2011 MLB Draft: Oakland A's Take RHP Sonny Gray: The End of Moneyball Drafting?
One of the most famous (and infamous) parts of Michael Lewis' account of the Oakland Athletics' front office in Moneyball was the A's' drafting philosophy. As GM Billy Beane instructed his scouting department about the new order of things, Lewis wrote:
In any case, you had only to study the history of the draft to see that high school pitchers were twice less likely than college pitchers, and four times less likely than college position players, to make it to the big leagues.
By the transitive property, we can see than Beane believed college position players to be twice as likely to make the majors than college pitchers. And yet, with their first-round pick (18th overall), the A's chose Vanderbilt right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray.
This philosophy might not have been a hard-and-fast rule, but a difference that big is significant, and in that light Oakland's choice is somewhat of a surprise. Was there something about Gray that made him different, or has Beane changed his mind?
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