Here is something to keep in mind about the First-Year Player Draft in baseball that begins with round one tonight: The large, large majority of the players taken through 50 rounds will never make the majors. The math says most draft picks have little shot. It’s even dicey for first-round picks. There are no sure things.
Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis is one of the best experts anywhere on the draft. He told me that perhaps less than 50 players drafted this week will have better than average big league careers. Keep in mind over 1,500 players will be taken in the draft.
Here is what Callis said on that topic:
“Even with college players you are projecting two or three years into the future. That’s tough. In an average draft there is maybe six or eight true stars. Guys that will make a bunch of All-Star teams. There might be eight in a draft.
“If you are talking about guys that will have a good career, play five or more years and maybe make an All-Star team, there might be another two or three dozen of those guys.
“So a typical draft has 36 to 45 or so truly useful players. Everyone else is a kind of a complimentary, spare part. If you get two of those good players you are doing better than most of the teams in the draft. I think some fans think a team with all the extra picks will get six studs, but it just doesn’t work out what way.
“People are assuming the Rays will clean up with all these picks. (They have 12 of the first 89 selections). But you have to sign those guys and none of their picks are above number 24. The value in the draft drops off sharply after the first five picks. Realistically if the Rays got three good players out of those 12, guys that are long-term regulars or stars, that’s probably as much as you can reasonably expect.”
Keith Law update: In his latest mock draft out this morning, ESPN’s Keith Law now projects the Orioles will select prep pitcher Archie Bradley with the fourth pick after Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Trevor Bauer, he projects, are selected ahead of them.
Here’s an earlier piece I wrote on Bradley and the possibility of the O’s selecting him with their top pick.