FanPost

Back to the Futures

On a recent Baseball Prospectus podcast, the guys were talking about what talent-stacked rosters there were at this year's Futures Game. Among others, they enthused about a kid named Bundy. Maybe you've heard of him. Then as they were wrapping up, Jason Parks said something along the lines that it would be cool to come back in 5 years and see how many of this year's prospects were now All-Stars.

I thought "Hey, that's a pretty good idea." Then, having a paucity of good ideas of my own, I quickly advanced to that thought's adjunct: "Hey, I could steal that idea." Much as committing to do something 5 years from now appeals to my inherent laziness, I decided it was more practical to take this notion and look back. What return have the Orioles seen from their Futures Game reps in recent years?

So I looked at the Orioles reps from 2002 - 2010. Since the result is a mix of pitchers and position players, I use some measures that apply to both. I show the number of ASG appearances just to keep in the spirit of Parks' original idea. Since popularity is not necessarily value, I use career to date WAR and RAR for that. Suspecting the value might not be very high for the sample, I thought I'd check for basic utility too. In a sorry organization, the number of pro games also doesn't necessarily mean you were even useful, but as the number gets higher the chances you were do too. For cases where the games accrued to another team, I tossed in the trade return.

The result (from B-R as of 8/4/2012, I meant to post this last week):

Year

Player

Pos

All Star Selections

Career WAR

Career RAR

Games - Organization

Games - Career

Used to Acquire

2010

Zach Britton

P

0

-0.4

2

32

32

2009

Brian Matusz

P

0

0.5

12

68

68

2009

Chris Tillman

P

0

0

7

41

41

2008

Jake Arrieta

P

0

0.4

16

58

58

2007

Pedro Beato

P

0

-0.5

-7

0

67

n/a - Rule 5 loss

2007

Garrett Olson

P

0

0.1

1

33

103

Felix Pie

2006

Nolan Reimold

OF

0

3.3

34

246

246

2006

Radhames Liz

P

0

-1.8

-20

28

28

2005

Adam Loewen

P

0

0.4

12

35

35

2004

Val Majewski

OF

0

-0.1

-2

9

9

2003

John Maine

P

0

4.1

55

11

108

Kris Benson

2002

Erik Bedard

P

0

15.6

202

114

188

Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, Tony Butler

2002

John Stephens

P

0

-0.5

-3

12

12

Total

0

21.1

309

687

995

Surprise! No All-Stars. More importantly, hardly any value either. 13 players over 9 years have produced 21 wins, with the 3/4ths of that being Erik Bedard. They have made a difference of 309 runs, with 2/3rds of that being Erik Bedard. In terms of games played they don't average out to one MLB season between them.

It's a familiar flavor of depressing that 11 of the 13 of them are pitchers and only Chris Tillman is contributing to the major league club today. One of them we flipped for another club's Futures Game disappointment (the adorable Felix, Cubs 2003 & 2004) and we know how that turned out. Five of the lot show negative WAR. Of course, the book isn't closed on the Cavalry, nor on Nolan, so this table could look different in a couple years.

This is just another way to display what we've all been through with the Orioles over the last decade. It leads right back to the old question, how much of this futility is the result of luck vs. bad player development? I'm not a big believer in streaks of luck running for nine years, so it looks more like development. To test that, I compared the results of the same exercise for two of our AL competitors.

Yankees:

Year

Player

Pos

All Star Selections

Career WAR

Career RAR

Games - Organization

Games - Career

Used to Acquire

2010

Austin Romine

C

0

-0.2

-2

9

9

2008 & 2009

Jesus Montero

C

0

0.5

6

18

109

Michael Pineda

2009

Manny Banuelos

P

0

0

0

0

0

2007

Joba Chamberlain

P

0

6.6

80

194

194

2006

Phil Hughes

P

1

6.7

87

141

141

2006

Jose Tabata

OF

0

0.7

9

0

265

w/ others for Damaso Marte, Xavier Nady

2005

Melky Cabrera

OF

1

12.4

125

569

973

w/ others for Boone Logan, Javier Vazquez

2004

Dioner Navarro

C

1

1.6

17

5

602

w/ others for Randy Johnson

2003

Robinson Cano

2B

4

31.8

319

1158

1158

2003

Chien-Ming Wang

P

0

12.2

149

55

61

2002

Drew Henson

3B

0

0

-1

8

8

Totals

7

72.3

789

2157

3520

Devil Rays/Rays:

Year

Player

Pos

All Star Selections

Career WAR

Career RAR

Games - Organization

Games - Career

Used to Acquire

2010

Jeremy Hellickson

P

0

5.6

67

58

58

2009 & 2010

Desmond Jennings

OF

0

4.5

45

163

163

2009

Kyeong Kang

OF

0

0

0

0

0

2008

Eduardo Morlan

P

0

0

0

0

0

2007

Jeff Neimann

P

0

3.2

53

96

96

2007

Evan Longoria

3B

3

27.1

269

586

586

2006

Juan Salas

P

0

0.3

5

47

47

2004 & 2005

B.J. Upton

SS

0

11.2

115

910

910

2004 & 2005

Delmon Young

OF

0

1

14

192

825

Matt Garza

2003

Pete LaForest

3B/C

0

-0.7

-7

44

68

2002

Carl Crawford

OF

4

33

335

1235

1381

2002

Gerardo Garcia

P

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

7

85.2

896

3331

4134

Fewer players in the totals (Yanks, 11, Rays, 12), but their Futures delivered them 3 to 4 times the total WAR, RAR or playing time. One negative WAR player in the bunch for each team. I could have done this just with the names and it may have spoken on its own. No Cabrera or Cano, no Longoria or Crawford for the O's.

Has our development process changed? In a decade, will a similar exercise using the class now started with Machado, Schoop and Bundy look any different? The miniscule pro sample we got this week from Machado is as encouraging as it is statistically meaningless. Absent a window into the inner workings of the farm system, the best we can do is hope.

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of Camden Chat or SB Nation. They might, though.

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