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On another slow, nearly-baseball-free December's day. I found myself wandering the greatness of BaseballReference.com and landed on this page, which outlines the 43 men who have been the first overall picks in the June Amateur Draft.

Of course, this led me to the standard Hall of Names question ... what kind of roster would this group of names comprise?



A pretty good one, actually -- but maybe not quite as good as we might expect from a roster made up entirely of players once judged to be the very best in their entire draft class.

Sure, there are All-Stars at nearly every position in the starting lineup -- everywhere but 2B, actually, but then we had to really stretch to find someone who'd spent a good deal of time at the keystone in our list of options.

Which raises another point ... many of these players were drafted at positions where they did not spend significant time in the majors -- Mike Ivie was a disaster, defensively, as a catcher, for instance, and can you really picture Harold Baines at 1B?

There isn't a single Hall of Famer on the list, though that seems exceedingly likely to change once Messers. Griffey, Jones and Rodriguez hang 'em up. The pitching is ... well, erratic, with a very right-leaning rotation and a bullpen that includes the most famous draft bust of all time (David Clyde) as well as a young lefty who right now has more career post-season wins than regular-season decisions.

Be that as it may, it's 'round about time that ...

FIRST, WE'RE FEELING A DRAFT
** Hall of Famers (none yet)

STARTING LINEUP

C Joe Mauer, Twins '01
1B Adrian Gonzalez, Marlins '00
2B Jeff King, Pirates '86 (mostly 3B; drafted as SS)
SS Alex Rodriguez, Mariners' 93
3B Chipper Jones, Braves '90
LF Josh Hamilton, Rays '99
CF Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners 87
RF Darryl Strawberry, Mets '80
DH Harold Baines, '77 White Sox (drafted as 1B)

BENCH
C/UTIL B.J. Surhoff, '85 Brewers (drafted as SS)
UTIL Phil Nevin, '92 Astros (drafted as 3B)
IF Tim Foli, '68 Mets (drafted as SS)
IF Shawon Dunston, Cubs '82 (drafted as SS)
OF Jeff Burroughs, Senators/Rangers '69
OF Rick Monday, A's '65

ROTATION
RHSP Andy Benes, Padres '88
LHSP Floyd Bannister, Astros '76
RHSP Ben McDonald, Orioles '89
RHSP Kris Benson, '96 Pirates
RHSP Paul Wilson, '94 Mets

BULLPEN
RHP Matt Anderson, Tigers '97
LHP David Price, Rays '07
RHP Luke Hochevar, Royals '06
LHP David Clyde, Rangers '73
RHP Mike Moore, Mariners '81

CUTS
RHP Bryan Bullington, Pirates '02
DH Ron Blomberg, Yankees '67(drafted as 1B)
OF Justin Upton, D-backs '05 (drafted as SS)
3B/OF Pat Burrell, Phillies '98
3B Dave Roberts, '72 Padres
1B Mike Ivie, Padres '70 (drafted as C)
IF Bill Almon, Padres '74
OF Shawn Abner, Mets '84
1B Danny Goodwin, White Sox '71; Angels '75
3B Bob Horner, Braves '78
OF Al Chambers, Mariners '79

Never/Have Not Yet Reached Majors
SS Tim Beckham, '08 Rays
SS Matt Bush, '04 Padres
LHSP Brien Taylor, Yankees '91
C Steve Chilcott , Mets '66


DRAFT NOTES ... It's really not fair to put Beckham on a list with Taylor, the Yankee bust and Chilcott, the origicnal first-overall bust by the Mets four decades ago -- the kid Beckham isn't even 19 yet (that comes late next month), and though he didn't hit much in Rookie Ball last year (.243), he has certainly outperformed Bush, who had a career batting mark of .219 in his first four pro seasons, none above Class A ...

The 11 guys who didn't even make the roster include some pretty big names, like Bob Horner, Pat Burrell and a still-coming, maybe-he'll-make-this-roster-someday Justin Upton ... That list also includes the name of Danny Goodwin, the only man chosen first overall twice, only to compile a career OPS+ of just 84 over seven largely unproductive seasons in the 1970s and early 1980s before exiting MLB for good at age 28 ... And what, the very first designated hitter ever, Ron Blomberg, doesn't make the roster? Well, no -- he had a nice career, but Harold Baines, another first overall a few years later, is at least arguably the greatest DH ever to play the game, for what that's worth ... To close things out (literally), Matt Anderson is the only primarily relief pitcher ever selected first overall -- and he racked up a grand total of 26 career big league saves ...

We'll be back later in the week with a look at the #2 overall selections -- an even more uneven group, but possibly better overall. In the meantime, how can the above squad be rejiggered to be better?

The industrious among you are invited to find the best overall draft position historically (again, BaseballReference.com makes this easy to do) ... what's the luckiest number?

