The Past 18th Overall Picks in the MLB June Amateur Draft

In 2014, the Yankees are on track to receiving the 18th overall pick in the up coming MLB June Amateur Draft. Yet, with all the talk of the big spending spree the team is planning on this off-season, it’s very likely that the 18th overall pick will belong to another team by June.

Would signing Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, or any combination of the three be worth giving up the 18th overall pick? The most efficient way of losing that pick would probably be signing multiple free agents. Right there the Yankees should get more value out of two of those players than a guy who may never make the major leagues. The risk of keeping the draft pick is obviously larger than just signing proven talent for more reasons than one. The team would essentially sacrifice a chance at the post-season for 2014 by not improving the roster this year. McCann would fill the black hole at catcher and Beltran or Choo would fit nicely in right field. Right there the offense should dramatically improve. That’s not even considering Mark Teixeira returning or Curtis Granderson accepting his qualifying offer.

Anyway, here are the past 18th overall picks and I must say it’s not the most impressive group of players. The best player of the past two decades is R.A. Dickey and it took him quite a while to develop. Sonny Gray seems to be a legit stud for the Athletics, but it may be too early to tell what the 23 year old is capable of. There was also highly hyped Kyle Drabek, who was a major piece in the Roy Halladay deal between the Phillies and Blue Jays. He hasn’t been what he was supposed to be, but there’s still a slight chance for him to turn it around. Ike Davis has become a terrible hitter for the Mets, yet he has the highest WAR on the list since 1996 at 5.5.

According to Baseball Reference, 55% of the players drafted made it to the MLB. Also, they accumulated a 131.4 WAR and 4.9 per player. That’s not too extraordinary in the first place, but then you see Willie Wilson‘s 45.9, which drastically inflates the average WAR per player.

Year Rnd DT FrRnd RdPck Tm Pos WAR G AB HR BA OPS G W L ERA WHIP SV Type Drafted Out of
2013 1 FrRnd 18 Dodgers Chris Anderson (minors) RHP 4Yr Jacksonville University (Jacksonville, FL)
2012 1 FrRnd 18 Dodgers Corey Seager (minors) SS HS Northwest Cabarrus HS (Concord, NC)
2011 1 FrRnd 18 Athletics Sonny Gray (minors) RHP 1.4 12 0 0 12 5 3 2.67 1.11 0 4Yr Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
2010 1 FrRnd 18 Angels via Mariners *Kaleb Cowart (minors) RHP HS Cook HS (Adel, GA)
2009 1 FrRnd 18 Marlins Chad James (minors) LHP HS Yukon HS (Yukon, OK)
2008 1 FrRnd 18 Mets via Braves *Ike Davis (minors) 1B 5.5 442 1488 67 .242 .768 4Yr Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
2007 1 FrRnd 18 Cardinals Pete Kozma (minors) SS 1.0 185 499 3 .232 .608 HS Owasso HS (Owasso, OK)
2006 1 FrRnd 18 Phillies via Mets *Kyle Drabek (minors) RHP -0.3 37 2 0 .000 .000 37 8 15 5.37 1.68 0 HS The Woodlands HS (The Woodlands, TX)
2005 1 FrRnd 18 Padres Cesar Carrillo (minors) RHP -0.7 3 3 0 .000 .000 3 1 2 13.06 2.71 0 4Yr University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)
2004 1 FrRnd 18 White Sox Josh Fields (minors) 3B -1.1 217 713 34 .234 .724 4Yr Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
2003 1 FrRnd 18 Indians via Phillies *Brad Snyder (minors) OF -0.1 20 36 0 .167 .384 4Yr Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
2002 1 FrRnd 18 White Sox Royce Ring (minors) LHP -0.9 99 0 0 99 3 3 5.29 1.57 0 4Yr San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
2001 1 FrRnd 18 Mets via Rockies *Aaron Heilman (minors) RHP 1.8 477 47 0 .021 .083 477 35 46 4.40 1.36 16 4Yr University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN)
2000 1 FrRnd 18 Blue Jays Miguel Negron (minors) OF HS Manuela Toro HS (Caguas, PR)
1999 1 FrRnd 18 Orioles via Cardinals *Rich Stahl (minors) LHP HS Newton HS (Covington, GA)
1998 1 FrRnd 18 Angels Seth Etherton (minors) RHP -0.6 23 9 0 .111 .311 23 9 7 6.30 1.56 0 4Yr University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
1997 1 FrRnd 18 Rockies Mark Mangum (minors) RHP HS Kingwood HS (Humble, TX)
1996 1 FrRnd 18 Rangers R.A. Dickey (minors) RHP 16.5 272 193 0 .187 .409 272 75 69 4.02 1.31 2 4Yr University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
1995 1 FrRnd 18 Mets Ryan Jaroncyk (minors) SS HS Orange Glen HS (Escondido, CA)
1994 1 FrRnd 18 Tigers Cade Gaspar (minors) RHP 4Yr Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
1993 1 FrRnd 18 Expos Chris Schwab (minors) OF HS Cretin HS (St. Paul, MN)
1992 1 FrRnd 18 Mets via Red Sox *Chris Roberts (minors) LHP 4Yr Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)
1991 1 FrRnd 18 Mets via Dodgers *Al Shirley (minors) OF HS George Washington HS (Danville, VA)
1990 1 FrRnd 18 Cardinals via Red Sox *Aaron Holbert (minors) SS -0.4 23 30 0 .200 .565 HS David Starr Jordan HS (Long Beach, CA)
1989 1 FrRnd 18 Pirates Willie Greene (minors) SS 3.1 655 1902 86 .234 .749 HS Jones County HS (Gray, GA)
1988 1 FrRnd 18 Royals Hugh Walker (minors) OF HS Jacksonville HS (Sherwood, AR)
1987 1 FrRnd 18 Reds Jack Armstrong (minors) RHP 1.2 153 185 0 .114 .257 152 40 65 4.58 1.43 0 4Yr University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)
1986 1 FrRnd 18 Tigers Phil Clark (minors) C 0.7 264 543 17 .276 .743 HS Crockett HS (Crockett, TX)
1985 1 FrRnd 18 Cardinals Joe Magrane (minors) LHP 12.2 196 280 4 .139 .392 190 57 67 3.81 1.34 0 4Yr University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
1984 1 FrRnd 18 Brewers Isaiah Clark (minors) SS HS Crockett HS (Crockett, TX)
1983 1 FrRnd 18 Dodgers Erik Sonberg (minors) LHP 4Yr Wichita State University (Wichita, KS)
1982 1 FrRnd 18 Red Sox Bob Parkins (minors) RHP HS Cerritos HS (Cerritos, CA)
1981 1 FrRnd 18 Expos Darren Dilks (minors) LHP 4Yr Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
1980 1 FrRnd 18 Tigers Glenn Wilson (minors) 3B 12.9 1201 4151 98 .265 .704 1 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 4Yr Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX)
1979 1 FrRnd 18 Giants Rick Luecken (minors) RHP -0.3 56 3 0 .333 1.000 56 3 5 5.10 1.83 2 HS Spring Woods HS (Houston, TX)
1978 1 FrRnd 18 Yankees via White Sox *Rex Hudler (minors) SS 6.5 774 1767 56 .261 .717 HS Bullard HS (Fresno, CA)
1977 1 FrRnd 18 Pirates Anthony Nicely (minors) OF HS Meadowdale HS (Dayton, OH)
1976 1 FrRnd 18 Royals Ben Grzybek (minors) RHP HS Hialeah HS (Hialeah, FL)
1975 1 FrRnd 18 Braves Donald Young (minors) C HS Dos Pueblos HS (Goleta, CA)
1974 1 FrRnd 18 Royals Willie Wilson (minors) OF 45.9 2154 7731 41 .285 .702 HS Summit HS (Summit, NJ)
1973 1 FrRnd 18 Dodgers Ted Farr (minors) C HS Shadle Park HS (Spokane, WA)
1972 1 FrRnd 18 Royals Jamie Quirk (minors) SS 0.8 984 2266 43 .240 .645 HS St. Paul HS (Santa Fe Springs, CA)
1971 1 FrRnd 18 Giants Frank Riccelli (minors) LHP 0.2 17 12 0 .250 .583 17 3 3 4.39 1.51 0 HS Christian Brothers Academy HS (Syracuse, NY)
1970 1 FrRnd 18 Athletics Dan Ford (minors) OF 11.8 1153 4163 121 .270 .750 HS Fremont HS (Los Angeles, CA)
1969 1 FrRnd 18 Giants Mike Phillips (minors) SS 0.7 712 1719 11 .240 .605 HS McArthur HS (Irving, TX)
1968 1 FrRnd 18 Tigers Robert Robinson (minors) OF HS Thomas Dale HS (Chester, VA)
1967 1 FrRnd 18 Giants Dave Rader (minors) C 4.1 846 2405 30 .257 .675 HS South HS (Bakersfield, CA)
1966 1 FrRnd 18 White Sox Carlos May (minors) OF 10.4 1165 4120 90 .274 .749 HS Parker HS (Birmingham, AL)
1965 1 FrRnd 18 Phillies Mike Adamson (minors) RHP -0.9 11 6 0 .333 1.000 11 0 4 7.46 1.97 0 HS Point Loma HS (San Diego, CA)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2013.

This all means very little in terms of predicting the future. It’s more of a reflection than anything else. I wouldn’t abandon the 18th overall pick because of its bad history. Afterall, Michael Wacha was the 19th overall pick in 2012. If the Dodgers drafted him one pick earlier, he may be pitching for them in the World Series. Of course teams will develop their players differently. St. Louis seems to do that better than anyone right now. I’m not sure what the Yankees will do this off-season, but it seems likely they won’t have this pick.