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MLB Draft Visualized

Brian Creagh takes a look at the players signed so far in the first 5 rounds.


With 24 first round draft picks signed as of writing this, I wanted to take a look at where the money is being spent and if any noticeable trends are emerging from this year's draft. I created the following visualization to assist in my analysis:

<script type='text/javascript' src=''></script><div class='tableauPlaceholder' style='width: 654px; height: 647px;'><noscript><a href='#'><img alt=' ' src='https:&#47;&#47;;static&#47;images&#47;20&#47;2014MLBDraftMap&#47;Map&#47;1_rss.png' style='border: none' /></a></noscript><object class='tableauViz' width='654' height='647' style='display:none;'><param name='host_url' value='' /> <param name='site_root' value='' /><param name='name' value='2014MLBDraftMap&#47;Map' /><param name='tabs' value='yes' /><param name='toolbar' value='yes' /><param name='static_image' value='https:&#47;&#47;;static&#47;images&#47;20&#47;2014MLBDraftMap&#47;Map&#47;1.png' /> <param name='animate_transition' value='yes' /><param name='display_static_image' value='yes' /><param name='display_spinner' value='yes' /><param name='display_overlay' value='yes' /><param name='display_count' value='yes' /><param name='showVizHome' value='no' /></object></div><div style='width:654px;height:22px;padding:0px 10px 0px 0px;color:black;font:normal 8pt verdana,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;'><div style='float:right; padding-right:8px;'><a href='' target='_blank'>Learn About Tableau</a></div></div>

(In case the view above isn't working you can view the viz here:!/vizhome/2014MLBDraftMap/Map)

The locations used on the map are the locations of the high schools and colleges of the respective players and not necessarily their hometowns. That skews the viz considering the bias of college baseball programs towards the southern region. Even still, it was surprising to see all the bonus money going to kids out of Indiana. Between Kyle Freeland and Kyle Schwarber and the rest of the Indiana University signees, Indiana state received the 4th largest potion of the bonus pool to this point. It's important to note that top picks Carlos Rodon, Jeff Hoffman, Max Pentecost, Tyler Beede, and other picks have not signed so there's a lot of money yet to be distributed.

Here are some other random musings:

  • The Cubs had one of my favorite drafts to this point. They grabbed the top college bat in Kyle Schwarber, and were able to lock down 4 quality arms in Stinnett, Sands, Steele, and Norwood. Harsh criticism was thrown the Cubs way with the Schwarber pick, and the pressing need was clearly a top arm; but Theo and Jed may be on to something. With the risk associated with any pitcher, I'd much rather take a shot on 4 different arms - all with big-league quality ceilings, and lock down a safer bat as opposed to putting all my stock into one ace starting pitcher and losing the bonus pool flexibility to sign the later round draft picks.
  • If you don't count Kyle Schwarber as a catching prospect (and at this point I do not), the money spent on catchers was pretty light. I'll caveat this by noting Max Pentecost has yet to sign with Toronto, but considering the money they've already spent and the pending status of Jeff Hoffman the money going to Pentecost figures to be at or below slot.
  • LHP and RHP saw a pretty even split between the amount of money spent. Brady Aiken, Kyle Freeland, and Kodi Medeiros were the top 3 LHP signings while Tyler Kolek, Aaron Nola, and Grant Holmes lead the RHP class. The future signings of Carlos Rodon (LHP), Jeff Hoffman (RHP), Tyler Beede (RHP), and Sean Newcomb (LHP), Touki Touissant (RHP), and Brandon Finnegan (LHP) should shake out to continue the even split.
Follow me on Twitter (@BrianCreagh) for more data visualizations and fantasy baseball talk