And our final standard question ... how many games does this team win in the 2009 AL East?

A "First" Draft Team, Literally | 17 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 02:58 AM EST (#195223) #
To answer that last question ...
The pitching is not great and the bullpen is problematic.. But this teams scores 1050 runs, wins 106 games and wins the AL East in '09 in a walk ... as long as Mauer stays healthy!

CeeBee - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 07:52 AM EST (#195224) #

Good timing on the list Mick. It just goes to show the gamble that prospects are and for the dump and run guys the rather large risk of trading a proven player like Doc for prospects, unless of course those prospects are already proven major leaguers, but then they wouldn't be prospects, would they?

I'm looking forward to the 2nd pick team and wonder if there might not be a team of even lower draft picks that would give this menagerie a run for their money.

clark - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 09:48 AM EST (#195226) #

Mick, thanks for conjuring a baseball story for us during the holidays.  Bit of a dead time right now for ball.  That was fun to read, pretty shocking lack of pitching talent on the roster!!

lexomatic - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 01:47 PM EST (#195230) #
i like the #2 picks team a bit better
some good prospects, a HOF player, some HOVG players, a bunch of what-could've beens in the rotation, and some failed starters in the pen.
you could always drop one of the pitchers and stick Grieve on the bench and use a DH, maybe have a SS that can actually field play.

#2s

did not/have not made it yet
08 p alvarez 3b
07 m moustakas ss
06 g reynolds rhp
87 m merchant of
82 a schmidt ss (jays)
80 g harris ss (jays)
75 m lentz lhp

cuts
b davis c sd 95
t lee 1b min 96
t hughes ss chn 67
r manning of (ss cle 72)
b grieve of oak 94
m kelly of atl 91
rhp a johnson min 00
rhp t boggs tex 74
lhp l rohr nym 65
rhp p broberg oak 68
rhp j franklin sd 71
rhp s dunning cle 70

starters
c j stearns phi 73
1b w clark sf 85
2b r weeks mil 03
3b a gordon kc 05
ss bj upton tb 02
lf l moseby tor 78(1b)
cf jd drew phi 97
rf r jackson** oak 66

bench
c/ut t houston atl 89
1b t clark det 90
of/1b j carter chn 81
if m lewis cle 88 (ss)
if stillwell cin 83 (ss)

rotation
rhp j verlander det 04
rhp m prior chn 01
rhp j beckett flo 99
lhp m mulder oak 98
rhp jr richard hous 69

bullpen
rhp d dreifort lad 93
rhp p shuey cle 92
rhp b swift 84
lhp g swindell cle 86
lhp p underwood det 76
rhp t leary nym 79
rhp b gullickson mon 77
Mike Green - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 02:16 PM EST (#195231) #
My own view of this team's prospects: 1000 runs scored, 850 runs allowed and 90 wins in the AL East of 2008.  They'd give away almost as much to Pythagoras as the Rays took from the old man.  Bad bullpen and bad karma can do that to a club...
lexomatic - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 02:51 PM EST (#195232) #
which team mike?

just for comparison's sake... here's the team you could get with the 22nd pick. not a complete team, but you could field a lineup. I've named this team the popguns in honor of their offense

#22 cal popguns
mgr terry francona

c j werth bal 97 (c) of
1b r palmeiro chn 85 (of)
2b c biggio hou 87 (c)
ss c reynolds pit 71
3b d anderson lad 81 (ss)
lf terry francona mon 80 1b/of
cf t goodwin tex 89
rf c lemon oak 72 (ss)

bench
1b l stevens laa 86
1b r jordan phi 83
ut b gorinski min 70 (ss)

rotation
j guthrie rhp cle 02
g meche rhp sea 96
r helling rhp tex 92
b hurst lhp bos 76
g perkins lhp min 04

bullpen
m thornton lhp sea 98
s karsay rhp tor 90
d aardsma rhp sf 03
t mcknight rhp hou 95
j ericks rhp stl 88
b moore lhp mon 69

Geoff - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 03:07 PM EST (#195233) #
Lucky to be 14
 
C  Jason Varitek '94
1B Derrek Lee  '93
2B Russ Adams '02
3B Alan Mitchell Edward George Patrick Henry Gallagher '65
SS Rich McKinney '68
LF Billy Butler '04
CF Tom Brunansky  '78
RF Cliff Floyd '91
DH Tino Martinez '88

bench
OF Travis Snider '06
C  Ron Karkovice '82
OF Lee Mazzilli '73 *player-manager-utility-guy and pinch runner

starters
LH Don Gullet '69
LH Scott McGregor '72
RH Jeff Weaver '98
RH Tommy Greene '85

bullpen
RHP Todd Van Poppel '90
LHP Ron Villone '92
RHP Cris Carpenter '87
RHP Ryan Wagner '03

a team full of grittiness
Geoff - Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 03:32 PM EST (#195234) #
The Dirty Dozens (featuring the ostracized Nomar)

