Grading Every MLB Team's 2008 Draft Haul

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2022

Grading Every MLB Team's 2008 Draft Haul

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    Phil Coale/Associated Press

    After selecting Vanderbilt left-hander David Price with the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, the Tampa Bay Rays became the first team in MLB history to pick first in consecutive drafts when they wrapped up the 2007 season with a 66-96 record.

    Most draft boards featured a consensus top four for the 2008 class, with Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez, Florida State catcher Buster Posey, San Diego left-hander Brian Matusz and Georgia prep shortstop Tim Beckham all in the running for the top spot.

    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 the team 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: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Wade Miley
    Wade MileyDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: LHP Daniel Schlereth (1-26), LHP Wade Miley (1-43)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Bryan Shaw (2-73), OF Collin Cowgill (5-168), RHP Ryan Cook (27-828), SS Jake Elmore (34-1,038)

    The son of former NFL lineman and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth, left-hander Daniel Schlereth was the eighth pitcher selected in the 2008 draft, going five slots behind University of Arizona teammate Ryan Perry. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers in the three-team, seven-player blockbuster that also involved Max Scherzer, Curtis Granderson, Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

    Wade Miley made the NL All-Star team and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2012, and he has put together a successful 11-year career with 97 wins and a 4.15 ERA in 1,581 innings.

    Right-hander Bryan Shaw ranks eighth among all pitchers from the 2008 class with 245 career appearances, while Collin Cowgill and Ryan Cook were both used in the trade to acquire Trevor Cahill from the Oakland Athletics before the 2012 season.

    Grade: B

Atlanta Braves

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    Craig Kimbrel
    Craig KimbrelMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Brett DeVall (1-40)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Zeke Spruill (2-70), RHP Craig Kimbrel (3-96), RHP Paul Clemens (7-220), LHP Brett Oberholtzer (8-250), RHP J.J. Hoover (10-310)

    The Atlanta Braves gave up the No. 18 pick as compensation for bringing back future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in free agency, and No. 40 overall pick Brett DeVall failed to advance above Single-A in three seasons of affiliated ball.

    Luckily, the Braves struck gold in the third round when they selected hard-throwing Craig Kimbrel out of Wallace State CC in Alabama. With 372 saves to go with a 2.18 ERA and 14.7 K/9 in 646 appearances, he is likely headed for Cooperstown.

    Pitchers Paul Clemens and Brett Oberholtzer were both traded to the Houston Astros in the same deal to acquire speedy center fielder Michael Bourn at the 2011 deadline.

    Grade: B

Baltimore Orioles

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    Brian Matusz
    Brian MatuszJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Brian Matusz (1-4)

    Other MLB Players: OF Xavier Avery (2-50), OF L.J. Hoes (3-81), OF Kyle Hudson (4-116), C Caleb Joseph (7-206), LHP Jason Gurka (15-446), RHP Eddie Gamboa (21-626), RHP Oliver Drake (43-1,286)

    During his junior season at the University of San Diego, left-hander Brian Matusz went 12-2 with a 1.71 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 141 strikeouts in 105 innings to establish himself as the best college pitcher in the 2008 draft class.

    He climbed as high as No. 5 on the Baseball America Top 100 prospect list before the 2010 season, but things never clicked in the big leagues. He eventually moved to the bullpen, where he was a useful lefty setup reliever, but his big league career was over before his 30th birthday.

    Outfielder L.J. Hoes was traded to the Houston Astros along with a young Josh Hader in an ill-fated deal for veteran right-hander Bud Norris at the 2013 deadline.

    Grade: D

Boston Red Sox

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    Casey Kelly
    Casey KellyBoston Globe/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: RHP Casey Kelly (1-30), RHP Bryan Price (1-45)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Stephen Fife (3-85), RHP Kyle Weiland (3-108), C Ryan Lavarnway (6-202), C Tim Federowicz (7-232), C Christian Vazquez (9-292), LHP Hunter Cervenka (27-832), SS Carson Blair (35-1,072)

    First-round pick Casey Kelly and a young Anthony Rizzo were the centerpieces of the trade package the Boston Red Sox used to acquire Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres in 2010. While he never found success stateside, Kelly has been one of the best pitchers in the KBO the past three years, and a return to the big leagues sometime in the future is not out of the question.

