Monday, June 02, 2008

Historical Draft Review #3 - 1974

Baseball Reference Page
Total WARP: 149.0
General Manager: Jim Campbell
Scouting Director: Bill LaJoie
Best Pick: Lance Parish, 1st Round, 96.9 WARP
Peak Season: 1980, 15.6 WARP

First Ten Picks plus notables:
1-16) Lance Parrish, C, Walnut, CA, 96.9 WARP
2-16) James Taylor, P, Estill Springs, TN, 0 WARP
3-16) Steve Viefhaus, IF, St. Louis CC, 0 WARP
4-16) Melvin Jackson, SS, Lemoyne-Owen CC, 0 WARP
5-16) Ronald Martinez, OF, Ventura, CA, 0 WARP
6-16) William Poland, P, La Cracenta, CA, 0 WARP
7-16) David Balbierz, P, Hilbert JC, 0 WARP
8-16) Dan Morogiello, P, Brooklyn, NY, Unsigned
9-16) Jake Battle, P, Detroit, MI, Unsigned
10-16) Mark Fidrych, P, Worcester, MA, 14.8 WARP
19-16) Bob Sykes, P, Miami-Dade CC, 37.3 WARP

Admittedly, a lot of this draft's value comes from players acquired. Lance Parrish had a fine career with the Tigers, but it was the Tigers' 1987 selection of Travis Fryman in the compensation round that shot up his value. Bob Sykes clearly wasn't the second-best player taken in the draft, but being dealt for Jerry Morales and Aurelio Lopez did a lot for the value the Tigers got out of his pick. There was a whole lot of nothing between Parrish and 10th round pick Mark Fidrych, whose story is so popular that there is no point in me telling it.

This was a very interesting draft on a few notes. First, this was Bill LaJoie's first draft as scouting director. I honestly don't know what role he played in his new role, but the Tigers had some pretty horrible drafts before he took over, including the disasterous 1973 (0.1 WARP) draft. Second, you can see how it was very boom or bust and also notice how the draft was mostly high school and junior college players. I'm not going to make a case for either, but it is pretty much what you would expect out of a draft with mostly high school players taken. I'll get to the top two drafts over the next two days, but those who know anything about the Tigers in the past 40 years should have a pretty good idea who was taken in those drafts.

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