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Feature
 
 
Player Procurement

Ebert
on 02/07/2005

 

Building an organization from top to bottom is always a fascinating subject in my opinion. From the A's to the Braves, the Cardinals to the Red Sox, every successful team is built a different way. Some teams rely on their farm system to develop their own players, some teams rely on free agency to keep them at the top of their game.

What about the players themselves, and where do they come from? That is what player procurement is all about, adding talented ballplayers to your system whether it be via the draft or as international or domestic undrafted free agents. How important is it to develop high draft picks? Are you just as likely to find a solid arm in the 20th round as you are the first round, and are there more successful players that went to college than high school? In this exercise I am going to list the top 110 hitters (by OPS) and pitchers (by ERA) and identify how they were obtained (draft and round or international signee). After these lists, I will tally up the lists to determine where more of the better players come from.

Please note that I am using statistics from 2004. While career statistics are a better barometer for a player's overall worth and production, that isn't meant to be the point of this exercise. Websites and publications that list career statistics also pose a problem because they often don't list players that haven't accumulated a certain number of career plate appearances or innings pitched. In other words, players like Albert Pujols and Johan Santana are often left out since they haven't been around long enough to reach those parameters. I'm not trying to determine which hitters are better than whom, I'm trying to find out where some of the best and even some of the mediocre players that are good enough to receive enough plate appearances and innings pitched over the course of a season have been originally obtained.

Also note that the team listed next to a player's name indicates the team that originally signed the player listed to their first professional contract, either through the draft or as an undrafted free agent. This will help me determine which teams historically have been better at recognizing future MLB talent.

HITTERS
To determine the top 100 positional players from 2004, I am going to use OPS, as it is arguably the easiest to use and understand to place a value on the overall offensive prowess of any said player. For those not familiar with OPS, it is a simple formula that adds on-base percentage to slugging percentage. What about batting average you ask? Well, a higher batting average is directly responsible for a higher on-base percentage and slugging percentage, so you could say that it is counted for twice using this formula.

The columns go as follows: Number (ranking), player, team of professional origin, OPS value from 2004, draft round or free agent acquisition, school or country of origination (high school, college or community college for drafted players, countries for undrafted free agents).

(Abbreviations: NCAA-College, HS-High School, CC-Community/Junior College, DR-Dominican Republic, VEN-Venezuela, PR-Puerto Rico).

