This site was my main source of info for preparing for my first MiLB draft, and I have meant to give some feedback for awhile now. I figure I'll probably learn something useful just by tying up this post-mortem - here's hoping some of you also find it useful.
The tale of the tape: 18-team league, auction style, with a minor league draft of 3 rounds. There are some pretty knowledgeable vets in there, including guys who post on this site.
My situation: Before the season, I aggressively dealt for a bunch of minor league picks. I ended up adding 7 to my normal 3, for a total of 10 picks: I had picks 2, 4, 14, 21, 22, 24, 27, 32, 38, and 39. The draft was in February of 2007.
Draft Prep: Going into the draft, I really needed hitting, which was a problem because the best players were pitchers. I had a hard time deciding among 4 pitchers - Dice-K, Gallardo, Lincecum, and Andrew Miller. I felt that Evan Longoria was not as good of a pick as these 4 SPs, but was better than the remaining bats. So I decided that I'd use my 1st pick (Pick #2) on my 5th-rated player (Longoria), knowing that 1 of the Big 4 pitchers would be there for me at #4.
*THE DRAFT* Pick 1 - Dice-K. No surprise there.
Pick # 2 (Mine)- I took Longoria, choosing to discount his weak numbers at the end of the year in AA. In doing so, a prime reason was his post-season. I reasoned that his poor initial showing in AA could have been due to adjustment, and that it was totally "fair" to add his strong postseason stats. His regular season was something like 1 BB vs. 20 K, but his postseason was much better. As I recall, there was a lot of debate on this site about this very issue - amid all the discussion, the pro-Longoria camp won me over. In hindsight, this was the right call. I really needed hitting, and Longoria not only lived up to my expectations, he probably had the best season of any hitter taken in the 1st round. I believe it was Brickhaus who pointed out Longoria's extended stats to me.
Pick 3: Kei Igawa. This really surprised me, and left me with the "problem" of having to choose among 3 of my top-4 rated players.
Pick 4 (mine): I had a choice between Gallardo, Andrew Miller, and Lincecum. I had been prepared to take Gallardo for a couple weeks, but changed my mind to Lincecum at the last minute. In doing so, the insights of Wily Mo and Dr. B really helped. What also helped was a decision to go as high-ceiling as I could get. I reasoned that Lincecum could be something really unique, and I might as well show some cajones and go for it. In hindsight, I couldn't have gone wrong with either Gallardo or Lincecum, and both were better choices than Andrew Miller. Ask me in 5 years, though.
Picks 5-13: Miller, Kershaw, Brignac, Ellsbury, Gallardo, F. Martinez, F. Morales, Elbert, Iannetta. Ellsbury was clearly a homer pick, which was helpful when projecting a few subsequent picks (this guy had a lot of picks later in this draft).
Pick 14 (mine): I had a hard time choosing between Adam Lind and Carlos Gomez. I really needed OF help, and chose Lind in the hopes he could help right away. In doing so, I pegged Lind as possibly no more than a Kevin Millar/ Chris Duncan, but also possibly a 40HR guy. Lind did end up making it to Toronto in 2007, but obviously was disappointing. His #s at AAA were also not so good, and I am hoping that he can turn it around in 2008. That K/BB rate scares me though.
Picks 15-20: McGee, Buck, Veal, Esmailyn Gonzalez, Kouzmanof, and Josh Fields. I was pleased with this - I hadn't rated any of these guys as high as Carlos Gomez.
Picks 21 & 22 (mine): Although my top-rated guy was now Carlos Gomez, I felt like Dexter Fowler was awfully similar to Gomez - and I knew that at least one would be available to me at #24. So I chose Travis Snider at 21, and then Clay Buchholz at 22. Buchholz had been my #5 rated pitcher, and I was totally tickled to get him here. I owe Artie a big tip of the cap for this one - his concept of "dominance" led me to consider the stats of about 10 guys that weren't getting much press - of these, Buchholz had the best scouting reports. I had almost taken him at 14, and was tickled to get him at 22.
