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60-Man Player Pools Give Insights Into How First-Rounders Have Panned Out

Every now and then in the course of a professional baseball player's career, he runs into a moment where his team is forced to make clear how they really feel about him as a prospect and how he compares to other players in the organization.

The 40-man roster deadline in advance of the Rule 5 draft is a perfect example of this. No matter how much a team may say it likes a prospect, if it is willing to leave him unprotected for the Rule 5 draft, it is a sign that he isn't at the forefront of the team's plans.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has proven to be another one of those decision points. Teams have a 60-man player pool to use for the 2020 MLB season. The decisions on whether a player is put on or left off of a 60-man roster is a data point on how exactly that player ranks in the team's plans.

So with that in mind, we looked at which first-round picks from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 drafts have been added to 60-man player pools and which players were left out. We chose those three years because all players in the preceding drafts have already gone through the Rule 5/40-man roster eligibility decisions while the 2018, 2019 and 2020 drafts are recent enough that a number of high school draftees were left off 60-man rosters because of where they are in their stage of development.

There are plenty of caveats that need to be acknowledged here. As a tool, the 60-man roster decisions are more of a sledgehammer than a ball peen hammer—they are rather blunt instruments. Some players currently not on the 60-man rosters may be added. Some are left off in part because of injuries. And the differing focus on how teams built their 60-man player pools means a prospect who is left off one team may have been added for another club.

But overall, what we find is that two out of every three first-round picks over those three years has made the 60-man player pools (65 of 99 or roughly 66 percent).

Only one organization was shut out of placing one of its first-round picks on its 60-man roster. Cleveland's Brady Aiken and Will Benson (its only two first-rounders in those three seasons) were both left off.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Braves, Pirates, Astros and Tigers were the four teams to have four first-round picks over that time that all made the 60-man player pools. Another seven teams had both or all three of their first-round picks make rosters.

151ARIDansby SwansonY
152HOUAlex BregmanY
153COLBrendan RodgersY
154TEXDillon TateY
155HOUKyle TuckerY
156MINTyler JayN
157BOSAndrew BenintendiY
158CHWCarson FulmerY
159CHCIan HappY
1510PHICornelius RandolphN
1511CINTyler StephensonY
1512MIAJosh NaylorY
1513TBGarrett WhitleyN
1514ATLKolby AllardY
1515MILTrent GrishamY
1516NYYJames KaprielianY
1517CLEBrady AikenN
1518SFGPhil BickfordN
1519PITKevin NewmanY
1520OAKRichie MartinY
1521KCAshe RussellN
1522DETBeau BurrowsY
1523STLNick PlummerN
1524LADWalker BuehlerY
1525BALDJ StewartY
1526LAATaylor WardY
1527COLMike NikorakN
1528ATLMike SorokaY
1529TORJon HarrisN
1530NYYKyle HolderY
1531SFGChris ShawN
1532PITKe'Bryan HayesY
1533KCNolan WatsonN
1534DETChristin StewartY
1536BALRyan MountcastleN
161PHIMickey MoniakN
162CINNick SenzelY
163ATLIan AndersonY
164COLRiley PintN
165MILCorey RayN
166OAKA.J. PukY
167MIABraxton GarrettY
168SDCal QuantrillY
169DETMatt ManningY
1610CHWZack CollinsY
1611SEAKyle LewisY
1612BOSJay GroomeN
1613TBJosh LoweY
1614CLEWill BensonN
1615MINAlex KirilloffY
1616LAAMatt ThaissY
1617HOUForrest WhitleyY
1618NYYBlake RutherfordN
1619NYMJustin DunnY
1620LADGavin LuxY
1621TORT.J. ZeuchY
1622PITWill CraigY
1623STLDelvin PerezN
1624SDPHudson PottsN
1625SDPEric LauerY
1626CHWZack BurdiN
1627BALCody SedlockN
1628WASCarter KieboomY
1629WASDane DunningY
1630TEXCole RagansN
1631NYMAnthony KayY
1632LADWill SmithY
1633STLDylan CarlsonY
1634STLDakota HudsonY
171MINRoyce LewisY
172CINHunter GreeneN
173SDMacKenzie GoreY
174TBBrendan McKayY
175ATLKyle WrightY
176OAKAustin BeckN
177ARIPavin SmithY
178PHIAdam HaseleyY
179MILKeston HiuraY
1710LAAJo AdellY
1711CHWJake BurgerN
1712PITShane BazY
1713MIATrevor RogersY
1714KCNick PrattoY
1715HOUJ.B. BukauskasY
1716NYYClarke SchmidtY
1717SEAEvan WhiteY
1718DETAlex FaedoY
1719SFGHeliot RamosY
1720NYMDavid PetersonY
1721BALD.L. HallN
1722TORLogan WarmothN
1723LADJeren KendallN
1724BOSTanner HouckN
1725WASSeth RomeroY
1726TEXBubba ThompsonN
1727CHCBrendon LittleN
1728TORNate PearsonY
1729TEXChris SeiseN
1730CHCAlex LangeN
Rob Manfred Photo By Patrick Mcdermott Getty Images

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