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Jeremy Nygaard
03-13-2013, 08:47 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1453-Draft-Board-v-2-0-(3-13)

ashburyjohn
03-13-2013, 09:27 PM
You've got me sold on Gray for the moment - it's gotta be a pitcher. But with so much time until the draft, and at #4, the Twins will be favored to pick a lot of different guys between now and then.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-13-2013, 09:40 PM
Agreed. But a pitcher flying up the board like he has, really benefits the Twins.

Now what if I told you Jonathan Gray was Jeff Gray's second cousin, once-removed? (I'm totally kidding, by the way.)

mike wants wins
03-13-2013, 09:49 PM
I wish the Appel would fall again.....but why would he, really?

3rd Inning Stretch
03-13-2013, 10:09 PM
If Frazier is there, I don't think you can pass, OF or not. Deal with it four years from now when he's ready.

Jeff P
03-13-2013, 10:27 PM
I want Appel but if it means taking a bunch cheap options in later rounds then I would pass. There are too many good prospects to effectively put so many eggs in one basket. I would rather play it straight up and take a chance that he won't sign for near slot. Worst case is we get #5 next year in what is supposed to be a deeper draft.

mike wants wins
03-13-2013, 10:31 PM
And you keep passing on ace potential pitchers, where do you get them? Not in trade....not in free agency....if the twins do not draft them, how do they get them?

YourHouseIsMyHouse
03-13-2013, 10:35 PM
Agreed. But a pitcher flying up the board like he has, really benefits the Twins.

Now what if I told you Jonathan Gray was Jeff Gray's second cousin, once-removed? (I'm totally kidding, by the way.)

That was my first thought that came to mind. Hmmm J. Gray..... Where have I seen that before?

YourHouseIsMyHouse
03-13-2013, 10:41 PM
I really think we have no chance at getting Manaea with #4. I would say there are only 3 viable options for the Twins. That would be Appel, Stanek, and Gray. It should get easier from there if any of those guys are drafted in the top 3 along with Manaea as well. I liked the Buxton pick at the time last year, but there is absolutely no reason not to grab a pitcher this year with the first pick. Appel is definitely the first choice and the Twins would be nuts to pass on him. I still favor Stanek over Gray, but if those are the only 2 left (of the three I mentioned) it becomes a very interesting situation.

Kwak
03-13-2013, 11:01 PM
I have not heard of any SS or C named as potential "top 5" talent--therefore, it's clear--Best Available Pitcher. True, we have all read about the high prospect rankings for some Twins minor leaguers. Sadly, many prospects don't pan out--so a franchise had better be loaded with them to ensure a steady flow of quality pitching advancing to the parent team. The Twins need to overstock on pitching.

2wins87
03-13-2013, 11:54 PM
How about Reese McGuire or Jonathan Denney? Might not end up being top 5 guys, but from what I've read they could go top ten, and have bats that might play at a corner outfield spot, but could definitely stick at catcher if a team doesn't want to rush them (sounds like the Twins).

I'd at least have them on my prospects to watch.

clutterheart
03-14-2013, 02:52 AM
Right now, Frazier should be the #1 pick but lot can happen between now and then. I'm thinking Appel will be gone by the time the Twins pick. But I think if Manaea is available, they take him
If the Twins don't draft a pitcher, hope they take this guy:
2013 MLB Draft Profile: Jonathan Denney, C, Oklahoma HS - Minor League Ball (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/3/8/4074648/2013-mlb-draft-profile-jonathan-denney-c-oklahoma-hs)

I am surprised he didn't make your board. In the few sites I read, he is getting a lot of steam and if he has a good year, he'll be a top 10 pick.
This team could use a good catcher and right now, he looks to be the best of the bunch.

jmlease1
03-14-2013, 08:46 AM
I both love Appel and am terrified of him. And Scott Boras has very little to do with it, although that is a bit of a problem is it means the Twins can't make quality signings because they have to go so far over slot to sign him. But if you draft him with the #4 pick, you really have to sign him, right? My real concern is that he's Mark Prior, vol. II. He's put up some ridiculous pitch counts in college and it has me concerned that he's going to break down quickly. You'd like the #4 overall pick to have a MLB career that's more than 3 solid seasons, 1 great season, and then no more seasons.

Fortunately the draft is a ways off. The Twins have 2 major needs in the system: high-end starting pitching (because you always need it) and middle infield. But it doesn't look like there's a killer SS prospect right now.

2wins87
03-14-2013, 09:04 AM
I'm not so sure Frazier isn't a guy who can be passed up for some of the other players in the draft. This may be me just rationalizing why the Twins shouldn't pick another toolsy CF if he's available at #4, but he's only 5'11" with a fairly solid frame already, so there's not that much room for projection. He'll also be almost 19 at draft time, this isn't something you consider if he's the best player available, but guys that are younger for their level do tend to have more future success.

Anyway, before the season started I didn't see anyone saying that if he and Buxton were in the same class, Frazier would go ahead of Buxton. I'm not sure the HS season will change that, Buxton just has a lot more projectability. But it's hard to ignore a guy who's done nothing but hit bombs since the season started, so I don't know. I'm sort of hoping that he keeps it up so one of the teams ahead of the Twins feels that they can't pass and the Twins get a shot at their favorite pitcher.

Forever34
03-14-2013, 09:51 AM
Isn't Appel a senior this year? If Bor******* can't threaten to make him sit out again what leverage does he have? What's he going to do? Play in the Northern League until someone gives him the money he wants? This is the perfect year to take him.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 09:59 AM
Both the prep catchers are on the radar. As of about a week ago, McGuire's season hadn't started, so he hadn't been scouted by the regional supervisor. I'll have to dig more on Denney. My gut says they don't go in the top 10. But my gut's been wrong before.

Frazier probably profiles better in the corner of the outfield. From a scout who has seen him (and Meadows and Buxton) a number of times, "Frazier has power, not the same hitter as Meadows, but a power threat each time he steps in the box. Frazier can run, throw & has power but is not the hitter or fielder Byron was." Frazier would be a perfect right-fielder, right-handed power hitter at Target Field. (I'd even take him at 3B.)

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 10:01 AM
Isn't Appel a senior this year? If Bor******* can't threaten to make him sit out again what leverage does he have? What's he going to do? Play in the Northern League until someone gives him the money he wants? This is the perfect year to take him.

He's not subject to the signing deadline, so that gives them a little leverage. If he doesn't get the money, he'll sit out and probably play Indy Ball. Regardless, I'd take him and get it worked out. At the end of the day, he just needs to sign for more that Pittsburgh offered him... and Boras looks like he made the right decision.

gunnarthor
03-14-2013, 10:06 AM
I wouldn't be surprised to see Houston do what they did last year and grab a top 10 guy #1 and use some of the money later. It worked out well for them and, even more than the Twins, they need lots of talent. My guess is that Appel and Boras won't slip past the Cubs. They'll have a ton of money to throw at him and they can easily double what the Pirates offered last year so Appel's gamble pays off. Boras and Theo might even have some "understanding" about service time going in. I just don't see Appel being there at #4. If he is, grab him. Rockies and Twins are both probably dreaming of an elite pitcher.

