We examined each pick for every team over the past 10 years, amounting to nearly 15,000 selections, in an effort to identify the teams that are the most successful at uncovering talent in the annual amateur entry draft. We then categorized them by how far those players have advanced in their careers, and used those relative degrees of success to determine each team's rank. Some of the most interesting findings are shown in the table below.
In addition to the current players selected over that time span, we also identify a number of other notable tidbits:
|489||29||Manny Parra |
(42nd round, 2001)
|Mike Jones||Hunter Pence||Dana Eveland|
Current Key Players: Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy, Manny Parra, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo (pictured)
Lowdown: The prime example of a good team built through the draft. Seven of Milwaukee's current top 10 in RBIs are homegrown, as is the ace of the rotation.
|502||37||Kevin Youkilis |
(8th round, 2001)
|Rick Asadoorian||Pedro Alvarez||Freddy Sanchez|
Current Key Players: Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon (pictured), Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen
Lowdown: Boston's system is dripping with young stars (Youkilis, Pedroia, Papelbon) and a seemingly never-ending supply of live arms.
|479||29||Ryan Howard |
(5th round, 2001)
|Greg Golson||Joe Saunders||Michael Bourn|
Current Key Players: Howard, Chase Utley (pictured), Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, J.A. Happ
Lowdown: Few teams can match the talent the Phils have cobbled together on draft day over the last 10 years, including MVPs of the NL (Howard) and World Series (Hamels).
|497||46||James Shields |
(16th round, 2000)
|Dewon Brazelton||Jacoby Ellsbury||Josh Hamilton|
Current Key Players: Evan Longoria (pictured), Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Shields, Andy Sonnanstine, David Price
Lowdown: Held the top pick in four of the last 10 drafts, including the ill-fated selection of Hamilton in '99 for which they have just the $50,000 Rule 5 fee to show.
|489||43||Andy LaRoche |
(39th round, 2003)
|Bryan Morris||Luke Hochevar||Jason Bartlett|
Current Key Players: Matt Kemp (pictured), James Loney, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Jonathan Broxton, Russell Martin, Corey Wade, James McDonald
Lowdown: Just think what baseball's best team (record-wise) might look like if they had 2001 sixth-round pick Edwin Jackson and his 2.16 ERA for Detroit in the rotation.
|512||37||Jason Kubel |
(12th round, 2000)
|B.J. Garbe||Paul Maholm||Matt Garza|
Current Key Players: Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer (pictured), Kubel, Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, Denard Span
Lowdown: Only two of the Twins' seven top 20 picks in the first round have panned out, but deeper selections such as Slowey (73rd overall) and Morneau (89th) more than make up for the early drought.
|501||36||Brad Hawpe |
(11th round, 2000)
|Matt Harrington||Jesse Litsch||Ryan Shealy|
Current Key Players: Troy Tulowitzki (pictured), Chris Iannetta, Ian Stewart, Dexter Fowler, Ryan Spilborghs, Garrett Atkins, Hawpe, Clint Barmes, Jeff Francis, Jeff Baker
Lowdown: A simple strategy of drafting college players from major programs built nearly the entire roster that reached the 2007 World Series.
|500||36||Jason Bay |
(22nd round, 2000)
|Clint Everts||Fred Lewis||Grady Sizemore |
Current Key Players: Ryan Zimmerman (pictured), John Lannan, Ross Detwiler
Lowdown: Earned a reputation as the feeder system for the rest of MLB while in Montreal, but Zimmerman is the lone bright spot during the D.C. era.
|506||44||Brandon Webb |
(8th round, 2000)
|Corey Myers||Ian Kinsler||Dan Uggla|
Current Key Players: Webb, Justin Upton (pictured), Stephen Drew, Chris Snyder, Conor Jackson, Mark Reynolds, Chad Tracy
Lowdown: The Snakes' calling card is power, having drafted Carlos Quentin, Uggla, Reynolds and Upton. However, the best choice by far was Webb.
|501||33||Josh Willingham |
(17th round, 2000)
|Jeff Allison||Adam LaRoche||Josh Beckett |
Current Key Players: Josh Johnson (pictured), Jeremy Hermida, Chris Volstad
Lowdown: Appropriately the team's prime two choices -- No. 1 in 2000 and No. 2 in 1999 -- resulted in the two best picks (Gonzalez and Beckett, respectively).
|498||36||Ian Kinsler |
(17th round, 2003)
|Chad Hawkins||Noah Lowry||Aaron Harang|
Current Key Players: Kinsler (pictured), Hank Blalock, Chris Davis, C.J. Wilson, Scott Feldman, Derek Holland, Taylor Teagarden
Lowdown: Have done an excellent job on offense (Mark Teixeira, Kinsler, Blalock, Edwin Encarnacion) with some solid pitchers, though the best (John Danks, Harang) never made contributions for Texas at the big-league level.
|492||35||Nate McLouth |
(25th round, 2000)
|Bryan Bullington||Stephen Drew||Chris Young (P)|
Current Key Players: Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Doumit, Paul Maholm (pictured), Zach Duke, Ian Sell, Matt Capps
Lowdown: Last year's choice of Pedro Alvarez with the second-overall pick ended Pittsburgh's streak of taking pitchers in the team's previous six drafts in which they had a top 10 pick.
|489||35||Albert Pujols |
(13th round, 1999)
|Blake Williams||Kevin Correia||Dan Haren|
Current Key Players: Pujols (pictured), Yadier Molina, Colby Rasmus, Chris Duncan, Skip Schumaker, Chris Perez
Lowdown: On the surface, the Cardinals look solid but unspectacular, but then you realize Pujols was the 402nd player taken in '99, which earns the Redbirds a lofty perch in itself.
|519||42||Adam LaRoche |
(29th round, 2000)
|Josh Burrus||J.P. Howell||Adam Wainwright|
Current Key Players: Brian McCann (pictured), Jeff Francoeur, Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson
Lowdown: Peach Pickers: Nearly 10 percent of the Braves' picks either lived in Georgia or played college ball there, including the trio of McCann, Francoeur and Wainwright.
|471||29||Curtis Granderson |
(3rd round, 2002)
|Eric Munson||Anthony Reyes||Cody Ross|
Current Key Players: Justin Verlander, Granderson (pictured), Rick Porcello, Clete Thomas, Jeff Larish, Ryan Raburn, Joel Zumaya
Lowdown: Verlander, Granderson and Porcello are the real deal, and two more premium picks (Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin) were used in a trade for Miguel Cabrera.