Top 100 Draft Flashback: Impact Players, Notable Flops

While we’re headlong into draft preview mode, we’re also taking a retrospective look at the top draft 100 picks—the cream of the amateur crop—from the 20 drafts from 1989 through 2008. Check out the previous installment, At What Positions Do Top Picks End Up?, for more on why we chose those cutoff dates, why we stopped at 100 picks and where one might expect a high school shortstop to settle in the big leagues.

If a team ends up with a major league player from one of its draft picks, it can be reasonably satisfied. But what teams are really looking for are impact players.

In this Top 100 Draft Flashback, we’ll examine success rates for various draft demographics—spoiler alert: high school draft picks carry more risk of reaching the majors—by looking at both the number of players who reach the big leagues, and the number who become significant contributors to major league success. We’ll touch on a number of draft flops and list all the players, sorted by Baseball-Reference’s wins above replacement (WAR) metric, who qualified for the big league position study by reaching the majors for at least 100 games. For this exercise we’re not counting cup-of-coffee callups as major league graduates. Players are grouped by the position where they were drafted.

Catchers

Graduation Rates (at least 100 big league games)
• High School—26 of 81 (32 percent)
• College—34 of 65 (52 percent)

Impact Rates (at least 10 career WAR)
• High School—nine of 81 (11 percent)
Jason Kendall, Joe Mauer, Paul Konerko, Joey Votto, A.J. Pierzynski, Jayson Werth, Justin Morneau, Brian McCann, Mike Lieberthal
• College—eight of 65 (12 percent)
Jason Varitek, Charles Johnson, Brandon Inge, Dan Wilson, Matt Wieters, Buster Posey, Kurt Suzuki, Scott Hatteberg

Jury Is Out (players on 40-man rosters but with fewer than 100 games)
Hank Conger (25th, 2006), Devin Mesoraco (15th, 2007), Austin Romine (94th, 2007), Kyle Skipworth (sixth, 2008) and Travis d’Arnaud (37th, 2007)

Highest Draft Position
• High School—Joe Mauer (Twins, No. 1, 2001)
• College—Eric Munson (Tigers, No. 3, 1999) and Jeff Clement (Mariners, No. 3, 2005)

Biggest Flop
Though Jeff Clement failed to live up to his draft position (third overall in 2005) with Seattle, batting .237/.309/.393 in 75 games after twice ranking as the system’s top prospect, at least he reached the majors. Ryan Christianson, the 11th pick in the 1999 draft by the Mariners out of a Riverside, Calif., high school signed for $2.1 million but failed to reach the majors, topping out at Triple-A Tacoma in 2004 and ’05. Injury woes and an all-or-nothing hitting approach proved to be his undoing.

YEAR RD NO PLAYER MLB SRC COLLEGE/HS CITY
WAR
1992 1 23 Jason Kendall C HS Torrance, Calif. 41.5
2001 1 1 Joe Mauer C HS St. Paul, Minn. 39.2
1994 1 13 Paul Konerko 1B HS Scottsdale, Ariz. 29.9
2002 2 44 Joey Votto 1B HS Toronto 28.2
1994 1 14 Jason Varitek C 4YR Georgia Tech 24.3
1994 3 71 A.J. Pierzynski C HS Orlando 22.8
1992 1 28 Charles Johnson C 4YR Miami 22.5
1997 1 22 Jayson Werth RF HS Chatham, Ill. 22.3
1999 3 89 Justin Morneau 1B HS New Westminster, B.C. 21.7
2002 2 64 Brian McCann C HS Duluth, Ga. 21.3
1998 2 57 Brandon Inge 3B 4YR Virginia Commonwealth 19.4
1990 1 3 Mike Lieberthal C HS Westlake Village, Calif. 15.2
1990 1 7 Dan Wilson C 4YR Minnesota 13.0
2007 1 5 Matt Wieters C 4YR Georgia Tech 12.9
2008 1 5 Buster Posey C 4YR Florida State 12.4
2004 2 67 Kurt Suzuki C 4YR Cal State Fullerton 11.8
1991 1s 43 Scott Hatteberg 1B 4YR Washington State 10.0
1999 2 59 Ryan Doumit C HS Moses Lake, Wash. 8.7
2003 1 28 Daric Barton 1B HS Huntington Beach, Calif. 8.6
2001 2 48 Kelly Shoppach C 4YR Baylor 8.4
1998 2 45 Gerald Laird C HS Westminster, Calif. 6.8
2004 1 11 Neil Walker 2B HS Gibsonia, Pa. 6.3
1993 3 88 Eli Marrero C HS Coral Gables, Fla. 5.0
2002 2 68 Chris Snyder C 4YR Houston 4.4
2005 2 76 Nick Hundley C 4YR Arizona 4.1
2003 3 78 Ryan Garko 1B 4YR Stanford 3.7
1995 2 47 Craig Wilson 1B HS Huntington Beach, Calif. 3.6
2003 1s 36 Jarrod Saltalamacchia C HS West Palm Beach, Fla. 3.5
2007 1 21 J.P. Arencibia C 4YR Tennessee 3.3
1999 3 100 Josh Bard C 4YR Texas Tech 3.2
1994 1 17 Ramon Castro C HS Vega Baja, P.R. 3.1
1989 1 13 Brent Mayne C 4YR Cal State Fullerton 3.0
1995 1 2 Ben Davis C HS Malvern, Pa. 3.0
2001 1s 33 Jeff Mathis C HS Marianna, Fla. 2.0
1994 1 26 Mark Johnson C HS Warner Robins, Ga. 2.0
1989 3 84 Brook Fordyce C HS Old Lyme, Conn. 1.9
2003 1 30 Mitch Maier CF 4YR Toledo 1.5
1989 1 2 Tyler Houston 3B HS Las Vegas 1.5
2007 1s 48 Josh Donaldson 3B 4YR Auburn 1.3
2008 1 10 Jason Castro C 4YR Stanford 1.3
2005 3 99 Taylor Teagarden C 4YR Texas 1.3
1989 4 98 Jesse Levis C 4YR North Carolina 1.1
1995 2 38 Ben Petrick C HS Hillsboro, Ore. 0.5
1997 1s 50 Matt LeCroy C 4YR Clemson 0.4
1990 2 52 Jayhawk Owens C 4YR Middle Tennessee State 0.3
1996 3 75 A.J. Hinch C 4YR Stanford 0.1
2004 1 24 Landon Powell C 4YR South Carolina 0.1
2004 3 78 Craig Tatum C 4YR Mississippi State 0.1
2001 2 49 Rene Rivera C HS Bayamon, P.R. -0.2
1992 3 82 Chris Widger C 4YR George Mason -0.3
2005 2s 79 Brett Hayes C 4YR Nevada -0.3
1999 2 56 Rob Bowen C HS Fort Wayne, Ind. -0.3
1992 2 50 Bobby Hughes C 4YR Southern California -0.6
2003 3 73 Jake Fox LF 4YR Michigan -0.6
1990 1s 33 Marcus Jensen C HS Oakland -0.7
2004 2 62 Jason Jaramillo C 4YR Oklahoma State -0.8
2005 1 3 Jeff Clement 1B 4YR Southern California -1.2
1999 1 3 Eric Munson 3B 4YR Southern California -1.5
1997 2 75 Jason Grabowski LF 4YR Connecticut -1.9
1991 1s 34 Jorge Fabregas C 4YR Miami -2.1

