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Badsmerf
04-07-2013, 11:30 PM
I anticipate this to turn into an awesome thread, so I'll start out with my criteria. I took all the top 20 ERA's from qualified starters since the 2007 season and highlighted anyone that appeared more than once. Note, this list is semi-flawed as it is a sample and guys like Smoltz only made it one year and Strasburg hasn't pitched enough to qualify. So, theoretically, this list could be longer. I didn't want to make exceptions since I believe that would flaw the sample. Savvy? The results: 24 pitchers made the list. I'll list the name and where they were selected. We can discuss from there. I believe this is a fairly accurate list of guys you could call an Ace.

Kershaw: 7th overall 2006
Price: 1st overall 2007
Verlander: 2nd overall 2004
Dickey: 18th overall 1996
Cain: 25th overall 2002
Weaver: 12th overall 2004
Gonzalez: 38th overall 2004
Hamels: 17th overall 2002
Hernandez: INTL FA 2002- 16 years old
Lee: 4th round 105th overall 2000
Kuroda (surprised he made it): INTL FA in 2007- 32 years old
Vogelsong (surprised again... only 2 good years happen to be in the cut): 5th round 158th overall 1998
Halladay: 17th overall 1995
Lincecum: 10th overall 2006
Beckett: 2nd overall 1999
Sabathia: 20th overall 1998
Haren: 2nd round 72nd overall 2001
Johnson: 4th round 113th overall 2002
Wainwright: 29th overall 2000
Oswalt: 26th round 684 overall 1996
Hudson: 6th round 185th overall 1997
Santana: INTL FA 1995- 16 years old
Peavy: 15th round 472nd overall 1999
Webb: 8th round 249th overall 2000

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:38 PM
I'm going to copy paste the discussion Kab21 and I had into this thread as it is where it really belongs.

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:40 PM
Posted in another thread

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.

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:40 PM
Posted in another thread

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
04-07-2013, 11:41 PM
Posted in another thread

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
04-07-2013, 11:42 PM
Posted in another thread

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.

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:42 PM
Posted in another thread

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)

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:43 PM
Posted in another thread

I think the biggest part of the back and forth was figuring out how many to include in the ace category. The 8 that you picked doesn't allow us to make any statistical conclusions because the sample size is too small. Including near aces brings a little more clarity to the subject and you start seeing trends.

College pitchers that become aces usually get drafted really at the top (like Appel should) or at least in the top 10-15. HS pitchers that become aces are scattered throughout the first rd and that makes sense also. They pitched against all kinds of competition and usually significant projection and time is required for that to happen.

The disappointing trend is that int'l FA's rarely turned into #1/2's. the suprising trend was that there were a lot of #2's that were picked in later rd from college ball. If you look at the list (Haren, Wilson, Hudson, Lee, Webb, Harden, Oswalt) though it's not filled with many stuff pitchers (other than Harden) but guys that excelled on control.

What does this mean for this draft? Appel might be in the Verlander/Price/Strasburg tier of draftees but if you're looking for a collegiate pitcher as an ace it probably isn't happening. Perhaps one of the guys in this draft can become Sheets/Weaver but the odds are against. You are more likely getting a #3/4 starter if you go the college route. If you really want an ace then start looking at the wild card HS pitchers similar to last year's Max Fried. He kind of has that Kershaw/Bundy type of awesome scouting report but there is significantly more risk and time required for a HS pitcher to make it. So far there are very few similar HS pitchers that have popped up on my radar.

The hitting thing would be interesting to look at sometime. I feel fairly certain that latin players would have a significantly higher success rate. This is especially true in the MI.

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:44 PM
Posted in another thread

I just want to clarify a few things. My goal when I started my original research was to find out where the truly elite pitchers come from and if it is possible to find them outside of the first round. I looked at the yearly ERA top 10 lists. If a person was listed in multiple seasons in the top 10 I called them an elite Ace. There were 8 of those. I didn't just "pick" them arbitrarily.

Second, I see no difference from a statistics perspective between 8 pitchers and let's say 16 pitchers. Both are way to small to be anything other than SSS.

However, if you do include the fringe "aces" there were still only about 3 of the top 20ish pitchers that were drafted after the first round. I think it's safe to say we both agree that if you want to get an ace, whether that is an elite ace or a fringe ace, you are going to find it in the first round or not at all.

I also found it amazing that our lists of "Aces" were almost void of international signings.

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:44 PM
Posted in another thread

I'm not sure if you actually looked at my analysis. I had 25 on my list and there were 11 drafted after the 1st rd.

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:45 PM
Posted in another thread

I have many times. I am sticking to my original assertion in my original post since no one has been able to come up with any reason to discredit the data (other than by arguing SSS which I don't disagree with but when you're talking elite pitchers you're always going to be talking SSS in which case you work with the data you have):

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.


Since you stopped responding to my posts in the other thread I assumed we had come to some kind of consensus or at the least an understanding. Your 11, of which I would argue several would never be considered aces by most people, ignore the data split that is seen since 2001. Expanding the list to 25 pitchers just to get a larger sample size, that still is too small eliminate small sample size errors, does not make them all aces. However even on your expanded list only 4 pitchers have been acquired since 2001, Haren, Wilson, Lester, Josh Johnson.

If you would like to discuss this further I suggest we go back to the previous thread so that the discussion is housed in 1 thread. Or perhaps start a new thread of it's own because it wasn't necessarily well related to the discussion in that thread either. I thought we had found some consensus in our discussion and was just trying to lend some statistics to what I saw as a related discussion in this thread since the work was already done.

kab21
04-07-2013, 11:45 PM
Here is the list that I came up with a couple of weeks ago using cumulative ERA- for a relatively long period. Most of the names match up and guys like Strasburg, Gio and Darvish aren't on the list but should be in a couple of years.


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 maybe Manaea (edit - this now maybe includes Gray) 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
04-07-2013, 11:45 PM
Posted in another thread

Oxtung, I followed along with your research and disagree with your criteria for being an Ace. First of all, your list is too exclusive. You can't limit the sample to potential HOF pitchers, it has be more encompassing. Maybe we should move this to another thread, as it is an interesting discussion.

