Phil-Bickford

Recipient of bad advice, Phil Bickford.

The 5:00 PM deadline for clubs to come to terms with the players selected in June’s Rule 4 draft has come and gone. Merry Fans Lose Their Shit Over Unsigned Draft Picksmas! Do we have another Young Beedah on our hands?

Yes we do! Jim Callis of Baseball America tweeted, just as the clock passed 5 PM, that Phil Bickford, the Jays first pick, and tenth overall, will be going to Cal State Fullerton.

However, as a consolation we have Jake Brentz, the big Missouri high school left-hander, who the Jays took in the eleventh round– and was number 80 on Baseball America’s top 500 list. He was reportedly not as close to coming to terms with the Jays as Rowdy Tellez, but less than ten minutes before the deadline Callis tweeted that he signed for $700,000.

A few moments later, the Tellez– a power hitting first baseman from California– signing was passed along by Callis as well. Another top 100 talent (59th on the BA list, to be specific), Tellez signed for $850,000, according to the tweet from Callis.

The Jays, of course, also get the 11th overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation.

They will also, of course, have their own pick, in what is shaping up to be a superior draft. If the season finished today, they would hold picks 11 and 14.

In a very, very early preview of the draft-eligible college pitching crop for 2014 (headlined by, yes, Young Beedah) at Scout.com, Kiley McDaniel writes that, while the college pitching depth is similar in each class, “what makes 2014 a superior overall draft class is the high ceiling prep talent.”

Chris Crawford of ESPN.com spoke to an NL scout who he quoted on June 17th as saying, “On paper, it’s a much better crop (than 2013). It’s not the strongest group of advanced bats again, but there’s so much more depth than there has been the past two years, particularly with the high school hitters and even more particularly up the middle. This year, other than J.P. Crawford, there isn’t one high school shortstop I would have taken in the first round. Next year, there’s about four or five that I’d consider. It’s all speculation, but I feel much more confident about getting a quality player this year than the last two.”

So… that really is a positive. And as upsetting as some fans find it that the club has to wait a year to get someone else into the system, think about it this way: the compensation pick for not signing Beede was used to take Marcus Stroman, who is already at Double-A and will likely have made his Major League debut before Beede is even drafted again next year. In other words, there are ways to mitigate the fucked up timeline that is the result in not signing a pick like this– especially when we’re talking about a prep arm who was going to need years of development time in the minors. I have no idea, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this sort of thinking factored into their decision to draft Bickford, to hold firm on their number– assuming that’s what really happened, though we still don’t know the details– and work out ways to use additional pool money to go after Brentz and Tellez.

If they got all three, great. If they missed on Bickford and got a pick in a deeper draft next year, great.

Maybe that’s too rosy a shine to put on the failure to add anything but three second round talents to the system here, but it’s simply not as big a failure as it seems, when you look at the bigger picture. Especially if you’re Alex Anthopoulos, who is less worried than most about his long-term job security, and less eager, perhaps, to make sure he gets a first rounder into the system so that he may soon be able to point to him as evidence of competence at his job.

And maybe the Jays got more than second round talent here anyway. (And maybe they got more than three, as in his review of draft for AL teams, Frankie Piliere of Perfect Game writes that the club’s third-rounder “Patrick Murphy was looking like one of the top arms in the country before having Tommy John surgery last spring. Getting Murphy at 83rd overall may end up looking like a steal in the future.”)

Clinton Hollon, as I’ve noted far too many times, was rated by Jason Churchill of ESPN.com as the nation’s top high school junior arm back in the spring of last year, while Perfect Game, at one point back around that time, had him as their top prospect for the 2013 draft. It was mostly, or at least partially, due to injury that he slipped to the Jays (and that he signed for just 40% of the slot bonus number for his pick).

In his 2013 draft profile at ESPN.com, Keith Law called Hollon “one of the bigger wild cards in this draft, as he’ll show first-round stuff at times but is wildly inconsistent and has missed time in the past with arm issues. He’s been up to 95 many times, though he has sat more 89-91 this year, showing off a plus curveball at 78-81 that has depth and some angle with an 11/5 break.”

