first round was 58% college players (28/48 by my count) and 2004 was about the same (25/41).

Jason Churchill’s got a Farm Report column at the PI on the drafts that manages to offer a nice summary of what happened, and quotes some anonymous dudes.

Or, if you want a longer piece that bares its teeth, try the Seattle Times: “M’s off target in recent drafts” takes the M’s to task for poor drafting over the last n years. Includes this quote:

“There is some depth, but I really don’t see a lot of high-end-type guys,” said Deric McKamey, author of the 2006 Minor League Baseball Analyst. “As far as having some standout players who are going to be stud major-league players, I just don’t see it. There just seems like a lot of backup infielder types, middle relievers, that sort of thing.”

I have a hard time believing that McKamey said that, just like that, without additional context. Really, just in Tacoma there’s Asdrubal Cabrera, Adam Jones, that one guy Jim likes… has a famous brother? I forget. Then there’s some guy raised in Australia who hits like a maniac. Not that Jones, to take one, isn’t without risk, but he’s certainly a high-reward player. Jones’ upside is a stellar defensive centerfielder who hits for scary power. If that’s not a possible stand-out, I’m not sure what is.

Anyway. It’s got fun quotes like

“Well, consider that since the Mariners selected Gil Meche in the first round in 1996, they have not drafted a single player in the first round who is currently on their roster.

They have drafted only one other player in the first round — pitcher Matt Thornton, picked in 1998 and now with the White Sox — who is on a big-league roster anywhere.”

1997 – Ryan Anderson
1998 – Matt Thornton
1999 – Heaverlo (supplemental 1st round)
2000 – no pick
2001 – Michael Garciaparra (supplemental)
2002 – John Mayberry
2003 – Adam Jones (supplemental)
2004 – no pick
2005 – Jeff Clement

If I may, that’s kind of a harsh statement. The value of a pick drops dramatically after the first few picks, and because the team was signing free agents by the bushel, they didn’t get many true first round picks. Now, whether that strategy was good or not, we can debate, and certainly they didn’t get any value out of later picks, either (I’m sure if you’ve read USSM for more than a few weeks you’ve come across us slagging the Gillick-Mattox drafts). The Times article mentions this a ways into the article, but it seems like as a quick, top-level stat, it makes it seem like the Mariners had almost 10 years of quality first round picks and came away with nothing, when they didn’t get that.

So, for fun…

Best Players Drafted After Failed M’s Picks
A horribly unfair retrospective
1997 – ugh. Adam Kennedy, maybe?
1998 – Brad Wilkerson
1999 – not alot
2001 – David Wright
2002 – Uh, Jeremy Reed, who went in the second round? I’m reaching here
… and that’s with full hindsight

Also contains a nice quote from Bavasi:

“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.”

I don’t understand what that Washburn sentence means, but I entirely agree with the larger sentiment there.


22 Responses to “Draft day, woo!”

  1. Replacement level poster on June 6th, 2006 4:19 am

    Johnathon Mayo on MLB.com has Miller falling all the way to 11. If the he drops to the M’s and they pass, well I’ll die a little inside.

    Linkage (I hope I do this right…)

  2. Replacement level poster on June 6th, 2006 4:24 am

    Sorry, I failed my first attempt. Here is my last and final try…

    Link to Article

  3. Bodhizefa on June 6th, 2006 5:41 am

    Since I know we’re not getting Miller, I’ve started to hope that Morrow really is the next Verlander. Anyone care to venture what the odds are that Morrow (or whomever we pick) actually helps us out by 2007? At all?

  4. Replacement level poster on June 6th, 2006 6:06 am

    From everything I have heard, all of the pitchers are probably at least as far away as Fall 2007 at the earliest. The only exception would be Lincecum but that would be as reliever at the start of 07, and it would probably be wiser to use him as a starter, at which point his command needs to improve, and he would then be no closer than the end of 07 as well.

  5. davepaisley on June 6th, 2006 6:17 am

    diety, deity, tomayto, tomahto…

  6. Dave on June 6th, 2006 6:45 am

    As far as I can tell, the M’s will get a shot at Andrew Miller today. Seriously.

    The top 4 looks like its going to go Hochevar, Reynolds, Lincoln, Longoria in that order. That would leave Miller for the M’s, who have him #1 on their board. Unless Miller’s contract demands are so absurd that they don’t think he’ll sign, I can’t see the M’s passing on him.

  7. Bodhizefa on June 6th, 2006 6:52 am


    All the Rockies’ scouts I’ve been chatting with at the UNC games have been whispering their hopes that the Royals would go with anyone but Miller. I know this is a very ground level perspective, and I haven’t talked to anyone in over a week now, but would the Rockies’ organization really pass up on a pitcher like Miller if they all seemingly adore the guy? Are his contract demands that astronomical?

