Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Where Do Players Come From (Part 2)

As I've gained experience playing this game I've developed my own ideas as to the value of draft picks such as how they compare in value to international signings and when a pick should be forfeited to sign Type A free agents.  I've also enjoyed reading the ideas of others on the message board, but until now I've never attempted to aggregate the data and look at any actual numbers or trends.

And although I love the newer "sabermetric" statistics and to read about new ideas and theories in the world of baseball statistics, I am most certainly not a statistician.  So I'm not putting forth any grand conclusions here.  I'm simply sharing the data in the hope that others might be interested in discussing what they mean and suggesting other things to investigate.

From the beginning of this world through the end of season 25, there have been 4228 players to appear on a major league roster.  Of those, 1741 were created during world creation, 595 were signed as international free agents and 1888 were drafted.  It is these 1888 drafted players we are looking at here.

First, if we simply group these 1888 players by the round they were drafted in we will see that it is extremely top heavy as expected.

Now realistically, we are looking at maybe 21 years of draft data since even the most advanced college players typically need a couple of years in the minors to develop and haven't yet made it on an MLB roster. So the 6th round has given us about one player per year to make an appearance on a MLB roster and it quickly drops to a half player and less beyond that.  And this is simply making an appearance on a MLB roster, not being a real contributor by any means.

If you set very minimum career requirements of achieving 600 at bats, pitching 200 innings or appearing in 40 games as a pitcher, the numbers change to the following.

So from this, it appears your chances of drafting a player who ever plays a meaningful role on your MLB team beyond the 3rd round is very unlikely.  And as we all know, the depth of each draft varies significantly so some years you can get a decent player in the supplemental or 2nd round and some years even the players at the bottom of the 1st round are garbage.

The one player drafted in the 25th round stuck out to me so I had to look him up.  He was Ethan Wyatt, a relief pitcher drafted in season 16 by the Cubs who was a Diamond in the Rough and became just good enough to have a couple of decent seasons in MLB bullpens.  

The other players taken after the 10th round were mostly relief pitchers and defensive catchers.  Other notables include Cliff Jones who has a high power/eye player that managed to have a couple of decent seasons and Ellis Higginson who is still active and currently has a career .391 OBP.  Both of these players were also Diamonds in the Rough.  And Jared Boone was a pretty solid back of the rotation SP for several seasons.

In the next post, we will focus on the 1st round picks and look at those players by draft position.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Where Do Players Come From? (Part 1)

I've been doing some research on the origin of players in our league that I would like to share.  My main purpose in doing this is to evaluate the various draft rounds and draft picks in the first round to get a better idea of what I'm giving up when I sign a Type A free agent.

This first post is just for fun though as I look at what state and country players in our MLB universe have come from.  I was mainly just curious if it was completely random or not.

The chart below shows the number of players from each state/country who have appeared on an MLB roster in our league along with the number of players who meet a minimum set of qualifications I came up with.  Those qualifications are 600 at bats for position players and either 200 innings or 40 games for pitchers.  This is just to eliminate the players who never really contributed anything at all to their MLB team.

The results show that our league has been dominated by Dominican players.  I was a little surprised to see it tilt that heavily.  It also appears I should be sending more of my scouts to the upper midwest.

Over the next few weeks I will try to get a few more posts ready looking at players by draft position and then international signings.  Hopefully it will be interesting to some of you and I would love to hear your feedback, ideas and theories from the data I present.