That Wall Street Journal is always putting numbers on things. Quantify, quantify, blah blah blah. But they took their beady monocles off the markets for a minute and trained them on the MLB draft. What they saw: lots and lots of orange and green.
While noting that baseball is perhaps the most difficult sport to measure in terms of college success, what with the layer cake that is the minor leagues, and only half of Major League players having enrolled past high school, the WSJ gamely gave judging programs a shot:
To ascertain which schools have done the best in recent years at producing players who make an impact in the majors, The Wall Street Journal analyzed each draft from 1996 through 2008. Each school that has produced at least four major-league players from those drafts was ranked by adding its total "runs above replacement" for hitters and pitchers. This statistic measures how much better (or worse) a player is compared to a theoretical, average replacement.
Since the hometown program is sandwiched between four California schools in the glorious top five (no. 1 USC, no. 2 Cal-Fullerton, no. 4 UCLA, no. 5 Pepperdine), we'll declare this experiment scientific and valid.
The punchline: it's so statisticly difficult to be a baseball powerhouse, Albert Pujoles (Maple Woods Community College, Missouri) was found to be more valuable offensively than than the entirety of every program but USC and Miami (who received a boost from a few star sluggers like Aubrey Huff, Ryan Braun, and Pat Burrell).
So it's no surprise, then, that 8 Hurricanes have been drafted since yesterday -- though it was mildly eye-raising that none went until the 5th round, at which point they were selected in droves. ''It's funny," said Kyle Bellamy, who was enlisted by the White Sox. "My buddy said it was like somebody finally realized there were University of Miami players available.''
Of course, the draft lasts another day and approximately 8 billion more rounds, but so far, it's business as usual -- and unusual: the Cubs just drafted Hurricanes linebacker Glenn Cook, who hasn't played baseball since high school. Maybe they're stretching for a little of that Wall Street Journal-approved Miami magic.
Jason Hagerty, C, 144th, 5th round, Padres
Ryan Jackson, SS, 159th, 5th round, Cardinals
Kyle Bellamy, RHP, 163rd, 5th round, White Sox
Chris Herrmann, C/OF, 192nd, 6th round, Twins
Eric Erickson, LHP, 620th, 20th round, Cubs
David Dinatale, OF, 841st, 28th round, Rockies
David Gutierrez, RHP, 37th round, Twins
Glenn Cook, linebacker, 46th round, Chicago Cubs