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Drafting in the Al Avila ERA (as GM & Asst. GM) Spoiler: It's not good


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1 hour ago, RandyMarsh said:

Lol yep, I don't know what was the straw that broke the camels back for me, maybe it was Mize/Skubal's struggles or seeing teams that rebuilded after us have success(like the Royals) but something just made me give up on him and join the mob against him. 

Does a guy who presided over the worst five-season stretch (assuming no surprise turnarounds this year) in Tigers history by winning percentage deserve a sixth season? At least the previous worst five-season stretch, 2001-2005, included a GM change in the middle of it. It's possible you cut Avila some slack because of Covid and the ruinous affect its had on player development. But assuming this season continues on its current path, and you accept last season's truncated results as a true measure of that team, no GM in Tiger history has had a worse five-year stretch. 

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2 hours ago, RandyMarsh said:

Lol yep, I don't know what was the straw that broke the camels back for me, maybe it was Mize/Skubal's struggles or seeing teams that rebuilded after us have success(like the Royals) but something just made me give up on him and join the mob against him. 

welcome aboard the bandwagon, my friend!  

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As an aside on the Randy Smith discussion, I feel like the ineptitude of his reign gets obscured by the fact that Matt Millen took over the Lions right around the end of his reign.

Millen was just so bad, and WCF just let it go on for far too long. As bad Smith was and Avila is, I don't know that they are even that bad.

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1 hour ago, SeattleMike said:

Does a guy who presided over the worst five-season stretch (assuming no surprise turnarounds this year) in Tigers history by winning percentage deserve a sixth season? At least the previous worst five-season stretch, 2001-2005, included a GM change in the middle of it. It's possible you cut Avila some slack because of Covid and the ruinous affect its had on player development. But assuming this season continues on its current path, and you accept last season's truncated results as a true measure of that team, no GM in Tiger history has had a worse five-year stretch. 

I was eye balling this on baseball reference earlier.  The Tigers have had 3 consecutive seasons full seasons below a .400 winning percentage only once in their history.  That occurred in 2017-2019.  They were again below .400 in 2020, and I'm not quite sure how to quantify the shortened season.  But considering they are easily below .400 again so far this season with no apparent improvement on the horizon, I think its easy to say we are currently in the worst half decade of Tiger baseball.

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1 hour ago, Casimir said:

I was eye balling this on baseball reference earlier.  The Tigers have had 3 consecutive seasons full seasons below a .400 winning percentage only once in their history.  That occurred in 2017-2019.  They were again below .400 in 2020, and I'm not quite sure how to quantify the shortened season.  But considering they are easily below .400 again so far this season with no apparent improvement on the horizon, I think its easy to say we are currently in the worst half decade of Tiger baseball.

I get that Randy Smith was bad.  But he was not as bad as Avila has been.  Avila is taking the team through the worst period in over 100 years of baseball and people think about it like it's just a fait accompli because we drafted poorly before.  No, AVILA DRAFTED POORLY BEFORE.  He has been involved in this for the last 15 years.  HE IS THE PROBLEM.

Actually, at this point Chris Illitch is the problem because he refuses to remove Avila and look around for different solutions other than the people who were in charge when he took charge of the team.  

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3 hours ago, tiger337 said:

84lives! wants to give him a few more years. I think he is the last holdout.  🙂

I probably am.

I think we have something here, with our current farm system...

But I sort of get that everyone's patience has run out.

I still have some left in me...

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PS: Avila also gets credit for obtaining Miggy for the Tigers as well, correct? I mean... he drafted all of the guys that were traded for Miggy. As well as Scherzer. As well as Fister. As well as Sanchez. As well as Guillen & Polanco & Iglesias (I might be off a little in who got drafted/ traded when & by who.... but everyone gets the point I'm making I believe...). As well as drafting Gandy and Alex Avila...

If you're going to blame him for all the bad... he gets credit for he good as well...

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10 minutes ago, 84 Lives!!! said:

PS: Avila also gets credit for obtaining Miggy for the Tigers as well, correct? I mean... he drafted all of the guys that were traded for Miggy. As well as Scherzer. As well as Fister. As well as Sanchez. As well as Guillen & Polanco & Iglesias (I might be off a little in who got drafted/ traded when & by who.... but everyone gets the point I'm making I believe...). As well as drafting Gandy and Alex Avila...

If you're going to blame him for all the bad... he gets credit for he good as well...

What has he done well since DD left town?

DD moves to Boston and wins a world series.  Avila stays in Detroit and continues the long tradition of poor player development, poor trading, and poor drafting.

Do you really believe Avila is behind DD's success or are you just playing Devil's Advocate?

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31 minutes ago, 84 Lives!!! said:

I probably am.

I think we have something here, with our current farm system...

But I sort of get that everyone's patience has run out.

I still have some left in me...

Optimism is good for your health.  

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bridich makes the playoffs twice in seven years in colorado and steps down after their awful start.  

avila has never made the playoffs and has taken the franchise through the worst period in its 100+ year history and gets a contract extension.

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1 hour ago, Buddha said:

bridich makes the playoffs twice in seven years in colorado and steps down after their awful start.  

avila has never made the playoffs and has taken the franchise through the worst period in its 100+ year history and gets a contract extension.

You can't make this up.

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2 hours ago, 84 Lives!!! said:

PS: Avila also gets credit for obtaining Miggy for the Tigers as well, correct? I mean... he drafted all of the guys that were traded for Miggy. As well as Scherzer. As well as Fister. As well as Sanchez. As well as Guillen & Polanco & Iglesias (I might be off a little in who got drafted/ traded when & by who.... but everyone gets the point I'm making I believe...). As well as drafting Gandy and Alex Avila...

If you're going to blame him for all the bad... he gets credit for he good as well...

He also invented penicillin.  And herpes.  And Facebook.

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I actually heard Valenti say something that I have been thinking. 

We have a lot of hope for Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson.      But I am very afraid that we'll completely screw them up.   

The question is - are we scouting the wrong guys or are we actually picking the right guys and then ruining them. 

My take on the infamous Smoltz trade is that if he'd stayed in the Tigers organization there is a chance that northing special becomes of him.    Instead of going to a really good upcoming team in Atlanta, he would have had to pitch for a terrible Tiger team and would have been forced to carry them before he was ready, kind of like Nate Cornejo.    Cornejo had better minor league stats than Smoltz.  

 

 

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8 hours ago, Buddha said:

I get that Randy Smith was bad.  But he was not as bad as Avila has been.  Avila is taking the team through the worst period in over 100 years of baseball and people think about it like it's just a fait accompli because we drafted poorly before.  No, AVILA DRAFTED POORLY BEFORE.  He has been involved in this for the last 15 years.  HE IS THE PROBLEM.

Actually, at this point Chris Illitch is the problem because he refuses to remove Avila and look around for different solutions other than the people who were in charge when he took charge of the team.  

It does boggle my mind that Smith was around for only 6+ seasons.  It feels like he was in charge right after the 1987 playoff team.

Your point about Chris Ilitch being the problem parallels the time when Mike Ilitch was the problem.  Just to reiterate, Smith was clearly over his skis, but it took a while for Mike to make the change.  I know I've heard that Mike could be too loyal sometimes.  Is that part of the problem here?

I also think there needs to be some acknowledgement of the difference in rebuilding from then vs now.  Nobody in the 90s and 00s was openly fielding cruddy teams for season after season to garner up high draft picks.  The Astros of the 10s kind of changed that thinking a bit.  I'm not saying this means that Avila is just Smith Jr and this is a repeat of the previous.  It isn't.  But it also doesn't mean that Smith was less bad than he was.

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7 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

I actually heard Valenti say something that I have been thinking. 

We have a lot of hope for Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson.      But I am very afraid that we'll completely screw them up.   

The question is - are we scouting the wrong guys or are we actually picking the right guys and then ruining them. 

 

 

 

This is the million dollar question to me.  I'm sure it's a combination of both but it's just hard for me to believe that we could possibly whiff on that many picks without it being something to do with our developmental process.   I don't know if we are ruining guys per se but I don't think we are doing anything to make them improve so essentially they are falling behind the curve.  While guys in other organizations are improving they aren't here so in essence they are getting worse.  Either way it's a major problem that needs to be corrected.  

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29 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

This is the million dollar question to me.  I'm sure it's a combination of both but it's just hard for me to believe that we could possibly whiff on that many picks without it being something to do with our developmental process.   I don't know if we are ruining guys per se but I don't think we are doing anything to make them improve so essentially they are falling behind the curve.  While guys in other organizations are improving they aren't here so in essence they are getting worse.  Either way it's a major problem that needs to be corrected.  

