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Don McCormack, Tino Martinez, Lance Lynn and the 75th Pick

Posted by jorgenswest , 10 March 2018 · 1,351 views

alex cobb lance lynn
Note: Thanks to spycake, I know now that we will forfeit pick 95. Even better. Only 2 players of 53 with significant careers. Amos Otis and Dave Cash. Addison Reed and his 6.8 WAR checks in as the third most successful pick 95.

What is the 75th pick in the draft worth? If the Twins sign Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn they would forfeit this pick. How much should this loss factor into the decision?

With the help of baseball reference, I took a look at all of the pick 75s since 1965. The very first pick 75 was Frederick Marden. Marden never pitched in the majors topping out in A-Ball. The first #75 pick to reach the majors is Don McCormack. McCormack might be remembered for his career major league batting average of .400. He accomplished this splitting his 2 career hits evenly over his 2 seasons. The first significant major leaguer was drafted in 1975. With 24.8 career WAR, Jason Thompson is among the very best players drafted at pick 75. There are three others with career WAR in the 20s in Tino Martinez, Grady Sizemore and Yunel Escobar. One other major league has had a significant career. Wade Davis has 11.7 career WAR. Five players with a significant career. Rounding out the top 10 are Scott Radinsky, Joe Lefebvre, Joel Johnston, A.J. Minter and the previously recognized Don McCormack.

Since Yunel Escobar was drafted in 2005, the 75th pick has a cumulative total of -1.2 WAR. Yes... there might be a significant player among them. Significant players occur about once a decade at this pick. That significant player isn’t going to come from players drafted between 2006 and 2013 though. That group is ages 25-32 and done or almost done.

Maybe pick 75 has just been unlucky. The Twins have never drafted 75th. Maybe they know better. Let’s increase the sample size and look at picks 74 and 76.

Pick 74 has three players of 53 thus far with a career WAR of 20 or better including the very first pick 74 in 1965. The Twins drafted Graig Nettles in 1965. The Twins do know better! He finished with a career WAR of 68.0 and has a good chance to remain the MV74P at least through my lifetime. Let’s hope Akil Baddoo challenges that number. I would hate to miss out on a Nettles to add Lance Lynn. Ironically, the Twins did lose out on Nettles in order to bolster the rotation by trading him for Luis Tiant. Tiant pitched well in one season for the Twins until hit by significant injury. David Cone comes in as the number 2 pick 74. He has career WAR of 62.5. The Royals missed out on 62.6 of that WAR when they traded him for Rick Anderson and Ed Hearn. Two fantastic pick 74s but the drafting teams had little to show for the wisdom of their picks. The other player with better than 20 career WAR is Jim Clancy at 21.3. Two players are still active with a small chance to get there are John Jay(13.1) and Tyler Chatwood(10.2).

How about pick 76?

Chase Utley is the MV76P almost in the clubhouse at 65.4 WAR. He will get challenged by Giancarlo Stanton currently with 35.1 WAR at age 28. The only other player drafted 76 with a career WAR above 20 is Marquis Grissom at 29.4. Only 9 of the 53 players drafted pick 76 have a positive career WAR including current major league catchers Nick Hundley, James McCann and JR Murphy. The Twins have drafted 76th twice. They drafted Graig’s brother Jim Nettles in 1968. His 1.1 career WAR ranks him 8th. Let’s hope Blayne Enlow adds his name to the short list of players with a significant career.
What is a pick 75 worth?

Ten players with significant careers thus far among the 159 players drafted picks 74 through 76. Nettles, Cone, Utley and Stanton had seasons where they were among the best at their positions. Teams hit on a major league star about 3% of the time although two drafting teams did not recognize their star. You find a player with a solid career about 7% of the time. Around 20% of the players will have achieved positive WAR in the majors.

Do you give up that pick to sign a free agent? I think so. I think you do so without blinking. It would be awful to lose out on Giancarlo Stanton but that likelihood seems so remote. If he is there at 75, he would have been there at 60. Pick him then. Losing the draft pick should have no impact on the Twins decision about signing Lynn or Cobb. It all has to be about the years and the dollars. If they can get either for two years, I would offer that contract without hesitation or thought of pick 75.

*WAR as calculated by baseball reference.

  • Deduno Abides and nclahammer like this

Tom Froemming
Mar 10 2018 03:32 PM

I'm pretty sure you were right the first time and the Twins would lose the 75th pick.


Per MLB:


"A team that receives revenue sharing will lose its third-highest selection in the following year's Draft. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its fourth-highest remaining pick."


The Twins top picks are No. 20 overall, No. 60 and No. 75, their Competitive Balance Round B pick, right? Unless those picks are protected, which I can't find anything indicating that's the case.

    • Deduno Abides likes this
Tom Froemming
Mar 10 2018 04:40 PM

I guess those comp balance picks are protected. Lynn is signing with the Twins and everyone is confirming that info from spycake, that they'll give up the No. 95 pick. Works for me.

    • DocBauer likes this
I dislike losing draft picks because you just never know, right? But this isn't the NFL where a "3rd rounder" is expected to be a top player for your team. 75th pick of 95th, you are giving up a "maybe" selection for immediate help. And while the Twins are currently, seemingly, lacking in a number of "blue chip" prospects, they have a quality and deep farm system in place. (And the "blue chip" numbers could easily rise after 2018 plays out). And who knows, Lynn could do very well here, love his time, and be re-signed, further negating the cost of said "maybe" selection.
Mar 11 2018 04:57 AM
This team has a mostly legitimate chance to win now. It is time to go for it.