I watched a little bit of the draft when I was home for lunch yesterday and following it a little more via MLB.com's little draft tracker doohicky. I have to confess to knowing remarkably little about almost everybody selected yesterday. I've heard of some of the big names, mostly from mentions in the fanposts here, or assorted pre-draft rundowns on ESPN.com, Baseball America, etc. I love baseball and I could sit down and watch a bunch of nobodies play a beer-league game on a local field (in fact, I did this the other day). Yet, I can't bring myself to invest any significant amount of time speculating on the strikingly volatile futures of college or high school players.
Some of it is a general lack of interest on my part -- not in the players, but in the scouting and the lack of meaningful data available on these players. If we consider how often the really good scouts -- even the folks who play scouts on teevee -- are wrong about these guys, I can't begin to imagine how useless my analysis on these guys would be. The inequality of competition, particularly of podunk high school leagues in Bumblefudge, Wisconsin, only further muddies the water.
I do understand the interest in the players, at least from the perspective of a particular team's fans. The players taken in the early rounds are some of the best amateur players in the country (allegedly), and the first thing we embrace is their upside. We start by immediately assimilating them into our organization and projecting them as our future second-baseman or our future middle-rotation starter. Especially from the Mets' perspective, it is critical that they begin to restock a farm system that has been raped of talent as a result of recent trades (not criticizing the trades, just saying). The Mets focused on college players, mostly hitters, and that's certainly a good way to start filling up the high minors with projectable talent.
Nevertheless, I commend the good folks who do take the time to scout and/or analyze all of these players, and defer to their research and opinions in all manners related to the draft. If you're interested, a great place to start is Alex Nelson's live-blog -- plus the 1,000+ comments -- over at MetsGeek. I can vouch for the fact that Alex did his homework on this one: he spent many days compiling scouting reports, poring over video and devouring every bit of information he could get his hands on. All told, he had notes on several hundred players and was as prepared as anyone I've ever seen. He did a phenomenal job in analyzing not just the Mets' picks, but most of the other picks in the first couple of rounds.
I know a lot of folks are really gung-ho about the draft, so if you fall into that camp please let us know why in the comments.