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 Post subject: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:54 am 
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Let me start by saying that I readily admit that I don't know much about MLB drafting and scouting. Many of you surely know more. Many others of you certainly talk like you know more. But I was thinking about the draft as I was driving this morning and have some questions/observations that I think are worthy of discussion.

    1. Assuming that the Pirates have a fixed budget for how much they plan to spend on signing bonuses for draft picks this year, would it ever be a good strategy to sign a player who is less that the best available athlete because you want to save budget for later rounds? Under what circumstances would this be acceptable? If it is acceptable in some circumstances, what is it about this circumstance that makes it unacceptable?

    2. If we assume that NH was given enough total budget to sign Aaron Crow (e.g.) in the first round, why didn't he do it? He knew that not doing so would cause a huge publicity hit. He has said as much over the past few days. Why take the publicity hit if you have enough budget available to sign the guy unless you think, on principle, that your strategy is better for the team in the long run?

    3. Won't it be clear to all of Pirate Nation once the draft is over and all the players are signed whether or not NH did, in fact, have enough budget to sign Crow (e.g.)? And shouldn't we wait to blame this whole thing on Nutting being a cheap bastard until we know who the Pirates take in the later rounds and, more importantly, who they sign and for how much?

I think you can have a legitimate conversation right now about item 1 above, i.e., is this ever a legitimate strategy. To me, it sounds like the equivalent of trading down in the NFL draft which is a common and accepted practice. I can see the logic in it under some circumstances. Is this one of those circumstances? I have no idea and, I suspect, not many of you do really either. It is also, of course, legitimate to discuss whether whatever fixed budget number they have for signing bonuses is high enough or not.

Items 2 and 3, I don't think can be fairly evaluated until the draft is over and all the players are signed or not. Basically, once the dust has settled, if we add up all the signing bonuses that the Pirates spend and compare it to what Crow (e.g.) signs for, we'll be able to tell for sure if passing over Crow and the like was a budgetary decision or a baseball decision, right?

I'd appreciate your thoughts and would also request that we attempt to have a civil and intelligent discussion on this topic rather than just calling each other "morons".

Cheers,
BM


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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:37 am 
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You have to draft the most talented player available in the draft when you are a team like the Pirates. Instead they drafted a 20-30 projected player with the 4th pick.

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:45 am 
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Ryann wrote:
You have to draft the most talented player available in the draft when you are a team like the Pirates. Instead they drafted a 20-30 projected player with the 4th pick.


Ryann -
That is a conclusion. That is not a reason. Go back and read Meister's original post. Then try to figure out a way to respond instead of regurgitating your same post for the 1,214th time.

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:06 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Ryann wrote:
You have to draft the most talented player available in the draft when you are a team like the Pirates. Instead they drafted a 20-30 projected player with the 4th pick.


Ryann -
That is a conclusion. That is not a reason. Go back and read Meister's original post. Then try to figure out a way to respond instead of regurgitating your same post for the 1,214th time.


No.9 -
Go back and read Meister's original post. Then try to figure out a way to respond instead of trying to scold me for the 1,215th time. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:17 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:

    1. Assuming that the Pirates have a fixed budget for how much they plan to spend on signing bonuses for draft picks this year, would it ever be a good strategy to sign a player who is less that the best available athlete because you want to save budget for later rounds? Under what circumstances would this be acceptable? If it is acceptable in some circumstances, what is it about this circumstance that makes it unacceptable?


Without the ability to trade draft picks, I am not sure how you deal effectively with a weak draft, which by all accounts this is. However, first one must assume this guy was low on their list. Maybe, maybe not. I certainly don't take at face value what internet bloggers write. By all accounts I read, this guy was 20 with a bullet in a class where there was no significant differance between 4 and 40. But, if you use your budget to sign some Robbie Grossman's, and you end up in 3 years with effective MLB players and a deep minor league system, then it is acceptable.

What I find unacceptable is spending 1/3 of your fixed budget on for a "Weiters" pick that is no where close to being Weiters, and where none exist.

Quote:
    2. If we assume that NH was given enough total budget to sign Aaron Crow (e.g.) in the first round, why didn't he do it? He knew that not doing so would cause a huge publicity hit. He has said as much over the past few days. Why take the publicity hit if you have enough budget available to sign the guy unless you think, on principle, that your strategy is better for the team in the long run?


