Grading Every MLB Team's 2011 Draft Haul 11 Years Later

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2022

Grading Every MLB Team's 2011 Draft Haul 11 Years Later

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    Icon Sports Wire/Getty Images

    The Pittsburgh Pirates were on the clock at No. 1 overall in the 2011 draft after a 57-105 showing during the 2010 season.

    UCLA right-handers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, prep right-hander Dylan Bundy and two-sport star Bubba Starling were among the top prospects heading into draft day, and those players went on to extremely varying levels of success in the big leagues.

    With 11 years to digest how things have played out, we've gone back through the draft haul of all 30 MLB teams and slapped a letter grade on the talent they acquired.

    We went with A, B, C, D or F as the possible grades based on the amount of MLB talent a team's draft class produced, how it did with its first-round pick and how it used prospects to improve the roster in other ways, such as trades.


    Previous draft grade articles: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Archie Bradley
    Archie BradleyTom Pennington/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Trevor Bauer (1-3), RHP Archie Bradley (1-7), LHP Andrew Chafin (1-43)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Evan Marshall (4-124), RHP Michael Perez (5-154), 3B Ryan Court (23-694)

    The D-backs had two picks inside the top 10 after failing to sign Texas A&M right-hander Barret Loux with the No. 6 overall pick in 2010, as well as a compensatory pick at No. 43 overall for losing Adam LaRoche in free agency.

    They managed to find solid MLB contributors with each of those picks, but none of them made as big of an impact as hoped. Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin both wound up in the bullpen, while Trevor Bauer clashed with team officials before he was traded to Cleveland in the three-team deal that brought Didi Gregorius to Arizona.

    Fun fact: I played against Ryan Court in high school.

    Grade: B

Atlanta Braves

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    Tommy La Stella
    Tommy La StellaStacy Revere/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Sean Gilmartin (1-28)

    Other MLB Players: SS Nick Ahmed (2-85), 3B Kyle Kubitza (3-115), RHP J.R. Graham (4-146), RHP Cody Martin (7-236), 2B Tommy La Stella (8-266), RHP John Cornely (15-476), RHP Gus Schlosser (17-536), RHP Ryne Harper (37-1,136)

    Left-hander Sean Gilmartin went 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 120.1 innings during his junior year at Florida State, but he failed to reach the majors in Atlanta. The Braves traded him to Minnesota for Ryan Doumit in 2013, and the following year he finally broke through as a Rule 5 pick by the New York Mets.

    Defensive standout Nick Ahmed was traded to Arizona in the seven-player deal that brought slugger Justin Upton to Atlanta prior to the 2013 season, while Tommy La Stella was traded to the Chicago Cubs for pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino.

    That duo has combined for 16.8 WAR in the majors.

    Grade: C

Baltimore Orioles

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    Dylan Bundy
    Dylan BundyGreg Fiume/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Dylan Bundy (1-4)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Mike Wright (3-94), OF Nicky Delmonico (6-185), RHP Tyler Wilson (10-305), RHP Zach Davies (26-785)

    "This draft is deep in college arms, and one scouting director opined that Bundy has a better overall package than any of them," wrote Baseball America in Dylan Bundy's predraft scouting report.

    With a strong 6'1", 205-pound frame and a polished arsenal, he dominated low-level competition and rocketed through the minors to make his MLB debut on Sept. 23, 2012. Unfortunately, injuries sidetracked him from there and he didn't pitch in the majors again until 2016. He has shown flashes of living up to his tremendous potential, but he is coming off a 6.06 ERA in 90.2 innings in 2021.

    Soft-tossing Zach Davies was flipped to the Milwaukee Brewers at the 2015 trade deadline in exchange for outfielder Gerardo Parra. The changeup specialist has exceeded expectations as a 26th-round pick to post a 4.14 ERA and 104 ERA+ in 831.2 innings.

