Grading Every MLB Team's 2009 Draft Haul

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2022

Grading Every MLB Team's 2009 Draft Haul

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    Rich Schultz/Associated Press

    The 2009 MLB draft was headlined by San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg, a pitcher many viewed as a once-in-a-generation talent.

    North Carolina standout Dustin Ackley was the consensus No. 2 player in the class, followed by toolsy prep outfielder Donavan Tate and a deep collection of second-tier college arms that slotted in behind Strasburg.

    Little did anyone know at the time it would be New Jersey prep outfielder Mike Trout who developed into the transcendent talent of this class.

    With more than a decade 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: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Paul Goldschmidt
    Paul GoldschmidtChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 3B Bobby Borchering (1-16), OF AJ Pollock (1-17), 3B Matt Davidson (1-35), SS Chris Owings (1-41), LHP Mike Belfiore (1-45)

    Other MLB Players: OF Marc Krauss (2-64), OF Keon Broxton (3-95), 1B Ryan Wheeler (5-156), RHP Bradin Hagens (6-186), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (8-246), RHP Chase Anderson (9-276), RHP Charles Brewer (12-366), LHP Patrick Schuster (13-396)

    The D-backs found an All-Star (AJ Pollock) and two MLB contributors (Matt Davidson and Chris Owings) with their five first-round picks in 2009, with the No. 17 and No. 35 picks coming as compensation for losing Type A free agent Orlando Hudson in free agency.

    Regardless, this is an "A" grade draft class thanks to eighth-round selection Paul Goldschmidt, who is arguably the greatest homegrown player in team history. His 39.9 WAR in a D-backs uniform trails only Randy Johnson (50.9) on the franchise's all-time list.

    Grade: A

Atlanta Braves

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    Mike Minor
    Mike MinorRonald C. Modra/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Mike Minor (1-7)

    Other MLB Players: RHP David Hale (3-87), RHP Aaron Northcraft (10-298), RHP Ryan Weber (22-658)

    The second college pitcher off the board at No. 7 overall, Mike Minor went 22-10 with a 3.79 ERA and 303 strikeouts in 304 innings during his three seasons in the Vanderbilt rotation.

    He made his MLB debut on Aug. 10, 2010, and spent part of five seasons in the Atlanta rotation before he was derailed by injuries. He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons before resurfacing in the Kansas City bullpen and eventually reclaiming a spot in the Texas Rangers rotation. His 18.7 WAR ranks fourth among all pitchers in the 2009 draft class.

    Aaron Northcraft was traded to San Diego in the Justin Upton blockbuster, and he finally made his MLB debut in 2021 with five appearances out of the Padres bullpen.

    Grade: B

Baltimore Orioles

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    Mychal Givens
    Mychal GivensMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Matt Hobgood (1-5)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Mychal Givens (2-54), LHP Ashur Tolliver (5-146), C Mike Ohlman (11-326), IF Ty Kelly (13-386)

    Matt Hobgood was the first high school pitcher taken in the 2009 draft, one spot ahead of Zack Wheeler.

    The 6'4" right-hander failed to advance beyond Double-A during his brief pro career, posting a 4.98 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 325.1 innings over six seasons before calling it quits after the 2015 campaign.

    The standout from this class turned out to be Mychal Givens, who began his pro career as a shortstop before moving to the mound in 2013. In six seasons in the Baltimore bullpen, he posted a 3.32 ERA and 10.9 K/9 with 20 saves and 65 holds in 296 appearances before he was traded to Colorado in 2020.

    Grade: F

Boston Red Sox

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    Alex Wilson
    Alex WilsonJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Rey Fuentes (1-28)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Alex Wilson (2-77), OF Jeremy Hazelbaker (4-138), RHP Madison Younginer (7-228), 1B Chris McGuiness (13-408), RHP Alex Hassan (20-618)

    Outfielder Rey Fuentes didn't spend much time in the Boston farm system before he was traded to the San Diego Padres along with a young Anthony Rizzo in the deal that brought Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox prior to the 2011 season. He hit .238 with a 56 OPS+ in 225 plate appearances in his MLB career.

