Comments on: Pittsburgh Pirates Early 2013 Draft Preview Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:28:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Steve Zielinski Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:41:22 +0000 If they could identify talent, then their would be no risk of their drafting Tate, Matt Bush, etc. But their ability to identify talent generates much risk for them. The reason: Inaccurate identifications — read: mistaken identifications.

By: rburgh Sun, 17 Feb 2013 02:38:56 +0000 I doubt that they will take two HS players with the #9 and #14 picks – that could chew up most of their bonus pool to get them signed.

There are also a lot of prep catchers in the top 50 or so in this draft – it would make sense to grab Moran or Mercado and a signable (under-slot) college pitcher with their first two picks, then there would be money to sign some later round talent.

By: NastyNate82 Sun, 17 Feb 2013 00:22:49 +0000 I agree with much of what you’re saying. Have a clearly defined set of draft rules or ideas is a nice idea on the surface, but foolish to cling to stubbornly.
But I take issue with your statement that they can’t identify talent.; thats just an untrue statement. For all of those high-profile busts, you could identify many others who were later round success stories. Players fail for any number of reasons. A pitcher may get injured and come back with less velocity and stuff. A player’s inability to hit breaking balls may not show up until at AA or AAA. Stating that they can’t identify talent with examples like that is too simplified.

By: Steve Zielinski Sat, 16 Feb 2013 23:33:05 +0000 My point: Drafting players has qualities which make hard and fast rules irrelevant, at best, and destructive otherwise. I made that point to rebut someone who claimed we ought to cut slack to front offices because they are more knowledgeable than we are and can accurately identify talent. Clearly, they can’t accurately identify talent, as my examples show.

By: NastyNate82 Sat, 16 Feb 2013 19:28:24 +0000 If you’re going to use the Hochevar examples, thats a bit too hindisghty don’t you think? You could do that with any collection of data. The whole draft is imprecise, and pointing out examples like that doesn’t really say much. There are always going to be prospects that teams (and prospect sites) are wrong on. Nature of the business.
But I agree with you on the BPA thing…its too simple to use by itself.

By: NastyNate82 Sat, 16 Feb 2013 19:24:24 +0000 I think people often term the BPA theory (or I’ve seen it pop up more) when talking about the price-tag of a player, and why a cheaper alternative is taken over a more expensive one. Agreed, I don’t think need and BPA are mutually exclusive.

By: NastyNate82 Sat, 16 Feb 2013 19:22:03 +0000 Tim,

Perhaps this a question maybe for a different thread and topic, but your comment got me thinking. Do you think that often as fans or prospect-folk, we get tunnel-vision about positions? For instance, corner infielders are often thought of in terms of bat or power only (1B moreso than 3B). But by having that view, doesn’t that ignore the individual player a little too much? For instance, first basemen who are very good defensive and OBP players might be undervalued when compared to the Ryan Howards of the world.

By: Steve Zielinski Fri, 15 Feb 2013 22:31:24 +0000 “In the regard that you are speaking sure, but that is not how the masses use the terminology.”

I noticed the common use of the phrase and intended to criticize that use and proposed a better use of the two phrases in question. The common use of the “best available” strategy is too simple to work well in most instances. Because it is too simple, too black and white, it creates confusion, not clarity, about the choices teams face when drafting.

“On the other hand, you have to trust that a MLB team is capable of ranking prospects based on talent. They should have a clear order of players based on the many resources they have, far more than we are privy to.”

Examples which undermine this assumption:

Dustin Ackley
Donavan Tate
Tony Sanchez
Mike Trout
Tim Beckham
Josh Vitters
Daniel Moskos
Luke Hochevar

As for the 2004 Draft Class, only Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver have had better careers than Neil Walker among the first round picks. One might include Billy Butler too, but he’s a DH, not a middle infielder.

I’ll not assume that front offices have the information they need to make accurate assessments of the players they intend to draft. Nor will I assume they would make best use of that kind of information if they had access to it. It’s not reasonable to make these assumptions.

By: Y2JGQ2 Fri, 15 Feb 2013 20:56:05 +0000 Again- You really can’t take the best available player. You have to take the player with the highest perceived value in terms of position and talent.

I’d have it ranked this way:

1. shortstop 2. Catcher 3. Ace Starting pitcher 4. Third Baseman 5. Center Fielder 6. Any other outfield spot 7. second base 8. First Base

You have to intertwine the value of the position along with the talent of the player to make a good pick

By: Y2JGQ2 Fri, 15 Feb 2013 20:50:31 +0000 Jalcorn- You have to be careful how you state that, because baseball now, more than ever, gives additional value in terms of trades, to the position of the player. Not necessarily drafting for system need, but drafting for value of the position. A two way player with equal skills and defensive ability between outfield and first base, and you pick the outfielder. Between a third baseman and a shortstop, you choose the short stop, between pitcher and catcher, most likely choose the catcher. Not system need, but not talent either, because if you end up with 5 great RF and you end up needing a shortstop, you aren’t going to get one for your equally talented outfielder. You REALLY have to maximize potential draft value, by not only getting talent, but getting talent that has value to the other teams to help fill the holes you might have by not drafting for need. Unfortunately for the last few years, we haven’t been able to get a shortstop via trade for that exact reason. Its not that we don’t have any talent, its just that noone is goign to trade evenly in terms of talent their shortstop for your “any position not catcher or ace pitcher”