    Grade: C

Boston Red Sox

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    Mookie Betts
    Mookie BettsAdam Glanzman/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Matt Barnes (1-19), C Blake Swihart (1-26), LHP Henry Owens (1-36), OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (1-40)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Williams Jerez (2-81), RHP Jordan Weems (3-111), RHP Noe Ramirez (4-142), OF Mookie Betts (5-172), 3B Travis Shaw (9-292)

    Despite the fact that Blake Swihart and Henry Owens never lived up to their top prospect billing, this draft netted the Boston Red Sox multiple impact players, including arguably the best player in the draft class in fifth-round pick Mookie Betts.

    Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Matt Barnes have logged a combined 65.2 WAR during their time in a Red Sox uniform, and Betts was flipped for outfielder Alex Verdugo who now looks like a cornerstone piece of their future plans.

    Williams Jerez (CF) and Jordan Weems (C) were both drafted as position players before finding a home on the mound, while Travis Shaw developed into a 30-homer slugger with the Milwaukee Brewers after he was traded for reliever Tyler Thornburg.

    Grade: A

Chicago Cubs

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    Javier Baez
    Javier BaezBrian D. Kersey/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: SS Javier Baez (1-9)

    Other MLB Players: 1B Dan Vogelbach (2-68), RHP Tony Zych (4-129), RHP Tayler Scott (5-159), RHP Dillon Maples (14-429), C Rafael Lopez (16-489), OF John Andreoli (17-519), LHP Andrew McKirahan (21-639)

    This was the final MLB draft for the previous Chicago Cubs front office contingent before Theo Epstein and company took the reins. They may not have won many games, but they did at least one thing right on their way out the door by drafting Javier Baez with the No. 9 overall pick.

    Slugger Dan Vogelbach was traded to the Seattle Mariners at the 2016 trade deadline for left-hander Mike Montgomery. A few months later, he recorded the final out of the World Series.

    The Cubs gave right-hander Dillon Maples a massive $2.5 million bonus as a 14th-round pick, which was the largest bonus ever given to a player drafted after the second round. His stuff is electric, but he has not yet shown the ability to harness it.

    Grade: A

Chicago White Sox

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    Marcus Semien
    Marcus SemienThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Keenyn Walker (1-47)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Erik Johnson (2-80), LHP Scott Snodgress (5-171), SS Marcus Semien (6-201), C Kevan Smith (7-231), RHP Chris Bassitt (16-501), C Mike Marjama (23-711), RHP Chris Devenski (25-771)

    The White Sox gave up the No. 23 overall pick to sign Type A free agent Adam Dunn, so their first pick was not until No. 47 overall, which came as compensation for losing reliever J.J. Putz in free agency.

    Speedy outfielder Keenyn Walker stole 204 bases over six minor league seasons, including a 56-steal season in 2012, but he hit just .229/.326/.310 with a 29.1 percent strikeout rate. He failed to advance beyond the Double-A level.

    Marcus Semien and Chris Bassitt were both traded to the Oakland Athletics in the deal that brought Jeff Samardzija to the South Side, while Chris Devenski was flipped to the Houston Astros for veteran starter Brett Myers.

    Good drafting, terrible talent management.

    Grade: C

Cincinnati Reds

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    Amir Garrett
    Amir GarrettJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Robert Stephenson (1-27)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Tony Cingrani (3-114), LHP Amir Garrett (22-685), RHP Sal Romano (23-715), OF Steve Selsky (33-1,015)

    Robert Stephenson was a Baseball America Top 100 prospect in 2013 (No. 56), 2014 (No. 19), 2015 (No. 23) and 2016 (No. 32), but command issues kept him from harnessing his full potential. The Reds finally pulled the plug last offseason, trading him to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for another former top prospect in Jeff Hoffman.

    Left-hander Tony Cingrani had a 2.92 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 104.2 innings as a rookie in 2013, but he was never able to match that level of success in subsequent seasons as both a starter and reliever.

    The Reds gave 22nd-rounder Amir Garrett a $1 million bonus and then held their breaths while he returned to St. John's to finish his basketball career. The 6'6" southpaw averaged 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds while playing 22.8 minutes per game in two seasons on the hardwood before turning his full attention to baseball.

