luv baseball posted:
I'll use the NY teams as an example. The NY Giants have at least 5 players - Beckham, Apple, Jenkins, Collins and Shepherd that are FAR more athletic than anyone on the NY Mets except for possibly Rosario and there might be 4 Yankees that are as athletic - Judge, Hicks, Gardiner, Gregorius and maybe Castro. But Beckham and Jenkins outclass even the Yankees athletically with Judge's power being the exception here. My estimate is based on the fact that every NFL team has at least two of these specimens that outclass almost everyone in MLB and at least 10 that are equal to or better. For the players that can run - the NFL players to a man are probably stronger. There are linebackers & DE as fast as CF and middle infielders in MLB. Vaughn Miller for example. MLB is sprinkled with a few truly great athletes. The NFL is populated with them. Every NFL team has 10 to15 guys that are Mike Trout physically while baseball teams might have a few.
I was defining athletic as size, speed, agility and strength. From there I was projecting that only 5-10% might have baseball skills - hitting & throwing. If they can hit it is safe to assume they will do so for power. That would make them all 5 tool prospects with elite physical skill. The guy I would use as a comp is McCutcheon - every NFL team has 10 to 15 of him from a size, speed and strength perspective. Have to believe at least 1 of them could have become a skilled baseball player had they started at 8 and stayed focused on the game. To think that many gifted athletes would have those baseball skills is probably understating rather than overstating the likelihood. Hell Deion Sanders was competent playing baseball part time and Bo Jackson was an all star and he didn't focus on baseball until he was in his 20's.
Baseball would still have Chris Davis because the ability to hit 40 HR's is still the premium skill in the sport. But could he be replaced by Cam Newton had he played baseball - yep. Either way guys like Neil Walker who have been decent players for a decade who is all over the place in baseball - gets upgraded physically if NFL players became MLB prospects. I don't think there really is much doubt about it.
To think that the next Willie Mays, Henry Aaron or Frank Robinson was a WR or DB in the 1990's that you can't even name is far more likely than anyone in MLB becoming the next Randy Moss or Jerry Rice both of whom would have made good looking CF prospects - if they could hit and throw. To extend the point - the 2 best players from the 90's Griffey & Bonds both all time greats and sons of baseball players - illustrate my point exactly which is higher African American participation in baseball would make the game better. Those guys are now playing DB or WR in the NFL.
I'm all for higher African-American participation in baseball. And I don't doubt that there are some NFL players who could've been great baseball players. I suppose we're not that far apart on the issue. But I guess I just find the premise that football is overloaded with the best athletes (say, 60 athletes better than anyone in MLB) unlikely because baseball is drawing from a larger talent pool (as is basketball). The NFL draws its players exclusively from the USA, whereas baseball is over 30% from outside the U.S. I agree that baseball is missing out on some great African-American athletes who play football. But football is missing out on great athletes from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Japan, etc., etc. As much as I love the US of A, I can find no reason to believe that we have cornered the market on high end athletic talent.