Jacob “Jake” Brentz is no slouch himself, as in April, Perfect Game wrote, “We’ll put this in the most simple manner possible. Left handed pitcher Jake Brentz is one of the more unique prospects, with one of the most unique resumes, that has come across the high school baseball prospect scene in the last two decades.” They noted that they’d placed him eighth, at the time, among the 2013 class, ahead of seventh pick Trey Ball and fourteenth pick Reese McGuire.

“Brentz might have the best pure left-handed arm in the draft class, hitting the upper 90s this spring (97 to 100 depending on whom you ask) and pitching at 90-95 even in cold weather,” wrote Keith Law at ESPN.com, while noting that his curveball is a work in progress. Law added, “He’s a great arm-strength pick given his age, but he’s raw as a pitcher and probably needs more delivery help than you’d like to see on a first rounder.”

There are three glowing scouting reports, as well, if you check out Brentz’s profile at Perfect Game. And… uh… by listing Brentz at 45th on his top 100, Law ranked him ahead of Bickford by ten spots.

Rowdy Tellez gets his own share praise, as well, as I noted in the piece I wrote when Hollon signed.

“Tellez was well known to scouts as early as his freshman year and his power hitting resume has few flaws. A big and very strong 6-foot-4, 240-pound left handed hitter, Tellez, whose given name is Ryan, won the Rawlings Home Run Challenge at the 2012 Perfect Game National Showcase and stories of some of his most prodigious blasts are local legend in the Sacramento baseball community judging by local media reports,” said a Perfect Game profile I linked to.

“Big, strong, left-handed-hitting first basemen don’t come through the Draft all that often these days. Tellez fits that mold, and his ability to do damage with the bat was generating some buzz this spring. The Northern California area product has a good idea of what he’s doing at the plate. He hits the ball with authority to all fields and he should be able to hit for average. His power tool is even better, with an ability to hit the ball out anywhere, with plus-plus pop to the pull side. Tellez is a capable fielder at first base, but there’s no question what teams are looking at. It’s that bat and the team that covets his power from the left side the most will be the one to take him,” wrote MLB.com.

Astros blog Crawfish Boxes profiled him as well, suggesting he was someone that the club might be looking at taking with the first pick of the second round.

So… it’s certainly not like the Jays didn’t get talent here. They did, however, get a bunch of lottery tickets with a lot of upside and a long way to go before reaching their potential, which is actually par for the course, during the Anthopoulos era. Even without Bickford, given the compensation pick in the strong 2014 draft, you could maybe even make the case that they did pretty well here. Not a lot of commentators will, I suspect– shit, maybe even the Jays wouldn’t, given what happened with Bickford– so maybe that shows which team I cheer for, but… I don’t know. I don’t hate it.

 

Image via CalHiSports.com.

Comments (96)

  1. Next year’s draft will be pretty exciting if the Jays continue to suck into October.

    I don’t mind not signing the pick; the people who actually know anything seem to think he’s not exactly a future Hall of Famer.

  2. AA’s ninja status has been confirmed.

  3. All in all, i think the jays did a pretty good job. I thought tellez and brentz would want more for some reason. The the baseball draft is such a fucking crapshoot. Still, it would be nice if the jays could develop more of their own players like the good teams do.

    • This is a great strategy. Draft high upside with your protected pick and hold firm on your offer.

      Get easy sign guys in rounds 2 – 10 and use your savings to grab signability guys that dropped into the late rounds.

      If protected pick doesn’t sign you get a safer sign next year.

      • They didn’t get enough high-upside guys though, that logic doesn’t quite work. Brentz and Tellez are okay but they’re not the guys you blow half of your top ten picks over. Neither are consensus second-round talents and Hollon doesn’t seem to be either.

        I don’t know all that much about the individual players but the experts are saying the Jays didn’t get much talent. I bet the Jays themselves aren’t very happy with how it turned out.

