Top 10 Draft Spots - Pitcher vs Hitter Stats

ANAHEIM CA - AUGUST 10: Bryan Bullington #41 of the Kansas City Royals throws to first base against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning at Angel Stadium on August 10 2010 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)


At the risk of sounding like a complete jerk if the Astros select a pitcher with the first overall pick tonight, I felt the urge to explain my reasoning for extolling the virtues of Byron Buxton and Carlos Correia. All conversations about Floor, Ceiling, Time to Majors, Signability aside, my major worry is that the success rate for pitchers drafted in the Top 10 is very poor.

I looked at all of the Top 10 picks from the 2000 to 2008 drafts. I began at 2000 because scouting and saber methods have changed and going back much further would be looking at different types of data. I omitted post-2008 classes to give those draftees time to establish themselves. Here is what I found:

Pitcher Stats
Pitchers Drafted in Top 10 49
Injured or Bust 37
% Injured or Bust 76%
Stars 8
% Stars 16%

Hitter Stats
Hitters Drafted in Top 10 40
Injured or Bust 13
% Injured or Bust 33%
Stars 17
% Stars 43%

Given that, the thought of investing a huge signing bonus and using Pick 1-1 on a pitcher makes me uncomfortable. The likelihood of drafting a star hitter with that pick is 27% higher than drafting a star pitcher, and the bust likelihood is a huge 43% less. Unless one winds up with a generational talent like Strasburg and Prior (both seriously injured early in their careers), the risk is too high.

List of all players after the jump. Please discuss.

Pitchers selected in Top 10 (2000-2008)

Name

Pick Year Bust/Injured? Star?
Brian Matusz 4 2008 Y
David Price 1 2007 Y
Ross Detweiler 6 2007 Y
Jarrod Parker 9 2007 Y
Madison Bumgarner 10 2007 Y
Aaron Crow 9 2008 Y
Luke Hochevar 1 2006 Y
Greg Reynolds 2 2006 Y
Brad Lincoln 4 2006
Brandon Morrow 5 2006 Y
Andrew Miller 6 2006 Y
Clayton Kershaw 7 2006 Y
Tim Lincecum 10 2006 Y
Ricky Romero 6 2005 Y
Wade Townsend 8 2005 Y
Mike Pelfrey 9 2005 Y
Justin Verlander 2 2004 Y
Phil Humber 3 2004 Y
Jeff Niemann 4 2004 Y
Mark Rogers 5 2004 Y
Jeremy Sowers 6 2004 Y
Homer Bailey 7 2004 Y
Wade Townsend 8 2004 Y
Thomas Diamond 10 2004 Y
Kyle Sleeth 3 2003 Y
Tim Stauffer 4 2003 Y
Paul Maholm 8 2003 Y
John Danks 9 2003 Y
Bryan Bullington 1 2002 Y
Christopher Gruler 3 2002 Y
Adam Lowewen 4 2002 Y
Clint Everts 5 2002 Y
Zack Greinke 6 2002 Y
Jeff Francis 9 2002
Mark Prior 2 2001 Y
Dewon Brazelton 3 2001 Y
Gavin Floyd 4 2001
Josh Karp 6 2001 Y
Chris Smith 7 2001 Y
John Van Benschoten 8 2001 Y
Colt Griffin 9 2001 Y
Adam Johnson 2 2000 Y
Mike Stodolka 4 2000 Y
Justin Wayne 5 2000 Y
Matthew Harrington 7 2000 Y
Matthew Wheatland 8 2000 Y
Mark Phillips 9 2000 Y
Joe Torres 10 2000 Y

Hitters Selected in the Top 10 (2000-2008)

Name Pick Year Bust/Injured? Star?
Tim Beckham 1 2008 Y
Pedro Alvarez 2 2008
Eric Hosmer 3 2008 Y
Buster Posey 5 2008 Y
Kyle Skipworth 6 2008 Y
Yonder Alonso 7 2008
Gordan Beckham 8 2008
Jason Castro 10 2008
Mike Moustakas 2 2007
Josh Vitters 3 2007 Y
Matt Wieters 5 2007 Y
Matt LaPorta 7 2007
Evan Longoria 3 2006 Y
Drew Stubbs 8 2006 Y
Billy Rowell 9 2006 Y
Justin Upton 1 2005 Y
Alex Gordon 2 2005 Y
Jeff Clement 3 2005 Y
Ryan Zimmerman 4 2005 Y
Ryan Braun 5 2005 Y
Troy Tulowitzki 7 2005 Y
Cameron Maybin 10 2005
Matt Bush 1 2004 Y
Chris Nelson 9 2004 Y
Delmon Young 1 2003
Rickie Weeks 2 2003 Y
Chris Lubanski 5 2003 Y
Nick Markakis 6 2003 Y
Ian Stewart 10 2003
B.J. Upton 2 2002 Y
Prince Fielder 7 2002 Y
Scott Moore 8 2002 Y
Drew Meyer 10 2002 Y
Joe Mauer 1 2001 Y
Mark Teixeira 5 2001 Y
Chris Burke 10 2000 Y
Adrian Gonzalez 1 2000 Y
Lou Montanez 3 2000 Y
Rocco Baldelli 6 2000 Y
X
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