To start, define Ace pitcher. To me, an Ace pitcher is elite, not necessarily HOF worthy or even Cy Young caliber. There were 662 pitchers that saw MLB time last season, 88 of them were classified as "qualified" starters. I'm not purposing there should be 30 Ace pitchers for 30 MLB teams, but the top 20% would put it at about 17 for last season alone. I really don't think that is too gracious.

The problem with limiting it to super high caliber pitcher is the data will be skewed. Guys like Verlander and Strasburg are no-brainer top picks. They are few and far between, and your data proves that you need a top pick to grab one. However, lighten up on your standards and very high quality pitchers can be found later.

Oxtung
04-07-2013, 11:46 PM
All caught up now. Agree that this is going to be an interesting thread and thought it would be good to have it in 1 place so we could look back at the conversation as a whole.

kab21
04-07-2013, 11:49 PM
What a mess you made...

Oxtung
04-08-2013, 12:13 AM
I anticipate this to turn into an awesome thread, so I'll start out with my criteria. I took all the top 20 ERA's from qualified starters since the 2007 season and highlighted anyone that appeared more than once. Note, this list is semi-flawed as it is a sample and guys like Smoltz only made it one year and Strasburg hasn't pitched enough to qualify. So, theoretically, this list could be longer. I didn't want to make exceptions since I believe that would flaw the sample. Savvy? The results: 24 pitchers made the list. I'll list the name and where they were selected. We can discuss from there. I believe this is a fairly accurate list of guys you could call an Ace.

Kershaw: 7th overall 2006
Price: 1st overall 2007
Verlander: 2nd overall 2004
Dickey: 18th overall 1996
Cain: 25th overall 2002
Weaver: 12th overall 2004
Gonzalez: 38th overall 2004
Hamels: 17th overall 2002
Hernandez: INTL FA 2002- 16 years old
Lee: 4th round 105th overall 2000
Kuroda (surprised he made it): INTL FA in 2007- 32 years old
Vogelsong (surprised again... only 2 good years happen to be in the cut): 5th round 158th overall 1998
Halladay: 17th overall 1995
Lincecum: 10th overall 2006
Beckett: 2nd overall 1999
Sabathia: 20th overall 1998
Haren: 2nd round 72nd overall 2001
Johnson: 4th round 113th overall 2002
Wainwright: 29th overall 2000
Oswalt: 26th round 684 overall 1996
Hudson: 6th round 185th overall 1997
Santana: INTL FA 1995- 16 years old
Peavy: 15th round 472nd overall 1999
Webb: 8th round 249th overall 2000

I think a lot of our disagreement stems from our expectations for an Ace as you implied. When drafting in the top 5, let alone the number 2 overall pick, I want to go get that elite Ace. I'm not looking for James Shields, who is a very nice pitcher, but instead I want that guy who is going to go out and dominate on the mound year in and year out. Not have 1 or 2 dominant seasons mixed with a bunch of mediocrity. There is a difference between an elite Ace and a fringe Ace, for lack of better terms, and the 8 pitchers I listed seem to fit that elite ace description. That is why I have them listed.

That said, if you want to expand to just a more general term "ace" you still have the pre2001/post2001 issue to deal with because it is evident in your data too. Seven out of eleven of your aces acquired since 2001 came in the first round. To me that says you need to draft a pitcher in the first round if you want an ace. Of your 4 who weren't drafted in the first round one is an international (Felix Hernandez), Josh Johnson has had 1 great season and then a bunch of nice but not great years, Dan Haren has had a few real nice years but also some pretty mediocre years, and Gio Gonzalez has only pitched 3 full seasons in the majors.

Just for comparison's sake:

Pre-2001: 25% were 1st round picks (this is using my stricter elite ace standards too. If I added in the more fringy aces this would drop to below 20%)
Post-2001: 64% were 1st round picks (using my data it's 88%)

I have yet to see that explained. Until then I contend any pre-2001 data is irrelevant.

Oxtung
04-08-2013, 12:16 AM
What a mess you made...

Only because you didn't let me finish posting in ALL the previous conversation. :p

AM.
04-08-2013, 05:42 AM
Here is my summary--the higher you draft a pitcher, the more likely that pitcher will be a dominant pitcher. However, given the high rate of flameout of pitchers, due to injury and other issues ("there is no such thing as a pitching prospect"), drafting a pitcher is typically riskier than drafting a position player. Also, given the fact that many pitchers take a long(er) time to develop into their full potential, it is unsurprising that many superstar pitchers come from relatively unheralded draft spots.

Badsmerf
04-08-2013, 06:44 AM
I think a lot of our disagreement stems from our expectations for an Ace as you implied. When drafting in the top 5, let alone the number 2 overall pick, I want to go get that elite Ace. I'm not looking for James Shields, who is a very nice pitcher, but instead I want that guy who is going to go out and dominate on the mound year in and year out. Not have 1 or 2 dominant seasons mixed with a bunch of mediocrity. There is a difference between an elite Ace and a fringe Ace, for lack of better terms, and the 8 pitchers I listed seem to fit that elite ace description. That is why I have them listed.

That said, if you want to expand to just a more general term "ace" you still have the pre2001/post2001 issue to deal with because it is evident in your data too. Seven out of eleven of your aces acquired since 2001 came in the first round. To me that says you need to draft a pitcher in the first round if you want an ace. Of your 4 who weren't drafted in the first round one is an international (Felix Hernandez), Josh Johnson has had 1 great season and then a bunch of nice but not great years, Dan Haren has had a few real nice years but also some pretty mediocre years, and Gio Gonzalez has only pitched 3 full seasons in the majors.

Just for comparison's sake:

Pre-2001: 25% were 1st round picks (this is using my stricter elite ace standards too. If I added in the more fringy aces this would drop to below 20%)
Post-2001: 64% were 1st round picks (using my data it's 88%)

I have yet to see that explained. Until then I contend any pre-2001 data is irrelevant.
Isn't it obvious? What do we do now, that we didn't pre-2001? The elephant in the room is the internet IMO, with steroids mixed in. There is greater access to information about prospects and their tools than ever before. Also, steroids had to be around at the prospect level making guys look better than they actually were causing them to be drafted higher.

The lack of INTL guys is very strange and surprising at the same time. That is what I can't seem to explain. Seems to me there should be more high quality arms to come from Latin America than there actually is. Maybe their arms are getting destroyed at a young age? Santana and Felix were drafted at 16 and sheltered. To me, that means to find an ace out of there you need to identify them at 16... which is incredibly young.

mike wants wins
04-08-2013, 07:16 AM
It is about odds. There are 30 plus rounds, of course some will come after round one.....but how many pitchers have to be chafe to get that little wheat? You need five starting pitchers. The twins have one they drafted on the roster. Worley, Pelfrey, Diamond, Correia, who will be the rotation, were not drafted here. Gibson and Hendriks are it for probably two plus years. Zero effective pitchers that were drafted came up last year. Zero the year before. Zero the year before. The last good pitcher to come up that was drafted was Baker. Think about that and think about how you judge their ability to produce players.

Badsmerf
04-08-2013, 08:11 AM
It is about odds. There are 30 plus rounds, of course some will come after round one.....but how many pitchers have to be chafe to get that little wheat? You need five starting pitchers. The twins have one they drafted on the roster. Worley, Pelfrey, Diamond, Correia, who will be the rotation, were not drafted here. Gibson and Hendriks are it for probably two plus years. Zero effective pitchers that were drafted came up last year. Zero the year before. Zero the year before. The last good pitcher to come up that was drafted was Baker. Think about that and think about how you judge their ability to produce players.
Garza would qualify as the last to come up that was drafted, I would consider him pretty good. He was the 25th pick overall. What we are discussing is where Ace pitchers come from. It seems pre-2001 the draft was much more of a crap shoot than it is today. Its also clear that the top pitchers are now going to college first rather than coming straight from HS.

old nurse
04-08-2013, 08:51 AM
It is about odds. There are 30 plus rounds, of course some will come after round one.....but how many pitchers have to be chafe to get that little wheat? You need five starting pitchers. The twins have one they drafted on the roster. Worley, Pelfrey, Diamond, Correia, who will be the rotation, were not drafted here. Gibson and Hendriks are it for probably two plus years. Zero effective pitchers that were drafted came up last year. Zero the year before. Zero the year before. The last good pitcher to come up that was drafted was Baker. Think about that and think about how you judge their ability to produce players.
There were times 3/5 of their starting rotation was drafted by the team.

mike wants wins
04-08-2013, 09:32 AM
Ah, I got Garza and Baker timelines messed up, sorry about that. Either way, it has been awhile. I expect Gibson to fix that problem this year. I really don't know what to expect from Wimmers, and I have little confidence in any other pitcher in the minors they drafted before this last draft.

As for the topic, it should be obvious that as the information age has matured, and teams have started spending more on information and scouting, (and they changed their opinion of college vs HS, and more kids go to college) that it is even more important to have a high draft pick than it was before. That's how market efficiency works.

Badsmerf
04-08-2013, 10:18 AM
As for the topic, it should be obvious that as the information age has matured, and teams have started spending more on information and scouting, (and they changed their opinion of college vs HS, and more kids go to college) that it is even more important to have a high draft pick than it was before. That's how market efficiency works.

How it is supposed to work. Previously, it hadn't worked like that. With the new CBA and if drafting trends continue we will see more "bad" teams getting high quality pitchers. I'm not sure I would trade Buxton for Appel at this point.

old nurse
04-08-2013, 12:34 PM
In terms of college versus high school for the talented pitcher the question is which way will get me to the majors (free agency) the fastest. Slot bonuses took away the big money. A high school pitcher may go in the middle of the first and take the couple million. The draft strategy could change.
In regards to Buxton and Appel, no way. In a couple of years you may see a Hicks for the next version of Appel as Buxton is major league ready.

old nurse
04-08-2013, 12:40 PM
You don't necessarily have to be good at drafting pitchers if you can be good enough at developing talent in other areas and be good at trades. Right now you could say the Twins are not good at developing pitchers and middle infielders. That needs to change. Improving one to go along with the other areas the Twins do well in would be fine. Much of this may have to do with what randomness there is in the luck of drafting players so it cycles up and down towards a mean.

mike wants wins
04-08-2013, 01:21 PM
Hicks for a number 2 pitcher, established in the majors? Wow, I can't see that (assuming Appel works out as expected).

Oxtung
04-08-2013, 04:37 PM
Isn't it obvious? What do we do now, that we didn't pre-2001? The elephant in the room is the internet IMO, with steroids mixed in. There is greater access to information about prospects and their tools than ever before. Also, steroids had to be around at the prospect level making guys look better than they actually were causing them to be drafted higher.

The lack of INTL guys is very strange and surprising at the same time. That is what I can't seem to explain. Seems to me there should be more high quality arms to come from Latin America than there actually is. Maybe their arms are getting destroyed at a young age? Santana and Felix were drafted at 16 and sheltered. To me, that means to find an ace out of there you need to identify them at 16... which is incredibly young.

So looking to build some consensus here.

Do we agree that the pre-2001/post-2001 split is in fact more than statistical noise and is likely to continue going forward?

If you disagree what do you think is causing that split in our data?

To me that is what the whole draft debate hinges on, in conjunction with a study of other positions later round success rates. If it is true that ace level pitching (defined however you want for the moment) is incredibly hard to find after round 1 should that change how we look at drafting? BPA is an easy (not easy to determine who the BPA is but easy to understand conceptually) way to think about the draft but if you need ace level pitching (and certainly the Twins do) and the only place to find that is in the first round.....

Oxtung
04-08-2013, 05:07 PM
Here is my summary--the higher you draft a pitcher, the more likely that pitcher will be a dominant pitcher. However, given the high rate of flameout of pitchers, due to injury and other issues ("there is no such thing as a pitching prospect"), drafting a pitcher is typically riskier than drafting a position player. Also, given the fact that many pitchers take a long(er) time to develop into their full potential, it is unsurprising that many superstar pitchers come from relatively unheralded draft spots.

I have seen many of you making similar claims to this. Is there data to back up these assertions:

1) Pitchers are less likely to make it to MLB.

2) Pitchers take longer than hitters on average to develop.

