Devil Rays Get First Pick In 2008 Draft

With its 3-1 loss yesterday to the Yankees, Tampa Bay clinched the first overall pick in the 2008 draft.

The Devil Rays (65-94) are three games "behind" the Royals, the Pirates and the Orioles (all 68-91) with three games left in the season for each team. Although those teams could potentially all finish with the same record, the Devil Rays would still get the first overall pick due to the tiebreaker rules. The tiebreaker for the draft order is that the team with the worse record the previous year gets the higher pick, giving the Devil Rays a lock on the top pick in June.

Race To The Bottom
1. Devil Rays (65-94) (Blue Jays)
2. Royals (68-91) (Indians)
3. Pirates (68-91) (Cardinals)
4. Orioles (68-91) (Yankees)
5. Marlins (69-90) (Mets)
6. Giants (70-89) (Dodgers)
7. White Sox (70-89) (Tigers)
8. Reds (71-88) (Cubs)
9. Astros (71-88) (Braves)
10. Nationals (72-87) (Phillies)

If the Royals, Pirates and Orioles all finish tied for the second-worst record in baseball, the Royals would pick second, the Pirates would pick third and the Orioles would pick fourth.

The Marlins (69-90), Giants (70-89) and White Sox (70-89) are also still in the mix for the No. 2 pick. The Reds (71-88) and Astros (71-88) both still have a chance at the No. 3 pick.

The 2008 draft will be the Devil Rays’ second consecutive year with the first pick in the draft. They are the first team  to have back-to-back No. 1 picks, and it’s also the ninth consecutive season they’ve had a top-10 pick. If Tampa Bay has a top-10 pick next year they will tie the Expos (1970-1979) and Mariners (1978-1987) for the longest stretches of top 10 picks.

The Devil Rays selected Vanderbilt lefthander David Price this year, and they may take his former teammate on the Commodores, third baseman Pedro Alvarez, with the top pick in 2008.  Among the other early favorites to go off the board after the first few selections are South Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak, San Diego lefthander Brian Matusz, Missouri righthander Aaron Crow, Missouri high school righthander Tim Melville and Georgia high school shortstop Tim Beckham.

The upcoming draft will be the fourth time since the Devil Rays’ inaugural draft in 1999 that the franchise will have the No. 1 pick. No team has ever had the top pick in consecutive seasons. Only the Mets and Padres have had more No. 1 picks (five) than the Devil Rays since the inception of the draft.

The following is a list of the teams ranked by the worst records in baseball, along with their records and their opponents for their final three games of the season.