The ability to draft and develop productive Major League players is vital to the success of any MLB organization. A core of cost-controlled, productive players is as important as ever with free agent salaries continuing to rise dramatically. In a sport where mere percentage points separate winners from losers at the end of a long season, any slight advantage in identifying talent is valuable. This study examines the 2004-2008 MLB Amateur Drafts in order to analyze whether certain types of prospects are more valuable selections than others. If organizations can better identify which draft prospects will more likely contribute at the Major League level in the future, they can more optimally spend their allotted signing bonus pool in order to acquire as much potential production as possible through the draft. Based on the data examined, during these five drafts high school prospects provided higher value than college prospects. While college players reached the Majors at a higher rate, high school players produced greater value in their first six seasons of service time. In the all-important first round of the draft, where signing bonuses are at their largest, college players proved the more valuable selection. When players were separated by position, position players held greater expected value than pitchers, with corner infielders leading the way as the position group with the highest expected value. College players were found to provide better value than high school players at defensively demanding positions such as catcher and middle infield, while high school players were more valuable among outfielders and pitchers.
- Finding Major League Value: A Study of the 2004-2008 MLB Amateur Drafts
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