Originally Posted by lollipopcurve
3 out of the last 5? Disagree -- what I said was that when you have a shot at the top HS arm in the draft, you have to consider it seriously. I'll give you Gruler. But Howington was not the #1 HS arm, nor was Sowers (and we all know the Reds had NO intention of signing whoever they chose that year).
Hey, I'm for drafting Sowers or Nelson. But bottom line is I'm against coming out staunchly opposed to the #1 HS arm in the country. The thinking is too rigid, in my opinion.
Well, they had to have Howington in their top four HS arms in 1999, probably top three as the Expos took a reach with Josh Girdley. Sowers would have had to be top six, but I'd hazard a guess that they liked him better than Kris Honel and Dan Denham, possibly as much as Mike Jones and Colt Griffin.
And here's a list of the top HS arm taken in every draft of the '90s:
1999 - Josh Beckett
1998 - J.M. Gold
1997 - Geoff Goetz
1996 - John Patterson
1995 - Kerry Wood
1994 - Doug Million
1993 - Kirk Presley
1992 - Jim Pittsley
1991 - Brien Taylor
1990 - Kurt Miller
Important to remember that Becket, Wood and Taylor were considered extraordinary arms, far better than just the average top HS arm on the board. Homer Bailey hasn't been given that kind of pedigree. In fact, he may not ever be the first HS pitcher selected (unthinkable in the cases of Beckett, Wood and Taylor).
Originally Posted by WVRed
We didnt have an inconsistent drafting sociopath as a GM either. We picked one high school arm(Chris Gruler) over the top lefty prospect in the Mets organization.(Scott Kazmir).
I understand the prospect of college arms helping sooner rather than later, but thats not necessarily the case. Most of the top pitching prospects or current pitchers in the game are high schoolers(see lollipopcurves list).
Best example-The Pirates wanted a college arm with the first overall pick in 2002. They took Bryan Bullington, who wasnt rated near as well as some of the other picks. Bullington may be 4th on the Pirates farm system, while two of the other picks(BJ Upton and Scott Kazmir) are top 25 prospects in baseball.
First off, Bowden gave his scouting directors a lot of leeway. Second, a bad idea is still a bad idea no matter who had it.
As for the 2002 draft, Kazmir's currently banged up and struggling (6.23 ERa in High A). Bullington been coming around in AA, 3.93 ERA. The other top two college arms from that draft were Jeff Francis (2.12 ERA in AA and probably the best pitcher in the minors right now) and Bobby Brownlie (3.12 ERA in AA). Of course you've touched upon a larger point here. Forget about the HS vs. college arm debate if a guy like B.J. Upton's on the board. One might be for the Reds. His name is Chris Nelson. That's the pick you make if you want to banish risk from the equation.