Originally Posted by California Sox
I'm not sure it's merely a money issue. Minnesota has one of the best scouting directors in the game, they get a lot of extra picks because they have to let a lot of players go via free agency and they never give up young players in trade (at least none of their top prostects). You put all that together and you end up with a pretty deep farm system. The scary thing is, right now I'd rank the Sox 4th in the division after Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota. And an argument could be made that KC is ahead of us because Gordan and Butler are real impact players. Now some of that is where the Sox draft every year. Their last top ten pick was Alex Fernandez. But some of it is the go-for-today philosophy epitomized by the acquisition of Javier Vazquez. If the Sox still had Lumsden, Gio, Young, and Cortes, their system would be middle of the pack to top third in baseball. As it is, we've got about two players: Fields and Sweeney. I honestly don't think there's anyone else who's more than a role player or fourth starter. Maybe Carter but he's five years away.
I understand and agree to a point. But unless the Sox have a particular pick taken away because they have signed a free agent, they have an opportunity to draft "Player X" in the second round (for example) before the Twins, Tigers, Indians or Royals draft him in the third round. That has everything to do with scouting. Moreover, the Twins may have excellent scouts, but it seems that they pair that excellent scouting with equally excellent coaching and development philosophies.
When was the last time the Sox drafted and developed an MLB-caliber catcher? Ron Karkovice? Even worse, when was the last time the Sox drafted and developed an MLB-caliber shortstop? (Ozzie doesn't count; the Sox got him from the Padres for LaMarr Hoyt.)
I'm not trying to trash the Sox (who seem to have done a good job drafting and developing outfielders, corner infielders and finesse pitchers), but Minnesota's record on player development is far better and seems to be more than just a function of better draft position and more draft picks.