Jonathan Mayo discusses Smart, Wrong, and Lucky

Patrick King recently welcomed Jonathan Mayo to The Poisoned Pen. Mayo’s latest book is Smart, Wrong, and Lucky: The Origin Stories of Baseball’s Unexpected Stars. You can find autographed copies of the book in the Webstore.

Here’s the description of Smart, Wrong, And Lucky.

A fascinating look at how MLB teams find diamonds in the rough

In the plainest of terms, baseball scouts are tasked with seeing the future—a distant future, at that. Baseball’s long developmental arc leaves room for plenty of twists and turns on the way to The Show. Some prospects shoot like arrows toward their projected potential, while others fizzle out or chart an unexpected course.

Joey Votto was a lightly scouted high schooler out of Ontario, Canada. Charlie Blackmon was once coveted for his left arm more than his offensive potential. Mookie Betts “lost interest in the draft” as he went unselected round after round. Jacob deGrom refused to relinquish his role as a shortstop. Lorenzo Cain never even put on a baseball glove until high school—and then wore it on the wrong hand.

Smart, Wrong, and Lucky explores how first impressions measure up to their aftermaths: the draft, years of progression, and for a talented few, major league success. writer Jonathan Mayo profiles a diverse range of modern stars and looks at them through the eyes of those who noticed them first as prospects.

Featuring exclusive interviews with scouts, players, coaches, and more, this fascinating collection of origin stories is an ode to baseball’s endless possibilities.

Jonathan Mayo has been a writer for since 1999, focusing on the MLB Draft and minor league prospects since 2003. This is his second book, having authored Facing Clemens: Hitters on Confronting Baseball’s Most Intimidating Pitcher in 2008. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Sara, and has two children, Ziv and Elena.

Enjoy the chatter before the regular program with Jonathan Mayo.