    Grade: C

Cleveland Guardians

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    Francisco Lindor
    Francisco LindorJason Miller/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: SS Francisco Lindor (1-8)

    Other MLB Players: C Eric Haase (7-218), RHP Cody Anderson (14-428), LHP Ryan Merritt (16-488), RHP Shawn Armstrong (18-548), LHP Shawn Morimando (19-578), RHP Cody Allen (23-698)

    A legitimate candidate to go No. 1 overall, despite questions about his power potential, Francisco Lindor ultimately went off the board to Cleveland at No. 8 overall. The glove was as good as advertised, the power game clicked, and he turned into a superstar and one of the best homegrown players in franchise history.

    Cody Allen tallied 149 saves with a 2.98 ERA and 11.5 K/9 in seven seasons with the team, and his 481 career appearances are currently No. 1 among all 2011 draft picks, though he may be overtaken by Blake Treinen (444) in 2022.

    The only real missteps here were giving second-round pick Dillon Howard an above-slot $1.85 million bonus and giving up on Eric Haase only to watch him break out with the division-rival Detroit Tigers.

    Grade: A

Colorado Rockies

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    Trevor Story
    Trevor StoryIcon Sports Wire/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Tyler Anderson (1-20), SS Trevor Story (1-45)

    Other MLB Players: OF Dillon Thomas (4-138), SS Taylor Featherston (5-168), RHP Dan Winkler (20-618)

    Despite failing to sign third-round pick Peter O'Brien and ninth-round pick Ross Stripling, the Rockies still walked away with a solid draft haul thanks to hitting on both of their first-round picks.

    Though he is poised to leave in free agency, Trevor Story wraps up his time in Colorado among the franchise's all-time WAR leaders:

    • 1. Todd Helton: 61.8
    • 2. Larry Walker: 48.3
    • 3. Nolan Arenado: 40.1
    • 4. Troy Tulowitzki: 39.5
    • 5. Trevor Story: 26.7

    Lefty Tyler Anderson had a 4.69 ERA in 397 innings in Colorado, and he has quietly pitched well for the San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons.

    Grade: A

Detroit Tigers

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    James McCann
    James McCannMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: None

    Other MLB Players: C James McCann (2-76), OF Tyler Collins (6-197), LHP Brian Flynn (7-227), C Curt Casali (10-317), RHP Chad Smith (17-527), RHP Guido Knudson (28-857)

    The Tigers gave up the No. 19 pick to sign Victor Martinez in free agency. That decision worked out well, as he had a 138 OPS+ and 9.9 WAR over his initial four-year deal with the team, finishing runner-up in AL MVP voting in 2014.

    James McCann was Detroit's starting catcher for four years before he was non-tendered following the 2018 season. He joined the White Sox in free agency, made the AL All-Star team in 2019 and then parlayed his two years on the South Side into a four-year, $40.6 million deal with the New York Mets.

    Left-hander Brian Flynn was part of the trade that brought Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Tigers.

     Grade: D

Houston Astros

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    George Springer
    George SpringerBob Levey/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF George Springer (1-11)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Adrian Houser (2-69), RHP Nick Tropeano (5-160), IF Matt Duffy (20-610)

    The Astros knocked it out of the park with their selection of UConn outfielder George Springer with the No. 11 overall pick.

    After terrific seasons in the minors in 2012 (.302/.383/.526, 24 HR, 32 SB) and 2013 (.303/.411/.600, 37 HR, 45 SB), he began 2014 as the No. 18 prospect in baseball. He debuted shortly after Opening Day that year and quickly developed into a star en route to tallying 27.8 WAR in seven seasons with the team.

    Right-hander Adrian Houser was traded along with Josh Hader, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana to the Milwaukee Brewers at the 2015 deadline for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers.

    That's a different Matt Duffy than the one who briefly starred for the San Francisco Giants.

    Grade: A

Kansas City Royals

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    Bubba Starling
    Bubba StarlingNati Harnik/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: OF Bubba Starling (1-5)

    Other MLB Players: C Cam Gallagher (2-65), RHP Aaron Brooks (9-276), SS Jack Lopez (16-486), OF Terrance Gore (20-606), RHP Spencer Patton (24-726), RHP Jakob Junis (29-876)

    It took a massive $7.5 million signing bonus to pry Bubba Starling—a 4-star quarterback recruit committed to play baseball and football at Nebraskaaway from his college commitment. That was the second-largest bonus handed out in the 2011 draft behind only that of No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole ($8 million) and the largest bonus in Royals history until Bobby Witt Jr. was given $7.8 million in 2019.

