Each team's best choice in the June draft since '92

The Baltimore Sun

Thursday marked the first time that any part of the Major League Baseball amateur draft was televised nationally. Curious timing, as free agency and the influx of international talent has decreased the draft's impact on the big league product.

Still, selecting the right draft-eligible amateurs certainly boosts an organization, especially one that's cash-strapped. Here's a look at the best June picks by each franchise in the past 15 drafts (this week's selections not included).

To make the list, the player must be on the current active roster (or disabled list) of the team that selected him. Many are late-round picks, but some are first-rounders that exceeded lofty expectations.



LHP Erik Bedard Sixth round, 187th overall, 1999

The Orioles had seven of the first 50 picks in 1999, and only Brian Roberts panned out. But they stole Bedard, whose Canadian high school didn't have baseball.


SS Derek Jeter First round, sixth overall, 1992

The first five teams went the college route and passed on the likely future Hall of Famer and can't-miss kid from Kalamazoo, Mich., including the Orioles (Jeffrey Hammonds, No. 4).

Red Sox

1B Kevin Youkilis Eighth round, 243rd overall, 2001

The Greek God of Walks (he's of Jewish Romanian heritage) excelled at the University of Cincinnati, and has maintained his great eye in the majors.

Blue Jays

RHP Roy Halladay

First round, 17th overall, 1995

Eight pitchers, including Kerry Wood, went before this Cy Young Award winner.

Devil Rays

OF Carl Crawford

Second round, 52nd overall, 1999

He could have played college basketball (UCLA) or football (Nebraska), but the Rays gambled that their all-time hits leader would choose baseball.



RHP Joel Zumaya

11th round, 320th overall, 2002

Yes, he's on the DL with a finger injury. But it's tough to top an 11th-rounder who has a 100-mph fastball.


LHP C.C. Sabathia

First round, 20th overall, 1998

Like Halladay, Sabathia saw eight pitchers go before him.

White Sox

LHP Mark Buehrle

38th round, 1,139th overall, 1998

One of three pitchers from 1998's 38th round to make the majors, he's the only one who stuck.


1B Justin Morneau

Third round, 89th overall, 1999

A catcher and hockey player from Canada, now he is the reigning AL Most Valuable Player.


OF David DeJesus

Fourth round, 104th overall, 2000

His draft stock slipped because of an elbow injury, but he is a team leader now.



RHP Scot Shields 38th round, 1,137th overall, 1997

When he was drafted out of Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) University, his claim to fame was throwing roughly 260 pitches in a 14-inning outing in 1996.


RHP Rich Harden 17th round, 510th overall, 2000

Forget the Moneyball draft, Harden might be Billy Beane's biggest coup.


RHP J.J. Putz Sixth round, 185th overall, 1999

The Mariners closer was taken two spots ahead of Bedard.


2B Ian Kinsler 17th round, 496th overall, 2003

He was drafted three times, and the 17th round was his highest.



3B David Wright Supplemental first round, 38th overall, 2001

Wright was the fifth corner infielder taken that year; Texas' Mark Teixeira (fifth overall) was the first.


LHP Chuck James 20th round, 605th overall, 2002

Only the Braves could turn a 20th-round pick into a legitimate big league starter in four years.


1B Ryan Howard Fifth round, 140th overall, 2001

It's hard to believe someone this big could slip through the cracks.


OF Josh Willingham 17th round, 491st overall, 2000

Drafted as a second baseman, he went in the same round as the Athletics' Rich Harden.


3B Ryan Zimmerman First round, fourth overall, 2005

The Nationals wanted to make an impact with the first pick in team history, and they accomplished it with a guy so polished he was in the majors that September.



OF Bill Hall Sixth round, 176th overall, 1998

Milwaukee's lineup is jammed with first- and second-round picks, but the versatile Hall wasn't as highly touted coming out of high school.


1B Albert Pujols 13th round, 402nd overall, 1999

In defense of scouts everywhere, he had been in the country for only a few years before attending a Kansas City community college.


RHP Roy Oswalt 23rd round, 684th overall, 1996

He was selected four picks before Chicago Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly (by the Los Angeles Dodgers). That's a pretty solid showing from the 23rd round.


LHP Rich Hill Fourth round, 112th overall, 2002

Coming into his own this season.


RHP Ian Snell 26th round, 779th overall, 2000

A Delaware high schooler, he eventually passed more heralded Pirates pitching prospects.


OF Adam Dunn Second round, 50th overall, 1998

He headed to the University of Texas to play quarterback, but within a year of signing with the Reds, gave up football.



C Russell Martin 17th round, 511th overall, 2002

Drafted as a third baseman, he has become a top young catcher.


RHP Jake Peavy 15th round, 472nd overall, 1999

Had just one loss in high school and was headed to Auburn when signed.


RHP Brandon Webb Eighth round, 249th overall, 2000

Picked in the same round as then-Chicago Cub Dontrelle Willis.


RHP Tim Lincecum First round, 10th overall, 2006

Because of his slight stature, he was the seventh pitcher taken last year despite awesome college numbers. He's already in the big leagues.


OF Matt Holliday Seventh round, 210th overall, 1998

A big contract kept him out of the huddle and off the diamond at Oklahoma State.

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