    Alex Wilson emerged as a useful setup reliever after he was traded from Boston in the Yoenis Cespedes-for-Rick Porcello swap prior to the 2015 season. All told, he had a 3.44 ERA with 55 holds in 303 appearances during his time in the big leagues.

    Chris McGuiness briefly popped onto the prospect radar when he won the Arizona Fall League MVP in 2012, while Jeremy Hazelbaker enjoyed a red-hot month with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016 before quickly fading back into obscurity.

    Grade: D

Chicago Cubs

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    DJ LeMahieu
    DJ LeMahieuBrian Kersey/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Brett Jackson (1-31)

    Other MLB Players: IF DJ LeMahieu (2-79), LHP Chris Rusin (4-140), LHP Brooks Raley (6-200), 1B Justin Bour (25-770)

    Five-tool outfielder Brett Jackson was a Baseball America Top 100 prospect in 2010 (No. 74), 2011 (No. 38) and 2012 (No. 32), and he looked like a rising star in 2010 when he hit .297/.395/.493 with 32 doubles, 14 triples, 12 home runs and 30 steals between High-A and Double-A.

    His high strikeout rate eventually caught up to him against higher-level pitching, and he hit .169 with 60 strikeouts in 147 plate appearances in his limited MLB action.

    DJ LeMahieu was traded to the Colorado Rockies in an ill-fated deal for third baseman Ian Stewart, Chris Rusin was claimed off waivers by that same Rockies team, and Justin Bour was chosen by the Miami Marlins in the 2013 Rule 5 draft.

    So while those are some notable names, none of them made an impact or brought back anything of value for the Cubs.

    Grade: C

Chicago White Sox

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    Jared Mitchell
    Jared MitchellMark Duncan/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: OF Jared Mitchell (1-23), C Josh Phegley (1-38)

    Other MLB Players: OF Trayce Thompson (2-61), LHP David Holmberg (2-71), RHP Taylor Thompson (44-1,333)

    A two-sport athlete at LSU who also played wide receiver on the football team, Jared Mitchell joined the White Sox organization as a raw athlete with a ton of boom-or-bust potential.

    The tools never fully translated, and he hit .227/.332/.377 with a 32.5 percent strikeout rate in eight seasons of affiliated ball. That said, he's still playing in the independent league, and he posted an .803 OPS with 14 home runs and 27 steals for the High Point Rockers in 2021.

    Outfielder Trayce Thompsonthe younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson—has 26 home runs in 217 career games in the majors. The 30-year-old resurfaced with the Chicago Cubs in 2021, going 7-for-28 with four home runs in 15 games.

    Catcher Josh Phegley was traded to Oakland along with Marcus Semien and Chris Bassitt in the lopsided blockbuster deal to acquire Jeff Samardzija in 2014.

    Grade: D

Cincinnati Reds

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    Mike Leake
    Mike LeakeNati Harnik/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: RHP Mike Leake (1-8), RHP Brad Boxberger (1-43)

    Other MLB Players: OF Billy Hamilton (2-57), LHP Donnie Joseph (3-88), C Tucker Barnhart (10-299), RHP Nick Christiani (13-389)

    There have been just 23 players in MLB history who have gone straight from being drafted to playing in the majors. Until flame-thrower Garrett Crochet did it for the Chicago White Sox in 2020, right-hander Mike Leake had been the most recent player to do it.

    He went 16-1 with a 1.71 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 162 strikeouts in 142 innings during his junior year at Arizona State, and while he didn't offer top-of-the-rotation upside, he was the most polished college pitcher to come along in years.

    He began the 2010 season in the Cincinnati rotation and posted a 4.23 ERA in 138.1 innings as a rookie. In 10 MLB seasons, he's gone 105-98 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 1,829 innings, serving as a useful middle-of-the-rotation arm.

    Catcher Tucker Barnhart won two Gold Glove awards and posted 7.1 WAR in eight seasons with the Reds before he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in November.

    Grade: A

Cleveland Guardians

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    Jason Kipnis
    Jason KipnisJason Miller/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Alex White (1-15)

    Other MLB Players: 2B Jason Kipnis (2-63), RHP Austin Adams (5-155), RHP Cory Burns (8-245), RHP Preston Guilmet (9-275), RHP Joe Colon (12-365), RHP Tyler Sturdevant (27-815), LHP Vidal Nuno lll (48-1,445)

    While top pick Alex White was used to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez from the Colorado Rockies along with 2010 first-round pick Drew Pomeranz, second-round selection Jason Kipnis became a staple at second base in Cleveland.

    In nine seasons with the team, he hit .261/.333/.417 for a 102 OPS+ with 123 home runs, 135 steals and 20.5 WAR, earning All-Star selections and down-ballot MVP votes in 2013 and 2015.

    Left-hander Vidal Nuno lll was the latest draft pick from the 2009 class to reach the majors, breaking through with the New York Yankees in 2013.

    Grade: B

Colorado Rockies

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    Nolan Arenado
    Nolan ArenadoDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Tyler Matzek (1-11), OF Tim Wheeler (1-32), LHP Rex Brothers (1-34)

    Other MLB Players: 3B Nolan Arenado (2-59), 1B Ben Paulsen (3-90), RHP Rob Scahill (8-241), C Dustin Garneau (19-571)

    Before he was one of the heroes of the Atlanta Braves' postseason run in 2021, Tyler Matzek was a top prospect in the Colorado farm system and a promising young MLB starter who posted a 4.05 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 117.2 innings as a rookie in 2014. Command issues and injuries essentially ended his time in Colorado the following year.

    That said, the presence of Nolan Arenado alone is enough for this draft to warrant an "A" grade. Before he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, Arenado racked up 40.1 WAR in a Rockies uniform, a total that trails only Todd Helton (61.8) and Larry Walker (48.3) in franchise history.

    Ben Paulsen hit .277/.326/.462 with 19 doubles, 11 home runs and 49 RBI in 354 plate appearances as Colorado's primary first baseman in 2015.

    Grade: A

Detroit Tigers

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    Jacob Turner
    Jacob TurnerGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Jacob Turner (1-9)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Andy Oliver (2-58), SS Daniel Fields (6-180), LHP Adam Wilk (11-330), LHP Giovanni Soto (21-630)

    Right-hander Jacob Turner was put on the fast track after he was selected No. 9 overall out of Westminster Christian Academy in Missouri, and he reached Triple-A at the age of 20 in his second professional season.

    With the Tigers fighting for the AL Central title in 2012, he was traded along with Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn to the Miami Marlins for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. He pitched well for the Marlins following the trade and had a 3.74 ERA in 20 starts the following year, but a lack of swing-and-miss stuff eventually caught up with him and he bounced around before finishing his pro career in the KBO in 2019.

    The grade here is propped up by what they were able to acquire for Turner when his value was still high.

    Grade: C

Houston Astros

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    Dallas Keuchel
    Dallas KeuchelBob Levey/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: SS Jiovanni Mier (1-21)

    Other MLB Players: IF/OF Enrique Hernandez (6-191), LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-221), OF Jake Goebbert (13-401), OF J.D. Martinez (20-611)

    A glove-over-bat shortstop who failed to develop the offensive game necessary to be an everyday player, Jiovanni Mier hit .237/.325/.339 in 3,303 plate appearances in the minors, topping out at Triple-A and never reaching the big leagues.

    The team also gave up on J.D. Martinez just before he broke out with the Detroit Tigers and traded away Enrique Hernandez in a six-player deal that brought Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes and Colin Moran to Houston.

    However, they did enjoy the spoils of drafting Dallas Keuchel. The left-hander won AL Cy Young honors in 2015 and went a combined 76-63 with a 3.66 ERA and 18.1 WAR in 1,189.1 innings with the Astros.