No. Name Team OPS Round/FA From
1 B. Bonds Pit 1.422 1 NCAA
2 T. Helton Col 1.088 1 NCAA
3 A. Pujols StL 1.072 13 CC
4 J. Edmonds Ana 1.061 7 HS
5 A. Beltre LA 1.017 FA DR
6 L. Berkman Hou 1.016 1 NCAA
7 M. Ramirez Cle 1.009 1 HS
8 S. Rolen Phi 1.007 2 HS
9 J. Drew StL 1.006 1 NCAA
10 T. Hafner Tex .993 31 CC
11 V. Guerrero Mon .989 FA DR
12 D. Ortiz Sea .983 FA DR
13 M. Mora Hou .981 FA VEN
14 J. Thome Cle .977 13 CC
15 B. Abreu Hou .971 FA VEN
16 A. Dunn Cin .956 2 HS
17 A. Ramirez Pit .951 FA DR
18 M. Teixeira Tex .929 1 NCAA
19 G. Sheffield Mil .927 1 HS
20 C. Guillen Hou .921 FA VEN
21 M. Alou Pit .919 1 CC
22 E. Durazo Ari .919 FA Mexico
23 J. Burnitz NYM .916 1 NCAA
24 S. Casey Cle .915 2 NCAA
25 H. Matsui NYY .912 FA Japan
26 C. Delgado Tor .907 FA PR
27 A. Rowand CWS .905 1 NCAA
28 E. Chavez Oak .898 1 HS
29 M. Tejada Oak .894 FA DR
30 P. Konerko LA .894 1 HS
31 I. Rodriguez Tex .893 FA PR
32 C. Lee CWS .891 FA Panama
33 A. Rodriguez Sea .888 1 HS
34 M. Loretta Mil .886 7 NCAA
35 J. Posada NYY .881 24 CC
36 J. Kent Tor .880 20 NCAA
37 M. Cabrera Fla .879 FA VEN
38 J. Lopez Atl .872 FA PR
39 B. Wilkerson Mon .872 1 NCAA
40 J. Varitek Sea .872 1 NCAA
41 M. Lowell NYY .870 20 NCAA
42 I. Suzuki Sea .869 FA Japan
43 V. Castilla Atl .867 FA Mexico
44 L. Overbay Ari .863 18 NCAA
45 D. Lee SD .860 1 HS
46 P. Nevin Hou .859 1 NCAA
47 K. Millar Fla .857 FA USA
48 J. Damon KC .857 1 HS
49 H. Blalock Tex .855 3 HS
50 A. Huff TB .853 5 NCAA
51 C. Wilson Tor .853 2 HS
52 V. Martinez Cle .851 FA VEN
53 J. Guillen Pit .849 FA DR
54 S. Sosa Tex .849 FA DR
55 B. Giles Cle .849 17 HS
56 R. Durham CWS .848 5 HS
57 C. Jones Atl .847 1 HS
58 J. Bagwell Bos .842 4 NCAA
59 C. Blake Tor .839 7 NCAA
60 M. Young Tor .836 5 NCAA
61 A. Jones Atl .833 FA Curacao
62 J. Uribe Col .833 FA DR
63 M. Kotsay Fla .829 1 NCAA
64 J. Estrada Phi .828 17 CC
65 L. Ford Bos .827 12 NCAA
66 M. Barrett Mon .826 1 HS
67 R. Ibanez Sea .825 36 CC
68 T. Martinez Sea .823 1 NCAA
69 D. Jeter NYY .823 1 HS
70 P. Burrell Phi .821 1 NCAA
71 D. Bell Cle .821 7 HS
72 M. Bellhorn Oak .817 2 NCAA
73 E. Byrnes Oak .814 8 NCAA
74 S. Hillenbrand Bos .812 10 CC
75 S. Green Tor .811 1 HS
76 C. Pena Tex .810 1 NCAA
77 V. Wells Tor .809 1 HS
78 A. Soriano NYY .807 FA DR
79 C. Biggio Hou .806 1 NCAA
80 M. Piazza LA .806 62 CC
81 T. Hunter Min .805 1 HS
82 J. Rollins Phi .803 2 HS
83 G. Jenkins Mil .798 1 NCAA
84 M. Cameron CWS .798 18 HS
85 R. Palmeiro ChC .796 1 NCAA
86 K. Greene SD .795 1 NCAA
87 B. Williams NYY .795 FA PR
88 J. Wilson StL .794 9 CC
89 J. Dye Atl .793 17 CC
90 P. Feliz SF .790 FA DR
91 C. Crisp StL .790 7 CC
92 J. Kendall Pit .789 1 HS
93 M. Lawton Min .787 13 CC
94 S. Hatteberg Bos .787 1 NCAA
95 M. Bradley Mon .786 2 HS
96 P. Polanco StL .786 19 CC
97 M. Lieberthal Phi .783 1 HS
98 C. Crawford TB .781 2 HS
99 J. Pierre Col .781 13 NCAA
100 O. Hudson Tor .779 43 CC

10 notable omissions are listed below that didn't have enough plate appearances to qualify:

No. Name Team OPS Round/FA From
101 L. Walker Mon 1.013 FA Canada
102 F. Thomas CWS .997 1 NCAA
103 J. Snow NYY .958 5 NCAA
104 T. Glaus Ana .930 1 NCAA
105 R. Sexson Cle .914 24 HS
106 J. Bay Mon .907 22 NCAA
107 R. Klesko Atl .847 5 HS
108 Ken Griffey Jr. Sea .864 1 HS
109 N. Garciaparra Bos .842 1 NCAA
110 M. Ordonez CWS .836 FA VEN

Level or Country of origination:

Level/Country: No.
High School: 30
College: 37
Community/Junior College: 15
Undrafted Free Agents (total): 28
Japan: 2
Canada: 1
Curacao: 1
Panama: 1
Puerto Rico: 4
Mexico: 2
Dominican Republic: 10
Venezuela: 6
United States: 1

Draft round origination:

Draft round(s): No. (No. HS, NCAA, CC)
Round 1: 39 (16 HS, 22 NCAA 1 CC)
Round 2: 8 (6 HS, 2 NCAA, 0 CC)
Round 3-5: 7 (3 HS, 4 NCAA, 0 CC)
Rounds 6-10: 8 (2 HS, 3 NCAA, 3 CC)
Rounds 11-20: 13 (2 HS, 5 NCAA, 6 CC)
Rounds 20+: 7 (1 HS, 1 NCAA, 5 CC)

Team origination:

Team No. Team No. Team No.
Tor: 8 Phi: 5 SD: 2
NYY: 7 StL: 5 Ari: 2
Sea: 7 Pit: 5 TB: 2
Cle: 7 Oak: 4 NYM: 1
CWS: 6 Fla: 3 ChC: 1
Tex: 6 Mil: 3 Cin: 1
Atl: 6 LA: 3 SF: 1
Mon: 6 Col: 3 KC: 1
Hou: 6 Min: 2 Bal: 0
Bos: 5 Ana: 2 Det: 0

PITCHERS
I'm going to use ERA to determine the quality of pitchers. ERA has always been the quickest and easiest way to determine how effective a pitcher is. Below are the 80 best pitchers that qualified for the ERA title in 2004 and how they were originally procured. I'm listing the top 80 pitchers because roughly only 80 starters qualified for the ERA title. To round out the top 100 pitchers, I am adding 20 notable relief pitchers, more specifically, closers and setup men, along with 10 more high profile starters that missed time in 2004 due to injury.

The columns go as follows: Number, player, team of professional origin, ERA from 2004, draft round or free agent acquisition, school or country of origination (high school, college or community college for drafted players, countries for undrafted free agents).

(Abbreviations: NCAA-College, HS-High School, CC-Community/Junior College, DR-Dominican Republic, VEN-Venezuela, PR-Puerto Rico) .

No. Name Team OPS Round/FA From
1 J. Peavy SD 2.27 15 HS
2 R. Johnson Mon 2.60 2 NCAA
3 J. Santana Hou 2.61 FA VEN
4 B. Sheets Mil 2.70 1 NCAA
5 C. Zambrano ChC 2.75 FA VEN
6 R. Clemens Bos 2.98 1 NCAA
7 O. Perez SD 2.98 FA Mexico
8 C. Pavano Bos 3.00 13 HS
9 J. Schmidt Atl 3.20 8 HS
10 A. Leiter NYY 3.21 2 HS
11 O. Perez Atl 3.25 FA DR
12 C. Schilling Bos 3.26 2 CC
13 J. Wright Cle 3.28 1 HS
14 J. Westbrook Col 3.38 1 HS
15 D. Davis Tex 3.39 10 CC
16 C. Carpenter Tor 3.46 1 HS
17 B. Radke Min 3.48 8 HS
18 R. Oswalt Hou 3.49 23 CC
19 T. Hudson Oak 3.53 6 NCAA
20 B. Webb Ari 3.59 8 NCAA
21 L. Hernandez Fla 3.60 FA DR
22 T. Glavine Atl 3.60 2 HS
23 M. Clement SD 3.68 3 HS
24 J. Marquis Atl 3.71 1 HS
25 J. Thomson Col 3.72 7 CC
26 D. Wells Tor 3.73 2 HS
27 F. Garcia Hou 3.81 FA VEN
28 M. Buehrle CWS 3.89 38 CC
29 P. Martinez LA 3.90 FA DR
30 K. Escobar Tor 3.93 FA VEN
31 R. Harden Oak 3.99 17 CC
32 S. Trachsel ChC 4.00 8 NCAA
33 J. Weaver Det 4.01 1 NCAA
34 D. Willis Fla 4.02 8 HS
35 G. Maddux ChC 4.02 2 HS
36 B. Arroyo Pit 4.03 3 HS
37 B. Tomko Cin 4.04 2 NCAA
38 T. Lilly LA 4.06 23 CC
39 J. Lima Det 4.07 FA DR
40 C. Sabathia Cle 4.12 1 HS
41 B. Lawrence SD 4.12 17 NCAA
42 R. Ortiz SF 4.13 4 NCAA
43 J. Suppan Bos 4.16 2 HS
44 W. Williams Tor 4.18 28 NCAA
45 R. Drese Cle 4.20 5 NCAA
46 C. Silva Phi 4.21 FA VEN
47 M. Hampton Sea 4.28 6 HS
48 K. Benson Pit 4.31 1 NCAA
49 M. Maroth Bos 4.31 3 NCAA
50 J. Lieber KC 4.33 2 NCAA
51 P. Wilson Cin 4.36 1 NCAA
52 M. Mulder Oak 4.43 1 NCAA
53 B. Zito Oak 4.48 1 NCAA
54 A. Eaton Phi 4.61 1 HS
55 J. Fogg CWS 4.64 3 NCAA
56 J. Lackey Ana 4.67 2 CC
57 K. Ishii LA 4.71 FA Japan
58 M. Redman Min 4.71 1 NCAA
59 M. Morris StL 4.72 1 NCAA
60 K. Rueter Mon 4.73 18 NCAA
61 E. Milton NYY 4.75 1 NCAA
62 K. Rogers Tex 4.76 39 HS
63 M. Batista Mon 4.80 FA DR
64 M. Hendrickson Tor 4.81 20 HS
65 T. Wakefield Pit 4.87 8 NCAA
66 J. Bonderman Oak 4.89 1 HS
67 J. Garland ChC 4.89 1 HS
68 N. Robertson Fla 4.90 5 NCAA
69 R. Franklin Sea 4.90 23 CC
70 C. Lidle Min 4.90 FA USA
71 J. Vazquez Mon 4.91 5 HS
72 B. Colon Cle 5.01 FA DR
73 J. Johnson Pit 5.13 FA USA
74 I. Valdez LA 5.19 FA Mexico
75 J. Moyer ChC 5.21 6 NCAA
76 S. Ponson Bal 5.30 FA Aruba
77 K. Lohse ChC 5.34 29 HS
78 D. Lowe Sea 5.42 8 HS
79 C. Lee Mon 5.43 4 NCAA
80 J. Contreras NYY 5.50 FA DR

