Draft Dodgers?

by KerryWhisnant

Some teams are more likely to use trades and the free agent market to better themselves, rather than the draft. An analysis of how much playing time came from homegrown talent in 2010 shows which teams eschewed the draft the most.

The following table lists the teams according to how their plate appearances are distributed, and ranked by the percentage of PA that came from players who had been drafted by that team. The information was gathered from baseball-reference.com. The table shows the tendencies of the general managers in constructing their teams, at least in 2010.

Team Draft Free Agent Trade Purchase Waivers Rule 5 % Draft
StL 3764 1986 491 0 0 0 60.3
Col 3602 1945 718 0 0 0 57.5
Min 3445 1376 1436 0 0 0 55.1
Mil 3353 1583 519 0 849 0 53.2
Tam 2704 1098 2468 0 0 0 43.1
Ari 2571 2266 1342 0 2 2 41.6
Cin 2536 2314 1435 0 0 0 40.4
KCR 2501 1964 1509 0 235 0 40.3
LAD 2446 2643 1033 18 0 0 39.8
Det 2444 1936 1932 0 0 0 38.7
Fla 2300 702 1744 774 0 674 37.1
Tor 2209 1695 2041 0 127 0 36.4
Pit 2168 1086 2701 7 1 11 36.3
Ana 2197 3245 474 0 173 0 36.1
Hou 2052 1861 1908 0 176 8 34.2
Atl 2021 1964 2263 0 4 0 32.3
NYM 1776 2899 1449 0 20 0 28.9
SDP 1735 1934 2238 0 0 241 28.2
Phi 1737 3255 464 0 185 650 27.6
Bal 1635 2141 2204 0 129 0 26.8
Tex 1652 948 3663 0 38 1 26.2
Was 1554 2938 1607 0 1 0 25.5
ChC 1473 3484 1175 0 8 0 24.0
Oak 1432 1221 2785 0 679 0 23.4
SFG 1350 3951 694 0 82 66 22.0
Bos 1371 3490 1298 197 0 0 21.6
Sea 939 2330 1987 733 0 0 15.7
NYY 690 4236 1432 0 21 0 10.8
Cle 641 1372 3744 0 408 0 10.4
ChW 574 2794 2013 0 737 0 9.4

It is not a surprise to find teams like Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City near the top of the list, but the leader, St. Louis, might be to some. Besides Albert Pujols, last year the Cardinals also got significant playing time from Yadier Molina, Colby Rasmus, Brendan Ryan and Skip Schumaker, who were all originally drafted by St. Louis. Colorado and Milwaukee had numbers of draft and trade PA similar to the Cardinals. Minnesota relied a little more on trades than free agents or waiver claims. The teams at the bottom are mostly not surprising, except for perhaps Cleveland, who preferred trades more than any other team.

There are some things to note about the data. Derek Jeter is listed as being a free agent, since he was allowed to become one before signing his recent deal. If he is considered a draftee instead — which makes more sense — the Yankees would move three slots up on the list. I haven’t done a search for other possible situations like this one, so the numbers may not be a perfect reflection of the draft/trade/free agent mix for all teams. (Mo Rivera was also recently signd as a free agent, but he was originally as well.) Also, not all free agents are the same; teams that use free agents aren’t necessarily big spenders.

The PA list mainly applies to position players. What about pitching? The following table shows similar data for IP (decimals represent thirds of an inning).

