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McLouth, Victorino, and Hart

Several readers wrote in asking me to discuss three five-category outfielders who are drafted around the same time: Nate McLouth, Shane Victorino, and Corey Hart.

First, the issue of draft position.  Mock Draft Central has these ADPs: 60.44 for McLouth, 50.90 for Victorino, and 56.81 for Hart.  So these are all 5th/6th round types, with no one lasting past the 7th.

Dollar values using their 2008 numbers: McLouth at $25.54, Victorino at $20.29, and Hart at $14.08.  Based on '09 projections I have McLouth at $17.08, Victorino at $13.09, and Hart at $15.85.  McLouth would further separate himself if he makes good on his stated goal of 30-35 steals.

As far as consistency goes, I've seen McLouth's second-half decline used as a red flag.  But the guy hit well in July and September, so can we really identify a trend from that?  Victorino was similarly inconsistent, while Hart kept a fairly even keel until an awful September.  Maybe the career-high 157 games wore him down.

Here's my recommendation: forget these three and take Jayson Werth or Nelson Cruz in the 11th or 12th round.  Werth, at least, is no more risky than McLouth, Victorino, or Hart.  Another who fits the McLouth/Victorino/Hart mold is Curtis Granderson, who's going at 50.42.

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