I'm really hoping a few of these other pitchers turn it around and be there at 4.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 10:19 AM
I agree with you completely, gunnarthor. I am really curious to see how many teams look at the Astros and Blue Jays approach and try to do the same thing. There were a handful of teams that took similar, though more subtle approaches last year, and I know that scouts within organizations were not pleased with how rounds 3-10 went, some calling it a "complete joke". There were a handful of players that got $1,000 signing bonuses.

AmateurScoutGuy
03-14-2013, 01:12 PM
The Twins absolutely have to take the best college arm available. They cannot take a projectable, toolsy prep position player. They don't have that option because of their talent in their system right now. They need an arm that can be in the rotation by late 2013/early 2014 and can be a top 2 starter. In my opinion, right now the 2 most polished ready to go college arms are Appel and Manaea in that order. If both are gone, then the Twins take whichever college arm is next on their depth chart. Gray's ceiling is high, but he has a lot of risk. Stanek has tons of potential too and finishing the season strong like Gausman did last year will help his cause.

The Twins need a college arm.

mike wants wins
03-14-2013, 01:19 PM
Just think, they could have taken Gausman last year, and now be free to take a HS toolsy OFer, or a SP.....but now, really, with no clear AWESOME hitter, they pretty much have to take a SP. You can't get an ace or even a number 2 w/o picking high in the draft, generally. Heck, for months people have been saying on this very board taht the Twins problem is that they were too good in the 2000s, and had late first round picks. Now people are trying to say they should have top 5 picks in back to back years, be flush in OF prospects, and should pass on great pitching prospects two years in a row?

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 01:40 PM
If, today, we're comparing Buxton and one of Appel/Manaea/Gray/Stanek to Gausman and Frazier, I'm taking the pair with Buxton in it. I like Gausman a lot (and I'd put him right in that other mix), but Buxton is a much better prospect than Frazier. Different, but better.

I think it will work out for the Twins because I believe there will be a really good college pitcher that hears his name called when the Twins are on the clock.

gunnarthor
03-14-2013, 01:42 PM
Not sure anyone is saying pass on top pitching prospects. Some are saying take best player available, which as Klaw noted today, would almost certainly be a pitcher. They lineup well. I think the concern might be if Appel, Manea and Stanek go 1-2-3, if there would be a 4th pitcher good enough to go #4. But we have months to go before we have to worry about that.

AmateurScoutGuy
03-14-2013, 01:46 PM
Regarding Gausman: I was just saying that he started slow and finished strong last year at LSU. Stanek has had a slow start so far as well at Arkansas.

Brad Swanson
03-14-2013, 02:08 PM
Right now, Frazier should be the #1 pick but lot can happen between now and then. I'm thinking Appel will be gone by the time the Twins pick. But I think if Manaea is available, they take him
If the Twins don't draft a pitcher, hope they take this guy:
2013 MLB Draft Profile: Jonathan Denney, C, Oklahoma HS - Minor League Ball (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/3/8/4074648/2013-mlb-draft-profile-jonathan-denney-c-oklahoma-hs)

I am surprised he didn't make your board. In the few sites I read, he is getting a lot of steam and if he has a good year, he'll be a top 10 pick.
This team could use a good catcher and right now, he looks to be the best of the bunch.

I like Denney a lot too. I think he might sneak into the top 5, like Mike Zunino last season (although Zunino was a college catcher).

It seems a lot of people want a college arm. I'm fine with that, so long as it's the best available player. Too much can change, even with college arms that look like sure things, to pass up someone with huge upside. Danny Hultzen would be an example. He could still iron things out, but he could end up a bust just as much as Bubba Starling, taken 3 picks later. If it's down to a college arm that you sort of like, or an outfielder that you love, I'd take the better player and deal with positional issues when/if it becomes an issue.

Just my opinion. All that being said, I like Manaea and Appel, but I'm not so sure I would take Stanek or Gray over Frazier or even Meadows.

mike wants wins
03-14-2013, 02:10 PM
What is BPA, though? How big a difference does there need to be to take another toolsy OFer, that is 5 years away, between that OFer and the best pitcher? How do you propose getting a pitcher, if you don't ever draft them at the top of the draft? And yes, there are now two people in the thread saying they'd pass on college arms for HS hitters.

Brad Swanson
03-14-2013, 02:13 PM
Yes, I absolutely would pass on a college arm for a HS hitter, if I felt the HS hitter was better.

I just always prefer taking the best player. Although, I will admit that deciding on the "best player" is a huge challenge and not as simple as I am making it out to be.

Brad Swanson
03-14-2013, 02:23 PM
I agree with you completely, gunnarthor. I am really curious to see how many teams look at the Astros and Blue Jays approach and try to do the same thing. There were a handful of teams that took similar, though more subtle approaches last year, and I know that scouts within organizations were not pleased with how rounds 3-10 went, some calling it a "complete joke". There were a handful of players that got $1,000 signing bonuses.

This is where Gray gets more interesting to me. If the Twins knew he would sign under slot (for whatever reason), I'd have no problem with the Twins drafting him 4th, then using extra money later in the draft. I'd love to see them get Chris Okey or Jeremy Martinez with their next pick, pay them extra and get them in the system.

Of course, if Gray is really hitting 100 consistently, he probably won't have to sign under slot. But I still like that strategy.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 02:29 PM
Re: Denney. Text from Twins scout: 1st rounder, Top 10 might be high, seeing him Monday in Phoenix.

Hopefully I'll be able to get more then...

mike wants wins
03-14-2013, 03:01 PM
Yes, I absolutely would pass on a college arm for a HS hitter, if I felt the HS hitter was better.

I just always prefer taking the best player. Although, I will admit that deciding on the "best player" is a huge challenge and not as simple as I am making it out to be.

how do you get great pitching if you would literally always pass on it if there is a better hitter available? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I really want to know....how would you get great pitching if you would pass on it for a hitter every time, if you felt there was a slightly better hitter available?

John Bonnes
03-14-2013, 03:25 PM
how do you get great pitching if you would literally always pass on it if there is a better hitter available? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I really want to know....how would you get great pitching if you would pass on it for a hitter every time, if you felt there was a slightly better hitter available?


International draft. Find a guy in a later round that is still going to be a great pitcher. Trade for a premier player.

I'm a little surprised how many posts I'm seeing here that suggest people will be really dissappointed if the Twins don't come out of this draft with a college arm.

Based on nothing more than Jeremy's writeups, it looks like there are four pretty good options in this draft: 3 college pitchers (Appel, Manea, Gray) and one high school outfielder (Frazier). If Frazier is the one of those guys that is left by pick #4, and my only other choice is a second tier college pitcher, I'd rather they take Frazier, in theory.

cmb0252
03-14-2013, 03:30 PM
Draft a good pitcher in later rounds and develop them? Obviously this has been a weakness for our system but hopefully that will change with JO. Its not every 1/2 pitcher is from top 5 picks.

