Rob Neyer is on vacation. Two guest columns will run in his place on Thursday and Friday of this week.
In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001), James writes,
The most phenomenal fact of life in baseball today is that major league teams continue to use first-round draft picks for high school pitchers ... It has been obvious for twenty years that this is a stupid, stupid gamble ... yet every year, four to seven first-round picks are invested in these turkeys.