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The Real Problem with the Astros

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by justtxyank, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Akhorahil

    Akhorahil Member

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    I didn't say the amateur draft wasn't important.

    Johan Santana comes to mind...

    I think the rule 5 draft is more important not only in adding players that have been more efficiently rated on a pro level, but also keeping your players from being picked up by another club. It's a draft where you can go after players that could help you in the immediate future, whether it's on the field or in the trade market.

    The Amateur draft has always been, and still is, hit or miss. 50 picks per round... In the 1st round a typical draft will see 20-25 of those players make it to the majors. 1997 was a good amateur draft with 30 or so players making it to the Majors. Even then a lot of those guys only got there via injuries and didn't stick around.

    So I'd like to ask a question of you, since your flaming me for my opinion. What organization stands out in your mind as being good at drafting "High Ceiling" players in the amateur draft?
     
  2. Buck Turgidson

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    The drafts from '04, 05, 06 look to be pretty good, but it's early. There's talent there. The sky is not falling.

    The Astros' draft philosophy under Hun was to focus on college players, especially position players. That changed under Purp/Bennett, will be interesting to see what the next GM does.

    Purp also spoke on how the draft and lack of signings had an effect on the international academies. Said that the pool of money is budgeted for both; since less was spent on the draft, Al Pedrique would have more money to sign guys. Mentioned Asia as well. Something to follow.

    Offering arb to Lamb & Loretta *was* a given, Purp spoke on that issue after the trade deadline (that whatever prospects they were offered would need to be more valuable than the picks they'd receive next year). Who knows now, but I'd bet they offer all 3.
     
  3. justtxyank

    justtxyank Member

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    Ok I'll respond to each of your points.

    To the point about the Rule V draft, Johan Santana is the extreme exception. How many Rule V players have contributed in a meaningful way to a contending team in the last few seasons outside of Johan? Very few. Most guys who get left exposed in the Rule V draft are people that an organization doesn't want or can't find a fit for on their roster.

    You are right. The Amateur draft is hit or miss. That's why there are so many rounds. You hit on some and you miss on some but you draft so many that in the end you should walk away with good talent unless you draft very conservatively.

    As for teams that draft well in terms of high ceiling guys, the Yankees have done an amazing job at the last 4 years and been rewarded. The Red Sox do a good job at it. The Angels do probably the second best job at it and the Tigers are the best at it. The Brewers have been doing it for about 6 seasons now. You identify guys with high potential in the later rounds that want more money then their draft slot allows and you gamble on them. Of course they don't all work out, but those guys are more likely to be successful then the ones who are still available because no one thinks they're any good.

    The Astros draft philosophy is terrible. They draft very conservatively and aren't willing to overspend in the draft. Overspending in the draft is the best way to get young talent into your system and is far cheaper then overspending on your major league club. The Yankees have realized this. They have a $200 million payroll because they foolishly invested all of their assets into the big league club (a la the Astros) and the payroll just keeps going up. In the last few years since Cashman has taken control of baseball operations they have cut payroll and focused on spending their money in the draft. The results? They have gone from having the worst farm system in the league like 5 years ago to one of the best this year. This season alone they have brought up Phil Hughes (projected ace), Joba Chamberlain (Projected ace), and are about to bring up Ian Kennedy (projected #3 starter.) Still in the minors they have Dellin Betances (Huge ceiling), Alan Horne (dominating the minors), etc. How'd they get all these guys? Identified high ceiling talent and gambled on them. A guy like Tyler Clippard who is far down the organizational totem pole in NY would be a top prospect for the Astros even though his ceiling is like a #4 starter at best.
     
  4. Big Shot Bob

    Big Shot Bob Member

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    good post... the last paragraph is pretty damn accurate. the astros front office is just plain stupid when it comes to evaluating talent. they are too conservative and too cheap. their prototype of a player is pull hitters ala jason lane. i remember hearing this interview that kevin bass said he took his sons to try out for the astros and the astros didnt even look at any of their player's footspeed. i think this is an important quality in players that helps with their defense and baserunning (two things most of our players sorely lack). they dont care about on base percentage and purely look at power numbers.
     
  5. Akhorahil

    Akhorahil Member

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    Your arguing against an opinion. I explained why I think that. I feel that the amateur draft is about recognizing what talents you have and plays a larger role in the parent club than the amateur draft does. Heck I think trades and FA additions are even more important. You going to flame me for thinking that?

    The Yankees brought up those players due to injuries in the pitching staff. That's not player development. You know those guys were brought up early. You listed 5 "hits" from 4 drafts... 50 rounds each... 5 players out of 200 rounds. You think I can't come back and list 5 players from those drafts the Astros "hit" on. You know I can. You go out there and you'll find just as many "hits".

    You take it back a couple of seasons, your "top" team list changes dramatically. Your basing this all on what they have done in the minors and projections. Lidge was a miss under that rational. While Jason Lane was a hit. If you expand it to the last 10 seasons it doesn't look nearly as bad as you are making it out to be.

    I do agree that the Astros farm system is weak right now. But you must agree that has more to do with trades than the amateur draft. Don't you believe that?
     
