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Total WAR by Draft Picks since 2011


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I came across this graph depicting total major league WAR (as calculated by Baseball Reference) among players drafted and signed by each team since 2011. It only includes draft picks that were actually signed by the drafting team (so for instance Carlos Rodon’s 4.3 WAR and Mallex Smith’s 2.6 WAR would not count towards the Brewers WAR total despite initially being drafted, but not signed by Milwaukee). It also includes all players drafted and signed regardless of which team the player went on to accrue the WAR totals with (for example Mitch Haniger counts in the Brewers total because they drafted and signed him despite the major league WAR stats coming with the D-Backs and Mariners).

 

 

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Among players drafted and signed by the Brewers since 2011 those that have reached the majors and recorded a career WAR total in the Baseball Reference database are listed below (draft year in parentheses):

 

Mitch Haniger (2012): 3.1 WAR

Brent Suter (2012): 2.2 WAR

Taylor Jungmann (2011): 1.1 WAR

Jacob Barnes (2011): 1.0 WAR

Michael Reed (2011): 0.2 WAR

Garrett Cooper (2013): 0.1 WAR

Jed Bradley (2011): 0.0 WAR

Tyler Wagner (2012): 0.0 WAR

Damien Magnifico (2012): 0.0 WAR

Anthony Banda (2012): 0.0 WAR

Barrett Astin (2013): -0.1 WAR

Jorge Lopez (2011): -0.1 WAR

David Goforth (2011): -0.4 WAR

 

Obviously the more recent draft classes have plenty of time yet to prove their value, and I am certainly hopeful they will. Still this graph sort of sums up how significant the gap can prove among teams that draft well over a stretch of years and those that don’t. Also in looking at the draft classes, the 2013 Brewers draft in particular stands out as providing almost no major league impact (or even hope for future major league contributors). It was obviously the same year they lacked a first round draft pick as well as the pool money affiliated with having a first round draft selection.

 

I think the last couple of drafts have a chance to change this trend for the Brewers. I am also impressed that they have pieced together as solid of a farm system as they have based on some of the previous poor drafts. One thing is certain, the draft matters.

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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Below is the teams ranked by WAR from the graph above followed by how many top 5 picks they've had from 2011-2016 (I left out 2017 since no 2017 draft players have reached the majors yet). I see very little correlation between a top 5 pick and productive drafting (using the assumption your first round pick should provide most of the WAR). This is very crude and based off of not a large sample size and many of the last few draft classes are still in the minors, but it looks like a really high doesn't make much of a difference. Scouting and developing are what you need.

 

Bos - 0

Hou - 5

Oak - 0

Tor - 0

ChC - 2

Cle - 1

Sea - 2

Tex - 1

Stl - 0

Bal - 2

Fla - 1

SF - 0

LAD - 0

Col - 3

AZ - 1

NYM - 0

Was - 0

SD - 0

Pit - 1

ChW - 1

Det - 0

NYY - 0

Atl - 1

Phi - 1

Min - 3

Mil - 1

KC - 2

LAA - 0

TB - 0

Cin - 1

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The Seid era really was full of a lot of misses. No wonder we had the struggles we did before the rebuild. Hopefully with our new staff we can end up on other side of the spectrum

Proud member since 2003 (geez ha I was 14 then)

 

FORMERLY BrewCrewWS2008 and YoungGeezy don't even remember other names used

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A bit misleading as HS picks from 2014 are not even required to be protected in the Rule 5 yet, much less expected to be in the majors. Really, this is relevant for three drafts - 2011-2013, with college picks from 2014 just breaking into the majors and top-10/1st round college picks at that (the Brewers invested in HS picks in 2014 - Medeiros, Gatewood, Harrison, Stokes, Yamamoto). Hell, Woodruff was drafted in 2014 and he's just breaking into the majors.