Team Draft Free Agent Trade Purchase Waivers Rule 5 % Draft
SFG 920.1 470.2 70.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 63.0
Tam 876.2 167.0 393.2 0.0 16.1 0.0 60.3
Tor 817.0 309.1 311.0 1.1 2.0 0.0 56.7
Min 803.1 288.2 286.0 0.0 74.2 0.0 55.3
Bal 614.0 251.1 355.2 0.0 215.1 0.0 42.8
Oak 608.1 253.0 431.0 64.2 74.2 0.0 42.5
Bos 595.2 519.0 174.0 153.2 14.1 0.0 40.9
Ana 580.2 608.0 260.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 40.0
Tex 547.0 447.1 357.1 0.0 62.0 41.2 37.6
Det 540.0 198.2 637.2 0.0 0.0 68.0 37.4
Cin 521.0 356.2 572.0 0.0 0.0 3.1 35.9
Fla 515.1 256.1 657.1 0.0 9.1 0.0 35.8
StL 503.0 689.2 230.1 30.2 0.0 0.0 34.6
Was 478.2 643.0 265.2 0.0 47.2 0.0 33.3
Phi 480.2 343.2 554.2 0.0 26.0 52.1 33.0
LAD 466.2 646.1 240.1 88.1 0.0 0.0 32.3
ChC 458.2 590.0 359.0 0.0 29.0 0.0 31.9
Atl 458.0 490.2 420.2 0.0 70.0 0.0 31.8
KCR 447.2 407.2 412.0 0.0 103.2 65.2 31.1
NYM 448.0 637.2 248.0 0.0 119.1 0.0 30.8
SDP 439.1 377.2 639.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 30.2
Pit 397.0 303.2 530.1 114.1 66.1 0.0 28.1
Mil 385.1 744.2 227.0 7.1 74.2 0.0 26.8
Sea 319.2 426.1 602.0 71.1 0.0 18.2 22.2
Cle 312.2 450.1 621.2 0.0 0.0 48.1 21.8
Hou 313.0 768.0 142.2 1.1 181.1 33.0 21.7
NYY 313.1 890.0 239.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 21.7
ChW 287.0 310.1 796.1 0.0 52.2 0.0 19.8
Col 250.0 904.1 287.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 17.3
Ari 103.0 326.1 935.1 3.2 57.0 6.2 7.2

San Francisco, with a plethora of homegrown pitching talent, leads the way here. Tampa Bay and Minnesota are once again near the top, but St. Louis is down near the middle this time. The White Sox, Yankees, Cleveland and Seattle are once again near the bottom.

Combining PA and IP percentages with equal weight gives the following ranking for a team’s likelihood for using the draft to populate their team.

Team Total

% Draft

Min 55.2
Tam 51.7
StL 47.5
Tor 46.6
SFG 42.5
Mil 40.0
Cin 38.1
Ana 38.1
Det 38.1
Col 37.4
Fla 36.5
LAD 36.1
KCR 35.7
Bal 34.8
Oak 32.9
Pit 32.2
Atl 32.1
Tex 31.9
Bos 31.2
Phi 30.3
NYM 29.9
Was 29.4
SDP 29.2
Hou 28.0
ChC 27.9
Ari 24.4
Sea 18.9
NYY 16.3
Cle 16.1
ChW 14.6

Minnesota is the team that used the draft the most for their 2010 team, with Tampa Bay not far behind. The White Sox, Indians, Yankees and Mariners are at the bottom, relying on the draft the least overall. (Even after correcting for Jeter, the Yankees are still below the D-backs.)

Addendum: In case anyone was curious, the three major players on these lists as Rule 5 picks are Dan Uggla, Shane Victorino and Joakim Soria. In fact, Victorino was chosen twice from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 draft, first by San Diego, and after being returned to the Dodgers, again by Philadelphia. Waiver picks include Casey McGehee, Rajai Davis, Alexis Rios and Jeremy Guthrie. The main players who were purchased were Cody Ross, Wes Helms, Ichiro Suzuki and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Ichiro and Daisuke of course were purchased from Japanese teams, Ross and Helms from other MLB teams.

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44 Responses to “Draft Dodgers?”

  1. Chuck Says:

    “An analysis of how much playing time came from homegrown talent in 2010 shows which teams eschewed the draft the most.”

    You really can’t make that claim using just one year of data.

    It takes about four years for a ML team to know whether a particular draft was successful, so, in 2010, we’re talking the 2006 draft.

    How many teams have changed scouting directors since then? General Managers?

    San Diego, Arizona, and Texas, to name a few, are under different ownership, which one would assume would lead to a different budget.

  2. Kerry Says:

    True, it’s a snapshot in time (or looking back in time, as you suggest). If I get time I might carry it back further.

  3. Raul Says:

    No surprise to see NYY at the bottom of the list, but I would have thought they were last.

  4. Kerry Says:

    I guess there are there are different ways to be near the bottom of this list. One is to draft bad players (or at least players who don’t become good enough to play much in the majors), the other is to draft good players but use them as trade bait before they become regulars on an MLB roster.

    Cleveland especially uses trades a lot, depleting their farm system. Arizona and the White Sox have also populated their teams with a lot of trades. The Yankees get the lion’s share of their playing time from free agents, more than any other team, but still have enough home-grown talent to avoid last place on these lists.

  5. Lefty33 Says:

    Question for you Kerry.

    I see in the top sheet you have the Yankees listed as what I think is 690 for PA’s by drafted players.

    I might be reading this wrong but didn’t Posada and Gardner have more than that together?

