With the 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft beginning on June 5th I thought it would be a timely exercise to make a 25 man roster correlation between drafting, and having a low controllable payroll.
One would assume that teams with low payrolls have the highest numbers of team drafted players on their 25 man rosters and their current disabled list. The five teams with the lowest payrolls as of opening day 2014 are; Houston Astros with $44,544,174, Miami Marlins with $47,565,400, Tampa Bay Rays with $77,062,891, Pittsburg Pirates with $78,111,667 and the Cleveland Indians with $82,534,800.
There are four teams tied for third who all have 12 home drafted players currently either on their 25 man roster or on their disabled list. Those teams are the Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Cincinnati Reds. Only one of those four teams, the Seattle Mariners, has a 2014 opening day payroll under $100,000,000 with $92,081,943. The team with the second highest number of home-grown drafted talent on their 25 man roster or their disabled list is the Atlanta Braves with 14. Which is amazing considering that more than half of their 25 man roster they drafted, they developed and now are contributing and playing on their major league roster. But, the number one team has 19, that is correct 19 of their 25 man roster or current disabled list that they drafted, they developed and are now in the majors! That team ranks 13th this year in opening day payroll with $111,020,360 and that team is the St. Louis Cardinals.
So as you can clearly see, there is absolutely no correlation between having the most home-grown drafted and developed talent on a teams 25 man roster and having a low yearly payroll. So, I guess my question is, why are draft picks so coveted by so many teams? Does it not make sense to pay for proven talent instead of rolling the hypothetical dice on an unproven and uncertain college or high school kid? Especially when the fact remains that since 2005 the first 5 picks of the MLB draft have signed for bonuses (not the actual contract dollars) averaging $4.41 million each.