THE San Francisco Giants Blog

How Hard is it to Ever Play in the Major Leagues?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 6, 2014

Among others, Joe Panik, Gary Brown and Angel Villalona just got sent down. I was a little surprised that they didn’t give Panik more of a look but when you think about the Giants and their near utter failure to develop mlb position players, it’s not that surprising. Brown is a complete lost pick and Villalona is never, EVER going to do anything other than be famous for beating a murder rap back home. His bat is slow, so is he, it’s anybody’s guess why they still have this dude on the 40 man roster…..

The Giants pathetic position player development got me to wondering about the league averages with all teams and how often a player drafted, who signs, makes it to the big leagues at some point in their career.

According to  a Bleacher Report article I read (huge, huge disclaimer being thrown out there since this is the extent of my research for this thread), 66% of first round draft picks make the major leagues at some point. That number isn’t a surprise one way or the other. Maybe sounded a little high to me.

Second round draftees reach mlb 49% of the time.

There’s a significant dropping point for rounds 3-5 with only 32% of those players ever making The Show.

Rounds 6-10 see 20%.

Rounds 11-20 is 11%.

The chances of a player reaching the majors from round 21 onward is a dismal 7%.

Just taking a look at the Giants drafts since 2006 when they started actually giving a shit about the draft, I’m not sure if our numbers line up with the major league averages. I don’t feel like sorting out the non-signings from the 50 picks drafted to figure out the % of players who have made it to the big leagues. But here is some preliminary research. If you want to dig deeper, go for it. Keep in mind, the draft was always 50 rounds until the new collective bargaining agreement and now the draft is 40 rounds.

In 2005 they didn’t have a draft pick till round 3 when they took the (low)esteemed Benjamin Copeland. That was the same draft they took Minicozzi in the 17th round. Sergio Romo got drafted 28. Thomas Neal was 36 but I don’t think he has ever appeared in the major leagues. That’s it for 50 rounds.

In 2006 they started off with a bang nabbing Timmy. Burriss was 2, Rohlinger and Pill  went 6/7.  Bigcock 9. Nobody else out of their 50 picks, at least in my quick scan of the list, has made it to The Show (yet).

In 2007, we again started off with a winner (MadBum). Tim Alderson was next but while we did flip him for Freddy Sanchez he’s never thrown a pitch in the major leagues. Noonan and Culberson went next and while they are worthless, they still count as “mlb hits” of players who have made it to the big leagues. Runzler was 9, Edelfsen was 16, Otero was 21. Jonny Monell went 30. Nuthin’ else.

In 2008, we drafted G-Dizzle (Posey), followed by Gillespe, Kieshnick and Crawford. That’s a pretty solid first 4 if you’re just talking about guys to make the major leagues. And Surkamp was 6. Juan Perez was 13. Nobody else though.

I’ll look at 2009 last since drafts after that are filled with lots of guys who are still developing now. Zach Wheeler went #1. Tommy Joseph 2 (he hasn’t made it I don’t think but we did trade him for Pence). Belt 5. So far, nobody else.

I know I said I was done, but 2010 was Gary Brown in the first round. I suspect he’s going to be minor league roster filler forever and that sucks since he was a first round pick. Hembree was 5.

2011 was Panik who sucks but they followed that up with Crick who is the best prospect in our system.

2012 was Chris Stratton and I haven’t checked recently but is he even pitching?

2013 was Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones, two dudes we won’t know about for 3+ years…….

Hey, the mlb draft is kinda a crapshoot, we all know that. Still, when given 50 picks, we have proven nearly incompetent (especiually at hitting on position players). From 2006 through 2009 we had 200 draft picks (not sure how many didn’t sign). And the *hits* listed above are few and far between……


and now for something fun. Here’s what Timmy looked like today. Must have a gay porn set to hit after the game. I kid, I kid….