    Posada had 451 and he was drafted in the 24th round of ‘90 and Gardner had 569 and he was drafted in the 3rd round of ‘05.

  6. Chuck Says:

    I thought the same thing, but then figured it must be some kind of percentage number..because Cano and Jeter had more as well.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Never mind…Cano wasn’t drafted.

  8. Raul Says:

    Knoblauch was a good player once…
    Didn’t he admit to juicing?

  9. Raul Says:

    Chuck’s thing about Knobby was probably his distaste for fans and sportswriters calling players by nicknames, as if they knew them.

    Kind of how Susan Waldman would insist on calling Posada “Jorgie” simply because Joe Torre called him that.

  10. Raul Says:

    Wow, wrong article. That was weird. Nevermind.

  11. Chuck Says:

    “Chuck’s thing about Knobby was probably his distaste for fans and sportswriters calling players by nicknames, as if they knew them.”

    Or wannabe’s trying to sound cool on a website.

  12. Kerry Says:

    @5,

    As I mentioned, Jeter was drafted but since became a free agent and was resigned as such — apparently Posada is in the same boat, doing the same thing in 2007. But Posada really should be considered a draft signing, too. So the Yankee draft % should be higher.

    I don’t know how many other players have similar situations. I just used the baseball-reference.com designation (draftee, free agent, etc.), and apparently if a player spends any time not under contract (no matter how short) with a team they “reset” his designation to free agent. So in some cases there were adjustments. I didn’t take the time to track them all down.

  13. Chuck Says:

    “Jeter was drafted but since became a free agent…”

    After the season?

  14. Lefty33 Says:

    Just like Kerry I want to argue that guys like Cervelli and Cano are arguably not FA because while they were never drafted they have spent their whole professional career with the same organization from signing to the present.

    Not to be nit-picky but to me the numbers listed are obviously very flawed.

  15. Raul Says:

    I know this is going to get made by John or Bob or somebody else sooner or later, but I’m bored so I’m going to list them now.

    AL Cy Young: The last AL pitcher to repeat as the winner of the Cy Young Award was Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000. Felix Hernandez had to post an incredible season just to make it clear he deserved it in 2010 because the Mariners were so bad. Will he repeat his performance in 2011? I don’t think so. But I also think Felix will pitch well enough to win the award. With a lot of the other contenders beating themselves up in the AL East (Sabathia, Lester, Price), I don’t think their numbers will be enough to overtake Hernandez. It’ll probably take an incredible number of wins (23?) for those guys to steal it from Hernandez. I don’t mean to overlook Justin Verlander, but I don’t see him posting a low enough ERA to really win it.

    NL Cy Young: In 2010, Roy Halladay became the 5th player to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues, joining Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens. A pretty impressive list to be on, for sure. But Halladay is approaching 34 years old and has logged a lot of innings by today’s standards. His Phillies teammates are sure to be contenders with Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and the emerging Cole Hamels. However, Lee relies very much on pinpoint control, Oswalt isn’t exactly dominant and Hamels has been inconsistent if nothing else. Looking around the league we have Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, and 2-time winner Tim Lincecum, to mention a few. But the National League has a lot of upcoming pitching talent. Ubaldo Jimenez, Jaime Garcia, Clayton Kershaw, Mat Latos and Yovani Gallardo all showed to be unhittable at times last season. And now you have Zack Greinke in the mix. So who’s going to win it? Josh Johnson had it in his grasp until the end of the season and I think he can take that extra step in 2011. If nothing else, the departure of Dan Uggla at 2nd should alleviate his nerves each time a ground ball goes to the right side.

    AL MVP: Many people thought 2010 would be the year Evan Longoria would rise and start his dominance as the best player in the league now that Alex Rodriguez appears to be on the decline. Unfortunately, while Longoria had a great year, he came up short as Josh Hamilton lived up to the enormous expectations thrust upon him as a Tampa Bay prospect another lifetime ago hitting .359/.411/.633. It’s my belief that while Longoria may be headed to a tremendous career, an MVP Award will likely elude him. So who’s taking the AL MVP this year? Adrian Gonzalez has to be a consideration with his move to the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park. A welcome change after years in that canyon in southern California. My choice? Well, Miguel Cabrera may have been robbed last year, but it won’t happen this time. Look for Cabrera to continue his personal transformation and carry that offense to the AL Central title and possibly a World Series appearance. Yes, I said it. The Tigers have a chance to advance to the World Series.

    NL MVP: Joey Votto had an impressive season, leading the Cincinnati Reds to their first playoff appearance since 1995 and taking with him his first MVP Award. The 2011 season MVP race figures to be a bit tricky, and possibly weak. West coast threat, Adrian Gonzalez has taken his services out of the league, and while Carlos Gonzalez is a multi-tool talent, he’s unlikely to slug .598 again. We could see a re-emergence of past power guys Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder. And a good hitting catcher tends to look good to voters, so Buster Posey will get some looks (just ask Joe Mauer). But let’s not kid ourselves. The National League is Pujols Country, and that doesn’t figure to change any time soon. Look for Albert to add his 4th MVP to his mantle. And he probably deserved or could have won another 5 or 6 over the last 10 years.

  16. Bob Says:

    While I think Felix will win as well, my sleeper pick for the award is Brian Matusz. I also have said my pick for A.L.Mvp is Longoria. Have yet to consider the National League. And my AL ROY pick is Jeremy Hellickson.

  17. Chuck Says:

    Not ready to make any predictions yet, but I’ll throw out a couple of ideas…

    Zack Greinke will dominate the NL in the same way Roy Halladay did last year.

    Carlos Beltran will easily win comeback player of the year and contend for NL MVP.

    Adrian Gonzalez won’t have the season alot of people think he will.

    Roy Oswalt will have a better year than Cliff Lee.

  18. Cameron Says:

    Lessee, more protection, better ballparks, and worse average opponent pitching? The AL East is gonna have Gonzalez as its master. Easy pick for me.

    I’m going with the safe bet and take Pujols for the MVP.

    AL Cy I’ll call Hernandez as well. Dude’s an absolute stud.

    NL Cy… I think I’ll have Adam Wainwright due to a win total boosted by Albert in a potential walk year. Look for Adam to win 20+.

    AL RoY is Hellickson with an easy pick, though the Royal in me wants to pick Mike Moustakas.

    NL RoY I’ll go ahead and guess Freddie Freeman. There’s a pretty weak class in the NL and it’s a split between him and Domonic Brown. I’m gonna go Freeman because he’ll get full-time playing. Look for Brandon Belt as a possible contender.

    AL Comeback… I’m gonna go on a limb and say Derrek Lee. He was a combination of injured or sucked in 2010 and a good lineup in a good park will boost Lee’s confidence.

    NL Comeback, Beltran. No question.

  19. Chuck Says:

    “and worse average opponent pitching”

    Disagree.

  20. Cameron Says:

    The AL East against the NL West? The AL East is good at the top, but it’s a very top-heavy division pitching-wise. 3 days out of 5, the Yankees will be beatable very easily, Tampa’s stacked top-to-bottom, Toronto’s nothing special, and Baltimore’s gonna be feeding Gonzalez rookie mistakes.

    As for the bullpens, the only ones I have confidence in being able to effectively close a game are New York (who has no middle relief) and Boston (who A-Gone doesn’t have to pitch to).

  21. Chuck Says:

    I won’t debate the fact there are roughly the same number of All-Star caliber pitchers in each league…maybe 20 or so?

    Problem is, in the NL they are all lumped together on four or five teams. Clay Buchholz is Boston’s second best pitcher..on Philly he’s fighting with Joe Blanton for the fifth spot.

    Philly has four, LA and SF have three each, St. Louis and Milwaukee two, the rest of the league has maybe five total, between eleven teams.

    In the NL, Gonzalez could go on a 12 game road trip and not face a good pitcher the whole way.

    Can’t say that in the AL.

    Unless the trip goes through Kansas City. :)

  22. Chuck Says:

    In the five years Gonzalez played in San Diego, he averaged 70 extra base hits per season, with only one year below 69.

    PECOTA, the projection system developed by Baseball Prospectus, has Gonzalez getting 66 this year.

    He may get 66 just in home games.

  23. Raul Says:

    With Crawford and Gonzalez batting ahead of him, I wouldn’t be surprised if Youkilis drives in 130-140

  24. Chuck Says:

    Problem with the Sox lineup Raul is there’s no one hitting BEHIND Youkilis.

    Drew, Scutaro, Saltalamacchia, Ortiz.

    I’d bet Youkilis has more walks than ribbies.

  25. Lefty33 Says:

    “I’d bet Youkilis has more walks than ribbies.”

    I’ll make the same bet with Howard.

