In a thread the other day, I was commenting that I would love to get Meadows in the year''s draft, and said that high school outfielders were more likely to become all stars. Someone, I think it was Maguro, called me on the statement, so I thought I would take a look. Looking at 2012 offensive WAR only, I categorized the top 10 outfielders by how they were originally acquired. It breaks down like this:
HS: Trout, Cutch, A Jones, A Jackson, Hamilton, Pagan
College: Braun, Willingham (17th round!),
Free agents: Choo, Cabrera
The second ten was similar, with 5 from high school, 2 from college, 1 from community college, and 1 free agent. So, my original point, perhaps badly stated is, I think, correct. If you want an all star outfielder, you should be looking at the elite high school players. Now, this does leave out some important counterpoints. First, high school players are more risky than college players. Second, I ignored defense which, while not as important for outfielders, is a consideration. Also, not all outfielders were drafted as such. Justin Upton was drafted as a shortstop. Finally, I have not considered the frequency with which such players are draftred. The statisticians out there might note that I answered a slightly different question than I posed. My original statement was that high school outfielders were more likely to become all-stars. What the list shows is that all stars are more likely to have been drafted as high schoolers, which is different, although related.
To be fair, I think Maguro's point was that you cannot be dogmatic when selecting players in the draft. There are no hard and fast rules. If Ryan Braun is there, you choose him, and it should not matter if he is in college. Still, it is my belief that at the top of round 1 you should be thinking impact. Which players are the most likely to give you 5+ WAR seasons? If the Bucs get either Meadows or Frazier, I would be thrilled. I understand the arguments behind a safe pick like Moran, but I think with two first round picks, the Bucs need to roll the dice with at least one.