  6. Jared Novak

    Jared Novak Member

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    Under Gerry Hunsicker the Astros usually drafted college players in large part because they were easier to sign and they had more experience and may excell through the minors easier. Purpura had mentioned this year before the draft that the team had identified players that may not be as easy to sign and were more "athletic" than the Astros were looking for in the past.

    This upcoming offseason is an important one in regards to what the Astros do in free agency and offering arbitration to their own free agents (Jennings, Lamb, Loretta). IMO Lamb and Loretta will be type A's and Jennings will be a type B. If said players should sign with other teams then we receive their first round pick (depending where they are in the draft) and a sandwich pick or second rounder depending what else that team has done in free agency. The Astros could conceivably have up to seven picks in the first, sandwich and second rounds. With that amount of picks, the Astros should be able to get some real talent to add to the minor leagues.

    Brian Cashman convinced Steinbrenner that you have to build a team through the draft and they have scouted and spent well in the last few years. But the key in that is scouting the players and not worrying about their signability. I look at a team like the Texas Rangers who added six talented players in the first two rounds and spent $6.1 million total for their draft. Obviously that figure was high with that many high round picks, but that is quite a bit of talent to add and I'd really like to see the Astros do something similar to this next year, because our minor league system needs this kind of shot in the arm.

    I know that the draft is a crapshoot, but the more chances you take, the more likely you can hit on a few players. Not to mention the fact that having perhaps one of the top ten picks could get the Astros a real blue chip prospect, which they've lacked for quite some time.
     
  7. Nero

    Nero Member

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    The big problem, as I see it, with this draft philosophy is that they also are extremely slow and cautious in bringing players up from the minors, including the ones who spent 4 years in college.

    This means that a guy is likely to be 26 or 27 before he even gets a sniff of a late-season call-up to the majors, and 27 or 28 before he can become a productive player, and we can tell if he's going to be something special or not.

    This is why a guy like Jason Lane is a rookie at 27, and it all turned out to be nothing but a waste.

    They can't have it both ways. If they want to spend so much time developing them, then they need to be drafting these guys at 18 instead of 22.

    Either way, with the farm system bone-dry, we are probably looking at at least 4 or 5 years before any new draftees (NEXT year's) ever even contribute at all.

    It's going to be a looooong period of suckitude for the Stros.
     
  8. justtxyank

    justtxyank Member

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    I'm not flaming you at all, I'm just dumfounded.

    You want me to list all the hits? And their "hits" like Hughes and Chamberlain are heads and shoulders above anyone the Astros have "hit" on since Berkman/Oswalt.

    Think about that. In the last 10 or so years the Astros have Berkman and Oswalt as two bonafide stars and maybe Lidge and now Pence. The Yankees can match that with Pettitte, Jeter, Cano, Posada, Rivera, Hughes, Chamberlain, Edwar Ramirez, Melky Cabrera, with lesser guys like Andy Phillips and Shelly Duncan and they STILL have guys in their minor leagues filling up the roster that are all projected to be good major leaguers. The Astros don't even compare.
     
  9. Jared Novak

    Jared Novak Member

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    Its interesting that you say that because I heard an interview with Larry Dierker about a month ago and he was discussing how he didn't like the Astros philosophy developing players. Dierker said the Astros like for their prospects to succeed at each level before moving on to the next level. His take was that if a guy is showing promise, move him up until he hits a wall, that way he can get accustomed to the level of play. The other thing he said was that the Astros are afraid to demote their prospects because it will hurt their confidence.

    I would also disagree with the notion that the Astros take forever bringing guys up, they are very conservative about it, but not with every prospect. Yes, Jason Lane wasn't brought up until he was 27, but he was also blocked by Berkman, who was blocked by Bagwell. Taveras was brought up before he was ready. Pence, in my mind should have been up late last season, but he spent three years in the minors. Oswalt jumped from AA.

    The Astros have some promising pitchers up. Albers, Sampson and Patton give us three young arms that could either help in the rotation or bullpen. In the minors we have Paulino, Estrada, Guitierrez, Barthamier (if he can get it together) Boguesevic (if he can stay healthy), Reineke and Perez in the lower affiliates and looking promising.

    If the Astros were to draft a promising blue chip prospect, for instance we'll say Pedro Alvarez (3B, Vanderbilt) and he is tearing it up at A Ball and he gets promoted and continues to tear it up, there would be no reason why the Astros would keep him down. Especially when the Astros have no long term solution at third base. It all depends on the player, coaches and player development personnel as to whether a guy should be brought up.

    In the mean time the Astros still have talent and are going to need their best to play up to the level they are known for and need the role players on the team to step up. My hope is that the Astros realize what got them to the fourth-winningest record the last ten seasons and try to get back to square one... the minor league system. Everyone from the owner on down has to be on the same page and want to make the investment to make this team better.
     
  10. Big Shot Bob

    Big Shot Bob Member

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    Can someone start a september call up/ anti-jason lane thread, im still a rook. I know for a fact they are gonna bring him up again. I think he is testing the limit of how many times you can sell your soul to the devil.
     

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