Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The rest of the story

 OK, for those of you who are old timers like me, you may remember the Paul Harvey show.  He would always start it with some statement and, I think, end with "And that's the rest of the story".

Well, today we had the 'rest of the story' for the 2017 baseball draft.  The last 30 rounds.   Let me give you some statistics going back to recent Indians' drafts from 2011-2016, the years where each team only drafted for 40 rounds.
  • Only about 50% of the guys drafted after round 10 even signed, most of them being college players (see below). 
  • Only 7 guys have made the majors in rounds 11-40 in those 6 seasons (Adam Plutko, Ben Heller, Cody Anderson, Shawn Armstrong, Shawn Morimando, Cody Allen and Ryan Merritt, the last 5 from the 2011 draft!).
  • In those years, the Indians drafted 58 high school players in rounds 11-40 and signed 7.  Of those 7, only Morimando has actually made the majors.   
 Given the above information we should not expect much out of the later rounds.  By my count the Indians drafted, in rounds 11-40, 11 HS players, 11 college juniors, 4 college sophomores or freshman, 3 college seniors.  Not an unusual distribution.

Here is my take on these picks.

1. I think it was very unusual for them to start the last day with 3 HS players in the first 4 picks.  Usually HSers  drafted that late don't sign as my statistics above show.   I don't understand this as these guys were not even highly ranked so they can't really even qualify as flyers, selected in case we had extra bonus money left.   Why spend these picks on guys who are not necessarily that good and, as HSers, aren't as likely to sign.  I understand teams liking who they like, but I don't get these picks.  Time will tell what to make of these picks.

2. The lack of emphasis on college seniors (4 in the entire draft) and the emphasis on pitchers who are college juniors is interesting.   In many cases these guys go back to school unless the bonus money is there.   As none of them are very highly rated, it will be interesting to see how many of them sign.  At the same time, guys like Heller, Cody Allen and Shawn Armstrong came by this route so this is a group worth watching.

3. The two true flyers they took late (Cole Turney and Asa Lacy) are guys to watch.   They were projected to go in the 3rd-5th rounds.  If we do have extra bonus money look for the Indians to target one of them.

In summary, the last day of the draft was relatively unexciting for the Indians.   Not surprising in that we shouldn't have much, if any, extra bonus money above $100,000 to throw at any of these guys if we sign our top 10 picks.   There may be some surprises in this group, however, as it looks like the Indians are really trusting their scouts to go out and find the overlooked guys.   As they have had a lot of success identifying relievers in this group, look more at the pitchers rather than the hitters in rounds 11-40 and expect a relatively low signing rate in this group this year.   I would say 12-15 of them signing, at the most.  I could easily be wrong on that but this is what the breakdowns and history tells me.

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