    Cutting ties with Hernandez and Martinez too soon is what keeps this draft from an "A" grade.

    Grade: B

Kansas City Royals

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    Wil Myers
    Wil MyersChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Aaron Crow (1-12)

    Other MLB Players: OF Wil Myers (3-91), LHP Chris Dwyer (4-122), RHP Louis Coleman (5-152), LHP Buddy Baumann (7-212), OF Lane Adams (13-392), LHP Ryan Dennick (22-662)

    Aaron Crow failed to come to terms with the Washington Nationals as the No. 9 overall pick in the 2008 draft and then spent the 2009 season pitching for the Fort Worth Cats in the independent league before again going in the first round. 

    He made the All-Star team as a rookie in 2012, and he had a 3.43 ERA in 254 appearances in four seasons in the Kansas City bullpen before he was traded to Miami prior to the 2015 season. He would not make another appearance in the majors following the trade.

    Third-round pick Wil Myers was originally drafted as a catcher, and he developed into an elite prospect before he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in a six-player blockbuster that brought James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City and ultimately helped the team win a World Series.

    Myers won AL Rookie of the Year in 2013 but was traded again two years later to the San Diego Padres. The 31-year-old has a 111 OPS+ with 146 home runs and 12.4 WAR in nine seasons.

    Grade: A

Los Angeles Angels

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    Mike Trout
    Mike TroutStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Randal Grichuk (1-24), OF Mike Trout (1-25), LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-40), RHP Garrett Richards (1-42), LHP Tyler Kehrer (1-48)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Patrick Corbin (2-80), RHP David Carpenter (9-291)

    There were 21 teams that passed on Mike Troutnot counting the Angels, who selected Randal Grichuk one pick before himbefore the New Jersey prep outfielder finally heard his name called during the 2009 draft.

    Three years later, he had a 10.5-WAR season and won AL Rookie of the Year, and now he's the best player on the planet.

    Grichuk was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for third baseman David Freese prior to the 2014 season, while Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin were both part of the package to acquire Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the 2010 deadline.

    Right-hander Garrett Richards appeared to be on his way to developing into an ace when he turned in terrific seasons in 2014 and 2015, but injuries limited him to just 28 starts the next three years before he joined the San Diego Padres in free agency.

    Grade: A

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Aaron Miller
    Aaron MillerTony Dejak/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: LHP Aaron Miller (1-36)

    Other MLB Players: OF Blake Smith (2-56), RHP Steve Ames (17-517)

    After failing to advance beyond Double-A as a pitcher, first-round pick Aaron Miller shifted to first base in 2013. He posted an .826 OPS with 28 doubles, 14 home runs and 60 RBI at High-A in 2014 in what would be his final year of affiliated ball.

    His professional career ended in Australia where he batted .389/.444/.701 with 21 extra-base hits in 160 plate appearances for the Adelaide Bite during the 2014-15 season.

    Right-hander Steve Ames was part of the prospect package used to acquire Ricky Nolasco at the 2013 trade deadline.

    Grade: F

Miami Marlins

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    A.J. Ramos
    A.J. RamosMark Brown/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Chad James (1-18)

    Other MLB Players: OF Kyle Jensen (12-368), RHP A.J. Ramos (21-638), RHP Michael Brady (24-728)

    Left-hander Chad James had a 5.12 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 65 walks in 114.1 innings at Single-A in his pro debut, and after things improved slightly the following year, he stalled out in the lower levels of the minors. He closed out his pro career with the Texas Rangers' Double-A affiliate in 2015.

    All that keeps this from being an "F" grade draft class is reliever A.J. Ramos.

    Drafted in the 21st round out of Texas Tech, Ramos had a 2.78 ERA and 10.4 K/9 with 92 saves in 325 appearances in six seasons in the Marlins bullpen. He tallied a career-high 40 saves in 2016 when he earned a spot on the NL All-Star team.

