2006 Draft Throwdown

There is little that is more dismaying than looking back at old draft lists, with the benefit of hindsight, and seeing which players your favorite team missed out on while settling for players who either failed to make much of an impact, or who never even reached the major leagues. Think Reggie Jackson and Steve Chilcott, Robin Yount and David Clyde, Dwight Gooden and Bryan Oelkers. Often, this is driven less by player talent, and more by positional need.

But even more fascinating is to look at some recent draft picks and some of their immediate counterparts, to see how teams fared picking players, one over another, who played the same position. In other words, straight-up scouting choices led to these decisions. Let's take a look at how those worked out in 2006.

  • LHP Andrew Miller (Tigers) vs. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): This one is more complicated than it might seem at first. Clearly, Miller, drafted sixth overall, has not been nearly as effective as Kershaw, drafted seventh overall. Miller has a 5.50 ERA in 261 2/3 major league innings, and is currently having trouble throwing strikes in the minor leagues, with an astonishing 30 walks in 28 innings. Kershaw has a 3.28 ERA in 342 major league innings, and shows signs of being a good deal better than that moving forward. But Miller isn't with the Tigers; Detroit dealt him in the move that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit. Still, advantage has to go to Kershaw on this one, and the Dodgers as well.
  • RHP Tim Lincecum (Giants) vs. Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks): Is this one about to turn? Obviously, as of this date, Lincecum, drafted tenth, has worked out as well as one could hope any draft pick could, while Scherzer, drafted eleventh, is still a work-in-progress who has already been traded once. But Lincecum has had uncharacteristic struggles with his control lately, even though his season ERA (3.14) and strikeout rate (10.4/9 innings) are not far off of his career marks. And Scherzer is coming off of a 14-strikeout performance, though four walks meant that he did so in just 5 2/3 innings. For now, though, a big edge to Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
  • OF Tyler Colvin (Cubs) vs. Travis Snider (Blue Jays): Based on 2010 season line alone, this battle of the lefty-hitting outfielders would have to go to Colvin, drafted thirteenth, over Snider, drafted fourteenth. After all, Colvin has an OPS of .991 in 83 plate appearances this season, while Snider's stands at .806. But overall, it seems clear that the Blue Jays did better here. Snider came out of high school, while Colvin was a collegiate player. Yet Snider posted significantly better offensive numbers than Colvin as each player climbed their respective system ladders- a .916 to .785 edge in minor league OPS. Snider was holding down a regular job at age 22 before he hit the DL, while Colvin is struggling for a regular spot as his 25th birthday approaches. This one is debatable, but the smart money gives Toronto and Snider the edge.


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17 Comments on "2006 Draft Throwdown"


lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 3 months ago

The one to that we will look at in a couple of years is Kershaw V Lincecum… does Lincecum’s arm hold up with these extremely high innings with a small frame? Does Kershaw cut down the walks and become one of the better lefties in a long time? Are they able to stay healthy? etc, etc…Another one, even though from different drafts, is Billingsley and Kershaw. Both have had MLB success, are drafted and developed by the Dodgers, but in a couple of years is Kershaw going to be lightyears ahead of Billingsley, like many expect, or is Billingsley, who has FOR stuff, able to keep up with his lefthanded counterpart?

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 3 months ago

I think Lincecum’s arm will hold, at least until his mid-30s. As for Kershaw, I still think the Sandy Koufax reference is viable but as you said, it’s the walk rate right now that’s killing him. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but of NL starters right now, Kershaw is boasting the highest BB/9 rate and it’s higher than it was last season. If he gets that under control then he’ll start getting deeper into games and suddenly the question of Kershaw v. Lincecum becomes much more of a rivalry question.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 3 months ago

I think the Lincecum-mechanics question has been solved, but he seems to have thrown a LOT of innings for being in his mid 20s… A lot of people arent worried because he is, well, a back to back CY Young winner, but it could catch up in the future, a la Sandy Koufax.

