All-time draft rosters: AL East

May, 30, 2012
Baseball's amateur draft takes place next week, beginning with the first round on Monday. (Check out Keith Law's latest mock draft here.) As a hopefully fun exercise I'd thought I'd research each club's all-time draft team. The draft began in 1965, so we're talking 46 years of players. I used the draft research tool at The Baseball Cube website to help sift through players.

Remember, these are players drafted and signed by each team, which means no Latin American amateur free agents, no players drafted but not signed. The players did not necessarily have to star with the team in question; I was merely interested in seeing the best players each franchise has drafted. It's also possible I missed a player or two. We'll start with the AL East and then hit the other divisions before Monday.

Baltimore Orioles
C -- Matt Wieters
1B -- Eddie Murray
2B -- Bobby Grich
3B -- Doug DeCinces
SS -- Cal Ripken
OF -- Steve Finley
OF -- Don Baylor
OF -- Nick Markakis
DH -- Brian Roberts
SP -- Mike Mussina
SP -- Mike Boddicker
SP -- Mike Flanagan
SP -- Storm Davis
SP -- Pete Harnisch
RP -- Arthur Rhodes

Not a bad roster: Two Hall of Famers in Ripken and Murray and two should-be Hall of Famers in Grich and Mussina. Grich and Baylor, by the way, were the Orioles' first two picks in 1967. Not a bad draft. Of course, you'll notice the problem: Most of these picks, especially the pitchers, came a long time ago. Since drafting Mussina way back in 1991, the best starters drafted by the Orioles are Erik Bedard (56 career wins) and John Maine (41 career wins).

Boston Red Sox
C -- Carlton Fisk
1B -- Jeff Bagwell
2B -- Dustin Pedroia
3B -- Wade Boggs
SS -- Nomar Garciaparra
OF -- Dwight Evans
OF -- Fred Lynn
OF -- Amos Otis
DH -- Jim Rice
SP -- Roger Clemens
SP -- Curt Schilling
SP -- Bruce Hurst
SP -- Jon Lester
SP -- John Tudor
RP -- Jonathan Papelbon

This is worth a different piece and more in-depth analysis, but the talent drafted by the Red Sox compared to the Yankees doesn't appear close: The Red Sox win in a landslide. Among those I couldn't fit on this list: Mo Vaughn, Kevin Youkilis, Ben Oglivie, Mike Greenwell, John Valentin, Bill Lee, Bob Stanley, Ellis Burks, Rick Burleson, Aaron Sele and others. And it's not a result of draft position: Since 1965, the Yankees have had 10 losing seasons ('65-'67, '69, '73, '82, '89-'92) and the Red Sox eight ('65-'66, '83, '87, '92-'94, '97). Since 1968, the Red Sox have only had one top-10 pick (1993, used on Trot Nixon). Most of these guys did star for the Red Sox, although they did give away three too soon: Bagwell, famously for Larry Andersen; Schilling (with Brady Anderson) in a trade for Mike Boddicker; and Amos Otis, who was drafted in 1965 and lost to the Mets after the 1966 season in the minor league. Not quite sure how the rules worked then, but I believe it had to do with Otis not being placed on a roster commensurate with his experiece. Of course, the Mets later gave him away to the Royals.

New York Yankees
C -- Thurman Munson/Jorge Posada (couldn't decide!)
1B -- Don Mattingly
2B -- Pat Kelly
3B -- Mike Lowell
SS -- Derek Jeter
OF -- Willie McGee
OF -- Austin Jackson
OF -- Carl Everett
DH -- Fred McGriff

SP -- Andy Pettitte
SP -- Ron Guidry
SP -- Al Leiter
SP -- Scott McGregor
SP -- Tim Belcher
RP -- David Robertson

Here's the amazing thing about the Yankees: They haven't drafted one outfielder who turned into an All-Star while still with the team; McGee and Jackson were traded before reaching the majors and Everett was lost in the 1993 expansion draft. All the best Yankees outfielders of the past 40 years except one were acquired outside the draft. Here, I'll list the good ones. Since 1965, 14 outfielders have compiled 10+ WAR (Baseball-Reference) with the club:

Bernie Williams (45.9): amateur free agent from Puerto Rico
Roy White (43.0): amateur free agent in pre-draft era
Rickey Henderson (30.3): trade
Bobby Murcer (25.5): amateur free agent in pre-draft era
Dave Winfield (25.0): free agent
Paul O'Neill (24.1): trade
Hideki Matsui (18.6): free agent
Reggie Jackson (15.9): free agent
Brett Gardner (14.2): draft pick
Mickey Rivers (14.1): trade
Johnny Damon (13.4): free agent
Roberto Kelly (12.1): amateur free agent out of Panama
Oscar Gamble (10.5): trade
Curtis Granderson (10.1): trade

Even recent players like Gary Sheffield, Nick Swisher, Bobby Abreu and David Justice were all high-priced veterans. Am I saying the Yankees buy their success? Note their lack of homegrown starters: McGregor and Belcher never pitched for the Yankees and Leiter won seven games before he was traded to Toronto. Makes you wonder: What if teams just decided they weren't going to trade with the Yankees? Yes, they'd still have the money to buy free agents, but it would make things a little more difficult for them. (The Yankees have obviously done better in Latin America: Williams, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Orlando Hernandez.)

Tampa Bay Rays
C -- John Jaso
1B -- Aubrey Huff
2B -- Empty
3B -- Evan Longoria
SS -- Reid Brignac
OF -- Carl Crawford
OF -- B.J. Upton
OF -- Josh Hamilton
DH -- Delmon Young
SP -- David Price
SP -- James Shields
SP -- Jeremy Hellickson
SP -- Jeff Niemann
SP -- Matt Moore
RP -- Dan Wheeler

Hmm, that rotation looks very familiar. One area the Rays haven't succeeded at is developing middle infielders: Their middle infielders have all been veteran-castoff types (Julio Lugo, Chris Gomez), acquired by trade (Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez, Jason Bartlett) or signed out of Japan (Akinori Iwamura). Even Elliot Johnson was an undrafted amateur.

Toronto Blue Jays
C -- Pat Borders
1B -- John Olerud
2B -- Jeff Kent
3B -- Michael Young
SS -- Alex Gonzalez
OF -- Jesse Barfield
OF -- Shawn Green
OF -- Vernon Wells
DH -- Lloyd Moseby
SP -- Roy Halladay
SP -- Dave Stieb
SP -- David Wells
SP -- Jimmy Key
SP -- Chris Carpenter
RP -- Mike Timlin

One thing the Blue Jays have always done well is draft and develop starting pitchers. Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen couldn't make this list and neither could Woody Williams, Ricky Romero or Todd Stottlemyre. The Blue Jays' first division winner in 1985 included a slew of draft picks, the biggest coup being college outfielder Dave Stieb, who was converted to pitcher his first season in the minors and remarkably reached the majors after just 19 minor league starts. They did trade away what could have been an All-Star middle infield in Kent and Young, but at least Kent brought them David Cone and the 1992 World Series title. Young was traded to the Rangers for Esteban Loaiza while still in the minors.

David Schoenfield | email

SweetSpot blogger



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