Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dayn Perry Tries To Sneak a Flagrant Lie Past His Readers

Fortunately I have enough time on my hands to thoroughly disprove him. In this case, I don't think the problem is Dayn's idiocy. That's not to say that he's not an idiot, of course- but this time around I think he knew full well that his point was awful and decided to try to sneak it past everyone anyways. So which is worse- being stupid, or lying? I'll leave a question like that to Jack Handy. Let's just get down to brass tacks.

Among the major professional sports drafts, the MLB variant seems to get short shrift.

This is so for a number of reasons. One, college and high school baseball players are far less familiar to the sporting public than, say, those eligible to be drafted in the NBA and the NFL. Two, the MLB Draft is burdened by the "crap shoot" reputation, and, three, MLB draftees have far less immediate impact than those playing hoops or football.As for the first point, not much can be done about that one — college football and college basketball are and probably always will be more popular than college baseball (and certainly high school baseball).

As an aside that has nothing to do with the rest of this post, it's nauseating to me that high school football and basketball are now nationally televised. It's only going to exacerbate the already disastrous levels of corruption at sports' lower levels. Anyways-

As for the second point, well, it's a myth.

Is it? We can test that theory pretty easily, you realize.

Take a gander at the top 10 picks in a given year for all of the three major sports, and, generally speaking, you'll find similar levels of success or failure. MLB has its Brien Taylors, but the NFL and NBA have their Ryan Leafs and Chris Washburns, respectively.

Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Thank you in advance, Wikipedia. Let's take a look at the 5 year span from 1999-2003, because that gives the MLB draftees (who are obviously at a disadvantage relative to their NBA and NFL counterparts in terms of amount of time needed to make an impact) at least five years to have gotten to the big show and made an impact. I'll list the three leagues' top ten picks grouped together by year. I'll bold the guys I would consider to be flops. When it's all said and done, give or take a few possible disagreements between you and I about whether certain guys busted or not, you tell me whether or not you think the argument that the MLB draft is no more crapshootish than the NBA and NFL drafts really holds any water.

1999-

MLB
1. Josh Hamilton (obviously would have been bolded until 12 months ago)
2. Josh Beckett
3. Eric Munson
4. Corey Myers
5. B.J. Garbe
6. Josh Girdley
7. Kyle Snyder
8. Bobby Bradley
9. Barry Zito (the guy won a Cy; I don't care how bad he is now)
10. Ben Sheets

NBA
1. Elton Brand
2. Steve Francis (a tough call, but he was sick for his first six seasons)
3. Baron Davis
4. Lamar Odom
5. Jonathan Bender
6. Wally Szczerbiak (has had a better career than most would think)
7. Rip Hamilton
8. Andre Miller
9. Shawn Marion
10. Jason Terry

NFL
1. Tim Couch
2. Donovan McNabb
3. Akili Smith
4. Edgerrin James
5. Ricky Williams (what a weirdo, still has 7,000+ career yards)
6. Torry Holt
7. Champ Bailey
8. David Boston (David says: Hey kids, don't do steroids)
9. Chris Claiborne
10. Chris McAlister (meh)

2000-

MLB
1. Adrian Gonzalez
2. Adam Johnson
3. Luis Montanez
4. Mike Stoldoka
5. Justin Wayne
6. Rocco Baldelli (not even that good when he's healthy)
7. Matt Harrington (one of the stupidest athletes of all time)
8. Matt Wheatland
9. Mark Phillips
10. Joe Torres

NBA
1. Kenyon Martin
2. Stromile Swift (close to being a non-bust, but not quite)
3. Darius Miles
4. Marcus Fizer
5. Mike Miller
6. DerMarr Johnson
7. Chris Mihm (Andrew Bogut before Andrew Bogut was Andrew Bogut)
8. Jamal Crawford
9. Joel Pryzbilla
10. Keyon Dooling

NFL
1. Courtney Brown
2. LaVar Arrington (a tough call; in the same boat as Steve Francis)
3. Chris Samuels
4. Peter Warrick
5. Jamal Lewis (recovering in Cleveland from his prison rape quite nicely)
6. Corey Simon
7. Thomas Jones
8. Plaxico Burress (it's possible he and Darius Miles are the same person)
9. Brian Urlacher
10. Travis Taylor

2001-

MLB
1. Joe Mauer
2. Mark Prior (I really should bold him, but I'm trying to be overcompensatingly fair to Dayn)
3. Dewon Brazelton
4. Gavin Floyd
5. Mark Teixeira
6. Josh Karp
7. Chris Smith
8. John Van Benschoten
9. Colt Griffin
10. Chris Burke

NBA
1. Kwame Brown
2. Tyson Chandler
3. Pau Gasol
4. Eddy Curry (a decent offensive player when not being attacked by the NY media)
5. Jason Richardson
6. Shane Battier
7. Eddie Griffin (watch out for that train! not too soon!)
8. DeSagana Diop
9. Rodney White
10. Joe Johnson

NFL
1. Michael Vick (don't even try to argue this one)
2. Leonard Davis
3. Gerard Warren
4. Justin Smith (a fringe guy, but he got double-teamed a lot and still produced in Cincy)
5. LaDainian Tomlinson
6. Richard Seymour
7. Andre Carter
8. David Terrell
9. Koren Robinson (Koren says: hey kids, don't drink and drive.)
10. Jamal Reynolds

2002-

MLB
1. Brian Bullington
2. B.J. Upton
3. Christopher Grueler
4. Adam Loewen
5. Clint Everts
6. Zach Greinke (I'm being generous because he's still so young)
7. Prince Fielder
8. Scott Moore
9. Jeff Francis
10. Drew Meyer

NBA
1. Yao Ming
2. Jay Williams (almost definitely would have had a good career if he wasn't fucking stupid)
3. Mike Dunleavy Jr. (a tough call, but I'll give it to him for doing a little of everything)
4. Drew Gooden
5. Nikoloz Tskitishvili
6. DaJuan Wagner
7. Nene Hilario
8. Chris Wilcox
9. Amare Stoudemire
10. Caron Butler

NFL
1. David Carr (another tough call, but he can only blame his OL for so long)
2. Julius Peppers
3. Joey Harrington
4. Mike Williams (career derailed by Hostess snack cakes)
5. Quentin Jammer
6. Ryan Sims
7. Bryant McKinnie (insert sex boat scandal joke here)
8. Roy Williams
9. John Henderson
10. Levi Jones

2003-

MLB
1. Delmon Young (like Greinke, I'm cutting him slack for being so young)
2. Rickie Weeks
3. Kyle Sleeth
4. Timothy Stauffer
5. Christopher Lubanski (has good minor league numbers, but has progressed too slowly)
6. Ryan Harvey
7. Nick Markakis
8. Paul Mahom
9. John Danks
10. Ian Stewart (better than Lubanski in the minors and has flashed power in the bigs)

NBA
1. LeBron James
2. Darko Milicic (all you can really say is... oof)
3. Carmelo Anthony
4. Chris Bosh
5. Dwyane Wade (I almost labeled him a bust for this)
6. Chris Kaman
7. Kirk Heinrich
8. T.J. Ford
9. Michael Sweetney
10. Jarvis Hayes

NFL
1. Carson Palmer
2. Charles Rogers
3. Andre Johnson
4. Dewayne Robertson
5. Terence Newman
6. Jonathan Sullivan
7. Byron Leftwich
8. Jordan Gross
9. Kevin Williams
10. Terrell Suggs

Total busts:
MLB- 34
NBA- 18
NFL- 20

After a glance or two, I'm reasonably confident the same trends continue if you look at the whole first round, whole draft, or go back further into history. So, no, Dayn. You don't see the same levels of success or failure in the first ten picks across all three sports. In fact, it's not even close. But wait- there's more!

