Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rough Draft

Sometimes, the Wriz just has to scratch his head. I mean did anyone actually watch even a half hour of the Major League Baseball Draft? I’m not talking about turning it on for 5 minutes here or there. I mean a half hour straight.

As an utter baseball junkie, not even the Wriz can take that kind of boredom. Obviously, it didn’t help that the Phillies didn’t have a pick until the 39th overall selection. The NFL Draft gets hyped and analyzed nonstop from the Monday following the Super Bowl up until it starts then it gets dissected, scrutinized and re-analyzed. The NBA draft is similar but to a lesser extent. The NHL and, more importantly, MLB barely get any exposure or coverage and I’m not sure there is an easy fix or something fixable at all.

There were some great storylines in the draft this year. Wayne Gretzky’s kid was drafted. The Cubs drafted the “Next Great One” in the 7th round. Bill Veeck will be happy to know the Padres drafted the great nephew of Eddie Gaedel, the 3’7 dwarf who had one ML at bat. Unfortunately for Kornhole, Kyle Gaedele is 6’4.

MLB's smallest player ever, Eddie Gaedel

Small World: Kornhole's cartoon about small people

The biggest problem with the draft is even HUGE baseball fans don’t know many, if any, of the players being drafted. Sure, you get the prodigies that everyone knows or at least have heard of like Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg, but what can you tell me about Gerrit Cole? He was this year’s first overall pick. If you just knew he was from UCLA you know more than most.

The next biggest problem is that the players being drafted, for the most part are a few years from putting on an MLB uniform. Whether or not NBA or NFL high draftees get significant playing time is one thing but the make the team. The 2009 draft has only 6 first round selections who have made the Major Leagues so far. From the 2010 draft only Chris Sale of the White sox has made it so far.

The accuracy of the draft has gotten better in recent years but there are still players that fall thru the cracks or high picks that never make it past Double A.  The Orioles drafted 17 times before the Cardinals finally took Albert Pujols in the 13th round in 1999. The Best of the bunch is probably Larry Bigbie

Next, is the disparity between a high school player and a college player. Pro scouts have a hard enough time doing this how do you expect the average blue collar worker to do it? Currently, players maybe drafted after their senior year of high school, but they can choose to enter college. At which point, they are draft eligible after their junior season, unless of course if the go to a junior college where are draft eligible after each season. You getting all this? So some players will fall in the draft if teams are convinced they will attend college because they don’t keep their rights. For example, Chase Utley was drafted by the Dodgers but chose to go to UCLA so the Phillies were able to draft him after his junior season.

My last point of contention is the politics involved. Every year, players get drafted because they are related to so and so. I don’t care if Chris Wheeler has told the Phillies faithful about “No Doubles Defense” for 30 years we don’t need to draft his grandkid because he picked up a baseball once. BTW, the Phillies drafted Ruben Amaro’s nephew, Andrew Amaro with the 1441st overall pick.

Like I said I don’t know if this can even be fixed but my solution would be to move the draft back, so you could have a tournament. You could put maybe 8 regional teams together and play a tournament. It would give scouts a better opportunity to see the elite players complete against each other. Obviously, it would need to be televised. Then and most importantly, fans could see the players play a few games to spark their interest in the draft.

You can check out who the Phillies drafted here:

See ya at the ballpark!

Jay Wrizight


  1. Dude, Piazza was drafted by Lsorda as a favor to his father. Think that one worked out? He was the last pick that year. ;)

    BS aka netfather

  2. I know, but he is the exception not the rule. Roberto Clemente and Johan Santana were Rule 5 draftees, but it doesn't mean Michael Martinez was worth $50,000.

  3. Shane Victorino & David Herndon were Rule 5 picks. Michael Martinez is no Shane. Hell he would have to hit 20 homes in a row to be in Herndon's class.

  4. Only thing more boring then real baseball draft is someone talking about their fantasy baseball draft... ay-Ohh

    -da Big Ragu

  5. Thanks for the Small World Shout out! Very good article this week. The MLB and NHL drafts are both terrible. The NHL isn't as bad though.