A Decade Of Drafts: Best, Worst Drafts Of The Decade
We pick the 10 best and 10 worst drafts from 2000-2009.
We pick the 10 best and 10 worst drafts from 2000-2009.
Because you expect it of us, we went back and graded each draft from the last decade, and ranked teams by their overall grade-point averages.
We've selected the best player any team found in each of the first 25 rounds over the course of the decade:
Jim Callis answered draft questions on June 9.
We've posted over 900 scouting reports on 2010 draftees for our subscribers, but to give everyone a taste of what they're getting we've posted scouting reports on the 2010 first round for free.
Our pre-draft chat answered plenty of questions as the draft neared on June 7.
A look back on Bryce Harper's mentions in Baseball America and some quotes from a few people that know him best.
It's the morning of the draft, and we don't know for certain anything more than we knew heading into the weekend. JC of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper will go No. 1 overall to the Nationals. The next two best prospects—Texas high school righthander Jameson Taillon and Florida prep shortstop Manny Machado—will be the next two picks, in either order, to the Pirates and Orioles. After the big three, there's little agreement on how to stack up the remaining talent.
The state of Arkansas produced only one first-round pick in the last decade (Nick Schmidt in 2007), yet could have two this year in Arkansas teammates Zack Cox and Brett Eibner. Another Razorback, Drew Smyly, is one of the top lefthanders available, and Southern Arkansas righty Hayden Simpson is one of the best small-college prospects in the draft. The high school crop was nondescript until righthanders Ben Wells and Richie Tate popped up late in the spring.<br/>
Blue Valley High righthander Ryne Stanek reached his projection earlier than anyone expected, and he towers over the rest of the state's prospects. He passed Blue Valley Northwest High righty Jason Adam, who might have joined Stanek in the first three rounds if not for a final-month fade. A year after all three of the state's Division I programs made the NCAA playoffs, only Kansas State returned to the regionals, symbolic of a lackluster college crop headline by polished Wichita State righthander Jordan Cooper.<br/>
Jim Callis' June 4th look at how the first round will fall.
Baseball remains on the rise in Oregon, thanks to the huge strides made by the state's two major-college programs. Oregon State is making its fifth regional appearance in the last six years, a run that also happens to include three straight trips to Omaha (2005-07) and back-to-back national titles in 2006 and '07. Oregon has also made swift progress since the return of its baseball program last season, reaching regionals this year for the first time since 1964. It's no surprise that those two programs dominate the state's talent list. Most of the top high school and junior college players will probably head to four-year colleges rather than pro ball.<br/>
Scouts aren't always sure how to judge Canadian high school prospects when they play local competition, so the Canadian junior national team is an important crucible for most of the best prospects in the country. Baseball Canada does a great job sending the junior team south during the spring, playing quality junior-college and professional competition with wood bats. British Columbia, which has produced the likes of Jason Bay, Jeff Francis and Justin Morneau, is typically the hottest province for Canadian talent, but this year it looks like it's Ontario.<br/>
Hawaii rarely produces Top 200-caliber players. The state hasn't had one since 2006, when the Indians selected lefthander Steven Wright in the second round, but could have another this year. The addition of a couple of interesting high school players makes it a solid year for the islands. As usual, there aren't any players in Alaska.<br/>
Scouts struck gold in the Silver State this spring. Nevada has never produced a No. 1 overall pick—nor has the first overall pick ever come from a junior college—but that should change this year with Bryce Harper. The growth of Las Vegas in recent years has made Nevada's high schools more productive, and Harper brought the spotlight on a lot of other players in the area—particularly his teammates. Nevada could have as many as 10 players drafted in single-digit rounds.<br/>
With four players in Baseball America's Top 200, Alabama has one fewer than last year. But the state has depth behind its top players, and two or three other members of the college class could break into the top 200 selections. This shouldn't be a surprise, though, because both Alabama and especially Auburn have strong junior classes that were well regarded in the fall of 2007, when they first arrived on campus. Both programs are winning despite the state's modest high school talent, and even though Jacksonville State has produced a player who could be the state's top draft pick for the second straight year.<br/>
Mississippi hasn't produced a first-round pick since Paul Maholm went eighth overall back in 2003 out of Mississippi State. Lefthander Drew Pomeranz of Ole Miss figures to end that streak this year and could be the first four-year college player selected. The state had an eventful draft season with Pomeranz, a better-than-average high school crop and one of the South's best pop-up stories of late in Copiah High catcher/outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
It's not a good year in the Four Corners, especially for scouts who don't also have Las Vegas as part of their territory (which meant getting to see Bryce Harper). Most who scout Arizona also have Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, and while the Grand Canyon State usually supplies the bulk of the talent, this season the pickings are slim.<br/>
After the top two players in Utah, scouts didn't find much to get excited about. Talent evaluators are skeptical of players from the Beehive State, which is understandable. College players are often older than average after serving Mormon missions, thin air can distort statistics and the track record for high school players just isn't that great. Since 1980, just five players who signed out of Utah high schools have made it to the big leagues.<br/>
Indiana had just two first-rounders and no sandwich picks in the previous six drafts before producing two of each in 2009. The Hoosier State has a chance to match that this year, with scouts streaming into Muncie to see Cowan High catcher Justin O'Conner and Ball State teammates Kolbrin Vitek and Perci Garner. Indiana State righthander Jacob Petricka also turned heads when he started popping 98 mph fastballs in mid-April. Petricka and Garner faded a bit at the end of the season, but O'Conner and Vitek firmly established themselves as first-rounders.<br/>