The Lamar First Rounders: A Comparative Analysis



Last week I touched on the media misnomer that Chuck Lamar's excellent use of his 7 top 10 picks is the primary driver of the Rays' recent success. How do his first round draft choices stack up against the other teams in MLB from 1999-2005? There are so many ways to slice, dice, and analyze draft history as well as several issues such as:

* The more recent picks have had less time to generate stats.

*High schoolers typically take longer to develop than college players

*Making it to the big leagues is far easier in certain systems

In spite of the weaknesses, I am going to trudge forward with several top 5's and the Rays' rank.

Keep in mind I am going by which players teams drafted, not accounting for what team they ultimately ended up on or even if they signed.

 

Top 5 WAR Accumulated by 1st round draftees1999-2005

 

Rank

Team

#

Top 9

Avg

WAR

1

Oak

14

1

29

93.6

2

Phil

5

1

14

73.8

3

Mil

7

4

7.4

65.3

4

NYM

8

2

18

60.8

5

Fla

10

2

20

52.1

14

TB

7

7

3.6

29.2

 

*As readers of Moneyball know Billy Beaneloved stockpiling picks in Oakland. Despite just one pick in the top 9, and the lowest average pick on the board, the A's were able to capitalize on their 14 picks. Notable names: Barry Zito, Jeremy Bonderman, Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, Huston Street)

*The Phillies placed 2nd with only 5 picks. They drafted with remarkable efficiency nabbing Brett Myers, Chase Utley, Gavin Floyd, and Cole Hamels with an average pick # of 14 with one in the top 9 (Floyd). Its  humorous that while Chuck Lamar was receiving credit during the 2008 World Series for the success of the Rays, his current employer had a much greater stretch of drafting.

*The Brewers featured top 10 picks of Ben Sheets, Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, and Ryan Braun.

*The Mets were fueled by David Wright and Scott Kazmir, while the Marlins were led by Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez at 2 and 1 respectively in 1999 and 2000.

 

Top 5 WAE (Wins Above Excellence) Accumulated by 1st round draftees 1999-2005

Rank

Team

#

Top 9

WAE

1

Phil

5

1

28.5

2

Mil

7

4

18.8

3

NYM

8

2

18.6

4

Fla

10

2

14.7

5

Minn

13

2

13.8

14

TB

7

7

4.6

* Not much to add to the previous comments except to say hello to Mr. Mauer.

 

Highest % of Picks Who Made Big League Appearances

 

Rank

Team

#

Avg

Top 9

MLB%

1

Phil

5

14

1

100.0%

2

NYM

8

18

2

100.0%

3

Tor

9

18

1

100.0%

4

SF

9

29

0

88.9%

5

ANA

8

20

0

87.5%

6

TB

7

3.6

7

85.7%

 

It's surprising to see big market teams here, but two factors may be at play:

*They may take the safer more predictable but lower upside college players as they make their big splash through free agency

*They also may trade some of these picks to hollow rosters for their bigger names, making the path to the bigs easier.

 

It's common knowledge at this point the Rays had the most Top 9 picks over the seven year period with 7. How did teams with 4 or more compare?

 

Team

#

Avg

Top 9

WAR

WAE

TB

7

3.6

7

29.2

4.6

KC

13

21

5

42.1

8.3

Det

8

9.6

5

19.8

6.7

Wsn

7

8.4

5

21.8

7.3

Bal

17

23

4

47.9

10.9

Mil

7

7.4

4

65.3

18.8

Col

8

17

4

40.6

8

Pitt

7

9.4

4

11.9

0.6

 *Well at least we aren't the Pirates, though Andrew McCutchen will have them looking better before its all said and done. The Rays fall 2nd to last in Wins Above Excellence despite having two or three more top 9 picks than each team on thiss list.

 

Finally let's look at 2008 one last time. As Chuck Lamar was receiving credit, where did his draft picks stand in terms of 2008 WAR?

 

 Top 5 WAR Accumulated by 1st round draftees1999-2005

 

Rank

Team

#

Avg

Top 9

2008 WAR

1

Phil

5

14

1

16.9

2

Bal

17

23

4

14.8

3

Mil

7

7.4

4

13.2

4

Tor

9

18

1

12.1

5

Tex

11

14

2

12

10

TB

7

3.6

7

8.8

 

So I pose this question to Fox Sports, if Chuck Lamar's 7 top 10 draft picks from 1999-2005 were responsible for the Rays winning the American League, why didn't our ALE rivals Baltimore and Toronto win the league? Their first rounders from the same period accounted for 6 and 3.3 more WAR than Lamar's picks despite the huge margin in average draft slot. Huh.

(I have a massive1st round draft database from 99-05 a a result of this work. If anyone wants to see any of this information posed differently, please holler) Workbook

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker