Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alternate Universe Rays Draft

Andrew laid out a challenge of sorts in the comments of section of BurGi's post which I decided to try out:

"Can you do better than the Rays did with a $12MM budget?"

So basically, which players could I "draft" and "sign" for under $12 million in the top 10 rounds, and would it look better than what the Rays did? Rule #1 that I went by was that I assumed the players go in the same spots they would in the real draft. That means no C.J. Cron or Kolten Wong falling to the Rays. That means I can't take someone different from the Rays at #32 and then pretend Jake Hager is available at a later pick. Rule #2 is that players got the same signing bonus they did in real life, regardless of where they were taken. So if there's a third-rounder who got $1 million and I take him in the supplemental first round, he still gets $1 million. Obviously draft position could change things but it's impossible to tell so I'm sticking with that.

And obviously this is all done in hindsight, so I definitely have that advantage over the Rays. Without further ado...

So what do you guys think? Which draft do you like better? Are there any players you'd want in (if you don't have access to BA's advanced signing database, just ask and I'll get you that player's bonus)? If you want my draft to be under the Rays's budget, just swap out Dan Vogelbach for someone who got roughly $1 million or less. Here's my reasoning behind the picks:

Taylor Guerrieri and Mikie Mahtook are the best bang for your buck at the back-end of the first round, so I'm sticking with those two. Instead of Jake Hager, I'm going for Henry Owens, the big lefty who was the best HS pitching prospect in California. He gives the Rays a second high-ceiling high school pitcher to replenish the low minors along with Guerrieri. With the next pick I take another HS pitcher, this time Michael Kelly. He isn't quite on the Guerrieri/Owens tier and his bonus reflects that, but still a very live arm. At #41 I opt for shortstop Trevor Story, giving me the up-the-middle player I didn't get by passing on Hager and Brandon Martin.

At #42 I go with Dante Bichette. He's basically a bat-only guy but he doesn't command a big bonus. Dan Vogelbach is definitely a bat-only guy, and I'm a little leery of taking two with consecutive picks (42 and 52), but considering I went with a lot of pitching early I'm okay with it. At #56 I go with Carl Thomore over Kes Carter. They're both outfielders with decent, but not top-of-the-line tools. Carter as the college guy is obviously more advanced, but I'm a sucker for NJ high schoolers. I'm fine with Grayson Garvin, and to wrap up the supplemental round picks, I go with Adrian Houser. He was an Oklahoma HS RHP who got overshadowed by uber-prospects Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley. Houser is athletic with a live arm but obviously not on the elite tier.

From there on I'm going with a lot of the same picks as the Rays: I like Granden Goetzman and Lenny Linsky in round two, as well as Johnny Eierman for $550k. Instead of Riccio Torrez in round 4, I go with Stony Brook pitcher Nick Tropeano who is basically the pitching version of Torrez in that they're more polish than raw tools. J.D. Davis decided to go to Cal State-Fullerton in the alternate universe as well. I take Ryan Carpenter a round earlier than the Rays do. In the 7th round, I go with college senior reliever Kevin Quackenbush who signs for a very tiny amount. John Alexander stays in the 8th round, Matt Rice in the 9th round, and raw athletic outfielder Jerrell Allen over Jacob Faria in the 10th round.



  1. Quackenbush is filthy and I was hoping the Rays would have taken him. Saw him pitch at USF where he just embarrassed hitters all season long.

  2. I like what Rays did overall. It's very efficient draft and signings with limited budget.

    Only two picks I doesn't like is Hager and Ames. Owens for Hager and Bichette for Ames. It's my Universe Draft.

    It will help to make up for the weak points of rays' draft, piching upside and power.

  3. Very unlikely guys will sign below slot which kind of messes with your numbers.

    Here is my shadow draft which I did before the deadline:

    1. Mikie Mahtook signed at #24 slot $1,242,000
    1. Andrew Susac $1,100,000
    1. Brian Goodwin Not signed at $3,000,000
    1s. Jackie Bradley $1,100,000
    1s. Andrew Chafin $875,000
    1s. Trevor Story $915,000
    1s. Hudson Boyd $1,000,000
    1s. Anthony Meo signed at #56 slot $643,500
    1s. Grayson Garvin signed at $370,000
    1s. Jorge Lopez signed at $690,000
    2. Alex Dickerson signed at $485,100
    2. Aaron Westlake signed at slot $392,400
    3. Toni Zych signed at $400,000
    4. Charlie Lowell signed at $200,000
    5. Phil Evans signed at $650,000
    6. Cody Kukuk signed at $800,000
    7. Navery Moore signed at $400,000
    8. Burch Smith signed at $250,000
    9. Garrett Buechele early signed at slot
    10. Preston Tucker Not Signed
    10. Tyler Greene signed at $375,000
    12. Adam McCreery Not Signed
    13. Colton Murray early signed at slot
    14. Matt Stites early signed at slot
    15. Jesus Valdez early signed at slot

