Relegation/Promotion..Pros and Cons.

There’s a breathless hush in the close to-night

Ten to make and the match to win

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play, and the last man in.

And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat.

Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,

But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote

“Play up! Play up! And play the game!”                       Henry Newbolt

 

…and, preferably, stay just where you are.

 

the dreaded tank

just be the last in rank

you’re picking first

about as popular as Robert Durst.



There was an end of season soccer game in England recently which it was calculated up front would be worth two hundred and fifty million dollars to the winning club over the next 12 months, the winner being promoted to the ranks of the elite level next season. This would be their proportional share of an unusually lucrative new TV contract divided equally between all the clubs in the Premier League including the three that had just been promoted into it.  Conversely there would be no hosannas for the bottom three clubs, they are relegated and get none of this. (There is though a golden parachute payment, to soften the blow as it were, to say a dollared bye bye – something like fifty million this time goes to each of the three relegated teams.  Get well soon.)

Getting promoted to that league is Nirvana, to be relegated from it the stuff of nightmares. There are twenty teams at the top, spread throughout the country.  Three up, three down. Every end of season. The last few weeks are frantic. Huge pressure on managers and front office to avoid the drop – firings and hirings, journalistic wallow.

The bottom three clubs in that top league relegated to the next lower level suffer an automatic and immediate massive loss of revenue. Players/management earnings plummet by about half, their contracts increasingly containing a clause that so stipulates. From necessity, nobody can argue. Motivation to avoid? High!

No tanking here. Toward season’s end the battles at the bottom of the table can attract as much if not more attention and drama as those at the top. This happens every year. The pressure is relentless if you’re a bad team. You try, you really try. High drama.  If the Yankees finish last in the American League East down they go and are replaced  by, say,  the Jersey Jolts or whoever has won the lower league attached to the NL East.  It is statistically quite likely that they will be back the following year, the Jolts finding their first foray into the big time somewhat intimidating and Yankee pride, mortified, vowing never again. But no guarantee. And, over time, the ups and downs, there can be power shifts.

Some of them, a few, drop and never come back from the nether regions. Most manage a return. One English team barely avoided relegation on the last day of last season, stayed up and won the whole thing this year at odds of five thousand to one. (Five million bucks for a thousand- what was i thinking…we Brits love mad bets like this, pure romance. Aussies even worse.)

There’s one additional factor that comes into play here, the fan reaction to your team being relegated.  Strangely, it’s more often than not positive. The player’s struggles over the last twenty games or so are manifest to the fan, they can see the intense effort that was put out to avoid the drop. In the off season that follows rah-rah broadsides are all over the media – we are going straight back up.  Maybe.  But there is communal belief, everyone pulling together.

This extra dimension towards the end of each season adds a whole new level of meaningful drama to the watching audience. But the structure of Baseball is against change as basic as this , for perfectly good logistical reasons. For relegation and promotion to work here you would have to create over time a second group of say 30 teams across the country playing each other in the next biggest markets, each independent, but each attached to one of the existing 6 ML Divisions.  The last team in each of those ML Divisions would be relegated. It would be one up one down in each division.

So it would never work here of course. Or would it, given time? What is geographically structured, vested in place, is hallowed, rightly. If only there was some way to be rid of the anti climactic blah that settles in each mid August for half the teams and their fans.

(But you have something special built in to your system here that Europe does not – thirty clubs each with a graduated Minor League system of their own to nourish youth which the avid fan can identify with, follow, enjoy, statisfy and dream about.  As we are doing now with the Braves. Vague attempts to create something like this in Europe have rarely got beyond the Nursery/Youth stage of a few leading clubs with little interplay with other organizations.)

One final thought, the killer app that will never let promotion/relegation happen here.  Stats, all millions of them. Corrupted the moment a team and its players disappear and then return a year or two later.  Or maybe never.  For the individual and the team.  Every individual, every team.  Going all the way back.  You wouldn’t like that, would you.

Neither would I, at all.  Unconscionable.  But I do miss the double drama each season’s end. Top and bottom.