 

Shortstops

Graduation Rates (at least 100 big league games)
• High School—44 of 132 (33 percent)
• College—35 of 73 (48 percent)

Impact Rates (at least 10 career WAR)
• High School—11 of 132 (eight percent)
Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins, Brandon Phillips, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, Kelly Johnson, Michael Cuddyer
• College—nine of 73 (12 percent)
Chuck Knoblauch, Nomar Garciaparra, Dustin Pedroia, Brian Roberts, Troy Tulowitzki, Aaron Hill, Adam Kennedy, Stephen Drew, Adam Everett

Jury Is Out (players on 40-man rosters but with fewer than 100 games)
Ryan Flaherty (41st, 2008), Matt Tuiasosopo (93rd, 2004), Pete Kozma (18th, 2007), Jordy Mercer (79th, 2008), Chris Valaika (84th, 2006), Jeff Bianchi (50th, 2005) and Tim Beckham (first, 2008)

Highest Draft Position
• High School—Chipper Jones (Braves, No. 1, 1990), Alex Rodriguez (Mariners, No. 1, 1993), Matt Bush (Padres, No. 1, 2004), Justin Upton (Diamondbacks, No. 1, 2005) and Tim Beckham (Rays, No. 1, 2008)
• College—Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies, No. 7, 2005)

Biggest Flop
Given his status as the first pick in the 2004 draft, and considering the players the Padres passed on—Jered Weaver, Stephen Drew and Justin Verlander—and considering he’s incarcerated, Matt Bush may be the biggest bust at any position in draft history. The San Diego high school product signed for $3.15 million but delivered a batting line of .219/.294/.276 in parts of four seasons in the low minors before converting to the mound in 2007. He made enough progress as a pitcher to reach Double-A and make the Rays’ 40-man roster following 2011 season, but ultimately Bush has more drunken-driving convictions (three) and arm surgeries (two) than major league appearances.

Bush’s fall obscures another prep shortstop on a hometown discount gone bad. The Diamondbacks selected local Phoenix product Corey Myers with the fourth pick in the 1999 draft, signing him for $2 million, but he quickly moved off shortstop and then departed as a minor league free agent following the 2005 season, having topped out at Triple-A Tucson as a corner infielder/catcher.

YEAR RD NO PLAYER MLB SRC COLLEGE/HS CITY
WAR
1993 1 1 Alex Rodriguez SS HS Miami 115.5
1990 1 1 Chipper Jones 3B HS Jacksonville 85.1
1992 1 6 Derek Jeter SS HS Kalamazoo, Mich. 72.3
1989 1 25 Chuck Knoblauch 2B 4YR Texas A&M 44.5
1994 1 12 Nomar Garciaparra SS 4YR Georgia Tech 44.2
1996 2 46 Jimmy Rollins SS HS Alameda, Calif. 42.1
2004 2 65 Dustin Pedroia 2B 4YR Arizona State 31.9
1999 1s 50 Brian Roberts 2B 4YR South Carolina 28.4
2005 1 7 Troy Tulowitzki SS 4YR Long Beach State 27.8
2003 1 13 Aaron Hill 2B 4YR Louisiana State 24.0
1999 2 57 Brandon Phillips 2B HS Stone Mountain, Ga. 23.1
1997 1 20 Adam Kennedy 2B 4YR Cal State Northridge 20.9
2001 2 56 J.J. Hardy SS HS Tucson 19.7
2003 1s 37 Adam Jones CF HS San Diego 15.6
2002 1 2 B.J. Upton CF HS Chesapeake, Va. 15.4
2005 1 1 Justin Upton RF HS Chesapeake, Va. 15.3
2000 1s 38 Kelly Johnson 2B HS Austin 15.3
1997 1 9 Michael Cuddyer RF HS Chesapeake, Va. 13.7
2004 1 15 Stephen Drew SS 4YR Florida State 13.0
1998 1 12 Adam Everett SS 4YR South Carolina 12.6
2002 1 13 Khalil Greene SS 4YR Clemson 8.4
1992 1 10 Michael Tucker RF 4YR Longwood (Va.) 8.2
1991 3 94 Chris Stynes 3B HS Boca Raton, Fla. 8.2
1995 2 35 Mark Bellhorn 2B 4YR Auburn 8.0
1998 1 8 Felipe Lopez SS HS Altamonte Springs, Fla. 7.5
2003 3 90 Sean Rodriguez 2B HS Miami 7.2
1996 3 88 Alex Cora SS 4YR Miami 7.0
2005 1 21 Cliff Pennington SS 4YR Texas A&M 6.9
2001 3 78 Ryan Theriot SS 4YR Louisiana State 6.4
2004 3 84 Ian Desmond SS HS Sarasota, Fla. 6.3
1992 1 9 Preston Wilson CF HS Bamberg, S.C. 6.3
1991 1 20 Pokey Reese 2B HS Hopkins, S.C. 6.3
2008 3 87 Danny Espinosa 2B 4YR Long Beach State 6.2
2000 3 82 Michael Morse LF HS Plantation, Fla. 6.2
1991 2 54 Kevin Stocker SS 4YR Washington 5.9
1991 1 26 Brent Gates 2B 4YR Minnesota 5.6
2001 1 25 Bobby Crosby SS 4YR Long Beach State 5.3
2008 1 8 Gordon Beckham 2B 4YR Georgia 4.8
2007 1 2 Mike Moustakas 3B HS Chatsworth, Calif. 4.1
2007 2 79 Zack Cozart SS 4YR Mississippi 3.2
1993 1s 29 Kevin Orie 3B 4YR Indiana 3.1
1989 1 18 Willie Greene 3B HS Gray, Ga. 3.1
1991 1 19 Benji Gil SS HS Chula Vista, Calif. 3.0
1995 1 28 Michael Barrett C HS Atlanta 2.7
1994 1s 30 Russ Johnson 3B 4YR Louisiana State 2.6
2002 1 27 Sergio Santos RHP HS Hacienda Heights, Calif. 2.6
2001 1s 44 Jayson Nix 3B HS Midland, Texas 2.6
2002 2 52 Robert Andino 2B HS Miami 2.1
2004 1 28 Blake DeWitt 2B HS Sikeston, Mo. 1.9
1999 3 95 Willie Bloomquist SS 4YR Arizona State 1.8
2006 3 97 Jason Donald SS 4YR Arizona 1.4
2004 2 45 Reid Brignac SS HS St. Amant, La. 1.2
1999 1s 37 Jason Repko RF HS West Richland, Wash. 1.2
1996 2 42 Mike Caruso SS HS Parkland, Fla. 0.8
2001 3 77 Jose Morales C HS Rio Piedras, P.R. 0.6
2000 2 56 Jason Bourgeois CF HS Houston 0.4
1994 3 80 Oscar Robles SS HS San Diego 0.2
2003 1s 33 Omar Quintanilla 2B 4YR Texas 0.1
2002 1 14 Russ Adams SS 4YR North Carolina 0.0
1996 2 44 Brent Abernathy 2B HS Atlanta 0.0
2005 1 30 Tyler Greene SS 4YR Georgia Tech -0.1
1989 2 44 Clay Bellinger 3B 4YR Rollins (Fla.) -0.2
2007 2 91 Danny Worth 2B 4YR Pepperdine -0.2
2004 1 20 Trevor Plouffe 3B HS Northridge, Calif. -0.3
1996 3 68 Brent Butler 2B HS Laurinburg, N.C. -0.3
1989 3 66 Tripp Cromer SS 4YR South Carolina -0.5
1999 3 86 Josh Wilson SS HS Pittsburgh -0.8
2002 1 8 Scott Moore 3B HS Cypress, Calif. -0.8
1995 2 58 Henry Mateo 2B HS Santurce, P.R. -0.8
1997 1 14 Brandon Larson 3B 4YR Louisiana State -0.9
1997 3 90 Cesar Crespo 2B HS Caguas, P.R. -1.1
2000 1 3 Lou Montanez LF HS Miami -1.2
1992 3 84 Chris Gomez SS 4YR Long Beach State -1.3
2004 2 52 Brian Bixler SS 4YR Eastern Michigan -1.3
1994 1 28 Kevin Witt 1B HS Jacksonville -1.6
2004 1 9 Chris Nelson 3B HS Decatur, Ga. -1.7
2006 1s 33 Emmanuel Burriss 2B 4YR Kent State -2.2
1995 1 10 Chad Hermansen CF HS Henderson, Nev. -3.6
2003 1 23 Brandon Wood 3B HS Scottsdale, Ariz. -3.8

 

Second Basemen

Graduation Rates (at least 100 big league games)
• High School—zero of seven (0 percent)
• College—nine of 22 (41 percent)

Impact Rates (at least 10 career WAR)
• High School—zero
• College—three of 22 (14 percent)
Chase Utley, Rickie Weeks, Todd Walker

Jury Is Out (players on 40-man rosters but with fewer than 100 games)
Eric Sogard (81st, 2007), Charlie Culberson (51st, 2007), L.J. Hoes (81st, 2008) and Nick Noonan (32nd, 2007)

Highest Draft Position
• High School—Nick Noonan (Giants, No. 32, 2007)
• College—Rickie Weeks (Brewers, No. 2, 2003)

Biggest Flop
Every first-round second baseman in our 20-year window made the majors, though Chris Burke, the 10th pick in 2001 by the Astros, made a limited impact—the ’05 NL Division Series versus the Braves notwithstanding—batting .239/.315/.359 in 477 games. The former Southeastern Conference player of the year at Tennessee actually spent more time in the outfield than at the keystone in a six-year career for Houston, Arizona and San Diego.

YEAR RD NO PLAYER MLB SRC COLLEGE/HS CITY
WAR
2000 1 15 Chase Utley 2B 4YR UCLA 55.1
2003 1 2 Rickie Weeks 2B 4YR Southern 13.3
1994 1 8 Todd Walker 2B 4YR Louisiana State 10.5
1995 2 42 Marlon Anderson 2B 4YR South Alabama 7.1
2005 1s 45 Jed Lowrie SS 4YR Stanford 5.9
2001 1 19 Mike Fontenot 2B 4YR Louisiana State 4.3
2008 1 12 Jemile Weeks 2B 4YR Miami 0.8
2008 2 49 Johnny Giavotella 2B 4YR New Orleans -0.3
2001 1 10 Chris Burke 2B 4YR Tennessee -1.2

 

Third Basemen

Graduation Rates (at least 100 big league games)
• High School—17 of 61 (28 percent)
• College—27 of 47 (57 percent)

Impact Rates (at least 10 career WAR)
• High School—six of 61 (10 percent)
Scott Rolen, David Wright, Eric Chavez, Alex Rios, Dmitri Young, Billy Butler
• College—10 of 47 (21 percent)
Jason Giambi, Mark Teixeira, Troy Glaus, Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Alex Gordon, Phil Nevin, Chase Headley, Aaron Boone

Jury Is Out (players on 40-man rosters but with fewer than 100 games)
Matt Dominguez (12th, 2007), Conor Gillaspie (37th, 2008), Josh Vitters (third, 2007), Chris Marrero (15th, 2006), James Darnell (69th, 2008) and Matt West (80th, 2007, but he’s now a righthanded reliever)

Highest Draft Position
• High School—Josh Vitters (Cubs, No. 3, 2007)
• College—Phil Nevin (Astros, No. 1, 1992)

Biggest Flop
The Brewers got 1994 fourth overall pick Antone Williamson, a former Arizona State third baseman, to the big leagues for 24 games in ’97. At least they got him to Milwaukee. Much more noteworthy is the flameout rate for prep third basemen taken in the upper two-thirds of the first round. The Orioles’ Billy Rowell (ninth, 2006), the Blue Jays’ Kevin Ahrens (16th, 2007) and the Twins’ Matt Moses (21st, 2003) failed to reach the majors, and only Moses reached Triple-A, playing 48 games there in ’07.

More broadly, for every prep third-base success story like Dmitri Young (fourth, 1991) or Eric Chavez (10th, 1996), you’ll find a first-round what-if, such as Sean Burroughs (ninth, 1998) or Ian Stewart (10th, 2003). Burroughs (Padres) and Stewart (Rockies) each ranked as his system’s top prospect on two occasions, yet didn’t live up to that potential in the big leagues. We’re still giving the benefit of the doubt to a pair of 2007 first-rounders, Josh Vitters (third) and Matt Dominguez (12th), but the outlook for both is not particularly bright.

YEAR RD NO PLAYER MLB SRC COLLEGE/HS CITY
WAR
1993 2 46 Scott Rolen 3B HS Jasper, Ind. 70.0
1992 2 58 Jason Giambi 1B 4YR Long Beach State 51.7
2001 1 5 Mark Teixeira 1B 4YR Georgia Tech 47.8
2001 1s 38 David Wright 3B HS Chesapeake, Va. 41.4
1997 1 3 Troy Glaus 3B 4YR UCLA 38.0
1996 1 10 Eric Chavez 3B HS San Diego 36.7
2005 1 5 Ryan Braun LF 4YR Miami 34.0
2006 1 3 Evan Longoria 3B 4YR Long Beach State 30.6
2005 1 4 Ryan Zimmerman 3B 4YR Virginia 29.8
1999 1 19 Alex Rios RF HS Guaynabo, P.R. 26.7
2005 1 2 Alex Gordon LF 4YR Nebraska 18.9
1992 1 1 Phil Nevin 3B 4YR Cal State Fullerton 15.9
2005 2 66 Chase Headley 3B 4YR Tennessee 14.1
1994 3 72 Aaron Boone 3B 4YR Southern California 13.5
1991 1 4 Dmitri Young 1B HS Oxnard, Calif. 12.1
2004 1 14 Billy Butler 1B HS Jacksonville 11.7
2008 1 16 Brett Lawrie 3B HS Langley, B.C. 7.9
2001 3 87 Jack Hannahan 3B 4YR Minnesota 7.5
1993 2 60 Brad Fullmer 1B HS Chatsworth, Calif. 5.9
1998 1 9 Sean Burroughs 3B HS Long Beach 5.4
1991 2 57 Herb Perry 3B 4YR Florida 5.2
2000 2 49 Xavier Nady RF 4YR California 3.8
2003 1 10 Ian Stewart 3B HS Garden Grove, Calif. 3.7
2007 1s 34 Todd Frazier 3B 4YR Rutgers 3.6
2002 1s 39 Mark Teahen 3B 4YR St. Mary’s 2.5
2003 1 19 Conor Jackson 1B 4YR California 2.2
1990 1 11 Shane Andrews 3B HS Carlsbad, N.M. 2.0
2008 1s 46 Logan Forsythe 2B 4YR Arkansas 1.5
2008 1 2 Pedro Alvarez 3B 4YR Vanderbilt 1.2
2008 3 86 Brent Morel 3B 4YR Cal Poly 0.9
1991 1s 27 Scott Stahoviak 1B 4YR Creighton 0.9
1993 3 93 Javier Valentin C HS Manati, P.R. 0.9
2001 2 57 Dallas McPherson 3B 4YR The Citadel 0.8
2003 3 93 Brian Buscher 3B 4YR South Carolina 0.5
2000 2 61 Lance Niekro 1B 4YR Florida Southern 0.4
1996 1 23 Damian Rolls 3B HS Kansas City, Kan. -0.3
1989 2 45 Andy Fox SS HS Sacramento -0.5
1997 3 96 Chris Aguila LF HS Reno, Nev. -0.8
2000 1 30 Scott Thorman 1B HS Cambridge, Ontario -0.9
2006 1s 36 Chris Coghlan LF 4YR Mississippi -1.0
2004 1 18 Josh Fields 3B 4YR Oklahoma State -1.1
1997 1s 39 Jason Romano CF HS Tampa -1.3
1993 2 59 Greg Norton 3B 4YR Oklahoma -2.4
1995 1 25 Jeff Liefer 1B 4YR Long Beach State -2.8

 

Outfielders

Graduation Rates (at least 100 big league games)
• High School—55 of 194 (28 percent)
• College—72 of 153 (47 percent)

Impact Rates (at least 10 career WAR)
• High School—23 of 194 (12 percent)
Manny Ramirez, Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon, Torii Hunter, Carl Crawford, Shawn Green, Vernon Wells, Rondell White, Grady Sizemore, Shannon Stewart, Josh Hamilton, Trot Nixon, Carl Everett, Andrew McCutchen, Denard Span, Milton Bradley, Adam Dunn, Jason Heyward, Austin Kearns, Tony Clark, Giancarlo Stanton, Jay Bruce, Rocco Baldelli
• College—20 of 153 (13 percent)
J.D. Drew, Tim Salmon, Curtis Granderson, Darin Erstad, Randy Winn, Mark Kotsay, Geoff Jenkins, Nick Swisher, Aaron Rowand, Jeromy Burnitz, Hunter Pence, Jose Cruz Jr., Andre Ethier, Jay Payton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Ludwick, Jacque Jones, Brad Wilkerson, Doug Glanville, David Murphy

Jury Is Out (players on 40-man rosters but with fewer than 100 games)
Charlie Blackmon (72nd, 2008), Anthony Gose (51st, 2008), Logan Schafer (94th, 2008), Xavier Avery (50th, 2008), Corey Brown (59th, 2007), Joe Benson (64th, 2006), Aaron Hicks (14th, 2008), Zach Collier (34th, 2008), Jaff Decker (42nd, 2008) and Roger Kieschnick (82nd, 2008)

Highest Draft Position
• High School—Josh Hamilton (Rays, No. 1, 1999) and Delmon Young (Rays, No. 1, 2003)
• College—Darin Erstad (Angels, No. 1, 1995)

Biggest Flop
It’s difficult to find top 10 draft picks selected as high school catchers or shortstops or third basemen who don’t at least receive a cup of coffee in the big leagues. The same is not true for outfielders. Seven top 10 prep outfielders failed to reach the majors at all: Jeff Jackson (Phillies, No. 4, 1989), B.J. Garbe (Twins, No. 5, 1999), Chris Lubanski (Royals, No. 5, 2003), Paul Coleman (Cardinals, No. 6, 1989), Jaime Jones (Marlins, No. 6, 1995), Ryan Harvey (Cubs, No. 6, 2003) and Earl Cunningham (Cubs, No. 8, 1989).

To be fair, a handful of top 10 college outfielders made very small imprints in the big leagues, including Mike Kelly (Braves, No. 2, 1991), Donald Harris (Rangers, No. 5, 1989), Chad Mottola (Reds, No. 5, 1992), Joe Vitiello (Royals, No. 7, 1991) and Calvin Murray (Giants, No. 7, 1992).

Given that eight of the 12 outfield busts hail from the 1989-92 drafts—with none coming after 2003—it’s safe to assume that teams have improved their ability to evaluate amateur outfielders for the pro game.

YEAR RD NO PLAYER MLB SRC COLLEGE/HS CITY
WAR
1991 1 13 Manny Ramirez LF HS New York 69.1
1995 2 49 Carlos Beltran CF HS Manati, P.R. 64.8
1992 1s 35 Johnny Damon CF HS Orlando 56.3
1993 1 20 Torii Hunter CF HS Pine Bluff, Ark. 48.4
1998 1 5 J.D. Drew RF 4YR Florida State 44.8
1989 3 69 Tim Salmon RF 4YR Grand Canyon (Ariz.) 40.6
1999 2 52 Carl Crawford LF HS Houston 36.9
1991 1 16 Shawn Green RF HS Tustin, Calif. 34.5
2002 3 80 Curtis Granderson CF 4YR Illinois-Chicago 34.1
1995 1 1 Darin Erstad 1B 4YR Nebraska 32.4
1997 1 5 Vernon Wells CF HS Arlington, Texas 29.9
1990 1 24 Rondell White LF HS Gray, Ga. 28.1
1995 3 65 Randy Winn CF 4YR Santa Clara 27.6
2000 3 75 Grady Sizemore CF HS Mill Creek, Wash. 27.6
1992 1 19 Shannon Stewart LF HS Miami 24.7
1999 1 1 Josh Hamilton CF HS Raleigh, N.C. 24.2
1996 1 9 Mark Kotsay CF 4YR Cal State Fullerton 23.1
1995 1 9 Geoff Jenkins LF 4YR Southern California 21.7
1993 1 7 Trot Nixon RF HS Wilmington, N.C. 21.2
2002 1 16 Nick Swisher RF 4YR Ohio State 20.9
1998 1s 35 Aaron Rowand CF 4YR Cal State Fullerton 20.7
1990 1 10 Carl Everett CF HS Tampa 20.4
1990 1 17 Jeromy Burnitz RF 4YR Oklahoma State 19.6
1995 1 3 Jose Cruz Jr. CF 4YR Rice 19.5
2004 2 64 Hunter Pence RF 4YR Texas-Arlington 19.5
2005 1 11 Andrew McCutchen CF HS Fort Meade, Fla. 19.2
2002 1 20 Denard Span CF HS Tampa 17.6
2003 2 62 Andre Ethier RF 4YR Arizona State 16.9
1996 2 40 Milton Bradley CF HS Long Beach 16.7
1998 2 50 Adam Dunn LF HS New Caney, Texas 16.3
1994 1s 29 Jay Payton CF 4YR Georgia Tech 15.4
2005 1 23 Jacoby Ellsbury CF 4YR Oregon State 15.3
2007 1 14 Jason Heyward RF HS McDonough, Ga. 14.7
1998 1 7 Austin Kearns RF HS Lexington, Ky. 12.9
1990 1 2 Tony Clark 1B HS El Cajon, Calif. 12.5
2007 2 76 Giancarlo Stanton RF HS Sherman Oaks, Calif. 12.3
1999 2 60 Ryan Ludwick RF 4YR Nevada-Las Vegas 11.8
1996 2 37 Jacque Jones RF 4YR Southern California 11.5
1998 1s 33 Brad Wilkerson LF 4YR Florida 10.9
1991 1 12 Doug Glanville CF 4YR Pennsylvania 10.8
2003 1 17 David Murphy LF 4YR Baylor 10.5
2005 1 12 Jay Bruce RF HS Beaumont, Texas 10.5
2000 1 6 Rocco Baldelli CF HS Warwick, R.I. 10.2
1993 2 48 Chris Singleton CF 4YR Nevada-Reno 9.8
1998 1 3 Corey Patterson CF HS Kennesaw, Ga. 9.6
2003 1 29 Carlos Quentin RF 4YR Stanford 8.8
1992 1 4 Jeffrey Hammonds RF 4YR Stanford 8.7
1989 1 22 Tom Goodwin CF 4YR Fresno State 8.6
2005 1 10 Cameron Maybin CF HS Asheville, N.C. 8.5
2002 1 23 Jeff Francoeur RF HS Lilburn, Ga. 8.4
1994 1 2 Ben Grieve RF HS Arlington, Texas 8.4
1990 3 85 Rich Becker CF HS Aurora, Ill. 8.3
2005 1 28 Colby Rasmus CF HS Phenix City, Ala. 8.2
1989 2 35 Brian Hunter CF HS Vancouver, Wash. 7.5
2006 2 74 Jon Jay CF 4YR Miami 7.3
1998 2 71 Jody Gerut RF 4YR Stanford 7.2
1994 3 85 Scott Podsednik LF HS West, Texas 6.9
2003 2 39 Tony Gwynn Jr. CF 4YR San Diego State 6.8
1991 3 80 Todd Hollandsworth LF HS Bellevue, Wash. 6.5
1991 3 82 Alex Ochoa RF HS Hialeah, Fla. 6.5
2006 1 8 Drew Stubbs CF 4YR Texas 6.1
2003 2 52 Ryan Sweeney RF HS Cedar Rapids, Iowa 5.9
2004 2 50 Seth Smith LF 4YR Mississippi 5.6
1994 1 20 Terrence Long CF HS Millbrook, Ala. 5.1
2001 1 15 Gabe Gross RF 4YR Auburn 4.7
2002 2 66 Fred Lewis LF 4YR Southern 4.5
2005 2 61 Nolan Reimold LF 4YR Bowling Green State 3.5
2003 1s 32 Matt Murton LF 4YR Georgia Tech 3.3
2007 1 28 Ben Revere CF HS Lexington, Ky. 3.2
2005 1s 36 Travis Buck RF 4YR Arizona State 3.0
2002 1 11 Jeremy Hermida RF HS Marietta, Ga. 2.7
2005 1 19 John Mayberry Jr. LF 4YR Stanford 2.6
2006 1 14 Travis Snider LF HS Everett, Wash. 2.6
1999 1 21 Larry Bigbie LF 4YR Ball State 2.5
1994 2 52 Mike Darr RF HS Corona, Calif. 2.5
2007 1s 35 Julio Borbon CF 4YR Tennessee 2.4
2003 1 1 Delmon Young LF HS Camarillo, Calif. 2.4
1998 1 21 Jason Tyner LF 4YR Texas A&M 2.3
2006 3 82 Brennan Boesch RF 4YR California 2.3
1993 1 10 Brooks Kieschnick RHP 4YR Texas 2.2
1992 1 7 Calvin Murray CF 4YR Texas 2.1
2006 1 13 Tyler Colvin RF 4YR Clemson 2.1
2002 2 59 Jeremy Reed CF 4YR Long Beach State 2.0
2002 3 74 Elijah Dukes RF HS Tampa 1.9
1990 1s 29 Midre Cummings RF HS Miami 1.0
2006 1 20 Chris Parmelee 1B HS Chino Hills, Calif. 0.9
2001 2 62 Shelley Duncan LF 4YR Arizona 0.9
2003 2 57 Jerry Owens CF 4YR Master’s (Calif.) 0.8
2002 2 43 Jason Pridie CF HS Prescott, Ariz. 0.7
1997 1 26 Darnell McDonald RF HS Englewood, Colo. 0.7
1994 1 24 Brian Buchanan RF 4YR Virginia 0.5
1990 3 95 Felipe Crespo LF HS Caguas, P.R. 0.5
1991 1 2 Mike Kelly LF 4YR Arizona State 0.4
1994 1s 32 Jacob Cruz RF 4YR Arizona State 0.4
2003 1 12 Lastings Milledge LF HS Palmetto, Fla. 0.4
1996 2 47 Josh Paul C 4YR Vanderbilt 0.3
2005 1 14 Trevor Crowe CF 4YR Arizona 0.3
1995 2 55 Brian Simmons LF 4YR Michigan 0.1
1991 1 9 Mark Smith LF 4YR Southern California 0.0
1993 1s 34 Jermaine Allensworth CF 4YR Purdue -0.1
1991 2 63 Terrell Lowery CF 4YR Loyola Marymount -0.1
2008 3 100 Kirk Nieuwenhuis CF 4YR Azusa Pacific (Calif.) -0.1
1990 1 15 Adam Hyzdu CF HS Cincinnati -0.1
2003 1 15 Brian Anderson CF 4YR Arizona -0.2
1996 3 73 Kevin Barker 1B 4YR Virginia Tech -0.3
1998 2 72 Chris Magruder RF 4YR Washington -0.3
1994 1 6 McKay Christensen CF HS Fresno -0.3
2006 3 95 Scott Cousins CF 4YR San Francisco -0.4
1991 1 7 Joe Vitiello 1B 4YR Alabama -0.5
1995 1 14 Reggie Taylor CF HS Newberry, S.C. -0.5
1997 2 61 Michael Restovich RF HS Rochester, Minn. -0.5
1993 1s 32 Pat Watkins CF 4YR East Carolina -0.6
2003 2 42 Shane Costa RF 4YR Cal State Fullerton -0.6
2002 3 97 Dan Ortmeier LF 4YR Texas-Arlington -0.7
1989 3 65 Dan Peltier RF 4YR Notre Dame -0.8
1994 2 61 George Lombard LF HS Atlanta -0.8
1992 2 61 Trey Beamon LF HS Dallas -0.8
1998 1s 42 Eric Valent LF 4YR UCLA -0.9
1993 2 43 Brian Banks 1B 4YR Brigham Young -1.2
2000 1 12 Joe Borchard RF 4YR Stanford -1.5
1998 1 23 Bubba Crosby RF 4YR Rice -1.5
2004 3 100 John Bowker 1B 4YR Long Beach State -1.6
1996 4 97 Chad Allen LF 4YR Texas A&M -1.6
1998 1s 36 Choo Freeman CF HS Mesquite, Texas -1.7
2001 1s 41 Todd Linden LF 4YR Louisiana State -1.8
1990 2 46 Darrell Whitmore RF 4YR West Virginia -1.8
1996 1 14 Dee Brown LF HS Marlboro, N.Y. -2.9

