Jun 2, 2008

Lets Get Ready to Rank Players

The Draft Matters!

Its that time of the season again. We look at the top of the draft board to see who we think we can get with our pick. We analyze our organization and decide do we pick for a need or do we take the best available prospect available at our slot. Things get dicey after this. I know I frequently try to decide how many prospects am I going to look at and rank. My system seems to change every season and I'm sure this is true for many of us. Some seasons there is time to look at 150 prospects, some seasons more others less. After about 50 the eyes are bleary and I begin to wonder if I'm ranking players in an accurate way. It was my love for this part of the Hard Ball Dynasty game that led me to look at all of the franchises Draft history and see if the draft matters and I believe know that it certainly does. First, lets look at the top 6 organizations in terms of draft picks playing in the ML.

Big Six

Fargo Fuzznuts-15 drafted palyers in the ML.

Its easy to see why Fargo has been one of the dominant organizations in this world. They have won 5 staight division titles. They have had 96 or more wins every season that cjl9652 has been the owner and have made it to 1 World Series. This organization has used the draft to maintain the high level of succes. With 16 1st round picks thus far, 7 are currently in the ML. Fargo also is tied with the Arizona Buckeyes (who just missed making this list and the next list, Sorry!) with 5 current MLers from the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Suprising however to see that of the 15 ML players drafted by Fargo only 3 are still on Fargo. cjl9652 has used his picks as chips to piece together an amazing organization. More on Fargo in the next section.

Pittsburgh Ponies-15 drafted players in the ML.

Pittsburgh has been the dominant franchise of Griffey World. 7 straight playoff appearances, including 6 division titles. 4 World Series championships and at least 92 wins in every season point to this being an amazing franchise. While travisg didn't draft Matt Ross, he has drafted all the support staff Ross has needed to maintain play at the highest level. Pittsburgh has used 21 1st round picks to produce 12 current major league players. 7 of these 12 1st rounders in the ML are still on the Ponies. Travisg has used the draft to get good players. 8 of these palyers are on other franchises but travis has done a good job of trading to keep the pieces in place to remain on top.

Kansas City Twisters-11 drafted players in the ML.

The Twisters have made the playoffs every season in this world. They have won the division 5 times and got the wild card twice. They have never won fewer than 85 games and have a World Series appearance to their credit. disaacs has used 14 1st round picks to produce 7 current ML players.The Twisters still have 8 of the 11 ML players on their roster. disaacs has built through the draft, getting and holding on to high quality players that have helped his franchise be a playoff fixture.

Philadelphia Revolution-11 players drafted in the ML.

With 5 seasons under his belt with the Revolution, its clear that timgod99 has used the draft to maintain the Revolution annual spot in the playoffs. In his 5 seasons the Revolution have won 3 division titiles and a wild card berth. They have won at least 85 games in each of those 5 seasons. The Revolution has used 14 1st round picks to produce 8 current big league players. Of the 11 current major league players that the franchise has drafted only 3 are still on the Revolution. Much like Fargo, it appears that timgod99 takes the approach of taking the best player available and using those chips to build his franchise to his liking through trades.

Cheyenne Duck Snorts-10 players drafted in the ML.

The Duck Snorts are fresh off the season 7 World Series title and an excellent exmple of a team that has built itself up through the draft. 10 players drafted between seasons 1 and 4 are now on Major League rosters. Bajoraa is seeing the fruits of quality drafts as is evidenced by 2 straight division titles and one of the best records in the league this season. 4 of Cheyenne's 11 1st round picks are currently in the Bigs. Cheyenne has also been one of the most successful organizations at finding good players in lower rounds with 2 8th rounders and a 15 th rounder currently playing in the Majors. Of the 10 players in the majors, 4 are on the Duck Snorts. The Duck Snorts have used the draft to get high quality players and have shaped their organization from there.

New York Cyclones-10 players drafted in the ML.

The Cyclones enterd this season coming off the franchises first playoff appearance, a 91 win wild card season. Of the 10 players drafted playing in the majors, 6 are still on the Cyclones. It appears that Veneer is building his franchise through the draft. The Cyclones big league team features one of the youngest ML'ers in Griffey, 20 year old pitcher Miguel Perez the season 6 1st round pick. It will be interesting to watch Perez's development in coming seasons as the franchise trys to surround him with a good, young base of players.

