San Francisco Giants

A Window into the MLB Draft: San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals Come out on Top

by JDCam 03.28.15

With the MLB draft coming up in June, Curveball writers got to thinking about the differences between the 3 major US sporting drafts, baseball, football and basketball. The most obvious differences are the size, ranging from the smallest (the NBA at 2 rounds) to the largest (MLB at 40 rounds).

Specifically I was wondering what percentage of draftees in such a mammoth undertaking as the MLB draft actually make it to the majors? (Around 1 in 6 as it happens). These odds are actually surprisingly high for players drafted on the first round (around 81.1% between 2002 and 2006 in a study conducted by Baseball America). Unsurprisingly these figures drop round by round, petering out at a paltry 5.1% of players drafted after the 21st round making it to the show. But how effective are these players who make the majors and what proportion of them are significant major league contributors?

Round 87-91 92-96 97-01 02-06 87-91 92-96 97-01 02-06
1 78.0% 70.6% 61.6% 81.1% 50.4% 42.6% 32.2% 43.9%
1st supp 60.0% 52.8% 49.3% 55.0% 33.3% 13.9% 17.3% 15.0%
2 50.0% 47.5% 52.8% 50.7% 14.7% 15.1% 21.8% 19.1%
3-5 35.2% 32.8% 34.0% 35.2% 13.7% 9.9% 14.1% 6.8%
6-10 27.4% 20.4% 21.6% 19.9% 11.3% 6.0% 7.1% 5.1%
11-20 16.1% 13.9% 10.9% 13.2% 5.9% 3.1% 4.2% 2.5%
21+ 7.2% 8.3% 7.1% 5.1% 2.2% 2.4% 1.6% 0.9%
Total 18.3% 17.1% 17.2% 17.4% 7.3% 5.5% 6.4% 4.9%

I decided to look at the first round of 5 drafts (2006-2010) and try and find answers to a few basic questions; are certain teams drafting more successfully? What proportion of first round picks become successful major leaguers.

Immediately this goal hit major obstacles. Although smaller than I would like, I chose this draft window as it allows the players drafted in 20010 almost 5 years to progress to the major league level (I wish with hindsight I would have allowed longer). The greatest challenge comes in defining what a ‘successful’ MLB player is. I use this term as I wanted to distinguish between players that reach the major league level. Some players may make a handful of MLB appearances, I wanted to hone in on consistent contributors. In order to do that I focused on WAR (Wins Above Replacement). For the purposes of this study, we will use the following table from Fangraphs as a very basic guide in our analysis;

Scrub 0-1 WAR
Role Player 1-2 WAR
Solid Starter 2-3 WAR
Good Player 3-4 WAR
All-Star 4-5 WAR
Superstar 5-6 WAR

These figures are based on a single season sampling (and would therefore need to be multiplied to find player effectiveness over a larger span – it is merely a guidepost for an at a glance analysis). Using WAR is of course tricky as WAR tends to alter position by position according to positional depth and quality (it’s tough for a relief pitcher to have a high WAR). A couple of caveats to this data:

  • This is strictly based on the 1st round of these 5 drafts.
  • I did not include the data from players who did not sign even if they signed for another team in a consecutive year.
  • The WAR listed in the chart below is for their entire MLB career to data, regardless of which club it was amassed with.

Let’s start by looking at the drafting history of teams within this window. In the table below all 30 MLB clubs are ranked by their average drafting position within the 5 year window (06-10) regardless of the number of picks they had. For example the Pirates had 5 picks in the window at an average position of 3.1. For teams that had the same average draft position, they were simply listed alphabetically. I subsequently listed the total career WAR to date of all draft picks made by a particular team as well as an average WAR for each draftee that made the majors. To account for players drafted more recently, I also listed the current organizational farm rankings according to Keith Law (Insider Reqd). Additionally, I listed the number of players per organization that did not make the majors to date (significant picks or current prospects are listed in parentheses).

Obviously the expected trend would be to see teams that had a higher average draft position amass a greater MLB WAR from its draftees. The limitations of the data certainly center around having too small a window of drafts as well as prospects drafted later not having a significant enough time in the majors to make a significant impact (Zach Wheeler for example). Having owned those limitations, there were still some compelling findings to be had.