If those are both true it still needs to be shown that it holds true for top level talent like 1st round picks. Does anybody have a link to studies looking into this?

cmb0252
04-08-2013, 05:25 PM
I believe, my memory ain't what it used to be, Mr.Garrioch over at minorleagueball did a study that looked at draftee success. If I remember right he compared college vs high school and position vs pitcher success of first Rounders. If I wasn't stuck on my phone I would try and find/link his study.

Edit: here is a link to his study on success rate. Not sure if he has updated it since.
http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/7/3/2255951/mlb-draft-success-rates

The Wise One
04-08-2013, 06:18 PM
Hicks for a number 2 pitcher, established in the majors? Wow, I can't see that (assuming Appel works out as expected).

I read the comment as Hicks for a prospect.

Thrylos
04-08-2013, 08:11 PM
I have seen many of you making similar claims to this. Is there data to back up these assertions:

1) Pitchers are less likely to make it to MLB.

2) Pitchers take longer than hitters on average to develop.

If those are both true it still needs to be shown that it holds true for top level talent like 1st round picks. Does anybody have a link to studies looking into this?

Both of those are BS, other than the fact that Pitchers are more likely to suffer career ending injuries in the minors.

And the key word here is "average"

you got phenom young pitchers and phenom young hitters and some of them develop later.

kab21
04-08-2013, 08:12 PM
I think a lot of our disagreement stems from our expectations for an Ace as you implied. When drafting in the top 5, let alone the number 2 overall pick, I want to go get that elite Ace. I'm not looking for James Shields, who is a very nice pitcher, but instead I want that guy who is going to go out and dominate on the mound year in and year out. Not have 1 or 2 dominant seasons mixed with a bunch of mediocrity. There is a difference between an elite Ace and a fringe Ace, for lack of better terms, and the 8 pitchers I listed seem to fit that elite ace description. That is why I have them listed.

That said, if you want to expand to just a more general term "ace" you still have the pre2001/post2001 issue to deal with because it is evident in your data too. Seven out of eleven of your aces acquired since 2001 came in the first round. To me that says you need to draft a pitcher in the first round if you want an ace. Of your 4 who weren't drafted in the first round one is an international (Felix Hernandez), Josh Johnson has had 1 great season and then a bunch of nice but not great years, Dan Haren has had a few real nice years but also some pretty mediocre years, and Gio Gonzalez has only pitched 3 full seasons in the majors.

Just for comparison's sake:

Pre-2001: 25% were 1st round picks (this is using my stricter elite ace standards too. If I added in the more fringy aces this would drop to below 20%)
Post-2001: 64% were 1st round picks (using my data it's 88%)

I have yet to see that explained. Until then I contend any pre-2001 data is irrelevant.

Your expectations are way too high if a James Shields career for any draft pick is not what you are looking for. 3 times in the last decade there have been a Strasburg, Verlander and Price in the draft. If there isn't an elite pitcher in the draft then your chances of acquiring a true ace by your definition go down significantly.

I think you are cherry picking your 2001 cut date. There are several late rd'ers that were picked in 2000 and 2001 while there are several HS first rd'ers picked in 2002. If you move that date around a year or two the numbers change.

Additionally many of these aces have been traded or signed as FA's so it's possible to acquire aces other ways than in the first rd of the draft as you contend.

Badsmerf
04-08-2013, 09:58 PM
thrylos, where is your research? Before claiming something is BS you should present some evidence why it is BS, otherwise your claim is weak.... especially since some of us have been looking at this data and tracking it for a few weeks.

Oxtung, I believe #1 is true based solely on numbers. There are 8 positions to play and only 5 starting pitchers. If you are considering bullpen arms in this I might change my mind. Latin American influence is also more heavily represented in the field I believe (see below for upcoming study). Reading through the entire study from the guy on that link (I used MLB Draft Prospects: MLB Draft - Success Rates of Prospects by Position (http://mlbdraftprospects.blogspot.com/2011/06/mlb-draft-success-rates-of-prospects-by.html) ) It was really unclear. This data is also only from 1987 to 2001... which lines up perfectly with our agreed upon data shift. I don't think we can use this for much evidence because it is just numbers. He doesn't clearly define his criteria. The most useful is the minor leaguer stat IMO, which still isn't clear. I want to know more detail about his numbers before I use them to come to conclusions.

That still leaves out the post 2001 data. Which, yes, I think we are in agreement that there was a clear shift. I'm going to have to dig a little to find where successful position players are drafted. I'll most likely use a compilation of WAR on fangraphs with the top 10 at each position in the last 7 seasons. I'll get back to you about that after I've compiled the data.

To me, it looks like the trend since 2001 has been elite college arms at the top of the draft and HS arms at the bottom of the 1st round are the best chance to get an Ace. Depending on where top position players are drafted (we'll have a bigger sample size), we should be able to break it down from there.

Oxtung
04-09-2013, 03:22 AM
Your expectations are way too high if a James Shields career for any draft pick is not what you are looking for. 3 times in the last decade there have been a Strasburg, Verlander and Price in the draft. If there isn't an elite pitcher in the draft then your chances of acquiring a true ace by your definition go down significantly.

I have explained myself several times now in this thread. With a very high draft pick I am looking for someone that is going to have the potential to be an elite pitcher. You clearly are not. Shields is certainly a nice pitcher and if that is what the Twins ultimately ended up with I wouldn't complain but I certainly hope the Twins are trying to draft the guy with a ceiling in the mold of Kershaw or Lincecum.


I think you are cherry picking your 2001 cut date. There are several late rd'ers that were picked in 2000 and 2001 while there are several HS first rd'ers picked in 2002. If you move that date around a year or two the numbers change.

And yet the fact remains between 64% - 88% of aces acquired in the last 13 years have been drafted in the first round. Since you don't seem to believe that data accurately represents the current state of baseball why is the data saying it is?


Additionally many of these aces have been traded or signed as FA's so it's possible to acquire aces other ways than in the first rd of the draft as you contend.

I made no such contention. As a matter of fact I said,


The only way to acquire an "Ace" is to draft or trade, making the safe assumption we won't acquire one in FA.

