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Monday · June 07 2004

The MLB Lottery
Peter Gammons explains where baseball players come from and how difficult it is to pick them out of a college or high school diamond. The guesswork involved in the NBA and NFL amateur drafts is nothing compared to the wide open chaos of the Major League Baseball draft.

Of the 60 picks used for the first six selections in the baseball drafts of the '90s, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Darin Erstad, Troy Glaus, Kerry Wood, Mark Mulder, Vernon Wells and Pat Burrell are very good major league players. Josh Beckett and Corey Patterson may be. Phil Nevin took four teams to become a regular. Thirteen of the top six picks in the '90s never made The Show, and five didn't sign.

One club's study shows that from 1993 to 2001, $191 million was spent on first-round high school players, and $123.4 million of those dollars have never seen the big leagues.

The MLB draft is interesting again, because we're still waiting to see if the Moneyballers and the spreadsheets full of .OPS are outwitting the old guard of “5-tool” players and high school kids with arms of dynamite.

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz