Here is a question I get a lot from fans about the baseball draft. What makes a good draft? How many of the Orioles’ draft picks can be expected to make the major leagues?
My experience has been that very few players make it and very, very few become stars. But I went to a great source with that question the other night on my radio show on 105.7 FM the Fan in Baltimore when I asked Jim Callis of Baseball America that question.
What makes a good draft?
“If you look at the percentages of the guys that make it, roughly ten to 12 percent of the players drafted and signed will make it to the big leagues,” Callis said. “Even in the first round, the best players taken in the draft, the rule of thumb is roughly a third of those guys will be very good players, a third of those guys will make it to the big leagues and a third of them will not make it or get a cup of coffee.
“Even in the whole draft, with 1,500 players taken you might have eight or ten, if you are lucky, superstars and another three dozen or so really good players that have lengthy major league careers. That’s about it.
“If your team gets two good players out of a draft, you are doing better than most of the other teams. The odds are stacked against them. But if you look at it as an investment, the potential return on the investment is tremendous,” Callis said.
He used O’s top pick Dylan Bundy as an example, a player that got a major league contract worth $6.25 million. While that seems like a crazy amount for any high school kid, Callis said if Bundy is as good as advertised, he estimated that he would earn as much as, possibly $25 million over six years in the majors before he could become a free agent, factoring in arbitration years.
“But, if Dylan Bundy is as good or as close to good as he is supposed to be, in those six seasons, he is probably giving the Orioles, and I am not exaggerating here, $75 million dollars worth of production. So, if he does that, the Orioles come out $50 million dollars ahead of what they would have paid him as a free agent or if he was going year to year,” Callis said.