By David Sabino
June 09, 2009

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:

- The total number of picks each team made (including sandwich picks earned and lost in free agency).
- The total number of those picks that have reached the majors (whether with the team that drafted them or not).
- The best pick from players taken outside of the top two rounds.
- The player taken highest in the first round who never reached their potential.
- The best player who was drafted but never signed and then went on to stardom elsewhere.
- And finally, the player who was drafted and signed, but was then either traded, released or otherwise lost.
Milwaukee Brewers1Milwaukee Brewers
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Boston Red Sox2Boston Red Sox
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Philadelphia Phillies3Philadelphia Phillies
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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).

Tampa Bay Rays4Tampa Bay Rays
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Los Angeles Dodgers5Los Angeles Dodgers
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Minnesota Twins6Minnesota Twins
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Colorado Rockies7Colorado Rockies
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Washington Nationals8Washington Nationals
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
500 36 Jason Bay
(22nd round, 2000)
Clint Everts Fred Lewis Grady Sizemore
Brandon Phillips
Cliff Lee

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.

Arizona Diamondbacks9Arizona Diamondbacks
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Florida Marlins10Florida Marlins
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
501 33 Josh Willingham
(17th round, 2000)
Jeff Allison Adam LaRoche Josh Beckett
Adrian Gonzalez

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).

Texas Rangers11Texas Rangers
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Pittsburgh Pirates12Pittsburgh Pirates
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

St. Louis Cardinals13St. Louis Cardinals
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Atlanta Braves14Atlanta Braves
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Detroit Tigers15Detroit Tigers
Picks MLB Steal Bust Unsigned Traded/Cut
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.

Team Draft Rankings 16-30

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