Ace level pitchers are perhaps the hardest thing to trade for. We saw just how hard when we had to give up an above average MLB CF with a cost controlled 3 year contract for a pitcher who had thrown a whopping 7 games above low A ball. If we have to repeat that process very often our talent bank will go broke pretty quickly.

mike wants wins
04-09-2013, 08:19 AM
BTW, I think "ace" is too high to shoot. A solid/good number 2 is one of the 30-40 best pitchers on the planet. The Twins have drafted and developed 2 of those in the last decade, traded one for nothing, and the other got hurt. Hopefully Gibson lasts longer than those two.

old nurse
04-09-2013, 09:01 AM
And yet the fact remains between 64% - 88% of aces acquired in the last 13 years have been drafted in the first round. Since you don't seem to believe that data accurately represents the current state of baseball why is the data saying it is?


.
If your figure is 64-88% then I think from a statistics viewpoint you have no clue what the number may be. That the number of "ace" level pitchers are drafted after the first few picks would be evidence that while a team figures a pitcher might be good there are no consistent indicators to identify them. The drafting process remains random for who shall be an ace.

diehardtwinsfan
04-09-2013, 11:33 AM
can we stop pretending that a pitcher and a hitter have the same value on a game? A hitter will see 4 at bats, maybe 5 in the average game. A pitcher will typically face the other team 3 times and has more impact on the outcome of a game than the hitter ever will. I get that a pitcher goes once every 5 days, but on any given day, your most important starter is the guy on the mound.

mike wants wins
04-09-2013, 11:51 AM
Not to mention you need 5-7 pitchers, and if they get hurt a lot, you need to draft even more of them! Think about it, if you need 20-30 pitchers in your system to produce 5-7 good ones, shouldn't you be drafting even more of them?

An individual hitter is probably more valuable than an individual pitcher, imo. they play "every day", instead of every 5. But, to a team, getting pitchers is more valuable, imo, because you need so many, and because their performance has a huge impact on every at bat for the otehr team, not just 5 at bats (or 4).

I'm not arguing passing on Bryce Harper here....I'm arguing that if it is not extremely obvious, you need to take team need into account. by team need, I mean from A ball to the MLB roster, not just the MLB roster.

kab21
04-09-2013, 12:37 PM
I have explained myself several times now in this thread. With a very high draft pick I am looking for someone that is going to have the potential to be an elite pitcher. You clearly are not. Shields is certainly a nice pitcher and if that is what the Twins ultimately ended up with I wouldn't complain but I certainly hope the Twins are trying to draft the guy with a ceiling in the mold of Kershaw or Lincecum.

I think you need to review some draft history and look at how often teams in the top 5 or top 10 didn't even get a decent hitter/pitcher with their pick. There are years when there are obvious elite pitchers available and they go #1 or #2 (Strasburg, Price, Verlander and Prior for example) and then there are a whole pile of good but not great pitching prospects that have varying levels of success from pretty good to AAAA players.




And yet the fact remains between 64% - 88% of aces acquired in the last 13 years have been drafted in the first round. Since you don't seem to believe that data accurately represents the current state of baseball why is the data saying it is?

the problem is that you are dealing with tiny sample size of players (8) and think you are seeing a trend in 2001. In my data there were 12 pitchers drafted in 1st rd, 10 pitchers drafted after the 1st rd and 3 int'l FA's. My data shows a clump of players from '97-'02 that were drafted in the later rds. there is also a clump of 1st rd'ers drafted from '02-'07. I believe these clumps would even out if the sample size was larger.




I made no such contention. As a matter of fact I said,

Ace level pitchers are perhaps the hardest thing to trade for. We saw just how hard when we had to give up an above average MLB CF with a cost controlled 3 year contract for a pitcher who had thrown a whopping 7 games above low A ball. If we have to repeat that process very often our talent bank will go broke pretty quickly.

I think you're overestimating the likelihood of finding an ace using any avenue of acquisition. You only consider there to be 8 aces from 7-8 years of drafts/int'l signings. It's incredibly difficult for any team to acquire one. It's even more difficult if you don't have the #1 overall pick.

Oxtung
04-09-2013, 01:36 PM
If your figure is 64-88% then I think from a statistics viewpoint you have no clue what the number may be. That the number of "ace" level pitchers are drafted after the first few picks would be evidence that while a team figures a pitcher might be good there are no consistent indicators to identify them. The drafting process remains random for who shall be an ace.

Go back and read the thread. The 64%-88% is variable because people's definition of "ace" is variable. The tighter the definition of ace the less likely it is to be found outside of the first round. At least post-2001. As for the number drafted after the first round, if you look at (for lack of a better term) elite aces there hasn't been a single one drafted after the first round. Only Felix Hernandez crashes the party as an international player. So in the last 12 years there doesn't seem to be anything random about it.

Oxtung
04-09-2013, 01:57 PM
I think you need to review some draft history and look at how often teams in the top 5 or top 10 didn't even get a decent hitter/pitcher with their pick. There are years when there are obvious elite pitchers available and they go #1 or #2 (Strasburg, Price, Verlander and Prior for example) and then there are a whole pile of good but not great pitching prospects that have varying levels of success from pretty good to AAAA players.

I agree success rates would be interesting to look at. Perhaps that should be a variable in the decision of whether to draft a pitcher or hitter.


the problem is that you are dealing with tiny sample size of players (8) and think you are seeing a trend in 2001. In my data there were 12 pitchers drafted in 1st rd, 10 pitchers drafted after the 1st rd and 3 int'l FA's. My data shows a clump of players from '97-'02 that were drafted in the later rds. there is also a clump of 1st rd'ers drafted from '02-'07. I believe these clumps would even out if the sample size was larger.

Back to the SSS argument. I agree it's SSS. Choosing to increase your number of "aces" to 25 does nothing to alleviate SSS though. You'd have to look at every draft since the inception to even start to make a dent in SSS. So if your argument is it is an artifact of SSS I have no disagreement but don't see the point in continuing this discussion because there is no way to know who to draft from a statistical approach and we should just all go home and pull a name out of a hat.



I think you're overestimating the likelihood of finding an ace using any avenue of acquisition. You only consider there to be 8 aces from 7-8 years of drafts/int'l signings. It's incredibly difficult for any team to acquire one. It's even more difficult if you don't have the #1 overall pick.

