Second, Danny Hultzen has appeared in as many big league games as all the rest of the players selected in the first round of the 2011 Major League Baseball amateur draft. He’s undefeated in every single one of those contests. Incredible.
Third, Danny Hultzen may or may not be a potential first ballot of Hall of Famer. We’re talking Hall of Fame on the very first try with this guy. That’s how great he may or may not be. Consider that.
Now consider this.
The MLB draft is one of the greatest crapshoots of all-freakin’-time. It’s roulette on a wheel numbered 1 to 1,000. Ninety percent of the players taken in most drafts won’t even sniff the big leagues, and of those who do, maybe a third will be lucky enough to have solid careers.
So why, then, are Mariner fans so distraught over the team’s selection of the aforementioned Danny Hultzen, a left handed pitcher out of the University of Virginia, with the No. 2 overall pick on Monday?
God only knows. Because I’ll tell you what, none of you have so much as an inkling about what the future truly holds for Hultzen or most of the other players in this draft.
This isn’t the NBA or the NFL drafts. We can’t base our armchair knowledge off college games, or even televised high school showcases. This is baseball. You might be lucky to catch a few College World Series games here and there, but that’s about it. Maybe you view some highlights on YouTube or read up on the insider prognostications. But unlike the other major sports, you rarely, if ever, pay witness to an entire contest featuring any one particular player your team may be interested in drafting.
Which is why I’m absolutely befuddled by all the angst over the Mariners’ selection.
We could have gone with Anthony Rendon, you might be saying. Okay. That’s all well and good. But who the hell is Anthony Rendon, anyway? We’ve heard the name, pored over some stats, skimmed a few articles. Beyond that, though, Rendon, an infielder from Rice University, might as well be a myth. I can tell you just as much about the guy as you can tell me. Don’t get worked up over the fact that he’s not a future Mariner. There are more important things to worry about. Like what you’re going to eat for breakfast, or how you plan on getting rid of that rash. Focus on that kinda stuff before you go fretting over the differences between Rendon and Hultzen.
Oh yeah, and then there’s this simple fact: the best big leaguers don’t even come out of the draft anymore. They funnel direct from the Dominican Republic, or Venezuela, or one of the other Latin American hotbeds for baseball talent. They usually find their way into a franchise’s farm system around the same time that most American players are getting their driver’s licenses and applying to take the PSATs. So even if your team fails miserably in the draft (likely), they still have a chance to make up for it by pillaging prospects down near the equator.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is just calm down. Calm the eff down. Take a deep breath and relax.
One, this is the irrelevant Major League Baseball draft. Getting worked up over something like this is almost as bad as freaking out over Magic Cards or something.
Two, Hultzen has as good a chance as Rendon — or anyone else for that matter — to succeed in the future. He does. And you can’t deny that.
Three, drafting on need — i.e. Rendon — is never a solid strategy. (See Clement, Jeffrey for a better example of what I mean.) It’s about the guy who your team thinks is the best available player. The M’s clearly did their due diligence in scouting Hultzen and liked what they saw. You can’t refute that.
Four, you can’t combat the selection of Hultzen with any evidence to suggest that taking someone else would have been a better move. Because, again, we’re talking college and high school baseball here. And no one, aside from scouts and weirdos, watches that sh*t.
And finally, remember this. Danny Hultzen, should he live up to the inevitable hype that comes with being such a lofty draft selection, could very well be the greatest player to ever play the game of baseball. And if not that, at least the greatest Danny Hultzen the universe has ever seen.
Live with it. Because that’s the reality of the situation. And in the end, that just might be as good as it gets.