C  Jeff Reed '80
1B Kirk Gibson '78
2B Delino DeShields '87
3B Nomar Garciaparra '94
SS Adam Everett '98
LF Lastings Milledge '03
CF Doug Glanville '91
RF Jay Bruce '05
DH Oddibe McDowell '84

bench
OF Joe Borchard '00
UT  Scott Hemond '86

starters
RH Matt Morris '95
RH Brett Myers '99
LH Joe Saunders '02
RH Jered Weaver '04
LH John Curtis '66

bullpen
CL Billy Wagner '93
RH Randy Martz '77
RH Jeff Juden '89
RH Todd Ritchie '90

notes
Jered Weaver puts together this team to challenge his brother's Lucky to be 14; good starters and a hammer in the pen but no bench or pitching depth; Kirk Gibson never played 1B but being the self-sacrificing sort, he fills the team's gap there; Nomar finds a team at last.

CeeBee - Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 08:01 AM EST (#195239) #

The lucky, or unlucky 13's are good, bad and ugly. Missing a position or 2 and a terribly weak bullpen but in a short series they would not be so bad. The Jays only had one #13 pick and he turned out to be a pretty good second baseman named Aaron Hill. Plenty of guys who never made the bigs as well, 23 in all including the last 4 who still have a chance.

C-  Brent Mayne

1B- Casey Kotchman

2B- Aaron Hill

3B- Billy Spiers

SS-Gary Templeton

OF- Manny Ramirez

OF- Rick Leach

OF- one of the spare catchers (John Russell)

DH- Paul Konerko

Bench- Bill Hayes. Khalil Greene

SP- Frank Tanana

SP- Gary Nolan

SP- Mark Redman

SP/RP- Donovan Osborne

RP- Ryan Bowen

RP- Joel Davis

They's be lucky to win 60 games in the AL east and to do that the 4 starters would have to throw a ton of complete games with the result being Gary Nolan's arm falling off even sooner than it did in real life. Not a real bad offense with some speed up front in Templeton and power in the middle with Ramirez and Konerko but still it's a good idea to avoid the #13 pick if at all possible.

zeppelinkm - Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 08:58 AM EST (#195240) #

Any excuse I can use to open up Roy Halladay's B-Ref page, I take.

17th Heaven

SP Roy Halladay* RHP
SP Cole Hamels*  RHP
SP Charles Nagy* RHP 129-105, 101 ERA+
SP Cal Eldred RHP 86-74, 103 ERA+
SP Dennis Rasmussen LHP 91-77, 94 ERA+ 

BP Brad Lidge*
BP Don Hood LHP (101 ERA+, 848.3 IP)
BP Bob Reynolds RHP (116 ERA+, 254.7 IP)
BP Jerry Don Gleaton  LHP (96 ERA+, 447.3 IP)
BP Don August RHP (85 ERA+, 440 IP)


 
C  Ramon Castro
1B Eduardo Perez (hopefully to be David Cooper in a few years)
2B Steve Brye (drafted as a 3B, played OF in MLB)
SS  Brian McRae
3B  Nick Esasky (drafted as a SS played 3B mostly)
OF  David Murphy
OF  Gary Matthews*
OF  Jeremy Burnitz
DH  David Cooper (honest to god, hes probably the best bet, or Matt Antonelli)
 

Bench:  Ted Cox (INF), Terry Bell (C). There is really no bench.

Well, surprisingly, a very good rotation. The bullpen is good too although relatively speaking not as strong as the rotation, with one relief ace to throw around. They would be dreadfully boring to watch. Low scoring abound.  Matthews and Burnitz are your 3/4 hitters and the backup catcher, Mr.Bell, had a grand total of 4 major league at bats. But with that rotation, should Cooper, Antonelli, and Murphy become above average MLB hitters, their offence might improve from absolutely brutal to just merely below average, which would make this team pretty good.  

Geoff - Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 10:00 AM EST (#195241) #
Russ Adams' 14s would kick Aaron's Unlucky butts. Now if the Cubs didn't take Tyler Colvin at 13 in 2006, perhaps the 13s could have a decent outfield and offense, rather than just Manny and friends.
CeeBee - Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 11:36 AM EST (#195244) #

Vernon Wells needs a team so here's the 5 alive's.

C- Matt Wieters  soon to be a star?

1B- Mark Texiera

2B- Alan Bannister

3B-Ryan Braun  yikes on defense

SS- Bobby Valentine (player manager)

OF- Vernon Wells

OF- Dale Murphy

OF- J.D. Drew

DH- Billy Conigliaro

Bench- Don Harris, Chad Motolla and Josh Booty as the wonderfully named infield sub

SP- Black Jack McDowell

SP- Doc Gooden

SP- Andy Hawkins

SP- Bob Owchinko

SP- John Patterson

RP- Kent Mercker

RP- Justin Wayne

RP- Ariel Prieto

RP- Pat Pacillo

RP- Matt Williams

Better than the unluckies but Bannister and Valentine up the middle isn't exactly an all-star duo.

John Northey - Monday, December 29 2008 @ 10:09 AM EST (#195258) #
Howsabout the tail end of the first round - the 30th pick.  How good / bad is that one?

CA: Mitch Maier Royals 2003: 607 OPS but at least he made it to the majors
1B: Jack Cust Diamondback 1997: 857 OPS and ugly defense
2B: Russ Johnson Astros 1994: 722 OPS mainly at third but played lots at 2B
3B: Mike Schmidt Phillies 1971: HOF'er and best ever at the position, drafted at SS
SS: Travis Fryman Tigers 1987: 779 OPS, mainly at third but that slot is full
LF: Scott Thorman Atlanta 2000: 667 OPS, went to the same high school as me, drafted at 3B
CF: Brian Jordan Cardinals 1988: 788 OPS
RF: Chris Sabo Reds 1983: 771 OPS, again a third baseman (good spot for them)
DH: Mike Rogodzinski Phillies 1969: 625 OPS but I'm getting desperate here

SP: David Wells Blue Jays 1982: 239-157 4.13 ERA
SP: Jerry Reuss Cardinals 1967: 220-191 3.64 ERA
SP: Moose Haas Brewers 1974: 100-83 4.01 ERA
SP: Noah Lowry Giants 2001: 40-31 4.03 ERA
SP: Dave Coggin Phillies 1995: 10-12 4.17 ERA

RP: Terry Forster White Sox 1970: 127 saves, 3.23 ERA
RP: Keith Atherton A's 1978: 26 saves, 4.02 ERA over 500 IP in relief

Phew, that was tough to put together.  Strong front 3 in the rotation, decent closer, crazy depth and quality at third base.  Lots of Phillies (3), a Jay (Wells) and a Canadian (Thorman).  Tells you how hard it is to find quality at the end of round 1 (or start of round 2 or 'sandwich pick' depending on year) but that every so often you can get an amazing player.
Mike D - Monday, December 29 2008 @ 12:00 PM EST (#195263) #
Prior to this season, only three #1 overall picks wound up winning a World Series with the team that drafted them:  Strawberry, Chipper and Erstad.  This year, Burrell became the fourth, and if he failed to do so, Price would have been #4. 
Mike Green - Monday, December 29 2008 @ 12:11 PM EST (#195264) #
The Ricky Romeros (#6s) have a devilish offence but no pitching:

C-    Terry Kennedy
1B-  John Mayberry
2B-  Spike Owen
SS-  Derek Jeter
3B-  Darnell Coles
LF-  Barry Bonds
CF- Andy Van Slyke
RF- Kevin McReynolds
DH-Gary Sheffield

Bench- Rocco Baldelli, Ken Landreaux, Johnnie Lemaster, Tom Grieve, Erik Pappas

SP- Zack Greinke
SP- Andrew Miller
SP- Jeremy Sowers
SP- Seth Greisinger
SP- Ross Detwiler
RP-Derek Lilliquist
RP-Roy Thomas
RP-John Burke
RP-Steve Soderstrom
RP-Butch Edge

Did you know?  The first 7 picks of the 1989 draft were, in order, Ben McDonald, Tyler Houston, Roger Salkeld, Jeff Jackson, Donald Harris, Paul Coleman and Frank Thomas.  Many scouts disparaged the collegian Thomas at the time for his lack of athleticism (and upside!).  Paul Coleman, needless to say, did not make the "Ricky Romeros".

lexomatic - Monday, December 29 2008 @ 01:11 PM EST (#195268) #
#3 babes

coleman rhsp
hermanson rhsp
anderson lhsp
avery lhsp*
b witt rhsp

looper rhrp
christenson rhrp
garman rhrp
twitchell rhrp
dayley lhrp
w banks rhrp

lineup
l smith lf*
molitor 2b**
yount ss**
glaus 1b*
williams 3b*
cruz jr cf
lieberthal c*
brooks rf*
bench
longoria 3b(ss) *
d schofield ss
c patterson of
e munson c/1b
clement c/1b
j kunkel if

prospects
Hosmer 1b
Vitters 3b

pitching that gets the job done a scary offense and the most depth at 3b
lexomatic - Monday, December 29 2008 @ 07:05 PM EST (#195283) #
Jays sign Barrett to minor league deal
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3798451
A "First" Draft Team, Literally | 17 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.