Monday, September 8, 2014

Dealing with the Dumbest Anti-Luhnow Argument

There are legitimate critiques to be made about the Luhnow regime. This isn't one of them.

Not to excessively pick on Rajan. I've seen this lots of places. Its ridiculous.

Luhnow has been with the team for three drafts, 2012 2013 and 2014. Now, obviously, there have been issues with the drafts, particularly in 2014. But is it really fair to criticize Luhnow that none of his guys have made it to the majors, two years after his first draft?

In 2012, there were 6 players taken in the first round (including compensation picks) who have already played in the majors. All 6 were 4 yr seniors, and all but one (Zunino) were pitchers. As you will recall, in the first round in 2012, the Astros drafted a 17 year old SS and an 18 year old pitcher. Don't think anyone dreamed of seeing them in the majors quite yet.

The next two rounds saw 4 more college pitchers make their debut. Rounds 4-10 saw a total of 4 more, all 4 year seniors, and mostly pitchers.  That's 14 total players in 338 picks, less than 5%. Excluding the 1st round, where there was no chance of the Astros picks to make it up by now, its 8 in 278, less than 3%. 2013 is, as expected, even bleaker, with only 5 in the first 10 rounds, less than 2%.

The Astros have some 2012 draftees knocking on the door. I would not be surprised to see Tucker and/or Aplin at some point next year. Potentially Nolan Fontana as well. Brady Rogers could make it to the majors next year or the year after. Correa won't be too long, with maybe Ruiz close behind him. They could start seeing some 2013 draftees soon. Appel, depending on whether his AA success continues, could arrive next year. Kemp might be close as well.

Let's remember that between 2006 and 2008 the Astros drafted a total of 8 players who have reached the majors. The 2012 draft could conceivably match that total on its own. The 2013 draft is not looking as good right now, but we have a long way to go before we can judge that one.

So yes, criticize Luhnow for the Aiken debacle. Criticize him for the scorched earth major league roster in 2013. Even criticize him for letting J.D. Martinez go, if you want. We might disagree, but at least there is some factual basis for those criticisms. But please, don't criticize him for not yet having a drafted player make the majors. We are at least a year early on that making any sense at all, and something tells me it will be irrelevant this time next year.