 

The Jersey Jolts

though not without their folts

aspire to glory

they’ve sent the Yankees to a lower storey.

192 thoughts on “Relegation/Promotion..Pros and Cons.”

  1. I’m admittedly out of the loop due to 2 weeks of work related training, but:
    1. Where did this Mickey Moniak kid come from? I’ve been following mock drafts and and this is the first I’ve heard of him.
    2. Why did the Mercer OF drop? How does Ray compare to him?

  2. 1. Moniak’s always been one of the top HS bats available, a top-10 kind of guy. From what I understand, scouts love his makeup and his age, relative to a guy like Rutherford. He’s fast and can hit.

    2. Apparently, Lewis had some bad recent workouts for some teams. No idea what made the workouts bad. Ray is viewed as having a lower ceiling, but a much higher floor. More advanced as a hitter, better runner. Less raw power and, according to scouts, less capable of playing center.

  3. …Which mock drafts? I don’t think any reputable ones do. Doesn’t fit at all with Cincy’s MO.

  4. Hmm, sorry. I read Gondee’s tweet incorrectly and didn’t click the link

    From BA: ATL debating Lewis & Ray at 3, w/ Anderson set up for 2nd pick. Give the Georgia boy Lewis the edge but don’t rule out Rutherford.

  5. So Corey Ray is kind of a Christian Yelich type? Doesn’t have the bat for LF but can’t play center?

  6. Lewis has a big leg kick and a long, powerful swing that helps him destroy subpar pitching. If he succeeds in the bigs, it will be with a retooled mechanics. Can’t help but sweat the bust potential, though.

    I prefer Moniak, Senzel, or Ray, in that order. I’d only want Lewis after those guys, and maybe even after Rutherford.

    @7, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having Christian Yelich as your left fielder, unless you don’t want an above average hitter with a great walk rate, 50+ XBH potential, plus base running, and plus corner defense.

  7. JJ Cooper – Confirmed on Senzel-2. Anderson -3. Ian Anderson will go to the Braves.

  8. Pint’s delivery and mechanics look off, but he’s in high school and throws 100 mph. I miss having pitchers touch the upper 90’s

  9. Kyle Lewis’ ridiculous leg kick might be giving everyone at the top of the draft some doubts, but I can’t help but shake this feeling that he’s going to make everyone that passed on him look extremely stupid.

  10. Groome getting no love. Apparently lots of character issues. Anyone know what those would be? He might last to 40.

    Anyone think Kyle Lewis will last that long?

  11. Jason Groome definitely has a bad habit of leaving the last comment of a thread. That’s why he fell to 12th, man.

  12. I have zero faith in the front office and ownership. Taking yet another pitcher (who was considered a mid-first type pick) instead of one of the bats that had dropped into your lap is ridiculous. I guess they will save some slot money and maybe someone at Liberty will get a nice bonus this year.

  13. A high school pitcher? Hard to get excited. Would’ve liked Ray. Time will tell I guess.

  14. Still no power in Braves organization .. Guess they expect to win 1-0 every night .. was hoping for a power bat or good hitter .. too big of risk with high school pitchers .. will come back to haunt us not taking Ray or Lewis

  15. Gondee….For Heyward, Braves could have had pick 34 tonight, or Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair, Ty Jenkins – all 3 were 1st rounders – & Ender Inciarte

  16. r/Braves
    Kevin Maitan just posted this ….
    I’m guessing everyone has forgetten about the big bat that’s coming

  17. Sigh. The guys I listed @8 went #1 and #2. Ray was there, though, as was rutherford. BUT HEY HIGH SCHOOL PITCHING AMIRITE

  18. His scouting report seems pretty legit at least:

    “Anderson endured a spring of misfortune, losing starts to rain and even snow, then suffering an oblique injury while warming up for another outing and missing two starts because of that and pneumonia. He made two official starts for his team before the playoffs but showed flashes of what he’d been last summer, enough that he’ll probably still go among the top 20 picks.”

  19. There goes Trammell. At this point all the top 20ish talents are gone. I’m not seeing a guy left to payoff for reaching for Anderson underslot.