With Kershaw, he is now walking 5.2/9.. these numbers, however, were skewed by his first 5 or 6 starts, where he was walking almost everyone. He has settled down slightly, and is still boasting an ERA under 3… quite impressive considering he adds an additional 5 guys/9… And yea, Kershaw has the highest walk rate for NL starters, you are correct.

I think the numbers say that Kershaw could be as good as Koufax, the early season(in their careers) stats point to Kershaw actually being better, and they had similar problems(control). Add in that Koufax has become Kershaw’s mentor(what an amazing mentor…), and I think it is possible that Kershaw could reach that level… but, like we agree, control is really the only obstacle..

55saveslives
5 years 3 months ago

We’ll have to hold on for Scherzer…I think he needs more than one 14 K 5 2/3 inning performance before compared to a 2 time Cy Young winner.

Too bad Ubaldo wasn’t in this draft as well! That would be interesting.

5 years 3 months ago

Ah, how about the pirates taking Brad Lincoln over Lincecum and Kershaw.

5 years 3 months ago

Did you see Lincoln at his last year in college? 12-2 1.69 ERA 152 SO with 32 BB. 9.4 K/9.

Lincecum was in the bullpen for Washington to start the year. Still put up a solis record though 12-4 1.94 ERA

rainyperez
5 years 3 months ago

Don’t fault the Pirates they were 8 other teams that passed on him, but every executive is kicking himself right now for not taking Timmy…but…His recent troubles are just a little tiny slump, he’s been through this before and he’ll get out of it soon. He is playing a bunch of under .500 teams in the next couple games that will hopefully boost Tim’s confidence. Its all mechanical with him ,and once he fixes it he’ll be to the the back-to-back Cy Young winner again. Lincecum looked better yesterday and even cut down his walks to three although two were intentional. Ubaldo was the better pitcher yesterday and is the best pitcher in baseball up until now, but we’ll see if he can sustain his success throughout the season. Because that is what separates the Dan Harens from Cy Young winners like Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum.

5 years 3 months ago

Ubaldo has been improving his control each year. Dan Haren, after all these years, is still a crappy 2nd half pitcher.

5 years 3 months ago

Miller vs. kershaw- Kershaw
Scherzer vs. Lincecum- Really!?
Colvin vs. Snider- Idk prolly Snider but Colvin looks like he can be good.

5 years 3 months ago

“RHP Tim Lincecum (Giants) vs. Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks): Is this one about to turn?” WOW The first thing to come from that comparison is “are things about to turn?” Since when did this site become about causing a reaction opposed to reporting the news. I’m hoping that is a joke and is never attempted again

redsandyanksfan
5 years 3 months ago

What really got me , Last year i was reading a article when i went to the reds game and the reds front office was said to be thinking alot about take Timmy but that opt for drew stubbs due to the fact they thought Lincecum motion was violent and his arm would blow but it doesnt seem like it will happen anything soon (knock on wood for Giants fans)

stadds
5 years 3 months ago

The real question here should be Brandon Morrow vs. Tim Lincecum. Remember how the press flayed Seattle for not drafting the local boy? Now they’ve got Brandon League to show for it…

Even more interesting, if memory serves, is that Miller was looked at as a number one overall talent who fell to Detroit because of signability. Not unlike Porcello shortly after. Interesting the ways projection doesn’t always turn out in both the cases of Miller and Morrow, though both still have time to right things.

stadds
5 years 3 months ago

The real question here should be Brandon Morrow vs. Tim Lincecum. Remember how the press flayed Seattle for not drafting the local boy? Now they’ve got Brandon League to show for it…

Even more interesting, if memory serves, is that Miller was looked at as a number one overall talent who fell to Detroit because of signability. Not unlike Porcello shortly after. Interesting the ways projection doesn’t always turn out in both the cases of Miller and Morrow, though both still have time to right things.

redsandyanksfan
5 years 3 months ago

Who did the royals pick ?

5 years 3 months ago

Joba was not good/established enough to go that high.

LiveFastCyYoung
5 years 3 months ago

Luke Hochevar.

redsandyanksfan
5 years 3 months ago

I thought thats it was but i was 100 percent sure so i thought i would ask , But he has been just awful imagine the 1-2 of Grenkie and Kershaw wow