Last week I wrote about the internal debate I was having about where to rank Georgia prep center fielder Byron Buxton and these thoughts pushed me to consider how I weigh risk and reward. On Friday you'll see a new pref list presentation that will allow you to make your own determinations. I have a couple more thoughts on Buxton that also apply to the draft in general to get you thinking critically about how you'd rank these players.
We've all heard that the draft is a crapshoot and there's no such thing as a sure thing; these statements are correct but make drafting sound like futile dart throwing. We can look at the past via comparables and think more deeply about how to value players to get an edge.
It's not a perfect comparison, but in 2008, an up-the-middle high school star from Georgia went number one overall instead of a major college catcher from Florida. Former FSU backstop Buster Posey is not current Gator catcher Mike Zunino and Buxton is not former Georgia prep shortstop Tim Beckham, but there is some truth in this parallel. One factor to take away is it's likely Buxton will be nearly 20 years old in low Single A at the end of the 2013 season while Zunino will be in Double A preparing for big league camp and playing the most valuable position on the diamond. Thinking about how your decision could look in a few years is a useful exercise to tease out your true expectations.
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