  20. Well Joey Wentz was one of those questionable signability guys you would theoretically need surplus money for. So that adds up. Still pretty tough to watch some of those guys peel off the board after we picked a value pick at 3.

  21. @48 LOL

    I’m liking the draft but let’s get a HS position guy at 44. Or any position guy at 44 for that matter. International period should be loaded with position guys too.

  22. MLB Network says we got three first round talents with our first three picks. Gotta like that, even if you would rather have a hitter or two.

  23. Due to lack of being able to field a team, the Atlanta Braves have sold the Carolina Mudcats to the Reds for an international signing slot, a left handed reliever at AA and the the number three starter at AAA

  24. We better sign all Wentz and Muller. Hard to imagine them not knowing what it will take with the Anderson pick and an obvious need for a close to the majors hitter (Ray)

  25. I’m amused by the stark difference in tone between here and MLB Network, where they are raving about the Braves’ haul as consisting of 3 top 10 talents.

    I don’t have the knowledge to evaluate the comparative merits of different picks in that regard, but I will see it seems very silly to judge them based simply on being pitchers versus hitters. The important thing is to get the talent. If you have that then you have the value to trade for what you need.

  26. @63 agree. Coppy loves pitching. Loves it. All we’ve ever heard from the Braves’ scouting hierarchy is don’t go away from the strength of the draft and this draft has lots of HS pitching. These are all great pitching prospects. It seems they are using the international signing period to get hitters. That’s cool. Hopefully the front office won’t do the Wainwright for Drew type deals we’ve seen in the past. Granted, when that deal was made we were in a completely different team building phase.

  27. @42, Is that for real? I’m not sure where he posted that comment, can you clarify?

  28. If pitching is currency (and that seems like a likely explanation here), then something similar to a Wainwright for Drew seems like a strong possibility if/when the FO thinks they’re only a piece or two away from fielding a contender.

  29. All I can do is have faith that our scouts have this draft covered. Drafting Ian Anderson with the third pick implies they have a strategy. So good for them, and I hope good for Braves fans. We shall see.

    I’m saddened we didn’t take Lewis, because I wish we had a blue chip college hitter and I’m a Mercer alum, so that would have been very special for me personally. But they must not have liked something about him, so what can you do? I hope Seattle makes something out of him. Who knows, maybe we can trade Seattle a pitcher this winter for Lewis, a blue chip pitcher, and a major league hitter.

  30. I don’t doubt they’ll use pitching prospects to trade for hitters. Just hoping we do it for controllable guys

  31. @62, they aren’t going to fire each other. This is the best gig in the world. 10 year plan with zero media/fan pressure, and nobody in the corporate office caring about wins and losses, only real estate spreadsheets matter.

  32. @66, pitching is a currency, but it might be pesos. Hitting seems like a more scarce resource.

    If they really didn’t like any of the college bats then I guess going high-upside HS arms is fine. On the surface it sure looks like they cheaped out and tried to save money, which kinda defeats the purpose of tanking.

  33. @71, they didn’t cheap out. They are going to spend money to sign all 3. They liked Anderson’s value at 3. Basically they said they’d rather have Anderson, Wentz, and Muller more than Pint, Logan Shore, and Buddy Reed (for example)

  34. 69 – We can hope.

    70 – Maybe even Italian lira… low value and outdated! Generally speaking, I’m okay with the strategy. Let’s hope they can make it work.

  35. They didn’t take best player available at 3. Or maybe they did. Who the f really knows. We’ll know in 5 years.

  36. For what it’s worth, Baseball America’s JJ Cooper is very high on the Braves’ first three picks:

  37. @68 You would think so, but Kevin Maitan wasn’t even the posters’ name, it was the thread title…

  38. @71
    I just thought the same thing to myself a short while ago.

    I promised myself I wouldn’t get too frustrated when we drafted a HS pitcher with the third overall pick, but now we’re three prep arms in and I’m losing my mind.I told myself that drafts aren’t meant for filling needs, but rather grabbing as much talent as possible, but at a certain point I feel like this front office seems to miss on every opportunity possible to add high impact position talent to the system. Pitchers are cool, but so are guys that get hits and field positions.

