The first round of 2018 MLB draft is this Monday and as excitement as to who will draft who builds, the first round of the draft is no guarantee for teams. While it may seem obvious who to draft there are teams every year who wish they could have a re-do on some picks. RHP Casey Mize out of Auburn is poised to go first overall this year there are always doubts. In many mock drafts, the Giants are expected to draft catcher Joey Bart out of Georgia Tech. The Giants obviously know that Posey cannot play forever so drafting a top catcher would be a good decision. In the MLB draft, talent trumps need. While there could be a young all-star at a position, if the player a team is drafting has top tier talent and happens to play that same position, the team will still draft him. In this article we will look at draft trends over the past 10 years and look at the results of some of the drafts.
1st Round MLB Percentage:
The hope for all teams drafting is that they will draft the player who will be a perennial MVP or Cy Young candidate. This clearly does not happen as Ken Griffey Jr. recently became the first first overall pick to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Number one picks are no guarantee, but the goal is to at the very least have them and other first round picks make it into the big leagues. From the 2008 to the 2014 draft, 214 of the 325 first round picks have played in the MLB which comes to 66%.
Boston has had the most first round draft picks make it to the MLB with 14 players while New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies are tied at just 3 players each.
As mentioned previously, teams will choose the best available talent. Going back to 2008, the following visuals show some trends.
In 4 of the past 10 drafts, a shortstop was chosen as the first overall pick. Right handed pitchers are also drafted early as there is much talent at that position. In general, outfielders are shown to have value throughout the draft. Generally teams can draft middle infielders and outfielders and develop them into any position the teams need. They draft the athlete instead of the position. 1st and 3rd basemen are starting to be drafted higher with more reliance on power in MLB.
Prep vs College:
All teams have their preferences as to whether to draft kids out of high school or college. There are pros and cons to both. Drafting a talented prep talent would benefit the team by having more time to develop the player. On the other hand, college players are more polished and have competed at a higher level, whereas high school kids face weaker opponents.
There are less high school players being drafted each year. Teams are finding them more risky to draft and would rather have a more polished college player.
This draft, like others, will be filled with many surprising picks and while we all watch the draft on TV, MLB teams will be making important decisions that will impact the teams’ future. The draft, again, is Monday June 4th beginning at 6 PM Central time.