As promised we are taking a look at the round 1 draft history of all the MLB teams. There are a number of ways that we could rank them but in this case we will rank them in in career WAR (using Baseball-Reference WAR stats) order. This is obviously only a picture in time because these WAR numbers change as these players play each day. One thing to keep in mind as you look at this list is that a players drafted in round one by a team may not have ever played for that team because they were traded, became a free agent, etc.
Some of the columns in the table below are abbreviated. The third column is number of round 1 picks from 2000-2014. Column four is the number of players that played at least one game in the majors. Column five is the percentage of players that reached the majors. Column six is the career WAR of all the players selected from 2000-2014 that reached the majors. The players column shows the player(s) selected that reached the majors and and have the highest career WAR. Obviously star players that have been around for awhile have high WAR numbers. The table should be sortable.
|RANK||TEAM||# of RD 1 PICKS||# REACH MAJOR||% REACH MAJOR||Car. WAR||PLAYERS|
|1.||Giants||24||17||71%||121.1||Matt Cain, Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner|
|2.||Phillies||16||8||50%||120.0||Chase Utley, Cole Hamels|
|8.||Rays||27||9||33%||92.8||Evan Longoria, David Price|
|9.||Brewers||22||9||41%||90.5||Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder|
|10.||Angels||22||13||59%||86.8||Jered Weaver, Mike Trout|
|17.||Red Sox||30||19||63%||62.7||Jacoby Ellsbury|
|19.||Blue Jays||34||17||50%||59.1||Aaron Hill|
|24.||White Sox||20||11||55%||45.9||Chris Sale|
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As you can see in the table above the Twins rank fourth overall in career WAR and that looks good. On the other hand if you look at percentage of round 1 players drafted that reached the majors for even one game, the Twins rank sixth worst in all of baseball at 43%. That would seem to mean that they have drafted some high quality players but they also miss totally on a high number also. I guess you could say the Twins drafts are high risk hoping for high rewards.
Can you believe the San Francisco Giants first round selections? Between 2000-2014 they have had single digit picks just twice (5th and 6th overall) and picks 20 and above overall 11 times and they have players like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, and Matt Cain? They also selected Zack Wheeler during this time period and traded him to the Mets.
Over the years baseball people brag about the Rays and their draft picks, Although the Rays have had a couple of primo number ones, overall they rank lowest with just 33% of their number one picks reaching the majors. It is important to remember however; that I am only looking at number 1 selections here and not the entire draft for all the teams.
The draft will be 50 years old this year, why did it get started? There is a nice piece written by John Manuel at Baseball America that you should stop by and read entitled “Reichardt Relishes Role In History“.