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  1. FWIW, the stuff from Whitson’s dad sounds like revisionist hooey. There was a story in the San Diego U-T from columnist Nick Canepa that included quotes from Padres leadership (Moorad and Hoyer) and indicated that the kid wanted to sign (even going so far as to embarass him a little by disclosing Whitson could be heard “bawling” in the background during some 11th hour talks with his advisers).

    If that story is to be believed, the Pads had an agreement in place at $2M when Whitson’s advisers upped their stance and San Diego walked away. I’m sure the truth falls somewhere between both stories.

    Comment by Aaron C. — August 19, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

  2. Hoyer discussed it on the radio – supposedly the signability issues were addressed pre-draft, but later Whitson camp raised their amount and wanted $2.7M while the Padres were offering slot money ($2.05M, between 8 and 10). Ultimately, only the parties at the negotiating table know what went down, but Hoyer & staff seem to do their homework and this wasn’t Moorad’s first rodeo, so I tend to side with the Padres.

    Comment by James — August 19, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  3. I think this is Kyle Parker’s redshirt sophomore season for Clemson football.

    Comment by Andrew — August 19, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  4. That’s kind of weird. If the kid wanted to sign so bad he was actually “bawling”, just tell them you’ll do the deal. The kid is 18, right? How could “his camp” trump his wishes? It’s kind of a stretch for me to believe that.

    Comment by Heather — August 19, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  5. Did I miss the East reviews, or have they not been posted yet? Specificially if I missed them, can someone link the NL East version.


    Comment by Mr. Sanchez — August 19, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  6. Actually, that’s not totally true. The Padres said that they had an agreement with Whitson pre-draft for a below slot bonus (I think that’s important in that the Padres were trying to get a highly rated talent for underslot) but then he changed his mind. So if Whitson’s dream was always to play college baseball, why would he agree to a below slot bonus?

    It almost sounds like it was the Padres, not the Dodgers were never planning on signing their first round pick – although they should have taken Lee because at least then there wouldn’t be any PR problems with him not sigming.

    Comment by Tom — August 19, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

  7. You don’t think an overzealous father or a wanna-be Scott Boras agent ever turns down a deal against their son’s/client’s wishes because they think he is worth more or trying to earn their stripes versus a MLB organization? Come on. 18 years means a kid can vote and buy cigarettes, but he is still a boy who just graduated high school who is his father’s son.

    Comment by Richie Abernathy — August 19, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

  8. Yea it is his redshirt sophomore season, not his senior.

    Comment by Mike — August 19, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  9. Listing Bradley’s and Rowland’s ERA’s at Missoula is kind of irrelevant, because these kids are all about projection and adding velocity in the future as they fill out. They weren’t picked for what their stuff will be at 18, they were picked for what their stuff will be at 23-24.

    Comment by Dan — August 19, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  10. that’s still not quite accurate. You should listen to the Hoyer interview:

    the original pre-draft deal ($1.953M) was not “below slot”, this was not a signability pick where the Padres thought they were getting a deal. This was squarely within the MLB slot recommendation.

    what happened was that both the 8th and 10th picks (Delino Deshields and Michael Choice) got slightly above-slot deals, $2.15M and $2.0M, respectively. So the Padres upped their offer to $2.1M to bring him closer to the #8 pick.

    So it ended up being a “slot” offer, in the sense that he was “slotted” between the #8 and #10 picks in terms of money…. but at the time of the draft he was not agreeing to a below slot deal.

    Comment by batpig — August 19, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  11. That Gary Brown pick by the Giants is most likely a wasted draft pick and wasted money. The guy walked only 9 times in around 240 plate appearances and that probably includes some intentional walks. The Giants love free swingers and so do major league pitchers.

    Maybe the hardest thing to do in baseball (besides hitting the ball) is teaching plate discipline to a hacker. The Giants never learn. One guy (Sandoval) makes it out of a hundred free swingers picked and the Giants have their statistical evidence. “See, we were right.”

    Comment by Walter Guest — August 19, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  12. Well, considering that according to Baseball America the MLB recommended bonus for the 9th pick was $1.962m I would say that the Padres initial offer of $1.953m was “under-slot.”

    Comment by Tom — August 19, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

  13. Although Gary may not walk often, he was considered one of the fastest players in the draft. Guys with speed like his don’t need to walk as much. It would be nice to see him take a few pitches and get into better counts, but, I don’t think he’s a waste for a #24 pick. It’s not often you get gold that late in the 1st round. The draft is a crapshoot anyways.

