The MLB draft has always fascinated me, so this week I started doing what I've wanted to do for a while: Really sit down and look at a ton of data on it. Of course, before I get to the interesting stuff(like if college or HS players perform better, though that's been studied by Jim Callis and Rany Jazayerli, among others), I just looked a trend: Are more college or HS players being selected? I looked at this two ways: By round and by year. Here are the results:
(All data is for all players selected in the first 10 rounds, regardless of whether they signed, from 1999-2008)
It's not much(I plan on gathering the data to extend this back 15 years instead of 10), but I do have two observations:
1. The college-player trend really seemed to start in 2001, which isn't really a surprise. It jumped again in 2003 and has held pretty steady since. This can probably be owed to the Moneyball effect.
2. In the 8th-10th round, college players are being taken at more than a 2:1 rate. This makes sense, because the later a HS player is taken, the less likely he is to sign. One thing I plan to look into is that, if college players are being taken 100% more than high schoolers, are they 100% more likely to make the majors/become productive?
As it pertains to the Rays, they've had 4 selections in that range since 1999 make the majors, and two more pretty good prospects:
2000 Mark Malaska Round 8 Pitcher College
2001 Fernando Cortez Round 9 Infielder JUCO
2002 Jason Hammel Round 10 Pitcher JUCO
2003 Billy Buckner Round 9 Pitcher College
2006 Desmond Jennings Round 10 Outfielder JUCO
2007 Matt Moore Round 8 Pitcher High School
They also some nice other late-round finds, like James Shields in the 16th, Jonny Gomes in the 18th, Shawn Riggans in the 24th, Fernando Perez in the 7th, Andy Sonnanstine in the 13th, and John Jaso in the 12th.
Anyway, I'll be looking at a ton more stuff about the draft in the coming months. If there's any particular topic you'd like examined, just let me know.