An often repeated phrase surrounding Cleveland baseball over the past two decades regards how poor the organization has fared in the draft.
But exactly how bad has Cleveland been? And how do they stack up against the rest of baseball?
Those are the questions this series will seek to answer. Using a combination of Baseball-Reference and Baseball America’s respective draft databases, I compiled the total WAR of each draft pick and compared it to the expected value of the respective pick (as calculated using Sky Andrecheck’s 2009 findings). There is a difference between picking first and picking 30th, which is represented in this analysis (Andrecheck gives different formulas for high school and college draft picks as well as pitchers and hitters, but for our purposes, we will just be looking at the average value). We will be also only judging teams based on the picks they signed since those are the ones who actually entered the system.
We started this series in 2004, since 10 years gives us a decent sample to judge the players in that draft class by. Here are links to the previous articles in this series:
Now, we move on to the 2002 draft:
Over the course of these draft analyses, a recurring theme has been you really only need to hit on one pick to make the draft relatively successful. Such is the case with Cleveland in 2002, with Jeremy Guthrie — essentially on his own — doing enough to bring the organization all the way up to slightly below average.
This draft could have been much better for Cleveland, however. The organization had seven of the first 94 picks, yet the non-Guthrie selections of Matthew Whitney, Micah Schilling, Brian Slocum, Pat Osbourn, Jason Cooper, and Dan Cevette netted a grand total of -0.2 WAR. But it only takes one, with Guthrie’s long career as a decent pitcher to fill out a rotation made him a top-15 value in the entire draft. Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, November 27, 2014