As John Manuel alluded to earlier, the Rays are in uncommon territory. After "earning" the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft by finishing with the worst record in the game last year, the Rays have made an impressive turnaround this season.
So if it seems a little bit unusual that the team with the first pick in the draft has one of the best records in baseball, you’re right. Since 1989, only two teams have had as good a record as the Rays on the day heading into the draft. The last team with a better winning percentage than the Rays’ .597 mark was the 2001 Twins, who at 37-18 had a .673 winning percentage, then used their top pick to take a franchise catcher, Joe Mauer.
|DRAFT DAY RECORDS
The only other team with a better record heading into draft day was the 1995 Angels, though they had only played 33 games after the season was delayed from the players’ strike in 1994. They ended up with a pretty good player that year, nabbing Nebraska outfielder Darin Erstad with the top pick.
Adding Tim Beckham to what already ranks as the game’s best farm system—including last year’s No. 1 overall pick, David Price—the Rays are positioned to dominate our organizational rankings for years to come.