    Comment by Kool — August 19, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

  14. Zach Lee a steal?? His only success was on the high school level, no showcase competition, nothing. Gausman pitched for Team USA and beat Cuba, closer on the Pan Am Gold Medal game with Harper, Machado, Taillon. He pitched in Aflac and Underarmour All American games. Top pitching prospect in the California College League this summer and hit 100mph on several occasions. Don’t believe the PR the Dodgers are selling….his actual signing bonus was $600K.

    Comment by Matt — August 19, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

  15. His signing bonus is only how much he gets right now – the key is that he’s getting $5+ million total guaranteed – the Dodgers only get to save that money if he returns to football. Also, he may not have as much showcase competition because he was also a major college football recruit. Overall, I think I’m going to trust Logan White on this one – when he thinks someone is worth considerably over slot, I’m on board.

    Comment by Preston — August 20, 2010 @ 12:49 am

  16. The draft may be a crapshoot from around the 4th round-on or so, but I’m not buying this “the draft is a crapshoot” business in the first round. There’s a general consensus on who the better prospects are, and those better prospects tend to have success at the major league level unless injuries derail their careers. If it were really such a crapshoot, scouting budgets and signing bonuses would not be so huge. There are definite tiers.

    Comment by Dan — August 20, 2010 @ 3:23 am

  17. Actually Tom, what you are trying to say is not quite true.

    The Padres never said they had an agreement for a below slot bonus with Whitson. They simply said they had an agreement prior to the draft. If you have a link to anything from the Padres FO that says different, I would be interested to see it.

    The Padres offer after the draft was over slot AND between the what the #8 pick and the #10 pick signed for, BOTH of whom signed for over slot.

    Media reports in both San Diego and Whitson’s home town have Whitson’s camp asking for double the agreed upon bonus. Even at a $1.953 million bonus Whitson agreed to prior to the draft, that is substantially more. Of course the Padres walked away.

    And if Whitson’s dream was to play college baseball, why would he agree before the draft to a sign for a certain number and then renege at the last second?

    And why would he STILL renege ion his prior agreement to sign even after he was offered ABOVE slot money? Sounds to me like other people got involved and talked him out of it.

    He will go the way of so many others who got bad advice and come back in 3 years without a degree and having wasted 3 years of professional preparation. AND likely he will get less money.

    If your dream is to play baseball, you take the above slot money and go pro. Too much can happen in 3 years of college to derail your chances to play professionally.

    Comment by Websoulsurfer — August 20, 2010 @ 3:53 am

  18. Cumulative career WAR through 2009 by draft pick:

    #1 — 733
    #2 — 466
    #3 — 421
    #4 — 475
    #5 — 249
    #6 — 462
    #7 — 193
    #8 — 192
    #9 — 199
    #10 — 368
    #11 — 80
    #12 — 213
    #13 — 243
    #14 — 199
    #15 — 205
    #16 — 221
    #17 — 190
    #18 — 88
    #19 — 281
    #20 — 286
    #21 — 114
    #22 — 307
    #23 — 107
    #24 — 89
    #25 — 93
    #26 — 111
    #27 — 93
    #28 — 79
    #29 — 207
    #30 — 322
    #402 — 86

    Number thirties have yielded more WAR historically than number fives, and 1999’s 402nd overall pick alone nearly single-handedly out-WARs every #11 pick ever. If that’s not a crapshoot, I don’t know what is.

    Comment by Ray — August 20, 2010 @ 5:28 am

  19. Brown can take walks when he needs to:

    Big West (AVG/OBP; BB%)

    2008: .291/.374; 8.5%
    2009: .340/.403; 5.1%
    2010: .438/.468; 4.1%

    He also did this in Cape Cod:

    2008: .222/.364; 13.6%
    2009: .310/.371; 7.4%

    Brown has shown the ability to adjust his batting strategy based on how well (or not) he hits in the particular league he is in. You just have to take the time to see all the data and not just his last season’s worth.

    And if plate discipline is anathema to the Giants, then they would have never drafted Buster Posey. Get real, if you are not drafting in the top 5 overall, you will be stuck with prospect hitters who have one or more flaws. If you go for the plate discipline guys, like EME who they drafted, they probably don’t have any power. If you go for power, they probably strike out a lot. Or like EME, he had both but he had a serious health problem that never got solved (doesn’t help that he went and got surgery without letting the Giants know; their doctors probably better than he could afford to pay for).

    All you Sabean Naysayers cry about him all the time, but he’s delivered a strongly winning team two seasons in a row now, something KC and Pittsburgh would kill to have one of any time soon.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — August 20, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  20. You make a good point, and we always appreciate readers backing up their points with examples. Brown is certainly capable of a better walk rate, but he needs to commit to it. But I also don’t know why you got so hostile there at the end on us!

