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Paul Goldschmidt came to the plate Thursday night, and, because it was the first day
of the baseball draft, Arizona Diamondbacks announcer Steve Berthiaume mentioned
Goldschmidt was an eighth-round draft pick.
Goldschmidt finished second in last year’s National League MVP voting and is now the
unquestioned star of the team.
“It just goes to show that every pick is important,” Berthiaume said.
That is one way to look at it.
Another is this: Baseball draft prospects are much more difficult to gauge than
prospects in basketball or football. That’s true for the teams and even truer for fans.
When the Arizona Cardinals, for example, draft a lumbering tight end with limited
pass-catching skills, I have an opinion on whether or not it’s a good pick. I might be
wrong, but I have an opinion. We’ll know soon enough.
When the Diamondbacks pick some pitcher out of a high school in Texas, I have no
The teams have some idea, but there’s a lot of guess work for them, too.
Baseball is much different from the other two major sports:

  • Baseball prospects generally are not as well known to fans
  • You are predicting the performance of someone who may be playing at a
    developmental level for seven or eight years. He likely won’t be on your roster next

Goldschmidt was taken in 2009 out of Texas State. He progressed rapidly and made it
to the majors in 2011.
The D-backs’ top pick in 2009 was Bobby Borchering, a power-hitting first baseman/
third baseman/outfielder from Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Fla.
Borchering is now in the Houston Astros system — he was part of the deal when the
D-back acquired his fellow Bishop Verot alumnus Chris Johnson in 2012 — playing in
Class A.
Borchering got as high as Class AA in the D-backs system. His career seems kind of
stalled now, but he is only in his age 23 season.
Borchering could still turn out to be a productive major league player, though probably
not a star.
Or he might not make the show at all.
We don’t really know yet — and it’s six seasons later.