    Grade: D

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Scooter Gennett
    Scooter GennettMike McGinnis/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Eric Arnett (1-26), OF Kentrail Davis (1-39), RHP Kyle Heckathorn (1-47)

    Other MLB Players: SS Josh Prince (3-105), RHP Hiram Burgos (6-196), OF Khris Davis (7-226), 1B Sean Halton (13-406), 2B Scooter Gennett (16-496), RHP Tyler Cravy (17-526), LHP Caleb Thielbar (18-556), RHP Mike Fiers (22-676)

    The Brewers whiffed on all three of their first-round picks in 2009, with outfielder Kentrail Davis receiving the largest bonus of the trio at $1.2 million.

    However, they did find some steals later in the draft.

    Khris Davis hit 60 home runs in three seasons with the team before he was traded to Oakland prior to the 2016 season, Scooter Gennett spent four years as the team's starting second baseman, and Mike Fiers had a 3.66 ERA in 341.2 innings before he was dealt to Houston in the deal that brought back Josh Hader and Adrian Houser.

    Left-hander Caleb Thielbar was released after the 2010 season, and he bounced around quite a bit before finding a home in the Minnesota Twins bullpen. The 34-year-old had a 3.23 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 10.8 K/9 in 59 appearances last season.

    Grade: C

Minnesota Twins

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    Kyle Gibson
    Kyle GibsonJeff Gross/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Kyle Gibson (1-22), LHP Matt Bashore (1-46)

    Other MLB Players: C Chris Herrmann (6-192), 2B Brian Dozier (8-252)

    A reliever as a freshman and a swingman as a sophomore, Kyle Gibson emerged as one of the best pitchers in the nation during his junior year at Missouri. He went 11-3 with a 3.21 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 131 strikeouts in 106.2 innings, and he was the eighth college pitcher selected in the 2009 draft.

    He debuted in 2013 and ultimately won 67 games with a 4.52 ERA in 1,087 innings with the Twins.

    Pairing him with second baseman Brian Dozier, who posted a 109 OPS+ with 167 home runs and 22.8 WAR in seven seasons with the Twins, is more than enough to make this relatively small group of big leaguers one of the year's better draft hauls.

    Grade: A

New York Mets

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    Steven Matz
    Steven MatzIcon Sports Wire/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: None

    Other MLB Players: LHP Steven Matz (2-72), OF Darrell Ceciliani (4-134)

    This was a strange draft for the New York Mets.

    They didn't have a first- or third-round pick as a result of signing Francisco Rodriguez in free agency, they failed to sign their fifth-round (Damien Magnifico) and sixth-round (David Buchanan) picks, and no one who did sign received a nine-figure bonus.

    Left-hander Steven Matz was the team's first selection at No. 72 overall, and he helps salvage things, though he never quite lived up to the hype he built during his time in the farm system.

    He finished his Mets tenure with a 4.35 ERA and 6.7 WAR in 579.2 innings, spent the 2021 season with the Toronto Blue Jays, and parlayed that into a four-year, $44 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Grade: C

New York Yankees

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    Slade Heathcott
    Slade HeathcottRob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Slade Heathcott (1-29)

    Other MLB Players: C John Ryan Murphy (2-76), RHP Adam Warren (4-135), RHP Caleb Cotham (5-165), RHP Shane Greene (15-465), RHP Bryan Mitchell (16-495)

    The Yankees went above-slot to sign prep outfielder Slade Heathcott to a $2.2 million bonus, and he began the 2013 season as the No. 63 prospect in baseball after hitting .307/.378/.470 with 23 extra-base hits and 17 steals in 60 games at High-A.

    His development stalled in the upper levels of the minors, though he did impress in his brief MLB action, going 10-for-25 with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 17 games in 2015.

    Right-hander Shane Greene debuted as a starter with the Yankees in 2014 before he was traded in the three-team deal that brought Didi Gregorius to New York. He developed into an All-Star closer with the Detroit Tigers.

    Adam Warren was a useful swingman with a 3.18 ERA in 407 innings in pinstripes.

