Hits and Misses in the Baseball Draft

What the Top Picks Teach Us About Selecting Tomorrow’s Major League Stars

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About the Book

If unpredictability is so much of what makes sports compelling, the baseball draft might be the best place to look. This book explores the intricate uncertainties of the draft and the people who face it. Since the modern draft began in 1965, major league teams have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to identify and develop stars of the future. Whether because of injury, poor performance or mental and physical struggles, a large percentage of the most ballyhooed prospects never reach the game’s highest level. Though teams have improved in recent years at turning top picks into major leaguers, the baseball draft is still centered on educated guesswork. This book explains why.

About the Author(s)

Alan Maimon started his professional writing career as a news assistant and sportswriter in the Berlin bureau of The New York Times. An investigator for Centurion Ministries, he lives in Hopewell, New Jersey.
Journalist Chuck Myron has written and edited works about baseball on every level from Little League to the major leagues. He lives in Naples, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Alan Maimon and Chuck Myron
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7031-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0436-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments  ix

Preface  1

Introduction  5

 1. A History of the Draft  15

 2. Analysis of Draft Data  31

 3. Faces of the Draft  48

 4. The Showcase  64

 5. The Scouts  77

 6. Organizational Profile: San Diego Padres  86

 7. Organizational Profile: St. Louis Cardinals  97

 8. Organizational Profile: Minnesota Twins  109

 9. The Latin Factor  122

10. A Ballplayer’s Story  132

11. Bad Breaks  152

12. The Boras Effect  164

13. Psychology of the Draft  172

14. Life Imitates the Draft  186

Epilogue  199

Chapter Notes  205

Bibliography  221

Index  233


Book Reviews & Awards

“There are no guarantees in the draft. Some players get to the big leagues quickly, some take longer to make, and others never get there at all. You try to mold these young men into the type of players you want them to be, but sometimes you can’t help looking back at the mistakes you think you’ve made.”—Pat Gillick, Hall of Fame general manager; “As an agent, I have a vested interest in the baseball draft. I’d love to see all my young clients go on to enjoy successful major league careers, but for a variety of reasons, that doesn’t always happen. This book details the challenges of turning prospects with raw talent into players with proven ability. Anyone with an interest in the game should read it.”—John Boggs, baseball agent; “Hits and Misses shines a light on the baseball draft, which remains highly unpredictable after nearly 50 years. Maimon and Myron come armed with numbers illustrating the failure rates of draft picks, but they also unearth the rich stories of the players, coaches, scouts, executives, and agents involved in the annual process. This engaging dissection is a must-read for any baseball fan hoping to understand why so many of the best young players fail to make meaningful contributions in ‘The Show’ and why so many teams make the wrong choices on draft day.”—Tim Dierkes, creator and owner of MLBTradeRumors.com.