Rick Monday was the first

Fifty-two years ago Rick Monday was the first player ever drafted in a major league draft. For most fans it might be hard to reconcile the idea that there was no draft in baseball until 1965. That any kid from any state or country could sign with any team that he wanted too provided he was offered a contract.

Rick Monday looked back at that day with MLB.com a few weeks ago. Most of the interview is your basic stuff but this particular comment struck me.

“It’s been wonderful for the game in terms of competitive balance,” Monday said. “But I’ve always been a proponent of not holding the Draft while there’s still competition, of waiting until the College World Series is over.

“Having seen that empty look of bewilderment and confusion on teammates who weren’t drafted that day … it’s something that has stayed with me.”

I have also thought it strange that they do the draft during the College World Series. As though the kids don’t have enough on their plate now they get to worry about being drafted, then being drafted and where, or not being drafted.

For a number one overall pick, Rick Monday had a great career. In fifty-two years of overall picks, Rick Monday is in the top ten of bWAR. There have been countless overall picks who could never learn to hit or pitch at the highest level.  Many more misses than hits. Rick Monday was at least at a triple, almost a home run.

The very next year Steve Chilcott was the overall pick. He never made it to the major leagues. Danny Goodwin was drafted twice as the overall pick. Once out of high school and once out of college. He had a negative career bWAR.  The White Sox were glad he saved them his bonus money.

David Clyde was one of the more famous overall picks. He was drafted out of high school and pitching in the major leagues the same year. That didn’t work out.

Dave Roberts (not our Dave Roberts) played in the majors the same year he was drafted but he was a college player. That still didn’t work out.

Bob Horner also played in the majors the same year he was drafted. That did work out. Bob Horner had one of the strangest careers you will ever find, so strange I’ll have to write about it.

The Dodgers have never had the first pick. They came close in 1993 but the Mariners got the first pick and picked HOF Alex Rodriquez, the greatest overall pick by bWAR in history.  The Dodgers got Darren Dreifort. Game changer.

The Dodgers, however, have acquired several of these overall picks.

  • 1965 overall pick Rick Monday was acquired in 1977 when the Dodgers gave up fan favorite Bill Buckner and Ivan De Jesus.  Rick Monday would hit the most important postseason home run in Dodger history until Kirk Gibson eclipsed him.
  • 1980 overall pick Darryl Strawberry signed a five-year free agent deal with the Dodgers in 1991.  That worked out for one year.  He was released in the middle of the 3rd year of his contract.
  • 1983 overall pick Tim Belcher was traded to the Dodgers in Sept of 1987 for Rich Honeycut. Tim Belcher would be an important part of the rotation that won the last Dodger World Championship.
  • 2012 overall pick Adrian Gonzalez was acquired in the summer of 2012 and is still here.
Year             Tm Signed                      Name Pos   WAR  OPS
1993       Mariners      Y    Alex Rodriguez(minors)  SS 117.7 .930
1990         Braves      Y     Chipper Jones(minors)  SS  85.0 .930
1987       Mariners      Y       Ken Griffey(minors)  OF  83.6 .907
2001          Twins      Y         Joe Mauer(minors)   C  50.9 .835
2000        Marlins      Y   Adrian Gonzalez(minors)  1B  43.3 .849
1980           Mets      Y Darryl Strawberry(minors)  OF  42.0 .862
1977      White Sox      Y     Harold Baines(minors)  1B  38.5 .820
1985        Brewers      Y      B.J. Surhoff(minors)  SS  34.3 .745
1965      Athletics      Y       Rick Monday(minors)  OF  33.1 .804
1995         Angels      Y      Darin Erstad(minors)  OF  32.3 .743
2007     Devil Rays      Y       David Price(minors) LHP  32.0 .143
1988         Padres      Y        Andy Benes(minors) RHP  31.7 .390
2005   Diamondbacks      Y      Justin Upton(minors)  SS  28.9 .821
1981       Mariners      Y        Mike Moore(minors) RHP  28.5 .000
1999     Devil Rays      Y     Josh Hamilton(minors)  OF  28.1 .865
1976         Astros      Y   Floyd Bannister(minors) LHP  26.9 .383
1983          Twins      N       Tim Belcher(minors) RHP  26.2 .299
2010      Nationals      Y      Bryce Harper(minors)  OF  24.4 .897
1978         Braves      Y        Bob Horner(minors)  3B  21.7 .839
1989        Orioles      Y      Ben McDonald(minors) RHP  20.9 .000
2009      Nationals      Y Stephen Strasburg(minors) RHP  20.2 .401
1998       Phillies      Y       Pat Burrell(minors)  3B  18.8 .834
1969       Senators      Y    Jeff Burroughs(minors)  OF  17.6 .795
1986        Pirates      Y         Jeff King(minors)  SS  16.7 .749
1992         Astros      Y        Phil Nevin(minors)  3B  15.8 .814
1996        Pirates      Y       Kris Benson(minors) RHP  13.0 .337
2012         Astros      Y     Carlos Correa(minors)  SS  12.6 .838
1982           Cubs      Y    Shawon Dunston(minors)  SS  11.5 .712
2011        Pirates      Y       Gerrit Cole(minors) RHP   9.9 .397
1967        Yankees      Y      Ron Blomberg(minors)  1B   9.4 .832
1970         Padres      Y         Mike Ivie(minors)   C   7.2 .744
1968           Mets      Y          Tim Foli(minors)  SS   5.5 .593
1974         Padres      Y        Bill Almon(minors)  SS   4.8 .648
2006         Royals      Y     Luke Hochevar(minors) RHP   3.1 .125
2008           Rays      Y       Tim Beckham(minors)  SS   3.0 .736
2003     Devil Rays      Y      Delmon Young(minors)  OF   2.5 .737
2004         Padres      Y         Matt Bush(minors)  SS        2.4
1994           Mets      Y       Paul Wilson(minors) RHP   2.2 .271
2015   Diamondbacks      Y    Dansby Swanson(minors)  SS   1.0 .693
1973        Rangers      Y       David Clyde(minors) LHP        0.7
1972         Padres      Y      Dave Roberts(minors)  3B   0.4 .644
2002        Pirates      Y  Bryan Bullington(minors) RHP  -0.2 .667
1997         Tigers      Y     Matt Anderson(minors) RHP       -0.5
1979       Mariners      Y       Al Chambers(minors)  OF  -0.5 .618
1984           Mets      Y       Shawn Abner(minors)  OF  -1.3 .591
1975         Angels      Y     Danny Goodwin(minors)   C  -1.7 .674
1971      White Sox      N     Danny Goodwin(minors)   C  -1.7 .674
2016       Phillies      Y     Mickey Moniak(minors)             OF
2014         Astros      N       Brady Aiken(minors)            LHP
2013         Astros      Y        Mark Appel(minors)            RHP
1991        Yankees      Y      Brien Taylor(minors)            LHP
1966           Mets      Y   Steven Chilcott(minors)              C

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/13/2017.

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