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2021 MLB Draft


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#81 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 07:29 AM

If you feel relatively equal about the available talent, or you believe in the historical numbers in-terms of bust percentages... I can get behind underslot. 

Myself, if I'm picking in the Top 5, I'd rather roll the dice on the guy our scouting department as liking best. 

If the reduced scouting opportunities have impacted our ability to evaluate, I do think that is reason to consider underslot though.



#82 Ricker Says

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 08:36 AM

If you feel relatively equal about the available talent, or you believe in the historical numbers in-terms of bust percentages... I can get behind underslot. 

Myself, if I'm picking in the Top 5, I'd rather roll the dice on the guy our scouting department as liking best. 

If the reduced scouting opportunities have impacted our ability to evaluate, I do think that is reason to consider underslot though.

Is that really an if at this point?


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#83 JeremyStrain

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 09:23 AM

Nope. I want the top talent at this point. Underslot is great for quantity and depth but I want the top flight quality from here out. Never going to compete if pot John is all alone in that rotation. I’m rolling the dice with Leiter personally. Although wouldn’t be disappointed in Rocker either. You wanna think about underslot again next year, maybe, but not for this one.
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#84 Mackus

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 09:38 AM

Nope. I want the top talent at this point. Underslot is great for quantity and depth but I want the top flight quality from here out. Never going to compete if pot John is all alone in that rotation. I’m rolling the dice with Leiter personally. Although wouldn’t be disappointed in Rocker either. You wanna think about underslot again next year, maybe, but not for this one.

 

The point is that even the pros have never been able to distinguish between the 4th best guy and the 13th with any consistency.  You and I have no hope of doing so.  There is nearly no difference when you look at things from a historical perspective.  These guys change so much between now and when they reach the majors that there is just dramatically more noise and you don't actually have a noticeably better shot at finding the better ultimately player drafting earlier than later.  

 

At the very, very top you can find a guy who rises above the rest.  Having the #1 pick does give you a better shot at finding a good player or a great player than having the 2nd and after the top-2 all of the advantage is basically gone and the rest of the round is a very flat line, not a steep decline.  Still not a good shot at finding a star, and even if you find that star it's still baseball so it doesn't really matter than much (anti-tanking rant).  If you think the best or 2nd best (or 3rd best if it's a weird, top-heavy year) guy in the draft is still available when you're selecting then it makes sense to take them.  But once you're down into the wider second tier of talent, it's folly to think you can distinguish between the guys on that tier and going underslot becomes very attractive from a game theory perspective.


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#85 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 09:40 AM

Is that really an if at this point?


There is less of a total body of work to evaluate for sure... and that's definitely true of the HS kids... but the College kids you had their HS careers, college careers before last year, and this year.  I don't think their evaluations should be that compromised. 


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#86 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 09:42 AM

Nope. I want the top talent at this point. Underslot is great for quantity and depth but I want the top flight quality from here out. Never going to compete if pot John is all alone in that rotation. I’m rolling the dice with Leiter personally. Although wouldn’t be disappointed in Rocker either. You wanna think about underslot again next year, maybe, but not for this one.


If either Vanderbilt arm is available at 5, I'm 100% sure the Orioles will take them.  It would be surprising (not shocking) if one falls to them though.



#87 Mackus

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 09:45 AM


There is less of a total body of work to evaluate for sure... and that's definitely true of the HS kids... but the College kids you had their HS careers, college careers before last year, and this year.  I don't think their evaluations should be that compromised. 

 

Scouting last year's college players suffered more than this year's did for sure.  HS pretty decimated in both years, showcases and tournaments limited even if teams were playing games at school.  And if you don't get a good judgement of the high school guys, you can't have a good judgement of the top talent since that's half the field.


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#88 JeremyStrain

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 10:53 AM

The point is that even the pros have never been able to distinguish between the 4th best guy and the 13th with any consistency.  You and I have no hope of doing so.  There is nearly no difference when you look at things from a historical perspective.  These guys change so much between now and when they reach the majors that there is just dramatically more noise and you don't actually have a noticeably better shot at finding the better ultimately player drafting earlier than later.  

