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Drafting pitching is no quick fix


Thers been a ton of discusion of the merits of the Brewers loading up on pitching in the draft, because its a present need at the Major League level. This lead me to checking into the validity of this, so I checked out the 4 most recent drafts to use history as a guide.

 

Based on recent history, drafting pitching for a quick fix is not realistic for the Brewers. There are no starting pitchers from the draft held 1 year ago, drafted #16 or later who signed for slot value, starting in AAA yet. There are no starting pitchers from the draft held 2 year ago, drafted #16 or later who signed for slot value, starting in the majors.

 

The draft 3 years ago is the best draft in recent baseball history. There are 3 starting pitchers from the draft held 3 year ago, drafted #16 or later who signed for slot value, who are starting and have ERAs under 5, as of May 30th. They are Micah Owings, Garret Olsen, who only has a 6 game sample, and Matt Garza, who the Rays aquired this past offseason for a position player. Despite an awesome draft, theres presently just 3 pitchers who are assets to there teams rotations.

 

The 2004 draft was opposite of the 2005, it has been just bad so far. Amazingly, there's not a single pitching starting in the majors who was drafted #16 threw round 5 who signed for slot value. While I didn't have the ability to peruse that entire draft, the only remotely effective starter I could find was 13th rounder Andy Sonnastine, who presently has a 4.98 ERA. Our own Yovanni Gollardo was an extremely effective starter, but he is presently on the DL. Its interesting that a HS pitcher beat all the college pitchers to the bigs, as most are suggesting the Brewers draft college pitchers for the quicker impact. Jason Windsor made some starts in each of the last 2 years, but was ineffective, and is no longer in the Bigs.

 

While teams have consistently found quick impact pitching in the draft, those players have been long gone by pick #16. Loading up on pitching early, in a draft filled with impact college bats, and a few interesting HS bats, would be haphazard, and would destroy the Brewers oppurtunity to have possibly their best draft in the last 9 years.

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"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider

 

-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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I don't think anyone expects that pitching will provide a quick fix, but the Brewers really do need to add more pitchers to their system one way or the other. I agree with your preference for bats early, and do hope the team goes this route with their first pick, since bats in the first round are a much better bet to succeed than a pitcher, college or high school.
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X...

 

I wanted to thank you for the great analysis. I would agree with CJ that I don't think anyone thinks it will be a quick fix. As a matter of fact, I am hoping they don't take "more polished, lower ceiling" guys in an attempt to add more immediate help.

 

I really appreciated the insight though...that took some work. I would expect either four or five of these top six picks to be pitchers. It sure would be nice to hit on two.

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X...

 

I wanted to thank you for the great analysis. I would agree with CJ that I don't think anyone thinks it will be a quick fix. As a matter of fact, I am hoping they don't take "more polished, lower ceiling" guys in an attempt to add more immediate help.

 

I really appreciated the insight though...that took some work. I would expect either four or five of these top six picks to be pitchers. It sure would be nice to hit on two.

My thought is that by loading up on impact college bats (players like Jemile Weeks, etc.), the kind of players who seem to be moving up through the system rapidly (see LaPorta, Braun, and Rickie Weeks), pitching could be fixed by then trading other hitting prospects for pitching help.

 

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I don't get hung up on College vs HS players, I agree with the statement above, take the best available talent.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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The only time I get caught up in HS v. College is that I don't like taking HS pitchers in the first round of the draft; the risk-reward just isn't there considering the multi-million dollar signing expenses.

 

I'd rather take a good college SP who never lives up to his full potential (like Aaron Heilman for the Mets), over the HS guy with more 'stuff' who never throws an inning in the majors. I know that the college arm may flame out (Kyle Peterson-like....although the team knew about his mechanics when they picked him), and that some HS arms do in fact live up to the hype, but I'd be at least curious to see what % of first rounders from each group actually make it to the majors (for more than 1 year).

 

 

Beyond the first round, take what you can get....but I think that the probability of a player making it to the majors should be one of the top considerations in weighing the options in the first round. Of the guys currently on the 25-man roster, I think you can at least make that kind of case for Sheets, Fielder, Weeks, and Braun. IMO, it's the one thing all those picks had in common, especially when compared to the picks that haven't made it (Jeffress being the potential exception, but he's got a long way to go).

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"The only time I get caught up in HS v. College is that I don't like taking HS pitchers in the first round of the draft; the risk-reward just isn't there considering the multi-million dollar signing expenses. "

 

I agree completely, unless you are talking about a HS left hander or if the pitcher in question is top 5 in the country. Rick Porcello is a great example of that, and guys like Kershaw, Kazmir, Bumgarner, among others on the lefty side. Would rather have the college pitcher all the way. After round one its worth it to take a shot on a HS who can throw 90. Heck, youre lucky if you get one major leaguer from a draft, so its not too big of a risk to take the HS kid in after round 1.

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