        • Which experts? And shit, obviously among Jays scouts the consensus WAS that these guys were worth it. They basically added two second round picks by punting on a few picks in rounds 7-10 (Boyd, I saw it said, is a legit 6th rounder). Plus, they get a pick back in a deeper draft, and are giving up a prep arm– i.e. someone about as far away from the Majors as anyone you could pick0– which mitigates the issue of waiting a bit, really. Like, Marcus Stroman is going to be in the bigs before Tyler Beede. Before Beede gets drafted next year, even, so having gone back in a year later wasn’t necessarily as big a setback in that scenario.

        • Yeah.

          Cause the high upside guys have really been working out so far.

          I’ll take the drafts best lefty power hitter thank you very much.

        • Hollon would have been a mid 1st rounder if it wasn’t for the injury questions.

  4. I’m just gonna go ahead and shamelessly recycle a joke I made on Twitter earlier, but man do I hope Rowdy Tellez does like a Brazilian soccer player and goes by one name so I can get a “Rowdy” jersey some day.

  5. Will they get 11th overall next year or 10th? Because 9th was their original slot Pirates didn’t sign Appel rabble rabble

    • Good question. Everything I read says 11th so I think you’re over thinking it.

      • If its 11th, as everything seems to suggest, does that mean that the pick is not protected?

        • Kind of.

          Anything after pick ten isn’t protected if the Jays sign a FA who recieved a qualifying offer.

          It’s still protected if they don’t sign next years pick though.

          And actually, I think it’s their other pick that matters for signing FAs. Don’t know for sure though.

    • Yeah I noticed that too and was pissed because of it. Too lazy to look up the rule though.

  6. Draft position of HS players is probably endogenous because of signability concerns due to college commitments; but is there any research on what happens to the average HS player who was drafted but not signed? e.g., how many slots does the average non-sign HS player move up or down when drafted as a junior?

    My guess would be that, on average, high round unsigned HS picks move down once redrafted, and low round unsigned HS picks move up.

    I’d expect players to still refuse to sign purely because there may be some high profile outliers who moved up in the draft after going to college.

    • Beede is going to do better for himself by having gone back to school, but he got extremely lucky that he’s stayed healthy and productive, so he still made a pretty dumb choice.

      • It looks like he is going to do better himself right now, but there’s still plenty of time for his arm to explode or for him to hurt his stock with iffy performance (i.e. the 2014 college season). Young Beedah is not out of the woods yet.

      • Even if Beede gets a bigger bonus I’m not sure he’s doing better for himself. He would have already started his clock two years ago an next year would have to go on the 40 man roster. The jays would be burning options the next three years. So in reality he would’ve been paid quicker, hit arbitration earlier and made that money back by hitting free agency as early as 26/27 instead if 29/30. If he is fast tracked to the bigs he can still make up that time.But by signing out of high school we would have guaranteed it.

    • The bizarre thing is that the biggest source of leverage that the Bickfords and Beedes of the world have when they initially get these offers is their college commitment. That leverage basically disappears once they resurface in the draft. Good for Beede for seemingly pitching himself into the top 5, but he’s the exception not the rule. The risk is astronomical for Bickford to turn down a Jays offer at slot. It’s borderline insane for a prep arm to turn that down, but it’s his choice. At least the Jays were able to make use of the savings from semi-punting rounds 2 to 10. Can’t be that upset with this draft.

      • Yeah.

        If you don’t move up a bunch of spots then it really doesn’t work out. Beede went from 21 (or something) to maybe #1. That’s a nice jump. An unlikely jump, but a nice one.

        With no leverage next time around Bickford will need to be a ridiculous high pick to out earn his slot at 10th overall.

    • I have a list somewhere of the 1st rounders that didn’t sign and if available what they turned down. Very few ended up doing worse. Of course there are some that did do worse. I’ll see if I can find that info and post it.

      • Here is the document. Sorry it was set up by team not by year and has some commentary I wrote at the time. It isn’t up to date with info on Appel, Whitson (still unsigned heading back to Florida) and Covey (he signed as a 3rd rounder this year, can’t recall the amount off hand).