    Comment by Bryan Smith — August 20, 2010 @ 11:01 am

  21. Kool, here’s how fast he is: his time to first base is comparable with the fastest left-handed hitters, except that he’s handicapped by being a right-handed hitter.

    Dan, the draft is a crapshoot (where you throw a 7 about 17% of the time) starting somewhere midway through the first round.

    Finding a good starting player, which is my definition of what you want to get out of the draft, is not easy to do, check out the WARs for any pick in the first round, and you will find that even the top picks are not good starters more times than you would think (if you use 20 WAR as the dividing line, basically 8 seasons of 2.5 WAR or 7 of 3 WAR, there is only 14 out of the first 30 1st pick overall, covering 1965-2004; for 24th, only 2 of 30).

    If you are satisfied with a pick that maybe you can hoodwink another team to trade you a good player, then that’s a possibility but a strong assumption on your part.

    Even if you lower the level to, say, 6 seasons at 2 WAR or 12 WAR, there is still only 2 of 30 at the 24th pick.

    And, of course, it is never as clean as 6×2, or 7×3, or 8×2.5, there are many more seasons in most cases, where you would be lucky to have 6 seasons in total above 2 WAR.

    The reason signing bonuses are so large is because even though the odds are low, the rewards of a payoff are that large. It is a simple business stat probability problem, even if it costs a lot per prospect, as long as the payoff is high enough when you do hit, that will cover the costs of all the non-prospects that you drafted in order to find that good player.

    Ray, good illustration but here is why I don’t like how others have done draft analysis by WAR or average WAR: you can get skewed results. You never get an average guy, there is no average guy. That is why when I did my draft analysis, I counted by players who met some sort of threshold for being a good pick, because that is what any team is looking for, a good player.

    For example, the 30th pick having a high total WAR. That is because of Mike Schimidt, David Wells, Jerry Reuss, Travis Fryman, and Brian Jordan. They all had WAR above 30, Schmidt was over 100. These 5 picks are the only picks above 20 WAR in the first 30 years of picks.

    And only 3 more names are added if you use 12 WAR as your threshold: Chris Sabo, Moose Hass, and Terry Forster. And only the latter two if you use 15 WAR.

    In any case, I would not call any of the three a good player, they are nice complementary players and you need them for any team, but you don’t draft looking for the next Chris Sabo or Moose Haas. Heck, some could argue you don’t draft for the next Jerry Reuss either.

    Going by a threshold is the best way to look at the draft, as, again, there is no average player. Use a threshold and you will see where the names don’t pass the smell test for a good player. I found it to be around 18-20 WAR (Dave Kingman has 17.9 WAR).

    The number of drafts to use to examine will vary, for example, the 30th pick is probably not beating any of the above thresholds up to 2006 probably, but the 29th pick can only go to 25 because Wainwright should be passing those thresholds in a season or two (think Atlanta wouldn’t mind having him back? They didn’t even get a pick for him.)

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — August 20, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  22. If you read the Giants boards, you will know what I’m talking about. The Giants have been winning for two seasons now and by all the crying there, you would think that our W/L record was reversed. Every valley in the season brings them out in droves.

    And saying that they cry I would not call hostile, there is much stronger language thrown at me for daring to say that Sabean has done a good job, has had a plan, and that I’m glad he got a two year extension.

    But since you were offended, I apologize, I did not intend that, I was trying to portray what I see in the Giants boards. Really, if you go into any with any significant population of commenters, you would think that you had stumbled into a KC or Pittsburgh board by mistake.

    Lastly, I would argue that Brown is committed to taking walks, it makes no sense to take a walk when you are productive enough with the bat to make up for that. If you took linear weights and valued the proportions of his PA for 5 PA, and compared it with the value for 5 walks, you will find that he produced more by hitting than by taking a walk.

    If he never took a walk, then I can understand why everyone says this about him. But he has demonstrated the ability before, I think that this debate illustrates what I hate about saber being used by the masses, they take the sound bite but don’t understand the big picture.

    Yes, walks are important. But the big picture is that as a lead-off hitter, he needs to get on base, by hook or crook, and then use his speed to steal bases. If you look at his league results, no matter how poorly he hit, he adjusted his hitting style so that he got on base a lot. Despite his doubling, almost, of his batting average, from his first season in Cape Cod to his last college season, his OBP only moved from .364 to .468.

    But ultimately, his duty is to do what he can to create runs, and when you are a good enough hitter, you owe it to your team to swing away and not take a walk, if you are good enough a hitter to do that. He was this season, if you analyze his linear weights.

