Why don't teams like the Reds who don't have high payrolls invest more in the minor leagues? Wouldn't that be a drop in the bucket compared to paying free agents tons of money?
In my post earlier I stated that a first round draft pick has a 1/3 chance to become a recognizable player and that those odds are very much skewed so that a pick in the top 10 will be much more likely to get there.
Another way to look at it, is that in each draft there are 10 literally can't miss prospects. Now a couple of those guys ...will end up missing. They will either get hurt or end up with lifestyle issues or the scouts were just wrong..that happens, but the other 8 will end up being really good.
Here...take a look at the 1985 draft at
In the first 10 picks you have Surhoff, Will Clark, Bobby Witt, Barry Larkin, Barry Bonds, Pete Incavaglia, and Chris Gwynn.
At 11 you have Walt Weiss.
At 17 you have Brian McRae.
At 18 there is Joe Magraine.
Greg Jeffries fell to 20 because he wanted money.
Rafael Palmero went at 22.
Joey Cora was at 23.
The other 13 guys drafted were guys whose names I don't recognize at all.
Now...if you're a "low budget" team and you have a chance at one of those first 10 pick then you have a choice. You can draft a "sure thing" we'll call him Drew Stubbs and invest 2 million dollars in him and...well maybe you get Barry Bonds and maybe you get Chris Gwyn. Either way your 2 million is gone. OR you can turn around and do what the Giants regularly do and "invest" that 2 million dollars in mid level free agents who will contribute to your major league team and NOT invest that two million in a sure thing, but take a "signability" pick instead. Somebody with a chance to make the big leagues, but not one of those "best in the draft" type players.
During the end of the Bowden years, the reds did exactly that.
That number on Stubbs by the way is real. That's what the reds paid this years #8 selection in the draft. Stubbs may be the reds center fielder in 2009 and he may not be. In order to sign him, they paid him essentially a bit more than the signed Hatteberg and Aurilia off the current free agent market.