  39. When Kelly Johnson is traded to the Mets in 2021 I think this puzzle will finally be complete.

  40. I have no problem with the Braves overindexing on pitching, as long as we’re going after the highest-regarded talent in the draft. If we’ve taken three top-20 guys, that works for me. If we can develop enough of them into blue chips, I believe in the principle that high-ceiling pitching prospects are extremely liquid assets.

  41. @80, “The 2021 Braves will no longer be trading Kelly Johnson for prospects. If we move Kelly Johnson it will be for commensurate major league talent. You can take that to the bank.”

  42. Not the draft I envisioned, but a heck of a talent haul.

    coop, yeah, Bowden will sign.

  43. post midnight ennui…

    JJ Cooper? didn’t he jump out of an aeroplane or something?

    @81…as a sweeping generalization, is a high ceiling bat prospect more or less ‘valuable’ than their pitching equivalents? And which is more liquid? As commodities it was fairly evident from tonight’s proceedings that one was much more in evidence and on offer than the other so the question would seem to answer itself. Except – if you follow that muse and end up where we are now, an embarrassment. Where’s the liquidity? Is it going to happen all over again, twice the dose? Half a team and apparently no way of getting the other half.

    Throw the ball, hit the ball. You mean you have to do both?

  44. @84
    With a name like that our new catcher, should he too find it strenuous to smother that ball in the dirt, we can then call him Gapper.

  45. Right now, high-ceiling hitting appears to be a lot scarcer than pitching. But these things are cyclical. For one thing, the injury epidemic has shown no signs of abating, so we may be incorrectly valuing a number of high-ceiling pitchers due to our inability to accurately predict how likely they are to suffer catastrophic injury in the future. (Pitchers are much more likely to suffer season-ending injuries than hitters.) If the Braves believe that they have a competitive advantage in developing pitching, then it makes sense that they should try to develop those pitchers and then trade them to teams who have had a much tougher time developing pitching internally.

    My own private guess is that the Braves believe that at some point in the next three years, the pendulum will swing, and high-ceiling pitching will start to feel scarce, and hitting will start to feel abundant, and they’ll be able to sell high. I don’t know that they’re right, but I get the sense that they believe that baseball’s norm is for young pitching to be the single most fungible trade property, which is why they’ve gone in so hard on this strategy. We’ll see.

    EDIT: Good nickname!

  46. @76
    Skinny? The first guy is as thick as a brick!
    @86
    As long as we’re doing musical tributes for the draft picks:

  47. I don’t really have an issue with our draft, it’s just easy to poke fun.

    If all the pitching we have, almost all of it is “#3-4” starter ceiling. I know you can’t project what a 17 year old will do, but the system needs more “all start caliber” talent

  48. Counting on drafting a guy, developing him to something worthwhile and then trading him for better talent doesn’t seem like a very wise plan…

  49. Question.
    There appeared to be a fair number of prospects last night whose board data showed they last appeared in the draft in 2013. Why the three year gap? For NCAA protection – if you go to college you must stay 3 years there before re-entering?

  50. Logan Ice/AJ Puk ??

    New Clerihew material guys..lets honor our three new first round pitchers here or later in whatever becomes today’s new thread…all three individually…then, Golden Globe, anyone who was drafted, by anybody, nominate him, versify him. Immortalize him.

  51. blazon at 94.

    Correct.

    JUCO players reenter the draft each year (Bryce Harper). NCAA players are ineligible for 3 years after they report to college (can sign a letter of intent and still be drafted, I am pretty sure).

  52. @96

    thanks, sounds as though over the years they evolved a pretty fair system for all concerned.

    Certainly the NCAA provision avoids the blatant hypocrisy of the NBA equivalent.

  53. that letter of intent
    it wasn’t necessarily what you meant
    but it does bring a little heat
    those money boys, they love to drag their feet.

  54. 96—It’s actually based on birthdays (not just a flat three-year rule) for the kids who go to four-year schools. I forget the exact cutoff, but kids who are set to turn 21 before a certain date are eligible to declare for the draft after their sophomore year. I believe Cumberland, our fourth pick last night, is just such a draft-eligible sophomore.

  55. @99
    Helpful, thank you.

    To use Cumberland as an example of your point they clearly did not want there to be a gap in his educational progress.

    below…bastardized Brit version circa 1960 with Lonnie Donegan who happily admitted later he had no idea of where or what this Gap was…as awful and catchy as it was back then, to an early teen, pre Beatles, it registered. The ‘genre’ name was Skiffle.

    ‘i’ve got a gal
    six feet tall
    sleeps in the kitchen
    with her feet in the hall’

  56. I was disappointed at first that we picked up three pitchers, but the more I read, the better I feel. It does definitely seem like we got three great, high-upside pitchers, and you only make that decision if you’re building for the long haul. I’m glad we weren’t grabbing Sean Gilmartin and Mike Minor all over again. It shows to me that Coppy is confident that his job is safe for a long time.

    Alex has the only logical conclusion to draw from this stockpile of risky assets: they seem to think the market will correct and pitching will become more valuable. I couldn’t begin to think why they would think that. Perhaps more on the short term, this should tell us that some of these high minors pitching prospects will be dealt before the beginning of next season for an impact bat. You now have people sliding into three tiers of development: now-ish (Sims/Jenkins/Newcomb/Ellis), down the road (Fried/Soroka/Povse/Sanchez/Touki), and even farther down the road (Anderson/Allard/Muller/Wentz). The symmetry that this is providing makes trading any of them pretty easy to do. So, let’s do it.

  57. The Cumberland pick looks pretty good, too. He’ll either catch or play left field (meets a need), he can hit (meets a need), and he profiles as a guy who’ll move quickly through the system (meets a need).

    Curious to see what they do at 80. There’s still some big upside available, but I have no idea whether they still have some extra money to spend or whether they’re currently short and will need to find savings. Wild guess for the pick: OF Heath Quinn from Samford U.

  58. @104

    Right. Based on the draw to Kyle Lewis, Cumberland could meet most of the same needs. And if you can get all of that with the 74th pick, go for it. So where do these guys go from here? After they complete their obligations (HS graduation, CWS, whatever), where do they report to?

  59. Well, they have to sign first. That could take a while, depending on each kid’s situation.

    An advanced college guy (from a solid league) like Cumberland would start out in A-ball — my guess would be high-A. The high school pitchers would likely start out in rookie ball or maybe low-A, if the Braves are aggressive. Or, depending on their health/workload over the past year, the Braves may not want them in live game action at all this year, and they might just send them to instructionals. Anderson’s missed so much time this year that I’m sure they’re anxious to get him on a mound somewhere pretty soon.

  60. @103, I disagree that the only explanation is this coming “market correction” or a pendulum swing on pitching value. More likely is that they saw this as a draft long on pitching talent and short on position talent–this was the consensus of analysts after all. It also helps that they feel developing pitching is an organizational forte. These guys believe you must be flush with pitching to consistently compete.

  61. @103, The only thing wrong with Mike Minor was his durability. He pitched many fine innings for the Braves.

  62. I also like taking guys from cold weather places. I would imagine they don’t have the work load on their arms that some kids may have.

    That is another reason I like taking a high school pitcher. Some college coaches abuse these kids arms. I saw where the guy form Illinois pitched a ten inning game.

  63. Which players so far has the current regime really developed? The guys in the minors this year do not seem to really be progressing.

  64. Looking back on last year’s 54th pick, which was the Braves fourth in the draft behind Allard, Soroka and Riley, we have Lucas Herbert, catcher.

    He’s been at Rome all year. OPS of .577. I guess he’s developing. I see him at DH in the box score a lot. When he was taken, I assumed it was to handcuff him to his high school teammate Kolby Allard. Of course, if that was in the plans it hasn’t happened yet.

    Herbert has been splitting time behind the plate with Jonathan Morales, a 25th round pick. Morales has outplayed him at the plate, although he started hot but has been in a bad slump bringing his OPS down to .682.

