Take The Hitter, Stupid

The latest edition of Penning Bull is a brief, broad-strokes bit of Draft analysis. It lays out more or less the only Draft philosophy a prospect dilettante like me can offer: there’s far more expected value in hitters than in pitchers, near the top of the draft board. More teams ought to embrace that. Many already are.

Here’s a taste of the newsletter:

Consider the famous first round of the 2011 Draft. The Pirates picked first, and in Gerrit Cole, they got a good one—even if they didn’t capture the full benefit for which they might have hoped. The Mariners, of course, weren’t nearly so lucky: Danny Hultzen blew out before he reached the Majors. Then again, the Diamondbacks found another productive starter, in Trevor Bauer—again, despite the fact that he didn’t realize his full potential until after they traded him. So, using the top three overall selections, three moribund franchises managed to go two-for-three on finding solid, above-average big-league starters. Heck, despite the major injury issues he had, high-school stud Dylan Bundy has turned into another good one for the Orioles.

Still, would any of those teams, given the chance to go back and try this over again, take any of those four hurlers ahead of Anthony Rendon? How about George Springer? Those were the first two college hitters taken. Bubba Starling was the first high school position player drafted, but the next two were Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez.

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