You keep saying that it needs to come out of the top 2 picks but even with my stricter "ace" qualifications that isn't true.

Drafted 1-5: Verlander, Price
Drafted 6-10: Kershaw, Lincecum
Drafted 11-15: Weaver
Drafted 16-20: Hamels
Drafted 21-25: Cain


Look, if all you want out of a draft pick is a #2 starter then you should never take a pitcher in the first round. #2 starters can be found after the first round. I view the point of a first round draft pick as going after someone who has the potential to be a superstar. If that prospect only turns out to be a #2 starter so be it. If that prospect burns out completely and never makes MLB, fine. If you draft a player with #2 pitcher as his ceiling then you'll never find that elite ace. And ultimately that is what I am looking for with this high a draft pick. A chance at greatness. Will that chance work out, I don't know. But give me that chance.

mike wants wins
04-09-2013, 02:47 PM
If you draft a hitter with a pick, you are pretty much 100% guaranteed not to get an ace, right, and what percent are you likely to get a number 2 or 3 type pitcher if you draft a hitter?

And really, the next 15-20 best pitchers on the planet are easy to find past round 1? Then why haven't the Twins done so lately?

Badsmerf
04-09-2013, 03:22 PM
Oxtung, I finished my data for hitters... very intriguing. The pre-2001 and post-2001 splits are evident too.

To recap my findings I'll start from the beginning. I used WAR data for the top 9 (was going for 10 but found out i had copied it wrong when I was finished...) position players for C,1b,2b,ss,2b,3b,cf,of from 2006 to 20012. Not too bad of a spread. But! The splits for pre-2001 and 2001-current are amazing.



1st
INTL FA
2nd
3-5
6-10
10+


All
34%
19%
14%
11%
9%
13%


pre-2001
33%
0
17%
17%
11%
22%


2001-current
35%
26%
13%
9%
9%
9%



As you can see, the likely-hood that one of these players was drafted in the 1st round is 34%. The lack of players taken after round 2 that made it into this group is incredibly small post 2001. Only 27%, compared to 50% pre-2001. That is a significant statistical shift that IMO validates our data about pitchers drafts as well. However, a lot of INTL FA make up the post 2001 data as well (players signed after 2001 to be clear).

What to do with this data? This isn't at all being used to predict likelihood of becoming one of these players, just where these players were acquired. Since we've agreed that 64-88% of Ace pitchers (depending on definition, 64 being the most forgiving) are drafted in the first round and only 34% of the position players were drafted in the first round the better bet would be to draft as many pitchers in the first round to try and hit on an ace, and find position players via INTL FA or the 2nd round.

I didn't anticipate the data to turn out this way. Rounds 1 and 2 along with INTL FA are the most important part of building talent. Side fact, the Twins have done very well in this range of data. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Jason Bartlett all made the cut. I know Bartlett was a trade and not a draftee, but still the Twins are well represented.... If only they could have drafted 1 pitcher with that group...

Badsmerf
04-09-2013, 03:32 PM
Then why haven't the Twins done so lately?
Their drafting philosophy was flawed. The last guy they drafted that even profiled that high was Garza. Arguments can be made that Wimmers and Gibson profile as #2... but that is ceiling, not what they are thought to become. I reserve judgement until after this draft since I was satisfied with last year and they might have changed how they scout.

Oxtung
04-09-2013, 04:08 PM
Oxtung, I finished my data for hitters... very intriguing. The pre-2001 and post-2001 splits are evident too.

To recap my findings I'll start from the beginning. I used WAR data for the top 9 (was going for 10 but found out i had copied it wrong when I was finished...) position players for C,1b,2b,ss,2b,3b,cf,of from 2006 to 20012. Not too bad of a spread. But! The splits for pre-2001 and 2001-current are amazing.



1st
INTL FA
2nd
3-5
6-10
10+


All
34%
19%
14%
11%
9%
13%


pre-2001
33%
0
17%
17%
11%
22%


2001-current
35%
26%
13%
9%
9%
9%



As you can see, the likely-hood that one of these players was drafted in the 1st round is 34%. The lack of players taken after round 2 that made it into this group is incredibly small post 2001. Only 27%, compared to 50% pre-2001. That is a significant statistical shift that IMO validates our data about pitchers drafts as well. However, a lot of INTL FA make up the post 2001 data as well (players signed after 2001 to be clear).

What to do with this data? This isn't at all being used to predict likelihood of becoming one of these players, just where these players were acquired. Since we've agreed that 64-88% of Ace pitchers (depending on definition, 64 being the most forgiving) are drafted in the first round and only 34% of the position players were drafted in the first round the better bet would be to draft as many pitchers in the first round to try and hit on an ace, and find position players via INTL FA or the 2nd round.

I didn't anticipate the data to turn out this way. Rounds 1 and 2 along with INTL FA are the most important part of building talent. Side fact, the Twins have done very well in this range of data. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Jason Bartlett all made the cut. I know Bartlett was a trade and not a draftee, but still the Twins are well represented.... If only they could have drafted 1 pitcher with that group...

Interesting. I'll have to think on this for a bit. Did you use the top 9 players by WAR regardless of position (excluding pitchers of course) or did you use the top 9 of every position? I.E. does your data set include 9 players (just top 9 hitters over 7 combined years) 63 players (top 9 players per season for 7 seasons) or 504 players (top 9 players per season per position)?

Badsmerf
04-09-2013, 08:02 PM
Top 9 for each position over that time. So, I think it was a little over 60 players. Still, the players on this list are very very good players. Obviously to be in the top 9 in WAR over 7 season a player needs to be good for a long period of time, which is what any team wants in a position player. Some of the guys were surprising. Both JJ Hardy and Jason Bartlett were on the list as SS. Considering how dreadful the Twins have been at the position yet had 2 of the best and got rid of them... pretty unbelievable. Using WAR might not be the best way to judge, but it includes offense and defense and WAR over a large sample size of games is a pretty good judge IMO. I could name the players I used if everyone would like...

kab21
04-09-2013, 08:39 PM
25 is a significantly larger sample than 8. I'm not sure how that is debatable.

I understand your quest for greatness but it's disturbing how easy you dismiss pitchers as #2's when they have put up top 25 numbers for a long period of time. these guys are really, really good pitchers and I would be thrilled to get a guy that I thought would be a top 25 pitcher for a long time.

Imo Weaver profiles closer to the #2's that you dismiss. out of your sample this gives you Verlander, Price and Lincecum as college aces. The first two (along with another ace that hasn't made the discussion yet - Strasburg) were no doubt BPA's in the draft. Those guys aren't available at #4 this year. Lincecum dropped a few spots because he's short. The other 3 were HS'ers. If you want to pursue greatness then your argument is that the Twins should go with a HS pitcher that profiles more like Bundy or last year's Max Fried but the risk of getting nothing is significantly higher. Perhaps you go for a go like Kohl Stewart instead of Chris Anderson or Ryan Stanek if your main goal is getting a true ace.

Badsmerf
04-09-2013, 09:11 PM
Oxtung has acknowledged his definition is strict. Kab, I believe you and I both listed 24 pitchers. Interestingly enough, this larger sample still shows the same trends. It is not as drastic because limiting it too far down results in can't-miss guys that get snatched up right away.

Mostly with having this discussion, the split we see at 2001 is intriguing. Since the data held up with pitchers and position players, I think we are seeing a trend. It shouldn't be surprising. Guys drafted in the first rounds should end up better, that is why they are drafted there. The "missed" prospects are going to be fewer and further between. Also, it looks like you have a better chance of finding a position player that develops than a pitcher.

Thrylos
04-09-2013, 09:19 PM
thrylos, where is your research? Before claiming something is BS you should present some evidence why it is BS, otherwise your claim is weak.... especially since some of us have been looking at this data and tracking it for a few weeks.

Ummmmm

do the math (or search it yourself) :
drafted pitchers are making the majors at about the same rate as position players.

That's what I called BS (claiming that Ps are less likely to make the majors than position players - matter of fact they are more likely)

I kinda still waiting for the definition of an "Ace" (in a quantitative manner, btw)

kab21
04-09-2013, 09:34 PM
Oxtung has acknowledged his definition is strict. Kab, I believe you and I both listed 24 pitchers. Interestingly enough, this larger sample still shows the same trends. It is not as drastic because limiting it too far down results in can't-miss guys that get snatched up right away.

Mostly with having this discussion, the split we see at 2001 is intriguing. Since the data held up with pitchers and position players, I think we are seeing a trend. It shouldn't be surprising. Guys drafted in the first rounds should end up better, that is why they are drafted there. The "missed" prospects are going to be fewer and further between. Also, it looks like you have a better chance of finding a position player that develops than a pitcher.

The larger sample doesn't show the same trends as Oxtung's imo. Oxtung's group of 8 shows zero players drafted after the 1st rd while my group has 10/25 drafted after the 1st rd.

I'm also not sure that the 2001 split is anything more than a sample size issue. Are you suggesting that things were significantly different during the 5 years before 2001 and the 5 years after? I don't think things change this quickly. One other issue is that there are several aces (Lincecum, Price and Kershaw) that were drafted in 2006 or 2007. they flew through the minors as 1st rd picks and because they were very good. Guys that are later rd picks usually take longer to develop because they didn't start as highly ranked.

Badsmerf
04-09-2013, 10:02 PM
thrylos, we all explained our criteria for an Ace. Kab and I have 25 players (him 25, 24 for me). Perhaps if we badger Oxtung enough he will agree to loosen his criteria and we can all agree.

Kab, I do think things changed that drastically. The main things I can attribute: the internet, cell phones, money in the game, steroids, sabermetrics. I believe they all had a significant influence on scouting players and drafting and continue to do so. We can only wait and see, but I firmly believe this trend will continue.

kab21
04-09-2013, 10:13 PM
I don't think that changed in two 5-6 yr periods.

Badsmerf
04-10-2013, 09:23 AM
I don't think that changed in two 5-6 yr periods.
Maybe, data says otherwise. How much evidence do you need? In 5 more years it should be even more clear, but I don't know of any hot prospects or hot young players that buck this trend.

kab21
04-10-2013, 10:12 AM
I did a quick scan of young pitchers and came up with these guys as potential #1/2's with a full season of experience. I left out guys like Miley, Parker, Samardzija, Hudson and Kennedy since I need a little more convincing about their upside. I also left off guys like Harvey, Bundy and Fernandez (all 1st rd'ers) since they have barely pitched in the majors yet.

late rd picks
Gio - 1st supplemental - HS - '04
Zimmerman - rd 2 - Uni - '07
Latos - rd 11 - HS - '06
Moore - rd8 - HS - '07
Gallardo - rd2 - HS - '04

1st rd picks
Bumgarner #10 - HS - '07
Sale - #13 - Uni - '10
Scherzer - #11 - Uni - '06
Strasburg - #1 - Uni - '09

int'l but different than the previous int'l FA's
Darvish - megabucks Japan

mike wants wins
04-10-2013, 10:41 AM
So, not many college relievers in rounds 2+ on the list....hopefully the Twins discovered some kind of market inefficiency.....but I have my doubts.

Oxtung
04-15-2013, 04:09 PM
Oxtung, I finished my data for hitters... very intriguing. The pre-2001 and post-2001 splits are evident too.

To recap my findings I'll start from the beginning. I used WAR data for the top 9 (was going for 10 but found out i had copied it wrong when I was finished...) position players for C,1b,2b,ss,2b,3b,cf,of from 2006 to 20012. Not too bad of a spread. But! The splits for pre-2001 and 2001-current are amazing.



1st
INTL FA
2nd
3-5
6-10
10+


All
34%
19%
14%
11%
9%
13%


pre-2001
33%
0
17%
17%
11%
22%


2001-current
35%
26%
13%
9%
9%
9%



As you can see, the likely-hood that one of these players was drafted in the 1st round is 34%. The lack of players taken after round 2 that made it into this group is incredibly small post 2001. Only 27%, compared to 50% pre-2001. That is a significant statistical shift that IMO validates our data about pitchers drafts as well. However, a lot of INTL FA make up the post 2001 data as well (players signed after 2001 to be clear).

