You can draft for need and end up with Mark Appel. You can draft best available, and get Byron Buxton, who made the big leagues as a high school pick when Appel was still at DOUBLE-A.
Appel was not drafted #1 because of need. He was assumed to be the best player available. Some thought he would have made the major leagues that same year.
The Appel equals need and Buxton equals best player is using hindsight to make a point. But I am not sure Buxton goes #2 in a re-draft. Correa goes #1 and you have guys like Michael Wacha, Addison Russell, Gausman, Giolito, and Stroman in round 1.
I think the Twins scouts are absolutely enamored with athletic outfielders and use the BPA mantra as an excuse to take them. With our 18 first round picks since 2002, six of them have been prep OF (Span, Hicks, Revere, Parmelee, Buxton, and Kiriloff). Despite the kudos the Twins keep getting for developing high school outfielders, none have made an all-star game. Hicks, Revere, and Parmelee have made the show. But I am not sure a CF with an OPS of .644 (Hicks) , or a corner OF at .669 (Revere) and .717 (Parmelee) are really feathers in our cap. Span has had a good career with 26 WAR spread across 9 seasons. But the other three have basically been replacement players. Hicks has 2.2 WAR across four seasons. Parmelee is negative in four seasons. And Revere has 6 WAR over 6 seasons. And we have literally invested 1,000’s of MLB at bats in these guys because we are emotionally tied to them and wanted them to succeed. Really bizarre given we could have signed better players without a huge financial commitment.
But here is the biggest issue I have. You need starting pitching to win and the draft is really the only realistic avenue for the Twins to acquire that talent in a sustainable manner over any period of time. The same is almost true at the catcher position (whereas OF are a dime a dozen in FA). Catchers rarely hit free agency and the Twins are never going to pay a guy like Brian McCann $85m over five years or Max Scherzer $180m.
So I guess the flip side of BPA at all costs is, if your turn comes up ten years in a row and a HS OF is the top on your board each year, what is the plan to acquire five starting pitchers and a catcher? The old we can trade them later sounds good, but how often has that happened? I mean Span, Revere, and Hicks for Murphy, Meyer, and May kind of goes to show you that hasn't really worked out for us. We have moved three of them for one potential starter, who is in the bullpen.
Edited by tobi0040, 10 June 2016 - 01:05 PM.