- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -

How Are the Stars Acquired: Outfield & Summary

Same rules as before: ranked by WAR and 300 plate appearances at that position to qualify.

Center field

Franklin Gutierrez – traded
Matt Kemp – drafted
Nyjer Morgan – traded
Michael Bourn – traded
Mike Cameron – free agent
Ryan Sweeney – traded
Denard Span – drafted
Torii Hunter – free agent
Rajai Davis – waivers
Curtis Granderson – drafted

4 traded
3 drafted
2 free agents
1 waivers

Corner outfield:

Matt Holliday – traded
Carl Crawford — drafted
Justin Upton – drafted
Ichiro – free agent
Shin-Soo Choo – traded
Ryan Braun – drafted
Jayson Werth – traded
J.D. Drew – free agent
Raul Ibanez – free agent
Nelson Cruz – traded

4 traded
3 free agents
3 drafted

Overall, we sampled 115 of the league’s best and brightest. Of those, a combined 54 players were either drafted or signed as an amateur free agent by their current clubs. An additional two were plucked on waivers or through the Rule 5 draft and 44 more were traded for. Only 15 players were signed as major league free agents, and it’s hard to classify many of those signings as blockbuster in magnitude.

There are some teams that take the scouting and drafting game less seriously than they should. I doubt those teams read this website, but if they did and wanted to take one statistic – one message – from this series, it’s this: 47% of 2009’s best players were “just prospects” at one point or another. That’s not to include all of the players traded at early points of their career either. Meanwhile only 13% were signed as free agents.

Free agency may get all the hype and buzz, but the draft is where teams find impact talent.