The third point? Certainly, the existence of the minor leagues means that MLB draftees have a longer wait than their NFL and NBA counterparts. However, it's not quite as long as you might think. Consider that as recently as 2005 we had these names called early on: Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, Travis Buck, and Clay Buchholz. Needless to say, that's an impressive first-round haul — and one that's already making a serious impact in the majors.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that those are household names. Every one of those guys, even those not playing in big media markets, have received a significant amount of press. But how many are actually making "a serious impact" in the majors? Upton, Gordon, Garza, Buck, and Buchholz certainly aren't. Bruce and Ellsbury look good but haven't even played full seasons yet. Tulowitzki was awful before getting hurt this year and Zimmerman has a great glove but a mediocre bat. From that list I'd say that only Bruan has made an impact that could be characterized as anything close to serious. And I'm worried that I might be biased even in making that claim. Although I'm personally not Jewish like Braun, many of my best friends are, so sometimes I get caught up in the massive amounts of hype they pile onto any Jewish athlete. He's... he's actually legit, right?

In conclusion, Dayn Perry has done nothing to convince me of his claim that the MLB draft is the victim of several unfair misconceptions. It's still boring because even big NCAA baseball fans haven't heard of half the players. It's still a gargantuan crapshoot, much moreso than the NBA or NFL drafts. And even when it produces big stars, it still takes them an extremely long time to develop.

But after all that, here's the pathetic conclusion- since I'm no longer employed, I still watched the whole damn first round last Thursday. Damn you, hype. Your siren song always ends up costing me money, time, or both.

17 comments:

pnoles said...

I am probably the last Sox fan in the world that would give Gavin Floyd any credit. His BABIP is sickeningly low, and his peripherals aren't great. However, I think it's ::gulp:: a little early to call him a bust. His stuff is pretty good, and his K/9 and K/BB numbers are on the climb. He's actually pitching better now than at the beginning of the season when he was putting up virtually the same ERA.

Not that this takes much away from your point or anything, just my two cents.

CitizenX said...

Close? How is Stevie Franchise close to being a bust? All of a sudden averaging 18 6 and 6 over the course of 9 seasons is being a bust? When Wall-E is in the yes pile? When JOEL PRYBILLA is firmly in the yes category?

Martin said...

If it wasn't a crapshoot, they wouldn't do 50+ rounds for the damn thing. They aren't running out of two teams worth of players every years.

larry b said...

PNoles- I hear you. He's definitely a fringe case. If he finishes this season somewhere close to the pace he's on right now, say, with 180 IP, an ERA around 4 and a WHIP around 1.20, I'd consider un-busting him.

X- Przybilla is a mistake and should be bolded.

Chris W said...

that's not the same mike williams who tried to maurice clarrett out of usc and then got fat.

that's the OTHER mike williams the lions took in the top 5 only to have bust out

Tonus said...

Does the MLB draft really have a reputation as a crap shoot? I mean, moreso than other sports? No one really pays much attention to the MLB draft because they're picking 15,000,000 players over the course of 750,000 rounds and no one's heard of any of them, and you'll be lucky if you see one of them within three years.

It's not that some players don't pan out, it's that MLB draft picks aren't expected to make an impact the very next season, unlike most NFL/NBA first rounders, for example.

Also, I can't comment on Ryan Braun, because I look Jewish.

larry b said...

You're half right- it's not the one that tried to Clarett his way into the league, it's the offensive lineman taken by the Bills who was pushing 375 and just plain sucked.

Chris W said...

Yeah, he was a big guy, but there's only one Mike Williams who is famous for becoming a bust because he GOT fat.

If you were talking about the OT Mike Williams, that's fine, but Mike Williams the OT was a bust because he couldn't pass block, not because he was fat

larry b said...

But he couldn't pass block in part because he WAS fat. Listed at 370, who knows what he real weight was. There are guys who can be effective pass blocking tackles at 370... but it takes talent he didn't have. And were he to drop down into the lower half of the 300s, you have to figure it would have helped him out. And true, he didn't GET much fatter once he got to the NFL. But he still WAS too fat, so I think the joke should be allowed to stand. Barely.