The regression of Daz Cameron is a good example. 

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Hmm, I thought AA had a hand in getting JD over here at that time also...

Maybe AA stays in the organization. He does seem to be a good guy and 'baseball man' per say. Then add in a new GM and maybe a few other parts. Supposedly the whole analytics department has been re-done and starting to get closer to a much more acceptable level.

Yes the Rockies just parted with their GM, JBridich, CI may need to look into that...

On the defensive side, the Tigs have not had any time to really develop any young players because of the situation for nearly 1 1/2 years now. That hurts, IMHO, a rebuilding team more than an already established club. Then again neither has KC and they seem to be progressing. Tampa and Oakland draft lower and have less payroll and they keep making it happen  - more so than Detroit and OTHER clubs as well.

When the JV trade was made, most all thought the return was acceptable, including baseball prospect gurus.  Even radio pundits like Valenti said so several times and commended it. The question is 'Why can't this team develop its prospect players'? - is it bad luck, just plain bad development period, etc.

I remember AA after the MFiers trade said something to the effect 'We got two chances to get it right'. I felt he meant to 'his guys' - lets get this right and sensed frustration with the comment. Yet, that is on AA to have the right 'guys' scouting (package was P's LShore and NBlackwood?). The JD deal was just bad. The LMartin deal seems decent as does the AA and JWilson deal with the Cubs. Then there are the drafts...

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On 4/25/2021 at 12:12 PM, Motor City Sonics said:

Seriously,   I am going back to his first draft as an Assitant GM with the Tigers.   I think that's fair.   I won't count 2002 as he'd just gotten the job, but looking through the drafts and seeing who made the majors, it's a very unimpressive list over 18 drafts.    I am listing the 1st round pick and then any pick that ever made the majors.  Al Avila was one of the 3 people in charge of scouting and developing along with David Chadd and Dave Dombrowski.   

I bolded the guys I think were impact players somewhere in the majors. 

2003   - Awful, just awful                 
Round - Player
1 Kyle Sleeth never made the majors due to injuries but never impressed either in the minors
2 Jay Sborz - pitch 2/3rds of an inning in the majors
3 Tony Giarratano - played 15 games and hit .143 in his career
7 Virgil Vasquez - pitched 61 innings in MLP, 44 of them for the Tigers with a 6.60 ERA
11 Brian Rogers - pitched 10 innings (for Pittsburgh) with an ERA of 9.28
16 Jordan Tata  - pitched 11 games and 28.2 innings, ERA 6.91
39 Dustin Richardson - Pitched 16.1 total innings for the Red Sox over 2 seasons
48 Dusty Ryan played in 27 games as a backup C with a .257 BA

2004 - We got JV, probably because of the stupidity of San Diego             
1 Justin Verlander - Padres wanted their hometown star Matt Bush.  Thank you Padres.  A future Hall Of Famer
3 Jeff Frazier - 23 career ABs
6  Brent Dlugach - 3 ABs in his career, 2 Ks
7 Chris Carpenter - 15 career innings with the Cubs and Red Sox
8 Luke French - Acutally got 155 IP in his career with a 4.99 ERA, most of it with Seattle
18 Chris Martin - Broke into the majors this year, at age 34 and has pitched 3 innings
43  Chris Schwinden - 29 career innings with the Mets

2005 - Two players that helped us get Miggy                  
1 Cameron Maybin - He's made the majors and had some moments, but nowhere near the expectation of a 1st round pick at #10
3 Chris Robinson - 12 career ABs with the Padres,  .167 BA
4 Kevin Whelan - 3 career innings with a 3.33 WHIP.  I remember having hope for him
5 Jeff Larish - nothing like drafting a DH, 245 career ABs, 8 HR
6 Clete Thomas - 249 career games.  13 HRs
11 Anthony Clagget - 3. 2 career innings
12 Matt Joyce - An Actual MLB starting position player with a long career
14 Casper Wells - Played for 5 teams over 4 seasons, hit .230 in career
16 Michael Hollimon - Utility player for part of 1 season, hit 1 career HR
19 Burke Badenhop - Had a run as a decent reliever and helped us get Miggy. 
21 David Adams - 43 game career with Toronto with a .252 OBP
27 Will Rhymes - Little feller hit .304 as a utility guy one year.   Not much to write about after that

