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  • James Vlietstra

The Yankees and the MLB Draft (Pt. 4)

by James Vlietstra

June 30, 2023

***

This article continues the study I shared previously. The following are the first two installments:

***

I’ve had several people saying that it’s obvious that the Yankees have had some very bad drafts. But how bad do they compare to other teams?


To address this question, I’ve done some more research. I went back to the same starting point of 1998 and looked at 20 years to drafts, stopping at 2017.

Here are the totals for all 30 teams’ first round picks during this period based on WAR, taken from Baseball Reference. The top number will be WAR, second is how many players made the majors, the third number is how many players signed, and fourth is how many total first round picks they had.


The teams are ranked by total accumulated bWAR from the drafts from 1998-2017.

1.Arizona Diamondbacks

233.4 WAR

25 Majors

31 signed

32 picks

2. Oakland Athletics

226.2 WAR

29 Majors

38 signed

38 picks

3. Philadelphia Phillies

223.4 WAR

16 Majors

22 signed

22 picks

4. St. Louis Cardinals

206.9 WAR

26 Majors

38 signed

39 picks

5. Kansas City Royals

190.6 WAR

23 Majors

32 signed

32 picks

6. Washington Nationals/ Montreal Expos

187.6 WAR

19 Majors

25 signed

26 picks

7. Minnesota Twins

185.2 WAR

21 Majors

33 signed

34 picks

8. Tampa Bay Rays

183.3 WAR

19 Majors

30 signed

32 picks

9. San Francisco Giants

179.2 WAR

27 Majors

33 signed

33 picks

10. Los Angeles Dodgers

173.2 WAR

20 Majors

28 signed

30 picks

11. Baltimore Orioles

173 WAR

20 Majors

32 signed

33 picks

12. Milwaukee Brewers

171.6 WAR

16 Majors

28 signed

29 picks

13. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

171.5 WAR

20 Majors

26 signed

26 picks

14. Chicago Cubs

167.5 WAR

18 Majors

26 signed

26 picks

T-15. Atlanta Braves

160.3 WAR

21 Majors

31 signed

31 picks

T-15. Houston Astros

160.3 WAR

16 Majors

25 signed

26 picks

17. Pittsburgh Pirates

156.7 WAR

21 Majors

24 signed

26 picks

18. Cleveland Indians/ Guardians

152.6 WAR

19 Majors

29 signed

30 picks

19. Miami Marlins

152.1 WAR

21 Majors

26 signed

27 picks

20 New York Mets

149.1 WAR

21 Majors

24 signed

24 picks

21. Colorado Rockies

147.3 WAR

23 Majors

30 signed

31 picks

22. Detroit Tigers

146.3 WAR

18 Majors

24 signed

24 picks

23. Toronto Blue Jays

146.2 WAR

25 Majors

37 signed

40 picks

24. Cincinnati Reds

144.2 WAR

22 Majors

30 signed

31 picks

25. Texas Rangers

140.3 WAR

24 Majors

34 signed

36 picks

26. Chicago White Sox

139.7 WAR

19 Majors

30 signed

30 picks

27. Boston Red Sox

139.4 WAR

29 Majors

37 signed

37 picks

28. San Diego Padres

130 WAR

24 Majors

40 signed

42 picks

29. Seattle Mariners

86.8 WAR

16 Majors

20 signed

21 picks

30. New York Yankees

78.3 WAR

12 Majors

26 signed

28 picks

In conclusion, based on the research I did, the Yankees have missed on their first round picks more often than any other organization in Major League Baseball over the past 25 years. And in all honesty it’s not even particularly that close.


Of all 30 teams, the Mariners had the fewest first round picks over the 20 year span covered. The Mariners are 33 WAR behind the third worst Padres and are still 8.5 above the Yankees. Ironically the Phillies had the second fewest first round picks at 22 and their front office was able to finish in the top three.

4 comments

4 Comments


Ducky Productions
Ducky Productions
Jun 30, 2023

Sorry you did all that research but failed to recognize the Yankees have had the most successful win percentage over same period thus they consistently had a late first round pick every season with maybe 2 exceptions. Also they’ve had a top 5 minor league system a few times throughout past decade so I think you’re being completely unfair and particularly bias with this article.

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bbcfan64
Jul 01, 2023
Replying to

“Unfair and biased”?


If anything I have a habit of taking opinions out of writing by making it strictly fact base so you have no basis for that statement.

as far as their picking position in the draft, that was addressed in the first segment. If you have not read it yet, I recommend you do. I attempted to qualify everything with including average draft position, but the Rays, for instance had 10 “first round picks “ in the same year that were mostly in the 50s so the numbers would not be accurate.

and finally as you pointed out the Yankees have had a top 5 minor league system, however that was not a result of astute…


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