Rationalizing the Impact of "The Nightmare Scenario"

Our friends over at The Process Report recently posted a story titled The Nightmare Scenario  which details at least one depressing scenario where the Rays would receive much less than the standard compensation for losing one of our Type A free agents. My first reaction to this story was predictably negative. Of course, my mind instantly drifted to the sad fact that the Rays were going to once again have the ML system and the gods of baseball align their forces to somehow leave us fans looking back at what could've been.    

As a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, I have had ample opportunity to develop my own stages of sports related grief, and I have had a lot of practice at finding the silver lining in what appears to be a dark ominous cloud. As soon as I worked through the negativity and the anger over the Nightmare Scenario my brain began asking questions in search of a way to temper the pain or at the minimum diminish its effect. I kept thinking of notable draftees like Albert Pujols and Jim Thome that were both selected in the 13th round of their respective drafts. This led me to wonder, if guys with Hall of Fame value can be found in later rounds then how does a draft picks value diminish as they drop from round to round? Or more relative to the Rays scenario, how does a player's value change as they are selected through the first three rounds of the amateur draft?

In order to try and answer this question, I used the results of the 1999-2006 amateur draft and each players corresponding WAR value. The WAR values used reflect pre-2010 values since baseball-reference.com has yet to update their draft database with current WAR values. Additionally, some players WAR values are counted twice (Chase Utley for example) in the event they were drafted but not signed and redrafted later. After taking a look at the data, I wondered what type of effect late bloomers may have on the overall numbers, and since I can't effectively extrapolate player's performance into the future, I decided to take a look at the draft class covering the equivalent eight years from 1991 to 1999.  

The total WAR Value by segments of 15 draft picks from 1991-2006 are presented in the chart below and later the data will be broken out in increments of 5 draft picks for the first three rounds of the 1991 to 1998 amatuer draft and the 1999 to 2006 amatuer draft.

War_value_medium

 

The average WAR for each group of 15 overall picks and the corresponding percentage of players to make it to the major leagues is as follows 1-15 (160.3, 69%), 16-30 (61.8, 57%), 31-45 (23.03, 44%), 46-60 (40.13, 48%), 61-75 (54.73, 43%), 76-90 (27.33, 33%), 91-105 (7.6,33%), and 106-115 (0.35,25%).     

The player with the highest WAR accumulated is as follows; picks 1-15 (Chase Utley [34.5]), 16-30 (Matt Cain [16.5]), 31-45 (David Wright [27.2]), 45-60 (Carl Crawford [21.3]), 61-75 (Grady Sizemore [28.8]), 76-90 (Curtis Granderson [19.2]), 91-105 (Hank Blalock [9.3]), and 106-114 (Brett Gardner [2.2]).  

201 of 346 first round picks (including compensation picks [58%]) have appeared in the major leagues and the group has accumulated a total WAR value of 748.8 (3.72 WAR/Player). The first round of supplemental draft picks range from overall pick number 31 to 51.  A total of 50 of the 86 (47%) first round supplemental draft picks appeared in the major leagues and amassed a WAR of 82.5 (0.6 WAR/player). A few of the notable players who were first round compensatory picks are David Wright, Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Huston Street, Gio Gonzalez, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, Joba Chamberlain, and Chris Perez.

109 of 240 second round picks (including compensation picks [44%]) have appeared in the major leagues and the group has accumulated a total WAR value of 240.1 (0.45 WAR/Player). The second round compensation draft picks ranged from overall pick number 75 to 84.  A total of 4 of the 10 (40%) second round supplemental draft picks appeared in the major leagues.

80 of 240 third round picks (33%) have appeared in the major leagues and the group has accumulated a total WAR value of 135.3 (0.59 WAR/player). The third round picks range from overall pick number 68 to 114 depending on how many compensation picks are awarded during the off-season.  

