Breaking Down the Best No. 28 Selections in MLB Draft History
Could the Yankees' first-round pick in this year's MLB Draft end up as the best No. 28 selection ever? With the right player, it's completely feasible.
While it's hard to predict if any top prospect will pan out – as even the highest touted phenoms fall flat in the Minors or get injured along the way – New York is hopeful their 28th overall choice in the draft this week turns into a perennial All-Star down the line.
In the meantime, before New York is on the clock this Wednesday, take a look back at some of the best draft picks from the No. 28 spot in baseball history. From big-league contributors, to the league's next wave of stars, here's seven of the best (all within the last three decades).
Charles Johnson, Marlins (1992)
A product of the University of Miami heading to the Florida Marlins in the first round was a perfect match.
Charles Johnson went on to play a dozen seasons at the big-league level after his debut with the Marlins in 1995. The backstop retired with 167 home runs, four Gold Glove Awards, made two All-Star Game appearances and won a World Series title with the Marlins in '97.
Colby Rasmus, Cardinals (2005)
Taken by the St. Louis Cardinals, Colby Rasmus quickly made his presence felt in the Majors. Within just four years, the outfielder was an everyday player in the big leagues, receiving votes for National League Rookie of the Year.
Ten years later, Rasmus compiled a total of 166 homers in five different uniforms. Yankees fans will recall the lefty slugger spending time with Toronto, Tampa Bay and Baltimore in the American League East. Rasmus also mashed a solo home run at Yankee Stadium in the 2015 AL Wild Card Game as a member of the Houston Astros.
Ben Revere, Twins (2007)
This speedster was added to the Minnesota Twins system with the No. 28 overall pick in 2007. The outfielder, known for swiping bags and covering acres in the outfield, played eight seasons in the Majors for five different clubs.
Revere wrapped up his career with 211 steals – including 49 in 2014 with the Phillies. Plus, who can forget this catch?
Gerrit Cole, Yankees (2008)
Since Gerrit Cole didn't sign with the Yankees in 2008 – when he elected to play college ball at UCLA – this selection technically doesn't count in this exercise. Cole went on to be the No. 1 overall pick three years later.
Nonetheless, in the hypothetical scenario where Cole wound up signing with New York in '08 and spent this entire time in the Bombers' system, he would arguably be the easy choice for the best No. 28 pick of all time.
Cole is one of (if not the) best pitchers in baseball and is coming off a second-place finish in the race for the AL Cy Young Award.
Mike Soroka, Braves (2015)
In a few years, Mike Soroka may very well be in the same conversation as an ace of Cole's caliber.
Last year – after he was drafted by the Braves in 2015 – Soroka played in his first full season. The right-hander made 29 starts, posting a 2.68 ERA to go along with 13 wins and an All-Star Game appearance.
Soroka finished sixth in the race for the National League Cy Young Award and nearly won NL Rookie of the Year, finishing in third.
Carter Kieboom, Nationals (2016)
Not only is Carter Kieboom the Nationals' top prospect, per MLB Pipeline, but the shortstop is the 21st ranked prospect in all of Major League Baseball.
Selected 28th overall in 2016, Kieboom ascended through Washington's farm system to make his big-league debut in 2019. Scouting reports say Kieboom is poised to develop into a solid everyday middle infielder, if not more.
Nate Pearson, Blue Jays (2017)
Similar to Kieboom, Nate Pearson is the future of the Major Leagues. The right-hander – selected in 2017 by Toronto – is presently the eighth-rated prospect in the sport, per MLB Pipeline.
On the cusp of breaking into the big leagues, Pearson showcased his elite fastball velocity and much-improved supplemental pitches in Blue Jays' Spring Training. Pearson's ceiling is about as high as any other pitcher in the Minor Leagues right now.
With a fastball that lives in the triple digits, this 23-year-old is set to be a fixture in Toronto's pitching staff for years to come.
Other No. 28 picks you'll recognize in recent history:
John Mayberry Jr. (2002), Daniel Bard (2006), Sean Gilmartin (2011) and Seth Beer (2018)
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