Historically, and logically, in the sport with the most rounds in a draft, 50, MLB drafts not only attract the least attention of all major sports, but usually result in players never becoming very well-known, let alone All-Stars. In most cases, the majority of those drafted never even stay in the bigs throughout their careers.
After digging through almost 25 years of MLB drafts, and combing through the countless careers of those drafted, it became quite apparent that there really has never been such a solidly stacked bunch of players drafted in MLB as the ones in 2005; although 2003, one of the strangest drafts, came in a close second. What amazes me is that even with the hundreds of scouts throughout the country, spending most of their time, well…scouting, that they would come up with better classes of players entering MLB drafts. And would do so consistently…
Those who are lucky enough to get selected on draft day in MLB will seldom be that prolific as to help teams get transformed into contenders. However, if there was ever a draft where a team could be so dramatically improved that they actually go from being irrelevant to competitors, then once again, 2005 was that year and that draft.
In the top 30 picks of the first round, eight have already played in All-Star games:
Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Ricky Romero, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McClutchen, Jay Bruce, and Jacob Ellsbury. Technically, Alex Avila, who made the All-Star team last year was drafted in 2005 but returned to college & was drafted again in 2008. There are others that have become everyday players and who have tendered huge contracts including Alex Gordon, Matt Garza, Matt Joyce, Jeremy Hellickson, Colby Rasmus, Yunel Escobar, Austin Jackson, and Cameron Maybin. How is that for a collection of established and promising players all from that 2005 draft? You could start a team with these guys that would rival most in the league today!
As far as the amount of talented players in a draft, the 2003 draft has been considered by many to be just as good as the one in ’05. We found it to be a strange and possibly ironic draft because the majority of the stars didn’t go in the first round like they did in ’05. Here are some examples:
- Andre Ethier- 62 pick-2nd round
- Jonathan Papelbon- 114 pick-4th round
- Michael Bourn- 115 pick-4th round
- Matt Kemp- 181 pick-6th round
- Ian Kinsler-496 pick-17th round
- Brian Wilson-723 pick-24th round
- Jonny Venters- 907 pick-30th round
Admittedly, these two drafts were anomalies because it would be a challenge to find this much talent in several drafts. Teams that do their homework, (and if they’re lucky) can find a real ‘diamond in the ruff’ in these drafts. Where, for example, would the L.A. Dodgers and S.F. Giants have been without Kemp or Wilson? And how many more people pay to come to the parks to see players like them?
Problem is that the 2003 & 2005 MLB drafts, as talent laden as there will ever be, are the exceptions and NOT the rules…