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Fun With 2015 Draft Data

Last week I took a look at some data from the first 10 rounds of the 2014 MLB draft, making observations about players’ signing bonuses versus their slot value, team patterns with respect to position players versus pitchers and college versus high school, and the state where drafted players came from. With the 2015 draft in the books, I’ll discuss some of those same topics today.

One I’ll leave out is the slot versus bonus visual, because it’s way too early to know what is going to happen here. Signings have begun and there will be an avalanche of them over the next couple weeks but as of right now, Dillon Tate, Ian Happ, Tyler Stephenson, Nick Plummer, Taylor Ward, and Jon Harris are the only first rounders under contract. Three are signed at the slot, Happ and Ward gave their new clubs some extra flexibility by signing a little under, and Tate signed for $826,500 under the slot value. I suspect the Rangers will need to use most that to sign third rounder Mike Matuella, who was a potential first overall pick before having Tommy John surgery.

I will update this one with 2015 data once the signing period ends and will post the link on Twitter.

As was the case last week, I couldn’t find a way to embed these visuals and retain their full functionality, so I’ll provide the links and hope you click through.

Position Detail

  • I think this visual is helpful to get a quick view of what each team did with respect to pitching versus position players and high school versus college. This year, the Braves had a clear focus on pitching and the Angels went the other way, using eight of the ten selections on hitters. The Angels also went college-heavy, while the Orioles skewed towards high school players.
  • The breakdown between college and high school players is essentially the same as it was in 2014, with approximately 70 percent of the players taken in the first ten rounds coming from college or junior college programs. The year-over-year totals by position are pretty close also. The biggest change by percentage was catcher, as six fewer were drafted in 2015 than in 2014.
  • You can use the round slider here to change the results. As you might expect, most of the high school selections happened in the early rounds, with high upside talent coming off the board quickly and team selecting college players for economic reasons more often the later you get in the draft. This year’s first round (including competitive balance and compensatory picks) was slightly more skewed towards high schoolers than last year.

Player State

  • California, Florida, and Texas are the still three most popular states, accounting for  130 of the 315 players (41%) taken in the first 10 rounds of 2014’s draft.
  • Alberta is tall.
  • This visual shows the state of the school of the player, not where the player is originally from.
  • Use the round, position, and team filters if you want to see more granularity using any of those criteria.

I hope these have been an interesting and helpful way of evaluating trends in the draft, even if they weren’t necessarily fantasy-specific. Jake has already written a fantasy angle on the eight shortstops taken in the first round and you’ll no doubt hear more about 2015’s draftees soon. A handful of polished college players will likely be assigned to Midwest and Sally affiliates in the coming weeks and things will really take off when short-season leagues get fired up shortly. As always, we’ll have the dynasty angles covered.


Follow me on Twitter @gregwellemeyer

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Greg Wellemeyer

Greg Wellemeyer

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