    Grade: C

Oakland Athletics

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    Grant Green
    Grant GreenChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: SS Grant Green (1-13)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Justin Marks (3-92), C Max Stassi (4-123), LHP Ian Krol (7-213), RHP Murphy Smith (13-393), RHP Dan Straily (24-723)

    Infielder Grant Green was a top 100 prospect in 2010 (No. 52) and 2011 (No. 63), and he appeared to be knocking on the door before he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels at the 2013 deadline for Alberto Callaspo. He went on to hit .248/.283/.336 in 353 big league plate appearances.

    The budget-conscious Athletics went way over slot to sign catcher Max Stassi to a $1.5 million bonus in the fourth round, but he too was traded before reaching the majors in Oakland, going to Houston along with Chris Carter and Brad Peacock for Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez Jr.

    Right-hander Dan Straily proved to be one of the better late-round steals in this class with a 4.56 ERA in 803.1 innings in the majors, and he is still going strong as one of the better pitchers in the KBO the past two years.

    Grade: C

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Aaron Altherr
    Aaron AltherrRichard Schultz/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: None

    Other MLB Players: 1B Jon Singleton (8-257), OF Aaron Altherr (9-287), RHP Josh Zeid (10-317), 1B Darin Ruf (20-617)

    Signing Raul Ibanez in free agency left the Philadelphia Phillies without a first-round pick, and the largest bonus they handed out went to seventh-round pick Brody Colvin, who signed for $900,000. He peaked as the No. 56 prospect in baseball at the start of the 2011 season.

    The Phillies traded Jon Singleton and Josh Zeid to the Astros in the deal that brought Hunter Pence to Philadelphia at the 2011 deadline. Singleton signed a five-year, $10 million extension before making his MLB debut, then quickly became a cautionary tale when he hit .171 with minus-0.9 WAR in 114 games before he was released with three years left on the deal.

    Aaron Altherr had a 19-homer, 65-RBI season in 2017, while Darin Ruf showed some intriguing power potential before heading overseas to play in the KBO. Ruf returned in 2020 with the San Francisco Giants and had a 143 OPS+ and 2.9 WAR in 117 games last season.

    Grade: D

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Tony Sanchez
    Tony SanchezJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: C Tony Sanchez (1-4), RHP Vic Black (1-49)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Brooks Pounders (2-53), IF/OF Brock Holt (9-265), RHP Phil Irwin (21-625)

    "Offensively, Sanchez has solid-average power, but his bat is not a sure thing," Baseball America wrote in his predraft profile.

    Even after hitting .346/.445/.614 with 19 doubles, 14 home runs and 51 RBI during his junior year at Boston College, questions remained about his ability to handle breaking stuff, but the Pirates pounded anyway in hopes of finding a long-term answer behind the plate.

    He hit .259 with a .681 OPS and 0.1 WAR in 51 games before he was released prior to the 2016 season.

    Utility man Brock Holt was traded to the Boston Red Sox along with All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan prior to the 2013 season in a six-player deal that brought back Mark Melancon.

    Grade: F

San Diego Padres

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    Miles Mikolas
    Miles MikolasGeorge Gojkovich/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: OF Donavan Tate (1-3)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Keyvius Sampson (4-114), RHP Miles Mikolas (7-204), 1B Nate Freiman (8-234), LHP Nick Greenwood (14-414), 1B Cody Decker (22-654), 2B Vince Belnome (28-834)

    "Tate has true bat speed and strength and makes adjustments against better pitching. His other tools are outrageous: he's a plus-plus runner with Gold Glove potential in center field and a strong throwing arm that grades out above-average as well. Tate plays with supreme confidence that goes hand-in-hand with his well-above-average athletic ability," Baseball America wrote in the predraft profile of the eventual No. 3 overall pick.

    However, between multiple injuries and a 50-game suspension following a positive test for a drug of abuse, Tate's career never got off the ground. He hit .226/.331/.321 in 299 games over six years, never advancing above the High-A level before hanging up his spikes. He then briefly enrolled at the University of Arizona, where he was a quarterback on the football team.