NH has the budget he had last year. So, he has enough. However, NH and crew has shown itself immune to that kind of public outcry, as well they should. What makes anyone think Crow was a safe pick, with what he did last season? Again, he might be a good pitcher, but is he worth 1/3 of your budget? By all accounts, no.

Quote:
    3. Won't it be clear to all of Pirate Nation once the draft is over and all the players are signed whether or not NH did, in fact, have enough budget to sign Crow (e.g.)? And shouldn't we wait to blame this whole thing on Nutting being a cheap bastard until we know who the Pirates take in the later rounds and, more importantly, who they sign and for how much?


Yes. Brian Giles was a what... 30-something round pick? I can see overreaching on talent more than overpaying for lesser talent. Basically, the whining is the equivalent of saying "Why didn't you draft and overpay Brian Bullington?". That seems the level of this draft.

If one thinks that Sanchez can be a MLB catcher, and quickly, then his value -- as all catchers value --- skyrockets because competant catchers are one of a couple prize commodities in MLB. Jason Kendall part deux will give you a lot of options in the future.


ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:50 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
You have to draft the most talented player available in the draft when you are a team like the Pirates. Instead they drafted a 20-30 projected player with the 4th pick.

You say, "a team like the Pirates" has to do this. What is it about the Pirates that makes this true for them and not for other teams?


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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:51 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
To me, it sounds like the equivalent of trading down in the NFL draft which is a common and accepted practice. I can see the logic in it under some circumstances. Is this one of those circumstances? I have no idea and, I suspect, not many of you do really either. It is also, of course, legitimate to discuss whether whatever fixed budget number they have for signing bonuses is high enough or not.


Meister -
With all due respect, I think that the highlighted and underlined observation/analogy from above is outstanding. If the 2008 #4 pick was worth a signing bonus of $5M, why must you conclude that the #4 pick in 2009 be worth $5M? If (and I write "If" because I have no idea if this is true) Aaron Crow would be worth a $3M signing bonus in an average draft year and would be selected #10 overall, should the Pirates simply "suck it up" and pay him a $4M signing bonus merely because it is a lousy draft and because he was drafted higher? I can see and find legitimacy in both sides of the argument there.

I ask this question in all seriousness to those who feel that more money must be spent. Is it merely a question of spending more money or should there be consideration as to how that money is being spent?

For instance, if the Pirates chose tomorrow to announce that Nyjer Morgan had been signed to a 3 year/$45,000,000 extension, would that be a good thing because more money was being spent? What if Ian Snell was signed to a 4 year/$40,000,000 extenstion?

What if the Pirates decided to outbid the Mets and pay Ollie Perez $50,000,000 over 3 years to come to Pittsburgh? Would that be a good thing?

I have not and will not dispute the notion that more money must be invested into the team in order to make it more competitive. But . . . I cannot help but feel that (1) there is not a bottomless pit of money (unlike NY, Boston, LA, Chicago) and (2) allocation of resources is a consideration.

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:53 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
Ryann wrote:
You have to draft the most talented player available in the draft when you are a team like the Pirates. Instead they drafted a 20-30 projected player with the 4th pick.

You say, "a team like the Pirates" has to do this. What is it about the Pirates that makes this true for them and not for other teams?


Which is . . . a nicer way of asking for a reason rather than a conclusion . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:37 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
Ryann wrote:
You have to draft the most talented player available in the draft when you are a team like the Pirates. Instead they drafted a 20-30 projected player with the 4th pick.

You say, "a team like the Pirates" has to do this. What is it about the Pirates that makes this true for them and not for other teams?


A small market team can't afford these top talent free agents every season. To get top talent into the organization they must draft the best player available. Really that is the strategy for most team to draft the best player available not the player with the best talent to cost ratio.

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
burghermeister wrote:
Ryann wrote:
You have to draft the most talented player available in the draft when you are a team like the Pirates. Instead they drafted a 20-30 projected player with the 4th pick.

You say, "a team like the Pirates" has to do this. What is it about the Pirates that makes this true for them and not for other teams?


A small market team can't afford these top talent free agents every season. To get top talent into the organization they must draft the best player available. Really that is the strategy for most team to draft the best player available not the player with the best talent to cost ratio.


So . . . in other words, a team like the Pirates has to have a loaded minor league system, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:42 pm 
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Well it depends. We really just have an owner who doesn't run the team well and pockets many of our funds such that could go to the payroll. Although a good minor league system with top prospects is what this team needs, trading the teams star player for scrubs isn't the answer. Look I have no problem with the Nady trade and the McLouth trade can't be considered bad until we see how the prospect fare. However the Bay trade was a joke we got 1 mediocre player, a platoon player, poor quality reliever, and an injured pitching prospect.

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
A small market team can't afford these top talent free agents every season. To get top talent into the organization they must draft the best player available. Really that is the strategy for most team to draft the best player available not the player with the best talent to cost ratio.

Ok. So small market teams have limited resources. But is it a given that they should use these limited resources to overpay by millions of dollars for draftees who they do not deem worthy of such money? Should they pay Pedro Alvarez bonus money to someone who is clearly not the equal of Alvarez in potential? Or is it acceptable, in years where this is the case, to instead distribute the limited bonus money among several lower-round players, some of whom may only be in the lower rounds because of their salary demands?


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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:49 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
Well it depends. We really just have an owner who doesn't run the team well and pockets many of our funds such that could go to the payroll. Although a good minor league system with top prospects is what this team needs, trading the teams star player for scrubs isn't the answer. Look I have no problem with the Nady trade and the McLouth trade can't be considered bad until we see how the prospect fare. However the Bay trade was a joke we got 1 mediocre player, a platoon player, poor quality reliever, and an injured pitching prospect.

Let's keep this conversation focused on drafting strategies and not delve into the trades. There are plenty of other threads for discussing these trades.


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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:52 pm 
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Allow me to provide a theory...

What I have noticed, is the Pirates FO is building this team surrounding AA. What I mean by that is this, most of our top prospects are located in A and AA with a few sprinkled in at AAA and some still further down. What I believe this implies is that the "core" of the team is not at the ML level as we all suspect, but in the conglomeration of talent being built in and around AA. Let's take a look...

Catcher - There wasn't a prospect at this position anywhere in the minors and the drafting of Sanchez addresses this need immediately. Many of the XBox age fans are under the assumption that every cather provides 30hr 100rbi and stellar defense. Whereas the truth is, a steller defensive catcher that doesn't embarrass the team at the plate is more the norm.

First Base - The Pirates have plenty of options at this position from Matt Hague, to Jarek Cunningham(who is currently a thirdbaseman), to ultimately Pedro Alvarez if Andy LaRoche continues to develop.

2nd Base - This spot is possibly ticketed to one of 2 possibilities, Shelby Ford, or Jim Negrych.

3rd Base - The Pirates went from being anemic at this spot to loaded throughout the organization. Andy Laroche tops the list currently, but Neil Walker, Pedro Gonzalez, and further down Jeremy Farrell all can be considered.

Short Stop - Brian Bixler had his opportunity and I believe has lost it, leaving the position to be battled out by Brian Friday, Chase D'Arnaud, and Jordy Mercer.

Outfield - Now with A. McCutchen playing everyday in Pittsburgh, the 2 remaining outfield spots are possibly ticketed to Jose Tabata and Gorkys Hernandez. Robby Grossman and the newly drafted Evan Chambers may provide insurance.

Starting Pitching - Brad Lincoln and Bryan Morris are leading this category with Jeffrey Locke a consideration. Don't forget Justin Wilson who could be in the mix.

Relief Pitching - Jeff Sues and Michael Dubee are contendors but primarily reliever come from many different situations. Don't write of Danny Moskos yet either, he is still young and a lefty, he could still develop late and become a quality reliever or maybe even starter.

In summary, I believe that the organization has improved markedly since the departure of Littlefield and still has room to grow. If you will notice, NH has competition at every position in the organization, the more talent he aquires, the more competition, and the more production we will reap from our prospects.

Some fans can lose their head over a single draft choice like Sanchez and be completely missing the larger picture. I choose to inspect the depth of the organization and see that it has a much brighter look than just 2 years ago.

