It's groundhog day in the draft room.
The days definitely blend together as we continue to go through all of these names and scouting reports. Fortunately for us, all of our amateur scouts gather at Petco to participate in the "war room" draft discussions, so the room stays pretty lively. Unfortunately, we're missing our primary source of comic relief this year, as our premier joke teller, Joe Bochy, is now one of our professional scouts and consequently is absent from the draft room. I'm not sure anybody in baseball tells a joke quite like Joe (yes, he is Bruce's brother). If you happen to run into him at a ballpark, tell him to call the draft room with a joke - we need it.
Believe it or not, many (if not most) teams only have the supervisors, crosscheckers, and directors meet in the Major League city, while the area scouts stay home and participate via phone. The group in the big league city will then hold separate conference calls with the area scouts to go over each area one by one. Once the calls are complete, the central group assembles all of the information and puts together their draft boards. At that point the area scouts sit at home waiting for word that one of their players is in line to be selected.
In San Diego, though, we break down the country by position rather than geographic region. The best part is that everyone is there to partake in the discussion. Every area scout must present each of the players in his area to the room at the appropriate time and then all of the other scouts (crosschecker or area) who saw the player as well will add their thoughts. This makes for good debates and some unforgettable moments. Most importantly, we have a tremendous amount of first-hand knowledge all in one central location.
We're fortunate that our scouts are so respectful of one another or else we'd never be able to do it this way. Look, every scout wants their players to be the ones selected, so everyone pushes the players in their area, but our guys do an unbelievable job of being selfless in this setting. Just tonight we had a number of occasions when one of our area scouts told the room to take another player over one of his own players based on the discussion that was taking place. That attitude allows us to have honest and frank discussions.
We've made excellent progress over the last two days, and hopefully we can continue this pace. As any scout will tell you, though, the right-handed pitcher board is a real bear, and we just dug our teeth into that one tonight. We've been meeting for approximately 12 hours per day, so the stamina can run low as the days continue (today was day #5) especially considering the trash we all eat. Nevertheless, as draft day approaches the adrenaline will begin to fuel the room. Plus, we're starting to accumulate the dish from other draft rooms as we try to strategize with our first few picks. It's getting good...