 

I think a more relevant comparison would be 2009-2014; keeping in mind that 2009-2011 there was no bonus pool and in 2009 there was no draft pick compensation for unsigned picks, still giving significant advantages to teams willing to push the boundaries of the rules (Boston, Houston, Pittsburgh, etc.) by signing players for way over slot. The Brewers chose to be good corporate citizens because they needed the rules to change, thus they had to be "do as I do". Case in point, 2011 - if you rank players by signing bonuses, Jungmann and Bradley are actually in the 20's, not #12 and #15. But the Brewers had to draft guys who would sign close to recommended slot; they couldn't complain about being disadvantaged, then go out and give Josh Bell $5M to sign as a 2nd round pick.

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  • 1 month later...
Below is the teams ranked by WAR from the graph above followed by how many top 5 picks they've had from 2011-2016 (I left out 2017 since no 2017 draft players have reached the majors yet). I see very little correlation between a top 5 pick and productive drafting (using the assumption your first round pick should provide most of the WAR). This is very crude and based off of not a large sample size and many of the last few draft classes are still in the minors, but it looks like a really high doesn't make much of a difference. Scouting and developing are what you need.

 

Bos - 0

Hou - 5

Oak - 0

Tor - 0

ChC - 2

Cle - 1

Sea - 2

Tex - 1

Stl - 0

Bal - 2

Fla - 1

SF - 0

LAD - 0

Col - 3

AZ - 1

NYM - 0

Was - 0

SD - 0

Pit - 1

ChW - 1

Det - 0

NYY - 0

Atl - 1

Phi - 1

Min - 3

Mil - 1

KC - 2

LAA - 0

TB - 0

Cin - 1

 

Well Houston did win the WS, Cubs year before. 7 of the 29picks.

 

The Fact KC won a WS with their draft results, Grienke trade much?

 

They should have these 6 year lists and the bottom team should be forced to fire any and all that are intimately involved with that horrible result and Banned.

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  • 1 year later...
Eighteen months later the stats don't look much better...since Lucroy was drafted in 2007 the highest WAR by a Brewers draft pick for the Brewers is by Scooter at 5.0 before he was released. The Brewers have done a great job making trades over the last few years to make them competitive, but in the long run I am guessing Johnson/Flanagan need to be more successful then some of their predecessors. Turning Gomez, Fiers, and J. Lopez into Hader, Houser, Moustakas, and Gamel has created a level of success (as well as the Yelich trade).
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Below is the teams ranked by WAR from the graph above followed by how many top 5 picks they've had from 2011-2016 (I left out 2017 since no 2017 draft players have reached the majors yet). I see very little correlation between a top 5 pick and productive drafting (using the assumption your first round pick should provide most of the WAR). This is very crude and based off of not a large sample size and many of the last few draft classes are still in the minors, but it looks like a really high doesn't make much of a difference. Scouting and developing are what you need.

 

Bos - 0

Hou - 5

Oak - 0

Tor - 0

ChC - 2

Cle - 1

Sea - 2

Tex - 1

Stl - 0

Bal - 2

Fla - 1

SF - 0

LAD - 0

Col - 3

AZ - 1

NYM - 0

Was - 0

SD - 0

Pit - 1

ChW - 1

Det - 0

NYY - 0

Atl - 1

Phi - 1

Min - 3

Mil - 1

KC - 2

LAA - 0

TB - 0

Cin - 1

 

Unless you're talking about Astrols level tanking, and even then it's hit or miss(Brady Aiken) it's amazing to go back and look at past drafts to see just many guys actually pan out. It's like that in every draft, but at least in the NFL and NBA, you're likely to get role players. In MLB, so many guys end up as complete misses.

 

It seems like a good draft produces 3 really good players. A Kershaw, Scherzer, Longoria type draft. A great draft like the Braun draft produces 7-9 in the first 50 picks.

 

But as others have said, the last few drafts are a lot more encouraging. Keston and Turang look like really good first round picks(and so does Grisham this year). But the college arms we've picked in the 2nd an 3rd rounds have been especially encouraging.

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  • 6 months later...

Updating this old thread because Baseball America released an article titled, Ranking Every MLB Team's Draft Performance In The 2010s

 

There is a summary explanation paragraph for each team with some really interesting facts within the article, but below are strictly the rankings, WAR, and top players for each team. Obviously some of these rankings will continue to change as players drafted in the second half of the decade accrue WAR at the major league level in the coming years.

