In preparation for the upcoming 2011 MLB Draft (June 6), I thought I’d offer a preview of sorts. Given the fact that I have no knowledge of the potential draftees, instead of giving out samplings to who we could draft, I’ll give out who we have drafted in the past. Today I’ll do the 2005 MLB Draft and eventually I’ll get to the most recent 2010 MLB Draft.
The first five picks were all strangely pretty accurate. Usually, the 1st overall pick hits, and two between the next four picks. (Usually one of the misses belongs to the Pirates as well). In this draft, three were three GREAT selections, one is to be determined, and the other “bust.”
First overall, Justin Upton was drafted. He was a high school player and a five tool prospect. Upton was a good selection, however he was not the best in the draft or even close really. Of course, he’s still 23-years-old and has played in four big league seasons so to say those are absolutes would be false. But Upton is not a “franchise” player, merely a great supporting cast.
Second overall, Alex Gordon makes his presence known something he hasn’t done well for the Royals. Gordon has had a few league average seasons followed by injury-shortened seasons that also featured some terrible performance. This year, he seems to be back on track though and will probably be league average again. Jeff Clement was drafted next and I’d say he’s the only surefire bust. I say he’s a bust because he isn’t on the team that drafted him. So the Mariners missed on that pick. Clement is currently with the Pirates and worth 0.0 wins above replacement (WAR) in 397 plate appearances.
The next two picks were very successful picks in Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Braun. Ricky Romero of the Blue Jays is doing fantastic improving every year. He currently sports a 3.10 ERA to go along with his career 3.87 ERA. He is only 26-years-old as well. Troy Tulowitzki, drafted seventh overall, is a superstar and possible the best in the draft
(After jump, I delve into the Cardinals picks as well as the rest of the first round)
The first actual literal person who nobody has ever heard of was drafted by… the drafting geniuses, the Rays. Wade Townsend is out of baseball currently due to arm trouble and poor performance. The next two were good picks. However the players haven’t really turned out as expected. Mike Pelfrey is a below average starter and Cameron Maybin is still a young potential filled outfielder.
Two young outfielders who happen to be on my fantasy team now were drafted back-to-back in Andrew McCutcheon and Jay Bruce. Brandon Synder was drafted by the Orioles as a catcher. He is currently a first baseman and is not very good at hitting although he was actually called up to the majors a few days ago.
At 13th overall, Trevor Crowe is a name I vaguely recongize. Looking at his stats, I don’t feel bad about not really knowing who he is. With a career .295 on base average and mediocre defense according to UZR, he is pretty much a replacement player. Lance Broadway is still making his case for being a good draft pick. So far, he’s done alright. He’s got a 5.87 ERA and propensity for not striking many hitters out.
At 15th overall in the draft, Chris Volstad is a decent pitcher who is now a full-time starter for the Marlins. He’s not really anything special but a good pick nonetheless. Carl Henry was drafted out of high school and never really panned out. Cesar Carillo was drafted by the Padres as a pitcher and after two 5.00+ ERA seasons in AAA, he went to Houston where he now has a 9.64 ERA in AAA.
John Mayberry at 18th overall has showed some potential with 8 homers in just 138 plate appearances. He is currently in the MLB with the Phillies. Mark Pawelek and Aaron Thompson were two pitchers who have become busts. In between them Jacoby Ellsbury is living out a frustrating career for Red Sox fans, albeit he’s most definitely a successful pick.
In the bottom half of the 1st round, Brian Bogusevic and Craig Hansen are two role players. One an outfielder for the Astros currently and the other a reliever for the Pirates (drafted by the Red Sox). Matt Garza was drafted in between and has been with three teams since (Twins, Rays, Cubs).
Joey Devine is a relief arm with a career 2.48 ERA who hasn’t pitched in two years. Jacob Marceaux is a complete bust and out of baseball now.
1st round - Colby Rasmus, perennial future All-Star and stud centerfielder – Resounding success on this one as he is clearly our best draftee since Albert Pujols.
Tyler Greene, potential-filled middle infielder who loves to dissapoint others. However, a pretty good pick either way since he actually has potential.
Composition - Mark McCormick, hard-throwing college pitcher who is currently out of baseball.
Tyler Herron, drafted out of high school, last seen with the Pirates AA team.
2nd round – Joshua Wilson, another high school arm who didn’t make it out of Palm Beach with a 6.61 ERA.
3rd round - Daryl Jones, five tool prospect who seemingly has zero tools the more he plays in our minor league system. He has made it to Memphis and is actually doing well with a .375 on base average (…in 48 plate appearances)
4th round – Bryan Anderson, hitting catcher with questionable defense – I think his hitting warrants being a backup and think he’s getting screwed in not getting a chance to show that – In Memphis right now
5th round – Mitchell Boggs, relief pitcher for the Cardinals – He’s a pretty average reliever actually but he’s young and cheap so this was an excellent pick
6th round – Wilfredo Pujols, outfielder drafted out of high school who according to Fangraphs, stopped playing one year after he was drafted – Odd
7th round – Nick Stavinoha was a bad backup outfielder with actually good AAA statistics – classic AAAA player if you will.
8th-10 rounds – Jason Cairns, Zachary Zuercher, and Randy Roth were all drafted out of college and all are out of baseball currently.
11-15th rounds – Steve Gonzalez (11th), Malcom Owens (13th), Michael Repole (14th), and Adam Daniels (15th) are all out of baseball (Gonzalez is a catcher, the rest pitchers). Daniel McCutcheon went unsigned and got signed next year by the Yankees, then traded to the Pirates. Not a very good pitcher, but he’s in the major leagues…
The next six draft picks are all unmemorable with no-namers, mostly failed pitchers.
In the 22nd round, the Cardinals selected a little known Mexican left-hander named Jaime Garcia. Needless to say this may have been the steal of the draft as he is now a Cy Young candidate.
AJ Van Slyke was drafted as a first basemen in the 23rd round, probably as somewhat of a favor to Andy Van Slyke (not sure of the relation). He didn’t pan out however.
Not until the 44th round was an interesting player drafted (at least one that’s still relevant). Blake King, currently struggling in Memphis, has an 11.78 ERA with more walks than strikeouts. This is following a year in which he had 84 strikeouts in 69 innings and a 2.89 ERA so you know he has the stuff to strike hitters out.
I’d say the 2005 draft was successful. They got a future All-Star caliber player (Rasmus), a future ace (Garcia), a potential-filled middle infielder who is also a capable backup (Greene), a good MLB relief pitcher (Boggs), and a few players who are on Cardinals prospects lists (Anderson, Jones, King).
Next week, I’ll look at a probably less exciting 2006 draft, but the closer I get the more names you’ll recognize (or more names that are still in the Cardinals organization).