I wasn't planning on doing another one of these pre-Draft until two bits of Draft News pre-empted my lethargy. Both perfectly explain why "We Draft The Best Available Player" is a myth.
Another reason BAP doesn't apply is because some 'early' picks will be reasonably 'safe' picks. There is wisdom in taking a player who will sign easily (and early) to get him progressing through the system, instead of holding out for top dollar. Sometimes, the tough early sign is worth the effort, hence the proper call. But grabbing a Junior of value to add a quality prospect to your system is even a Red Sox value early.
A goal should be to bring in a wide swath of talent to infuse many different abilities into your talent-pool. That isn't necessarily best accomplished by spending big money early.
I mentioned two bits of news. John Stilson, a RHSP from Texas A&M is out for the season with a labrum tear. Stilson is a very talented righty. Labrum injuries require rehab, and many teams won't take the chance early. While Stilson might be a bargain in the fourth round or so, many organizations really want someone advancing through the system before next June. That's understandable, but he is certainly going to be a better available player than an Anthony Meo (a RHSP for Coastal Carolina, who isn't Stilson-good, but projects now sooner than Stilson due to the injury), or others that will come off the board quicker. While his injury may well hamper his career, but the Topic today is talent, not short-term success.
A better example is Josh Bell. Bell is a high scool outfielder from Jesuit High school in Dallas Texas. Very talented, he has a scholarship to play at University Of Texas. Bell has gone so far as to ink a letter to the Major League Souting Bureau to inform them that he need not be drafted in June. He will play in Austin next year, so any draft of himself would be wasted effort. He will be best available talent, certainly by the Sandwich Round. And any Scouting Director taking him in the first few Rounds should be fired.
Scouting amateurs for Pro Ball through the draft involves quite a few categories. How will the top dozen available SP candidates develop their secondary offerings? Will that slugger in college be able to stick at a reasonable defensive position? Will those questions regarding the talented hitter's background stunt his development?
Different teams place higher values on character, power, patience, and other facters than other teams. As much as we might want them to, teams don't base things on perceived talent only. To think they do would be foolish.
Many lists are out for the Draft that evaluate talent well beyond the Top Sixty. I would really like to see the Cubs take advantage of the talent pool this time around. Grab Sandwich Round talent with the 69th Pick. With malaise in the Bleachers, now would be a good time to keep upgrading the system. I'd be interested in hearing who you would like to see us peg in Rounds 2 and beyond.
Oh, and don't draft Josh Bell.