 

1. Astros

WAR: 103.8

Top picks: George Springer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman

 

2. White Sox

WAR: 101

Top picks: Chris Sale, Marcus Semien, Tim Anderson

 

3. Marlins

WAR: 96.

Top picks: Christian Yelich, Jose Fernandez, J.T. Realmuto

 

4. Blue Jays

WAR: 95.1

Top picks: Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Kevin Pillar

 

5. Mets

WAR: 93.9

Top picks: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto

 

6. Cardinals

WAR: 91.6

Top picks: Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Kolten Wong

 

7. Athletics

WAR: 91.4

Top picks: Sonny Gray, Matt Chapman, Matt Olson

 

8. Orioles

WAR: 86.7

Top picks: Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, Josh Hader

 

9. Red Sox

WAR: 80.9

Top picks: Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr.

 

10. Nationals

WAR: 79.9

Top picks: Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Robbie Ray

 

11. Braves

WAR: 78.7

Top picks: Andrelton Simmons, Alex Wood, Mike Soroka

 

12. Indians

WAR: 74.4

Top picks: Francisco Lindor, Shane Bieber, Cody Allen

 

13. Rockies

WAR: 68.8

Top picks: Trevor Story, Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland

 

14. Dodgers

WAR: 65.3

Top picks: Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Corey Seager

 

15. Mariners

WAR: 64.1

Top picks: James Paxton, Edwin Diaz, Chris Taylor

 

16. Pirates

WAR: 58.6

Top picks: Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell

 

17. D-backs

WAR: 58.5

Top picks: Trevor Bauer, Adam Eaton, Jake Lamb

 

18. Cubs

WAR: 56.5

Top picks: Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber

 

19. Rays

WAR: 52.5

Top picks: Blake Snell, Kevin Kiermaier, Derek Dietrich

 

20. Padres

WAR: 49.1

Top picks: Trea Turner, Hunter Renfroe, Max Fried

 

21. Tigers

WAR: 44.0

Top picks: Nicholas Castellanos, Drew Smyly, Chad Green

 

22. Angels

WAR: 41.7

Top picks: Mike Clevinger, Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron

 

23. Twins

WAR: 40

Top picks: Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Jose Berrios

 

24. Rangers

WAR: 38.1

Top picks: Joey Gallo, Kyle Hendricks, Alex Claudio

 

25. Giants

WAR: 34.9

Top picks: Joe Panik, Matt Duffy, Adam Duvall

 

26. Phillies

WAR: 33.9

Top picks: Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins, Ken Giles

 

27. Royals

WAR: 32.6

Top picks: Whit Merrifield, Sean Manaea, Hunter Dozier

 

28. Yankees

WAR: 30.6

Top picks: Aaron Judge, Jordan Montgomery, Tommy Kahnle

 

29. Brewers

WAR: 26.1

Top picks: Mitch Haniger, Keston Hiura, Brandon Woodruff

 

30. Reds

WAR: 25.4

Top picks: Yasmani Grandal, Michael Lorenzen, Nick Senzel

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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  • 2 weeks later...
2 through 4 point out drafting great players doesnt always equate success.

 

And how many of those "top picks" are not with the teams that drafted them in this list?

 

Syndergaard (Mets), Grandal (Dodgers/Brewers), Yelich (Brewers), Realmuto, Hader (Brewers), and Bauer all jump to mind.

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Brewer Fanatic Contributor
2 through 4 point out drafting great players doesnt always equate success.

 

And how many of those "top picks" are not with the teams that drafted them in this list?

 

Syndergaard (Mets), Grandal (Dodgers/Brewers), Yelich (Brewers), Realmuto, Hader (Brewers), and Bauer all jump to mind.

 

But if you are going to break down the GM's (and/or GM's team's) impact to the team you have to ask:

- How do they draft?

- How do they do in procuring quality players?

- Do they keep the right players on long term contracts?

 

Certainly, no one does all aspects really well. And I think DS has shown that he can find good players with shrewd moves. But if the drafting is suspect, you can identify and fix it. Because if you can't draft, you are handicapping yourself from the starting line.

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