05 April 2010

Another look at the 2009 draft: budgets

Be sure to click on the following graphic . . . it will become much larger and legible.

It is a graphical representation of spending in last year's (2009) draft with respect to money spent in the first 10 rounds, last 40 rounds, and total expenditure.

What do it all mean for the Orioles? They seem to project their budget to a sort of market slotting. They rank 7th overall, while having the 5th or 6th highest slot allotment. Based on my back of the envelope calculations, they exceeded their slot allotment by about 50-60%. Now, they way they did this was rather unconventional. They devoted 40% of their budget to picks chosen after the tenth round. The Yankees were really the only other team to act in a similar fashion.

After the jump . . . what could this mean?

A major difference between the Orioles drafting and our shadow Orioles draft last year was the after tenth round budgeting. Stotle and I are much more aware of the talent that drops in the first ten rounds, so our draft budgets would probably fall more in the 95% spent in the first ten rounds . . . similar to the A's or Giants. It is a type of strategy you would expect from organizations that might prefer consensus perspectives and not isolated ones.

Joe Jordan acted differently last year and, although somewhat unique in his methodology, it kind of makes sense. If you have a few scouts who are completely sold on overlooked high school talent, then it makes sense to use several of your selections after the tenth and follow those players through summer ball and to offer overslot contract to those you like after a more extended look. This enables the scouting department the opportunity to draft more value. What I mean is this . . . if you are selecting near slot for players in the first ten rounds and then overslot afterward, you are likely to get more overall talent as the base level of talent in the first ten rounds is much much greater than in the final 40. The crux of the strategy is how good your team is at ID'ing solid overslots after the 10th pick.

What is worth more: Max Stassi and Mike Spina or Randy Henry and Michael Ohlman?
I don't know the answer to that. For the Orioles sake, hopefully Joe Jordan does.

What does this all mean for the 2010 draft?
Just a basic numbers approach would suggest a draft budget of 9.5 to 10MM. That value would not be able to draft either Harper or Taillon in addition to the rest of the draft class (around 2.5MM at slot). It may be possible that MacPhail has budgeted in extra money in case they do need to expand the money in order to fit in one of these players. Most industry sources think Matzek is superior to Taillon, but we have received every indication that the Orioles thought Hobgood (and Wheeler) were better than Matzek. Would the O's be willing to pay Taillon 3-4x as much as they did Hobgood while also not considering him to be an elite talent? Probably not. Though, they may very well have an opinion that is more in line with consensus on Taillon.

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