20 more pitchers, notable relievers and setup men that didn't qualify for the ERA title in 2004:

No. Name Team OPS Round/FA From
81 A. Benitez Bal 1.29 FA DR
82 J. Nathan SF 1.82 6 NCAA
83 B. Lidge Hou 1.90 1 NCAA
84 M. Rivera NYY 1.94 FA Panama
85 F. Cordero Det 2.13 FA DR
86 K. Foulke SF 2.17 9 NCAA
87 E. Gagne LA 2.19 FA Canada
88 T. Gordon KC 2.21 6 HS
89 T. Hoffman Cin 2.30 11 NCAA
90 B. Wagner Hou 2.42 1 NCAA
91 L. Hawkins Min 2.63 7 HS
92 J. Smoltz Det 2.76 22 HS
93 E. Guardado Min 2.78 21 CC
94 J. Isringhausen NYM 2.87 44 CC
95 T. Percival Ana 2.90 6 NCAA
96 D. Kolb Tex 2.98 6 CC
97 J. Mesa Tor 3.25 FA DR
98 O. Dotel NYM 3.69 FA DR
99 D. Graves Cle 3.95 4 NCAA
100 B. Wickman CWS 4.25 2 NCAA

Just to even things out with the hitters, I'm also adding 10 notable pitchers that didn't qualify for the ERA title:

No. Name Team OPS Round/FA From
101 B. Penny Ari 3.15 5 HS
102 W. Miller Hou 3.35 20 CC
103 A. Burnett NYM 3.68 8 HS
104 K. Wood ChC 3.72 1 HS
105 J. Beckett Fla 3.79 1 HS
106 A. Pettite NYY 3.90 22 CC
107 Z. Day NYY 3.93 5 HS
108 Z. Greinke KC 3.97 1 HS
109 M. Prior ChC 4.02 1 NCAA
110 R. Halladay Tor 4.20 1 HS

Level or Country of origination:

Level/Country: No.
High School: 36
College: 36
Community/Junior College: 15
Undrafted Free Agents (total): 24
Japan: 1
Aruba: 1
Canada: 1
Panama: 1
Mexico: 2
Dominican Republic: 11
Venezuela: 5
United States: 2

Draft round origination:

Draft round(s): No. (No. HS, NCAA, CC)
Round 1: 25 (12 HS, 13 NCAA, 0 CC)
Round 2: 11 (5 HS, 4 NCAA, 2 CC)
Round 3-5: 12 (5 HS, 7 NCAA, 0 CC)
Rounds 6-10: 19 (8 HS, 8 NCAA, 3 CC)
Rounds 11-20: 9 (3 HS, 3 NCAA, 3 CC)
Rounds 20+: 11 (3 HS, 1 NCAA, 7 CC)

Team origination:

Team No. Team No. Team No.
ChC: 8 Det: 4 Cin: 3
Tor: 7 Atl: 4 SF: 3
NYY: 6 Fla: 4 Bal: 2
Hou: 6 Pit: 4 Ana: 2
Bos: 5 SD: 4 Phi: 2
Min: 5 CWS: 3 Col: 2
Cle: 5 KC: 3 Ari: 2
Oak: 5 Tex: 3 StL: 1
Mon: 5 Sea: 3 Mil: 1
LA: 5 NYM: 3 TB: 0

OVERALL (both Hitters and Pitchers):