    Unfortunately, things just never clicked, and he spent the bulk of his pro career toiling in the upper levels of the minors. A .204/.246/.298 hitter with five home runs in 261 plate appearances in the big leagues, he represented Team USA in the 2020 Olympics before announcing his retirement in October.

    Speedy Terrance Gore has more steals (40) than hits (15) in his big league career, and he seemingly finds his way onto a contender's roster each September as a pinch runner.

    Grade: F

Los Angeles Angels

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    C.J. Cron
    C.J. CronHannah Foslien/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 1B C.J. Cron (1-17)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Nick Maronde (3-104), RHP Mike Clevinger (4-135), 3B Joey Krehbiel (12-375), C Jett Bandy (31-945)

    Slugger C.J. Cron hit .434/.517/.803 with 26 doubles, 15 home runs and 59 RBI in 49 games during his junior year at Utah, and he was the fourth college hitter off the board after Anthony Rendon, Cory Spangenberg (JUCO) and George Springer.

    He has been a steady source of power production throughout his career, and his 146 home runs rank eighth among 2011 draft picks:

    • George Springer: 196
    • Mookie Betts: 178
    • Marcus Semien: 160
    • Francisco Lindor: 158
    • Trevor Story: 158
    • Anthony Rendon: 151
    • Javier Baez: 149
    • C.J. Cron: 146
    • Brad Miller: 115
    • Travis Shaw: 114

    The decision to trade a young Mike Clevinger to Cleveland for reliever Vinnie Pestano in an August waiver deal in 2014 still stings.

    Grade: B

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Chris Reed
    Chris ReedDanny Moloshok/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: LHP Chris Reed (1-16)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Scott McGough (5-164), RHP Scott Barlow (6-194), 1B O'Koyea Dickson (12-374)

    The closer at Stanford during his junior season, left-hander Chris Reed checked in at No. 60 in the predraft prospect rankings at Baseball America. The Dodgers reached for him with the hopes of developing him as a starter, but he struggled to consistently miss bats in the minors, posting a 4.13 ERA and 7.5 K/9 over seven seasons.

    He was traded to Miami at the 2015 deadline in exchange for Grant Dayton. The two appearances he made out of the Marlins bullpen immediately following the trade wound up being the extent of his MLB activity.

    Scott Barlow departed in free agency after the 2017 season, but he has since emerged as a star in the Kansas City Royals bullpen with a 3.46 ERA, 11.2 K/9 and 4.2 WAR in 170 appearances.

    Grade: F

Miami Marlins

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    Jose Fernandez
    Jose FernandezJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Jose Fernandez (1-14)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Adam Conley (2-72), C Austin Barnes (9-283), 2B Jake Esch (11-343)

    Jose Fernandez was on his way to a legendary career when his life was tragically cut short at the age of 24 in a boating accident. In parts of four MLB seasons, he went 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA and 589 strikeouts in 471.1 innings, winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2013 and earning a pair of All-Star selections.

    His impact on and off the field in Miami has left an enduring legacy.

    Left-hander Adam Conley has a 4.71 ERA in 434 career innings spanning 56 starts and 135 relief appearances, while catcher Austin Barnes was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seven-player deal that brought Dee Strange-Gordon to Miami.

    Grade: B

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Taylor Jungmann
    Taylor JungmannRich Pilling/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Taylor Jungmann (1-12), LHP Jed Bradley (1-15)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Jorge Lopez (2-70), RHP Drew Gagnon (3-100), LHP Nick Ramirez (4-131), OF Michael Reed (5-161), RHP David Goforth (7-221), RHP Jacob Barnes (14-431)

    With two top-15 picks after failing to sign No. 14 overall selection Dylan Covey in 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers had a chance to significantly bolster their farm system. They opted for two of the top college arms in the class.

    Taylor Jungmann went 13-3 with a 1.60 ERA in 141 innings at the University of Texas, while Jed Bradley had a 3.49 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 98 innings after turning heads in the Cape Cod League.

