Richard Justice's article on Drew Stubbs as the one who got away sings a familiar chorus:
The Reds made Stubbs the eighth pick of the 2006 draft and gave him $2 million after a career at the University of Texas that included a national championship.
Now about where he might have ended up. Back in 2003, the Astros took him in the third round of the draft out of Atlanta High School after agreeing to meet his $900,000 asking price.
“Yeah, I thought this was where I'd be,” he said.
That deal was never made. Major League Baseball scolded McLane for paying more than the preset slotting price, and McLane ordered his personnel department to kill the deal.
Stubbs enrolled at the UT and three years later got more than twice the money he'd originally sought.
“I put it behind me a month after it happened,” Stubbs said.
Maybe he'll make it and maybe he won't, but good organizations are built by stockpiling prospects like Stubbs.
Followed by a familiar verse:
When Ed Wade interviewed to be general manager, he was blunt in telling McLane there are no shortcuts and a productive minor league system is the lifeblood of a winning organization.
McLane admits now that he had trouble understanding the importance of scouting and player development. He preferred the immediate gratification he got from spending $100 million on Carlos Lee rather than $5 million on a bunch of prospects.
The Astros now are a different organization than the one that let Stubbs get away. They appear to have had two solid draft classes in a row and are aggressively pushing prospects through the minor league system.