    Right-hander Bryan Pricenot to be confused with the former Cincinnati Reds managerwas part of the three-player package shipped to Cleveland in exchange for Victor Martinez at the 2009 trade deadline. He made just three appearances in the majors.

    So while they didn't receive much on-field production from this draft haul, the front office did a solid job utilizing its value.

    Grade: C

Chicago Cubs

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    Andrew Cashner
    Andrew CashnerJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-19), IF Ryan Flaherty (1-41)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Chris Carpenter (3-97), 2B Josh Harrison (6-191), RHP Jay Jackson (9-281), OF Tony Campana (13-401), RHP Casey Coleman (15-461), LHP Jeff Beliveau (18-551), IF Logan Watkins (21-641), RHP Erik Hamren (37-1,121)

    A closer during his junior season at TCU, Andrew Cashner allowed just 21 hits in 54.1 innings while racking up 80 strikeouts and tallying nine wins and nine saves. He joined the Chicago Cubs bullpen in 2010, but in January 2012 he was traded to the Padres for a young first baseman named Anthony Rizzo.

    Meanwhile, right-hander Chris Carpenter wound up being the compensation sent to the Boston Red Sox when general manager Theo Epstein jumped ship and took his post in the Cubs front office.

    Trading Josh Harrison to the division-rival Pittsburgh Pirates in the deal that brought Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow to Chicago at the 2009 deadline was a misstep, but drafting Cashner and turning him into Rizzo is enough for this group to garner high marks.

    Grade: B

Chicago White Sox

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    Gordon Beckham
    Gordon BeckhamRon Vesely/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 3B Gordon Beckham (1-8)

    Other MLB Players: 3B Brent Morel (3-86), RHP Daniel Hudson (5-150), OF Jordan Danks (7-210), LHP Charles Leesman (11-330)

    It took 364 days from the time he was drafted for Gordon Beckham to reach the majors, and he appeared to be ticketed for stardom when he hit .270/.347/.460 with 28 doubles, 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 103 games for a 2.1-WAR rookie season.

    Unfortunately, that wound up being his peak. He shifted from third base to second base the following year and produced just 3.4 WAR in 966 games over the remainder of his career, though he did stick around for 11 seasons.

    Daniel Hudson won 16 games for the D-backs in 2011 before injuries forced him into a relief role, in which he is still pitching at a high level. The White Sox sent him to Arizona at the 2010 deadline for Edwin Jackson.

    Grade: C

Cincinnati Reds

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    Yonder Alonso
    Yonder AlonsoJohn Grieshop/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 1B Yonder Alonso (1-7)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Zach Stewart (3-84), RHP Pedro Villarreal (7-209), OF Dave Sappelt (9-269), RHP Justin Freeman (32-959)

    A three-year starter at the University of Miami, first baseman Yonder Alonso hit .370/.534/.777 with 24 home runs and 72 RBI in 64 games during his junior season. That was good enough to make him the third college bat off the board, following Pedro Alvarez (No. 2) and Buster Posey (No. 5).

    He hit .330/.398/.545 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 47 games in the big leagues in 2011, but with Joey Votto blocking his path, he was used as part of the blockbuster package to acquire Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres that offseason.

    He hit .259/.332/.404 for a 103 OPS+ with 100 home runs, 426 RBI and 8.1 WAR in 10 seasons spent with seven different teams.

    Grade: C

Cleveland Guardians

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    Lonnie Chisenhall
    Lonnie ChisenhallCharles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: 3B Lonnie Chisenhall (1-29)

    Other MLB Players: IF Cord Phelps (3-107), RHP Zach Putnam (5-171), RHP Matt Langwell (11-351), RHP Carlos Moncrief (14-441), LHP T.J. House (16-501), C Roberto Perez (33-1,011)

    Lonnie Chisenhall spent eight seasons in the majors, bouncing between the corner infield and corner outfield spots while hitting .268/.320/.427 with 64 home runs, 296 RBI and a respectable 9.0 WAR in 688 games.

