Monday, June 4, 2012

Looking Back at the Orioles 1st Round Drafts

   The Orioles hope to bolster their organization with the 4th pick in the draft today. While the Orioles made some solid picks during the past decade (Markakis, Wieters), they also have floundered with quite a few (Rowell, Snyder). I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at how the club did relative to WAR and Money spent on these players.

* MLB Career $ is only what they made once in the majors, and only their rookie contracts. Therefore, Markakis' extension was not included. Brandon Snyder was in the majors for a grand total of around 3 days/games, therefore the small salary.

   2000-2001 were absolutely miserable drafts for the Orioles. While Mike Fontenot was traded for Sammy Sosa, the rest of them essentially were sunk costs for the Orioles. They spent $7,925,000.00 on Hale, Johnson, Smith, Fontenot, Bass. They received zero major league experience or time from them, unless you count the Sosa trade as a part of the valued gained.
   From then on, the Orioles had an up-and-down draft in the first round. Adam Loewen did not work out, but Nick Markakis on his rookie contract was actually a very successful pick. His contract extension is a whole different story however. Wade Townsend did not even sign, which is an entirely different topic to discuss.
   The 2005-2006 draftees were not the brightest times for the Baltimore Organization. Only Garrett Olson played any significant time for the Orioles. He had a minimal impact for the club. Pedro Beato pitched decently for the Mets last season, so it was interesting to see the Orioles give up on him (He was not placed on the 40-man roster). Overall the Orioles spent $5,450,000 on Snyder, Olson, Rowell, and Beato. They garnered a negative -2.2 rWAR and a 1.1 fWAr for the 4 players.
   Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz seemingly make up for the lost time in 2005-2006. Wieters is easily worth his weight when considering first round picks. Matusz has not been great by any means, but there is still some time for him to jump back on track and prove he is worth the dividends.
  From then on, it is really tough to say anything about Matt Hobgood, Manny Machado , and Dylan Bundy. There has not nearly been enough time to evaluate them, so I will not attempt to. Hobgood needs to return healthy next season and produce though.

   Since 2000, the Orioles have spent a grand total of $46,908,890.00 on their draftees. If 1 WAR equals roughly $5,000,000 on market value, then the Orioles have gained a players worth of $110,000,000 from rWAR and $149,000,000 based off fWAR. This sounds very good, but it could be much better if the Orioles did not miss on so many prospects within this decade +. If determining off the rookie contracts of players, the Orioles hit on only two above-average players in a span of nine years (Markakis and Wieters). Obviously it's way too early to even look at Bundy and Machado yet as previously mentioned. Of course, it is VERY important to remember that the first round of a draft is far from the end. The Orioles have not been very good in any rounds beyond round one either. In fact, that seems to be where most the clubs in the AL East actually get most of their talent. They also all have been drafting in the bottom 15 for the most part each season. But when the Orioles are drafting so high each year, it seems like they should hit on more players. When looking through each AL East first round history over the past 10 years, you'll notice they have nearly as many misses as the Orioles do. However, they are not top 10 picks and not nearly as expensive for the most part.

   I think that Machado and Bundy are going to help ease the past 10 years of draft woes. Hopefully pick #4 tonight can do the same.

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