Chris W said...

it's cool. misunderstanding on my part.

when i think of a mike williams who ate himself out of the league, i think of mike usc williams (even though he's with jax now and is apparently not a fatty boombat no more)

but then again, that's not necessarily who everyone thinks of.

Bengoodfella said...

I had a similar argument last week about how the MLB does not have an excessive amount of busts as compared to other leagues. I looked it up, like Daryn should have done, and looked like a moron.

I think is ironic the NBA has the rule that 18 year olds have to go to one year of college and MLB does not have that rule. But MLB has nearly twice as many busts in the top 10 of the draft than the NBA. I am not sure there is a correlation there but you would think based on what you showed, maybe the NBA should lay off the one and done rule.

I don't think any team should ever draft any player named Mike Williams to play football unless they want them to be fat. That's just a good rule that should be adopted.

Chris W said...

i don't know if it's all that ironic.

MLB has a farm system. NBA doesn't really.

The problem is the low level of the farm systems are sometimes undermanned and underfunded.

ALSO, the draft picks seem to be rushed into roles they're not prepared for since they're heavily invested in and already with the team.

Then again, NBA draft picks are hurried in, but it's simply a different game.

Anyway, I would agree that college seasoning would generally help players since colleges devote lots of resources to their baseball teams AND most draft picks won't sniff the majors till they're 22 anyway.

But as long as farm systems exist, teams are going to take kids out of high school rather than risk that they become precipitously costly by becoming college studs.

Bengoodfella said...

I agree with you and regret using the word ironic but when I wrote that post I was thinking of an argument we were having in the comments on a FJMariotti comment forum about a Gene W. column concerning the one and done rule in the NBA.

It's ironic to me because we were arguing and harping on the NBA for its one and done rule. Some were for it and others against it. I was for it and said the NBA should have a better minor league system. I guess this post shows it would not help all that much, especially when MLB has no such rule but more top 10 picks bust in MLB over the five year span Larry showed. In reality, MLB has the problem potentially and not the rule.

It is also ironic to me because I wrote this piece of shit paragraph in the comments during the argument trying to defend how great the minors in MLB and other sports are.

"Without a great minor league system and actual support for these kids, it is a big gamble to go pro out of high school to the NBA. I don't know if there should be a commandment saying they have to go to college for a year, but reasonably something has to be done. In the NHL, tennis and MLB when a player comes out of high school to the pros he has a few years to develop in the minors (or on the tour for tennis) and then he/she can brought up when he/she is ready to be a productive player."

I will quit using the word ironic and admit I am a moron. I never thought having a farm system would cause more "busts."

CitizenX said...

On the other hand, Jordan Farmar once played in an NBDL and an NBA game in the same day.

My point? MLB should have...drafted Jordan Farmar? Or something?

I need a hobby.

Bengoodfella said...

Don't feel bad CitizenX, I need a hobby as well. I also should move out of my mom's attic and try to find a job. Maybe that could be my hobby.

I read about Matt Harrington and it has led me to come to the conclusion that anyone related to or every associated with Scott Boras is evil. I realize the first time Harrington was drafted and refused to sign was not Boras' fault but I will still blame Boras.

In relation to Joel Przybilla being a bust. When is drafting a tall white center anywhere in the first round not a mistake from the beginning?

Smitty said...

If anything, I would say that list of NBA busts is a little too harsh. Jay Williams, Jonathan Bender, and Dajuan Wagner falling out of the league because of injuries is sort of beside the point, isn't it? I think only Charles Rogers qualifies for that list in football (not sure about baseball). And at least guys like Przybilla, Mihm, Kwame, and Darko are legit rotation players. Full on, 100% busts like Skita are rare in the NBA, but relatively common in other leagues. So if anything, the gap between the NBA and baseball is a bit wider.

Andy said...

I couldn't help but notice 2 things as a cleveland sports fan...

1. Cleveland teams have lots of top 10 picks

2. The Browns (under Butch Davis) fucked up on a lot of them.