    Miles Mikolas made 27 relief appearances in two seasons with the Padres before he was traded to the Texas Rangers. After a successful stint in the Japanese league, he has returned stateside to a solid career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Grade: F

San Francisco Giants

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    Zack Wheeler
    Zack WheelerStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-6)

    Other MLB Players: C Tommy Joseph (2-55), 3B Chris Dominguez (3-86), 1B Brandon Belt (5-147), RHP Chris Heston (12-357), RHP Jake Dunning (33-987), OF Ryan Lollis (37-1,107)

    One of the top prospects in the San Francisco Giants system from the moment he was drafted, Zack Wheeler was No. 2 in the organizational rankings and No. 55 on the leaguewide top 100 at the start of the 2011 season. That summer, he was flipped to the New York Mets for a two-month rental of Carlos Beltran, but the Giants failed to make the playoffs.

    It stands as one of the worst decisions in recent Giants history, right up there with trading Bryan Reynolds for Andrew McCutchen.

    Luckily, they did walk away with at least one impact player in first baseman Brandon Belt, who has piled up 27.2 WAR in 11 seasons. The 33-year-old accepted a qualifying offer at the start of the offseason after posting a 160 OPS+ with 29 home runs and 2.7 WAR in 2021.

    Catcher Tommy Joseph was traded to the Phillies in the Hunter Pence blockbuster at the 2012 deadline.

    Grade: A

Seattle Mariners

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    Dustin Ackley
    Dustin AckleyTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: 2B/OF Dustin Ackley (1-2), SS Nick Franklin (1-27), C Steven Baron (1-33)

    Other MLB Players: 3B Kyle Seager (3-82), OF James Jones (4-113), LHP Brian Moran (7-203), LHP Anthony Vasquez (18-533), C Brandon Bantz (30-893)

    Who would have guessed Kyle Seager would wind up being the better of the two North Carolina teammates the Seattle Mariners selected in the 2009 draft?

    Ackley hit over .400 every season as a three-year starter for the Tar Heels, including a .417/.517/.763 line with 22 home runs and 73 RBI as a junior. He began his pro career at Double-A and made his MLB debut on June 17, 2011, hitting .273 with a 120 OPS+ and 3.7 WAR in 90 games to finish sixth in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

    That strong debut proved to be his peak, and his MLB career was over shortly after his 28th birthday.

    Meanwhile, Seager went on to tally 36.9 WAR with 242 home runs and 807 RBI in an 11-year career spent entirely in Seattle before hanging up his spikes this winter.

    Grade: B

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Shelby Miller
    Shelby MillerJeff Gross/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Shelby Miller (1-19)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Robert Stock (2-67), RHP Joe Kelly (3-98), SS Ryan Jackson (5-159), IF Matt Carpenter (13-399), 1B David Washington (15-459), C Travis Tartamella (19-579), RHP Trevor Rosenthal (21-639), 1B Matt Adams (23-699), RHP Keith Butler (24-729)

    Shelby Miller finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 and had a strong follow-up season before the St. Louis Cardinals sold high and traded him to the Atlanta Braves for right fielder Jason Heyward. After an All-Star season in Atlanta, he was traded again to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the deal that brought Dansby Swanson to the Braves.

    Aside from Joe Kelly developing into a solid starter before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for John Lackey, the Cardinals also found late-round steals in Matt Carpenter (13th round), Trevor Rosenthal (21st round) and Matt Adams (23rd round).

    Carpenter is a three-time All-Star with 26.8 WAR in 11 seasons, Rosenthal saved 121 games in six seasons, and Adams was a consistent source of left-handed power off the bench and as a starting first baseman after he was originally drafted as a catcher.

    Grade: A

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Andrew Bellatti
    Andrew BellattiBrian Blanco/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 2B LeVon Washington (1-30)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Andrew Bellatti (12-379), LHP Zac Rosscup (28-859)

    The Rays failed to sign their first-round (LeVon Washington, No. 30) and second-round (Kenny Diekroeger, No. 78) picks, and both players failed to improve their draft positions.