    Left-hander T.J. House went 5-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 18 starts as a rookie in 2014, but he made just 10 more appearances in the big leagues following that strong debut.

    Catcher Roberto Perez stands as one of the biggest steals of this entire draft as a 33rd-round pick. The two-time Gold Glove winner formed a productive platoon with Yan Gomes behind the plate for multiple years before taking over as the everyday guy and posting a 24-homer, 4.0-WAR season in 2019.

    Grade: B

Colorado Rockies

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    Charlie Blackmon
    Charlie BlackmonDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: LHP Christian Friedrich (1-25)

    Other MLB Players: OF Charlie Blackmon (2-72), IF Thomas Field (24-737),

    Left-hander Christian Friedrich posted a 5.81 ERA in 19 starts and 81 relief appearances over parts of three seasons with the Colorado Rockies before he was non-tendered. He spent one more season in the majors with the Padres, though he was still active in the independent league in 2021.

    That first-round whiff is more than offset by the career Charlie Blackmon has put together in a Rockies uniform.

    He hit .396/.469/.564 with 23 extra-base hits and 25 steals during his final season at Georgia Tech, and he has continued to rake in the majors with a .300/.359/.495 line and 114 OPS+ in 11 seasons. The 35-year-old is a four-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger winner, and his 19.5 WAR rank seventh in franchise history.

    Grade: B

Detroit Tigers

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    Alex Avila
    Alex AvilaMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Ryan Perry (1-21)

    Other MLB Players: C Alex Avila (5-163), OF Andy Dirks (8-253), RHP Robbie Weinhardt (10-313), RHP Thad Weber (16-493)

    Armed with an upper-90s fastball and a plus slider that drew comparisons to Brad Lidge, right-hander Ryan Perry had productive seasons out of the Detroit bullpen in 2009 (53 G, 6 HLD, 3.79 ERA) and 2010 (60 G, 2 SV, 19 HLD, 3.59 ERA) before flaming out.

    However, fifth-round pick Alex Avila developed into the team's everyday catcher, winning a Silver Slugger Award in 2011 when he hit .295/.389/.506 with 33 doubles, 19 home runs and 82 RBI in a 5.1-WAR campaign. He never duplicated that production, but he has quietly racked up 17.1 WAR in 13 seasons.

    Outfielder Andy Dirks was a useful fourth outfielder for three seasons, hitting .276/.332/.413 for a 101 OPS+ with 3.7 WAR in 297 games.

    Grade: B

Houston Astros

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    Jason Castro
    Jason CastroJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: C Jason Castro (1-10), RHP Jordan Lyles (1-38)

    Other MLB Players: OF JB Shuck (6-182)

    The 2008 draft was a strong year for catching talent.

    "In some years, [Jason] Castro would be the best catcher on the board, but this he's third behind Posey and Southern California prep phenom Kyle Skipworth. He's not expected to last past the first round," wrote Baseball America.

    The Stanford product hit .376/.429/.613 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI during his junior year, and the Astros called his name at No. 10 overall in hopes he could be the heir to an aging Brad Ausmus behind the plate. He reached the majors in 2010, was an All-Star in 2013 and has produced 13.0 WAR in 11 seasons.

    Jordan Lyles developed into a top prospect, peaking at No. 42 on Baseball America's Top 100 prospect list prior to the 2011 season. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies for Dexter Fowler in 2013, and he is still going strong, earning a one-year, $7 million deal from the Baltimore Orioles in December.

