I mean, look at our focus on pitching prospects during our last run and see how that worked out for us. Bundy had his best year during our competing period in middle relief. Gausman was up and down. Rodriguez was traded for Miller, and he would've been solid.
I think the approach last year was impacted by how thin the organization was up the middle. We were weak on catching, short stop and potential center fielders, and loaded up on pitching in recent drafts. I also think the approach of adding veteran starting pitching when position prospects are ready is the better idea.
Two teams to look at with that. The 2017 Astros had Keuchel and McCullers as homegrown talents, and Keuchel came from the previous regime. They traded for Mike Fiers in 2015, acquired and developed Charlie Morton in free agency and traded for Justin Verlander. The Cubs rebuilt using a majority of pitching prospects. When they were ready to compete in 2015, they signed Jon Lester to a big contract while they had cheap positional talent.
With the volatility of pitchers out there, I would rather focus the prospects as far as position players go, and sign pitchers who we know have established track records. At least a TORP style pitcher.
Move the mound back 3'.
Mandate minimum bat sizes.
All media revenues over $50M go into a common pot and distributed by inverse of market size.
Local streaming of games for all.
Home team gets the choice as to whether today's game is played with a DH or not.
MLB split up into three or four geographically-aligned leagues with minimal or no interleague play.
Expand to 48 teams over the next 18 years.
All nine-inning games are called after 2:30. Large financial bonuses for teams that complete the most full games.
The entire balk rule replaced with "you can't stop in the middle of the windup to throw to a base."
No more than nine pitchers on a roster (which eliminates the need for the three-batter rule).
Teams are limited to 10 minor league transactions in a season, not counting injuries.
Eliminate the draft, but institute strict slotting and limits for expenditures on amateur signings based on market size. The Orioles get to spend $20M, the Yanks $1M.
Scrap current free agency/service time rules. All players become free agents at 28.
The shift is legal forever.
All new parks have to have a sum of their LF-LC-CF-RC-RF fence distances greater than 1890 feet. Can be 340-390-430-390-340. Or 300-425-440-425-300. Or whatever, as long as it's greater than 300' down the lines and it adds up to >1890.
Implement electronic strikezones.
Go back to using the balata ball.
Every pickoff throw is a ball on the batter unless the runner is actually picked off.
2017: Royce Lewis, Twins
School: JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Career WAR: N/A
Lewis was a surprise No. 1 pick to some talent evaluators, but he was the top-rated high school prospect in the 2017 Draft thanks to his premier athleticism both at the plate and at the shortstop position.
I'm just glad that there are places in the world where a guy can make a good living playing baseball even if they're in their late 20s and are not quite good enough to be major leaguers. That they have to go to Japan or Korea is a symptom of the broken minor league model.
No sports league should be 95% development and 5% winning. When that happens really good players like Mike Wright basically get told to quit because they aren't quite at the top level and are never going to get there. Much of the rest of the world has multiple tiers in sports leagues, and if someone wants to keep playing until they're 40 or 45 they have that option even if they're not at the very highest level.