November 28, 2022

MLB 1st Round Draft Success, Part 2

The Indians have already appeared on this list as the #18 team, in terms of drafting and developing first round talent. So for all you Cleveland fans who don’t want to keep reading because I won’t be talking about the Indians, there’s nothing wrong with studying your opponents. Part 2, Rankings 15-1:

 
15. Arizona Diamondbacks: 19.3 (21 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Justin Upton, 2005, 1st pick, SS, 85 points.
2. Jarrod Parker, 2007, 9th pick, RHP, 45 points.
3. Wade Miley, 2008, 43rd pick, LHP, 45 points.

Analysis: The Diamondbacks could have easily ranked in the top 5 of this list had they not traded away Justin Upton, Max Scherzer, Jarrod Parker, and Trevor Bauer. That being said, the Diamondbacks are extremely good at identifying good starting pitchers in the first round of the draft. Since 2005, they have drafted 5 pitchers who have ranked as a top prospect.

14. Boston Red Sox: 19.3 (27 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Clay Buchholz, 2005, 42nd pick, RHP, 100 points.
2. Jacoby Ellsbury, 2005, 23rd pick, OF, 75 points.
3. Michael Bowden, 2005, 47th pick, RHP, 60 points.

Analysis: The Red Sox had one of the strongest drafts in recent memory, with their 2005 first round. 300 of the team’s 520 total points came out of the 2005 first round. Since the 2005 first round, the Red Sox have struggled with their picks. Daniel Bard and Jackie Bradley both scored 40 points, and round out the Red Sox top 5, but both have fizzled in the MLB.

13. Chicago White Sox: 20.0 (12 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Chris Sale, 2010, 13th pick, LHP, 90 points.
2. Gordon Beckham, 2008, 8th pick, SS, 45 points.
3. Lance Broadway, 2005, 15th pick, RHP, 20 points.

Analysis: The White Sox drafted the second fewest players in the first round over the past 10 years, which led the pick of Chris Sale to skew the numbers some. 2014 first round pick Carlos Rondon only scored a 5, but in 3 years’ time will rank right next to Chris Sale in these rankings. Gordon Beckham was widely seen as a bust, but benefited from playing 6 seasons with the White Sox.

12. Los Angeles Angels: 20.3 (15 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Mike Trout, 2009, 25th pick, OF, 105 points.
2. Hank Conger, 2006, 25th pick, C, 55 points.
3. Garrett Richards, 2009, 42nd pick, RHP, 40 points.

Analysis: When you draft the most transcendent player since Derek Jeter, you’re doing things right as a team. Garrett Richards could get up there with Trout, but a recent knee injury puts his score on hold. In recent years, the Angels have fallen victim to the draft-pick compensation rule, which took away their first round picks in 2012 and 2013, however, Mike Trout is the great equalizer.

11. Miami Marlins: 20.3 (17 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Jose Fernandez, 2011, 14th pick, RHP, 45 points.
2. Chris Volstad, 2005, 16th pick, RHP, 45 points.
3. Christian Yelich, 2010, 23rd pick, 1B, 40 points.

Analysis: Years of fire sales have finally paid off, okay, not really. The Marlins are a team that has to draft well now, since free agents are now scared to sign with them. Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich are rising fast and could give the Marlins a strong one-two punch in future rankings. The Marlins also hold on to their prospects, which eliminates the 0 scores given out, that fact helped push the Marlins up the list, even though no player cracked 50 points.

10. Houston Astros: 21.4 (14 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Jason Castro, 2008, 10th pick, C, 65 points.
2. George Springer, 2011, 11th pick, OF, 45 points.
3. Jordan Lyles, 2008, 38th pick, RHP, 40 points.

Analysis: This is what years of tanking will get you, the 10th spot on the coveted 1st Round Pick rankings. In five years the Astros will be #1 on this list, mark it down right now. George Springer, Delino Deshields, Carlos Correa, and Mark Appel could all score in the 100s by that time.

9. Detroit Tigers: 22.3 (11 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Rick Porcello, 2007, 27th pick, RHP, 60 points.
2. Nick Castellanos, 2010, 44th pick, 3B, 50 points.
3. Jacob Turner, 2009, 9th pick, RHP, 35 points.

Analysis: Detroit could have ranked higher on this list had they developed their picks instead of trading away the likes of Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, and Jacob Turner. The Tigers have a great drafting ability, but ownership’s thirst for a championship has brought on a lot of trades, which hurt the Tigers in the ranking. However, Porcello and Castellanos are the only two players that have even remotely played up to their potential.

8. Seattle Mariners: 23.1 (13 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Taijuan Walker, 2010, 43rd pick, RHP, 50 points.
2. Dustin Ackley, 2009, 2nd pick, CF, 50 points.
3. Nick Franklin, 2009, 27th pick, SS, 35 points.