From what I can tell there are currently only 4 elite guys right now (Appel, Manaea, fraizer, and Bryant), which currently works out for us. There is still a long way to go but if the draft was held today and both Appel/Manaea were gone give my Bryant. Dude is going to be a beast

gunnarthor
03-14-2013, 04:09 PM
how do you get great pitching if you would literally always pass on it if there is a better hitter available? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I really want to know....how would you get great pitching if you would pass on it for a hitter every time, if you felt there was a slightly better hitter available?

I don't think anyone is really arguing the theory with you - we all hope the Twins grab a pitcher. But last year, Buxton was the nearly consensus top guy. BA has him as a top 10 prospect in baseball right now. Neither Gausman, Zimmer or Appel were on his level. And keep in mind, all had questions - Appel wanted a lot of money, Zimmer's arm had some issues as the draft approached (and he got some offseason surgery), Gausman might have been the safest of the three but there were/are questions if he could develop a third pitch. The Twins did load up on pitchers in the supplemental draft and later so I think they are aiming for pitchers but Buxton was too good to pass on. I don't think they thought he was "slightly" better, I think they thought he was a lot better. I doubt that, on their draft board, there was any real difference between Berrios and Gallo but they took the arm instead of the bat.

mike wants wins
03-14-2013, 04:29 PM
Gausman and Zimmer are right next to Buxton in many of the prospect ranking lists, literally on one list right after him I believe. Buxtion also has questions, though. It's not like we are looking at a guy people thought of as harper or longoria.....he would not have even been a top 5-10 pick the previous year, from what I've read.

that's may question, though....how much better does the hitter have to be, if you already are "loaded" at the OF spot, and have no number 1 (or probably 2) pitchers in your entire system.

And if it doesn't matter if you take a guy in the top five, because you can find pitchers later in the draft or internationally, isn't that true of hitters too? I mean, is it realy peoples' argument that draft position does not matter? Aren't most great players (not all, most) higher draft picks?

I probably sound mad, or something. I'm not, I'm genuinely curious if people really think they can find 1 or 2 type pitchers outside of round 1, and if so, shouldn't the Twins be embarrassed by their pitching if it is so easy to find? And, what happened to "their minor suck because they had late picks" argument? If you can find pitchers later, why haven't they?

Oh, and Gausman will be starting, successfully, in the majors while Mauer is still really good. Buxton might not even get here before Mauer declines.

ThePuck
03-14-2013, 04:47 PM
yeah, I was pretty miffed when they took Buxton over Gausman or Zimmer, to be honest...especially Gausman

Brad Swanson
03-14-2013, 05:14 PM
Ultimately, the only draft board that matters is the Twins'. If they have Buxton over Gausman or Frazier over Appel, that's how the draft will go.

My point would be, do you take the guaranteed 3rd starter at #4 or a potential superstar outfielder? I don't think it is safe to assume that any of the possible starters are certain to be better than that. Your own choice probably comes down to the level of risk you prefer.

TRex
03-14-2013, 05:14 PM
I know it seems like a foreign concept to most of us Twins fans, but these prospects can be turned into 'great' starting pitchers, and it can be even faster than drafting them.

Buxton is already a top-10 prospect and if he has a fairly good year in low-A, don't you think he would be a great centerpiece for next years crop of 'soon to be too expensive' arbitration eligible pitchers (e.g. David Price/Gio Gonzalez/Zack Greinke/Matt Latos/CC Sabathia/?Matt Garza?).

Last offseason, Terry Ryan was said to be making a run at Johnny Cueto of the Reds, so we know he is capable of that type of thinking. And I think we have plenty of payroll room to accommodate these Arbitration Eligible guys, and can even afford to buy out their first year of FA eligibility.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 06:47 PM
Stanek not only dropped on my board, but has also dropped to the #3 spot in Arkansas's rotation. It is early, but still not what you'd want.

IdahoPilgrim
03-14-2013, 07:27 PM
Ultimately, the only draft board that matters is the Twins'. If they have Buxton over Gausman or Frazier over Appel, that's how the draft will go.

My point would be, do you take the guaranteed 3rd starter at #4 or a potential superstar outfielder? I don't think it is safe to assume that any of the possible starters are certain to be better than that. Your own choice probably comes down to the level of risk you prefer.

Add in the fact that there is no "guaranteed" 3rd starter there - even with a college arm a pick could still go bust, or be lost to injury.

gunnarthor
03-14-2013, 07:34 PM
Gausman and Zimmer are right next to Buxton in many of the prospect ranking lists, literally on one list right after him I believe. Buxtion also has questions, though. It's not like we are looking at a guy people thought of as harper or longoria.....he would not have even been a top 5-10 pick the previous year, from what I've read.

that's may question, though....how much better does the hitter have to be, if you already are "loaded" at the OF spot, and have no number 1 (or probably 2) pitchers in your entire system.

I think people have tried to answer that question. I didn't look at all lists again but I don't remember any list that had Gausman/Zimmer close to Buxton. So I guess, specifically, Buxton's upside was that of an all-star type (think Sizemore or Upton) center fielder. Gausman/Zimmer's upside was that of a #2 type pitcher. So that's how much better the hitter had to be.

I think the Twins have done a decent job of getting amateur talent in both the draft an international market in recent years. Finding a Verlander type pitcher is easier if you pick in the top 5 but there isn't a Verlander in this years group - or last years. Taking the best player - a guy BA thinks is the 10th best prospect in the game - is a good thing. Drafting for need is a horrible strategy for a baseball team.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 07:49 PM
This doesn't prove or disprove anything (and I compile this for a Fantasy Baseball league, not just because...) but here's an idea of what the "experts" think.

BA Top 100 - Buxton (10), Zimmer (24), Gausman (26)
Callis Top 50 - Buxton (8), Gausman (23), Zimmer (24)
Cooper Top 50 - Zimmer (14), Gausman (15), Buxton (21)
Lingo Top 50 - Buxton (9), Gausman (30), Zimmer (31)
Manuel Top 50 - Buxton (10), Zimmer (27), Gausman (28)
Baseball Prospectus - Buxton (8), Gausman (13), Zimmer (41)
Keith Law - Buxton (22), Gausman (26), Zimmer (27)
MLB.com - Buxton (19), Zimmer (34), Gausman (37)

mike wants wins
03-14-2013, 08:22 PM
Thanks Jeremy....two have them pretty much in the same spot, but most have Buxton higher. That's awesome. They still have no pitcher in their system as good as Appel or gausmann. We all just disagree, that is cool with me.

cmb0252
03-14-2013, 08:43 PM
Everyone, especially front office people, know the twins need top of the rotation pitchers sooner rather then later. Their jobs are on the line, not ours. Knowing this they still take Buxton. What does that tell you about how they valued Buxton and/or viewed the college arms last year? This isn't rocket science people. Do people really think Terry Ryan and the rest of the scouts don't understand we need pitching?

Right now I have Appel, Manaea, Bryant, Fraizer, and then everyone else well behind. Obviously there is plenty of time but I'm not jumping on the helium college arm bandwagon. I rather have a star than an average player.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-14-2013, 09:39 PM
Manaea, who if you've read anything about him, appears to be a goofball, just tweeted a picture of himself jumping on a hotel bed. I told him to get comfy in Minneapolis and his response was that it is 'actually pretty sweet here'. Not that it changes the fact I think he'll go before #4, but still neat that he'll interact with baseball fans on Twitter.

drjim
03-14-2013, 09:46 PM
What is BPA, though? How big a difference does there need to be to take another toolsy OFer, that is 5 years away, between that OFer and the best pitcher? How do you propose getting a pitcher, if you don't ever draft them at the top of the draft? And yes, there are now two people in the thread saying they'd pass on college arms for HS hitters.

Trade for them?

I still think it is a mistake to pass on a better prospect to take a position of need for players that will take a couple of years to make their debut. In two years the Twins system could look quite different and the needs could easily change. There is no reason to leave value on the table and reach for a specific position, especially this high in the draft. Always take the best player available.

mike wants wins
03-14-2013, 10:19 PM
Like predicting BPA is so easy....if it is not obvious, should need not play at all?

Brad Swanson
03-14-2013, 10:21 PM
Like predicting BPA is so easy....if it is not obvious, should need not play at all?

Well yes, that is true. If all things are equal, I would have no issue with the Twins taking a pitcher over a position player. My point would be that I don't want the Twins taking a pitcher no matter what. If they like an outfielder more than the best available pitcher, I would want them to take the player they think will be the better player.

FrodaddyG
03-14-2013, 10:25 PM
Like predicting BPA is so easy....if it is not obvious, should need not play at all?
When professional scouts have been watching and evaluating players for months before the draft, when the time comes, they absolutely know who they consider the best player available at the time they pick. It's kind of the whole point of their job.

Oxtung
03-15-2013, 02:37 AM
You can't get an ace or even a number 2 w/o picking high in the draft, generally.

This was a very interesting statement for me so I looked up the top 10 pitchers in ERA each year for the last 5 years. This gave me a pretty good idea who the "Aces" were. I then looked at their draft position.

There have been 19 pitchers ranked in the top 10 of ERA in 2+ seasons. 6 of those pitchers were NOT drafted in the first round. Of those 2 were international signings (Santana and Hernandez) and 4 were "late round" picks. Of the first round picks only 2 were top 5 overall picks and 3 others were top 10 overall picks (not including the 2 top 5 picks). The average draft position of 1st round picks was 14th overall.

So recap:
"Ace pitchers" are most likely to come from the 1st round but are most often found outside of the top 10 draft picks.

Disclaimer and other thoughts
This certainly isn't a comprehensive finding. I only went back 5 years. Also I didn't look at how many pitchers were drafted in the 1st round and were busts. I also didn't look at the distribution of where pitchers were drafted in the 1st round (all pitchers not just "Aces".) It is possible hitters are taken more frequently than pitchers with the top picks. Finally it is unbelievable to me how dominant Halladay has been and comparably how little hype he has gotten.

mike wants wins
03-15-2013, 07:54 AM
Well, the law of numbers would say that most are taken out of the top 5 or 10....the key would be to look at percentages of those taken in the top part, vs those taken in the latter part of the first round....because there are a lot less players taken in the top 5 than the next 2000 picks, right?

But, it is great that you did the work. I'd have to look at it also to be more certain......but then, you are making a different point. It IS possible to get good players later in the draft, refuting the argument made here daily that the Twins minors were bad because they picked "too late" in round 1 to get good players......

drjim
03-15-2013, 08:25 AM
I think what Keith Law said in the chat yesterday is correct. The strength of the draft is pitching and the top Twins need is also pitching. That is good when that lines up. However, imagine a scenario where there are three pitchers they really like and the rest of their top 5/6 are position players and then the top three picks are the three pitchers that they like. It would be a mistake to jump to their 6th/7th/8th rated player just to get a pitcher. The example he used was the Royals in 2011, who wanted a pitcher and picked 6th. They had 5 pitchers they liked and they all went so they took Bubba Starling instead of reaching for another pitcher that was further down their board.

Yes, all things being equal they should target a pitcher but they can't jump a bunch of spots in their draft order just to do so. If a position player falls they should take them and then load up on arms in the rest of the draft and hope that 1 or 2 emerge (kind of like last year).

mike wants wins
03-15-2013, 08:56 AM
Why would it be a mistake automatically? What if that 8th best player is a number 2 pitcher, or even a number 3 pitcher? That is a bad thing?

Because while you might think the hitter is going to be awesome, you don't really know that for sure. We don't know the future for sure at all.....

As for last year's arms, I think everyone is jumping to a lot of conclusions after zero innings in A ball for a starter so far.

Brad Swanson
03-15-2013, 09:08 AM
However, the same could be said about the pitcher you want. Who is to say the number 2 starter would automatically be a number 2 starter?

mike wants wins
03-15-2013, 09:36 AM
That's my point, we don't know.....but if you never draft pitching early, you are unlikely to have good pitching. Otherwise, people are arguing that early picks are not more likely to be good than later picks, and I don't think anyone really means to argue that.

But I can promise you, if a SP is ranked number 8 ovearall, that people think they are a number 2/3 type pitcher in the future....right? If you literally have no number 1 or 2 in your entire system, and maybe have 3 number threes, in your entire system, what is more valuable, a future number 2/3, or a future really good OFer?

FrodaddyG
03-15-2013, 09:52 AM
what is more valuable, a future number 2/3, or a future really good OFer?
What asset should bring you a greater return five years down the road: Justin Upton or Rick Porcello?

gunnarthor
03-15-2013, 10:16 AM
That's my point, we don't know.....but if you never draft pitching early, you are unlikely to have good pitching. Otherwise, people are arguing that early picks are not more likely to be good than later picks, and I don't think anyone really means to argue that.

But I can promise you, if a SP is ranked number 8 ovearall, that people think they are a number 2/3 type pitcher in the future....right? If you literally have no number 1 or 2 in your entire system, and maybe have 3 number threes, in your entire system, what is more valuable, a future number 2/3, or a future really good OFer?

I'm really not sure what else people can say here. Many have said that the BPA is the best route to go and that the professional ranking guys seem to have supported the Buxton pick. I don't think anyone is saying that earlier picks don't (generally) lead to better players but it works for both pitchers and hitters. As good as Hicks is supposed to be, Buxton is better. I'd rather have Matt Kemp than Anibel Sanchez. While no one knows who the best player will become, teams devote lots of energy trying to figure that out. The Twins will probably heavily scout at least 12 guys for consideration for the #4 pick, maybe more. They'll send cross checkers and interview coaches, teachers and others to learn as much as they can. They'll obsess over mechanics and make up and make a list. Remember the Twins were the only team that mentioned concerns over Prior's mechanics before he got injured, although some said it was just BS to cover the Mauer pick. So far the consensus is that the Twins have drafted well. We'll see.

