Interesting facts about the MLB first-year player draft

The first-year player draft was initiated in 1965 and since then a total of 60,428 players have been drafted. During that time, a total of 8,493 players (14.05%), which includes drafted players, non-drafted players and foreign-born players, have appeared in at least one Major League game.

Since the first-year player draft was initiated in 1965, 21 players that were drafted went straight to the big leagues to start their professional careers with out playing in a minor league game. Most eventually ended up spending time in the minors. The only Minnesota Twins player to accomplish this feat was LHP Eddie Bane. The Twins drafted Bane out of Arizona State University in June of 1973 and Bane his big league debut at Met Stadium on July 4th. Bane ended up spending parts of three seasons in the big leagues with Minnesota and had a 7-13 big league record between 1973, 1975 and 1976. Former Twins pitcher RHP Mike Morgan was picked by the Oakland A’s out of high school in 1978 and went straight to the big leagues too.

Since the drafted was put in place, the Minnesota Twins have had more first round picks, 58, than any other big league team. Oakland is closest with 53 first round picks and Tampa has the least with 18.

The very first pick in 1965 was ASU outfielder Rick Monday who went on to have a long career. The first player to made it to the big leagues out of this draft was RHP Joe Coleman the 3rd over all pick with the Washington Senators.

The Twins very first rounder in 1965 was shortstop Eddie Leon out of the University of Arizona but he chose not to sign with the Twins. The following season (1966) the Twins picked 3B Bob Jones in round 1 and 20th over all and he never appeared in a big league game. The Twins picked Steve Garvey in round 3 in 1966 but he chose to go to college before starting his long 19 year pro baseball career.

In 1967 the Twins picked Steve Brye in round 1 and 19th over all and he became the first Twins drafted player to play for the Twins when he debuted in 1970 and went on to play for Minnesota between 1970-1976.

The Twins have had the first over all pick twice, once in 1973 when they took RHP Tim Belcher who chose not to sign with Minnesota and catcher Joe Mauer whom they took first in 2001.

In 1978 the Twins picked shortstop Lenny Faedo with their first pick and he played for the Twins from 1980-1984. A number of pretty good players were picked later, HOF Cal Ripken was picked in the 2nd round that year, Kent Hrbek in the 17th round and HOF Ryne Sandberg was picked in round 20. You never know…..

The last high school player to be picked 1st over all is shortstop Tim Beckham picked by Tampa in 2008.

24 drafted players have gone on to be selected to the Hall of Fame. To this point no player selected 1st over all has ever gone on to have a HOF career. The Twins have drafted two players who have gone on to HOF careers, Bert Blyleven in 1969 and Kirby Puckett in 1982.

Since 1965, 33.8% of the picks have been RHP, 13.6% have been LHP, 10.2% have been catchers, 24% have been infielders, and 18.2% have been outfielders.

64% of the players drafted in 2011 went on to sign big league contracts.

Of the 638 players on the 2012 Opening Day rosters, 23.5% were drafted 1-30 over all and 378 or 59.2% were drafted 1-150 over all (basically the first 5 rounds).

These facts have been derived from the 2012 First-Year Player Draft Selection Guide.

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