PF13


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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:54 pm 
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No.9-- your argument makes a lot of sense. My inclination is that he is pretty average at best and may already have reached his potential. He tells us that there wasn't much interest in him out of high school which indicates that he is not a natural. By losing weight and lifting weights he improved himself to a point that there is interest in him. Great but has he reached his maximum? Doesn't appear that there is much hope for an upside. His hitting is average and he admits to being slow of foot.

All of that does not add up to a no.4 pick no matter how weak the board.

Money becomes an issue when he is happy to take slot money and team doesn't spend. The past will not help fans understand any explaination here. Theyy look cheap. They have lost the PR battle and need something like Sano to help them get back belief.

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Substitute2 wrote:
Theyy look cheap. They have lost the PR battle and need something like Sano to help them get back belief.

I really don't care about the PR battle and am pleased that they don't either. If they do the right thing and, eventually, field a winning team, the fans will come back and new ones will jump on the bandwagon. This is one of the things that interests me about this draft. I suspect that when all the cards have been played, it will be clear that they have spent enough money on draftees that they could have signed the big-ticket guy in the first round if they had wanted to. I just don't think that they thought it was the right thing to do and were willing to weather the fan backlash that they knew would come. Was it the right decision? I have no idea. But I'm quite happy that they are willing to take PR hits if it is done with the intent of making sound baseball decisions.


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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:20 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
Substitute2 wrote:
Theyy look cheap. They have lost the PR battle and need something like Sano to help them get back belief.

I really don't care about the PR battle and am pleased that they don't either. If they do the right thing and, eventually, field a winning team, the fans will come back and new ones will jump on the bandwagon. This is one of the things that interests me about this draft. I suspect that when all the cards have been played, it will be clear that they have spent enough money on draftees that they could have signed the big-ticket guy in the first round if they had wanted to. I just don't think that they thought it was the right thing to do and were willing to weather the fan backlash that they knew would come. Was it the right decision? I have no idea. But I'm quite happy that they are willing to take PR hits if it is done with the intent of making sound baseball decisions.


I want to second this. Although I am not thrilled with the pick, the PR thing is stupid. I am sure NH will take all the bad PR right now to win be competitive three years down the road. Drafting Aaron Crow because it is good PR is not how to run a baseball team.

NH and Co. have a strategy. They will live by it or die by it.

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
In summary, I believe that the organization has improved markedly since the departure of Littlefield and still has room to grow. If you will notice, NH has competition at every position in the organization, the more talent he aquires, the more competition, and the more production we will reap from our prospects.

Some fans can lose their head over a single draft choice like Sanchez and be completely missing the larger picture. I choose to inspect the depth of the organization and see that it has a much brighter look than just 2 years ago.

PF13


Interesting analysis, PF13. No question, the farm system is much stronger, especially in the lower minors, than what they inherited from the prior administration. I don't see how anyone can argue that fact.


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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:47 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
Ryann wrote:
A small market team can't afford these top talent free agents every season. To get top talent into the organization they must draft the best player available. Really that is the strategy for most team to draft the best player available not the player with the best talent to cost ratio.

Ok. So small market teams have limited resources. But is it a given that they should use these limited resources to overpay by millions of dollars for draftees who they do not deem worthy of such money? Should they pay Pedro Alvarez bonus money to someone who is clearly not the equal of Alvarez in potential? Or is it acceptable, in years where this is the case, to instead distribute the limited bonus money among several lower-round players, some of whom may only be in the lower rounds because of their salary demands?


:lol:
Your a total joke! How many more totally terrible moves will the Pirates have to make before you accept the fact they aren't run right? You can't come up with a good argument! Crow wouldn't have wanted Alvarez money. The Pirates picked sanchez to save money because they are a cheap organization. So many more talented players and the Pirates pick a less talented player. They even reached in some of their later round picks!

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 Post subject: Re: Serious questions on the draft
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:51 pm 
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Ryann wrote:
:lol:
Your a total joke! How many more totally terrible moves will the Pirates have to make before you accept the fact they aren't run right? You can't come up with a good argument! Crow wouldn't have wanted Alvarez money. The Pirates picked sanchez to save money because they are a cheap organization. So many more talented players and the Pirates pick a less talented player. They even reached in some of their later round picks!


Just curious. If the Pirates have a budget of $5 million for their draft this year and they spend $5 million, does your theory of the Pirates only taking Sanchez because ownership is cheap still hold water?

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