A side note— I’ve been preoccupied with some other stuff this Winter, life shit, normally the BBOTD and the BBOTD-POTD is one of my primary focused points in the winter solstice. Secretly, for me, it’s my favorite part of the blog—off season. I dropped the ball this year a little bit but I promise to double up next year. I re-set the last chick to the new chick tonight. And to make up for my slackardness, I might just keep this widget going all year. We’ll see, it’ll depend mostly on all of your rad captions. But Snarkk, Unca, Pawlie, DJ Loo, Dirt, Bozo, MacDog, WillieD, E-wisco, Chi, Zummie, and whoever else I’ve missed….you guys produce more gold in a BBOTD caption than is produced in an entire year at any place that, you know, *produces gold*.

Keep that golden shit coming…….


72 Responses

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  1. pawliekokonuts said, on March 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    At least Christian Arroyo has his Twitter life in order. Maybe that will help his chances. #sarcasm

    • Flavor said, on March 6, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Arroyo has looked good so far. A lot of people, including me, didn’t think he would even sign. If Twitter is any indication, Ryder is ready to go. Seems like a great kid, super motivated, I’m bummed he signed with the Giants and not the Cardinal……..

  2. Flavor said, on March 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Dr. Frank Jobe died today. After he performed surgery on Tommy John he went on record as saying John’s recover to ever pitch again was “100-1.” That was some serious underwhelming shit on his on shit. Now, it’s 90+ percent…..

    • snarkk said, on March 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      He deserved to be in the BBHOF, for sure. Announcers I never heard of get the friggin’ Frick award, Jobe should have gotten some kind of BBHOF serious, official recognition. His technique and intelligence saved many a career, and no doubt generated billions over the years in player salary that would not have been earned otherwise…

  3. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    When you look at that track record it’s amazing that Sabean can get anyone to take his call. Baseball is a funny game. I played in little leagues through age 16 with Randy Winn and dude was not the best player in the area yet he went on to have a respectable career in The Show. Go figure.

  4. pawliekokonuts said, on March 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Tim has GOT to lose that mousetache. Who is that to his left, (our right), Kris Kristofferson in 1984?

    • Flavor said, on March 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      I’m good friends with Kris Kristofferson’s son. I’ve known him since college and he’s cool as fuck. Yes, that’s a name drop but I’m allowed to do that. 🙂

      • snarkk said, on March 6, 2014 at 10:39 pm

        KK could write some serious songs. Is there a better lyric than “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose”? Those lyrics with Janis singin’ it and diggin’ it, man, that is some classic stuff right there…

      • WilcoJoe said, on March 7, 2014 at 9:20 am

        Always thought “but I would trade all my tomorrow’s for a single yesterday ” is one of the greatest lines ever written. I got to see Kris a couple years back during SXSW in Austin and when he segued from that song to Sunday Morning Coming Down, I could easily say that was one of my top 5 musical moments of my life.

  5. pawliekokonuts said, on March 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Dr. Frank Jobe must’ve been relieved his procedure did not have to be called William Van Landingham or Masanori Murakami surgery.

    • Flavor said, on March 6, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      gold. ANd! –PoTD_!)@~

    • Macdog said, on March 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Or, from that era, Dick Pole.

      • DJLoo said, on March 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm

        I’ve had similar thoughts about corporate naming rights for stadiums and arenas.
        How would you like your team to play at the Preparation H Center? Or Kotex Field?

  6. zumiee said, on March 6, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Wasn’t Culberson traded for Scutaro, if I’m remembering that correctly?
    Whatever it takes to win the World Series. Overall, Sabean has done a great job. He’s made some mystifying, head-scratching moves at times, but he’s gotten the job done.

    • chipower9 said, on March 6, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Zume…yes, Culberson was traded for Scoots.

  7. zumiee said, on March 6, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    HanRam just got drilled by a pitch. Hershiser is lamenting Ram’s broken rib in the playoffs. What coulda been. That first trip to the World Series since Reagan fizzled away.
    ‘Not since Reagan.’ The Dodger story for the last 25 years.

