A lot of you, it seems, are convinced that a player's minor league statistics - particularly a pitcher's numbers - paint an accurate picture of his major league prospects. Some of the comments I'm seeing about the Nationals' Rule 5 draft acquisitions this morning - Elvin Ramirez and Brian Broderick - indicate that the Nats may just have well have thrown that money out in the street.
Oh, ye of little faith.
I'm guessing you guys would've passed on Johan Santana, when the Marlins drafted him from Houston in the '99 Rule 5, and then swapped him - with cash - to the Twins for righthander Jared Camp, who, by the way, never threw a pitch in the big leagues.
Santana's best full season in the minors up to that point produced a .500 W-L mark and a 4.66 ERA. He'd racked up a lot of K's along the way, but the minors are full of guys like that.
You probably wouldn't have traded veteran Doyle Alexander to Atlanta for Tiger prospect John Smoltz, either. His ERA in 1987 was a crisp 5.68 in AA ball, with a 1.6 WHIP. Whoopee.
There's a reason that scouts exist, and the game is chock full of stories exactly like this. Will Ramirez and Broderick have careers? Shoot, they may not even make it out of spring training. But Nationals' scouts saw something they liked, and if only one of them makes it, it's like finding free money.
Relax. This is not an angst-worthy moment.