    It looked like Jungmann was on his way to a regular spot in the rotation when he went 9-8 with a 3.77 ERA in 119.1 innings as a rookie in 2015, but he pitched just 27.1 more innings in the majors. Meanwhile, Bradley pitched a grand total of seven innings in the big leagues.

    Nick Ramirez was a two-way standout at Cal State Fullerton who began his pro career as a first baseman before moving to the mound in 2017. He spent 2021 in the San Diego Padres bullpen.

    Grade: D

Minnesota Twins

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    Levi Michael
    Levi MichaelBruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 2B Levi Michael (1-30), 3B Travis Harrison (1-50), RHP Hudson Boyd (1-55)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Dereck Rodriguez (6-208), LHP Jason Wheeler (8-268), RHP Chris Mazza (27-838)

    A three-year starter in college, Levi Michael hit .289/.434/.434 with 22 extra-base hits, 15 steals and more walks (49) than strikeouts (47) during his junior year at North Carolina. However, he did not make enough of an impact with the bat to break through as a pro, hitting .258 with a .718 OPS over eight seasons in the minors.

    Fellow first-round picks Travis Harrison and Hudson Boyd likewise failed to reach the majors.

    The only real success story from this draft class is right-hander Dereck Rodriguez, the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Originally drafted as an outfielder, he eventually moved to the mound and found his way to San Francisco in minor league free agency. He had a 2.81 ERA in 118.1 innings as a rookie in 2018 but has failed to match that production.

    Grade: F

New York Mets

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    Brandon Nimmo
    Brandon NimmoJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Brandon Nimmo (1-13), RHP Michael Fulmer (1-44)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Cory Mazzoni (2-71), RHP Logan Verrett (3-101), RHP Tyler Pill (4-132), LHP Jack Leathersich (5-162), SS Daniel Muno (8-252), RHP Robert Gsellman (13-402), SS Phillip Evans (15-462), OF Travis Taijeron (18-552), RHP John Gant (21-642), RHP Seth Lugo (34-1,032), RHP Chasen Bradford (35-1,062)

    Fun fact: Brandon Nimmo's high school in Cheyenne, Wyoming, did not have a baseball team.

    However, he showed enough on the showcase circuit and in summer ball to become the state's highest-draft player ever. He has a .393 career on-base percentage over six big league seasons and has tallied 12.1 WAR as one of the better draft picks in recent Mets history.

    Michael Fulmer went on to win AL Rookie of the Year honors with the Detroit Tigers after he was traded in the deal that brought Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets, and that deal worked out well for both sides before Cespedes was signed to an ill-advised extension.

    Beyond those first-round picks, the Mets also found late-round value in Robert Gsellman (13th round), John Gant (21st round) and Seth Lugo (34th round) while landing 13 big leaguers total.

    Grade: A

New York Yankees

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    Dante Bichette Jr.
    Dante Bichette Jr.Icon Sports Wire/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 3B Dante Bichette Jr. (1-51)

    Other MLB Players: 1B Greg Bird (5-179), OF Jake Cave (6-209), RHP Rookie Davis (14-449), RHP Branden Pinder (16-509), LHP Daniel Camarena (20-629), LHP Matt Tracy (24-749), RHP John Brebbia (30-929)

    "Offense is his calling card, and he's a cage rat who often can be found taking extra rounds of batting practice. Bichette has had a lot of movement in his swing but has toned down a bit this season while still producing big power and plenty of bat speed," read Dante Bichette Jr.'s draft profile at Baseball America.

    Unfortunately, he never made enough consistent contact to fully tap into that power potential. He wrapped up his affiliated ball career in 2019 with a .696 OPS in 3,220 plate appearances in the minors.

    Outfielder Jake Cave has developed into a solid fourth outfielder in Minnesota, Greg Bird had some moments early in his career, and Rookie Davis was part of the trade package to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Cincinnati.

    The Yankees gave up the No. 31 overall pick to sign reliever Rafael Soriano in free agency.

