SportsCrack Blog

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The MLB Draft is wrapping up today and after 50 rounds we pretty much will know nothing about how good a team drafted till at least 5 years down the road. But of course that doesn't stop ESPN's Keith Law in claiming the Red Sox were the big winners in the draft. Seriously, how do you keep up with all 50 of their picks and decide they were the big winner against 30 other teams picking 50 or more players? The MLB Draft is a lot about luck as much as it is about scouting. Guys who could pitch or hit in high school and college might not be able to adjust to playing baseball every day for a living.

As a fan of baseball I for the most part have to go by what scouts say in terms of talent evaluation because a lot of the players I haven't seen in person. There are way too many players out there to keep up with 10% of them so I always find it funny that experts like Keith Law can tell you who the winners and losers of the MLB Draft are before the thing is even over. What makes me laugh even more is Law is basing a lot of his judgements on what scouts tell him. Which makes me wonder if the scouts are being honest or just blowing smoke up his ass about certain prospects because they "discovered" them. Who knows but I did find this quote from an anonymous scout regarding the Nate McLouth trade to Atlanta very interesting if not borderline hysterical in Jayson Stark's latest Rumblings and Grumblings:

• Pitt Stop: We've heard mixed reviews around baseball on the package the Pirates got back for Nate McLouth. But one scout who has seen a lot of all three players thinks all three could be stars.

"I really like [left-hander Jeff] Locke," he said. "To me, he has a chance to be Jon Lester. And if [right-hander Charlie] Morton just throws strike one, he'll win 15-16 games a year, if not more. And one thing no one can dispute is that [outfielder] Gorkys Hernandez has five tools. Those tools still need a lot of work. But he can be a top-of-the-order guy who can give you power and produce runs. And he can run and throw and play some kind of center field. So to me, that was a deal where both teams got what they wanted and needed."

I've seen all three of those kids play and had a chance to look at their stats in the minor leagues. Locke "has a chance to be Jon Lester" is one of the funniest things I have read in a while. Sure he could be Lester. If only he had his stuff and his arm. Other than both throw lefty they don't have a lot in common. Locke had a ERA north of 5 in A ball as a 22 year old but yeah, he has a chance to be just like Lester. Lester by the way as a 21 year old was posting ERA's in the 2's at AA and AAA. But yeah, Locke could be just like Lester if he gets cancer perhaps.

I'm not even going to argue the Charlie Morton winning 15-16 games in the majors. Morton blows. He walked as many guys as he struck out last year in Atlanta. It's not like he is 21 years old and just had a bad run. The guy is 25 years old. He should be able to show something in the majors but he hasn't. But yeah, if he throws strike one he will magically start winning 15-16 games in the majors if the Pirates magically score 8-10 runs in every one of his starts.

And Gorkys Hernandez has "5 tools." One of them must be a vibrator for this scout because I don't see any power in Gorkys' game. In over 250 plate appearances this year Gorkys has yet to hit a home run in AA ball. Throughout his minor league career he has nearly 1500 plate appearances and has a total of 14 home runs. Yeah, the guy is bristling with power. And with drug testing as prevalent as it is now it's not like Gorkys is just going to suddenly develop power once he reaches the majors.

So this is just one instance where scout's honor is full of shit. Sure, one of those players the Braves traded to the Pirates could become a star. Not likely but they could. Looking at their minor league numbers doesn't suggest stars in the making but what do I know, I'm not a scout.

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