Pick 23: Carlos Carrasco.
Pick 24 (mine): I finally chose Carlos Gomez, figuring he wouldn't slide much further. He didn't end up having a great year, but I am happy nonetheless - he is still projectable, and at least I got Snider and Buchholz before him.
Picks 25 & 26 went to Joey Votto and Daniel Bard. I liked Votto, but oh well. The idea of the "defensive spectrum" that I learned about (in part) from this site made me de-value Votto as a 1B, otherwise I would have taken him earlier. Time will tell..
Pick 27 (mine): Although I had already gotten Gomez, I decided to pull the trigger on Fowler, figuring that one of the two would eventually pan out. They couldn't both flop, could they? The fabled 2005 OF class played a large role in this decision - toolsy guys that shot up the charts the next year. Also, I reasoned that Fowler could have really padded stats in the CO system in 2007, making him good trade bait if nothing else. So much for that thinking...
Picks 28-31 - Callaspo, Rowell, Iwamura, Lars Anderson. Early on, I had rated Rowell and Snider as equals, and am glad I grabbed Snider when I did.
Pick 32 (mine): Eric Hurley was my highest-rated guy here. But in looking at the guys picking after me, I was fairly certain Hurley would be there for me at 38. So I went with Chuck Lofgren, even though I didn't like his stats. In this pick, I really relied on scouting reports a lot more than usual - John's being one of the main ones. The keys were that he throws hard, has good size, is in a system that appears to do a good job developing pitchers, and has been healthy. In hindsight, he did not have a good year. But I am still optimistic that he can be a #4 SP, which is good value at this point in the draft.
Picks 33-37: Villalone, Eric Patterson, Cedric Hunter, Erbe, and Montero. The Patterson pick stunned me - I was going to grab him as my sleeper, and was shocked when an A's fan in our league grabbed him.
Pick 38 (mine): Eric Hurley was my top guy, so I took him.
Pick 39 (mine): I had planned to go with Patterson here, and now had Joba Chamberlain as my highest-rated player. After a lot of overthinking, I took Anthony Butler with this, my last pick. I did so primarily because Chamberlain's potential arm troubles scared me, and Butler's projectability and newly-found velocity made him a potentially great guy to take a flyer on. In hindsight, I should have gone with Chamberlain, obviously - getting him at this stage would have been the pick of the draft.
Picks 40 - 54 were a mixed bag. Notable names taken were Chamberlain (next to last), Parmelee, Betances, and Conger. Of all these, I'd really only rather have Joba over Hurley and Butler.
Looking like home runs: Longoria at 2, Buchholz at 22
Looking solid: Lincecum at 4; Snider at 21; Hurley at 38.
Looking like E-6: Lind at 14; Butler over Joba
Making me nervous: Carlos Gomez, Dexter Fowler, Chuck Lofgren
How this site influenced my draft:
-I included post-season stats in my assessment of Longoria (I think Brickhaus was the one who pointed out these stats to me)
-I listened to arguments that Lincecum could be special, out-of-the-box (Wily Mo jumps to mind)
-I listened to the concept of the "defensive spectrum", which caused me to let Votto slide
-I set up some stat filters that let me "find" Clay Buchholz, along with guys like Slowey, Hellickson, Inman, and Veal (and others). I then used John's scouting report to pluck Buchholz from this group. Thanks to Artie and John for this.
-I listened to worries about Joba's history of arm troubles.
-I assigned a lot of projectable value to 19-yr-old Tony Butler.
I'd be interested in people's thoughts on this. The 2008 draft is right around the corner, and I'll be going thru much of this same though process. I'd love to hear some discussion on people's perspectives on my choices and reasons. Will Gomez, Fowler, and Lofgren turn it around in 2008? Will Butler ever make me forget about Joba?