  65. @111, Mike Soroka’s numbers at Rome look good. 11 starts, 1.11 WHIP, no homers allowed, 4.36 K/BB.

  66. The MLB TV guys last night were comparing Anderson to Mike Mussina and Wentz to COle Hamels. I know that TNSTAAPP, but dang, one sure can dream on that for a while….

  67. From Bowman’s blog last night:

    1. “Braves tab prep right-hander Anderson at No. 3”

    With a state semifinal berth on the line and Atlanta’s top scouts in attendance on Saturday, Ian Anderson recorded 16 strikeouts over seven innings and essentially sealed the honor he gained early Thursday evening, when the Braves took him with the third overall pick in the MLB Draft.

    2. “With 40th pick, Braves land touted lefty Wentz”

    Considered one of the top pitchers in this year’s MLB Draft, Wentz fell out of the first round on Thursday night. But this drop played right into the hands of the Braves when they took the left-handed pitcher with the 40th overall pick and landed the top-flight prospect they were hoping to get via the financial flexibility gained when they took Ian Anderson with the third overall selection.

    3. “Braves add ‘big Texan’ Muller to pitching haul”

    Those who watched Kyle Muller pitch last year and then returned to Texas to see him again this year certainly had reason to wonder if they were looking at the same guy. At some point over the winter, the physically imposing left-hander gained some muscle and a fastball that made him one of the most attractive pitchers available in this year’s MLB Draft.

    He loves that word.

  68. @107 and @110, it’s definitely the simpler answer. But based on everything we’ve heard from the Johns about how they still believe that pitching is the currency in baseball, I have to assume that they’re essentially making a bet on the future relative value of pitchers and hitters.

  69. Ian Anderson
    not many know his mother for an eon banned her son
    throwing his curve
    insisting he first knew exactly how he would spell slurve.

  70. Saw Sims mentioned above…what’s going on with him? Normal struggles adjusting to AAA? Like many slightly more than casual Braves fans, I’m new to the farm system and developmental aspect of our (an) organization.

  71. I think the “pitching is currency,” is not a market scarcity thing, but more a universality thing. Hitters play positions, making trade match ups more complicated, as does their handedness. If I have starting pitching to trade, all 30 teams can use it. If I have a left-handed RF to trade, only teams in need of OF and lefty power matchup.

  72. agreed jjschiller,

    Pitching is the O negative blood of trading. Everybody can use it.

    Actually, draft history says hitters taken at a given level on average produce more WAR than pitchers. So, I am not a fan of the double down on pitching. 3 college position players in these 3 slots would have produced at least 1 decent starter in a year and one more in another year.

    IF they are going to try to scoop up “bad contracts” this summer, that could be the way to move the offense forward. By “bad contracts” I mean “expensive for the production involved, but with decent production.” Braun, McCann, maybe Matt Kemp. And most of those obligate them for 2 to 4 years so they can reload out of the draft and IFA.

  73. It also helps when there are only 10 “true #1 starters” for 30 teams (tongue partially in cheek)

  74. When it comes to this drafting thing, smoke gets in your eyes..

    ‘they asked us if we knew
    our last pick we blew
    we of course replied
    we have stats we hide
    stuff you can’t abide.

    Now Nats and Mets deride
    picks we won’t confide
    soon their challenge dies
    draft them down to size
    cut off their supplies.’

  75. At least they took Sean Gilmartin with only their 80th pick, and not in the first round, this time!

    My guess is it’s an underslot deal to free up some more money for Wentz and Muller.

  76. This draft solidifies the competitive timeline question for me. There’s nothing wrong with taking teenagers, and we’re about to add two more good ones (hopefully) in July. But this is anything but a quick fix.

  77. @130 Those are 16 year olds, they have absolutely no bearing on the near term of the team.

  78. @130, sure I hope they do. My angst comes from the bs about this not being a long rebuild.

  79. And in the 4th round, the Braves draft: a HS pitcher. Bryse Wilson out of NC, was 93 on the BA 500, took him with the 109th pick.

  80. 131—O RLY???

    I was addressing the number of forthcoming, internationally-signed hitters, nothing more.