 

At the very, very top you can find a guy who rises above the rest.  Having the #1 pick does give you a better shot at finding a good player or a great player than having the 2nd and after the top-2 all of the advantage is basically gone and the rest of the round is a very flat line, not a steep decline.  Still not a good shot at finding a star, and even if you find that star it's still baseball so it doesn't really matter than much (anti-tanking rant).  If you think the best or 2nd best (or 3rd best if it's a weird, top-heavy year) guy in the draft is still available when you're selecting then it makes sense to take them.  But once you're down into the wider second tier of talent, it's folly to think you can distinguish between the guys on that tier and going underslot becomes very attractive from a game theory perspective.


That's a big part of the problem though. Trying to act like there is a right and a wrong answer. There isn't. It's about taking a guy you feel good about roughly in that talent range that won't be there when you pick again.  Looking at the draft too analytically doesn't really help things kind of because of the exact reason you said...it's largely a crapshoot, and that doesn't change later either. Just too many players, too many variables. Things have changed since the days that going really underslot really made sense. It's all different now, and I'd personally just rather teams trust their scouting ability and take the best player they can every time, and stop trying to game the system. The days of getting 3 first round picks because guys asking for too much money drop into the 2nd and 3rd rounds are pretty much gone.

 

This year especially with a thicker top 5-7 I'd really like to see them take advantage of that and get a player that in a normal year wouldn't drop to them at 5.

 

I understand the theory behind going underslot and trying to get better depth. I even understand them doing it last year. But I think we've done a good job adding depth to the system and we are at the point we need to add some legit star potential, and taking the solid bat underslot isn't going to get that done for you. Getting one of the college aces whose development track should put them arriving in a similar timeframe to Hall, Rodriguez et al. gives you the shot of putting together a real solid rotation for the first time since 97. Then again...it's still the MLB draft and development so who knows.


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#89 JeremyStrain

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 10:55 AM


If either Vanderbilt arm is available at 5, I'm 100% sure the Orioles will take them.  It would be surprising (not shocking) if one falls to them though.


At this point I'd be shocked if at least one of them WASN'T there at 5. The HS SS have really taken over this draft, and now there's another stud C that's every bit as acclaimed as Adley was. The top 5-7 has gotten really deep this year. They would have been better if they hadn't signed Heston last year and had #3 and #5 this year.


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#90 Mackus

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 11:34 AM

 But I think we've done a good job adding depth to the system and we are at the point we need to add some legit star potential, and taking the solid bat underslot isn't going to get that done for you.

 

There is almost no difference in star potential between the 5th rated guy and the 12th.  That's the entire point.  Top-2 maybe there is some meaningful difference in likelihood of landing a star.  But after that point there is little historical advantage. 

 

You're not taking a lesser potential by going underslot.  You're taking a guy viewed lesser in the moment.  But we know from history that grades in the moment are very near to meaningless.  Any scout that thinks they can consistently identify the guys that will be good from those that won't make it is absolutely fooling themself.  That ability does not exist.

 

Year-to-year variation has a role, maybe there is a year where there are two or three clear #1 caliber talents and then maybe there are other years there are none (last year felt like such a year to me, as evidenced by a first baseman going #1).  But there is a very small set of players (often player or nobody at all) who are a clear notch above the next set.  Then after them the tiers get wider and wider as you go down.  If you can't get someone on the top tier, it doesn't really matter which of the next tier guys you get, it's really near impossible to distinguish between those guys.



#91 JeremyStrain

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 11:37 AM

There is almost no difference in star potential between the 5th rated guy and the 12th. That's the entire point. Top-2 maybe there is some meaningful difference in likelihood of landing a star. But after that point there is little historical advantage.

You're not taking a lesser potential by going underslot. You're taking a guy viewed lesser in the moment. But we know from history that grades in the moment are very near to meaningless. Any scout that thinks they can consistently identify the guys that will be good from those that won't make it is absolutely fooling themself. That ability does not exist.


Looking at things that black and white is not going to get you anywhere either. Too much blind following statistics. The average of those spots and positions you may be right but certain years are deeper than others. This is one of those years. Last year was not.

You have your opinion, I have mine. All there is to say.
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#92 Mackus

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 11:38 AM


At this point I'd be shocked if at least one of them WASN'T there at 5. The HS SS have really taken over this draft, and now there's another stud C that's every bit as acclaimed as Adley was. The top 5-7 has gotten really deep this year. They would have been better if they hadn't signed Heston last year and had #3 and #5 this year.

