Reviewing Dayton Moore's Final Three Drafts in Atlanta: Part 1 - 2004

Former Brave Strong.

From 2002-2006 Dayton Moore was Director of Personnel Development for the Braves. His work in their minor league system established his reputation in the game and ultimately led to his being hired by the Royals in 2006. Because this is now amateur draft week, and because Dayton Moore is our GM, and because we like talking about things, I thought we would benefit from looking at how his last three drafts in Atlanta turned out. There's now certainly enough time passed to begin to evaluate these things.

2004 was not a good draft for Atlanta, although to be fair their first pick came at #71 overall. (They ceded their #1 pick to Texas for signing John Thomson, who would be a Royal in 2007.) The most productive player to come out of that draft so far has been Tyler Flowers, who is a generic all-glove catcher who hits a home run once a month for the White Sox. He's been worth 1.3 WAR, lifetime, for the White Sox, where he landed in a 2008 trade. Moreover, he technically isn't even part of that draft haul, since he didn't sign and ended up being taken by the Braves again in 2005, when he did.

Here are the 2004 Braves draftees that have appeared in a Major League game:

Year Rnd DT OvPck RdPck Tm Pos WAR G AB HR BA OPS ERA Type Drafted Out of
2004 27 821 30 Braves Tyler Flowers (minors) C 1.3 67 168 7 .196 .693 HS Blessed Trinity HS (Roswell, GA)
2004 42 1269 29 Braves Eric Farris (minors) SS 0.0 1 1 0 .000 .000 HS Hamilton HS (Queen Creek, AZ)
2004 4 131 30 Braves James Parr (minors) RHP -0.1 14 9 0 .222 .697 5.20 HS La Cueva HS (Albuquerque, NM)
2004 18 551 30 Braves Brad Emaus (minors) SS -0.7 14 37 0 .162 .424 HS East Coweta HS (East Coweta, GA)
2004 6 191 30 Braves Clint Sammons (minors) C -0.8 31 68 1 .176 .479 4Yr University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/3/2012.

Emaus and Farris also did not sign with Atlanta that year, surfacing with other organizations later. Emaus has played briefly for the Mets, while Farris has appeared in one game with the Brewers. Sammons caught in limited action for Atlanta from 07-09 and is currently in AAA with the Marlins organization. James Parr appeared in 13 games total in 2008-09 and appears to have retired. But hey, he was a Braves farmhand so I'm sure he was considered the awesome at some point. They just grow pitchers down there!

For the morbidly curious, here are the Braves' picks through round 10:

Year Rnd DT OvPck RdPck Tm Pos WAR Type Drafted Out of
2004 2 71 30 Braves Eric Campbell (minors) 3B HS Gibson Southern HS (Fort Branch, IN)
2004 3 101 30 Braves J.C. Holt (minors) 2B 4Yr Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
2004 4 131 30 Braves James Parr (minors) RHP -0.1 HS La Cueva HS (Albuquerque, NM)
2004 5 161 30 Braves Van Pope (minors) 3B JC Meridian Community College (Meridian, MS)
2004 6 191 30 Braves Clint Sammons (minors) C -0.8 4Yr University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
2004 7 221 30 Braves Johnnie Wiggins (minors) LHP JC Brewton-Parker College (Mount Vernon, GA)
2004 8 251 30 Braves Derrick Arnold (minors) SS JC Tallahassee Community College (Tallahassee, FL)
2004 9 281 30 Braves Jeff Katz (minors) RHP HS Cheshire Academy HS (Cheshire, CT)
2004 10 311 30 Braves Brady Endl (minors) LHP 4Yr University of Wisconsin at Whitewater (Whitewater, WI)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/3/2012.

Sammons and Parr you know about. Eric Campbell has shown flashes, but must be considered terrible defensively. He's hit for power at certain times as an infielder. By 2010 he was in the Independent Leagues, then signed a minor league deal with the Reds. Right now, he's in AA with Seattle.

It gets worse. J.C. Holt never hit and appears to have retired in 2011. Van Pope made it all the way to AAA in 2009, but also never hit, at all. He may still be in the Indy leagues (Amarillo) but he isn't playing much. Johnnie Wiggins hasn't played since 2005. Derrick Arnold has been done since 2008. Jeff Katz has been out of baseball since 2006, as has Brady Endl.

So, on the whole, the draft gave the Braves essentially nothing. Given that their first pick was the very last selection of the 2nd round, the pool was pretty shallow by the time they're number was called. Round three had some (in the future) players: Wade Davis, Adam Lind, Ian Desmond, and J.A. Happ, most notably. Missing on Campbell at #71 and the lack of any late round magic killed the draft for Moore and Atlanta. I hope John Thompson was worth it.

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