Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Unique Look at Recent Drafts

With the draft coming up soon I thought this post might be interesting. In a recent Q&A with Baseball America's Jim Callis, he was asked:
What would the ideal draft of the last five years look like? Who's the best first-round pick, second-round pick, all the way through round 25, since 2005?
Here's what he came up with:

1. Tim Lincecum, rhp (Giants, 2006)
1s. Joba Chamberlain, rhp (Yankees, 2006)
2. Brett Anderson, lhp (Diamondbacks, 2006)
3. Zach Britton, lhp (Orioles, 2006)
4. Jeremy Hellickson, rhp (Devil Rays, 2005)
5. Michael Taylor, of (Phillies, 2007)
6. Andrew Bailey, rhp (Athletics, 2006)
7. Mickey Brantley, of (Brewers, 2005)
8. Austin Jackson, of (Yankees, 2005)
9. Ryan Kalish, of (Red Sox, 2006)
10. Desmond Jennings, of (Devil Rays, 2006)
11. *Mat Latos, rhp (Padres, 2006)
12. Adam Rosales, ss (Reds, 2005)
13. Dan Murphy, 3b (Mets, 2006)
14. Graham Stoneburner, rhp (Yankees, 2009)
15. Chris Carter, 3b (White Sox, 2005)
16. T.J. House, lhp (Indians, 2008)
17. Josh Reddick, of (Red Sox, 2006)
18. Lars Anderson, 1b (Red Sox, 2006)
19. Danny Valencia, 3b (Twins, 2006)
20. Domonic Brown, of (Phillies, 2006)
21. Logan Watkins, ss (Cubs, 2008)
22. *Tommy Hanson, rhp (Braves, 2005)
23. Drake Britton, lhp (Red Sox, 2007)
24. Kyle Allen, rhp (Mets, 2008)
25. *Derek Holland, lhp (Rangers, 2006)
*Draft-and-follow signing.

There were not many big leaguers from the last 5 drafts and those that made it mainly came from the first two rounds. His toughest call was in the first round where he chose Lincecum over Evan Longoria. I agree with his choice given how hard it is to find a pitcher of Lincecum's caliber. In the late rounds, Atlanta's top prospect Tommy Hanson stands out as a quality pick. Not many others have made a significant impact so far.

For Yankee fans Joba Chamberlain, the 2006 1st round supplemental selection, tops the list. He has made a meaningful contribution so far in his short major league career, and could finally be on the path of eventually replacing Mariano as the closer. The other two Yankee picks on this list were Austin Jackson and Graham Stoneburner. Jackson has performed well so far for the Tigers and was a key chip in the Curtis Granderson trade. Stoneburner, last year's 14th round pick, has been impressive so far at Single-A Charleston and could be moving up quickly. If you believe this list, it looks like the Yanks have done well keeping pace with division rivals the Red Sox, who had the most with 4, and the Rays with 2.

Continuing with prior Yankees drafts and looking at their top picks each year, since 1992 when a guy named Jeter was picked, the Yanks have not done very well. Andy Brown, David Walling, David Parrish, Jon Skaggs, Bronson Sardinha. John-Ford Griffin, Eric Duncan, and CJ Henry, to name a few, have all disappeared from the top prospect lists. However since 2004, the Yankees have had some other decent selections besides Joba, like Phil Hughes, and the recently traded Ian Kennedy. Let's hope last year's number 1, Slade Heathcott joins this short list.

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