2006 - Lots of promise, little return for the Tigers               
1 Andrew Miller - The key in getting us Miggy, he's had a long career with a stretch of greatness and has a World Series ring
3 Brennan Boesch - Almost an all star - 2 brilliant months. 
5 Scott Sizemore - Letting Polanco go to make room for him was a major failure
13 Angel Castro - Took him 9 years to get to the majors where he pitched 4 whole innings
19 Duane Below - Rooted for him because he was local, but only pitched 75 innings with the Tigers
20 Casey Fien - Actually had a decent career, most of it elsewhere. 
42 Kevin Chapman - 55 career innings with Houston

2007 - Ricky P was alright, and that's about it              
1 Rick Porcello - Had a good career, won a Cy Young elsewhere, was incredible in Game 163 and could return to us this year
2 Danny Worth  - More notable for his pitching moments 
3 Luke Putkonen  48 career innings and played on 2 of the Tigers best teams (2012 & 2013)
4 Charlie Furbush - Had a decent career mostly with Seattle, helped us get Doug Fister
5 Casey Crosby  - 12 career innings, 9.49 ERA
27 Steve Susdorf  7 career ABs with the Phillies, he got a double
41  D.J. LeMehieu  - He didn't sign and then went in Roud 2 to the Cubs 2 years later.   At least they saw some potential in a local kid 

2008 - Nepatism was the best thing about this year              
1 Ryan Perry - Never was the impact player they expected in 169 career innings
5 Alex Avila - Assistant GM's son has had a very solid career.  A good pick.  
8 Andy Dirks - Had one really good season as a platoon player.  Back injuries ended his career
10 Robbie Weinhardt - 31 career innings,  6.39 ERA
16 Thad Weber - 19 career innings
20 Ryan Lollis - 13 ABs for the Giants

2009 - Like finding a bottle of chocolate milk in your fridge and opening it to find it has spoiled               
1 Jacob Turner - Had plenty of chances and only was good for about 18 months with Miami, very disappointing for a 9th overall pick
2 Andy Oliver - 31 career innings 7.11 ERA
6 Daniel Fields - 3 career ABs
11 Adam Wilk - 40 career innings, 7.36 ERA
21 Giovanni Soto - 3.1 career innings
32 Parker Markel - 22 career innings  - all in 2019  7.77 ERA.  Still in the Padres system

2010 - Maybe the best draft since Al has been here...........and it's not all that good.              
1 Nick Castellanos - A major leaguer, an actual major leaguer.   Great upside offensively, never a good glove
1 Chance Ruffin - 27 career innings,  5.60 ERA
2 Drew Smyly - Has, at times, been a decent starting pitcher.  Still kicking with the Braves (unless they recently cut him)
6 Bryan Holaday - A serviceable backup catcher at his best
12 Kyle Ryan - A serviceable left-handed reliever, still pitching with the Cubs
26 Jeff Ferrell - 20 career IP,  6.53 ERA
35 Cody Hall - 11 career innings 7.94 ERA

2011 - I'm not championing the greatness of James McCann                                    
1 James McCann - He's a major leaguer, but other than a couple of flashes, hasn't been much of an impact player
2 Tyler Collins -  Told the fans they were #1 with the wrong finger.  Never saw him again
7 Brian Flynn - Actually pitched 187 innings as a warm body out of the pen,  all with other teams
10 Curt Casali - See: Bryan Holaday
17 Chad Smith - 13 career innings pitched,  8.32 ERA.  I think the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer could do that
28 Guido Knudson - 5 career innings 18.000 ERA and to quote The Dude  "Who the **** are the Knutsens?"
 

2012 - Brutal                                  
1 Jake Thompson - 116 innings with the Phillies, 4.87 ERA,  not exactly 1st round expectations
4 Drew VerHagen - Kicked around over 5 years, had one decent run in 2015 and then was awful after that
13 Devon Travis - Traded to the Blue Jays for Anthony Gose (oops) Injuries derailed a promising career
38 AJ Minter - Didn't sign, re-drafted by the Braves, solid reliever

