A couple weeks ago I checked into GMDM and his crew’s performance or lack there of at drafting pitchers. Â I’m sure you can remember it wasn’t pretty and shift the focus on what they have done well in the past, drafting positional players. Â Its not easy to find a stud positional player in the draft like some of us think but GMDM’s crew did a pretty solid job of it in their stint in Atlanta landing Brian McCann and a couple others that have contributed on major league squads.
Atlanta Braves ’02-’06Â 44.4 rWARÂ (Escobar and McCann 38.3)
’06 Cody Johnson, Chase Fontaine
’05Â Yunel Escobar,Â Jordan Schafer
’04 Eric Campbell, JC Holt, Van Pope
’03Â Jarod Saltalamacchia, Jamie Romak
’02Â Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Tyler Greene, Kris Harvey
The catching position is one that this group seems to be very good at evaluating consideringÂ Saltalamacchia is a capable backup, McCannÂ is legitimately in the top 5 of the position and our very own Salvador Perez looks to be a stud. Â On top of McCann they found a major league level shortstop in Escobar and a couple of outfielders. Â If this group only does two things right but they are finding shortstops and catchers then they are definitely ahead of the curve. Â That could bode well for Cam Gallagher’s career.
Of course the numbers on their current draft aren’t that good but you would think those position players would start to cash in on some W(AR)ins here soon. Â The only two that are likely to put up significant win totals for the club currently are Hosmer and Moose unless Gio takes an unexpected step forward this spring. Â With that being the case it isn’t likely that the Royals drafts can surpass what the new FO staff in Atlanta has generated unless there is a star in that 2010 or ’11 class. Â If Hosmer does rebound in a similar way to Heyward and Myers becomes what some of us think he can then they can get close, well close as far as the draft value is concerned, but probably not that close as far as Royals value goes.
The Braves staff has done a better job when you consider positional value, lower draftpicks and finding what could be a MLB star. Â They have had more picks to do it with but they also have a head start and more production on its way with Simmons.
Kansas City Royals ’07-’10 3.5 WAR most from Moose itallics indicate traded to acquire ML player
’07 Mike Moustakas, Adrian Ortiz
’08 Eric Hosmer, Johnny Giavotella
’09 Wil Myers
’10 Christian Colon, Brett Eibner, Michael Antonio
’11 Bubba Starling, Cam Gallagher, Patrick Leonard
Atlanta Braves ’07-’10 20.3 rWAR (based largely on Heyward’s value)
’07 Jason Heyward, Jon Gilmore, Freddie Freeman, Brandon Hicks, Dennis Dixon
’08 Braeden Schlehuber
’09 Mycal Jones
’10 Matt Lipka, Todd Cunningham, Andrelton Simmons, Joe Leonard
’11 Nick Ahmed, Kyle Kubitza, Nick DeSantiago
A better comparison for the current five year window of draftpicks could be that of the former regime in KC. Â The Baird regime tapped Gordon and Butler for major production. Â If Hos and Moose become what those two have then Royals fans should be happy with the caveat that both likely won’t sign here longterm.
Allard Baird Previous 5 Years 24.6 rWAR (Gordon and Butler 26.5)
’06 Jason Taylor, Derrick Robinson
’05 Alex Gordon, Jeff Bianchi, Joe Dickerson
’04 Billy Butler, Josh Johnson
’03 Chris Lubanski, Mitch Maier, Shane Costa, Brian McFall, Miguel Vega
’02 Adam Donachie, Dave Jensen, Donnie Murphy
The Royals staff can always make up the difference in value with Latin signings which we’ll take a look at later in the offseason.