What Do Those 5 Draft Picks Mean?

What does it mean to have 5 extra draft picks this year in the first two rounds, and how should that affect our decision on whether we sign Type A free agent Brian Fuentes (and therefore lose our own first-round pick)? There are a lot of ways to answer that question. One is simply to look at recent drafts, and see what kind of talent was selected at the spots the Angels will have. Assuming Jon Garland signs elsewhere, our compensation will look like this:

25th (Mets' first round pick)

26th (Yanks')

46th (supplemental pick for Frankie, estimated)

47th (supplemental pick for Teixeira, est.)

54th (supplemental for Garland, est.)

Our own first-round pick is at 33 (which, when you think about it, is actually kind of the second round).

So, let's start at 1998 -- the first year when there were 30 teams in the draft -- and take it to 2002, since a high schooler in June '02 is still only around 24 years old today, and many (if not most) players don't reveal themselves at the big-league level by then. In order, here are picks 25, 26, 33, 46, 47, and 54 in the 1998-2002 drafts. Only those who have made the big leagues get a hyperlink:

1998: Nate Bump, Rick Elder, Brad Wilkerson, David Kelton, Robbie Morrison, Eric Good

1999: Mike MacDougal, Ben Christensen, Jeff Heaverlo, Chris Duncan, Mike Mead, Brian Sanches

2000: Scott Heard, Corey Smith, Dustin McGowan, Dane Sardinha, Jason Young, J.D. Durbin

2001: Bobby Crosby, Jeremy Bonderman, Jeff Mathis, Andrew Sisco, Jon Switzer, Mike Rodriguez

2002: Matt Cain, John McCurdy, Matt Whitney, Darrell Rasner, Adam Donachie, William Johnson

Conclusions? Well, it's a small sample size, but I think we'll probably get at least one player who can help us, and three or four major leaguers overall. Should that prevent us from signing Brian Fuentes, if he comes at a nice price? I'd say no. I'll come up with some other ways of looking at this question in a bit.


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