We were able to trade for guys like Liriano, Boof, Nathan, May, Worley and Meyer b/c we had depth at catcher and outfield. The Twins still have depth in the OF so they could flip a guy like Willingham for a prospect or, more daring, do a prospect trade and move Arcia for pitching. I think the Twins will draft a pitcher b/c that's the main depth of this class but what if SD's Kris Bryant pulls a Zunino this year and is a third baseman who could be in the majors by late 2014 while the top 3 pitching guys are gone? I certainly wouldn't be against that pick.

The future of this team's pitching staff looks like it will be some grouping of Gibson (late first rounder who fell due to injury), Meyer (late first rounder who fell b/c of salary concerns, traded for), May (4th round pick, traded for), Berrios (supp pick), Hendriks (international signing), Worley (MLer, traded for), Diamond (rule V pick, traded for) and most likely this years #4 pick.

The best two recent Twins teams - 06 and 10 - starting rotations were made up of Santana (rule v), Silva (traded for), Radke (8th rnd pick), Liriano (traded for), Boof (traded for), Baker (2nd rd pick), Pavano (traded for, resigned), Blackburn (29th rd), Slowey (2nd rd) and Duensing (3rd rd). Health and a strong bullpen help a lot. As does a little luck in later rounds which Johnson has not had in his drafts but it's still a bit early to condemn his drafts.

mike wants wins
03-15-2013, 10:25 AM
What asset should bring you a greater return five years down the road: Justin Upton or Rick Porcello?

You left off the whole part of context before that, where they system, imo, is barren of number 1/2 starters....in a vaccuum, the OFer is better....but they don't live in a vacuum.

mike wants wins
03-15-2013, 10:34 AM
gunn....how good would a hitter ahve to be to be up with the Twins in a year, but I do get your point....as for the best Twins teams, they were good teams, not great teams, imo. And what would have made them great was even very good starting pitching.

again, I'm not going to change your minds, and you aren't going to change mine....as long as we are all cool having a conversation, I'm cool continuing, I just don't want to push so hard people start getting mad....

diehardtwinsfan
03-15-2013, 11:33 AM
I agree that drafting for need CAN be a bad strategy, but the problem with BPA is that is so incredibly subjective that unless you are looking at Strasburg/Harper type talent, there is no such thing as a clearcut BPA. The lists here prove that. People don't universally rank Buxton ahead of everyone else (just look at Sickle's list), and Gausman/Zimmer are flipped around too. All are very good prospects. All have very high ceilings. But this idea that Buxton was somehow clearly better is odd. He's not, and that is where need comes into things. Gausman and Zimmer will be collecting major leage pay checks in 2 years and Buxton will be lucky to sniff AA... Given his rookie league status, I wouldn't be expecting him to light things up in Cedar Rapids. Here's to hoping I'm wrong on that. But when the players are very close, need must be considered.

I'm not trying to denigrate Buxton as a prospect, but I am pointing out one of the huge flaws in this system. People get all googley eyed over the tools and then start brandishing completely subjective terms around such as BPA and ignore the results and the organizational needs, and for all the love of sabermetrics around here, I find that incredibly odd.

No one here knows if Buxton was the BPA of that draft. He had plenty of question marks going into it and those still remain today. You don't pass on a similarly good player at a position of need in that case.

mike wants wins
03-15-2013, 11:35 AM
great post, diehard.....much more clear than some of mine....

Brad Swanson
03-15-2013, 11:56 AM
I agree that drafting for need CAN be a bad strategy, but the problem with BPA is that is so incredibly subjective that unless you are looking at Strasburg/Harper type talent, there is no such thing as a clearcut BPA. The lists here prove that. People don't universally rank Buxton ahead of everyone else (just look at Sickle's list), and Gausman/Zimmer are flipped around too. All are very good prospects. All have very high ceilings. But this idea that Buxton was somehow clearly better is odd. He's not, and that is where need comes into things. Gausman and Zimmer will be collecting major leage pay checks in 2 years and Buxton will be lucky to sniff AA... Given his rookie league status, I wouldn't be expecting him to light things up in Cedar Rapids. Here's to hoping I'm wrong on that. But when the players are very close, need must be considered.

I'm not trying to denigrate Buxton as a prospect, but I am pointing out one of the huge flaws in this system. People get all googley eyed over the tools and then start brandishing completely subjective terms around such as BPA and ignore the results and the organizational needs, and for all the love of sabermetrics around here, I find that incredibly odd.

No one here knows if Buxton was the BPA of that draft. He had plenty of question marks going into it and those still remain today. You don't pass on a similarly good player at a position of need in that case.

However, the reality is that Gausman and Zimmer could be struggling in the minors or out with injuries as well and Buxton could be killing AA pitching. No team ever really knows who the best player available is. Just go to baseballreference.com and sort their draft columns by WAR or whatever stat you like. It never works out the way players were drafted.

My overall point is that the Twins should take the player they think is the best fit for their organization. If that means taking a college pitcher or a HS outfielder, I don't care. I just don't want them passing up better players to fill needs. There are better ways to fill immediate needs than through the draft.

mike wants wins
03-15-2013, 12:03 PM
There are other ways, but we know some things, right?

They will not sign expensive free agents
They will not trade for expensive players (David Price, for example)
Most teams will not trade inexpensive great players

You also said "best fit for their organization", and fit needs to be considered not in a vaccuum, imo.

So if you have shut off several avenues to getting very good/great pitchers, don't you need to use the one you are still willing to use?

kab21
03-15-2013, 12:15 PM
I agree with Appel and Manaea pretty much being locks to be BPA's if they fall to the Twins at 4. I think many are overplaying exactly how safe these top college starters are though. Similar guys bust all the time. toolsy HS hitters bust more often but I don't think we can neglect how often 'safe' prospects bust.

I disagree with this draft a pitcher because the Twins need one. If you do that you aren't drafting a potential top of the rotation arm. You are reaching and this is one of the things that Royals and Pirates did wrong for so many years. remember that this is a considered a weak draft and the Twins are picking 4 instead of #1 or #2.

So far i'm hoping that Gray (hoping for him currently) and/or Stanek can deservedly move into 3rd/4th BPA. Unlike others I won't have a problem if Meadows, Frazier, Smith or Humpries are picked. They are making a pretty good argument to be the BPA to the Twins especially if the top 2 pitchers go early. Picking in the top ten is about adding above average players (or near elite) and I'm not sure if I could support targeting a starter that might be average because he might be up in a year or two.

It will be very interesting to watch the Astros and Cubs strategies this year. Will the Astros repeat last year and bank money to use later? Will the Cubs pass on Appel if he's considered the no doubt BPA?

Is there a Max Fried out there this year? He was a late riser and I really like him overall. Maybe Trey Ball? More risk but that might be what you need to do if you want to find a potential #1/2 and Appel/Manaea are gone.

Vervehound
03-15-2013, 04:45 PM
I agree with Appel and Manaea pretty much being locks to be BPA's if they fall to the Twins at 4. I think many are overplaying exactly how safe these top college starters are though. Similar guys bust all the time. toolsy HS hitters bust more often but I don't think we can neglect how often 'safe' prospects bust.

