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Matt Kemp

Why did I miss Matt Kemp?

I usually acquire several minor league picks prior to each year's draft.  Why?  Because I like to gamble on getting the next Ryan Howard.

Typically, several do not pan out.  Amongst those are Mitch Einertson, Brandon Moss, Luis Hernandez, Ron Calloway, and John Van Ben Schoten.  There are certainly more but their names escape me. (Just like blown saves for closers, forgetting your mistakes is vital to minor league prospecting.)

So I entered this year's NL draft with six draft picks. The one sure-fire short-term failure has been the San Francisco Giant's Marcus Sanders.  Two who are teetering are Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutcheon and the Cubs Eric Patterson.  

The three winners so far have been Jonathan Broxton, Troy Tulowitzki and Elvis Andrus.  All three are doing as well as I expected.

So why did I select McCutcheon and Patterson over Matt Kemp?

Simply, Kemp did not walk enough.  25 BBs and 92 Ks in more than 418 ABs at High A was the deciding factor.  I know others would have taken the 27 HR and 23 SB.  

With McCutcheon, I gambled that he'd breakout this year and be a hot property in 2007 for bail trades.  (What?  It is not enough to try to project current season contributors.  You have to try to gamble two seasons down the road?  Yes.)

Eric Patterson is the top 2B in the Cubs organization and he looked to have conquered the one flaw his brother had - the inability to take pitches.  His plate discipline had improved at Georgia Tech from his freshman year to his junior one.  It expectedly decreased once he joined the Cubs but it was not alarming - 53 BBs in 432 ABs.  And he stole 43 bases in 56 attempts with 13 HRs.

Given the better plate discipline and greater SB numbers, I decided upon Patterson over Kemp.

I have been incorrect so far.