We finally arrive at the much anticipated team analysis. At the end of this post I’m providing a download of the data, so instead of rambling on about each of the teams, I’m going to focus on the top three instead. This means the Braves, Red Sox, and Angels.
The Braves’ supremacy caught me off guard. In the book Scout’s Honor, the Moneyball method – which includes doing this very kind of thing – is all but treated as a syndrome of lepers. The Braves were doing the draft pick shuffle before the Athletics ever did, though, and it shows in acquisitions throughout the decade-plus covered.
Their 12 picks average about 30% of their playing time with Atlanta. The most egregious situations involve Jose Hernandez (8%), Andy Ashby (6%), and Steve Karsay (10%). Lifers like Tom Glavine and Rafael Furcal improve the Braves’ overall standing, but how crafty does gaining picks from Kyle Farnsworth, Ron Mahay, and Danys Baez appear?
Boston may have topped Oakland as the team that most notoriously games the system. This isn’t too new of a development though. From Billy Wagner to Eric Gagne to Cliff Floyd – covered in Moneyball – the Red Sox go blow-for-blow with the Athletics’ collection that includes Damian Miller and Ray Durham. Oakland’s average is boosted by lifers like Jason Giambi, Barry Zito, and Miguel Tejada too.
The Angels’ placement actually did surprise me. They seem to do things “the right way” often as four of their 10 players were lifers until moving on. Mark Teixeira is their low tide mark and clearly the intent behind acquiring him had more to do with playoff dreams than draft picks.
Anyways, check out the complete data by clicking here.