MLB: Year of the No. 1 Draft Picks

T KCorrespondent IJune 22, 2008

The MLB draft receives substantially less attention than any of the four major sports. It's understandable, since baseball draftees have a much longer road to the big stage and less publicity coming out of high school and college.

However, the No. 1 picks in baseball are undoubtedly more successful than the NFL and NBA.

Here's baseball's top resume:

  • 2001 #1 pick Joe Mauer leads the AL in batting average at .335.
  • 2000 #1 pick Adrian Gonzalez leads the NL in RBI and stands tied for third in the NL with 20 home runs.
  • 1999 #1 pick Josh Hamilton leads the AL in HR and RBI, while ranking 5th in OPS and 7th in batting average
  • 1998 #1 pick Pat Burrell is second in the NL in walks, fifth in OPS and seventh in home runs.
  • 1993 #1 pick Alex Rodriguez is runner-up for the AL batting title and third in OPS.
  • 1990 #1 pick Chipper Jones leads the NL in hitting and OBP and second in OPS.
  • 1987 #1 pick Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th home run earlier this year and leads all active players in career home runs.

Oh, and 2005 #1 pick Justin Upton is third in the NL in strikeouts. The NBA has Allen Iverson and LeBron James, the NFL has Peyton and Eli Manning, but these #1's are out of their league. Are top picks in baseball simply more likely to be sure-fire stars than football and basketball?