I’m going to list two groups of players, and all you have to do is go ahead and look them over:
Yeah, this is definitely an interesting bunch of names. Each team has an established star (Longoria and Votto), a well-regarded prospect (Vitters and DeJesus), and some “who’s thats” (Chris Gruler, Jay Sborz). However, if we were to match these groups up in overall talent/playing performance, it’d be pretty tough to determine a winner. For Group B there is a huge drop-off after Votto, but some bright, young players in DeJesus and Zimmerman. We don’t see all that much potential for Group A after Longoria, but there are some other guys after that who could help major league teams (Clement, Humber, etc.).
So what’s the point of all this? Group A represents all third overall draft picks from the ten-year span of 1998-2007, while Group B represents all draft picks taken third in the second round of those respective drafts. For such a wide gap in picks (taking into account the supplemental rounds), we don’t see all that wide of a gap in talent.
This isn’t a lesson on the riskiness involved in the draft, and it also isn’t a theory on why there was a drought in consistent talent during this time. I honestly was just browsing recent MLB drafts online and found this trend pretty intriguing. Go ahead and discuss any thoughts you have on why third overall picks have been pretty mediocre in recent years.