  26. Raul Says:

    Comeback Player of the Year

    American League:

    Last year’s winner, Francisco Liriano bounced back after injuries with his most durable season, posting a very respectable 3.62 ERA over 192 innings. A number of guys are in the running for this award in 2011. While it’s hard to imagine a 30-homer, 125 RBI season being a down year for anyone, that was the feeling regarding Alex Rodriguez. And if nothing else, that’s a compliment to the type of offensive force he’s been over his career. So it will be interesting to see if A-Rod has it in him to put together one last monster year as he enters the last phase of his career at age 35. Anything is certainly possible and with Rodriguez’s ego, he is surely aiming to prove everyone wrong and regain his MVP-form after hip surgery in 2009. Another trendy pick over the last few years has been the expected return to glory for Grady Sizemore. Four or five years ago, Sizemore was on his way to being one of the best outfield careers in recent memory. But like countless others, injuries have ground his rise to a screeching halt. Sizemore is said to be healthier this season than he has been in years, but with little talent around him in Cleveland, it might be hard for him to shine through. So who do I pick to come back and shine in 2011? It’s going to be Brian Roberts. I’ve never been much of a Roberts fan but he’s coming off a back injury and aside from the power, everything else seemed to still be there. He won’t run as much as he used to but he’ll put it together for most of the year in 2011 and will be rewarded.

    National League:

    Tim Hudson led the Braves all season long in 2010, putting up his best performance since he was a young pitcher in Oakland. His 228 innings were the most he’d posted in 7 seasons and were the field not so deep, could have won the NL Cy Young in almost any other year. It’s really hard to pick the NL Comeback Player of the Year for 2011. Prince Fielder is in his walk-year and those years have shown to produce amazing results for pending free agents, right Adrian Beltre? Also of note is Carlos Beltran. Prior to last season, Beltran averaged slash stats of .281/.368/.505 while stealing about 20 bases and playing outstanding defense in centerfield. And while I think he’s capable of regaining his form, he’ll likely shift positions and unlike Brian Roberts in the American League, Beltran will play in a distinctly worse line-up. So your 2011 NL Comeback Player of the Year will be none other than Kung Fu Panda himself, Pablo Sandoval. Panda was a hitting machine his first 2 years in the league, then found himself the victim of some bad luck which may have been compounded by a lack of confidence. Sandoval has re-dedicated himself over the winter and with a more defined sense of his position, he should bounce back to being a very solid hitter.

  27. Raul Says:

    That should say Beltran’s previous 4-5 years.

    And it should say “Sizemore was on his way to having one of the best outfield careers”

    Sorry for the distraction.

  28. John Says:

    “Problem with the Sox lineup Raul is there’s no one hitting BEHIND Youkilis.
    Drew, Scutaro, Saltalamacchia, Ortiz.”

    Ortiz and Drew = no one?

    Come on now.

    Ortiz isn’t the stud he was when he had juice coming out of his brains, but he still had a 137 OPS+ last year and 32 homers.

    Over the last three seasons, Drew has hit .270/.379/.495 for a 126 OPS+.

    They aren’t outlandishly great or anything, but compare those two to other 5-6 hitters in the league.

    That lineup is stacked. And there’s no way that Youkilis will be routinely walked to get to Ortiz.

    My only issue is with Ellsbury playing every day. Cameron is a better player in every aspect except running (and he’s not exactly a sloth).

    Chuck: “Adrian Gonzalez won’t have the season alot of people think he will.”
    Chuck: “In the five years Gonzalez played in San Diego, he averaged 70 extra base hits per season, with only one year below 69.
    PECOTA, the projectio system developed by Baseball Prospectus, has Gonzalez getting 66 this year.
    He may get 66 just in home games.”

    Are a lot of people projecting him to recreate Ruth’s 1920 season?

    As far as the pitching in the AL East vs. the NL West?

    The AL East does have four legitimate Cy Young candidates.

    But Gonzalez won’t face two of them.

    In the NL West, he had to face: Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Jimenez, Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda, Haren (for a while), Kennedy etc etc.

    Adrian Gonzalez is going to feast off the 2-5 starters of the other AL East teams.

  29. brautigan Says:

    John: The only problem with Cameron is his age and decline in walks. Not to mention his limited playing time last year in his age 36 season, I cannot expect Mike to get better. I like Ellsbury (an Oregon product and I would not be surprised to see him approach the .380 on base level), but Cameron, even at his advanced age, is the better defender in CF and Ellsbury needs to show he is recovered from his rib injuries.

  30. John Says:

    Before last year, Cameron had played 140 or more games 9 of the previous 11 years with 1 season serving a suspension for using stimulants to recover from a concussion.