    • snarkk said, on March 6, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      I fault Ronnie for initiating the demise of the modern federal government, and the polarization of American politics to the level of abysmal dysfunction seen today. But, I digress…

  8. DJLoo said, on March 6, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Sabean will live to regret Conor Gillaspie for Jeff Soptic…

  9. chipower9 said, on March 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Great thread, Flav. And you owe us nothing in the way of apologies. I am forever in debt to you for creating and keeping this blog going. Where else can you talk Giants baseball with so many cool motherfuckers (rhetorical question…we all know the answer is NOWHERE). That’s a compliment with the MFer comment, Flappers.

    But seriously, how much better are the other clubs, percentage-wise at drafting players who make the show? Are the Giants really that bad?

    Packed my bags tonight…print the boarding passes tomorrow night, and I am ready to hit Scottsdale! Can’t wait to sit in the sun with my lovely daughter, an ice cold one in one hand, and a dog (insert your favorite ballpark food here) in the other, while watching some Giants baseball.

  10. snarkk said, on March 6, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Seconded, Chi. Thanks for this thread, BF. Great research on the fly. I don’t know if somewhere out there is an overall comparison of MLB teams’ draft competence over the last 20 years, in terms of draft picks converted to successful major leaguers, etc, stratified by round of pick, and so on. Too many variables for one person to bird dog, I suppose. But, I have to believe Sabes’ track record with position players has to be in the bottom half. Middling, at best. Pitching probably in the top third, bucked up by the last decade of Cain, Tim, Bum, etc., and ultimate dogmeat draft picks converted to decent MLB players in trades (Alderson for Franchez, etc.)…

  11. snarkk said, on March 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I don’t see Taylor Swift singing this. 😉 What an iconic voice of the ’60s. I’m trying to imagine a party with Janis and Jim Morrison in the same room. Whatever contraband was there, they’d use it all, and bring the house down with a rockin’ duet of something. In the duet, no doubt she’d kick Jim’s ass…

    • Sarge said, on March 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      I have to admit, I’ve heard of Janis Joplin but I’m not sure I had ever heard any of her work. SItting here with my jaw on the ground, why hadn’t I heard this sooner?

  12. zumiee said, on March 6, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Listening to Herschiser wax eloquent about Lasorda, and as I try not to projectile vomit as I’m listening to it, it got me to thinking…..why do Giants fans dislike Lasorda so much? Well, there are many reasons, but I think one of the underestimated reasons is that, deep down, Giants fans think that Lasorda is a charlatan and a poser. Giants fans don’t respect Lasorda as a baseball mind. He comes across as the guy trying to sell you a used car. He probably does know a lot about baseball, but it’s hard to give him credit for that for some reason.

    • snarkk said, on March 7, 2014 at 12:26 am

      I think Tommy was the best thing for LA about the Giants/Dodgers “rivalry” in the late ’70s through the ’80s. He kept things interesting as the Doghairs mostly cleaned our clocks. Tommy was certainly a far better manager than Donny 2x…

    • Nipper said, on March 7, 2014 at 12:29 am

      He bled Dodger blue. He’s easy to dislike.

  13. snarkk said, on March 7, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Kieschnick 1 for 12 with 6 Ks so far in ST. Perez has 4 doubles and is at .412 …

    • Flavor said, on March 7, 2014 at 6:19 am

      Kiesh is nothing. You could see it last year. The ball consistently grazes his bat, if it hits it at all, at the mlb level……

      • snarkk said, on March 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        Yep. Kieschnick’s an example of why I can’t be but dubious about good reports for SF farmhand OFers. (Well, Brown is an example, too). Kiesch has just under 2000 minor league PAs over 5 seasons, so he’s no babe in the woods. I know he had some kind of injury for a while (shoulder?), but still, this guy was reported to have good pop and promise. He’s a good fielder, not super, but the bat looks like a wet noodle over his 100 MLB + ST ABs…