    I would end here by noting that Brown had the highest OPS in the Big West for the past seven seasons, higher than Evan Longoria, higher than Kurt Suzuki. I realize that college ball is not pro ball, but if you tie that factoid with the fact that he was able to hit well in the Cape Cod league, I feel that his accomplishments in terms of hitting is pretty good. That won’t guarantee success in the pros (Mike Blumental is another high OPS hitter he was higher than), but they are certainly positives to take regarding his ability to hit, which will be what he needs to prove in the pros, his defense looks good enough to be plus in the majors due to his speed and instincts. That’s not too bad when you are talking about the 24th pick overall, where there is not a lot of picks that have turned out to be a good player, only 2 of 30 have a WAR above 18 (heck 2 of 30 above 12 WAR, though Blanton should pass soon).

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — August 20, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  23. I don’t know why anyone would argue that Brian Sabean hasn’t done a good job. I think the Giants have succeeded at times in spite of a Sabean move here or there, but the Giants have won a ton of games in his tenure. And to be employed that long is a testament to your abilities — both in the moves we see on the transaction wire, and probably more poignantly, the things we don’t see.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — August 20, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  24. I don’t see how he is a steal either.

    Lee was ranked 38th overall in talent by Perfect Games, 30th overall by Baseball America. Only Top 3-5 picks in a deep draft gets $5M, unless they fell, and neither of these well regarded services even thought he was the top 3-5 in pitchers, let alone overall. You don’t overpay like that unless you are damn sure he’ll be a major league starter, and if you look at the draft, even the first pick overall is no slam dunk for teams.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — August 20, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  25. “I don’t know why anyone would argue that Brian Sabean hasn’t done a good job.”

    Well, that is the craziness that I deal with when I go to any of the Giants boards, a whole lot of invectives and snide remarks and general hatred for the job Sabean has done. Check out the comments at ExtraBaggs or McCovey Chronicles, you will see what I mean.

    Heck, you can go to your competitor, Baseball Prospectus openly called for Sabean to be replaced in their 2010 annual. That’s the last one I buy.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — August 20, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  26. Well, I mean, from a pure baseball standpoint, there is an argument to be made for replacing him. But, in doing so, you’d certainly have to acknowledge the legacy he’d leave behind. I doubt he’d last on the open market long.

    Comment by Bryan Smith — August 20, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  27. Well, here’s Jim Callis of Baseball America on the Lee signing:

    “Remember, bonuses are based on talent and leverage. Lee had more leverage than just about any player in this draft, because he’s a gifted pitcher who was also a top quarterback. You could make a case that Lee was the second-best high school pitcher in this draft behind Jameson Taillon. If money weren’t a factor, I bet he would have gone 10-15 picks higher in the draft.”

    So the Dodgers paid a big price tag to get talent significantly better than what should have been available at their slot. Personally, given a choice between giving $5 million to a top 15 talent and paying slot at #28, I’ll take the former every time, especially with what was supposed to be a shallow draft pool (and also given the Dodgers recent success with high school pitchers such as Kershaw and Billingsley).

    Comment by Preston — August 20, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  28. I’d like to add a couple of points about the Giants draft:

    1. If the scouting reports on Brown are to be believed, then he should become at least a 2 WAR player on defense alone. All he has to do is be better than replacement on offense and he’s a very nice CF package. Not Willie Mays, mind you, but darn good for a #24 pick. I’m surprised that a review on didn’t at least mention his defense as part of the review.

    2. There was no mention of Chuckie Jones, a kid who just turned 18 this summer and is playing very well in the AZL. The Giants did draft some high ceiling HS kids and signed 3 of them, Jones, Brandon Allen and Caleb Hougesen.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — August 20, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  29. You put a lot of work into this, thanks for all the info. I must say though, that it seems to me you didn’t look much past the headlines, or the first 6 rounds when analyzing the Giants’ draft. While I agree that it was a disappointing overall draft for the Giants (I especially disliked the Carter and Parker picks) that tilted heavily towards unexciting college position players, I can’t agree with some of your ohter specific critiques.

    1. As was noted above by another poster, to write that Gary Brown “never walks” is to totally ignore the statistical proof of the opposite from his 2008 college season and his 2 summers in the Cape Cod League where he put up very acceptable to excellent walk rates. Clearly Brown can work a walk when he wants to, but when he was putting up a slash line of .438/.485/.695 in his last college season, while only striking out 5% of the time, it was not a statistically bad decision for him to continue to swing the bat and not worry about straining for walks.

    2. You wrote: “It’s a tiny sample of a 21-year-old pitcher beating on high school kids, but fifth-round pick Richard Hembree has struck out 15 of the 28 batters he’s faced in the complex league.” While I understand the point you were trying to make, and agree that Hembree needs to be moved to face better competition in a higher league, you clearly don’t know much about who populates the rosters in the AZ Rookie League. Therefore, once again you wrote something that doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny. In looking at the 28 batters that Hembree faced in his first 7 games, you’ll see that only 9 were high school prospects that were drafted in 2009 or 2010. Ten of them were drafted out of college in the past 3 years, and the final 9 were veterans of 1 to 3 seasons of the Caribbean Summer leagues. Their age breakdowns were such that Hembree faced 9 batters (32%) that were younger than him by at least 1 full year, 7 batters (25%) that were the same age as him, and 12 batters (43%) that were at least 1 full year older than him.

    3. You statement that, “There is no star potential in this draft; just a couple average-ish outfielders and a reliever…” is also very shallow. Mike Kickham (6th rd.) is a lanky LHP out of Missouri State University. If you just looked at his surface stats and not his peripherals and his end of the season scouting reports then I can see why he wouldn’t excite you. However, by the end of the college season (and through to the first month of the summer college league season) he was consistenly throwing his fastball in the 91-93 mph range and touching 96. Now I don’t know you, but I’ve always heard that a LHP that can throw in the mid-90s, has a nice slider and developing changeup, and strikes out a ton of batters, is the goose that laid the golden egg. Kickham has plenty of “star potential” – though he is admittedly raw. Certainly there was no other left handed starting pitcher in the draft that was throwing with more velocity than Kickham both pre-draft and post-draft.

    Another guy that has star potential written all over him is Chuckie Jones, their 7th round pick out of a Missouri high school (selected as the top HS prospect in the entire state of Missouri). Jones is a true 5-tools prospect, very athletic and built like a bruising NFL running back. Not only did you not even mention his name, but you neglected to point out in the “Notable Performances” section what he’s already accomplished in the AZ Rookie League this summer. As a true 17 year old up until July 28th, Jones has put up a slash line of: .294/.380/.483/.862 with 5 HRs. While he does have a K-rate of over 30%, I’m sure that you’ll agree with me that a 17 year old kid who can instantly translate his raw power potential into in-game power, while making the transition to wooden bats and holding down the starting CF job is very exciting.

    Finally, Seth Rosin (4th rd. out of the Univ. of Minn.) has all the tools and physical makeup to be a middle-of-the-order starting pitcher in the majors. He’ll need to develop his secondary pitches to a much higher level, but the potential is surely there.

    4. You made a point of explictly complimenting the Dodgers for going above slot twice to sign high-upside high school prospects Joc Pederson (11th rd.) and Scott Schebler (26th rd.) ; and the Rockies for similarly signing Will Swanner (15th rd.). However, you made absolutely no mention of the Giants going over slot to sign the high-upside high schoolers RHP Brandon Allen (signed for just under $200K) from Florida in the 18th round, and 3B/P Caleb Hougesen from Indiana (in the 46th round.

    Allen is a very athletic and physically-gifted player with athletic bloodlines (his dad played for the Kings in the NBA) who had just started to concentrate on baseball this spring after putting most of his emphasis on basketball in previous years, so he has loads of untapped potential.

    Hougesen is also a toolsy athlete who starred as a 3-sport player throughout his high school days, focusing mainly on football. He never really concentrated on baseball, but was still able to put up eye-popping stats with his bat and pitching arm in his senior season and was named as a first team all-star on the Indian all-state team.

    Comment by darryl0 — August 21, 2010 @ 5:16 am

  30. The problem most people have with Brian Sabean is the process, and I’m not sure it’s easy to argue against that. He’s gotten the best of a few trades, but his legacy is built primarily on the winning stretch from 1997-2004 and the last two years. ’97-’04 was built almost entirely on Barry Bonds, a player the Giants acquired before he became the GM. He didn’t draft well, only producing viable major leaguers when he had a top pick as a result of a losing season (Lincecum, Posey, Bumgarner, all drafted 10 or higher).

    Sabean’s had success, but I don’t see how it can really be attributed to him; it’s kind of like using RBI as a stat for a player. Sure, the guy did something to help the team out, but a lot of it was based on how things were set up for him and how lucky he got. The guy has a track record of overvaluing veteran players, which has seriously impaired the Giants for quite some time now, and will continue in the future. And he apparently hasn’t learned anything from those experiences; Barry Zito succeeded Matt Morris, Aaron Rowand succeeded Dave Roberts, and who knows how those contracts will affect the Giants’ ability to retain actually valuable players?

    Comment by quincy0191 — August 21, 2010 @ 11:35 pm

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