I disagree with this draft a pitcher because the Twins need one. If you do that you aren't drafting a potential top of the rotation arm. You are reaching and this is one of the things that Royals and Pirates did wrong for so many years. remember that this is a considered a weak draft and the Twins are picking 4 instead of #1 or #2.

So far i'm hoping that Gray (hoping for him currently) and/or Stanek can deservedly move into 3rd/4th BPA. Unlike others I won't have a problem if Meadows, Frazier, Smith or Humpries are picked. They are making a pretty good argument to be the BPA to the Twins especially if the top 2 pitchers go early. Picking in the top ten is about adding above average players (or near elite) and I'm not sure if I could support targeting a starter that might be average because he might be up in a year or two.

It will be very interesting to watch the Astros and Cubs strategies this year. Will the Astros repeat last year and bank money to use later? Will the Cubs pass on Appel if he's considered the no doubt BPA?

Is there a Max Fried out there this year? He was a late riser and I really like him overall. Maybe Trey Ball? More risk but that might be what you need to do if you want to find a potential #1/2 and Appel/Manaea are gone.

i haven't seen a lot of needs analysis for the three teams picking ahead of us but that is half the equation for our pick at no.4.

astros: wanted a college arm last year but luhnow is a bit of a wildcard. they've established a preference for up the middle players so frazier/meadows may be in play. all early indications are the best college arm not name mark appel.

cubs: most pitching starved minor league system around almost certainly will go college arm without a standout prep to consider. appel makes a ton of sense for them.

rockies: best case scenario for us landing manaea would be for the rockies to fall in love with one of the prep of'ers. they popped dahl last year and b.a. indicated they'd be the most likely team to go position player at the front of the draft, ostensibly b/c they have some decent young arms at the mlb level.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-15-2013, 11:29 PM
Sean Manaea proved himself to be an elite draft prospect tonight. You can read more about his game on his thread.

Oxtung
03-16-2013, 12:01 AM
Well, the law of numbers would say that most are taken out of the top 5 or 10....the key would be to look at percentages of those taken in the top part, vs those taken in the latter part of the first round....because there are a lot less players taken in the top 5 than the next 2000 picks, right?

But, it is great that you did the work. I'd have to look at it also to be more certain......but then, you are making a different point. It IS possible to get good players later in the draft, refuting the argument made here daily that the Twins minors were bad because they picked "too late" in round 1 to get good players......

I went back and reread my post and found it very confusing. That's what I get for trying to post at 3AM. I'll try and clarify my points.

Where do "Ace" pitchers come from? I thought this was an intriguing question. To see my methods of determining an "Ace" pitcher see the Method section below. There is an interesting split in the data between those players acquired before 2001 and those players drafted/signed since 2001. So I will break down the data along those lines.

Data
Before 2001:

16 Aces
4 were 1st round draft picks
4 were international signings
8 were drafted after 1st round


Since 2001:

8 Aces
7 were 1st round draft picks
1 (King Felix) was an international signing
0 were drafted after 1st round
5 of the 7 drafted were taken in the first 12 picks.


This interesting split potentially implies that in today's game the only way to acquire an "Ace" is to use a very high draft pick.

For reference here are the "Since 2001 Aces" (number of times ranked, draft position in 1st round):
Felix Hernandez (3, Int)
Clayton Kershaw (3, 7)
Tim Lincecum (3, 10)
Matt Cain (2, 25)
Cole Hamels (2, 17)
Verlander (2, 2)
Jared Weaver (2, 12)
David Price (2, 1)

You can view the full data set in google Drive by following this link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar9R-KOx1gfydFEtVkZtU253eS1GanY4cHpwUkJWRUE&usp=sharing

Method
I looked at the number of times a pitcher was ranked in the top 10 players in ERA for a single season. I choose the years 2003-2012; since my last post I looked back an additional 5 years for more data points. If a player was ranked at least 1 time between 2003-2012 I included all of their ranked seasons in the data regardless if they all fell in that 10 year range. For example Roger Clemens only had two seasons ('03-'04) ranked but I included his other 8 seasons he was ranked (occurring between '86 & '98) so I could get a better picture of just how big of an "Ace" he really was in comparison to other pitchers. Well OK, I didn't really need the data to tell me Clemens >>> Erik Bedard. :) If a player didn't have a single season ranked between '03-'12 I didn't include them in the data. Sorry Greg Maddux. To qualify as an "Ace" a player drafted/signed before 2001 must have ranked in 3 separate seasons. A player drafted/signed since 2001 must have ranked 2 times. This allows young players like David Price, Justin Verlander and Jared Weaver, who are still in their prime and probably most would consider to be Aces today, to be considered.

kab21
03-16-2013, 07:29 AM
I would consider expanding the list further because a sample size of 8 is too small to draw any conclusions. Here is a list of the top 25 ranked(smoltz and Pettitte excluded) by ERA- (fangraphs). 600 inning min (2005-2012).

Summary - No big surprises here. if you want a potential ace then either you have the #1 (maybe #2) pick and get an elite college arm (not available this year) or you take your chances with a HS 1st rd'er. Big bonus int'l FA's are poor investments (as starters, RPers are different story). It is interesting how many aces were late rd picks from 1999-2002.

One additional conclusion is that it's unlikely that the college arms after Appel and Manaea can be considered potential 1-2 starters. Most likely #3's. Even Appel and Manaea are unlikely to be #1 and probably not #2's. The same is true of Zimmer and Gausman last year.

1st 2 rds and HS - 7 - notice how most of these are late 1st rd'ers
Kershaw 1-7 (2006) - HS
Carpenter 1-15 (1993) - HS
Halladay 1-17 (1995) - HS
Hamels 1-17 (2002) - HS
CC 1-20 (98) - HS
Cain 1-25 (2002) - HS
Wainwright 1-29 (2002) - HS

1st rd college players - 5 - Price and Verlander (and Strasburg) were considered BPA in their drafts and there isn't a comparable college arm out there this year.
Price 1-1(2007) - UNI
Verlander 1-2 (2004) - UNI
Lincecum 1-10 (2006) - UNI
Sheets 1-10 (1999) - uni
Weaver 1-12 (2004) - UNI

late rd college players - 7
Haren rd2 (2001) - uni
Hudson rd6 (1997) - UNI
Harden rd 17 (2000) - uni
Wilson rd5 (2001) - uni
Webb rd 8 (2000) - UNI
Lee rd4 (2000) - UNI
Oswalt rd 23 (1996) - (CC)

late rd HS'ers - 3 - I'm not sure if any of these were overslot big bonus picks though
Lester rd2 (2002) - HS
JJohnson rd4 (2002) - HS
Peavy rd 15 (1999) - HS

International arms - 3
Felix - int'l FA (big bonus) - ('02)
Santana int'l FA (low bonus) (95)
Cueto int'l FA (2005) - small bonus I think

Oxtung
03-16-2013, 09:32 AM
I would consider expanding the list further because a sample size of 8 is too small to draw any conclusions. Here is a list of the top 25 ranked(smoltz and Pettitte excluded) by ERA- (fangraphs). 600 inning min (2005-2012).

