A Decade Of Drafts: Grading Every Draft

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. Drafts are evaluated solely on the basis of talent signed, with no credit given for unsigned players, players acquired in trades or having more or less picks than normal. The average GPA is 2.44, just under a C+. Bear in mind that grades from the first half of the decade are more definitive, while we retain some optimism for drafts from the second half that have yet to play out. We also calculated the average position of each team's first pick in the decade, as well as its winning percentage for the decade.
Rk. Team Win Pct. Pick '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 GPA
1. Red Sox .568 (2) 37.2 C+ A B+ A A A B+ C+ B B 3.40
Greatest hits included Youkilis, Lester, Papelbon and Pedroia—none of whom was a first-rounder.
2. Diamondbacks .497 (10) 21.5 A B+ C B B+ A A B C B 3.20
Webb (8th round, '00), Uggla (11th, '01) and Reynolds (16th, '04) are three of decade's biggest steals.
3. Athletics .550 (6) 28.8 B B A B A C+ B+ C B B 3.10
'04 crop (Street, Kurt Suzuki, Braden) may outdo "Moneyball" draft (Swisher, Blanton, Teahen).
4. Phillies .525 (11) 34.3 A A B+ C+ C+ C A B B C 3.05
Scored in first round (Utley, Hamels), middle rounds (Howard) and late rounds (Domonic Brown).
t5. Rays .429 (28) 5.9 A C B D B+ C+ A A B C 2.90
Depth helps them grade well despite blowing premium picks on Brazelton, Young and Townsend.
t5. Twins .532 (7) 17.3 C+ A B+ B D A C B B B 2.90
Made the right call on Mauer at No. 1 in '01; also made a bold move to take Garza in first round in '05.
t7. Brewers .458 (24) 10.7 C+ B A C+ B+ A D B B C 2.85
Found several bats, most notably Fielder and Braun, and also their ace in Gallardo, with few extra picks.
t7. Dodgers .532 (8) 26.3 D C+ A A C C+ A B B+ C 2.85
Bold picks, including Loney as hitter, Martin as catcher, raw basketball player Kemp, have paid off.
t7. Giants .529 (10) 21.1 D C+ A C+ C C A A A C+ 2.85
They know their pitching (Cain, Lincecum), and hope Posey can reverse their misfortunes with bats.
10. Tigers .450 (25) 10.5 D D A D A B+ C+ A B B 2.70
Wasted first-rounders early in the decade, but bounced back with Verlander, Porcello and Perry.
11. Rangers .479 (20) 13.2 C A F A F C B+ B+ B+ C+ 2.50
Feast or famine: Teixeira ('01) to Drew Meyer ('02), and Danks/Kinsler ('03) to Thomas Diamond ('04).
t12. Braves .551 (5) 29.4 A D A D F A C A C C+ 2.45
Worked their backyard to steal Wainwright, McCann, Heyward; also found Hanson in 22nd round.
t12. Royals .415 (30) 5.8 B F A C B C+ D B B B 2.45
Greinke was a home run pick in '02, but draft fortunes didn't pick up until Royals started spending money.
t14. Padres .474 (t21) 12.5 C B C+ D C C+ B C B B 2.40
Overcame worst No. 1 overall pick ever in Bush, first-round injuries to find talent (Bartlett, Greene, Latos).
t14. Pirates .421 (29) 7.2 B+ B C B F A C F A C+ 2.40
Mickey White had two underrated drafts in '00-'01, featuring Chris Young, McLouth, Duke and Rajai Davis.
t16. Angels .556 (4) 28.8 B+ C B+ D B+ C C+ D D B+ 2.35
Did well with first-round pitchers (Saunders, Weaver) and late-round bats (Napoli, Kendrick).
t16. Blue Jays .497 (18) 14.9 C C C B+ B C B B C D 2.35
Handicapped by tight budget, college overemphasis; best draft by far was '03 (Aaron Hill, Shaun Marcum).
t16. Marlins .501 (16) 18.6 A F B+ F D B+ B A C C+ 2.35
Marlins did good scouting on Gonzalez (No. 1 in '00), Josh Johnson (4th in '02), Stanton (2nd in '07).
t16. Orioles .431 (27) 7.6 F C C A C C+ D A A C 2.35
Markakis is one of the few recent draftees to do much in Baltimore, though Wieters soon will join that list.
t16. Rockies .474 (t21) 13.2 B F B D B A D C B B+ 2.35
Despite the Matt Harrington fiasco, still got nine big leaguers (led by Brad Hawpe) in the '00 draft.
21. Cardinals .564 (3) 29.8 B A D C F B+ C C B C+ 2.30
Brutal first-rounders before Rasmus ('05); did much better with Molina (4th in '00), Haren (2nd in '01).
22. Reds .464 (23) 11.7 F F B D C B+ C+ B B+ B+ 2.20
Went through MLB-high five directors in the decade, with Chris Buckley ('06-present) easily faring the best.
23. Indians .504 (14) 19.2 C C+ C+ B D C C D B C+ 2.15
Sixteen first-round or sandwich picks from '00-'06 have done little; Jeremy Guthrie blossomed after leaving.
t24. Cubs .499 (17) 18.4 C+ A C C D F D C+ B+ C+ 2.10
Terrific '01 draft (Prior, Theriot, Nolasco, Soto), but other crops have been ruined by injuries, overpays.
t24. Nats/Expos .439 (26) 8.4 A F F C+ D A D B+ D A 2.10
After best draft of decade in '00 (Sizemore, Lee, Bay), struggled under MLB ownership from '02-'06.
26. Yankees .597 (1) 29.7 D D D D B C+ A C C C 1.95
Having Phil Coke to show for the '00-'03 drafts might have killed a team with lesser financial resources.
27. Mets .504 (15) 26.7 F A B+ C F C+ C D B D 1.90
No team makes less use of its financial advantages in the draft; haven't had an impact pick since Kazmir ('02).
28. White Sox .529 (9) 17.9 F D C C D C+ D C A C 1.75
Another club that toes the line, gets what it pays for; last big expenditure was Borchard ($5.3 million in '03).
29. Astros .514 (13) 37.8 C D F D A F C F B C+ 1.55
After their best draft of the decade ('04: Pence, Zobrist), the Astros fired scouting director David Lakey.
30. Mariners .517 (12) 26.1 F F F B D F A C D B+ 1.45
Hard to imagine any team drafted worse than Seattle in 2000-02: seven big leaguers, topped by Bryan LaHair.