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Top 100 Offers More Evidence In Talent Debate

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The prevailing wisdom these days is that college players are a better investment than high schoolers. The number of prepsters taken in the first 10 rounds of the draft is rapidly shrinking, from 46 percent of the picks in 2000 to 39 percent in 2002 to 30 percent (believed to be an all-time low) last year. At the same time, however, high school players dominate the top of our Top 100 Prospects list. They claim 14 of the first 20 spots, compared to three each for college and international signees. A year ago, the prep influence was more pronounced, as the top 20 included 18 high schoolers versus one collegian and one foreigner.

Minors | #2005#Column

No. 1 Picks Rarely Overcome Bad Debuts

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Player-development and scouting officials agree almost unanimously that you can't read too much into a player's first-year stats. But an examination of the debuts for other No. 1 overall selections reveals that Matt Bush's struggles are a bad omen.

Minors | #2005#Column

Don’t Read Too Much Into College Stats

Jim Callis -Premium Content

When Bill James developed his Minor League Equivalencies in the mid-1980s, translating minor league stats into big league numbers, he didn't venture below Double-A or mess with pitchers because the future performance records didn't hold up. Yet now some teams are putting faith into statistics from a level of baseball light years removed from Double-A.

Minors | #2005#Column

D’Backs, Angels, Get Their Men Without Panicking

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Scott Boras has a reputation for squeezing every last penny out of clubs when it comes to free agency and the draft. So other teams were thrilled when the Diamondbacks and Angels held firm in negotiations with their 2004 first-rounders, Boras clients Jered Weaver and Stephen Drew. Even while coming within minutes of the May 30 midnight Eastern signing deadline, Arizona and Los Angeles held firm to offers that had been on the table for months. In the end, Drew and Weaver decided to turn pro rather than take their chances in the 2005 draft.

Minors | #2005#Column

Hochevar Doesn’t Get Past No. 17 In Our Draft

Jim Callis -Premium Content

With 30 scouting directors putting their opinions on the line in the first-year player draft, it's time for me to do the same. I've put together my own 10-round mock drafts since 2003, based on BA's scouting reports and signability information. This year, I randomly drew the 17th slot in each round. Because the supplemental first round lasts 18 picks this year, I decided I should get in on that action with the No. 35 selection.

Minors | #2005#Column

Upton Stays Behind To Work On Glove

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The Devil Rays have no doubts that B.J. Upton will be an impact hitter at the major league level. But they wanted him to start this season in Triple-A to hone his defense, and he has remained in Durham all year, making him eligible for a return trip to the Futures Game in July.

Minors | #2005#Column

Crazy Eights Compelling In Own Right

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The first round of the baseball draft hogs most of the attention. The most talented players go in the top 30 picks and command the largest bonuses. But when the first round is completed, there still are 49 rounds and nearly 1,500 picks remaining. And some of those rounds can be just as enthralling. Take the eighth round, for instance. The best-ever eighth-rounder was the stunningly gifted Eric Davis, followed by Charlie Hough. There must be something about the eighth round and knuckleballers, because Tim Wakefield (selected as a first baseman) went there as well.

Minors | #2005#Column

GM Searches Ignore Impact Of Talent Evaluators

Jim Callis -Premium Content

If I were running a team and looking for a GM, the No. 1 attribute I'd value would be the ability to judge talent. When it comes time to make the call on player moves, I'd want my GM to have the knowledge and experience to make intelligent, confident decisions. Yet four of the five clubs who filled GM vacancies this offseason passed on attractive in-house candidates with a proven track record of talent evaluation. None of them got beyond a perfunctory interview, if even that.

Minors | #2005#Column

Talent Goes Beyond Top 10 Lists

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Here's our annual all-star team of prospects who weren't quite good enough to make the National League Top 10 lists that have run in these pages. Last year's version included Cubs outfielder Matt Murton, who hit .343 in the minors and .321 in the majors, plus Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins and Pirates infielder Freddy Sanchez, who had solid debuts as big league regulars.

Minors | #2005#Column

Three Teams Withdraw From Northern League

J.J. Cooper -

Back in 1993, Marv Goldklang and his partners were venturing into uncharted territory. As the owners of the St. Paul Saints, they were one of six owners in the new independent Northern League, trying to prove a minor league didn't need ties to Major League Baseball to survive and thrive financially.

Minors | #2005#Independent Audit