      • snarkk said, on March 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        Kiesch 0-1 today, struck out. He’s making a case for a trade for a bag o’ balls, or outright DFA, either way he’s not looking long for the 40 man…

  14. Flavor said, on March 7, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I’ve seen Kent Bazemore get all this playing time in LA and I think, “Man, did the Dubs screw this up?” And then I see a headline this morning that says “Lakers Suffer Worst Loss in Franchise History” and it all starts coming together for me. 🙂

    • willedav said, on March 7, 2014 at 7:31 am

      He’s just not very good (like a lot of Lakers), but maybe a little showcase PT might help keep him out of the Developmental League. Steve Blake can play. Of course I liked Belinelli and CJ Watson as off the bench shooters. W’s had the other Crawford on the Clips, who can really shoot and is good 6th man type scorer.
      Kenny Smith once said he suspected J. Crawford on Dubs was a *looter*–his description for a guy who scores points on a crummy team but really isn’t very good either. I don’t think he sees much PT in playoffs.

  15. pawliekokonuts said, on March 7, 2014 at 7:08 am

    cool namedrop. Saw KK at the Gaslight, circa 1971. As in “Inside Llewyn Davis.” In stamford, CT. See ya.

  16. blade3colorado said, on March 7, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Great thread Flavor . . . I am still saying “WTF?” with regard to Tim’s new look . . . He is a dead ringer for Steve Buscemi.

  17. willedav said, on March 7, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Title for this thread says it all–yeah, it’s pretty damn hard. My math is probably off, but according to the stats, if you draft 50 guys, 90% of the last 40 aren’t ever going to make it, and even if you skew the numbers high tremendous amount of the total guys you draft really haven’t got a shot. We’re talking the likes of Culberson and Kieschnik here too as guys who *make it*.
    I read a book so depressing last year I couldn’t even finish it about life in A ball in Clinton Iowa by a writer who had access to the team, managed by John Tamargo. Only a couple guys on the entire team were ever gonna get promoted (including a few who had multiple seasons there that were stuck), Tamargo was a no nonsense hardass, and the town was dominated by a pollution spewing industry. Despite all this, players were consistently *rewarded* with contracts that paid them virtually nothing while being told they were respected parts of the organization.

  18. willedav said, on March 7, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Hey, over on fangraphs is a column by Sullivan from yesterday that lists Crawford’s top plays at SS last year, with vids of 5 of them including the one where he threw out Y Molina who threw his helmet, went off on the ump and got tossed (he was out, too). Way cool stuff including typical Craw deadpan reactions afterwards, plus comments below from the obsessive/compulsive Giants fan blogger.

  19. unca_chuck said, on March 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Speaking of ballpark names, Arizona may have the BOB (Bank One Ballpark), but Philly’s got the FUC (First Union Center).

    Speaking of nothing, Bazemore was nothing much. Blake is the guy that may put the Dubs over the top to at least challenge for the West title. If not more. They desperately needed someone to back up Curry, and to run the floor while he’s out. Bench scoring has gotten MUCH better since he joined the team. It has helped Barnes immensely.

    The key is was and will be Thompson. If he can find his game for the playoff run, they will be tough to match up against. If he continues flailing, then Curry should expect a huge dose of double coverage, and smothering defense. It would be cool to see Blake and Curry out there together if Thompson gets ice cold again. Curry on the loose is very fun to watch.

    • salty said, on March 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Agree about Blake. They been missing J Jack.

  20. stixwiz said, on March 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Ballpark names: From the subliminal to the ridiculous: One guess as to which feminine “under-garment” monthly necessity product name would be the logical monicker for Tampa Bay.

  21. Alleykat said, on March 7, 2014 at 11:46 am

    As great a surgeon as Frank Jobe was, he will always be 2nd fiddle to the legend Dr. James Andrews IMO
    Dudes been saving Careers going back to Sandy Koufax!
    Every jock in all sports confirm with him for his medical advice and most go with him.

  22. Macdog said, on March 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Minicozzi goes deep again!

    • zumiee said, on March 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm

  23. Bozo said, on March 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    If you didn’t come to party,
    take your bitch ass home.

    Oops, wrong thread… Sorry.

    • Irish Kevin said, on March 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      why didn’t you tell me that sooner I would have gone home. I would have told my boss that a clown told me to go home.

  24. salty said, on March 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    5-0 Lincecum sharp! Yeah just ST, but he’s typically awful in ST. I’m hopeful.

  25. blade3colorado said, on March 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I understand that Pence had a bomb in that game as well. Nice to hear that Lincecum is already pitching well (as Salty indicated, this is not the norm for Lincecum during spring training). Chuck, a columnist in Denver, Woody Paige, nick named the Broncos stadium the “diaphragm” years ago. Hahaha. Women were not amused at the time.

    Saw something disturbing during my morning walk/exercise after breakfast – 3 people shooting up in the park (in 2 different areas). I didn’t know Vietnam had a drug problem. Also, upset at myself for not being more observant (this shit must be going on daily), i.e., being a foreigner in another country can get you in a lot of trouble if you are not aware, e.g., robbery, mugging, etc.

  26. paulinasia said, on March 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Steve, Vietnam, Thailand, China all have “problems” with the bad drugs (meth, some heroin) mostly because the police are so corrupt that they’re hand in hand with Asian mafia over here and even helping with the smuggling. But what you saw, you won’t see much outside of that Pham Ngu Lao area. You’ll rarely ever even see a cop in that area, it’s all mafia, and anything goes. Outside the Pham, and in most of Vietnam, you just don’t see it too much.

    • blade3colorado said, on March 8, 2014 at 12:36 am

      Thanks Paul for the info . . . S

  27. paulinasia said, on March 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Yes, interesting thread, Craig. I’m guessing most of these players are realistic about their chances. Like Minicozzi, he’s doing it for the proverbial love of the game. A few years ago here, I think I posted something about seeing some games (Atlantic League) in Somerville, New Jersey, The Somerset Patriots. These games are just all fun, family outings, like picnics in the park. Sparky Lyle was managing the Patriots (I think he still is). Most of the younger players won’t go far. But I was surprised to see in one game Tom Gordon. Um.. I think that was his name… speedy outfielder. He played for the Giants for a year maybe a dozen years ago. He was done at the MLB level, but there he was, probably making near nothing by playing in that league, knowing his MLB career was over. After the game I went down to the field and called to him, he came over and we chatted briefly, I just wanted to tell him I saw him play in SF. I asked him about playing at this low level ball after being a major leaguer, and his answer basically was….. for the love of the game. I can think of worse things to do with one’s life.

    • Macdog said, on March 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Brett Jodie is now the Patriots’ manager.

    • DJLoo said, on March 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      I guess it’s like being in the mob or being a heroine addict.
      You just love the life style.

  28. paulinasia said, on March 7, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Ah right, Mac, I remember someone on the Flap commenting about the Somerset Patriots after I mentioned them. I couldn’t remember who that was, long time ago… Do you still go the games sometimes? Love the light-hearted atmosphere.

    • Macdog said, on March 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      Paul, I’ve passed by that ballpark a number of times on 287, but it’s not really close to where I live. I go to see the much-closer Lakewood BlueClaws, the Phillies’ A team in the South Atlantic League, to get my minor-league fix.

  29. DJLoo said, on March 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Sparky Lyle for “See Ya Later” Danny Cater.
    What in the world could the Red Sox possibly have been thinking?

    • paulinasia said, on March 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Sox have certainly had their share of stinkers. I remember in the early ’80s, mid season one year, they traded a certain high minor league prospect named Jeff Bagwell for aging relief pitcher Larry Anderson, who stayed with Boston for like 3 months…. yikes.

      • ewisco said, on March 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm

        and that’s your red sox replay.