        Yankees
        Ty Godwin – 24th 1997, Unknown amount turned down, drafted in 2000 by Texas 30th overall rejected that unknown offer, 2001 Jays drafted him in the third round
        Mark Prior – Unknown what he turned down, ended up going number 1 and signing for $4M
        Gerrit Cole – 28th 2008 turned down $2.5M, drafted 1st 2011 $8 million

        Red Sox
        Greg McMurtry – 14th, 1986. Chose to play football made the NFL.
        Orioles
        Wade Townsend – 8th 2004 (ruled ineligible to sign for some reason), drafted 8th in 2005 received $1.5 million
        Brad Duvall – 15h 1986 (unknown), drafted 23rd overall in 1988 by St. Louis (bonus unknown)

        Rays
        Levon Washington 30th 2009 (offered slot $1.11M), drafted 55th in 2010 ($1.2M)

        Blue Jays
        James Paxton – 37th, 2009 (Offered $850K), drafted 132nd 2010 ($942K)

        Tigers (none)

        White Sox
        Bobby Seay – 12th 1996 (ruled ineligible) signed as a free agent with Tampa

        Twins
        Jason Varitek – 21st 1993 (approx $400K), 14th 1994 ($650K)
        Travis Lee – 2nd 1996 (declared a free agent) singed $10M with Arizona

        Indians
        Alan Horne – 27th 2001, drafted 30th round in 2004 still did not sign, Drafted 11th round by the Yankees in 2005 signed for $500,000
        Calvin Murray – 11th in 1999, went 7th overall to the Giants in 2002.

        Royals (None)

        Angels (none)

        Mariners
        John Mayberry Jr. – 28th 2002, drafted 17th by the Rangers in 2005 $1.525M
        Scott Burrell – 26th 1989, redrafted 1990 in the 5th round on agreement that he could continue to play basketball with UConn. Drafted 20th in the NBA draft in 1993 ($7.2 M over his career)

        Rangers –
        Matt Purke – 14th 2009 (agreed to a $6 million contract but the commissioner overturned it, Rangers offered $4 million and he rejected), 3rd Round 2011 ($2 million bonus and $4.4 million guaranteed contract)

        A’s (none)

        Braves
        Chad Hutchison – 26th 1995, drafted 48th overall in 1998 (singed for what was said to be “High six digit” also signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a QB.

        Phillies
        JD Drew – 2nd in 1997, drafted 5th in 1998 signed for $3 million bonus and $7 million guaranteed.

        Nats/Expos
        Aaron Crow – 9th in 2008 (turned down $3.5 million), 12th in 2009 by KC, signed for $2 million bonus and $3.5 guaranteed.
        John Patterson – 5th in 1996 (the true lowest point of being an Expos fan) contract for $2 million was null and void as the Expos didn’t make the offer on team letterhead (did I mention low point). Declared a free agent and signed with Arizona for $6.075M.
        Charles Johnson – 10th overall in 1989 (slot was $180K, 28th overall in 1992 by the Marlins for $500K (should be noted that he got to play in the 1992 Olympics)

        Mets (none)

        Marlins (none)

        Reds
        Jeremy Sowers – 20th in 2001, drafted 5th overall in 2004 by Cleveland Indians

        Brewers
        Dylan Covey – 14th 2010 (A special case as it was discovered that he is Type A Diabetic after the draft. Milwaukee made him a slot offer but he chose U. of San Diego as doctors felt it was a better environment to regulated diabetes). End result unknown.
        Kenny Henderson – 5th in 1991 (Offered $500K), drafted by the Expos in the 2nd round 1994 (unknown offer), rejected that offer as well and was drafted in the 5th round of the 1995 by San Diego (unknown signing)
        Alex Fernandez – 24th in 1988, drafted 4th in 1990 by the White Sox.

        Pirates (none)

        Cards (none)

        Cubs (none)

        Astros
        John Burke – 6th in 1991 (most pitchers signed for $300K range that year), 27th by Rockies in 1992 ($336K)

        Dodgers (none)

        Giants
        Matt White – 7th in 1996 declared a Free Agent and signed for $10.2 million with Tampa.

        Padres
        Karsten Whitson – 10th in 2010, end result unknown.
        D-Backs
        Barrett Loux – 6th in 2010 after he failed a physical and it was found that he had a major shoulder injury. Granted Free Agency signed for $312K with Texas.