2013  - A little less brutal                                 
1 Jonathan Crawford - Has yet to break into the majors and likely never will
1 Corey Knebel - Mixed career.  One GREAT season with Milwaukee, the rest has been so-so
5 Buck Farmer - The very definition of a warm body to fill out a roster
8 Zac Reininger -  59 career innings,  8.08 ERA
11 Chad Green - Good career - for the Yankees.  We would have ruined him
20 Matt Wotherspoon  4.2 innings in 2019  15.43 ERA.  Out of baseball now
23 Tyler Alexander - He didn't sign, so we drafted him again 2 years later
27 Joe Mantiply - So far 8 career innings with a 13.50 ERA.  He should probably get a shot again with Arizona this year
35 AJ Puk - Didn't signed,  Re-Drafted by Oakland 2 years later and has pitched 11 career innings for them

2014 - Spencer Turnbull the best draft pick in a 3 year period                       .   
1 Derek Hill - Never has come close to meeting first round expectations
2 Spencer Turnbull - Has become a very solid starter for the Tiger rotation
3 Grayson Greiner - Looks like a poor-hitting career backup catcher
8 Artie Lewicki - He's still alive, right? 
15 Mike Gerber - 66 career MLB at bats .076 BA
32 Locke St. John  6.2 IP for Texas, 5.40 ERA Out of baseball now

2015 - Is it bad scouting or a total lack of development?                       
1 Beau Burrows - Major disappointment and my fear is one or more of our big 3 right now ends up just like him
1 Christin Stewart -  A decent minor league player at best and is too one-dimensional to be a big league plus player
2 Tyler Alexander - They drafted him again.  He can start sometimes and is capable of striking out 10 in a row.   
3 Drew Smith - Never pitched for the Tigers,  Still with the Mets,  We got Mikie Mahtook for him
6 Matt Hall - Left handed and breathing can get you in the majors.  40 career IPs and an 11.48 ERA
12 Kyle Dowdy - Pitched 22 IP with Texas in 2019 - ERA is 7.25

 

Not going to look at anything after 2015 since many players drafted that year are still developing

 

Is it any wonder why all of our major league teams are terrible?   They all have been drafting a lot like this.  

 

I stopped reading after 2004 because Verlander wasn't some lock to go No. 1 that SD passed on. Even if you wanted to make that case Stephen Drew was the top guy not Verlander

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The SF Giants, looking at stacked Dodgers and Padres teams, decided that sukking for 6 years was not the answer. Instead, and stay with me here, they tried to get better. And so far it is working. 

Oak and Mil reloaded. Bos might slug their way to the playoffs. KC actually tried to get better.

The current Major League product is awful, with between 0 and 3 position players lined up for the future.

Maybe at best, 3 guys would get consistent ABs on a good team (Ramos, Grossman, Candelario)

This really is another Matt Millen situation, where obvious incompetence is tolerated, under the promise of a bright future just around the (next) corner.

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I'm sure most all of us realize this, but I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned here.

Looking at those past draft classes, the first round picks that are highlighted as "hits", how many of them weren't even a great "scouting" job. I remember coveting JV because I read some stories about his prodigious arm, but after him, I seem to recall that most of those hits were based purely on Mike I's willingness to pay large signing bonuses that other teams wouldn't take on. Those years were before the draft salary limitations, so you could pay way over slot bonuses and not impact your ability to sign later draft picks (other than financially, obviously).

I'm pretty sure that pure signability and willingness to buy kids out of their college commitments was the only real reason we drafted guys like Maybin, Miller, Porcello, and Castellanos. I think based on pure talent, all of them went much later in the draft than they should have...sort of "making it easy" to pick the right guys.

Even then I think it's pretty fair to say all 4 of those guys never reached the potential they were thought to have as players. Sure, that stuff happens to prospects everywhere, and kids that come in with fanfare are more likely to disappoint than they are to overly impress, still I think it brings some questioning to our development that we were able to take ultra premium talent and still not turn them into perennial all stars.

JV & Granderson are the only 2 legit stars that we've drafted & developed over the past 20 years or so. I'm sure there are other orgs that have been equally futile, but man it's painful. And of course when it's a development issue at hand (which I firmly believe it is), we've also not even really lucked into any All Stars either. Thankfully DD was mostly great at turning prospects into ML All Stars, and even finding and fixing some diamond in the rough ML players like JD. This team has never done good enough developing players to build a competent MLB roster from its own talent. And now that's what we're trying to do almost like we think bringing in outside players would cheapen it if we actually found a way to not lose 100 games.

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