In continuing the look at the draft, one thing I was always curious about is which team is the most successful in drafting. So, taking the last 10 years, I looked at how many picks a team has made and how many picks that signed made it to the majors.
Over the last 10 years, there have been 14,766 picks total, or an average of 1477 per year. Of those picks, 893 have signed and made it to the majors; that’s only 6% drafted (I would have looked at how many had signed, but that information was sketchy).
As time goes on, more players make it to the majors. 1998-2000 had 10% of the picks make it to the majors; every year since then the percentage has dropped. It’s to be expected, since most players need time to develop in the minors.
Here are the percentages of players who have made it to the majors for the last 10 year:
2007 – 0%
2006 – 1%
2005 – 2%
2004 – 5%
2003 – 6%
2002 – 8%
2001 – 9%
2000 – 10%
1999 – 10%
1998 – 10%
On a team basis, Oakland and San Francisco have the best success rate – 9% of their draftees make it to the majors.
First, a disclaimer: the MLB debut doesn’t mean with team that drafted the player. For example, Matt Murton was drafted by the Red Sox but traded to the Cubs before his MLB debut; Murton counts with the Red Sox since they drafted him.
Oakland has drafted 445 players in the last 10 years and 41 have played at least 1 game in the majors.
San Francisco was right there with them: they took 503 players in the draft and 44 have played in a MLB game.
Here’s how the teams rank:
San Francisco 9%
Chicago (NL) 7%
Kansas City 7%
St. Louis 6%
Chicago (AL) 6%
Tampa Bay 6%
New York (NL) 6%
Los Angeles (AL) 6%
Los Angeles (NL) 5%
San Diego 5%
New York (AL) 4%
What can we learn from this? Of the top 5, 3 are considered small market teams (Oakland, Arizona, Colorado) and have success developing their own players. Oakland does tend to get a lot of prospects through trade, but the other 2 have developed much of their current teams through the draft (Arizona has drafted Jackson, Drew, Reynolds, Tracy, Upton, and Webb among others while Colorado has drafted Helton, Barmes, Tulowitzki, Akins, Hawpe, Holliday, Cook, and Fuentes).
Only 1 large market club is in the top 10 – the Cubs. Most of the larger teams are lower since A) they sign more free agents, B) they lose picks when signing free agents, and C) normally have the resources to scout foreign countries. The Red Sox ranked 17th, the Angels 18th, the Dodgers 21st, and the Yankees 28th.
One thing that is starting to balance out for the smaller clubs is the opportunity in foreign countries. Right now, only players in the US, US territories, and Canada are drafted (the exception is players who defect from Cuba – they can be drafted unless they set up citizenship in another country, a la Jose Contreras). That means players from Central America, South America, Asia, Australia, and islands in the Caribbean can sign with a team at the age of 16. Most teams have set up academies in the Dominican and have teams for Venezuela.
Eventually, I’m going to sit down and break down Oakland’s drafts to see why they are successful; is their something in the players they like or is it just luck?
The Draft is today at 1 PM EST.