Expectations can be a son of a bitch. I have no idea if Carlos Correa is going to be an All-Star or if he is the next Matt Bush. I really and truly don’t care where a player was drafted. I admit, it does provide some context to their subsequent performances. Had Matt Bush been a 12th round pick, his flameout as a prospect wouldn’t be as riveting. I get that. But the insinuation that anyone can accurately predict absolute success for a player is both unfounded and absurd.
The exciting part of the player-development cocktail is when the expectations for a player are exceeded. Nothing is better than seeing a player getting professional teaching for the first time and having it translate to success. It happens. And it is far more exciting than the draft. Most of your favorite players were not high draft picks. They were just kids who showed something, anything. Then they ended up with the right people, coaches, and teammates, and things clicked. Someone taught them how to hit offspeed pitches. Someone taught them how to throw offspeed pitches. It happens on the field. Not in a press room, or Studio 42. The expectations and the insinuations aren’t the exciting part, the realizations are.
I’m so excited to get these kids out of their suits and into their uniforms. Out of limos and NYC and into busses and rural North Carolina. I’m tired of the pundits telling me who’s going to be a star, I’m ready for the players to tell me.
This is not to understate the importance of the draft. It may, in fact, be one of the single most defining days of a franchise’s calendar year. Just because your favorite player was not a high draft pick doesn’t mean he wasn’t a draft pick. It’s just not very interesting to me, where a player was drafted. I’m more interested in their low-A batting average. I look at draft position as a small footnote in their overall dossier. I’m anxious to see them play.
Come on kid, let’s see what you got.