The MLB draft that began Monday is said to be one of the deeper ones in recent years. Time, after the initial hyperbole fades, will tell. Bryan Bullington (2002) and Matt Bush (2004) once were drafted first overall. Only one of the first 42 pitchers picked in 2001 ever turned out to be an All-Star (Mark Prior). The first round of the 2003 draft produced zero position players who made an All-Star team.
So judgment on the 2011 draft will have to wait. Especially deep in pitching, it could eventually rival the 2002 draft for producing major league mound talent -- but don't expect it to touch the 2005 draft, which set a new standard for overall talent.
The draft began in 1965 with three phases, which was narrowed to two in 1968 and to one in 1987. What follows is one subjective view of the best drafts of the previous 45 years: