Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How much are those Compensation Draft Choices Worth?

The Twins currently have three free agents for whom they will receive compensation if they sign elsewhere and are offered arbitration. I thought it would be helpful to look at the players the Twins received as supplemental picks over the last decade:

First lets look at the first round picks they received from signing teams, the most compensation they might receive for Cuddyer and Capps:

Plouffe (20-Twins)*,
Perkins(22-Seattle for Guardado),
Waldrop (25-Cubs for Hawkins)
Gutierrez (27- Angels for Hunter)

* I included the Twins own choices to put the other choices in perspective of the overall Twins draft.

Supplemental first round picks are given out for type B free agents like Jason Kubel and also in addition to the signing teams draft choice in the case of type A free agents:

Matt Fox(35),
Jay Rainville(39)
Hank Sanchez (39)
Shooter Hunt (31)
Matt Bashore (46)
Travis Harrison(50),
Hudson Boyd(55)

In addition, the Twins got some draft choices later in the draft where the signing team had also signed higher rated players or under the different compensation rules at the time.

Paul Kelly (54 from Blue Jays),
Drew Thompson (80),
Brian Duensing (84 from Nationals for Guzman)

I think we can safely ignore the 2009-2011 drafts since we don't really have any idea how those guys will turn out. from 2001-2008 the Twins got 11 players as compensation.

Major League Contributors:
Brian Duensing
Glen Perkins

Have played in Major Leagues:
Kyle Waldrop
Matt Fox

Still in Development:
Carlos Gutierrez
Shooter Hunt

So, unless Shooter Hunt surprises everyone, less than half these players will have become major league players and only two have, as of now, made significant contributions to the Twins.

While some people may believe this indicates the Twins have not been very successful with their drafts, these percentages are about what you would expect. I think a lot of major league scouting directors will tell you that the real differences in scouting show up in guys like Danny Valencia and Jason Kubel who haven't been as intensely scouted as all the players in the top 100. The truth is baseball draft choices are longshots even at the very top of the draft. There are a lot of chances to fail along the way between the draft and being a successful major league player.

We need to be careful not to overvalue those extra draft choices. Most of them are likely to turn out to be essentially worthless.


Ben said...

A first round draft pick gained as compensation for losing a type A free agent is no different from any other first round draft pick. It has a lot more to do with draft order, how well a team drafts, how deep or good the draft class is, and as you said, probably luck.

TT said...

Any compensation choices are in the bottom half of the first round. If the signing team drafts in the top half, they only have to give up their second round choice.

The larger point was that those draft choices are not all that valuable.

Also, they are not "free", as in free beer. You have to pay a significant signing bonus. With several choices, who gets picked may depend on how much it will cost to sign them. There were people who thought Ben Revere was signed because he was affordable. And the Twins didn't have a bunch of other first round picks they had to pay that year.

Anonymous said...

So is it better to trade a player away a year earlier?

TT said...

As people have pointed out, the Twins probably would have made the playoffs in 2008 if they had held on to Santana. Part of the question of which is better is how you compare future value with present value.

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