To truly understand the impetus for this slideshow, we must take ourselves back to the three-day marathon that was this year's NFL draft.
Tired, short on sleep and (by Saturday) just downright delirious, the content team here at Bleacher Report was pretty out of it. Essentially everything Mike Mayock said on NFL Network sounded ridiculous to us...and it was.
"This guy's a football player!"
"This guy has great feet."
"This guy showed some real catchability out there."
"Let me tell you, I watched every single snap he took and this guy's a football player!"
The fact is, football is a game where you're forced to make up these bland words and phrases because it's so much harder to know if a guy is going to be great or not.
Baseball, on the other hand, is obviously driven by statistics. There are a lot more things you can say about a player than "He uses his hands well."
Nonetheless, John Hart, Harold Reynolds and (the mysterious bald guy whose name I can't figure out) provided us with some entertainment. Here are the top 10 hilarious MLB draftisms from the first round.
It's pretty obvious that the league's new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has changed the way that MLB drafting teams scout their players and ultimately how they decide whom to pick.
Rather than draft the best talent, teams now must be careful about who they draft because they are only given a certain amount of money to use on signing bonuses.
Essentially, GMs have to know if a player they're going to draft will actually sign a contract with the club or not. Teams with better draft history or a more stacked farm system will go for the best talent regardless of whether they're going to sign...
...naturally, we came up with a ghost word for this: "signability."
It's worth noting that life as a minor leaguer totally bites and you get paid nothing. I'll bet being in college and partying until you can't swing a (metal) bat anymore is way better than getting paid $30K to play in front of a thousand people a night.
And no, I'm not talking about the A's!
Big ups to Mitch Haniger out of Cal Poly for getting selected in the Compensation A round. Very exciting for the Mustangs.
The Pirates drafted Barrett Barnes as compensation for losing Ryan Doumit. He's an outfielder that "really uses his hands" and you might even say is a "handsy hitter."
Handsy hitter doesn't even begin to explain how he hits. I realize they only have 90 seconds to break down the hitter but..."handsy hitter"?
Also, I recognize that some guys really drive the ball with their legs and others have super-quick hands through the zone and rely less on weight distribution to read breaking pitches. You can see in this video that Barnes really doesn't move his legs much when he swings.
Still, every person who has ever picked up a bat is a "handsy hitter."
By the way, they also described Barnes as follows:
"He's got life in his bat, he's got life in his body."
I'm a USF Don myself so I was extra psyched on Kyle Zimmer going at No. 5 to the Royals.
MLB Network's breakdown:
Right. If you think about his now-stuff, it's a helluva lot better than his before-stuff and his after-stuff. I'm pretty low on his after-stuff.
I'm very excited to watch Zimmer mature in the Royals' famously stacked farm system. Despite the fact that he transitioned from being a third baseman very recently, he'll be a stud in the majors in "now" time.
As a Giants fan, looking back on the Carlos Beltran-for-Zack Wheeler deal is tough to swallow. They paid him his money for half a season and SF missed the playoffs anyway while simultaneously squandering their best pitching prospect.
Plain and simple, there is no such thing as "sneaky pop." You either have pop or you don't. Miguel Cabrera has pop. Kurt Suzuki does not. End of story.
The "misser" one makes a little more sense to me. Yoenis Cespedes swings out of his freakin' shoes. He's a misser.
Adam Dunn just misses a lot. He also happens to miss three times before he hits one between the lines.
That's what I call a guy who strikes out a lot. Not a "misser."
Also, Adam Dunn has struck out 88 times in 189 ABs this season. He has 17 bombs though.
Maybe we should call these guys "hit-or-missers."
You hear this one a lot with guys like Bryce Harper.
Any time the kid knows the game in-and-out and understands/respects the historical aspects of baseball, we say he has "baseball brains."
To me, this is a way of adding a non-existent characteristic to a guy's resume.
Yes, I get it. The point that they're trying to make is that you'd rather have David Wright on your team than a guy like Manny Ramirez, who gets by with an innate ability to hit the ball.
Regardless, what I hear when you use the phrase "baseball brains" for a prospect is this:
"He uses his brain to play the game well."
The Padres selected RHP Walter Weickel in the Comp A round. We'll get to the way he was described later, but the best part of their analysis is as follows:
"His feel for pitching is better than a lot of high school pitchers we've seen. He's not this arm-strength kinda guy."
I'm assuming this means that he knows what pitch to throw and when to each and every hitter he sees. I'm also assuming they mean he doesn't have a strong arm.
I suppose I could probably figure it out if I just used my good ol' baseball brains.
"He's got plus-glove."
"I love his plus-curveball."
"He really utilizes that plus-bat."
I'm gonna use my plus-thumbs down to veto this since it makes absolutely no sense.
I really don't want to have to tackle this one but here goes.
A strike-thrower? There's a million different ways that you can be a great pitcher: You can break down guys with finesse, you can overpower them with heat and hard breaking pitches and you can straight-up intimidate them with a commanding mound presence. And the list goes on and on.
What's the common thread?
Strikes! Guys who don't throw strikes don't make it past the Pony leagues.
Imagine your typical American resume. If you say a guy is a "strike-thrower" on his resume, it's like reminding us in the "skills" section that you "speak English fluently."
I almost can't handle how ridiculously funny this is.
Small disclaimer: I know exactly why it's important to say that a guy "throws the ball downhill" and that he's a "downhill thrower." Baseball-wise, it makes sense to say that because that's what you're taught to do as a pitcher: Throw the ball through the window, into the tunnel, straight downhill.
All you have to do is look at a pitcher's mound to understand why this is important, but for some asinine reason it seems to be the only way to describe the "special" skill that anyone over 6'1" possesses.
It simply doesn't add anything and it makes me feel even more delirious than I did listening to Mike Mayock.
Here's to 39 more rounds of now-stuff, sneaky pop-missing baseball rat players with arm-strength-plus-brains and the ability to throw...downhill!!!!