What’s the success rate of the No. 1 overall pick in the draft…a 10-year look at the first overall pick

The Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft began today (the 10th) local time.

With the No. 1 overall pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected top pitcher Paul Skins (21), who was considered the best pitcher in the draft.

With the second overall pick, the Washington Nationals selected Dylan Crouse, 21, who was considered the best hitter in the draft.

Fans get excited about their team’s picks. Not just KBO fans, but MLB fans as well. “Why did we take this guy and not that guy?” is a debate most teams have after the draft.스포츠토토

But what’s the success rate of the #1 overall picks who are arguably the best players that year? Did they have the tools to be the best on the amateur scene, and did most of them become the star players they were expected to be when they were drafted?

To find out, we looked at the current state of first overall picks from the last decade. We’ll work backwards, as the more recent players are more likely to be developing in the minors.

First overall picks in the MLB draft over the past decade. Photo = MLB.com
Houston tanked for two No. 1 picks…and it didn’t work out.

The Houston Astros, who were practically the first team in MLB to intentionally tank, earned the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 and 2014 drafts.

Houston selected right-handed pitcher Mark Appel, a Houston native, in 2013, but Appel never developed into the core of the team and was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in December 2015.

Affel’s turnaround didn’t happen in Philly either, and he was forced to retire in 2018 after struggling with injuries.

However, he would return in 2021 and make a dramatic major league debut in 2022. Last year, he had a 1.74 ERA in six games and 10.1 innings pitched. It looked like he was going to be a human triumph, but he struggled mightily in exhibition games this year, and the Phillies released Eppel – a very disappointing performance for a former No. 1 overall pick.

Houston used the No. 1 pick in 2014 for left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken, but the Astros and Aiken disagreed during the signing process and failed to sign.

Aiken went to Cleveland the following year with the 17th overall pick, a move that ended poorly for both player and team. Aiken has gone down as one of the worst players to ever be selected No. 1 overall and never make it to the major leagues.

Dansby Swanson, the poster child for No. 1 overall picks. Photo.
The 23-billion-year-old ‘model No. 1 pick’ vs. the ‘1 picks’ that are still question marks

The 2015 No. 1 overall pick is a household name for MLB fans. It’s Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson, 29.

After joining the Atlanta Braves, Swanson developed into the team’s starting shortstop and helped lead Atlanta to a World Series title in 2021. After last season, he signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Cubs, making him a model No. 1 overall pick.

For reference, the year Swanson was the No. 1 pick, Houston selected Alex Bregman, 29, now the team’s starting third baseman, with the No. 2 overall pick. Bregman’s stellar play earned him a five-year, $100 million extension starting in 2020, and he helped the team win the World Series last year.

For Houston, selecting Bregman with the No. 2 overall pick the year after giving up Aiken was effectively a “first overall pick” that paid off.

Mickey Moniak rebounds for the Angels. Photo = AP Yonhap
The first overall pick in 2016 is outfielder Mickey Moniak (25). Drafted by Philadelphia, Moniak failed to impress in the minors and saw his stock drop as the years went by.

He made his big league debut in 2020, but only managed a .603 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in eight games, and he struggled mightily in 2021 with a .349 OPS in 21 games. Eventually, Philadelphia included Moniak in a trade chip to acquire Los Angeles Angels pitcher Noah Syndergaard in August 2022.

With his big league career seemingly over, Moniak has turned things around for the Angels, hitting .308 with 10 home runs and an OPS of .984 in 38 games. He’s still only 25 years old, so there’s plenty to be excited about.

The Minnesota Twins, who had the No. 1 pick in 2017, selected Royce Lewis, 24, and Lewis has developed as expected. He graduated step-by-step through the minors, but a significant knee injury in spring training in 2021 delayed his big league debut.

He warmed up in the big leagues last year with a 12-game OPS of 0.867, and has continued to do so this season with a 26-game OPS of 0.828. However, it remains to be seen if Lewis will stay healthy enough to play a full season, as he continues to deal with injuries large and small.

Spencer Thorkelson has yet to impress. Photo = AP Yonhap News
1 picks can make or break a team’s rebuild.

It should go without saying, but the development of the No. 1 overall pick has a huge impact on a team’s rebuild. If you have the No. 1 overall pick, you’ve screwed up the present.

Since the pick was acquired at the expense of current performance, the prospect must develop into the core of the team. In that regard, the Detroit Tigers are unfortunate.

With the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 and 2020, Detroit selected right-hander Casey Mays (26) and first baseman Spencer Tokelson (23), respectively.

After making his big league debut in 2020, Mays emerged as the hope of the Tigers’ starting rotation in 2021, going 7-9 with a 3.71 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 150.1 innings over 30 starts.

However, after just two starts last year, he suffered elbow problems and underwent Tommy John surgery, and has been rehabbing ever since.

Still, compared to Mays, who had a breakout year, Torkelson has underperformed even more. He made his debut last year and was a disappointing hitter, batting .203 with eight home runs and a .604 OPS in 110 games.

This year, he’s hit .228 with 12 homers and an OPS of 0.711 in 87 games, which is better than last year, but still below expectations. Torkelson is a first baseman whose ability to hit is critical, so unless he turns it around, he may not get a consistent opportunity starting next year.

The problem is that back-to-back No. 1 overall picks two years in a row haven’t done much of anything, and Detroit’s current record has left them in the cellar. Detroit hasn’t made the postseason since 2014.

Adrien Rutman, who has grown into Baltimore’s core. Photo = AP Yonhap
On the other hand, catcher Adley Rutchman, 25, the Baltimore Orioles’ No. 1 overall pick in 2019, is having a smooth big league career.

He was the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in his debut last year, finishing second in OPS (.807), and while Baltimore struggled to a 16-24 record before Lurchman’s call-up, they went 67-55 after the call-up and were in wild-card contention by season’s end.

This year, they’re 54-35 (.607 winning percentage), good for second place in the AL East and the first wild-card spot. With Lurchman as the starting catcher, the team has found stability on both sides of the ball, which has translated into good results. Despite playing catcher, Lurchman has 12 home runs and a .799 OPS this year, and was named AL All-Star of the Year.

Henry Davis in his recent major league debut. Photo = AP Yonhap News
■ From the No. 1 overall pick to the No. 1 prospect…more first-round picks to come

Catcher Henry Davis, 23, Pittsburgh’s No. 1 overall pick in 2021, and shortstop Jackson Holliday, 19, Baltimore’s No. 1 pick last year, need to be watched more closely. They’re still young.

Davis, who quickly graduated through each of the minor leagues after being drafted, made his big league debut on March 19 and is hitting .239 with a .657 OPS in 20 games so far.

For Pittsburgh’s purposes, he’s playing more right field than catcher right now, and it’ll be interesting to see what he looks like when he puts on a full-time catcher’s mask.

Jackson Holliday, last year’s No. 1 overall pick. Photo = Milb.com
Holliday is developing very quickly for a No. 1 overall pick. At just 19 years old, he’s already up to High Single-A, where he’s hitting .314 with five home runs and a .940 OPS in 57 games.

His minor league performance has been so good for his age that he was ranked No. 1 overall in the recently released MLB Pipeline prospect rankings, where last year’s No. 1 overall pick beat out a slew of seniors to become the league’s top prospect in a single year.

While prospect rankings are no guarantee of success in the big leagues, there are plenty of prospects who flop even in the minor leagues, so our analysis is that Holliday’s chances of success are still much higher than his chances of failure.

The overall No. 1 overall picks of the last decade show that draft position isn’t everything, and it’s this uncertainty, where no one can be sure if they’ll succeed or not, that makes baseball so much more fun.

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