Franchises that just missed the Big 6:

Arizona and Salem have both drafted 9 current Major Leaguers and Cincinnati, New Orleans, Oakland and Rochester have drafted 8.

Big Six part 2

In this section we will look at the franchises with the most drafted players on their roster. The first list featured some of the biggest playoff fixtures in Griffey. Those teams have managed to use the draft to maintain a high level of success, but not always by hanging on to their draft picks. The teams on this list appear to be more of the up and comers of the world, with a couple of exceptions.

Oakland Dragons-14 drafted palyers on their ML roster.

The Dragons have won three division titles in their history, one under current owner bobby1978. The ML team features 15 players 27 or younger. They have held onto 4 of their 8 drafted players in the ML and have aquired the other 10 along the way. The organization appears in good shape. They have 5 straight AAA playoff berth with a World Series championship at that level, 3 AA playoff appearances in the last 5 seasons, and the Hi A, Lo A and Rookie teams have all been in the playoffs 4 straight seasons. Based on the fact that these young players have come up through a successful organization I would bet we'll see success soon in Oakland.

Washington DC Foo Fighters-12 drafted players on their ML roster.

At the Big League level this franchise has struggled. They have finished 3rd or 4th in their division every season and have never had more than 73 wins. As of this article the team in 2 games over .500 and looking at their roster, success may not be too far off. They have hung on to 5 of the 7 current Major Leaguers they have drafted and have aquired the other 7. The franchise will have some choices to make soon as they have more palyers older than 27 than younger, but another strong draft may help make those decisions easier. Recent success in the minors also points to this franchise being close to turning the corner. They were in the AAA world series last season and the Hi A and Lo A teams have had success recently. It appears with a couple of good moves this is a team that could compete sooner rather than later.

Salt Lake City Aiel Warriors-11 drafted palyers on their ML roster.

This has been a consistent team over 7 seasons. Winning between 75 and 88 games every season but one. This consistency has brought this team only 3rd and 4th place finishes. To compete in their competitive division the Warriors need sttong players. The AAA team has been to the playoffs three straight seasons, so some of the younger players have seen success at this level. Now they need to find a way to take this collection of talented players and make them successful in a tough division. Salt Lake City faces some of the same issues as Washington, they have more players over 27 than under. Management will need to find a way to get better and younger at the same time.

Chicago Cubs-11 drafted players on their ML roster.

Season 7 brought the first winning season for this franchise since season 2. This team has come out of the gate very strong and when you look at the roster you see that this team should be a force in the World for a long time. Only three players on the ML roster are over 27 years of age. This young group has enjoyed great success at the minor league level. 6 staight playoff berths at AAA. 6 straight playoff berths at AA with 2 World Series titles. 6 straight playoffs at Hi A with 4 World Series titles and 7 straight playoff berths at Lo A with 1 World Series title. It is scary to think about how good this team should be going forward. They have hung on to 6 of the 7 ML'ers they have drafted anf aquired 5 others. This team has built it self into a future power through successful drafting.

Fargo Fuzznuts-10 drafted players on their ML roster.

We have already talked about Fargo's success at the big league level above. They have been great. Equally great has been their minor leagues. AAA, AA, and Hi A have seen 4 playoff appearances each with a AA World Series titile. The LoA team has 5 playoff appearances. We talked in the earlier post about Fargo's use of its draft picks to obtain the pieces to succeed at the ML level. Though they have only kept 3 of their 15 drafted ML'ers, they have used the players they have drafted to aquire very talented players from other franchises that fit their needs. It appears that Fargo will continue to be successful based on their history with the draft and their ability to get the best players into their organization.

Kansas City Twisters-10 drafted players on their ML roster.

Just like Frago, this team has been a playoff standard. Well guess what, the minor leagues have produced success as well. 3 straight AAA berths, 3 of the last 4 seasons at the AA level and 2 of the last 3 at the Hi A level. Kansas City has kept 8 of 11 ML players from their own drafts and have aquired a couple of other ML players other teams have drafted. They have proven that they know how to draft and I would expect that they will continue to draft well and continue to be successful at the Major League level.

Franchises that just missed the second big 6:

The New York Cyclones, Montreal, Charlotte and Cheyenne all have 9 drafted palyers on their big league roster. Pitsburgh, New Orleans, Arizona and Atlanta have 8.

Here's hoping we all find that stud at the top of the draft and a couple of hidden gems later. Good Luck!

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