FanPost

Sandy's Skillsets: Is There A Draft in Here?

How often do draft picks pan out? cjmulrain posted an interesting comment in Chris McShane's First-Round draft pick thread taking a look at how Sandy Alderson fared while GM in Oakland. He suggested that despite a bad run from 89-91 his draft team was much stronger than the Mets have been over the years. I thought I'd try to figure out how much better.

As a point of reference, Sandy drafted 312.6 worth of WAR from 13 players over 15 drafts. A pessimist might say he only got 13 players in 15 drafts - that's not even one keeper a year. The optimist might counter that he averaged nearly 21 WAR per draft - not too shabby.

Now I'm not sure what minimum WAR cutoff cjmulrain used so there might be more players that meet the threshold I established. I looked for players who built a career bWAR of 5 or higher.

How'd the Mets compare? I looked at all Mets draftees starting with 1980 and moving forward. I also show a table starting with the 2004 draft that counts anyone with a big league positive WAR since those guys are young enough to still hit the threshold of 5 if they stick around.

What'd we find?

  • In the 25 years between 1980 - 2004 the Mets have drafted and signed 18 players who've reached 5 WAR or more. That's well less than a single player per draft that developed any type of meaningful career.
  • Five of those players were first rounders, three were supplemental first rounders, three were second rounders and seven came in rounds three or later.
  • The total WAR for the 18 players is 357.2 or 19.8 per player or 14.3 WAR per draft.
  • But averages are averages. There were 12 seasons out of 25 where we didn't draft/sign a single player who managed to post 5 WAR over the course of their career. That's nearly half the drafts being total duds.
  • Seven of the eighteen came in just three drafts.
  • Nine were drafted in the eighties, six in the nineties and two so far in the five years of the aughts where guys have had at least nine seasons in which to establish themselves.

Overall it's pretty dismal and certainly Sandy's Oakland track record was better than what the Mets have done. But even Sandy's team often whiffed in the first round - only four of fifteen first round picks hit - that's 26% (SSS).

There's also discussion of high draft picks having value as trade chips. I'm going to try to take a look at that soon but could use some help. I'm remembering Piazza, Delgado & Santana as recent high-profile trade targets - I'd welcome others that I'm forgetting if anyone remembers more.

Again, thanks to cjmulrain for taking a look at Sandy's draft. Here's a chart featuring our valuable picks since 1980.

Year

5+ WAR signed

Total WAR of 5+ signees

Round biggest WAR was picked

Player

1980

1

39.2

1

Strawberry

1981

1

41

13

Dykstra

1982

4

70.7

1, 2, 3, 5

Gooden, Youmans, R McDowell, Gerald Young

1983

2

39.6

2, 3

Magadan, Aguilera

1984

0

0

1985

1

17

1

Jeffries

1986

0

0

1987

1

9.3

2

Hundley

1988

0

0

1989

0

0

1990

1

17.4

1

Burnitz

1991

2

17.9

1s, 44

B Jones, Isringhausen

1992

0

0

1993

0

0

1994

1

13.4

1s

Jay Payton

1995

1

22.4

8

AJ Burnett

1996

0

0

1997

0

0

1998

0

0

1999

1

15

4

Pagan

2000

0

0

2001

1

39.1

1s

Wright

2002

1

15.2

1

Kazmir

2003

0

0

2004

0

0

Totals

18

357.2

Draftees mlb WAR 0.0+

Cum WAR of those draftees

2005

4

11

1, 7, 9, 13

Pelf, Niese, Parnell, Thole

2006

2

11.7

3, 13

Joe Smith, Murphy

2007

1

1.9

21

Dillon Gee

2008

1

5

1

Ike Davis

2009

0

0

2010

1

1.9

1

Matt Harvey

2011

0

0

2012

0

0



This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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