    Grade: F

Oakland Athletics

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    Sonny Gray
    Sonny GrayMichael Zagaris/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Sonny Gray (1-18)

    Other MLB Players: C Beau Taylor (5-166), RHP Blake Treinen (7-226), SS Christoper Bostick (44-1,336)

    With a mid-90s fastball, terrific curveball, and a polished all-around game, Sonny Gray likely could have gone directly from Vanderbilt to a spot in the Oakland Athletics rotation. Instead, he made his MLB debut on July 30, 2013, and posted a 2.67 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 64 innings as a rookie.

    He has been a bona fide ace at times with a pair of top-10 finishes in Cy Young voting and more of a middle-of-the-road starter at other points in his career. Still, his 22.7 WAR trails only that of Gerrit Cole (31.7) among all pitchers who signed from the 2011 draft class.

    Sinkerballer Blake Treinen was traded to the Washington Nationals in a three-team deal prior to the 2013 season that brought back catcher John Jaso. He ultimately found his way back to Oakland in a 2017 deadline deal, and the following year he had one of the greatest seasons in MLB history by a reliever, posting a minuscule 0.78 ERA in 68 appearances with 38 saves and 11.2 K/9.

    Grade: A

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Ken Giles
    Ken GilesRichard Schultz/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Larry Greene (1-39)

    Other MLB Players: OF Roman Quinn (2-66), LHP Adam Morgan (3-120), 3B Cody Asche (4-151), SS Mitch Walding (5-181), RHP Ken Giles (7-241), RHP Yacksel Rios (12-391), RHP Colton Murray (13-421), RHP Jesse Therrien (17-541), OF Brock Stassi (33-1,021)

    "[Larry] Greene isn't quite one-dimensional, but it's close," wrote Baseball America in his predraft profile, lauding his power potential while also noting his lack of athleticism and trouble he had at times with premium velocity.

    He played a grand total of 304 professional games, hitting .224/.318/.321 with a 30.7 percent strikeout while failing to advance beyond Single-A. It took a $1 million bonus to sign him away from a commitment to play linebacker at Alabama.

    There is enough overall MLB talent in this draft haul, led by closer Ken Giles, to save it from an "F" grade. But it's close.

    Grade: D

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Gerrit Cole
    Gerrit ColeMel Evans/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-1)

    Other MLB Players: 1B Josh Bell (2-61), OF Alex Dickerson (3-91), RHP Colten Brewer (4-122), RHP Tyler Glasnow (5-152), RHP Clay Holmes (9-272)

    After spurning the New York Yankees as the No. 28 overall pick in the 2008 draft out of high school, Gerrit Cole pitched his way to being the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft after a stellar junior season at UCLA. If only the small-market Pirates could have afforded to keep their homegrown ace.

    Thought to be unsignable with a strong commitment to the University of Texas, Josh Bell slipped out of the first round and to No. 61 overall where the Pirates gave him a staggering $5 million bonus. He had a 116 OPS+ and 86 home runs in five seasons with the team.

    The Pirates only signed 24 of their 50 draft picks to make the money work, but they still walked away with Tyler Glasnow and Clay Holmes in the later rounds.

    Imagine if they could have also come to terms with 20th-round pick Trea Turner!

    Grade: A

San Diego Padres

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    Cory Spangenberg
    Cory SpangenbergRob Leiter/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 2B Cory Spangenberg (1-10), RHP Joe Ross (1-25), RHP Michael Kelly (1-48), C Brett Austin (1-54), SS Jace Peterson (1-58)

    Other MLB Players: C Austin Hedges (2-82), RHP Matt Andriese (3-112), RHP Matt Wisler (7-233), RHP Kevin Quackenbush (8-263), RHP Justin Hancock (9-293), RHP Colin Rea (12-383), RHP Burch Smith (14-443), RHP Matt Stites (17-533)

    The Padres failed to sign No. 9 overall pick Karsten Whitson in 2010, so they had the No. 10 overall pick in 2011 as part of a draft haul that included five first-round selections.

    Unfortunately, they more or less whiffed on all of them.

    Joe Ross was traded to the Washington Nationals in the same ill-fated deal that sent Trea Turner out of town and brought in Wil Myers. Cory Spangenberg and Jace Peterson have seen scattered MLB action as utility infielders, while Michael Kelly never reached the majors and Brett Austin didn't sign.

