Monday, March 22, 2010

Bobby Heck's Draft History

So Bobby Heck has the Astros back on the right path to player development and building through strong drafts. What trends can we see through his two drafts with the Astros? (Keep in mind, this is not based on who signed, these are draftees only)


PositionTotal #HSColl


PositionTotal #HSColl


PositionTotal #HSColl

50 of Bobby Heck's first 103 choices were pitchers, and we see that 34 of those 50 were college pitchers. Anyone else want to draw some more blood out of this turnip?


Peanut said...

With position players, the Astros' general aim is to find the best bats among players who can play their positions well--a good strategy for constructing a solid team, especially if you've got a guy who can evaluate bats well.

If you look at some of the Brewers' top selections while Heck was their eastern scouting supervisor, you can tell that he's got a knack for finding good hitting. Fielder, Braun, LaPorta--all good bats, all from Florida. Hell, you can also add Mat Gamel to that list, too. Defense obviously wasn't much a part of their draft philosophy--"find the best bat and stick him somewhere."

For the Astros, though, it's different. Castro and Mier are both quality defensive players. They don't have bats on the level of the players listed above, but given Heck's track record, I'd be willing to bet on their futures being bright. It also makes me very intrigued when I see Heck break from the defense-first mold with an early selection. Chase Davidson didn't sign, so we don't know about him, but Telvin Nash is a guy I'll have my eyes on. He's very raw by all accounts, but he's got upside.

Concerning pitching, I was very interested to see Heck's comments in Levine's article that you linked to earlier today. The club's top pitching selections in the past two drafts have all been RHP out of HS listed at roughly 6'4", 185 (Lyles, Seaton, Bushue). They all throw in the low-to-mid nineties at present, and that velocity combined with their projectability and command got them drafted early. After that, their RHP have been guys like B.J. Hyatt and Brandt Walker who had pretty bad results in college--control problems--but have big arms. The pitchers with less upside who got drafted by the Astros in single-digit rounds all happen to be left-handed (Keuchel, Duncan, etc.). This isn't unique to the Astros as a trend, of course, but it's something you can probably bet on continuing.

AstroAndy said...

I can draw some more blood out of that turnip!

Heck doesn't take college pitching early. The earliest college pitcher taken by the team on which Bobby Heck was a scout is as follows:

2000: 81st (overall pick)
2001: 88th
2002: 79th
2003: 159th
2004: 76th
2005: 145th
2006: 182nd
2007: 191st
2008: 152nd
2009: 131st

As you can see, the more recent college pitching picks have been way down the draft board. The earliest one ever taken was 76th overall, and this year the Astros have 4 draft selections earlier than that.

Building on what Peanut said, it also looks like the teams Heck has worked for didn't like taking LHP early either. The last time Heck was with a team that took a lefty in the first 100 overall picks was when the Brewers took Dane Artman with the 81st overall selection back in 2000.

Since then, Heck's teams have taken 10 RHP in the top 100 picks. Given that the ratio of first round righties to first round lefties from all teams has been roughly 2.5 to 1 over the last decade, the Brewers/Heck early righty choices may be statistically significant.

If you extrapolate these two observations to this year's draft class, you can probably rule out the following college LHP as first-round selections: Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and James Paxton.

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