    I love Cammy, because you know about what you’re gonna get. .250/.340/.450, with 20-25 HR, 25-30 2B, 20 or so SB, and great defense in CF. Doesn’t make him a superstar, but he’s been fairly consistent over his career.

  31. Chuck Says:

    Good call on Brian Roberts, Raul.

    I like the pick.

    Pablo Sandoval is a one hit wonder.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he has some AAA time this year.

  32. Bob Says:

    Wild prediction. The Red Sox activate Ryan Kalish before September 1st, and he will make the post-season roster if they get that far, although he will start the season in Rhode Island. Cameron is a guy Boston might be able to deal in July for who-knows-what.

  33. brautigan Says:

    One of my favorite players and I have one of his bats, a “Glomar”. Mike Cameron, I hope he has a great season. He is truly one of the nicest guys in the game, no doubt about it.

    Chuck: If Sandoval doesn’t make it as a utility player, you may be right, he may be in Fresno for the long haul. He dropped like a rock last year. Maybe it’s that goofy ass nickname they stuck on him. Someone please give him a new nickname. (I am rooting for Sandoval as well, he’s a nice kid….or at least was when I met him in San Jose 4 seasons ago.)

  34. brautigan Says:

    Raul: how the hell can you be bored, you LIVE IN CALIFORNIA!

    Are you going to Arizona? If so, head over there around the 20th of February. Good times my friend awaits you!

  35. Bob Says:

    I believe Raul lives in New York state.

  36. Kerry Says:

    @13

    Jeter was granted free agency Nov. 1, then signed again Dec. 7. Posada did a similar thing 3 years ago.

  37. Cameron Says:

    “I won’t debate the fact there are roughly the same number of All-Star caliber pitchers in each league…maybe 20 or so?

    Problem is, in the NL they are all lumped together on four or five teams.”

    Yeah, and Gonzalez pretty much faced all of them for half of the season. Going by the schedule balance, figuring the AL East against the NL West, the West wins out. In fact, no division had better pitching outside the NL East.

    Last year, there was about a .2-.25 difference in ERAs between the NL and AL. It might be bigger next season, but the two strongest divisons are in the NL, 3, 4, and 6 are all AL.

  38. Chuck Says:

    Kalish sucks.

  39. Cameron Says:

    “Pablo Sandoval is a one hit wonder.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he has some AAA time this year.”

    It was either Bochy or Sabean who said it, but if Sandoval was fat coming into camp, he was gonna start in Fresno.

    Though reports say he’s about 15-25 pounds lighter than last season. I’d say he’s gonna get a return to form this season. After being a non-factor on a World Series team, you’ll want to bounce back and make your team a dynasty.

  40. Raul Says:

    Bob,

    Born and raised in New York, but I moved to California in late December.

    Braut,

    Right now the idea is to go with some in-laws that first weekend in March. Unfortunately, because I don’t have a car yet, I am limited to tagging along with them, and sadly their plan is to make it a short 2 day trip while only catching 1 game…in Maryvale between the Angels and Brewers because they are Angels fans. Honestly, I’m not happy about it. I was told Maryvale was a crappy area to be in, and I could care less about the Brew Crew and Angels — two teams that don’t really have all that much minor league talent as far as I’m concerned.

    If that’s the plan, I might just skip it altogether. I’m not sure. I was hoping to stick around for at least 2 or 3 full days and visit a few games. We’ll see what happens.

  41. brautigan Says:

    Maryvale is not a great part of Phoenix, but it is a beautiful park with great sight lines. Keep your head up, the ball really rockets around in the stadium. And take a sharpie, you’ll get a couple of autographs.

  42. Chuck Says:

    Let’s see….first weekend in March….no game for me on the fifth, on Sunday I’ll probably stay close to home and watch the Brewers/Rangers game.

  43. Raul Says:

    I’m sure getting autographs is a lot easier during the spring than during the season.

    To be honest, I’m not much of an autograph guy. I think it’s cool. The part I enjoy most about spring training are the stories and personal interactions. Given the choice between an autograph and shaking a player’s hand, I’d rather shake his hand and say hello. That, or get a beer and listen to stories.

  44. Chuck Says:

    Honestly, one of the coolest things about spring training is going in the morning for minor league games or “B” games.

    Games are on the minor league fields and are free. There’s no concessions and sometimes it’s a hike from the main parking lot, but they’re worth it. I’ve seen Greg Maddux, Chuck Finley, Ichiro, Josh Hamilton, etc playing in B games.

    Players have to walk through public areas to get from the fields to the clubhouse/main stadium, so if you’re into autographs or handshakes, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

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