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How to get drafted? Well, lying helps.

Jun 2, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

Dirk Hayhurst

Dirk Hayhurst has a great story today about what led up to him getting drafted by the Padres in 2003. A lot of it was about his command, velocity and track record of success as a college pitcher. Some of it, though, was flat-out lying.

How so? Gotta read the story to find out specifically. But the takeaway from it all is that scouts are not all-seeing, 100% objective and rational operators taking in all the baseball information that is there to be seen. They too have politics, agendas, priorities and very real human limitations. And while that often leads to the top prospects being scouted to the nth degree, it leads a lot of lower-level prospects being only casually observed. And, if the lower level prospects plays it just right, it could give them an opportunity.

Two great reads before 9AM this morning. Look at you go, Monday.

  1. megary - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Excellent read. Well worth the time.

  2. hammyofdoom - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    And reading an article like this makes it all the easier to realize how potential “sure-things” end up being flops. Hayhurst was no flop, but imagine if he had realized that lying got him what he wanted when he was in high school? Imagine how many people conned the system like this? Good read.

  3. sportsdrenched - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    After reading this article I’m convinced that there is absolutely no reason for scouts, or other front office people to mess with those new finagled “sabremetrics” things.

    • paperlions - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      This comment was fantastic. I got it, even if everyone else was confused.

  4. icanspeel - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    The irony is.. in the same year. Tim Stauffer was selected in the first round by the San Diego Padres as the fourth overall pick of the June 2003 draft. Stauffer had been bothered by shoulder soreness since the end of the college season, and an MRI in July showed weakness in the shoulder joint. He and his agent went to the Padres with this information during negotiations, and as a result he signed with the Padres for a bonus much less than a fourth overall pick would normally receive. The Padres scouting director Bill Gayton said about the disclosure, “Their honesty and integrity is second to none. They didn’t have to do that

  5. sdelmonte - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Remember when you used to lie to avoid the draft? (Actually, I’m too young to remember that.)

  6. mikhelb - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Not only baseball players lie but scouts and team executives also do it to hurt a players chance of being drafted early and allow for him to fall until the team that spread lies and unfounded rumours get their chance to pick him.

    6 years ago it was published a story about how Mark Teixeira was hurt by Redsox scouts and executives who after knowing that Teixeira would not comit to sign with them if he was drafted by the sox, spread rumours about him not being serious about baseball and that he didn’t want to play professional ball and other teams should avoid drafting him.

    Teixeira, a good prospect who had a chance to be drafted in the first two rounds, ultimately got drafted by the redsix in the 9th round, Mark decided not to sign when he knew about the rumours the sox spread. Three years later he was drafted in the first round.

    When the story was published in late 2008 or early 2009, MLB began to look for possible changes in how the draft could be done to avoid the same thing happen again, when it was revealed that was one of the many ways the redsox and other teams got their hands in good prospects who unexplicable fell to later rounds instead of the first or second rounds, giving them a chance to pick good talent in the first two rounds and later draft good prospects whose chances were hurt by rumours about injuries and other things.

    A recommended read that article if you get your hands on it, which came to light after Teixeira had signed with the Yankees but asked them not to make it official because he was to entertain offers by the redsox in his home and would make them travel to ultimately tell them “oh by the way, I signed days ago but all documents are yet to be filed to MLB”, which he did, saying he wanted to let them know he was not happy with their tactics (Teixeira himself grew being a NYY and because of his proximity to Baltimore: an Orioles fan, disliking the bosox because they were divisional rivals).

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