Team Number of Draft Selections Average Position of Draft Selection Number of Selections that did not make the majors Total MLB WAR of all 1st round selections (Baseball Reference) Average WAR of 1st round selections who made majors (Baseball Reference) Current rank of Farm system (ESPN Law)
Pittsburgh 5 3.2  1 (Taillon) 6.2 1.55 7
Kansas City 5 4.4  0 15.5 3.1 15
Baltimore 5 5.2  2  26.3 8.76 22
Washington 6 9.1 1  28.3 5.66  9
Tampa Bay 5 10.6  3 (Beckham)*  63.2 31.6 23
Cincinnati 5 10.8  0 28.2 5.64  17
Seattle 5 13  0 17.3 3.46 21
Atlanta 3 15  1 28.3 14.15 6
San Francisco 7 15.14  2  63.3 12.66  29
Oakland 4 15.25  1 -1.3 -0.43 26
Cleveland 4 15.5  1 6.3 2.1  16
Florida 5 15.6  1 5.6 1.4  24
NY Mets 3 15.6  1 12.5 6.25 4
Detroit 4 15.75  0 10.1 2.525 30
Houston 5 16.2  4 (Foltynewicz) 7.1 7.1  3
Milwaukee 4 16.25  1 11.6 3.86  28
Chicago NL 5 16.4  1 4.5 1.125  1
San Diego 4 16.5  3 -0.2 -0.2  18
Toronto 6 16.5 2 7.3 1.825  19
Texas 6 16.83  4 2.5 1.25  11
Colorado 6 17.3  2  -0.9 -0.225  8
Arizona 5 15.8  1  37.4 9.34  14
LA Dodgers 5 19.2  1  42.4 10.6  10
Chicago AL 5 19.6  2  29.3 9.76  12
St. Louis 5 21  1 9.6 2.4  13
Minnesota 6 22  2 6.5 1.625  2
Philadelphia 4 22  2 (Biddle) -0.1 -0.05  25
LA Angels 5 25.4  1 30.1 7.525  27
Boston 5 26.6  2 3.5 1.16  5
NY Yankees 4 28  2 9.9 4.95  20

* Number 1 overall pick.

An interesting trend was just how many players in these 5 drafts that made only a handful of MLB appearances or just didn’t stick long term. To really get at the high impact players, here is the data presented in a different format. This table simply lists players that made the majors by team as well as their cumulative WAR since becoming major leaguers. (Players in bold have been MLB All-Stars)

Pittsburgh Brad Lincoln 0.1 Moskos 0.2 Alvarez 5.5 Sanchez 0.4
Kansas City Hochevar 2.5 Moustakas 4.5 Hosmer 5.5 Crow 2.3 Colon 0.7
Baltimore Wieters 13.6 Matusz 2.3 Machado 10.4
Washington Marrero -1 Detwiler 3.1 Strasburg 11.9 Storen 4.7 Harper 9.6
Tampa Bay Longoria 40 Price 23.2
Cincinnati Stubbs 9.2 Mesoraco 4.3 Alonso 4.2 Leake 6.2 Grandal 4.3
Seattle Morrow 7.4 Aumont -0.4 Fields -0.2 Ackley 8.9 Franklin 1.6
Atlanta Heyward 24.5 Minor 3.8
San Francisco Lincecum 22.6 Bumgarner 15.3 Posey 23.2 Wheeler 2.0 Brown 0.2
Oakland Weeks 1.1 Green -0.5 Choice -1.9
Cleveland Chisenhall 4.1 White -0.5 Pomeranz 2.7
Florida Sinkbeil -0.2 Dominguez 0.9 Skipworth 0.0 Yelich 4.9
NY Mets Davis 5.6 Harvey 6.9
Toronto Snider 3.8 Arencibia 2.0 Cooper 0.1 Jenkins 1.4
Detroit Miller -0.2 Porcello 10.6 Perry 0.2 Turner -0.5
Arizona Scherzer 24.0 Parker 6.1 Schlereth 0.0 Pollock 7.3
Houston Castro 7.1
Milwaukee Jeffress 0.8 LaPorta -0.9 Lawrie 11.7
Chicago NL Colvin 1.1 Vitters -1.3 Cashner 4.6 Jackson 0.1
San Diego Antonelli -0.2
Texas Beavan 1.5 Smoak 1.0
Colorado Reynolds -1.8 Friedrich -0.6 Matzek 1.9 Parker -0.4
LA Dodgers Kershaw 39.7 Morris 2.2 Withrow 0.9 Martin -0.4
Chicago AL Poreda 0.2 Beckham 6.2 Sale 22.9
St. Louis Ottavino 3.8 Kozma 0.9 Wallace -0.6 Miller 5.5
Minnesota Parmelee 0.5 Revere 4.2 Hicks 0.6 Gibson 1.2
Philadelphia Drabek -0.1 Savery 0.0
LA Angels Conger 2.4 Grichuk 0.2 Trout 28.2 Bedrosian -0.7
Boston Bard 4.3 Kelly -0.6 Fuentes -0.2
NY Yankees Kennedy 9.8 Brackman 0.1