1999-2006 DRAFT 1-3 ROUND DATA & WAR

Pick Number

Pre-2010 WAR

MLB

PLAYERS

%MLB

Picks 1-5

191.5

30

75.00%

Picks 6-10

162.6

25

62.50%

Picks 11-15

126.8

28

70.00%

Picks 16-20

67.4

25

62.50%

Picks 21-25

76.8

27

67.50%

Picks 26-30

41.2

16

40.00%

Picks 31-35

4.1

17

42.50%

Picks 36-40

52.6

20

50.00%

Picks 41-45

12.4

16

40.00%

Picks 46-50

35

22

55.00%

Picks 51-55

35.1

16

40.00%

Picks 56-60

50.3

20

50.00%

Picks 61-65

48.8

21

52.50%

Picks 66-70

42.6

17

42.50%

Picks 71-75

72.8

14

35.00%

Picks 76-80

37.8

14

35.00%

Picks 81-85

20.9

12

30.00%

Picks 86-90

23.3

13

32.50%

Picks 91-95

7

11

27.50%

Picks 96-100

7

14

37.84%

Picks 101-105

8.9

8

34.78%

Picks 106-110

-0.1

3

25.00%

Picks 111-114

-0.6

1

25.00%

1st Round Supplemental

82.5

50

47.17%

2nd Round Supplemental

-0.8

10

40.00%

DATA BREAKDOWN 1991-1998

The average WAR for each group of 15 overall picks and the corresponding percentage of players to make it to the major leagues is as follows 1-15 (366.1, 76%), 16-30 (152.25, 66.7%), 31-45 (77.3, 50%), 46-60 (123.2, 46%), 61-75 (33.8, 45%), 76-90 (44.03, 37%), 91-105 (9.73,34%), and 106-115 (1.23,24%).    

The player with the highest WAR accumulated is as follows; picks 1-15 (Alex Rodriguez [99]), 16-30 (Roy Halladay [46.7]), 31-45 (Johnny Damon [46.7]), 45-60 (Scott Rolen [62.2]), 61-75 (Randy Winn [26.8]), 76-90 (Chase Utley [34.5]), 91-105 (Jeremy Affeldt [6.7]), and 106-114 (0 WAR).   

210 of 318 first round picks (including compensation picks [66%]) have appeared in the major leagues and the group has accumulated a total WAR value of 1665.9 (7.9 WAR/Player). The first round of supplemental draft picks range from overall pick number 27 to 52.  A total of 44 of the 89 (49%) first round supplemental draft picks appeared in the major leagues and amassed a WAR of 131.5 (4.8 WAR/player). A few of the notable players who were first round compensatory picks are Johnny Damon, Justin Thompson, Aaron Rowand, Jay Payton, Scott Hatteberg, Brad Wilkerson, and Mark Prior. The first round draft picks ranged from overall pick number 1 to 52. 

116 of 239 second round picks (including compensation picks [49%]) have appeared in the major leagues and the group has accumulated a total WAR value of 553.8 (4.8 WAR/Player). The second round compensation draft picks ranged from overall pick number 59 to 84.  A total of 3 of the 11 (27%) second round supplemental draft picks appeared in the major leagues. The second round draft picks ranged from 31 to 84.

78 of 228 third round picks (34%) have appeared in the major leagues and the group has accumulated a total WAR value of 199.7 (2.6 WAR/player). The third round picks range from overall pick number 60 to 114 depending on how many compensation picks are awarded during the off-season.  

1991-1998 DRAFT 1-3 ROUND DATA & WAR

Pick Number

WAR

MLB   Players

%MLB

Picks 1-5

462.2

36

92.31%

Picks 6-10

314.8

31

77.50%

Picks 11-15

321.3

24

60.00%

Picks 16-20

263.2

25

62.50%

Picks 21-25

141

30

75.00%

Picks 26-30

52.6

25

62.50%

Picks 31-35

118.8

26

65.00%

Picks 36-40

63.8

13

32.50%

Picks 41-45

49.4

21

52.50%

Picks 46-50

190.8

20

50.00%

Picks 51-55

98.1

17

42.50%

Picks 56-60

80.7

18

45.00%

Picks 61-65

39.2

20

50.00%

Picks 66-70

41

15

37.50%

Picks 71-75

21.2

18

46.15%

Picks 76-80

32.5

17

42.50%

Picks 81-85

63

15

37.50%

Picks 86-90

36.6

11

29.73%

Picks 91-95

28.5

10

32.26%

Picks 96-100

-3

6

30.00%

Picks 101-105

3.7

4

50.00%

Picks 106-110

0

0

0.00%

Picks 111-115

0

0

0.00%

1st Round Supplemental

131.5

89

49.40%

2nd Round Supplemental

-0.9

11

27.30%

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