4 Ways to Know Your MLB Team Is Having a Successful Draft
Unlike the NFL or NBA draft, it's difficult to tell if your team is having a successful MLB draft because of the number of prospects contending for a spot with an MLB franchise.
With so many teams, prospects and positions to fill on a baseball club, it's hard for the average fan to recognize whether their team is having a World Series-type draft or if their team is bound for years of disappointment.
That said, I'm here to provide you with a few key ways to know if your team is having a successful draft.
Solid High School/College Numbers
Having a successful high school or college career doesn't necessarily translate into a flourishing pro career, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
We all know there's no level of play equal to the MLB, but having success at any level boosts confidence and gives players the mentality that they can succeed at any level.
Think about it for a second.
If a player struggles in college, how much confidence is he going to have that he can perform at a high level in the pros?
If the player your team drafted was solid in high school or college, you're on the right track.
Low Signability Risk
MLB teams are looking for prospects who perform on the field and don't make headlines off it.
Like any professional sport, MLB teams want players who keep their noses clean and aren't out at clubs until the wee hours of the morning.
At the same time, clubs want a player who they feel confident they'll be able to sign.
Last year, Stanford pitcher Mark Appel was selected as the No. 8 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates and was due to make a reported $4 million. He chose not to sign, but rather to head back to Stanford for his senior season, according to ESPN.
Teams need to have a good idea of the chances a player will return to school when they select him, or they'll end up disappointed like the Pirates were last year with Appel.
We'll be patiently waiting to see if Appel's changeup makes him effective at the MLB level.
What the Experts Are Saying
The more talk about the prospect leading up to the draft, the better the odds of the player succeeding at the MLB level.
If MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo is tweeting or writing columns about a prospect your team drafted, odds are your team is having a successful draft.
In this case, I'm referring to the Houston Astros and the potential of them drafting Jonathan Gray, as Mayo had in his latest mock draft. (The Astros ended up drafting Mark Appel.)
Don't get me wrong—there are the unknowns of the MLB draft who turn out to be complete studs—but it's always a good sign when MLB draft experts know the prospect and are raving about him in their columns.
Team Need vs. Best Available
There's always the fine line of drafting between team needs or best player available, but drafting a prospect based on what your team needs is sort of foolish when it comes to the MLB draft.
Because these prospects have to make their way through minor league ball, a franchise's needs usually change by the time a player is ready to make his pro debut.
That said, I believe it's better to draft the best player available on the board.
With the amount of injuries, trades and moves that occur in baseball, there's always room for depth at different positions on an MLB roster.
If your team is drafting based upon best available player (like the New York Mets are reportedly going to do), then you're in good shape.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to the MLB draft: You can never have enough pitching.
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