    Austin Hedges was the team's No. 1 prospect by the start of the 2014 season, but his bat never caught up to his glove and he's settled in as a defensive-minded backup in the majors.

    There's a lot of MLB talent here, but that rough first-round haul and the lack of star-level talent drags down the grade.

    Grade: D

San Francisco Giants

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    Joe Panik
    Joe PanikIcon Sports Wire/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 2B Joe Panik (1-29), RHP Kyle Crick (1-49)

    Other MLB Players: C Andrew Susac (2-86), LHP Josh Osich (6-207), RHP Ray Black (7-237), RHP Derek Law (9-297), SS Kelby Tomlinson (12-387), RHP Cody Hall (19-597), RHP Joe Biagini (26-807), RHP Jake Smith (48-1,467)

    Joe Panik hit .398/.509/.642 with 19 doubles, 10 home runs and 21 steals during his junior year at St. John's University, and he was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.

    He finished sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2014, made the NL All-Star team in 2015 and won a Gold Glove in 2016. All told, he tallied 6.8 WAR in six seasons with San Francisco, contributing to a World Series winner as a rookie.

    Kyle Crick was a staple on leaguewide top 100 prospect lists, but he was never able to rein in his command enough to stick as a starter. He was traded to Pittsburgh in the Andrew McCutchen deal and ended up being a useful reliever.

    Props to right-hander Jake Smith for being the latest draft pick to reach the majors from the 2011 class.

    Grade: B

Seattle Mariners

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    Danny Hultzen
    Danny HultzenCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: LHP Danny Hultzen (1-2)

    Other MLB Players: IF Brad Miller (2-62), RHP Carter Capps (3-121), C John Hicks (4-123), RHP Carson Smith (8-243)


    The Mariners had their pick of everyone not named Gerrit Cole in the 2011 draft, including Francisco Lindor, Anthony Rendon, George Springer, Javier Baez, Sonny Gray and several others.

    In their defense, Hultzen looked like a sure thing after going 12-3 with a 1.37 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 165 strikeouts in 118 innings as a junior at the University of Virginia.

    He was sent straight to Double-A to begin his pro career and appeared to be on the cusp of reaching the big leagues in 2013 when he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. That was the first in a long series of injuries, and he finally made his MLB debut in 2019 with six scoreless appearances out of the Chicago Cubs bullpen.

    The M's also failed to sign third-round pick Kevin Cron and traded away Brad Miller in a six-player deal with the Tampa Bay Rays that didn't bring back anything of note.

    Grade: F

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Kolten Wong
    Kolten WongJamie Squire/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 2B Kolten Wong (1-22)

    Other MLB Players: OF Charlie Tilson (2-79), RHP Sam Gaviglio (5-170), OF Nick Martini (7-230), RHP Seth Maness (11-350), LHP Ryan Sheriff (28-860)

    Kolten Wong hit .378/.492/.560 with 21 extra-base hits and 23 steals in 57 games as a junior at the University of Hawaii. After a cup of coffee in 2013, he took over as the St. Louis Cardinals everyday second baseman in 2014 and finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

    All told, he was worth 16.5 WAR in eight seasons with the team while winning a pair of Gold Glove awards. He signed a two-year, $18 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers last offseason that includes a 2023 club option.

    Sinkerballer Seth Maness was a useful bullpen piece for a few years, tallying seven saves and 47 holds while posting a 3.19 ERA in 244 appearances.

    Grade: A

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Blake Snell
    Blake SnellRich Schultz/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Taylor Guerrieri (1-24), OF Mikie Mahtook (1-31), SS Jake Hager (1-32), SS Brandon Martin (1-38), 3B Tyler Goeddel (1-41), RHP Jeff Ames (1-42), LHP Blake Snell (1-52), OF Kes Carter (1-56), LHP Grayson Garvin (1-59), OF James Harris (1-60)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Ryan Carpenter (7-240), RHP Jake Faria (10-330), SS Taylor Motter (17-540), RHP Matt Ramsey (19-600)

    This was supposed to be the Tampa Bay Rays version of the Moneyball draft.

