From SABR member Ben Lindbergh at Baseball Prospectus on January 8, 2014:
“Scouting is hard,” exhibit no. 887: even Hall-of-Fame talent is tough to identify. The median draft position of the 14 players on my make-believe Hall of Fame ballot—excluding Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker, who were signed as amateur free agents—was 28.5. This is a cohort that includes some of the most talented players of the past few decades, including a few with strong cases in the “best ever” argument. But even though almost all of them turned out to be the best in their draft class—unless, like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, multiple members were selected in the same year—collectively, they lasted until the tail end of the first round. None of them was picked higher than sixth overall (Barry Bonds). Mike Piazza was pick no. 1,390. Some scout, somewhere, might have seen a future Cooperstown candidate in each of these players, but that wasn’t the industry consensus.
We don’t know what every scout said about every player, but we do know what some scouts said about some players, thanks to Diamond Mines, the Hall of Fame’s archive of declassified scouting reports. For each of the 14 players I mock-voted for, I looked up the earliest Diamond Mines scouting report available to see whether there was any hint of a Hall-of-Famer-to-be. “You Won’t Believe What These 14 Scouting Reports Said,” is what I would have titled this article if I were better at being click bait.
Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22528
Originally published: January 8, 2014. Last Updated: January 8, 2014.