In this group there are 19 All-Stars out of 146 first-rounder picks (that’s 13% if you’re counting). Of these 19 All-Stars, 8 were top 5 picks, 13 were top 10 picks, 18 were top 15 picks (the only one who wasn’t is Mike Trout). That raises your odds of drafting an All-Star to 24% if you have a top 15 pick and, 26% if you have a top 10 pick and 32% if you have a top 5 pick.
There were only 4 teams that drafted multiple all-stars in this drafting window, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Washington and San Francisco. Of these 4 the Giants are by far the most captivating, not only because their average position in these drafts was 15 (almost 5 spots later than the next highest (Tampa Bay) but also because of their incredible success in recent seasons (3 of the last 5 World Series). The Giants success seems tied to exceptional value out of their top picks. Even looking beyond the 3 all-stars drafted in this window, the Giants continually reap and develop outstanding talent in the first 5 rounds. Aside from the players drafted in the given window in the 1st round, the Giants have added Zach Wheeler (now with the Mets), Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and going back a little further, Matt Cain in the first few rounds of the draft (that’s a cumulative drafted WAR of 52.5 to tack onto what Lincecum, Posey and Bumgarner gave them). The Giants rarely have the best farm system in baseball, because they draft talent that can help them within a few years. Their success rate at drafting talent with MLB staying power is almost as impressive as how quickly they get it to the show. Anyone want to bet against Tyler Beede being a future all-star?

Will Joe Panik be next in line as a fast moving Giants draft pick who excels in the major leagues?

Will Joe Panik be next in line as a fast moving Giants draft pick who excels in the major leagues?

Another team worthy of discussion here is the St. Louis Cardinals. Their draft results were unspectacular, Shelby Miller being the only player of note, yet they always seem to be in contention at the end of the year. They rank in the middle of the pack (15th) in payroll obligations. Yet they have reached 2 World Series and two NL Championship Series in the past 4 seasons. The Cardinals typically have a good farm system but not always elite. Delving into the Cardinals history during this period, they maximize value from the middle rounds of the draft. From 2006 onwards the Cardinals have drafted the following players in rounds 2-10: Allen Craig (6.1 WAR), Jon Jay (11.2 WAR), Lance Lynn (7.7 WAR 1st round supplementary), Joe Kelly (3.8 WAR), Matt Carpenter (9.9 WAR – 13th round), Matt Adams (3.7 WAR – 21st round) and Kevin Siegrist (41st round) who have all made significant contributions to their major league roster. St. Louis it seems has an eye for diamond in the rough talent and does a stellar job at getting it major league ready.

This discussion wouldn’t be complete without the non-example. The Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates did an AWFUL job with their top picks between 2006 and 2010. Thank goodness for Andrew McCutchen (drafted in the first round of 2005). Pedro Alvarez was the only player of significance who has made a major league impact for Pittsburgh in the draft window. While Jamieson Taillon is an elite prospect and the Pirates seem to have made amends with Gerrit Cole and Austin Meadows (drafted since the window), they have simply whiffed too many times with such an outstanding average draft position. The list of players the Pirates passed on in this window is truly staggering and while hindsight is 20/20, there is no doubt some weak draft classes slowed their ascendance to a now perennial competitor. Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer, Matt Wieters, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Manny Machado and Matt Harvey, to name but a few.