    Overall, the Rays list has more upside and risk than mine. Check back with me in 7 years. ;-)

  4. Quackenbush is already pitching for the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) in Low A. He has pitched against the Hot Rods 3 times with a win and a save. His totals in the Midwest League, 10 games, 1 win, 7 saves, 11.1 innings, 19k's and 4 walks with a 0.00 era.

  5. I see that you dropped Tyler Goeddel in your version. I like him so to me that almost evens up your inclusion of Owens, Kelly and Story.

    I have been more optimistic with the Rays haul since getting hints that Hager and Martin will turn out be quality picks.

  6. Nice work, Kevin. Of course, there is the obvious problem with this analysis of what would e.g. Dante Bichette command if taken earlier, ...!

    But, lets say Bichette doesn't sign in this scenario, then the total signing bonus would go below the actual one while having signed more upside talent. I - like Kevin - especially like Owens, Story, Kelly and Vogelbach.

    @Anon1: I think your list as much upside as the Rays one. Mahtook, Susac, Story, Boyd and Lopez have very good upside. Zych is comparable to Linsky while Kukuk is a nice gamble.

    @Anon2: I like Goeddel as well. He was just dropped for money reasons on Kevin's list I think. If you take him instead of Bichette (of course ... more than 12 mio. than) I think the list would be excellent.

  7. I also put together what was just about a best player available draft back in June that BurGi had a few laughs with. Here is how thta one turned out:

    1. Taylor Guerreri signed at $1,600,000
    1. Mikie Mahtook signed at $1,150,000
    1. Daniel Norris signed at $2,000,000
    1s. Josh Bell Not Signed at $5,000,000
    1s. Howard Dillon signed at $1,850,000
    1s. Andrew Susac signed at $1,100,000
    1s. Austin Hedges Not Signed at $3,000,000
    1s. Anthony Meo signed at slot at $643,500
    1s. Derek Fisher Not Signed
    1s. Grayson Garvin signed at $370,000
    2. Grandon Goetzman signed at $490,000
    2. Alex Dickerson signed at slot at $392,400
    3. Johnny Eiermann signed at $550,000
    4. Dillon Maples not signed at $2,500,000
    5. Nicky Delmonico not signed at $1,525,000
    6. Amir Garrett not signed at $1,000,000
    7. Phil Evans signed at $650,000
    8. Shawon Dunston not signed at $1,275,000
    9. Julius Gaines not signed
    10. Navery Moore not signed at $400,000
    11. Burch Smith signed at $250,000
    12. Matt Dean signed at $737,500
    13. Garrett Buechele signed early at slot
    14. Josh Tobias not signed
    15. Dillon Peters not signed

    This is very high risk / high reward for the Rays, but keeping Daniel Norris away from Toronto might have been a great move down the road.

  8. @Anon: I just laughed cause it would be way too expensive for the Rays. In your scenario they get 3 1st rnd. picks for next year and some high upside talent. Way less signs and thus higher bust potential overall than in real draft, though.

  9. BurGi, Certainly my best player draft went into fantasyland the moment I picked Bell. No way the Rays would focus their $$ on such a small group. Still, the BPA group that signed has a chance to be really good.

    This was an intriguing draft. Very different looking at the draft with the constraints of a budget. I highly recommend it.

  10. I like Carter > Thomore, but this is a very good draft (and meets my challenge!)

    Still, I think my point stands: if, in an alternate-universe draft where you know who goes where, who signs, and for how much and you *still* draft half the same guys the Rays drafted, then I think it's grinchery in the extreme to grade the actual Rays draft as a C-.

    Personally, I wish the Rays had tried to grab one more high-upside player -- I really thought they'd get Owens at 1S.36 -- but it's hard to argue that they didn't do an awfully good job. That's all I'm saying.

  11. Vote in my Rays Draft poll over at Sickel's site: