Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sorry Strasburg and Ackley

The 2009 MLB Draft was held from June 9th thru the 11th. No other draft in professional sports is more of a crap shoot, in my opinion. With all the expert scouting, evaluations, and analysis done on the prospects, there is never a sure thing and it seems more like drawing names out of a hat. For every Mike Piazza, drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, and John Smoltz, a 22nd round pick in 1985, there is the cant miss super stud like Brien Taylor, #1 pick of 1991, and Mark Merchant, the 2nd overall pick in 1987, that never make it to the major leagues. Looking at this years draft there are a couple of guys that appear head and shoulders above the rest and both are major league ready, according to the experts.

The first is Stephen Strasburg. He is a pitcher from San Diego St. Strasburg was 13-1 with an ERA of 1.32 this year. His fastball has been clocked at 103 mph. Stephen struck out 195 batters in 109 innings and walked only 19, which shows incredible control. The Nationals drafted him #1 overall and believe he could be on the major league squad by the end of the year. The other player that has everyone drooling is Dustin Ackley, the top ranked hitting prospect in the draft and a 3 time All-American from North Carolina. Ackley has a .412 batting average on the year with 22 home runs and 70 RBIs. He could add to that as the Tar Heels advanced to the College World Series. As expected, Dustin was drafted #2 by the Mariners.

Both Ackley and Strasburg have amazing talent but I would avoid both of them in the draft. Why you ask? Both are clients of prominent sports agent Scott Boras. Boras is a pompous ass who somehow continues to get teams to dramatically overpay to sign his clients, which adds to the gap between the big and small market teams. Unfortunately for the fans of baseball, he does his job very well. A Boras client from last year's draft, #2 pick Pedro Alvarez, had some shady negotiations with the Pirates. Add to that, a recent story on ESPN reported, "Boras wouldn't give numbers, but he's expected to ask for a package worth several times the value of the current high-water mark of $10.5 million that Mark Prior received in 2001." That will equate to a possible $50 million deal. If Boras cant get what he wants, he has been known to encourage his clients to pursuit other baseball options, and re-enter the next year's draft. This strategy seems to benefit Boras more than the actual player and isn't the player who he should be looking out for. It appears that Scott Boras represents the top 3 picks in the 2009 MLB Draft and 5 of the top 13 picks. Business is good for the Scott Boras Corporation.

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