    With 10 picks inside the first 60, they were poised to completely revamp their farm system and build a foundation of talent to build on for the next decade.

    Not so much...

    Left-hander Blake Snell developed into a Cy Young winner and ultimately a valuable trade chip when he was sent to the San Diego Padres last offseason, but that's about it.

    Of the other nine, five failed to reach the majors, while Taylor Guerrieri, Mikie Mahtook, Jake Hager and Tyler Goeddel combined for minus-0.8 WAR in the big leagues.

    Grade: F

Texas Rangers

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    Nick Martinez
    Nick MartinezSarah Crabill/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Kevin Matthews (1-33), OF Zach Cone (1-37)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-264), RHP Connor Sadzeck (11-354), LHP Andrew Faulkner (14-444), RHP Jerad Eickhoff (15-474), OF Ryan Rua (17-534), RHP Nick Martinez (18-564), RHP Phil Klein (30-924), RHP Carl Edwards Jr. (48-1,464)

    Not only did left-hander Kevin Matthews and outfielder Zach Cone both fail to reach the majors, but the Texas Rangers also failed to sign fifth-round pick Brandon Woodruff, sixth-round pick Derek Fisher and seventh-round pick Max Pentecost.

    The one pick they did hit on was Dartmouth right-hander Kyle Hendricks, but he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Ryan Dempster at the 2012 trade deadline. They also traded Carl Edwards Jr. to the Cubs in the deal that brought Matt Garza to Texas the following summer.

    Nick Martinez is back stateside after a terrific run in the Japanese League and for Team USA in the Olympics. He had a 4.77 ERA in 415.1 innings with the Rangers before making his way overseas.

    Grade: D

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Daniel Norris
    Daniel NorrisJason Miller/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Tyler Beede (1-21), OF Jacob Anderson (1-35), RHP Joe Musgrove (1-46), OF Dwight Smith Jr. (1-53), RHP Kevin Comer (1-57)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Daniel Norris (2-74), RHP Anthony DeSclafani (6-199), SS Andy Burns (11-349), 2B Jon Berti (18-559), LHP David Rollins (24-739), RHP Taylor Cole (29-889), OF Kevin Pillar (32-979)

    Right-hander Tyler Beede was the highest pick not to sign in the 2011 draft, honoring his commitment to Vanderbilt. He wound up climbing seven spots and going No. 14 overall in the 2014 draft.

    The Blue Jays also failed to sign Luke Weaver (19th round) and Aaron Nola (22nd round) in this draft class, though they were both unlikely to be lured away from their college commitments that late in the game.

    The fact that Joe Musgrove and Anthony DeSclafani were both traded before they reached the majors and ultimately developed into solid starters hurts, as does the fact that first-round picks Jacob Anderson and Kevin Comer never reached the big leagues.

    That said, props for finding one of the best late-round steals in this draft class in center fielder Kevin Pillar in the 32nd round.

    Grade: C

Washington Nationals

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    Alex Meyer, Anthony Rendon and Brian Goodwin
    Alex Meyer, Anthony Rendon and Brian GoodwinMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 3B Anthony Rendon (1-6), RHP Alex Meyer (1-23), OF Brian Goodwin (1-34)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Matt Purke (3-96), 3B Matt Skole (5-157), RHP Taylor Hill (6-187), OF Billy Burns (32-967)

    The Washington Nationals have long been a team willing to roll the dice on a player who falls due to injury concerns, and that was the case with Anthony Rendon after a junior season at Rice in which he was largely limited to DH duties as a result of a shoulder injury. Despite those concerns, he was still expected to be one of the first players off the board.

    "If Pittsburgh goes in another direction, it's unlikely the Mariners would pass on him at No. 2," wrote Baseball America.

    He wound up slipping to No. 6, where the Nationals happily scooped him up. He made his MLB debut in 2013 and tallied 30.0 WAR in a Nationals uniform before inking a massive seven-year, $245 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

    Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin both had their moments in the big leagues, while speedy Billy Burns was used to acquire Jerry Blevins from the Oakland Athletics.

    Grade: A


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.


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