  30. Bozo said, on March 8, 2014 at 6:22 am

    From John Shea

    “SURPRISE, Ariz. —

    Marco Scutaro said Friday he’s confident he’ll be ready for Opening Day, but he might have to make substantial progress in the next week.”

    Does it mean anything that this was announced in Surprise AZ?

    • willedav said, on March 8, 2014 at 8:27 am

      good one, man, *surprise*.
      I still dig this guy tho. He’s a defensive liability at any position not named DH, but his ABs are classic.
      Btw hitting .362 and snagging that pop up from f-wad Holliday to end STL chances, Scuts is a fav of mine.

      • Bozo said, on March 8, 2014 at 9:15 am

        I’m with ya willie.

  31. Macdog said, on March 8, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Assuming we’re in contention, it looks like Sabean may have to once again work his mid-season trade magic to find yet another veteran second baseman who will help us to the World Series but then break down and be of limited use.

    • Flavor said, on March 8, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Sure, unless he declares it to be another “bad penny” year in which case he’ll sit on his hands and do nothing.

  32. salty said, on March 8, 2014 at 9:33 am

    There are some eerie similarities to Freddie Sanchez although no one will ever question Scutaro’s will to play hurt after last yr. Much of his poor defense was a result of playing with a bad back.
    I don’t see why they don’t just take their time and make damn sure he’s sound and ready to play at a high level, even it means returning in May, which is what Freddie did in 2010.

    • stixwiz said, on March 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Salty: Agreed on that. Silver lining here is that there will be plenty of opportunity for Adrianza and Abreu to duke it out over who is the keeper and who is trade-bait. Adrianza has the higher up-side, but that also makes him potentially more interesting to other outfits, particularly as he is a shortstop somewhat in the Omar mold.This situation will keep a lot of us at our keyboards for weeks to come.

    • snarkk said, on March 8, 2014 at 9:56 am

      That’s probably what they’re doing. Nobody would be surprised if Scuts enters the season on the DL. The next time the Giants tell the full truth about player medical issues may be the first time. The fact that he entered camp with a bad back after a full offseason tells me this back/hip thing is worse than they’re saying…

      • salty said, on March 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

        Well, they keep talking about him being ready on opening day, as if that’s the target. Maybe they know already he won’t be good to go. I just don’t see the need to push it. Of course, if its a chronic problem, will another 2-3 weeks make much diff?
        Makes you wonder what he’s been doing all winter? If 5 months off didn’t help….

  33. snarkk said, on March 8, 2014 at 10:45 am

    So far in ST:
    Highlights? Hudson, rest of starters, Belt, Perez, Minicozzi, Law
    Lowlights? Scuts, Petit, Romo, Kieschnick…

  34. DJLoo said, on March 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Sanchez and Scutaro don’t owe Giant fans a damn thing…

  35. zumiee said, on March 8, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    In that Chronicle article, Bochy says that if Scutaro is still hurting in a few weeks, then the Giants will have to have a plan B ready. So, the “hope everyone does better this year than 2013” strategy of Sabean/Bochy has taken a hit already. Not to sound harsh, but it seems like Scutaro is pretty much done as a regular starter. He’ll be a hero forever to Giants fans for 2012, but add him to the list of others: Huff, F. Sanchez, Torres, and whoever else who contributed to magical championship seasons, but whose aging bodies shot their wad in the process.
    So, about that Plan B at secondbase….

  36. zumiee said, on March 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    The Giants FINALLY have their first broadcast on MLB network’s 2014 Spring Training coverage tonight, at midnight!
    It’s a game they lost today, 18-3 to the Mariners.
    Come on, man! 🙂

  37. zumiee said, on March 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Vogie got whooped-upon in that game. Hopefully it doesn’t mean much.

  38. zumiee said, on March 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Sometimes the good move is the one the GM DOESN’T make: Bronson Arroyo’s got a bulging disc, and is probably going to be out for quite a while.

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