17 February 2009

Using Wang's Approach to Look at Drafting

Prospect Evaluation
Victor Wang did a short piece for THT a day or so back pitting Matt Wieters and David Price against each other. Based on his work, he states that a top ten hitting prospect is worth about twice as much as a top ten pitching prospect. In older articles he had written, he has determined that elite hitting prospects are worth significantly more than elite pitching prospects. That this difference narrows, but stays throughout the top 100 listed prospects (i.e. BA; not draft position). He has mentioned that his most recent work, in the THT annual, that he now finds a shift in the 50-100 range in that pitchers are now favored. What remains the same though is the greater projectability of top 50 positional talent. Now, the short piece he wrote states that Wieters is by far the more valuable prospect, but the questions as it pertains to the Orioles is greater. Andy MacPhail has stated that his organizational philosophy is to grow arms and buy bats. Some have pointed to this thought process as to why we selected Brian Matusz over Justin Smoak. It may make more sense to focus on bats at the top end of the draft and arms later. Of course, this ignores the evaluation of the market for free agents. It also ignores to a certain extent positional worth. So, yeah, there are a lot of questions, but it does make some sense. Matusz, as we have mentioned here, is a pitcher with decent mechanics and very good secondary pitches. We have written that we would have selected him . . . and we maintain that opinion. The key, draft-wise, is determining what value the player has. Is he a top tier pitcher or is he a top tier fielder? If you have a choice between them . . . it may make sense to lean toward the hitter while making up for this in the second and third rounds with pitching focused drafting. Comparing this perspective with the Orioles' selections and Camden Depot's selections:

1. Brian Matusz, LHP
2. Xavier Avery, OF
3. LJ Hoes, 2B/OF

Camden Depot
1. Brian Matusz, LHP
2. Tim Melville, RHP
3. Roger Kieschnick, OF

1. Justin Smoak, 1B
2. Tim Melville, RHP
3. Tim Murphey, LHP

It might be interesting to keep track of these separate top 3s.

Sackman evaluates Division 2 strength.
This is a follow up of a previous link I mentioned. His approach shows that there may have been 12 teams last year who could have held their own against D1 teams. The following list includes those teams who had a player selected in last year's draft:
Mount Olive (Daniel Hodges, Braves, round 23)
Delta State (Ken Smalley, A's, round 24; Eli Whiteside's alma mater)
Columbus State (Rodney Rutherford, A's, round 20)
Franklin Pierce (Scott Savastano, Mariners, round 28)
Catawba (David Thomas, A's, round 14)
Sonoma State (Travis Babin, Mets, round 16)
Tusculum (Maikol Gonzalez, Rockies, round 35)
Anyone else notice the A's being somewhat aggressive in division 2? I'm not sure it will play out for them, but it will be interesting to see if they really know what they are doing.

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