Analysis: Years of high draft picks, and those picks becoming top prospects, paid off for the Mariners, at least in these rankings. In 5 straight years, from 2009-2013, the Mariners drafted a player that went on to be a top prospect. The only downside (and this is a pretty big downside) is that haven’t figured out how to translate outstanding minor league players into good major league players.

7. Colorado Rockies: 24.1 (16 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Troy Tulowitzki, 2005, 7th pick, SS, 125 points.
2. Tyler Matzek, 2009, 11th pick, LHP, 35 points.
3. Rex Brothers, 2009, 35th pick, LHP, 30 points.

Analysis: The non-Tulo players were able to register an average score of 17.3, so this isn’t just a one man show. However, there still is a pretty big talent drop after Tulo. Current top prospects Eddie Butler and Jon Gray should close that gap in the coming years.

6. Cincinnati Reds: 24.4 (17 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Jay Bruce, 2005, 12th pick, OF, 95 points.
2. Todd Frazier, 2007, 34th pick, 3B, 65 points.
3. Devin Mesoraco, 2007, 15th pick, C, 65 points.

Analysis: The first team on the list to draft three All-Star players in the first round. It isn’t just those three players either: the Reds have drafted Drew Stubbs (traded after 4 season with team), Mike Leake, and Yonder Alonso (top prospect with team, traded after 2 years). However, the Reds have fallen off since the 2009 draft. From 2005-2009 they scored a 43.1, but from 2010-2014 they scored a 7.8.

5. San Francisco Giants: 26.2 (15 players drafted)
Top 3 Players
1. Tim Lincecum, 2006, 10th, RHP, 120 points.
2. Buster Posey, 2008, 5th pick, C, 90 points.
3. Madison Bumgarner, 2007, 10th pick, LHP, 90 points.

Analysis: The Giants boast the best trio of players drafted, as Tim Lincecum has won 2 CY Youngs, Buster Posey has an MVP, and Madison Bumgarner is one of the best pitchers in the game. However, once you get past these three guys, no player scored more than a 25. Still their top 3 guys earn them plenty of merit for the 5th ranking.

4. Washington Nationals: 29.7 (15 players drafted)

Top 3 Players
1. Ryan Zimmerman, 2005, 4th pick, 3B, 85 points.
2. Bryce Harper, 2010, 1st pick, OF, 75 points.
3. Stephen Strasburg, 2009, 1st pick, RHP, 60 points.

Analysis: The Nationals struck gold in 2009 and 2010, as they lost their way to drafting arguably the two best prospects in MLB history, in Harper and Strasburg. However, the players haven’t had as much success in the MLB as many would have thought, but they still have plenty of time in their careers to catch up. Strasburg was slowed by Tommy John surgery, or else he would have been scored higher. Other notable players the Nationals have drafted in the first round are Ross Detwiler (55 points), Drew Storen (45 points), and Anthony Rendon (40 points).

3. Pittsburgh Pirates: 30.4 (14 players drafted)
Top 3 Players
1. Andrew McCutchen, 2005, 11th pick, OF, 140 points.
2. Pedro Alvarez, 2008, 2nd pick, 3B, 70 points.
3. Jameson Taillon, 2010, 2nd pick, RHP, 45 points.

Analysis: The top three teams all have one thing in common, years of high draft picks have finally paid off and all the teams are contending. Andrew McCutchen is obviously the coup of the Pirates draft, but the Pirates still had 6 players score a 30 or above. Reese McGuire and Austin Meadow, both drafted in 2013, rank as top prospects and will keep the Pirates high in the rankings for years to come.

2. Baltimore Orioles: 32.1 (12 players drafted)
Top 3 Players
1. Matt Wieters, 2007, 5th pick, C, 105 points.
2. Manny Machado, 2010, 3rd pick, SS, 60 points.
3. Brian Matusz, 2008, 4th pick, LHP, 60 points.

Analysis: Matt Wieters may be gone on free agency in the off season, so his score won’t be increasing in the coming years. However, the trio of Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy, and Kevin Gausman will keep the Orioles relevant for years to come. On the negative side, the Orioles did forfeit their 2014 first round pick to sign Ubaldo Jimenez, I probably should knock the Orioles some points for that.

1. Kansas City Royals: 34.3 (14 players drafted)
Top 3 Players
1. Alex Gordon, 2005, 2nd pick, 3B, 100 points.
2. Mike Moustakas, 2007, 2nd pick, SS, 70 points.
3. Luke Hochevar, 2006, 1st pick, RHP, 65 points.

Analysis: The Royals had 11 of their players drafted register a 15 or above. Every single Royals player drafted (except for their 2014 picks) has been a top prospect. For a while it looked like Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, Mike Moustakas, Aaron Crow, and Eric Hosmer might all turn out to be busts, but the past two years have turned the tide on those players. They are all big cogs in the Royals march to the postseason. They earn the #1 spot thanks to years of top 5 picks, and they are finally starting to pay off in the win category.

— Chris Sladoje (@CST_Doje)

Photo via metsminorleagueblog.com

 

 

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