        Rockies
        Matt Harrington – 7th in 2000 (offered $4 million and a guaranteed 2002 callup), drafted again in 2001 by San Diego 58th and was offered $1.2 million, he wanted $2.4 million and didn’t sign. Agreed to play in the independent leagues and struggled. He agreed to the $1.2 million but Padres pulled the offer after scouting him. He went on to be drafted 3 other times and refused to sign with any. He successfully sued his 2000 agent for bad advice and is now working at Costco making $11.50 an hour.

        • but worth noting that most (all?) of those that did better happened prior to the new CBA and the money limits on the draft.

        • No mention of Jake Eliopoulos on that list, drafted by the Jays in the 2nd round in 2009.
          Allegedly offered a $1 million to sign, decided to go to Junior College instead, lost velcoity pitched to a +8.00 era and left the program. Friends say he was mired in deep depression after not taking the Blue Jays offer and took his own life at the age of 21 a few months ago. Horribly sad, but definitely something to consider for these kids, Bickford at 17 turned down $3 million, if his arm bums out, that $3 million on the table will be a pretty big albatros following him around for the rest of his life.

  7. Incidentally, Young Beedah is apparently now on Delabar’s weighted ball program. Blue Jays news cycle worlds colliding!

  8. This doesn’t seem like they did that bad, since they got Tellez and they get to keep the Bickford pick for next year.

    I mean, getting Bickford now would’ve been better, but all things considered this doesn’t seem like the end of the world. I mean, we even get Rowdy ‘Roddy’ Tellez, who will not only hit home runs, but will also fight you to the death in an alley until you put the sunglasses on.

  9. Personal venegful “hope they suck” hate list updated:

    Bickford
    Beede
    Paxton

    • I’d feel bad for those guys and the bad advice they’re taking, personally. Hope for their sake it works out.

      • Everyone gets bad financial advice. Greedy people listen to it.

        Don’t feel bad for greedy people.

        • Uh… no.

          • Seriously?

            18 years old and offered likely $3 million? And you feel bad for them for not taking it?

            Sorry but I can’t. I’ve got clients who worked all their lives to save 10% of that because they weren’t born with enough raw ability to develop a 96 mph heater.

            Old enough to vote and drive a car. Old enough to take responsibility for a decision like this.

      • It’s mind-boggling how these guys are advised to turn down guaranteed $2-3 million. There will always be time for an education afterwards.

        Then there’s Jake Eliopoulos and how most speculation about his death being a suicide (was anything ever confirmed?) and you wonder. These are major life altering decisions to turn down this kind of money.

  10. Jays once again miss out on signing their first round pick! Seems to be a poorly run organization!

    Year after year I get my hopes up and spend time reading the mock drafts, watching coverage, and avidly following the news. It’s all a waste of time! The Jays will never be able to develop a homegrown superstar or even star level player and will never again win the pennant.

    Moving forward, I refuse to watch, listen to, or read any coverage of the draft. I will pretend that it doesn’t exist! This goes for the international draft as well. I absolutely refuse to be exposed to it any further! I’m Out!

  11. Get Clinton Hollon and his TJ recovering arm some weighted balls. Stat.

  12. Not signing over-rated and over paid 1st rounders who eventually turn into busts is the new market inefficiency.

    I would pay $1000 to read all of the comments that didn’t get posted on yesterdays Deuce. I bet people dropped some craziness just to see if the comments were working…

  13. He’s too… BLOND. Have fun sucking at Cal-St. Fullerton, you idiot. Real smart to do this for a *chance* at an extra 2 million dollars in another 3 years. Or, you could get injured and lose quite a lot.

    His agent should be fired.

    • I think that the Jays should have a Fight Club style house in Dunedin. Ricky might find himself there.

  14. Justlooking purely based on hitting ability how did Tellez rank in this draft I wonder?

    If he was a top 50 prospect or so as a slow footed first baseman.. He must be one king he’ll of a hitter.

    Not the toolsy “teach them to hit” type of guy AA usually targets.

  15. I would love if the Jays draft Beede next draft 11th overall. Then don’t offer a cent over what they originally offered last time (though I think the Jays didn’t sign him because they had some arm injury concerns).