Level or Country of origination:

Level/Country: No.
High School: 66
College: 73
Community/Junior College: 30
Undrafted Free Agents (total): 52
Japan: 3
Aruba: 1
Canada: 2
Curacao: 1
Panama: 2
Puerto Rico: 4
Mexico: 4
Dominican Republic: 21
Venezuela: 11
United States: 3

Draft round origination:

Draft round(s): No. (No. HS, NCAA, CC)
Round 1: 64 (28 HS, 35 NCAA, 1 CC)
Round 2: 19 (11 HS, 6 NCAA, 2 CC)
Round 3-5: 19 (8 HS, 11 NCAA, 0 CC)
Rounds 6-10: 27 (10 HS, 11 NCAA, 6 CC)
Rounds 11-20: 22 (5 HS, 8 NCAA, 9 CC)
Rounds 20+: 18 (4 HS, 2 NCAA, 12 CC)

Team origination:

Team No. Team No. Team No.
Tor: 15 Tex: 9 KC: 4
NYY: 13 ChC: 9 Ana: 4
Cle: 12 Pit: 9 NYM: 4
Hou: 12 Fla: 8 Cin: 4
Mon: 11 LA: 8 Mil: 4
Bos: 10 Min: 7 SF: 4
Atl: 10 Phi: 7 Ari: 4
Sea: 10 StL: 6 Col: 4
CWS: 9 SD: 6 Bal: 2
Oak: 9 Det: 4 TB: 2

Points of interest

First-rounders
Among the 220 players listed within this exercise, 64 were first-rounders, which makes up 29% of the lists. 28 of those first-rounders were high school draftees (44% of the first-rounders, 13% of the total list). 35 of the first-rounders were college draftees (55% of the first-rounders, 16% of the total list). No player from one area as broken down above had more players than first-round college draftees and first-round high school draftees. It's probably not too surprising that first round picks have the most talent of any player, and their success at the big-league level appears to be justified in their high draft selections. Roughly, one out of three productive big leaguers, as listed above, is a former first-round pick.

Undrafted free agents
52 of the 220 players (24%) were undrafted free agents, with 21 players from the Dominican Republic (40% of the undrafted free agents, 10% of the total list). The 21 Dominican players listed ranks as the third highest sub-group after the first-round high school and college players.

High School vs. College
66 of the 220 players (30%) were drafted out of high school, while 73 of the 220 players (33%) were drafted out of college. College players have the edge, but the edge isn't as great as what some may initially think. Particularly when it comes to pitchers, as out of 110 of the pitchers listed, 36 were taken both from the high school and college ranks.

Also interesting is that of the 25 first-round pitchers listed, 12 came from the HS ranks with 13 coming from college. That's almost a wash, and actually first-round college hitters (22) favor first-round high school hitters (16) by a greater margin. This goes against the old saying about taking college pitching and high school hitters.

High schoolers win the "battle" in the second round, 11 to six, although the pitchers again are almost a wash (five to four) while the high school hitters take the clear advantage (six to two).

Pitchers vs. Hitters

Of the first round picks, 25 were pitchers and 39 were positional prospects. As you go down the round-by-round draft list, you will notice the number of positional players shrinking faster than the number of pitchers. Of 19 second round picks, 11 are pitchers. Of 19 third to fifth round selections, 12 are pitchers. Out of 27 sixth to 10th round selections, 19 are pitchers. When it comes to your first round pick, if everything else is even it would seem that the odds favor the hitters, with the opposite being true for all picks after the first round.

Some have suggested that you are just as likely to find a future big league pitcher in the 20th round as you are in the first round, which just isn't true. However, you are more likely to groom a pitcher in later rounds as you are a positional prospect. While scouts claim that pitchers are easier to scout, the better hitters typically are taken earlier in the draft.

Community/Junior College
To no surprise, the players from community and junior colleges dominate the number of players on the list that have been drafted on the second day of the draft (all picks after the 20th round). These players often are unfairly lumped in with college players since they do indeed attend college, but their status as prospects really doesn't make them a true college prospect since they are somewhere in between the prep and collegiate ranks. Out of 30 players from the CC/JC ranks (14% out of the 220 player pool), 15 were hitters and 15 were pitchers.

