Some food for thought

I’m going to list two groups of players, and all you have to do is go ahead and look them over:

Group A:

Corey Patterson
Eric Munson
Luis Montanez
Dewon Brazelton
Christopher Gruler
Kyle Sleeth
Philip Humber
Jeff Clement
Evan Longoria
Josh Vitters

Group B:

Dave Kelton
Brian Sanches
Bobby Hill
Jon Switzer
Joey Votto
Jay Sborz
Matthew Durkin
Ivan DeJesus Jr.
Joshua Butler
Jordan Zimmerman

Yeah, this is definitely an interesting bunch of names. Each team has an established star (Longoria and Votto), a well-regarded prospect (Vitters and DeJesus), and some “who’s thats” (Chris Gruler, Jay Sborz). However, if we were to match these groups up in overall talent/playing performance, it’d be pretty tough to determine a winner. For Group B there is a huge drop-off after Votto, but some bright, young players in DeJesus and Zimmerman. We don’t see all that much potential for Group A after Longoria, but there are some other guys after that who could help major league teams (Clement, Humber, etc.).

So what’s the point of all this? Group A represents all third overall draft picks from the ten-year span of 1998-2007, while Group B represents all draft picks taken third in the second round of those respective drafts. For such a wide gap in picks (taking into account the supplemental rounds), we don’t see all that wide of a gap in talent.

This isn’t a lesson on the riskiness involved in the draft, and it also isn’t a theory on why there was a drought in consistent talent during this time. I honestly was just browsing recent MLB drafts online and found this trend pretty intriguing. Go ahead and discuss any thoughts you have on why third overall picks have been pretty mediocre in recent years.

Print This Post
Pat Andriola is an Analyst at Bloomberg Sports who formerly worked in Major League Baseball's Labor Relations Department. You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter @tuftspat
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Paul Singman
Paul Singman

Interesting stuff Pat, if nothing else. Maybe if mlb teams could trade draft picks they would trade down, assuming they get about the same level of talent for cheaper signing bonuses.

Obviously that wouldn’t happen, but it’s intriguing to think about nonetheless.