    • He will be off the board by then, most likely.

      • Not to troll, but it seems very possible that we might have another pick more in range to get Beede…

        • With all the sucking this team did in April/May our pick would still be 13th right now.

          So….. Tank nation? Is it time for that yet?

          • No, tank nation doesn’t make sense unless there are a lot of kids in the system we need to see in action. That’s obviously not the case here, since Gose isn’t worth calling up even with Melky hurt.

            Ask me again in September, but I’d like to see the Jays pushing to compete all season if possible. You never know when an 11 gamer could come again.

  16. They got a guy named Rowdy, so this draft is a win.

  17. Dumb decision

  18. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out… too bad we’ll have to wait 5-7 years to know much.

  19. would laugh if bickford got picked after the 10th round. hoping that it happens…

  20. Melky can come off the dl today right?

  21. my first & new username

  22. Just wondering, I wonder if bickford spoke to romero (Cal state fullerton alum) and romero said negative things about the organization. Its known that romero is pissed with the jays a bit. Not likely, but not the craziest theory ever.

  23. I don’t know why there is this positive spin on what has happened here. We missed on 1st round talent with a player that was always going to be a tough and expensive sign. AA should have known how much it was going to cost and made the pick based on that.
    There was a number that Bickford’s people had thrown out there according to many people (KLaw Callis). If AA wasn’t going to meet it, why pick him?
    The strategy seems crazy high risk and has not paid off twice in 3 years.

    • Yeah.

      Because Beede is for sure a CY Young caliber pitcher we missed on and Stroman we replaced him with is obviously a bust.

      And Bickford is guaranteed to be much better than the 11th pick next year.

      Jays have lost nothing but a year of development time with these protected picks. Largely irrelevant when dealing with HS pitchers.

      • Bickford won’t be in the draft again until after his junior year at Cal State. He’s taken some bad advice.

        • Bickford may have taken some bad advice, but if AA has a good idea of how much it will take to sign him before the draft, make the draft decision based on that information. Next year’s 11th pick could be better or it may be worse. There were quality players left on the board when they picked Bickford.

          • That means you believe these guys really will hold firm to their number and take the bad advice given by their advisors. There is plenty of reason to believe that they wouldn’t (read: common fucking sense), so I don’t think it’s quite that simple, and is probably actually shrewd of them to not run away from talent because of signability concerns.

            • There were other options out there in terms of high end talent and there are obvious concerns with Bickford’s lack of an off speed pitch. That along with the signability questions makes me doubt the decision. Its not like Bickford was 1/1 and slid down the board due to signability. He shot up the board and some respected sources had him farther down their rankings.

    • Two out of three isn’t a statistically significant sample.

      I’d prefer the Jays draft for talent, and I’m okay with AA sticking to his guns on his number. We don’t know why Bickford didn’t sign, whether it was money, location, or that he really wanted to go to college now. Beede or Bickford might win the Cy Young, or blow out their arm in A ball and never crack 90 after that. Baseball prospects are much harder to predict than other sports.

      The philosophy behind what the Jays are doing seems logical and sound- drafting for talent might have the side effect of them not signing. But they get a similar pick next year. So it really isn’t the end of the world.

  24. Rowdy Tellez is the best name of the draft. Can’t wait for that guy to start in the all-star game.

    • I love that he’s a hitter. All we seem to be drafting in the last few years is arms.
      Hard to get excited about some pimple who throws 90.
      But a kid who hits 500 foot bombs, yes please.

      I love putting unreal expectations on youngsters.

      Rowdy for the All Star game in 2016.

    • There was a guy drafted named Sicnarf Loopstok

  25. The whole MLB draft system is fucked.

  26. Not sure if anyone’s said this yet, but I’m sure as hell not reading all those comments to find out. I don’t think Beede is headlining anything. He owns a 103 to 63 walk to strikeout ratio. Not exactly impressive. It wouldn’t even be considered good in the big leagues, never mind in college.

  27. Ok, I just checked out Kiley McDaniel’s 2014 draft rankings and he’s ranking Beede at the top…why??

  28. Well, By looking at his face, he’s probably a dink anyway.

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