Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lineup Card (Part I)

With the rush of both high school and college seasons just around the corner, now's the time to layout my game plan. My approach is pretty mundane and hasn't changed much over the years. Looking at it from a numbers perspective is a good place to start.

Given my territory of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, it should be no secret that Florida will yield the greatest number of prospects. I would speculate that it would be 3 to 1 in relation to Georgia prospects and more like 10 to 1 in relation to South Carolina prospects. I expect that somewhere between 120-130 prospects will be drafted out of Florida high schools and colleges. Using my ratios, I would expect 40-45 prospects will be drafted out of Georgia high schools and colleges, and roughly 10-15 prospects will be drafted out of South Carolina high schools and colleges. Considering that I only own those prospects south of I-20, I would expect my prospect numbers to drop by half in Georgia to 20-25 prospects and by a third in South Carolina to 8-12 prospects.

So let's say that at best, my part of Georgia and South Carolina should yield roughly 40 draft picks. At best, Florida should yield roughly 130 prospects. That gives me a bit more than a 3 to 1 ratio comparing Florida prospects vs Georgia/South Carolina prospects. If I break down a monthly timeframe, I'll probably end up spending three weeks in Florida and one week in Georgia and South Carolina. We have six months leading up to the draft. Doing the math, I'll be spending roughly 18 weeks in Florida, 4 weeks in Georgia, and 2 weeks in South Carolina. Not a bad gig in the dead of winter and early spring.

In talking with Donald DeSear this weekend, he was abundantly clear that our GM wants us to focus on starting pitchers and catchers. Not to neglect the other positions, but that is our focus in rebuilding the farm system.

Of course, good pitching is always in demand. Over half of all draft picks are pitchers. In general, RHPs (right-handed pitchers) are much more abundant than LHPs by a margin of 5 to 2. You'll probably get close to 575 RHPs and 225 LHPs taken on draft day. This is where I start my approach. I've already estimated that my territory should yield about 170 draft picks. 95 or so will be pitchers. 68 RHPs and 27 LHPs approximately.

The remaining 75 or so will be position players. Knowing how the numbers usually shake out, I would estimate 17 catchers, 9 first basemen, 6 second basemen, 13 shortstops, 6 third basemen, 14 center fielders, and 10 other outfielders. I'm certainly not married to these numbers, but in my experience they should be pretty close.

Tomorrow, I'll go into what these numbers actually mean to me and how I go about using them in my game plan.


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