White Sox Draft Report Card
We analyze Chicago's 2008 draft class.
We analyze Chicago's 2008 draft class.
Analyzing Minnesota's 2008 draft class.
Analyzing Detroit's 2008 draft class.
We analyze the Royals' 2008 draft class.
We analyze the Cleveland 2008 draft.
The schedule for all 30 draft reports cards.
Our annual Draft Report Cards kick off our offseason prospect coverage. Editor in chief John Manuel (most National League teams, plus the Twins and Yankees) and executive editor Jim Callis (most American League clubs, plus the Cubs and Dodgers) talked to scouting directors and other scouts in order to provide a detailed breakdown of each team's 2008 draft.
We look team by team at the signing budgets for the 2008 draft.
Analyzing Baltimore's 2008 draft.
Analyzing Tampa Bay's 2008 draft.
Rating the Red Sox 2008 draft.
Looking at New York's 2008 draft.
We look at the Blue Jays 2008 draft.
September marks the end of the summer scouting circuit, as high schools and colleges begin classes. Scouts used the three months in between the draft and the starting of school as an opportunity to get a jump on evaluating the talent in the 2009 class. BA was out on the road as well, and after covering college summer leagues, Team USA and the high school showcase circuit, we have compiled top 25 lists for both college and high school prospects eligible for next year's draft.
There were almost as many bonus records set at baseball's Aug. 15 signing deadline as there were in the Water Cube at the Beijing Olympics. Before the clock struck midnight—and in one case, afterward—teams spent like never before. Three of the four largest up-front bonuses ever were paid out, led by the Giants giving No. 5 overall pick Buster Posey $6.2 million. The 27 first-round picks who signed received an average bonus of $2,484,963, more than $300,000 than ever before, and an increase of 18.4 percent from 2007, the biggest jump in the era of Major League Baseball's recommendations for bonus slots.
After refusing to exceed MLB's slotting guidelines and spending just $1.6 million on their entire 2007 draft, the Astros have reversed course. Houston went over slot to sign a pair of Texas high school pitchers in late July and early August, giving supplemental third-rounder Ross Seaton $700,000 and eighth-rounder Brad Dydalewicz $425,000. Last year, Houston surrendered its first- and second-round choices as free-agent compensation and failed to sign its third- , fourth- and eight-rounders, a huge blow to a farm system already in decline. New general manager Ed Wade restructured the scouting department after coming aboard last September, hiring former Brewers crosschecker Bobby Heck as scouting director.
Casey Kelly and Destin Hood were swayed by large signing bonuses to choose baseball over SEC football.
Though Major League Baseball did away with the draft-and-follow process by instituting an Aug. 15 signing deadline beginning with the 2007 draft, teams still pick players with the intention of evaluating them further in what is known as a summer follow. The summer follow usually arises for prospects who had performed well in the past but played poorly in the spring leading up to the draft, or for players who were hurt during the spring and were either unable to play or hampered by their injuries.
Of all the teams and all the years of drafting players, these were the only six drafts we could find that produced absolutely zero big leaguers. For some teams there were extenuating circumstances, while for others it was just a case of picking the wrong players.
These are Baseball America's rankings of the 20 best drafts of all time, a subjective ranking but one based on a number of objective criteria. This chart includes the most notable players in each class, number of big leaguers, Win Shares (a Bill James statistic that measures the overall worth of a player), all-stars, All-Star Game appearances and significant awards won.