  81. In the near term we need to all focus on the plan to get Kelly Johnson back before the 2017 season starts.

  82. Don’t think they’d have taken him there if they didn’t already know his number and have the willingness and ability to meet it. The vast majority of kids drafted in the top ten rounds will sign; they’re drafted there because it’s known they’ll sign.

  83. @127/131

    regarding the timeline, how long to wait…we are being parochial, assuming the past will continue, that baseball is somehow different…

    to repeat re Verstappen
    16 go karts to Formula Ford, mickey mouse stuff..but he was good so…
    17 F1 ride in a non competitive car
    18 promoted to full F1 works drive, wins his first GP in Spain, age 18
    next race, Monaco…crashed in Practice, crashed in the race.

    and so it goes..

    Maitan at 18 is perfectly possible, everyday starter…IF he’s given the chance. And he should be, must be.

  84. Maitan could play for us right now and wouldn’t do worse than Aybar. Assuming 19 or so is just being realistic (maybe still optimistic).

  85. @134
    Stu…how do you get italic to stay italic on posts like these? Mine disappear.
    @129
    i don’t, is he dangerous?

  86. [i]Word(s) to be italicized[/i], but replace [ and ] with less-than and greater-than signs.

  87. By the way, baseball is pretty much the only American sport where promotion and relegation theoretically could have happened. (There are currently enough minor league hockey teams in North America where you could come up with some sort of rough promotion/relegation system, but I’m not as familiar with the history of minor league hockey.) There are every bit as many American baseball teams as there are English soccer teams, and every town of any import whatsoever has one. But whereas English soccer went the direction of each team keeping their independence, American baseball went the direction of each Major League team controlling a swath of minor league teams. And in so doing, they basically solidified the current American system for the other big four sports.

    Back to the topic at hand, it’s just frustrating for them not to take a bat. Even if taking one of the pitchers was the “right choice,” I’m not sure Coppy fully appreciates the optics of the situation. Of course, the other problem is that a lot of the people going nuts on Twitter and whatnot have no idea how to follow the baseball draft, and are more or less thinking of things in the same terms they would be for the football draft.

  88. In the other big 3 sports you can assume that at least one of your picks will be on the field for your team next season, or at the least will make the team. In baseball it usually requires around 5 years of patience, and most of them never arrive at all. It’s a pretty unique system.

  89. And in the 5th round, the Braves draft: a pitcher out of Gardner-Webb. Jeremy Walker, was 320 on the BA 500, took him with the 139th pick. Probably an underslot guy.

  90. What should optics have to do with draft choices? Few people follow it at all, much less care. I don’t want a FO that makes decisions just to please a few overly opinionated folk on the internet.

  91. If we cared about optics, Lewis at #3 and call it a day. Nobody would give two farts about the rest of the draft.

  92. I guess some of these pitches we are drafting play 3b and OF ..LOL .. we need 3B and OF in the worst way .. we got 1 catcher .. 22 and 2b look ok for a while. LOL .. bet we get a pitcher in round 6

  93. So 6 pitchers and a not-catcher so far. I guess it would be fine if the strategy was about how this draft had no real impact players so they’re just going for quantity with the somewhat deep stable of high school arms but this is just a piece of their bigger strategy which seems to be acquire all the mid level pitchers possible and uhh… see what else works itself out later? Maybe their plan is to give Chase D’Arnoud a $100 million deal and call it a day? I dunno, it seems like a team with the worst wRC+ since 1884 would be concerned that now 24 out of their top 30 prospects are pitchers but I guess not. #process, right?

  94. They can’t fix the mlb team quickly through the draft. We’re hopefully about to sign an IFA in July that would have gone 1-1 yesterday had he been eligible. But he’s years away too. The quick fix involves spending serious money and making some trades of meh-pitching-prospects for awesome bats. The former is at least possible. The latter makes me laugh.

  95. Matt Gonzalez, Harrison High and GT product. Nice bat. Let all active college players in base hits for most of the season. He’s a senior so figure they’re getting slot savings, but he does swing a bat and can play multiple positions.

    Go Jackets !