    Not questioning your info, man. I’m actually just curious as to how this whole draft game works.

  8. Martino on June 6th, 2006 6:55 am

    Dave, is Miller dropping due to contract demands or is there something else that’s scaring teams off?

  9. bill1410 on June 6th, 2006 6:56 am

    There’s a big draft day article on Ryan Anderson in today’s USA Today:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/draft/ 2006-06-05-focus-anderson_x.htm

    His baseball career is over after 3 shoulder surgeries and he’s now at the Culinary Institute in Arizona learning to become a chef. One of the funny parts is that the Mariners are paying half his tuition.

  10. bill1410 on June 6th, 2006 6:57 am
  11. Dave on June 6th, 2006 7:00 am

    It’s not uncommon for the bigwigs of poorly run organizations to muck up a draft pick. San Diego was set to take Stephen Drew #1 a few years ago, but after a weekend of negotiations that didn’t go very well, the owner stepped in and told them that Drew was out, and they should go for local high school shortstop Matt Bush.

    Last year, Tampa Bay was ordered to select Wade Townsand by the ownership group. He promptly tore his arm to pieces.

    Peter Angelos routinely puts his word in and influences who the Orioles select as the draft gets closer.

    It wouldn’t be weird, at all, for the Rockies scouts to get overruled by upper management, especially if the Rockies are saving $2-3 million in signing bonus.

  12. Free Dan Rohn! on June 6th, 2006 7:01 am

    Ryan will be making the Ichirolls next year.

  13. Bodhizefa on June 6th, 2006 7:29 am

    Baseball America currently has Miller falling to the D-backs at #11. That’d be both ludicrous and amazing, as the D-backs, who are already prospect-rich, would become kingly.

  14. Rockymariner on June 6th, 2006 8:02 am

    The Rocky Mountain news has Miller falling to Detroit at #6.

  15. joser on June 6th, 2006 8:30 am

    Looking at that Washburn quote, I think Bavasi is trying to say that a high-priced FA pitcher is worth more added to a team that already includes a well-developed rotation. Why the rest of rotation would have to come from the farm system is unclear, unless he’s also implicitly saying that’s the only way anybody other than the Yankees can afford to build a quality rotation. Ah, whatever. Did the Times writer (or anyone at the newspaper) actually read what he wrote before publishing it?

    Is there some mystical connection between baseball and cooking? What is with all the overlap — at least around the periphery of the Mariners? Baseball and beer, I could see. But culinary institutes? Is it all the finesse and repetition? It seems less strange somehow that a washed-up pitcher would go on to a second career in haute cuisine vs, say, a washed-up linebacker… but why?

  16. SoulofaCitizen on June 6th, 2006 8:57 am

    Well 1999 did have a guy named Pujols, although that was us and everyone else. I’m glad we went with hitters like Bloomquist, though…

  17. SoulofaCitizen on June 6th, 2006 9:01 am

    Also, though the McKamey quote is silly and misleading, the rest of the Times piece seems pretty on-target, pretty much what people have been saying on this board about the folly of strip-mining your future for marginal (and sometimes less marginal) free agents.

  18. Graham on June 6th, 2006 9:02 am

    Wasn’t one of the reasons Bavasi signed Washburn because he didn’t have to give up a second round draft pick to get him? I assumed that was what he meant.

    P.S. If they don’t take Miller when they have the chance, I will break something.

  19. msb on June 6th, 2006 9:10 am

    His baseball career is over after 3 shoulder surgeries and he’s now at the Culinary Institute in Arizona learning to become a chef. One of the funny parts is that the Mariners are paying half his tuition.

    why is that funny? like pretty much every team, the Mariners include scholarship money for their high-school draftees; they even have a player education coordinator who manages the advanced-education for any of the minor-leaguers (or former minor leaguers) who participate.

  20. Paul on June 6th, 2006 9:31 am

    Looking at Jason Churchill’s top ten prospects list, it jumps out that 6 of 10 are non-drafted international players. Several of the current roster are also in that category, developed or first brought into MLB by the M’s (Ichiro, Johjima, Betancourt, Lopez, King Felix, Mateo, Pineiro, Soriano, Rivera and I guess Petagine(?))

    Are the M’s better at international player scouting and development than the competition? Does it make up for the draft ineptness? Are they better off focusing resources on that area of player development?


  21. Mike Snow on June 6th, 2006 9:31 am

    One point to keep in mind about the Mariners’ draft history: Don’t penalize them for Mayberry. Adam Jones is the pick they got for not signing Mayberry, and I’d much rather have Jones right now.

  22. ConorGlassey on June 6th, 2006 9:47 am

    Even ignoring Pujols, there were some good players taken in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the ’99 draft: Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Justin Morneau and Hank Blalock.

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