Jameson Taillon is a rare example of a highly touted prospect in amongst a slew of whiffs by the Pirates between 2006-2010

Jameson Taillon is a rare example of a highly touted prospect in amongst a slew of whiffs by the Pirates between 2006-2010

Looking at a small window into the first round of the draft has been fascinating. The most sure fire way to drafting high caliber MLB talent lies with a top 15 pick, even then there will always be whiffs. The most successful teams in recent years have found a way to maximize fast moving talent throughout the draft regardless of their position in it.

MLB Divisional Preview, Part 2: NL West- Go Padres!

The wins under each team are the actual 2014 wins, the Steamer projected wins, and then Conwaywest and JDCam predictions (JD Cam’s team finish in the division is in parenthesis).

As successful as the Giants have been in the past few postseasons, the division they hail from definitely leaves much to be desired. The NL West had the least wins of any division in baseball in both 2013 and 2014, and 2015 looks like a mixed return for the five teams. The Dodgers got better, as did the Padres, but the rest of the division did not. In fact, the Giants slipped slightly, from a season where they already slightly overperformed. In this weak division, the key for me will be whether the Padres can beat up on the Diamondbacks enough to make the postseason.

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers

2014: 94 wins; Steamer 2015: 91 wins; Conwaywest: 96 wins; JD Cam: 97 wins (1st)
In: Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Brandon McCarthy, Yasmani Grandal, Brett Anderson, Joel Peralta, Joe Wieland
Out: Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, Tim Fedorowicz

Things to like: Clayton Kershaw; team defense improvements; Yasiel Puig’s continuing development; excellent farm system backing up experienced core; proven production at every position.
Things to worry about: aging position players; lack of roster flexibility due to massive contracts; continued lack of performance in playoffs.

The Dodgers of recent years prove the fickle nature of baseball. The past years, they have tried to throw money at all their problems, with somewhat disappointing results, all to show that money doesn’t necessarily equate to success in baseball. The bullpen was old and expensive, and up the middle had aging and expensive players who didn’t feel catching the ball was in their job description.

With Andrew Friedman now at the helm, the Dodgers will attempt to win while also being cost effective. It’s a truly unfair proposition: the Dodgers have baseball’s largest payroll, a top 5 farm system, and now management with a plan for all of it. Rollins and Kendrick are perfect fits: solid, varied skill sets on short term contracts, so they don’t block the young guns developing in the farm system. Those two, Grandal and rookie CF Joc Peterson will be huge upgrades defensively, and should hit some, too. McCarthy is an underrated starter and FIP hero, who should benefit from this improved defense and round out an excellent rotation.

Yasiel Puig should continue on his path to superstardom for the Dodgers in 2015.

While losing the bats of Ramirez and Kemp will hurt, the team should field better and still has reliable production at every position. The big question for this team is expectation. Is it Pennant or bust? World Series or bust? The ownership group isn’t spending all this money to flame out in the Divisional round every year. How I see it, this may be the year the Dodgers exceed our expectations, and if they don’t, big changes may be in order.

  1. San Diego Padres

2014: 77 wins; Steamer 2015: 82 wins; Conwaywest: 81 wins; JD Cam: 79 (3rd)
In: Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, James Shields, Derek Norris, Brandon Morrow, Josh Johnson, Shawn Kelley, Brandon Maurer, Clint Barmes
Out: Yasmani Grandal, Rene Rivera, Seth Smith, Joe Wieland

Things to like: a rotation that goes 6 (or 7or 8) deep; more home runs!
Things to worry about: Who plays first? Or short? Or third? And will anyone catch the ball?

The team that made the biggest splash in the offseason also was the most talked about in the media. As we have covered here, relevance can never be a bad thing. Myers, Upton and Kemp all can mash, and give a huge upgrade in the middle of the lineup. Shields will lead a rotation that figures to be strong and deep. If they get anything close to past success out of oft-injured starters Morrow and Johnson, this could be one of the best rotations in baseball.

All this optimism is great, but the reality of the Padres is they have a decent (but new!) outfield with an atrocious infield. They have a stellar rotation and a solid bullpen, but without good team defense (is there a single plus defender that will play?) and losing their pitch framers (Grandal and Rivera were the best tandem in baseball at receiving last year), the run prevention may not improve all that much. So with all the shuffling, I only see an actual improvement of 3-4 wins. If everything breaks their way, they could be this year’s Royals. If not, at least they are a ton more fun, right?

The Padres got a host of new faces, but how much better will they be?

  1. San Francisco Giants

2014: 88 wins; Steamer 2015: 83 wins; Conwaywest: 80 wins; JD Cam: 84 wins (2nd)
In: Nori Aoki
Out: Pablo Sandoval, Mike Morse

Things to like: Buster Posey; Brandon Crawford’s defense; outfielders who make contact.
Things to worry about: Madison Bumgarner’s innings from 2014 carrying into 2015; replacing Sandoval; rotation injury concerns.

The defending champs lost some pieces this offseason, but the biggest concern is the story of 2014: the Giants were an 88-74 team that played out of their heads through May (36-20, best record in baseball). Then they finished below .500. Which team do I think these Giants are?

I am leaning to the second half team of last year. Posey is undeniably awesome, Brandon Belt is way underrated and I wish there were 20 Hunter Pence’s in MLB. But this team is mediocre, especially when Bumgarner doesn’t pitch half of their innings like he did against the Royals last Fall. The rotation is old and oft-injured, without much depth. Their bullpen is ok. This team screams .500, much like they were if you take May away last year.

Few teams have ever rode two players more than the Giants rode Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner last fall.

In 2011 and 2013, the past two chances to defend their title, the Giants limped out the gates (under .500 both years in March/April) and didn’t make the playoffs. I see the Giants missing out on that second wild card, and missing the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive title defense.

  1. Colorado Rockies

2014: 66 wins; Steamer 2015: 77 wins; Conwaywest: 74 wins; JD Cam: 74 wins (4th)

In: Kyle Kendrick, Nick Hundley
Out: Michael Cuddyer, Brett Anderson

Things to like: Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson continuing to improve; Jorge De la Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin actually being good pitchers; Wilin Rosario hitting
Things to worry about: Troy Tulowitzki’s health; getting 4,400 outs from demoralized pitchers; Wilin Rosario catching;

Colorado, by many mainstream analysts, continues to have the same problem: Coors Field kills their pitching staff. After looking at performance weighted by ballpark, however, it may not be the whole staff that kills the team. The team pitching WAR is middle of the pack, and the staff is led by two solid starters in Chacin and De la Rosa. The bullpen is decent with some power arms. The staff may be shallow at the back end, but a mid-level rotation can’t take all the blame for the Rockies continued shortcomings.

The problem may be the dead spots in their lineup. Second base is a weakness for this team, and no one hits away from home. Last year, the team had to give 300 plate appearances to Josh Rutledge, who was not very good. The team is optimistic to lessen these dead spots, with a healthy Carlos Gonzalez and Tulowitzki, who is still the most valuable shortstop in the game while playing 120 games every year. They also hope that Nolan Arenado can continue his offensive development to compliment his elite defense.

Nolan Arenado: the human highlight reel.

The Rockies deal with unique problems: the mental effect of pitching at Coors field is undeniable, as is the ballpark’s negative effects on outfield defense metrics. These factors contribute to something we have known for some time: the Rockies are hard to project. This Rockies team has a fairly high ceiling, but a fairly low floor. They are a just-below-average ballclub, which can be the most uninteresting type.

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks

2014: 64 wins; Steamer 2015: 74 wins; Conwaywest: 69 wins; JD Cam: 65 wins (5th)
In: Yasmany Tomas, Jeremy Hellickson
Out: Didi Gregorius;

Things to like: Paul Goldschmidt being awesome; Tomas hitting a few baseballs far; AJ Pollock being an average MLB regular (you have to reach for positives with this team)
Things to worry about: Mark Trumbo playing a lot; a guy named Tuffy Gosewisch being their #1 catcher on the depth chart; any pitcher throwing strikes

The Diamondbacks look bad for 2015. They have two good defenders (Goldschmidt and Pollock), one hitter who is not terrible (Goldschmidt), and pitchers who struggle to throw strikes consistently. When they did throw strikes in 2014, they were bottom 5 in home runs allowed. Adding Jeremy Hellickson to the mix won’t make matters better on the home-run front. This is a bad team, showing the effects of foolish front office decisions over the past few seasons.

