• Odds Of Signed Draft Pick Making The Big Leagues

    Posted by on July 22nd, 2013 · Comments (10)

    Via Mark Eddy -

    How many of the nearly 900 players who signed out of this year’s draft might we expect to see in the majors one day? If recent history is any guide, then that answer is roughly one in six—or, to be precise, 17.2 percent of signed draft picks.

    Baseball America arrived at that number by analyzing the 22 drafts from 1987 through 2008, noting the number of signed players who reached the big leagues for at least one game. This involved fusing the BA draft database, which contains signing information for every draft pick in history (save for a few stray draft-and-follows), and the Baseball-Reference.com draft database, which links major league statistics to every draft pick in history (again, with few exceptions).

    We began the head count in 1987 because that year’s draft was the first to feature only one phase. This removed the complicating factor of the annual January and June drafts, each featuring two phases, by which players and teams were bound for the first 22 years of draft history.

    “The big thing about it is you don’t have to worry anymore about who’s in what phase,” then-Twins scouting director Terry Ryan said at the time.

    Stopping the count at 2008 allows five full years for that draft’s high school players to reach the big leagues. After all, a number of ’08 prep first-rounders—Tim Beckham, Kyle Skipworth, Aaron Hicks and Ethan Martin—joined 40-man rosters only last November.

    This provides and interesting yardstick, no? If a team has a draft where less than 17% of the players signed make the majors, is it not, then, safe to say they did a below average job in that draft?

    Comments on Odds Of Signed Draft Pick Making The Big Leagues

    1. Evan3457
      July 22nd, 2013 | 5:18 pm

      Depends.

      Rather have two or three good players than 2 average players and 5 relievers/bench players.

    2. Evan3457
      July 22nd, 2013 | 5:19 pm

      Oh, and one Mike Trout makes an entire draft.

    3. Scout
      July 22nd, 2013 | 9:27 pm

      Bad teams tend to promote more kids from the farm because they have nothing to lose. That doesn’t make their drafts more successful. It’s all about quality.

    4. Evan3457
      July 23rd, 2013 | 1:18 am

      Scout wrote:

      Bad teams tend to promote more kids from the farm because they have nothing to lose. That doesn’t make their drafts more successful. It’s all about quality.

      This.

    5. MJ Recanati
      July 23rd, 2013 | 7:15 am

      Saseball America wrote:

      Baseball America arrived at that number by analyzing the 22 drafts from 1987 through 2008, noting the number of signed players who reached the big leagues for at least one game.

      Why would a player reaching the big leagues for at least one game be a valuable metric in determining whether a farm system is producing or not?

    6. July 23rd, 2013 | 7:35 am

      Scout wrote:

      Bad teams tend to promote more kids from the farm because they have nothing to lose. That doesn’t make their drafts more successful. It’s all about quality.

      @ Evan3457:
      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Why would a player reaching the big leagues for at least one game be a valuable metric in determining whether a farm system is producing or not?

      You have to show SOMETHING to make it to the major leagues, even for just one game. “Prospects” who totally suck and who are a bust don’t get promoted to the 40-man and then the 25-man. Making the majors, even for just one game, shows that you did something in the minors to suggest that you have a chance of helping in the majors, in some capacity.

    7. MJ Recanati
      July 23rd, 2013 | 9:23 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Making the majors, even for just one game, shows that you did something in the minors to suggest that you have a chance of helping in the majors, in some capacity.

      Not necessarily true.

    8. Evan3457
      July 23rd, 2013 | 10:27 am

      But they have to show less to make it with a bad team, especially if a team is very bad for several years in a row. Then, the “throw everything against the wall and see who sticks” phenomenon is in effect.

    9. MJ Recanati
      July 23rd, 2013 | 10:50 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But they have to show less to make it with a bad team, especially if a team is very bad for several years in a row. Then, the “throw everything against the wall and see who sticks” phenomenon is in effect.

      Not only that, but, as we’re seeing with the Yankees, players who would otherwise not be rosterable at the major league level are pressed into service when the depth chart is depleted at the first, second (and third) string level.

    10. Evan3457
      July 23rd, 2013 | 12:29 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      But they have to show less to make it with a bad team, especially if a team is very bad for several years in a row. Then, the “throw everything against the wall and see who sticks” phenomenon is in effect.
      Not only that, but, as we’re seeing with the Yankees, players who would otherwise not be rosterable at the major league level are pressed into service when the depth chart is depleted at the first, second (and third) string level.

      To put it more precisely:

      Did the Yankees’ 2008 draft become “more successful” because Corban Joseph and Brett Marshall got called up and played 1 or 2 games this season?

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.