What to do with this data? This isn't at all being used to predict likelihood of becoming one of these players, just where these players were acquired. Since we've agreed that 64-88% of Ace pitchers (depending on definition, 64 being the most forgiving) are drafted in the first round and only 34% of the position players were drafted in the first round the better bet would be to draft as many pitchers in the first round to try and hit on an ace, and find position players via INTL FA or the 2nd round.

I didn't anticipate the data to turn out this way. Rounds 1 and 2 along with INTL FA are the most important part of building talent. Side fact, the Twins have done very well in this range of data. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Jason Bartlett all made the cut. I know Bartlett was a trade and not a draftee, but still the Twins are well represented.... If only they could have drafted 1 pitcher with that group...

I have thought about this for a week now and as much as I wanted to agree with you Smerf I just can't. I don't see anything in that data saying elite hitters getting drafted in the 1st round are succeeding more often than pre-2001 levels. What I do see is that some of the fringe seasons that came out of later rounds are instead going to international signees.

However, it also appears that elite hitting talent, while still most prevalent in the first round, can be found in the later rounds. This is different from elite pitching talent. Even if I expand my data to include all 19 pitchers that have placed on a top 10 list at least one time and were acquired after 2001 only 3 of them were drafted outside of the first 2 rounds, Jaime Garcia, Josh Johnson and Doug Fister.

Oxtung
04-15-2013, 04:43 PM
The larger sample doesn't show the same trends as Oxtung's imo. Oxtung's group of 8 shows zero players drafted after the 1st rd while my group has 10/25 drafted after the 1st rd.

I'm also not sure that the 2001 split is anything more than a sample size issue. Are you suggesting that things were significantly different during the 5 years before 2001 and the 5 years after? I don't think things change this quickly. One other issue is that there are several aces (Lincecum, Price and Kershaw) that were drafted in 2006 or 2007. they flew through the minors as 1st rd picks and because they were very good. Guys that are later rd picks usually take longer to develop because they didn't start as highly ranked.

As I've said previously it doesn't matter where an Ace is drafted (or signed internationally) historically. If you're an Ace level pitcher you move through the system at the same pace whether you're drafted 1st overall or in the 8th round. Hell, Saberhagen was drafted in the 19th round and is the youngest pitcher in the last 30 years to be ranked at least one time in the top 10 in ERA for a season.

Your "25 aces" group splits the same way as my data, just not quite as extreme, with a pre-2001 post-2001 acquisition date. Only Josh Johnson and Lester were drafted outside of the 1st round in your group. I don't know if I believe post-2001 is SSS or not but I do think the many reasons brought up by Badsmerf could explain why we're seeing a split in the data. So much has changed since the mid-90's in how players are evaluated. I'm not willing to flat out rule that out. If that is true then it needs to be reflected in draft strategies.

Badsmerf
04-15-2013, 04:52 PM
I have thought about this for a week now and as much as I wanted to agree with you Smerf I just can't. I don't see anything in that data saying elite hitters getting drafted in the 1st round are succeeding more often than pre-2001 levels. What I do see is that some of the fringe seasons that came out of later rounds are instead going to international signees.
I'm not really saying that. More, that elite hitters are more likely to come from the 1st round or INTL FA now. The data pre-2001 shows there was more talent picked-up in later rounds than there is now. It also didn't have a single INTL FA, which was surprising. I agree it does show that while the odds are lower, there are still talented players being drafted in later rounds.... unlike Ace level pitchers.

Oxtung
04-15-2013, 04:55 PM
25 is a significantly larger sample than 8. I'm not sure how that is debatable.

I understand your quest for greatness but it's disturbing how easy you dismiss pitchers as #2's when they have put up top 25 numbers for a long period of time. these guys are really, really good pitchers and I would be thrilled to get a guy that I thought would be a top 25 pitcher for a long time.

Imo Weaver profiles closer to the #2's that you dismiss. out of your sample this gives you Verlander, Price and Lincecum as college aces. The first two (along with another ace that hasn't made the discussion yet - Strasburg) were no doubt BPA's in the draft. Those guys aren't available at #4 this year. Lincecum dropped a few spots because he's short. The other 3 were HS'ers. If you want to pursue greatness then your argument is that the Twins should go with a HS pitcher that profiles more like Bundy or last year's Max Fried but the risk of getting nothing is significantly higher. Perhaps you go for a go like Kohl Stewart instead of Chris Anderson or Ryan Stanek if your main goal is getting a true ace.

There is almost no difference between 8 and 25 players. They are both ridiculously SSS. The difference is I acknowledge mine is SSS and you keep saying your 25 is conclusive. The only way you are going to get rid of SSS is if you expand the search parameters to include many more seasons. I don't think that really helps us though because so much has changed in the 15 years let alone the last 50. Is draft data from the 1970's really relevant to today's game?

You and I have a different definition of Ace. That's OK. I have explained myself several times. I'm not sure why you keep poking this with a stick.

When it comes to the draft I'm not sure if the Twins should draft a pitcher at 4 or not. That is why I was looking into the numbers behind previous drafts. If they do draft a pitcher I don't care if he comes from the college ranks or high school so long as there is considerable upside. If that means a HS pitcher at 4 I have no problems with that. Lincecum (taken 10th) and Weaver (12th) were taken later in the first round so it isn't like you can't get college pitchers that turn into Aces at the 4th spot.

Oxtung
04-15-2013, 05:01 PM
I'm not really saying that. More, that elite hitters are more likely to come from the 1st round or INTL FA now. The data pre-2001 shows there was more talent picked-up in later rounds than there is now. It also didn't have a single INTL FA, which was surprising. I agree it does show that while the odds are lower, there are still talented players being drafted in later rounds.... unlike Ace level pitchers.

I guess I misunderstood then. I agree that the international signings were non existant in the pre-2001 data was very surprising.

I think the biggest thing that I've taken away from this whole exercise is that elite Aces are only found in the 1st round. Fringe Aces (for lack of a better term) can be found going into the second round but after that it is almost impossible to find an Ace. Where as some elite hitters can be found later in the draft. I think it would be interesting to break down the hitters by position. I wonder if it is harder to find elite SS's and CF's late in the draft too.