    Only two players from their entire draft class reached the majors, and only Andrew Bellatti played for the Rays, posting a 2.31 ERA in 17 appearances in 2015.

    Lefty reliever Zac Rosscup was traded to the Chicago Cubs along with Matt Garza in the eight-player deal that brought a young Chris Archer to Tampa Bay prior to the 2011 season.

    Grade: F

Texas Rangers

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    Tanner Scheppers
    Tanner ScheppersStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Matt Purke (1-14), RHP Tanner Scheppers (1-44)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Robbie Erlin (3-93), LHP Chad Bell (14-424)

    The highest pick who did not sign in the 2009 draft was prep left-hander Matt Purke, who honored his commitment to TCU and eventually signed with the Washington Nationals as a third-round pick in the 2011 draft.

    Right-hander Tanner Scheppers didn't sign as a second-round pick in 2018 after dealing with shoulder issues down the stretch, but he landed a $1.25 million bonus as a supplemental round pick the following year. He was a top 100 prospect in 2010 (No. 42) and 2011 (No. 84) but landed in the bullpen in the majors, posting a 4.23 ERA in 180 appearances.

    Robbie Erlin had a decent run with the San Diego Padres after he was traded for reliever Mike Adams at the 2011 deadline.

    Grade: F

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Chad Jenkins
    Chad JenkinsAbelimages/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Chad Jenkins (1-20), LHP James Paxton (1-37)

    Other MLB Players: OF Jake Marisnick (3-104), IF Ryan Goins (4-130), 2B Ryan Schimpf (5-160), LHP Aaron Loup (9-280), C Yan Gomes (10-310), RHP Drew Hutchison (15-460), RHP Daniel Webb (18-550), RHP Ryan Tepera (19-580), OF Brad Glenn (23-700)

    A burly 6'4", 230-pound right-hander who drew comparisons to Joe Blanton during his time at Kennesaw State, right-hander Chad Jenkins never quite carved out a role in the majors. He had a 3.31 ERA in 100.2 innings over four seasons, debuting in 2012 and serving primarily as a multi-inning reliever.

    However, outfielder Jake Marisnick, second baseman Ryan Goins, relievers Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera and catcher Yan Gomes all enjoyed long MLB careers.

    In a lopsided deal, Gomes was traded to Cleveland prior to the 2013 season along with Mike Aviles in exchange for reliever Esmil Rogers.

    The Blue Jays failed to sign No. 37 overall pick and Canadian native James Paxton.

    Grade: C

Washington Nationals

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    Stephen Strasburg
    Stephen StrasburgChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-1), RHP Drew Storen (1-10)

    Other MLB Players: 2B Jeff Kobernus (2-50), RHP A.J. Morris (4-112), OF Michael A. Taylor (6-172), RHP Taylor Jordan (9-262), RHP Nate Karns (12-352)

    "In the history of the draft, no prospect has received as much predraft hype and publicity as [Stephen] Strasburgand the attention is warranted. His combination of stuff, pitching savvy and command make him a once-in-a-generation phenomenon. ... There's no doubt that Strasburg is the best college pitching prospect since Mark Prior came out of Southern California in 2001. Prior's career illustrates that no amateur pitcher is guaranteed long-term professional success, but Strasburg is the closest to a sure thing that scouts have ever seen," Baseball America wrote.

    Armed with a triple-digits fastball and a lethal curveball, Strasburg went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a staggering 195 strikeouts in 109 innings as a junior at San Diego State.

    Injuries have kept him from putting together the once-in-a-generation career many predicted, but he has still been an extremely effective MLB starter, going 113-61 with a 3.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 1,718 strikeouts in 1,465.1 innings.

    Fellow first-round pick Drew Storen spent six seasons in the Nationals bullpen and tallied 95 saves with a 3.02 ERA in 355 appearances. Outfielder Michael A. Taylor developed into a top prospect and was a useful fourth outfielder.

    Grade: A


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.