7 thoughts on “He likes it more than I do”

  1. I don’t think it was the Braves idea to get THAT many high schoolers in a row. However, a trend in this draft was that nearly everyone else took college guys, dropping some extremely talented high schoolers to the Braves. It left some of the BA radio guys scratching their heads that this amount of talent fell because the “Moneyball” ers kept taking college guys.

  2. Makes sense to me. The teams which need help immediately should draft college men, so the Braves draft high schoolers. Although I guess we could have grabbed a big-bat-no-glove college shortstop to play third for us in 2005…

  3. There are a couple big bat/no-glove third baseman that could be up in 2005, Mike Hessman and James Jurries. Of course, by 2005, Andy Marte should be up. *sarcasm* Wilson Betemit might actually be ready by then too…

  4. Maybe so. Since some teams never draft anyone but college players now, the bargains are in the high schools. Which I suppose is the opposite of how it used to be. When I think about it, drafting so many pitchers high seems to be more worrisome than drafting high schoolers.

    BTW, I was looking through the draft section (I eventually intend to write an article on all this high school draft philosophy) and I was wondering. Was 1999 just a bad draft, or a historically bad draft? By my count, only two players from that draft (Foster and Kozlowski) have even gotten callups, and neither is with the Braves anymore. The only two players left from that draft who are prospects are Butler and Evert, and they’ve got several pitchers ahead of them. The top position player left from that draft has been converted to pitcher. No position player signed in that draft will ever wear a major league uniform, at least in the regular season. The two most familiar names to most Braves fans are probably Shaud Williams — now an Alabama running back — and Jonathan Scheurholz, whom they drafted knowing he wouldn’t sign.

    Ken, hopefully Andy Marte will be ready by 2006, at least.

  5. Mac,

    I’d be surprised if that draft is historically bad. John Sickles reviewed the 1998 draft about a week ago, and there are several clubs for whom that draft produced no major leaguers. It’s too early to completely write off some of those draft classes, but for some it is very clear that they will reap no major league talent.

    Here’s the link to his analysis of the 1998 draft for NL clubs (you can get to the AL analysis from there):
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/downonthefarm/1561908.html

  6. The Braves seem to have a distinct and well-defined philosophy on pitching, so I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that they prefer to draft pitchers right out of high school. That way, they can get those kids on the Braves’ throwing program as early as possible. I know this is merely anecdotal, but it seems that the Braves don’t lose that many pitching prospects to arm injury. Many never pan out, and lots are traded away, but they don’t seem to have the problems with injuries that other clubs (perhaps most notably Seattle) have with their top pitching prospects flaming out due to injury.

    Or maybe it’s just that the Braves’ young pitchers get hurt at lower levels before they really get noticed, I’m not really sure.

    As good as the Braves appear to be at preventing arm injuries, it wouldn’t surprise me if the attrition rate for their high school draftees is no greater than the attrition rate for college pitchers drafted by other clubs.

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