 

If you're telling me that there are 7 guys all worthy of the #1 pick this year then I'd tell you that I think it's pretty likely that none of them are as good as the guys that distinguish themselves as the clear #1 in a typical year.  



#93 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 11:57 AM


At this point I'd be shocked if at least one of them WASN'T there at 5. The HS SS have really taken over this draft, and now there's another stud C that's every bit as acclaimed as Adley was. The top 5-7 has gotten really deep this year. They would have been better if they hadn't signed Heston last year and had #3 and #5 this year.

Yup. Mayer and Lawler are going in the top 4. It'll only take Davis, House, or Jobe going as well for one of the Vandy arms to fall to us. I think it happens. I will not hear of us not taking one of the top 7 players in this draft. Have to do it this year. I calmed down quickly after the initial disgust of taking Kjerstad last year. That will not happen this year if we dont take one of the top 7 guys.


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#94 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 12:02 PM

BTW Im not thrilled with the prospects of taking House but would be ok with it. I think he's a distant 7th o the list for me. Also understand the concern taking a prep RHP but Jobe sounds like he has the best pure stuff in the draft with an advanced mindset for a HS kid. As good or better than Bundy out of HS is high praise.



#95 JeremyStrain

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 12:03 PM

Yup. Mayer and Lawler are going in the top 4. It'll only take Davis, House, or Jobe going as well for one of the Vandy arms to fall to us. I think it happens. I will not hear of us not taking one of the top 7 players in this draft. Have to do it this year. I calmed down quickly after the initial disgust of taking Kjerstad last year. That will not happen this year if we dont take one of the top 7 guys.


You know, it's kinda funny, cause now that I say that, I think I remember somewhere in early COVID when they were figuring out how they were going to do the draft saying that it could benefit a team to take a player they aren't going to sign and taking the extra pick the following year when you could get back to more normal scouting and when more players would be in the pool as result of that shortened draft last year.

 

Hindsight I think it'd have been a fantastic haul to get like Lawler and Leiter this year versus Heston and Leiter...although you could probably break down the FULL underslot haul last year versus the full haul this year and I might disagree. But I still really want one of those big pitchers this year. Just feel like it would really fit perfectly with where our team is, with that middle infield depth they've built up, and the OF depth they have going on. If they could extend Trey and Means and then all these players come together, I think it could be a REAL legit contending team. And completely built in house.


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#96 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 12:06 PM

SB Nation today on Baseball America's latest: 

BA has the Texas Rangers taking California prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer at #2, as Jordan Lawlar, the Dallas Jesuit product who the Rangers have been following closely this spring, goes to Pittsburgh at #1 in this mock. Jack Leiter, who had seemingly been anointed by some as the #1 pick a couple of months ago, drops to #4, while his Vanderbilt rotation-mate Kumar Rocker slides all the way to #7.



#97 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 12:11 PM

SB Nation today on Baseball America's latest:

BA has the Texas Rangers taking California prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer at #2, as Jordan Lawlar, the Dallas Jesuit product who the Rangers have been following closely this spring, goes to Pittsburgh at #1 in this mock. Jack Leiter, who had seemingly been anointed by some as the #1 pick a couple of months ago, drops to #4, while his Vanderbilt rotation-mate Kumar Rocker slides all the way to #7.

Rocker is the one I think has a real good shot at being available at 5. Dont think Leiter will make it there.

#98 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 12:14 PM

Mayos latest on MLB.com has

1. Mayer
2. Lawler
3. Davis
4. House
5. Leiter


So we shall see. No one thought we'd gave a choice of Leiter or Rocker 2 months ago.

#99 Mike B

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 12:45 PM

Nope. I want the top talent at this point. Underslot is great for quantity and depth but I want the top flight quality from here out. Never going to compete if pot John is all alone in that rotation. I’m rolling the dice with Leiter personally. Although wouldn’t be disappointed in Rocker either. You wanna think about underslot again next year, maybe, but not for this one.

I am with you on top talent.  The Orioles should take the guy they like best of what is still there at 5.  Don't get cute take your BPA.

 

I think if either Leiter or  Rocker remain, they go that route.


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#100 Mike B

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 12:47 PM

There are still 6 to 7 weeks left.  The top 5 names will change numerous times.  So will our opinions.  :-P


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