 

First Basemen

Graduation Rates (at least 100 big league games)
• High School—13 of 38 (34 percent)
• College—19 of 44 (43 percent)

Impact Rates (at least 10 career WAR)
• High School—5 of 38 (13 percent)
Derrek Lee, Adrian Gonzalez, Cliff Floyd, Prince Fielder, Nick Johnson
• College—eight of 44 (18 percent)
Frank Thomas, Todd Helton, John Olerud, Lance Berkman, Mo Vaughn, Carlos Pena, Pat Burrell, Sean Casey

Jury Is Out (players on 40-man rosters but with fewer than 100 games)
Sean Doolittle (41st, 2007, but he’s now a lefthanded reliever)

Highest Draft Position
• High School—Adrian Gonzalez (Marlins, No. 1, 2000)
• College—Pat Burrell (Phillies, No. 1, 1998)

Biggest Flop
David McCarty (third, 1991) played for seven clubs in parts of 11 big league seasons, though he contributed just a 76 OPS+. Marc Newfield (sixth, 1990) matched that OPS+ in a six-year big league career, though he spent most of his time in left field.

The Indians have employed three of the bigger first-round, first-base disappointments, though they drafted just two of them. Persistent back trouble kept former Tulane first baseman Michael Aubrey (11th, 2003) from realizing his potential, and Beau Mills (13th, 2007) hit just .232/.281/.443 in parts of two seasons at Triple-A before being traded to the Reds last June. Cleveland also saw Matt LaPorta, the seventh pick in the 2007 draft, as its big bounty when it traded C.C. Sabathia in 2008, though he was drafted by the Brewers as a Florida senior.

From a money standpoint, Marlins 2000 second-rounder Jason Stokes, who signed for $2.027 million, might be the biggest bust. His case is mitigated, however, because Miami was able to flip Stokes to the Athletics for John Baker in 2007, and then trade Baker to the Padres for Wade LeBlanc following the 2011 season.

YEAR RD NO PLAYER MLB SRC COLLEGE/HS CITY
WAR
1989 1 7 Frank Thomas 1B 4YR Auburn 73.6
1995 1 8 Todd Helton 1B 4YR Tennessee 61.6
1989 3 79 John Olerud 1B 4YR Washington State 58.0
1997 1 16 Lance Berkman 1B 4YR Rice 52.4
1993 1 14 Derrek Lee 1B HS Sacramento 34.1
2000 1 1 Adrian Gonzalez 1B HS Chula Vista, Calif. 30.5
1989 1 23 Mo Vaughn 1B 4YR Seton Hall 27.1
1998 1 10 Carlos Pena 1B 4YR Northeastern 25.8
1991 1 14 Cliff Floyd LF HS South Holland, Ill. 25.8
2002 1 7 Prince Fielder 1B HS Melbourne, Fla. 22.9
1998 1 1 Pat Burrell LF 4YR Miami 18.6
1995 2 53 Sean Casey 1B 4YR Richmond 16.3
1996 3 89 Nick Johnson 1B HS Sacramento 14.6
1997 1 30 Jack Cust LF HS Flemington, N.J. 9.1
2002 1 19 James Loney 1B HS Missouri City, Texas 8.3
2001 1 13 Casey Kotchman 1B HS Seminole, Fla. 8.1
2008 1 18 Ike Davis 1B 4YR Arizona State 4.8
1999 2 65 Ben Broussard 1B 4YR McNeese State 4.4
2007 2 78 Freddie Freeman 1B HS Orange, Calif. 4.2
2004 3 83 Adam Lind LF 4YR South Alabama 3.9
1999 1s 46 Chris Duncan LF HS Tucson 2.8
2008 1 3 Eric Hosmer 1B HS Plantation, Fla. 1.6
2008 1 7 Yonder Alonso 1B 4YR Miami 1.4
1991 1 17 Eduardo Perez 1B 4YR Florida State 0.9
2008 1 11 Justin Smoak 1B 4YR South Carolina 0.0
2008 1 13 Brett Wallace 1B 4YR Arizona State -0.8
2007 1 7 Matt LaPorta 1B 4YR Florida -0.9
1992 3 81 Brant Brown LF 4YR Fresno State -0.9
1990 2s 71 Tim Hyers 1B HS Covington, Ga. -1.2
1990 1 6 Marc Newfield LF HS Huntington Beach, Calif. -1.6
1991 1 3 David McCarty 1B 4YR Stanford -2.0
1993 3 79 Ryan McGuire 1B 4YR UCLA -2.2

Draft | #Analytics #Draft Retrospective

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