Summary - No big surprises here. if you want a potential ace then either you have the #1 (maybe #2) pick and get an elite college arm (not available this year) or you take your chances with a HS 1st rd'er. Big bonus int'l FA's are poor investments (as starters, RPers are different story). It is interesting how many aces were late rd picks from 1999-2002.

One additional conclusion is that it's unlikely that the college arms after Appel and Manaea can be considered potential 1-2 starters. Most likely #3's. Even Appel and Manaea are unlikely to be #1 and probably not #2's. The same is true of Zimmer and Gausman last year.

1st 2 rds and HS - 7 - notice how most of these are late 1st rd'ers
Kershaw 1-7 (2006) - HS
Carpenter 1-15 (1993) - HS
Halladay 1-17 (1995) - HS
Hamels 1-17 (2002) - HS
CC 1-20 (98) - HS
Cain 1-25 (2002) - HS
Wainwright 1-29 (2002) - HS

1st rd college players - 5 - Price and Verlander (and Strasburg) were considered BPA in their drafts and there isn't a comparable college arm out there this year.
Price 1-1(2007) - UNI
Verlander 1-2 (2004) - UNI
Lincecum 1-10 (2006) - UNI
Sheets 1-10 (1999) - uni
Weaver 1-12 (2004) - UNI

late rd college players - 7
Haren rd2 (2001) - uni
Hudson rd6 (1997) - UNI
Harden rd 17 (2000) - uni
Wilson rd5 (2001) - uni
Webb rd 8 (2000) - UNI
Lee rd4 (2000) - UNI
Oswalt rd 23 (1996) - (CC)

late rd HS'ers - 3 - I'm not sure if any of these were overslot big bonus picks though
Lester rd2 (2002) - HS
JJohnson rd4 (2002) - HS
Peavy rd 15 (1999) - HS

International arms - 3
Felix - int'l FA (big bonus) - ('02)
Santana int'l FA (low bonus) (95)
Cueto int'l FA (2005) - small bonus I think

I agree that 8 is a SSS but on the other hand when you're talking true aces that in it self means SSS by definition.

I'm not sure if you clicked my link to see my whole list or not but almost every player you listed is on my full list so it is good to see we agree who the best pitchers over the last 10 years or so have been even though we are looking from separate criteria.

The pre-2001/post 2001 split is evident in your analysis too. I think the real question we should be asking is what is causing that. Is that an artifact of SSS, and maybe this is what you're trying to argue, or has there been a change in how pitchers are evaluated? Given the informational/statistical revolution that has occurred in the last few decades I think it is plausible that we are just better at predicting who the best pitchers will be. Another reason could be the increased team incomes of the last 15 years. Maybe this has allowed teams to put more money into their scouting departments and they get to see more pitchers. Perhaps previously there were insufficient resources to see all the potential pitchers.

As a comparison here is a list of "Aces" during the '90s and Round they were drafted/acquired:


Roger Clemens (Round 1, College)
Kevin Brown (1, College)
Mike Mussina (1, College)
Randy Johnson (2, College)
Tom Glavine (2, HS)
Greg Maddux (2, HS)
Curt Schilling (2, College)
Al Leiter (2, HS)
David Cone (3, HS)
Jason Schmidt (8, HS)
Bret Saberhagen (19, HS)
Andy Pettitte (22, HS)
John Smoltz (22, HS)
Pedro Martinez (INT)


Most elite pitchers drafted in the '80's weren't 1st round acquisitions. That isn't what we're seeing today. So I guess my question is why? If we think there truely is a reason, and not just SSS, then it behoves the Twins to draft a pitcher with their first pick because Mike is right. The only way to acquire an "Ace" is to draft or trade, making the safe assumption we won't acquire one in FA.

Oxtung
03-16-2013, 09:37 AM
I think my previous post needs to come with the caveat that provided the Twins believe a pitcher and hitter are at least marginally comparable. If there are only 3 big pitching prospects and they go 1-3 and the Twins have the next 8 players as hitters on their board I think you have to go hitter. But as long as a hitter and pitcher are close on their draft board I think you go pitcher.

diehardtwinsfan
03-16-2013, 09:39 AM
However, the reality is that Gausman and Zimmer could be struggling in the minors or out with injuries as well and Buxton could be killing AA pitching. No team ever really knows who the best player available is. Just go to baseballreference.com and sort their draft columns by WAR or whatever stat you like. It never works out the way players were drafted.



Yes, that is a possiblity. My point though is that satistically speaking, Buxton is far more likely to fall prey to this problem. He's younger and will spend more time in the minors. Gausman and Zimmer have also excelled against much tougher competition. Part of BPA is risk. I agree that picking 2 over all, you want a guy who is going to be an all star. Personally, I think all 3 could likely be. They all have top flight ceilings, but the risk is lower with both pitchers and they happen to fit an area of need. I don't see Buxton as such a standout that he was worth grabbing. Good pick, yes absolutely... but the wrong one.

kab21
03-16-2013, 10:19 AM
Part of the problem with using 2001 as a cut date is that int'l FA's signed that year are still only about 28. HS draftees have just hit 30. Most of the HS/int'l pool in the >2001 period doesn't show up in your list because they haven't hit their peak yet. This is also true of later rd picks. They don't move through the minors as fast and typically debut later. This skews your post 2001 acquisition conclusions imo to college players drafted early.

A player might appear on your overall list but you eliminated them (only 1 top season) from your analysis so I only consider your short list since that is what you have analyzed. I guess I didn't say it but part of the reason I expanded the list was to include a bigger cut of top of the rotation arms. They don't have to be absolute stud aces but the guys that you want on the mound in big games. I can see trends with 25 names that I can't see with 8 names.

Badsmerf
03-16-2013, 12:33 PM
Great thread dudes. One thing that comes to mind immediately about that time is steroids. Not only were the MLB guys doping, but HS kids and college kids were too. A prospect doping would make their numbers look better than they should have and get exposed at higher levels. Just a hypothesis to throw around.

Oxtung
03-17-2013, 01:19 AM
My point though is that satistically speaking, Buxton is far more likely to fall prey to this problem. He's younger and will spend more time in the minors. ...but the risk is lower with both pitchers...

Do you have any evidence to back this claim up? There is a reason TINSTAAPP exists.... I haven't seen data one way or the other on hitters vs. pitchers but I would doubt it is a clear cut as you are making it out to be.

Oxtung
03-17-2013, 03:04 AM
Part of the problem with using 2001 as a cut date is that int'l FA's signed that year are still only about 28. HS draftees have just hit 30. Most of the HS/int'l pool in the >2001 period doesn't show up in your list because they haven't hit their peak yet. This is also true of later rd picks. They don't move through the minors as fast and typically debut later. This skews your post 2001 acquisition conclusions imo to college players drafted early.

A player might appear on your overall list but you eliminated them (only 1 top season) from your analysis so I only consider your short list since that is what you have analyzed. I guess I didn't say it but part of the reason I expanded the list was to include a bigger cut of top of the rotation arms. They don't have to be absolute stud aces but the guys that you want on the mound in big games. I can see trends with 25 names that I can't see with 8 names.