Player procurement
Using some simple math, out of 220 players, given the 30 teams in Major League Baseball, each team should have an average of seven players in the big leagues that were originally obtained by that ballclub. Looking at the overall lists of which teams have developed the most players, it's no surprise that the Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, Braves, A's, Marlins, Twins and Dodgers have been so successful in recent years. While a lot of the players those individual teams have produced may not be playing with them anymore, I do believe it is indicative on how well a team gauges talent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, it's also no surprise to see why teams like the Royals, Devil Rays, Brewers, Reds, Rockies, Orioles, Mets and Tigers have struggled the past several years. A few aberrations include the Blue Jays, Indians and Expos at the high end, with the Giants and Angels at the low end. Although it could be argued that the Blue Jays have remained competitive for several years, so many of the Indians players are a tribute to their success in the 90s, while the Expos have always been labeled a farm system for the rest of Major League Baseball. The Giants on the other hand have always been able to acquire talented players in shrewd trades and free agent acquisitions, while the Angels have been more active in the free agent market the past few years.

And for those that like to bash the Yankees, citing that they just out-spend everyone else to buy a winning ballclub each year (which they do), they also have done an incredible job developing talented Major League ballplayers, often using these players to obtain more proven commodities that have kept them so successful for the past decade.

How this applies to the Brewers

First-rounders
With such a high number of first-rounders (29%) making up the list of the 220 players listed, it's pretty clear that this is where you are going to get the bulk of your talent base from. Teams like the Brewers already have such a small margin for error when it comes to player development, but this trend would seem to indicate that the margin for error is even smaller than what some may think, especially when a team is investing so much money into those first-round picks. It's not like the Brewers can make up for a first-round blunder elsewhere, such as on the free agent or international free agent market, so those first-rounders really need to stick.

Because of that the Brewers should be aware of some of the trends discussed above. Hitters might be a better target in the first round than pitchers, as it's harder to find good hitters after the first round. Contrary to popular belief, college hitters are even a safer bet than their prep counterparts, and based on the numbers above, there is no need to avoid prep pitchers in any round, at any level.

Undrafted free agents
The Brewers inability to develop international players can also be looked at as a big reason why they have been unsuccessful in developing players overall. Since 24% of the 220 players listed were undrafted free agents, it's clear that they need to do a better job cultivating talent outside of the draft.

Both Doug Melvin and Gord Ash have been successful developing international free agents with their previous employers, the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, and many believe their international interests will help the Brewers improve in this area. To help maximize the amount of talent they can acquire in Latin America, the Brewers have closed their Dominican and Venezuelan instructional academies, sending all of their international signees directly to their affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. Instead of having to fill out two full squads in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, there is less need for players to be acquired just to take a roster spot. In theory, this allows the Brewers to spend more money on better players, using the idea of quality over quantity. Since it takes young players so long to develop, it will be a while before we see if any of these changes will help improve the Brewers' ability to procure international talent. However, there are some signs that it is indeed improving with the emergence of a few talented Dominican and Venezuelan players that are starting to turn some heads in the lower levels of the farm system.

Overall player procurement
The Brewers rank towards the bottom of all teams when it comes to recognizing and developing Major League talent. Ben Sheets, Geoff Jenkins, Gary Sheffield and Mark Loretta are the only players listed among 220 that were originally obtained and developed by the Brewers, and Sheffield was drafted in 1986 under the watch of Harry Dalton. I have always said that if the Brewers were successful today it would be because of the talent acquisition under the watch of Sal Bando when he was general manager throughout the 90s. Hopefully the talent acquisition since his time has improved, and maybe we'll start seeing names like Fielder, Weeks and Hardy being included on such a list within a few years, improving the Brewers overall player procurement abilities.

While there are some strong trends discussed that could be followed to improve a team's ability to make astute decisions, especially when it comes to the draft, the Brewers just need to make sure they do a much better job obtaining and developing their own talent from within. Given the economic landscape, I think it's safe to say that the Brewers won't be building a winner using the free agent market anytime soon.

Patrick Ebert is affiliated with both Brewerfan.net and Perfect Game USA, and can be contacted via email at pebert@brewerfan.net.

 




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Looking ahead to the 2003 draft
(2002-09-30)
A look back at the 2002 draft
(2002-09-24)
Brewerfan.net sits down with Mike Jones
(2002-06-25)
2002 Draft Recap
(2002-06-10)
Brewerfan.com sits down with Jason Belcher & Brad Nelson
(2002-05-25)
2002 Draft Preview
(2002-05-21)
Draft & Follow process & potential candidates from the Brewers' 2001 draft.
(2002-02-22)
Season Wrap, Part 1: Tools and Dark Horses
(2001-10-27)
In the Light of Prospects
(2001-10-03)
Sign of the Times
(2001-08-07)

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