    Grade: C

Kansas City Royals

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    Eric Hosmer
    Eric HosmerEd Zurga/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: 1B Eric Hosmer (1-3), LHP Mike Montgomery (1-36)

    Other MLB Players: 2B Johnny Giavotella (2-49), RHP Tim Melville (4-115), LHP John Lamb (5-145), LHP Blaine Hardy (22-655)

    Despite a first base-only profile, Eric Hosmer was one of the top prospects in the 2008 draft thanks to his considerable offensive upside. He hit .339/.406/.571 with 72 extra-base hits in 137 games between High-A and Double-A as a 20-year-old in 2010, and he began the 2011 season as the No. 8 prospect in baseball.

    In seven seasons with the Royals, he logged a 111 OPS+ with 127 home runs, 566 RBI and 15.4 WAR. He won four Gold Gloves, won a World Series ring in 2015 and earned an All-Star nod in 2016 before signing an eight-year, $144 million deal with the San Diego Padres.

    Mike Montgomery was shipped out in the blockbuster deal that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City, while John Lamb was flipped to the Cincinnati Reds as part of the deal to acquire Johnny Cueto as a two-month rental.

    Grade: A

Los Angeles Angels

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    Tyler Chatwood
    Tyler ChatwoodRob Carr/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: None

    Other MLB Players: RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-74), LHP Buddy Boshers (4-139), LHP Will Smith (7-229), RHP Michael Kohn (13-409), RHP Johnny Hellweg (16-499), LHP Andrew Taylor (34-1,039)

    The Angels surrendered the No. 27 pick to sign Torii Hunter, leaving them without a first-round selection.

    Right-hander Tyler Chatwood posted a 4.75 ERA in 142 innings as a 21-year-old rookie with the Angels in 2011, and he was traded to the Colorado Rockies that offseason for catcher Chris Iannetta. He has shown flashes of plus stuff but has never been able to rein in his command long enough to fully tap into his potential.

    Before he developed into a terrific late-inning reliever, Will Smith was traded along with Sean O'Sullivan to the Kansas City Royals for infielder Alberto Callaspo. Right-hander Johnny Hellweg was sent to Milwaukee to acquire Zack Greinke as a rental at the 2012 deadline.

    Grade: C

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Nathan Eovaldi
    Nathan EovaldiChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Ethan Martin (1-15)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Josh Lindblom (2-61), IF Dee Strange-Gordon (4-127), OF Nick Buss (8-247), RHP Nathan Eovaldi (11-337), RHP Allen Webster (18-547), OF Jerry Sands (25-757), RHP Matt Magill (31-937)

    "Before the season, [Ethan] Martin was thought of as a power-hitting third baseman with a good arm. His performance on the mound this spring has led to teams being split on whether he will be a pitcher or a position player in the pros," wrote Baseball America.

    The Dodgers went the pitcher route after taking him No. 15, and when he failed to live up to expectations, he was traded along with second-round pick Josh Lindblom to the Philadelphia Phillies for Shane Victorino. Lindblom would later go on to great success in the KBO.

    The prizes of this draft haul turned out to be fourth-round selection Dee Strange-Gordon, who was a two-time All-Star and stole 333 bases in 10 seasons, and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who has developed into a front-line starter with the Boston Red Sox. The hard-throwing right-hander was traded to Miami at the 2012 deadline in the deal that brought Hanley Ramirez to Los Angeles.

    Grade: B

Miami Marlins

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    Brad Hand
    Brad HandStacy Revere/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: C Kyle Skipworth (1-6)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Brad Hand (2-52), LHP Edgar Olmos (3-83), OF Isaac Galloway (8-238), LHP Dan Jennings (9-268), RHP Tom Koehler (18-538), RHP Elih Villanueva (27-808), OF Kevin Mattison (28-838)

    "Skipworth is the best high school catcher in the nation, and may be the best prep prospect at that position since Joe Mauer was the first pick in the 2001 draft," wrote Baseball America.

    Yet he failed to thrive in pro ball, hitting .211/.278/.381 with a 32.4 percent strikeout rate in nine minor league seasons. He went 0-for-3 with a walk in his only four MLB games, which came in 2013.

