So, while looking through some of the baseball websites I go through each day, I came across a page that goes through all of the first picks of each round starting with 2006 and going back to when the First Year Draft was established in 1965. So, I started looking through the players that were drafted first in each round and trying to determine the top 5 selections in the first round from each pick.
There are certain restrictions for players to be drafted. The player must be a resident of the United States, Canada or any United States territory. He must have never signed a professional baseball contract (major or minor leagues). High school players are eligible after graduation and before attending college. Players attending four-year colleges and universities can be drafted after they have completed their junior year only if they are 21. Exception: Division III players can be drafted before their junior year. Junior college and community college players can be drafted at anytime. Players that are a resident of a foreign country (not Canada) are free agents and can be signed by any team.
Teams draft in reverse order of previous season’s records. If there is a tie, it goes back to the previous year’s record to decide draft order. That is the only tiebreaker.
Before 2007, a player’s rights were retained until one week prior to the next year’s draft or until the drafted player enters or returns to a four year college on a full-time basis.
Since last year, the deadline for signing a drafted player is August 15. There are new rules also. A drafted player in junior college cannot sign until his baseball season is completed. If a player is drafted and doesn’t sign, he is eligible for the next year’s draft as long as he is still eligible through the rules of the draft. A player cannot be redrafted by a team as long as he consents to the re-draft. Any player not drafted is a free agent and may sign with any team as long as he follows eligibility rules.
Picks in the draft cannot be traded and players drafted cannot be traded until one year after they are drafted.
Those are the rules of the draft as they stand today. Since 1965, the number of rounds has changed and eligibility rules have changed.
Once again, this is the top 5 number one picks in the first round, based upon selection number. I base my result on statistics and potential. Note: I have used the top 30 picks in the draft in years before there were 30 teams. For example, for the 26th pick in the draft, was in Round 1 from 1977 to 2006. Pick 26 was in Round 2 from 1965 to 1976.
Pick #1 – Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Chipper Jones, Darryl Strawberry, Joe Mauer
Pick #2 – Reggie Jackson, Joe Carter, Josh Beckett, Mark Mulder, Will Clark
Pick #3 – Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Matt Williams, Troy Glaus, Philip Umber
Pick #4 – Dave Winfield, Barry Larkin, Gregg Olsen, Ryan Zimmerman, Kevin Brown
Pick #5 – Dale Murphy, Dwight Gooden, Marl Teixeira, J.D. Drew, Vernon Wells
Pick #6 – Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield, John Mayberry, Kevin McReynolds
Pick #7 – Frank Thomas, Prince Fielder, Troy Tulowitzki, Richard Dotson, Trot Nixon
Pick #8 – Todd Helton, Jim Abbott, Pete Incaviglia, Dick Ruthven, Todd Walker
Pick #9 – Barry Zito, Ron Darling, Geoff Jenkins, Kevin Appier, Jeff Francis
Pick #10 – Mark McGwire, Jon Garland, Robin Ventura, Tim Wallach, Carl Everett
Pick #11 – Greg, Luzinski, Adam Eaton, Jeremy Hermida, Shawn Estes, Walt Weiss
Pick #12 – Billy Wagner, Kirk Gibson, Matt Morris, Jered Weaver, Nomar Garciaparra
Pick #13 – Manny Ramirez, Khalil Greene, Frank Tanana, Garry Tempelton, Paul Konerko
Pick #14 – Tino Martinez, Tom Brunansky, Scott McGregor, Don Gullett, Derrek Lee
Pick #15 – Jim Rice, Stephen Drew, Richie Hebner, Chris Carpenter, Scott Kazmir
Pick #16 – Shawn Green, Lance Berkman, Roberto Hernandez, Lance Parrish, Nick Swisher
Pick #17 – Roy Halladay, Gary Matthews, Charles Nagy, Cole Hamels, Brad Lidge
Pick #18 – Willie Wilson, Dan Ford, Glenn Wilson, Aaron Heilman, Josh Fields
Pick #19 – Roger Clemens, Bobby Grich, Shannon Stewart, Alex Rios, Franklin Stubbs
Pick #20 – Mike Mussina, C.C. Sabathia, Torii Hunter, Bob Welch, Chad Cordero
Pick #21 – Gorman Thomas, Rick Sutcliffe, Jason Varitek, Todd Worrell, Jake Westbrook
Pick #22 – Rafael Palmeiro, Craig Biggio, Gil Meche, Rick Helling, Chet Lemon
Pick #23 – Mo Vaughn, Aaron Sele, Philip Hughes, Jason Kendall, Jacob Ellsbury
Pick #24 – Rondell White, Alex Fernandez, Terry Mullholland, Joe Blanton, Rich Dauer
Pick #25 – Chuck Knoblauch, Ed Sprague, Bill Buckner, matt Cain, Bobby Crosby
Pick #26 – Alan Trammel, Jeremy Bonderman, Dave Henderson, Brent Gates, Dan Pleasac
Pick #27 – Vida Blue, Todd Jones, Pete Harnisch, Scott Stahoviak, Mike Fetters
Pick #28 – Lee Smith, Charles Johnson, Michael Barrett, Norm Charlton, Jamey Wright
Pick #29 – George Brett, Dave Kingman, Brian Jordan, Adam Wainwright, Kevin Bass
Pick #30 – Mike Schmidt, David Wells, Travis Fryman, Chris Sabo, Jerry Ruess
29 Teams passed on Mike Schmidt. 28 teams passed on George Brett. 26 teams passed on Vida Blue. 21 teams passed on Rafael Palmeiro and Craig Biggio. 19 teams passed on Mike Mussina, C.C. Sabathia and Torii Hunter. 18 teams passed on Roger Clemens. 16 teams passed on Roy Halladay. 14 teams passed on Jim Rice. 12 teams passed on Manny Ramirez. 11 teams passed on Billy Wagner and Kirk Gibson.
Drafting is not perfect. This list is proof. Teams are preparing for the 2008 draft now. Who will your team draft?
All draft information from www.baseball-reference.com