The Relevance of the MLB Draft Order

So after yesterday’s Brewers game, the post-game show on 105.7 The Fan was asking what’s more important to Brewers fans right now – the Brewers winning for the sake of winning/because fans just want to see their team win OR the Brewers winning to boost the stock value of the players they most likely want to trade before the deadline (Parra, K-Rod, Lohse, Ramirez, etc.). 105.7 also asked this on their Facebook page and there was a variety of responses, including a lot of people saying that they want both – for the Brewers to win just to win and also to boost the trade value of the aforementioned players. I responded by saying that I’m in that camp, but also that I don’t necessarily want the Brewers to win a ton of games for the rest of the season since it’s already a lost season and getting us to a .500-ish record at the end of the season wouldn’t be helping the future of the team since we wouldn’t get a top pick in next year’s draft.

This comment resulted in more people on both sides of the fence when it comes to the relevance of the MLB draft order. Here are the comments saying the draft order doesn’t matter:

"MLB draft is far from a guarantee. FAR"

"Makes no sense to hope for higher draft picks. There's no guarantee if you get first pick that you get a Strassburg or Harper. Even more of a crap shoot than NFL or NBA. Better of winning as best as possible to keep ticket revenue up."

"MLB draft order is hardly relevant."

And here’s someone who defended the importance of draft order:

"MLB draft order is EXTREMELY relevant. There isn't immediate impact like NBA or NFL and the bust rate is higher overall, but earlier picks still have a much higher chance of being successful MLB players. Last I checked, a player drafted between 1-5 overall has about a 50% chance of succeeding, a player between 6-10 is about 40% and 11-15 is about 35%. If you pick outside the Top 15 the odds drop to around 25% or less or even less than 10% from 25-30. The problem is the Brewers have drafted in the 16-20 range too often over the past decade and predictably have had almost no success in the draft. Some teams overcome draft slot like the Cardinals, Braves, Astros, A's, etc. - but those front offices are the crown jewels of the league. Until the Brewers show better internal drafting/developing, they'll need the higher draft slot to increase their odds of acquiring successful talent. Remember, Braun, Fielder, Weeks, etc. were the results of Top 10 picks acquired after years of losing. Without the losing years, there would have been no 2008 or 2011."

So I bring this question to my colleagues here at Brew Crew Ball whose perspective I respect: How relevant is the MLB draft order in your opinion? I’m not saying that Brewers should purposely tank for the rest of the season just to get a higher draft pick, but I’m also not denying that a draft pick in the top 5 has more potential than the middle of the pack if they were to finish around .500. What say all of you?