    Brad Hand went 9-25 with a 4.71 ERA in 43 starts and 47 relief appearances with the Marlins before he was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres. He almost immediately became a bullpen ace in San Diego, posting a 2.92 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 89.1 innings while making an NL-high 82 appearances, and he has since been named to three All-Star teams.

    Reliever Dan Jennings (390 G, 46 HLD, 3.10 ERA) and starter Tom Koehler (133 GS, 4.39 ERA, 784.1 IP) were quietly productive big league pitchers.

    Grade: D

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Brett Lawrie
    Brett LawrieMark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    First-Round Picks: 3B Brett Lawrie (1-16), RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-32), LHP Evan Frederickson (1-35)

    Other MLB Players: OF Logan Schafer (3-94), OF Erik Komatsu (8-248), RHP Rob Wooten (13-398), LHP Lucas Luetge (21-638)

    Brett Lawrie had climbed all the way to No. 59 on the Baseball America Top 100 prospect list when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in a one-for-one deal for right-hander Shaun Marcum.

    He racked up 12.7 WAR in four seasons in Toronto before he was traded again, this time as the centerpiece in the deal to acquire Josh Donaldson from Oakland. However, his career stalled from there, and he played in his final MLB game at age 26.

    After two seasons in the Milwaukee system, right-hander Jake Odorizzi was traded to the Kansas City Royals along with Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jeremy Jeffress in exchange for Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt.

    The team's third first-round pick, Evan Frederickson, never played above High-A.

    Grade: C

Minnesota Twins

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    Aaron Hicks
    Aaron HicksTom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: CF Aaron Hicks (1-14), RHP Carlos Gutierrez (1-27), RHP Shooter Hunt (1-31)

    Other MLB Players: SS Tyler Ladendorf (2-60), OF Danny Ortiz (4-126), RHP Michael Tonkin (30-906)

    The Twins received the No. 27 and No. 31 picks as compensation for losing Torii Hunter in free agency, and they squandered both of them, as Carlos Gutierrez and Shooter Hunt both failed to reach the big leagues.

    No. 14 pick Aaron Hicks spent four years on the Baseball America Top 100 prospect list, but he didn't break out until after he was traded to the New York Yankees before the 2016 season for backup catcher John Ryan Murphy.

    Right-hander Michael Tonkin received an above-slot bonus of $230,000 as a 30th-round pick, and he made good on that investment by reaching the majors and posting a 4.43 ERA in 141 appearances.

    Grade: D

New York Mets

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    Ike Davis
    Ike DavisTim Clayton - Corbis/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: 1B Ike Davis (1-18), SS Reese Havens (1-22), RHP Bradley Holt (1-33)

    Other MLB Players: OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (3-100), IF Josh Satin (6-194), 3B Eric Campbell (8-254), RHP Collin McHugh (18-554), RHP Chris Schwinden (22-674)

    Only eight of the 46 players selected in the first round of the 2008 draft failed to reach the majors, and the Mets drafted two of them, including the highest pick from that group in shortstop Reese Havens at No. 22.

    They did find a solid contributor in first baseman Ike Davis, who had a 32-homer season in 2012 and tallied 5.7 WAR in five seasons before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    The Mets front office had a knack for finding late-round pitching talent in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and Collin McHugh is another good example of that as an 18th-round selection. But he was traded to the Colorado Rockies for Eric Young Jr. before things clicked.

    Grade: D

New York Yankees

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    Kyle Higashioka
    Kyle HigashiokaMike Stobe/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-28), LHP Jeremy Bleich (1-44)

    Other MLB Players: IF David Adams (3-106), IF Corban Joseph (4-140), RHP Brett Marshall (6-200), C Kyle Higashioka (7-230), RHP D.J. Mitchell (10-320), RHP David Phelps (14-440), SHP Pat Venditte (20-620), LHP Nik Turley (50-1,502)

    If he would have signed, Gerrit Cole could have been a part of the New York Yankees organization more than a decade before he signed a record-setting nine-year, $324 million contract in free agency. Instead, he decided to honor his commitment to UCLA coming out of high school.

