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2007 Draft: Early Returns

Tyler MachFor the 2006 MLB draft, I identified 15 prospects that looked very promising to me, and I was encouraged enough by that crop to follow up with a list of 25 prospects this year. I am particularly interested in seeing how this year's group does because I relied heavily on my hitter and pitcher rating formulas, with special adjustments to better suit it for the college game (adjustments were made to include park factors and competition level). My hope is that these rating formulas help me compile a list of prospects as good as, if not better, than any major league team's. Most of the players I had on my list this year were selected early on, so for the most part I am looking at the same guys as everybody else. However, some like Nick Chigges, Josh Collmenter, Bryan Henry, Tony Watson, and to a certain degree Tony Thomas and Tyler Mach, slipped farther than they should have according to my rating system.

The short-season rookie leagues started play only a month ago, so no individual player has played enough to draw any conclusions. However, by combining all of their playing time, a decent sampling size for the entire list is attained. The compiled stats say little about any individual player, but if my ranking system is as good as I hope, the compiled numbers should be good. So, I went and collected the stats for all 25 players on my 2007 list, and crossed my fingers. None of these stats are adjusted in any manner. They are simply a compilation, despite guys playing anywhere from Short-Season Rookie to AA. It's very rough, but like I said, the numbers should look pretty good if my ranking system is on the right track. Here is what I found:

HITTING
At-Bats: 454
Batting Average: .286
Home Runs: 18
RBI: 91
Runs: 90
Stolen Bases: 18
Caught Stealing: 6
Walks: 66
Strikeouts: 106
On-Base Percentage: .393
Slugging: .513
OPS: .906

PITCHING
Innings Pitched: 174.1
Hits: 153
Walks: 43
Strikeouts: 165
Home Runs Allowed: 15
ERA: 2.78
WHIP: 1.12
K/9 IP: 8.52
K/BB: 3.8/1

Drawing any concrete conclusions one month after a draft is impossible. So, in the grand scheme of things, these numbers don't mean a ton. However, if my system is good, it would be expected that with a proper sampling size the players it identifies as prospects will produce. By combining all the players, I get a sample size equivalent to about a complete minor league season for a hitter and a starting pitcher. It's still not that big of a sample, but big enough to expect some production. Looking at the numbers, there is no doubt that the players on the 2007 list as a collective whole have produced thus far. Furthermore, three of the top four on the list haven't even played yet, which means that they have not contributed to these stats at all. Simply put, these numbers are the most I could have hoped for at this point.