Kicking the Diamondbacks while their down is easy. Let’s focus on some positives: Goldschmidt is in the conversation for “Best Player Not Named Mike Trout” (Andrew McCutchen also may have something to say about that). Tomas can hit the ball far, if they can figure out where to play him (an if he makes enough contact to play). And the Dbacks have some really good upper level minor league arms in Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley, and Aaron Blair (although the all have question marks coming into 2015). Lastly, Randy Johnson is going into the Hall as a Diamondback! Unfortunately, this might be the biggest thing for Arizona fans to look forward to this year. It will also give Arizona fans a great reason to remember the good old days:

Jordan Zimmermann – The Most Underrated Pitcher in Baseball

by JDCam October 25th 2014

When the baseball season is over. When a refreshing and truly excellent post-season comes to a close, awards season will begin. At this point it is a mere formality that Clayton Kershaw wins his second successive Cy Young award (and most likely an MVP) and deservedly so. Someone who will start to garner more attention from Cy Young voters this year is Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, perhaps the most grossly underrated starting pitcher in all of baseball.

The most impressive thing about Zimmermann is how he just gets better and better. Let’s start with the basics. In 2014, Zimmermann put up career bests (since he has become a full time starter) in win % (.737), WHIP (1.072), HR/9 (0.6), BB/9 (1.3) and SO/9 (8.2). This is elite production and at 28, Zimmermann is yet to enter his pitching prime.

Let’s get into some more stats on Zimmermann. He was 10th in all of baseball with a 5.2 WAR in 2014. He has the majors 7th best FIP at 2.68 and 13th in xFIP at 3.10. Zimmerman did all this with an above average BABIP of .302. How aren’t we raving about this guy? I don’t understand. Zimmerann seems to suffer from being undervalued by others, most evidently by his own manager, the consistently buffoonish Matt Williams.

In game 2 of the Nationals series against the pennant winning San Francisco Giants, a mere 6 days after throwing a no hitter against the surprisingly competitive Florida Marlins, Williams took Zimmerman out of the game in remarkable circumstances. Against the Marlins Zimmeran threw 104 pitches (79 for strikes), struck out 10, and walked one in a game that was near perfection. Against the Giants Zimmermann was incredible again. He has pitched 8.2 innings of shut out ball before walking  promising Giants 2B joe Panik. Bizareely, with the game on the line and his unappreciated ace working on 17 2/3 shut out innings, Williams took Zimmermann out of the game in favor of injury prone closer Drew Storen. After a Buster Posey single and a Pablo Sandoval double, the game was tied. San Francisco went on to win in 18 innings and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the best of 5 series.

Williams made one of the worst managerial decisions in recent playoff history by pulling Zimmermann in game 2 against the Giants in the NLDS

Williams made one of the worst managerial decisions in recent playoff history by pulling Zimmermann in game 2 against the Giants in the NLDS

For me, Williams decision is a puzzle I still have not managed to solve. Consider the situation. Your bona fide ace (yes over Strasburg) throws a no hitter. The next game (a crucial playoff start) he throws 8 2/3 innings of 3 hit ball. He has dominated the Giants lineup comfortably. He walks a man in the 9th, with two men down and he is taken out. SHOCKING! Just a shocking managerial decision! What does Zimmermann have to do to stay in the game? How could you possibly pull Zimmermann, in the midst of one of the most impressive streaks of his career for Storen (an injury prone, streakily dominant closer). I cannot wrap my head around the level of stupidity. The Nationals had a legitimate opportunity to win this year with a great rotation in which Gio Gonzalez was a number 4. Jordan Zimmerann is, without question the best pitcher in this potentially dominant group. Next year, his salary of $16.5 million will be richly deserved. He will undoubtedly be of the best available starters in a deep free agent starter class that boasts David Price and Mat Latos. I’m sure the Nationals will try to re-up Zimmerman in the off-season or during 2015. If I was him, I’d be testing the market to find a club that truly appreciated my value.