Just skimming through bRef while I'm waiting on a call. Limited search and sort capacity, but eh. Time to kill.

__First round picks__ for 2015, top pitcher by bWAR is Buehler. 6 first-round drafted position players provided more fWAR than he did. One other pitcher is in the top 10 at #10.

2016, Cal Quantrill is #2. That year features 6 pitchers in the top 10 bWAR producers (and more just behind.)

2017, Houck is #2. . .to another first-round pitcher. 8 pitchers in the top 10 bWAR.

2018, #s 3, 4, and 5 are first-round pitchers from the top 10 overall bWAR.

2019, #s 2, 6, and 10.

2020, the top 3 are university pitchers. . .but we're starting to run into development/promotion curves.

So let's go a couple years back:

2015, #s 7, 10.

2014, #s 2, 4, 6, 8, 9

2013, #s 5, 6, 8, 9

That's interesting. Overall that suggests that a first round pick spent on a position players is more likely to net a top-ten bWAR player for that round. Ignoring 2020, that's 31 pitchers out of 70 players. Not a night and day difference, but probably significant.

(Yes yes, I know, it's

__very__ thumbnail-sketch as bWAR may not reflect a pitcher's overall value to the club.)

And now - where do first-round pitching picks end up relative to later rounds in terms of accumulated bWAR? (Comparing first-round pitchers to pitchers selected later in the draft NOT all pitchers (e.g., international signings/drafts.) Whatever you think about bWAR it's more apples to apples.

2013 1, 2, 4, 8. (20 first round pitchers total. 10 with positive fWAR (no matter how humble.)

2014 1, 2, 4, 8. (20 first round pitchers total. 11 +fWAR.) What are the odds?

2015 1, 5, 6. (18 total. 8 +fWAR.)

2016 5. (22 total. 12 +fWAR.)

2017 2, 3, 10. Houck is #3. (16 total. 10 +fWAR.)

2018 1, 2, 4, 10. (19 total. 7 +fWAR.)

2019 2, 3, 5, 6. (15 total. 5 +fWAR.)

2020* 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10. (15 total. 7 +fWAR.)

(Note, only 21 pitchers from the 2020 draft have accumulated any fWAR. Only 1 is a HS pitcher, so we're probably into data that's too much in play to be predictive. Beyond to note college pitchers make it to the majors more quickly.)

That's even more interesting. About half the time the #1 pitching value from the draft is a first-round pick, and one of the top two bWAR pitchers for the year are often taken in the first round. However (and it's a big however) more than half of the top pitchers in the draft are picked in rounds after the first. Again, excluding, 2020, only 23 out of 70 pitchers come from the first round. And overall the first-round pitching picks have under a 50% chance of contributing (even micro-marginally.) 62 out of 130.

I

__think__ the combo suggests if you have only a few first round picks, your odds are better of producing a tradeable player if you go with a position player. But someone else can calculate the first-round position player burn out rate if anyone is so inclined.