I went back and looked at how quickly "Ace" players developed excluding the players acquired since 2001. I saw no correlation between how they were acquired, early draft pick/late draft pick/international, and when they were first ranked. Through their age 26 season 66% of the pitchers were ranked at least 1 time. However only 25% of pitchers were ranked 2+ times through age 26 season.

There was no difference in the development rate of 1st round picks and late round picks. So since we have 7 1st round picks already at "Ace" status and 0 late round picks that is significant.

Young international signees are different though. If a latin player signed as a 16yo and placed at 26 for the first time they would have had to have been signed in 2002. Certainly I may have excluded some here. However, this doesn't take into account players like Hernandez, signed as a 16yo and by 21 already was ranked, or Zambrano, signed by 16yo and ranked by 22. They are two of the three youngest ranked; Saberhagen is the third, drafted in the 19th round and ranked at 21. It also doesn't take into account the recent influx of Asian pitchers that are already mature. The banner carrier here is Hideo Nomo who signed at 26 and ranked in his age 26 & 27 seasons. There have been several pitchers acquired from Asia with hype but that didn't produce at "Ace" levels.

If you think 2001 is unfair to international signees, which I'm not sure if I agree with but for the sake of argument:


Carlos Zambrano (signed in 1997, 3 seasons ranked)
Johan Santana (signed in 1995, 4 seasons ranked)
Hideo Nomo (signed in 1995, 3 seasons ranked)


I might also have culled some recent pitchers from "Ace" status by requiring 2 seasons being ranked. I did this because I needed a way to remove those pitchers that had 1 great season but were certainly not "Ace" material. I'm looking at you, Dontrelle Willis. It is possible that some of the others that have been ranked 1 time could still turn into "Aces" later in their careers. Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown weren't ranked until their age 31 seasons. Here is the list of players that were acquired between 2001-2006 (anything more recent and they haven't turned 26 which is an important number as shown earlier), have been ranked 1 time and I think still have a chance of becoming "Aces":


Josh Johnson
Zach Greinke
Johnny Cueto
Gio Gonzalez
Clay Buckholz
Dan Haren
Jaime Garcia


Of those players only Haren, Johnson and Garcia weren't 1st round picks.

So to summarize; 1st round picks and late round picks historically develop at the same rate. Since we have 7 first round "Aces" already and no late round "Aces" is notable I think. Of the potential "late bloomer" Aces only 3, Haren, Johnson and Garcia, weren't 1st round picks. International signees may not fit well within my pre-2001/post-2001 assumptions but even if you bump their acquisition date back 5 years to 1996, making them essentially equivalent to 21 year old college pitchers, only Carlos Zambrano is added to our list.

So our new list of Post-2001 Aces would look like:


Carlos Zambrano (Int, 3 Seasons ranked)
Felix Hernandez (Int, 3 Seasons)
Matt Cain (round 1, 2 Seasons)
Cole Hamels (round 1, 2 Seasons)
Justin Verlander (round 1, 2 Seasons)
Jared Weaver (Round 1, 2 Seasons)
Clayton Kershaw (Round 1, 3 Seasons)
Tim Lincecum (Round 1, 3 Seasons)
David Price (Round 1, 2 Seasons)


Potential Additions would be:

Dan Haren (round 2, 1 Season)
Josh Johnson (round 4, 1 Season)
Zach Greinke (round 1, 1 Season)
Johnny Cueto (Int, 1 Season)
Gio Gonzalez (Round 1, 1 Season)
Clay Buckholz (Round 1, 1 Season)
Jaime Garcia (Round 22, 1 Season)

Mr. Brooks
03-17-2013, 08:44 AM
Is there any steam behind Oscar Mercado right now?
As much as we need SP, I agree we do, I think we need an elite SS prospect in our system just as badly.
I'm not saying reach for this guy, but if he shoots up the draft boards and is considered a top 5 or 6 pick by June, I wouldnt mind having him in the mix.

Jeremy Nygaard
03-17-2013, 11:23 AM
From what I've gathered, he's the Twins top SS target, with Crawford being less certain to stick at SS. Both getting mid- to late-first round grades. Unless he demonstrates new power, I don't see him jumping up boards, but could be a possibility in the 2nd, though I'd bet on him being gone by then. (Which could put the PR kid in play.)

mike wants wins
03-17-2013, 11:45 AM
Question, if you need five starters, and they fail at a high rate, isn't that an argument for taking even more pitching early? I mean, you need a ton of prospects to fill in the roster, right?

diehardtwinsfan
03-17-2013, 12:34 PM
One of the things this research tends to ignore is that there were a bazillion more pitchers taken in later rounds too. There is only a very limited number of picks in the top 10 each year (10 to be exact), while their are over a thousand picks at the lower numbers. Nearly half of those picks will be pitchers. The problem with picks that far down is that your odds of finding that ace are very difficult. Everyone is taking guys tha have some projectable upside, but the reality is that they are raw and the vast bulk of them won't make it, much less turn into somethign you'd call an ace.

Can you find an ace after the first round? Yes, but you are far more likely to find that guy in the first round than later.

Mr. Brooks
03-17-2013, 12:45 PM
Question, if you need five starters, and they fail at a high rate, isn't that an argument for taking even more pitching early? I mean, you need a ton of prospects to fill in the roster, right?

Thats a fair point, but at the same time, pitching is only 1/3 of the game.
If you spend too much of your capital looking for pitchers, you risk becoming the Mariners, a team with a bunch of legit pitchers and pitching prospects, but one that cant win because it cant score any runs.
Its a delicate balance.

FrodaddyG
03-17-2013, 12:51 PM
Question, if you need five starters, and they fail at a high rate, isn't that an argument for taking even more pitching early? I mean, you need a ton of prospects to fill in the roster, right?
Or you use other assets to trade for pitching, or sign useful free agents to fill in gaps wherever they may be on the roster. There are many avenues to fill needs, which is why drafting for need is so pointless. In the period of time it will take virtually any prospect to move through the system, your needs will most likely have changed greatly from the day they were selected.

mike wants wins
03-17-2013, 01:07 PM
Name the time Ryan signed a legit free agent...that path is closed right now.

Mr. Brooks
03-17-2013, 01:12 PM
Name the time Ryan signed a legit free agent...that path is closed right now.

Josh Willingham?

FrodaddyG
03-17-2013, 01:21 PM
Name the time Ryan signed a legit free agent...that path is closed right now.
Well, let's just throw trades out, too, since Ryan hasn't made trades for big name players, either. He's only wasted everybody's time trading for unproven prospects like Nathan and Liriano.

And instead of whoever the scouts think has the best chance to be a useful player down the road, they should draft what they need RIGHT NOW, and hope that 4 years down the road when they player they draft gets to the big leagues, that's still what the team needs. That sounds like a way better plan, and not at all a way to turn your system into a complete cluster****.

mike wants wins
03-17-2013, 01:23 PM
See, this is why I did not want to continue......in no way did I say any of those things. In no way did I get all angry. I am done, I guess.