    Fellow first-round pick Jeremy Bleich bounced around a good deal before finally making his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2018. However, they did hit on 14th-round pick David Phelps, who has a 3.90 ERA in 302 career appearances.

    Left-hander Nik Turley was the latest pick in the 2008 draft to reach the majors.

    Grade: D

Oakland Athletics

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    Jemile Weeks
    Jemile WeeksJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 2B Jemile Weeks (1-12)

    Other MLB Players: RHP Tyson Ross (2-58), SS Dusty Coleman (28-844), RHP Mickey Storey (31-934)

    Jemile Weeksthe younger brother of then-Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weekslooked like a budding star for the Oakland Athletics when he hit .303/.340/.421 with 36 extra-base hits and 22 steals in 97 games as a rookie in 2011.

    However, his production dipped significantly the following year when he hit .221 with a 73 OPS+ in 511 plate appearances, and he would play just 45 more games in the big leagues after that season.

    Tyson Ross developed into a solid starter in San Diego after he was traded in a four-player deal, while shortstop Dusty Coleman eventually made good on his above-slot $675,000 bonus by playing 31 games in the big leagues with Kansas City and San Diego.

    Grade: C

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Jarred Cosart
    Jarred CosartJeff Gross/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: SS Anthony Hewitt (1-24), OF Zach Collier (1-34)

    Other MLB Players: OF Anthony Gose (2-51), RHP Vance Worley (3-102), RHP Jonathan Pettibone (3-110), RHP Trevor May (4-136), RHP Michael Stutes (11-346), RHP B.J. Rosenberg (13-406), RHP Michael Schwimer (14-436), RHP Tyler Cloyd (18-556), OF Steve Susdorf (19-586), RHP Jarred Cosart (38-1,156)

    Both of the Philadelphia Phillies' first-round picks in 2008 failed to reach the majors, but they did come away with some good value in the later rounds.

    Right-hander Jarred Cosart scared some teams off with his bonus demands, but the Phillies managed to sign him away from his commitment to Missouri with a $550,000 bonus in the 38th round. He was packaged along with Jon Singleton to acquire Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros at the 2011 trade deadline.

    Vance Worley made the biggest impact in Philadelphia, going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 131.2 innings in 2011 to finish third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He was eventually traded along with fourth-round pick Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for Ben Revere.

    Grade: C

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Pedro Alvarez
    Pedro AlvarezG Fiume/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 3B Pedro Alvarez (1-2)

    Other MLB Players: SS Jordy Mercer (3-79), SS Chase d'Arnaud (4-114), LHP Justin Wilson (5-144), OF Robbie Grossman (6-174), 3B Matt Hague (9-264)

    Named Baseball America's Freshman of the Year when he slugged 22 home runs with a 1.131 OPS in his first year at Vanderbilt, Pedro Alvarez was in the mix to go No. 1 overall even after a broken hamate bone cost him a good chunk of his junior year. The Rays passed in favor of prep shortstop Tim Beckham, and the Pirates pounced at No. 2 overall.

    He was in the majors by June 2010, and he smashed 131 home runs in six seasons in Pittsburgh, including an NL-leading 36 long balls in 2013. However, he also led the league with 186 strikeouts that year, and he proved to be a largely one-dimensional player.

    Second-round pick Tanner Scheppers did not sign, but that allowed the team to go above slot to sign outfielder Robbie Grossman to a $1 million bonus in the sixth round.

    Jordy Mercer spent five-plus seasons as the Pirates' starting shortstop, while Justin Wilson had two strong seasons out of the Pittsburgh bullpen before he was traded to the New York Yankees for fan favorite Francisco Cervelli.

