Originally Posted by TDog
I've never been a fan of BPA
. But drafting the best player available in the baseball draft can be a nebulous thing. The Twins drafted the best player in the 2001 draft when they took Joe Mauer, but at the time it was pretty much universally believed they passed up the best player to go for a local boy, leaving the best player to the Cubs, who picked second. And what a crossroads moment that was. Who knows how Chicago baseball history would have changed if the Twins had taken Mark Prior. Not only would the adventures of Mark Prior and the Cubs teams behind him been lost, but the Twins wouldn't have picked up Joe Nathan for A.J. Pierzynski, who the Giants would be unhappy with after being an AL All-Star with the Twins.
Maybe the Twins believed they were drafting the best player in the draft when they took Mauer. The Nationals, given their recent drafting positions, certainly drafted the players they thought were best available. But some teams lose out on the draft because they pick the best available player. It was a no-brainer for the Orioles to take Ben McDonald six places ahead of Frank Thomas in 1989. We would like to think the White Sox would have drafted Thomas if they had been drafting third, but if they were picking first, they likely would have taken McDonald.
You can look for the best player available, but there were 24 selections in the 2009 draft where Mike Trout was available. Of course, the White Sox picked before the Angels, but the Nationals passed on him twice, only once in taking Stephen Strasburg.
The draft is a crap shoot. Even if you are looking to take the best available player, no matter how competent your scouting is, there is no way of knowing who the best available player is on draft day.
All of this is true. There are just so many variables that go into drafting and developing a player. There are also a lot of things that are up for conjecture when it comes to figuring out who the "best player available" is.
I still don't have too much faith in our player development (for position players), but hopefully the reinvesting will pay off.