How well have AL Central teams drafted in the last 10 years

The 2012 first-year player draft will take place June 4-6 and begins with the first round and compensation round A on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m. ET. The first night of the event will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com. The Twins will have the second over-all pick in what is widely being reported as lower in quality than what has been available in the last few years. There appears to be no clear-cut choice for the number 1 overall pick this year, no Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper. It will still be interesting to see who is picked first and who the Twins will pick next. A lot of the reports have Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton as the best player available but yet most  of the so called experts agree that the Houston Astros who have the first pick will pass on Buxton. So what do the Twins do if Buxton is available when it comes their time to pick? I just can’t see the Twins passing on Buxton if he is available, no matter how much the Twins may need pitching. You can never have too many 5-tool players and if you do indeed have to many outfielders in a few years, you can always make a deal. It will be interesting to see what the Twins will do.

But this piece is not about what will happen in 2012, it is about what has transpired in the draft from 2002 through 2011 for the teams in the AL Central Division. Over the 10 years I am covering here, each team has drafted about 500 players give or take depending on compensatory picks and picks lost due to free agent signings. The chart I have put together shows how many players drafted by the Central division teams have made it to the big leagues regardless if it is with the team that drafted them or if they made it to the bigs with another team. Keep in mind too that I am not taking into consideration the fact that some of these players chose not to see with the original team that may have drafted them. For example, Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum was picked by the Cubs in 2003 in round 48 and by the Indians in round 42 in 2005 and chose not to sign until he was picked in rond 1 and 10th over all by the Giants in 2006. Keep in mind too that I do not differentiate between appearing in 1 big league game or 500 big league games, all I am tracking here is how many of each Central Division draft picks made it to the Show by year drafted as of May 20, 2012.

P = pitchers, H = hitters

YEAR TIGERS WSOX INDIANS ROYALS TWINS
2011 0 0 0 0 0
2010 2 P, 0 H 2 P, 0 H 1 P, 0 H 0 0
2009 3 P, 0 H 0 1 P, 1 H 2 P, 0 H 0 P, 1 H
2008 3 P, 2 H 1 P, 2 H 1 P, 2 H 0 P, 2 H 0
2007 3 P, 2 H 3 P, 0 H 1 P, 1 H 2 P, 1 H 0 P, 1 H
2006 3 P, 2 H 3 P, 0 H 4 P, 1 H 3 P, 1 H 3 P, 5 H
2005 4 P, 8 H 4 P, 3 H 3 P, 5 H 0 P, 1 H 5 P, 3 H
2004 4 P, 2 H 6 P, 3 H 3 P, 2 H 3 P, 1 H 4 P, 3 H
2003 5 P, 2 H 1 P, 2 H 2 P, 4 H 2 P, 5 H 3 P, 3 H
2002 3 P, 4 H 10 P, 2 H 3 P, 1 H 3 P, 4 H 4 P, 5 H
TOTALS 52 – 30 P, 22 H 42 – 30 P, 12 H 36 – 19 P, 17 H 30 – 15 P, 15 H 40 – 19 P, 21 H

It appears that the Twins either have not drafted well in recent years or it is taking longer for the players they draft to get to the big league level. No pitcher drafted by the Twins between 2007 – 2011 has reached the majors and only 2 hitters picked in that time frame have made a big league debut and they would be Ben Revere picked in 2007 and Brian Dozier chosen in 2009. During that same time frame the Tigers have had 15 players (11 pitchers and 4 hitters) debut, the White Sox have had 8 players (6 pitchers and 2 hitters) debut, the Indians have had 8 players (4 pitchers and 4 hitters) debut and the Royals have had 7 players (4 pitchers and 3 hitters) debut in the big leagues.

Other points I find interesting is that 12 players (4 pitchers and 8 hitters) from the Detroit Tigers 2005 draft have reached the big league level and that 12 players (10 pitchers and 2 hitters) from the 2002 draft by the White Sox have reached the promised land. The best the Twins have done is 9 players from their 2002 draft. This chart kind of shows how few players that are drafted ever reach the big leagues at all and how long it does take for those that do make it. It was fun doing the research on a cool wet day when the Twins were getting trounced 16-4 in Milwaukee, I hope that you enjoyed it.

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