    Grade: B

San Diego Padres

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    Logan Forsythe
    Logan ForsytheKent Horner/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: 1B Allan Dykstra (1-23), OF Jaff Decker (1-42), 2B Logan Forsythe (1-46)

    Other MLB Players: IF James Darnell (2-69), OF Blake Tekotte (3-101), RHP Anthony Bass (5-165), SS Cole Figueroa (6-195), LHP Andrew Albers (10-315), 1B Matt Clark (12-375), RHP Erik Davis (13-405), RHP Nick Vincent (18-555), IF Dean Anna (26-795), OF Daniel Robertson (33-1,005), RHP Brad Brach (42-1,275)

    An imposing 6'5" slugger, Allan Dykstra hit .323/.519/.645 with 16 home runs and 50 RBI in 55 games during his junior season at Wake Forest. He showed solid on-base skills and good pop in the minors but never got an extended look in the big leagues.

    To find 14 big leaguers in a 46-player draft class is an accomplishment by the scouting department, and it would have been 15 if they had managed to sign fourth-round pick Jason Kipnis.

    Anthony Bass, Nick Vincent and Brad Brach were all still pitching in MLB in 2021 bullpens, while Logan Forsythe tallied 12.1 WAR in 10 seasons.

    Grade: C

San Francisco Giants

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    Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey
    Brandon Crawford and Buster PoseyIcon Sportswire/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: C Buster Posey (1-5), 3B Conor Gillaspie (1-37)

    Other MLB Players: OF Roger Kieschnick (3-82), SS Brandon Crawford (4-117), LHP Eric Surkamp (6-177), LHP Scott Barnes (8-237), LHP Ryan Verdugo (9-267), OF Juan Perez (13-387)

    This is the best 2008 draft class by a landslide.

    Buster Posey is a future Hall of Famer and one of the true superstars of his generation, while Brandon Crawford is a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner.

    That duo combined for 75.0 WAR while spending their entire careers in San Francisco, and while Posey retired this offseason, Crawford will continue to add to that total after signing a two-year, $32 million extension.

    On top of that dynamic duo, Conor Gillaspie was the first player from the 2008 class to reach the majors after just 24 games in the minors, while Juan Perez was part of the 2014 World Series team.

    Grade: A

Seattle Mariners

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    Brandon Maurer
    Brandon MaurerOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Josh Fields (1-20)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Bobby LaFromboise (8-252), RHP Brandon Maurer (23-702)

    After not signing as a second-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2007, Josh Fields returned to the University of Georgia for his senior year and posted a 3.38 ERA with 18 saves and 15.2 K/9 in 36 appearances.

    He was traded to the Boston Red Sox at the 2011 deadline and then chosen by the Houston Astros in the 2012 Rule 5 draft. The Astros then flipped him in an August waiver deal in 2016 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a young prospect out of Cuba named Yordan Alvarez.

    Brandon Maurer was traded to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Seth Smith. He had a 22-save season in 2017 but posted a 6.52 ERA in 59.1 innings.

    Grade: D

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Lance Lynn
    Lance LynnPool/Getty Images

    First-Round Picks: 1B Brett Wallace (1-13), RHP Lance Lynn (1-39)

    Other MLB Players: OF Shane Peterson (2-59), 3B Jermaine Curtis (5-155), RHP Eric Fornataro (6-185), IF Alex Castellanos (10-305), 1B Xavier Scruggs (19-575), LHP Sam Freeman (32-965), LHP Kevin Siegrist (41-1,235)

    First baseman Brett Wallace is probably best known as the prospect centerpiece in the deal the St. Louis Cardinals made to acquire Matt Holliday from the Oakland Athletics. He was traded twice more in just over a calendar year but never delivered on his top-prospect status.

    The Cardinals did hit on Lance Lynn with the compensatory pick they received for losing Troy Percival in free agency. The burly right-hander went 72-47 with a 3.38 ERA in 977.2 innings with the Cardinals, winning a World Series ring in 2011 and making the NL All-Star team in 2012.

    Lefty relievers Sam Freeman (81 G, 3.33 ERA) and Kevin Siegrist (269 G, 3.03 ERA) both made a bigger impact than the vast majority of players picked in the 30th round or later, spending multiple seasons in the MLB bullpen.

    Grade: A

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Tim Beckham
    Tim BeckhamJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    First-Round Pick: SS Tim Beckham (1-1)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Kyle Lobstein (2-47)

    The Rays could have had Buster Posey.