  96. Tonight’s matchup:

    Cubs (41-17) vs. Braves (17-42)
    Hammel (7-1) vs. Norris (1-7)

  97. @143..

    most interesting insight historically…so it could have happened, a different outcome had they stayed independent.

  98. The former is just about as absurd. Who in this list do you realistically see the Braves pursuing this offseason? http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/free-agents/batters/

    33 yr old Edwin Encarnacion? 35 year old Jose Bautista? These don’t seem quite like guys the Johns are gonna go after. I really don’t know what a free agent they want will look like… Their biggest signing has been Markakis who we all knew would be shit and he is and other than that they’ve only gone after hail mary guys.

    We suspected all along this would be a 5-10 year process and we’re not wrong.

  99. @155 “We suspected all along this would be a 5-10 year process and we’re not wrong.”

    It’s 1.5 years in.

  100. @156, I think his point is that if anything about the original “2 year redecoration” rhetoric was close to true (and 1.5 is awfully close to the end of that window!), they’d be focused on college bats so they could Schwarber a lineup hole or two in the near term.

    17-18 year old HS pitchers are long plays. Really long plays. Julio Urias is the best 19 year old pitcher since Fernandomania and he got lit up in two MLB spot starts this past month. And that dude’s 2 years older than these kids we’re talking about here. As an NBA analyst said on draft night about a project pick one time, “he’s two years away from being two years away.” That’s pretty much how teenage pitchers work, too.

  101. Yes, drafting all these HS pitchers, it’s almost like the Johns are solely motivated by the desire to make krussell’s prophecy come to pass.

  102. @161, it’s probably the right strat, I just will never get over the quick-turnaround rhetoric they spewed while taking the wrecking ball out.

  103. 157—I have no idea what this means…

    Felix Hernandez was a pretty darn good 19-year-old pitcher. Better than Urias.

  104. @159, I totally forgot how insane Doc’s age-19 season was. Wish I could have watched his phenom days. By the time I got to baseball he was the troubled drugs guy who was sometimes good.

    218 innings as 19 year old, 276 as a 20 year old. We’re never seeing that again (and probably for good reason) – Urias is rumored to be on a 130 IP limit this year.

  105. With our 8th round pick, we selected Taylor Hyssong out of UNC-W who has amassed a 5.32 ERA for them in 44 innings over the last 2 seasons, with 32 K’s against 22 BB. Talk about a sleeper…he does throw with his left hand, which is something. This pick must just be for the slot money.

  106. Yep, senior with a live arm who, in all likelihood, will sign for $10K or less. The seniors taken in rounds 6 and 7 won’t cost much, either. I’m sure some is for Wentz and Muller, but I’m also hoping they’re building up a stockpile to throw at a tough sign in the 11th round.

  107. It’s also entirely possible that Cumberland, who, as a draft-eligible-sophomore, has an extra year of bargaining leverage, will require an overslot deal.

  108. Stu, who becomes the first of these players to the big leagues? Who becomes the best overall player? -Rob from Florida

  109. I’m predicting that the Braves will sweep the Cubs. Not this weekend of course, but sometime in the next 10 years.

  110. Check out this tweet….Justin Upton & Jason Heyward went to new teams for a combined 14 yrs and $319M. They are batting .226 with 7 total homers and .627 OPS.

  111. Bud Norris is only 31. Maybe if he keep running out there because we have nothing to lose, he’ll turn into a half-way decent pitcher.

  112. I’m not left handed, but I can learn. I will also take below slot money.

    Hold on, I have the Braves on the line…

  113. It is a huge flaw in Mallex’s game that he simply doesn’t know how to run the bases. He got called out for missing second running back to first on a fly out. That’s Little League stuff.

  114. I don’t think this is the same Adonis García that we sent to the minors. Actually, his hitting looks about the same, but it has looked better tonight.

  115. If I recall correctly the Cubs acquired Arodys from the Braves and then later traded him back – maybe Viz got a little extra hop on his fastball thinking about closing out a game against the team that dared give up on him.

  116. The Chicago Cubs
    the epitome of flubs
    The Atlanta Braves
    emerging from their graves.

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