I found myself explaining to a friend today just what exactly I was doing up at two in the morning (Nairobi time), and I thought an explanation to you, dear reader, would be appropriate.
Then I’ll give you the list.
Finding players who are drafted is a multiple step process.
1. At the end of each Valley League season, I make a “master list” of every player who appears on each team’s final statistics page. I’ve been doing this since 2004. In my process, a player has to actually appear in a game to be counted as a Valley League alumnus.
2. During the draft, or sometimes just after, I will go through the last four years’ lists and look up each and every college player who is taken in the entire draft- all 40 (used to be 50) rounds. For example, in 2014, when “James Brown” gets drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays out of Mississippi State, I will look through the 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 lists for James. If I find him, I add him to the draft list. If not, I put the lists down and wait for the next college pick. (I’ve played around with searching in a file for the names, but it just doesn’t work well all the time. I suppose a database might be best, but I’m not smart enough.)
3. Herein lies a potential problem: If a player is NOT on a team’s final stat page, the player won’t make it on to my list, which means I’ll miss him if he’s drafted. This has actually happened twice in the past two years. Last year, the good folks at Strasburg told me that Cameron Griffin was drafted, and that he played for the Express in 2011. I looked him up; no final stats. I started looking through individual box scores, and found him. Why was Cameron not in those final stats? I have no idea. This year, Buck Harman said that 4th round draft pick Austin Gomber played in Luray in 2012. He wasn’t on my list. No final stats, but he was there in individual box scores.
In other words, I can say that my draft lists are 95%-99% accurate (that’s a guess, but still). Maybe 100% some years. That little bit of wiggle room, though, drives me nuts. At any rate, I can’t hold all the knowledge of the league in my head, so I do my best. If you know of a player that should be on the list, please let me know and I’ll adjust things accordingly. Remember that the player must have appeared in at least one game to be eligible.
Now that you understand the process, here is the list of the 17 players who were drafted in rounds 3-10 yesterday.
2014 Drafted Players (so far)
Round, Pick, Name, College, VL Team, ML Team
3 82 Sam Howard, Georgia Southern, Staunton (2012), Colorado Rockies
3 102 Max Povse, UNC Greensboro, Staunton (2013), Atlanta Braves
4 111 Ryan Yarbrough, Old Dominion, Luray (2012), Seattle Mariners
4 135 Austin Gomber, Florida Atlantic, Luray (2012), St. Louis Cardinals
5 163 Chris Diaz, Miami, Staunton (2012), Atlanta Braves
6 183 Logan Moon, Missouri Southern, Winchester (2012), Kansas City Royals
7 202 Emmanuel Marrero, Alabama State, Charles Town (2013), Philadelphia Phillies
7 208 Seth Harrison, Louisiana Lafayette, Covington (2011), San Francisco Giants
7 214 Dale Carey, Miami, Luray (2011), Washington Nationals
9 262 Matt Hockenberry, Temple, Woodstock (2013), Philadelphia Phillies
9 265 Michael Katz, William & Mary, Waynesboro (2012), New York Mets
9 270 Justin Gonzalez, Florida State, Covington (2010), Arizona Diamondbacks
9 277 Chris Pike, Oklahoma City, Harrisonburg (2012-13), Tampa Bay Rays
9 283 Jordan Edgerton, UNC Pembroke, Woodstock (2013), Atlanta Braves
10 296 Javi Salas, Miami, Luray (2011), Milwaukee Brewers
10 301 Jay Gonzalez, Mount Olive, Harrisonburg (2011), Baltimore Orioles
10 302 Ty McFarland, JMU, Harrisonburg (2011), New York Yankees
This total is BY FAR the most players drafted in the first ten rounds since I started doing this in 2006. But do keep in mind that the high number of picks does not necessarily mean that the Valley League is putting out more talent than it used to.
Because of new draft requirements, major league teams are often picking college seniors in rounds 6-10, for cost certainty. As Jonathan Mayo explains in this article on mlb.com, teams will sometimes take college players with little to no bargaining power to save money, to then sign other players who might demand more of a bonus.
And I definitely don’t mean to insinuate that these players aren’t worthy of being drafted! They are still very good players with a chance to contribute both in the minors and maybe the majors someday.
I personally celebrate a little bit every time a former Valley Leaguer gets drafted, whether that player is a cost-certain senior or not.
Tonight, MLB will hold the rest of the draft- rounds 11-40. I’ll be following along for most of it!