Originally Posted by 15fan
I'd take the exact opposite position - it's not that there is a lack of information. Instead, there's an overabundance of information. Places like baseball-reference.com, baseballcube.com, etc already have most of this information (draft position, minor/major league stats, etc) in a data base. The work comes in parsing the data (for example, to do a regional study, do you divide the country up into 50 states, 6 regions, 4 regions, etc?). Coding the data would be a heck of a lot of work, but in this day in age, the data is most certainly there.
I also think there's some value in the study even though you claim that minor leaguers are handled differently than they were 10 years ago. You might find, for example, that over time, kids from (insert state/region here) fare better in their development than kids from the rest of the nation, regardless of the minor league operations. That would indicate that maybe the Little League / Pony League / AAU / High School systems at the local or regional level have more of an impact than originally thought. There's certainly some logic there - kids who are taught better at an earlier age are more likely to not have bad habits / techniques that lead to the inevitable injuries, etc. Conversely, you might find that there has been a change with the way that kids from state/region X have gone from being drafted to actually being a regular big leaguer. Some evidence there would give credence to the argument that minor league instruction is more important than finding kids from solid programs either at the junior high, high school, or college levels.
I like the Late Bloomer hypothesis that M2's working.
As someone who actually has gone through 8 years of draft data, I am convinced that a study like that would not have enough data to get what you are looking for to confirm an actual conclusion with any base of information behind it. I mean yes, there are a few examples. Joey Votto said that in HS in Toronto, he never faced a guy throwing harder than 85 MPH. Now days some of these kids see 90 almost every game in summer leagues. But going through all of that data just is going to leave you with the conclusion that there actually isnt enough data to determine an actual conclusion.
A study like that would have to go about 15 years deep. Well once you get past the 5th or 6th round, the number of actual major leaguers are few and far between. All players beyond that are going to drop the numbers across the board dramatically. It is also going leave the sample size extremely small of guys who signed from a certain region.