    Instead, they rolled the dice on Georgia prep shortstop Tim Beckham, who was the consensus top high school player in the nation.

    "He has five legitimate tools. At the plate he has the ability to be an above-average hitter with average power. He's a solid runner and his athleticism is a part of his everyday game. In the field, Beckham has smooth major league actions with an above-average arm," wrote Baseball America.

    He never approached those lofty expectations, spending six seasons in the majors and hitting .249/.302/.431 for a 98 OPS+ in 472 games. He had a 22-homer, 2.1-WAR season in 2017, and the Rays cut their losses midway through by trading him to the Baltimore Orioles for prospect Tobias Myers.

    The only other player from Tampa Bay's 2008 draft class to reach the majors was Kyle Lobstein, but his debut came after he was plucked from the Tampa Bay organization in the 2012 Rule 5 draft.

    Grade: F

Texas Rangers

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    Justin Smoak
    Justin SmoakGreg Nelson/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 1B Justin Smoak (1-11)

    Other MLB Players: LHP Robbie Ross (2-57), RHP Joe Wieland (4-123), LHP Richard Bleier (6-183), OF Joey Butler (15-453), RHP Justin Miller (16-483), RHP Tanner Roark (25-753), RHP Cody Eppley (43-1,293)

    The Texas Rangers sent Justin Smoak and three prospects to the Seattle Mariners for Cliff Lee at the 2010 trade deadline. The former Cy Young winner helped them reach the World Series before departing in free agency and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies during the offseason.

    While that trade worked out well for the Rangers, the deal that sent Tanner Roark to the Washington Nationals for veteran shortstop Christian Guzman in 2010 proved to be a regrettable decision.

    Lefty reliever Richard Bleier was chosen by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2013 Rule 5 draft, and he bounced around to several teams before breaking out with the Baltimore Orioles in 2017.

    Grade: B

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Eric Thames
    Eric ThamesBrad White/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: 1B David Cooper (1-17)

    Other MLB Players: SS Tyler Pastornicky (5-159), 1B/OF Eric Thames (7-219), LHP Evan Crawford (8-249), C A.J. Jimenez (9-279), RHP Danny Farquhar (10-309), RHP Dustin Antolin (11-339)

    First baseman David Cooper hit .333/.399/.502 with 35 extra-base hits and 51 RBI in 69 games over three minor league levels after signing in 2008, but he struggled to produce at that same clip against upper-level pitching. He would go on to play 72 games in the majors before he was released.

    The name that jumps out here is Eric Thames, who hit .257/.306/.429 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI in 141 games with the Blue Jays before he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Steve Delabar. He then took his career overseas, where he was a superstar in the KBO before returning stateside with the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Tyler Pastornicky was briefly viewed as the shortstop of the future for the Atlanta Braves after they acquired him in the deal that sent Yunel Escobar to the Blue Jays.

    Grade: D

Washington Nationals

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    Danny Espinosa
    Danny EspinosaG Fiume/Getty Images

    First-Round Pick: RHP Aaron Crow (1-9)

    Other MLB Players: OF Destin Hood (2-55), 2B Danny Espinosa (3-87), C Adrian Nieto (5-151), LHP Tommy Milone (10-301), 1B Tyler Moore (16-481), IF Steve Lombardozzi (19-571)

    The Washington Nationals failed to sign No. 9 overall pick Aaron Crow when they were unwilling to meet his above-slot asking price, but they did turn the compensatory pick they received the following year into closer Drew Storen.

    Second baseman Danny Espinosa had a 21-homer rookie season in 2011 to finish sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting, and he tallied 9.5 WAR in seven seasons with the Nationals while playing alongside Ian Desmond up the middle.

    Left-hander Tommy Milone was traded to Oakland along with A.J. Cole, Derek Norris and Brad Peacock in the deal that brought Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals prior to the 2012 season. He has a 4.59 ERA in 927.2 innings over 11 seasons.

    Grade: F


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference. Prospect Rankings via Baseball America unless otherwise noted.