Best Cubs Drafts
I was intrigued by the recent ESPN article that proclaimed the 1968 Los Angeles Dodgers draft to be the best ever. The Dodgers picks that year were exceptional. All told across the various January and June drafts, the Dodgers drafted and signed EIGHT players that would go on to have successful major league careers. They are listed below with their career WAR according to Baseball Reference:
- Ron Cey 53.5
- Davey Lopes 42.2
- Steve Garvey 37.7
- Doyle Alexander 35.5
- Joe Ferguson 21.0
- Geoff Zahn 20.7
- Bill Buckner 14.8
- Tom Paciorek 7.6
Though knowing the Cubs would never come close to that, I decided to see what their best drafts would be. I examined every draft for the Cubs and noted all players with a career WAR (according to Baseball Reference) of 3.0 or higher. For active players, that was 3.0 as of June 4, 2014. The full list by year is below.
I thought 3.0 would be a very low bar and I would see a lot of players, but sadly the Cubs have had eight years through 2005 in which they did not draft and sign even a single player that accumulated that much WAR over their careers. Overall, in most years, the Cubs were lucky to draft one or perhaps two future Major League regulars. The “Best Draft” in Cubs history would probably have to be 1984 with Maddux and Moyer, followed by 1985 with Palmeiro and Grace. The only draft with much depth was 2001 with Prior, Nolasco, Soto, and Theriot.
- 2009: DJ LeMahieu 3.6
- 2008: Andrew Cashner 4.3
- 2007: Josh Donaldson 13.7, Darwin Barney 6.0
- 2006: Jeff Samardzija 5.2
- 2005: NA
- 2004: Jerry Blevins 3.6
- 2003: Sean Marshall 9.7
- 2002: Randy Wells 7.9, Rich Hill 3.2
- 2001: Mark Prior 16.5 , Ricky Nolasco 11.0, Geovony Soto 10.0, Ryan Theriot 6.4
- 2000: Dontrelle Willis 20.3
- 1999: NA
- 1998: Corey Patterson 9.6, Eric Hinske 8.2, Will Ohman 3.5
- 1997: Jon Garland 22.5, Scott Downs 11.1, Michael Wuertz 5.3
- 1996: Kyle Lohse 20.6
- 1995: Kerry Wood 27.7, Justin Speier 7.8
- 1994: Kyle Farnsworth 6.6
- 1993: Jose Molina 3.9, Kevin Orie 3.1
- 1992: NA
- 1991: Steve Trachsel 29.4, Doug Glanville 10.9, Terry Adams 4.4
- 1990: NA
- 1989: NA
- 1988: NA
- 1987: Frank Castillo 7.8, Mike Harkey 6.3
- 1986: Rick Wilkins 13.9, Joe Girardi 5.7, Jerome Walton 3.7
- 1985: Rafael Palmeiro 71.6, Mark Grace 46.1
- 1984: Greg Maddux 106.9, Jamie Moyer 50.4
- 1983: Dave Martinez 19.1, Rich Amaral 5.2
- 1982: Shawon Dunston 11.5
- 1981: Joe Carter 19.3, Darrin Jackson 11.4, Billy Hatcher 3.9
- 1980: Craig Lefferts 9.3
- 1979: Scott Fletcher 32.0
- 1978: Mel Hall 8.7
- 1977: Randy Martz 3.8
- 1976: Ron Davis 5.1
- 1975: Lee Smith 29.6
- 1974: NA
- 1973: Mike Krukow 24.1, Donnie Moore 7.0
- 1972: Ray Burris 16.4
- 1971: Burt Hooton 35.9, Dennis Lamp 15.4
- 1970: Rick Reuschel 70.0
- 1969: Bill North 26.7, Larry Gura 21.7, Roger Metzger 3.9
- 1968: Oscar Gamble 23.0
- 1967: NA
- 1966: Joe Niekro 29.9, Bill Stoneman 4.6
- 1965: Ken Holtzman 27.6, Joe Decker 6.9
crunch 1 hour 6 min ago (view)
...and strop gives up a hit then walks the bases loaded.
...and he closes it out with a K. neat.
this is the 1st cubs road series win since May 17-19 @WAS.
crunch 1 hour 14 min ago (view)
strop comes in to get the last out, but it has to be some kinda slow-walk back in a game that wasn't a save situation.
homer, hbp, k, k...looks healthy.
crunch 1 hour 22 min ago (view)
welcome back kimbrel.
1st pitch goes about 10 miles outside the park by marte.
crunch 1 hour 53 min ago (view)
one takeaway from this game...a slew of cubs players were fans of Hey Arnold! when they were kids.
crunch 2 hours 48 min ago (view)
woo, a good cubs away game.
crunch 4 hours 59 min ago (view)
heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarb / caratini / kemp(2nd) / Q
crunch 6 hours 20 min ago (view)
so stoked for the williamsport game.
the increasing amount of off-site games is a bit concerning (middle of nowhere Field of Dreams field, really?), but I love this one. it's played out great so far and giving the kids playing in the LL series some primo seats (hope this continues) is a great touch.
Arizona Phil 7 hours 41 min ago (view)
Craig Kimbrel reinstated from IL, Duane Underwood Jr optioned to Iowa, Mark Zagunis recalled as the "26th man" for tonight's game (special travel required to get to Williamsport so MLB Comissioner permits 26th man for both clubs).
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
Lester pitched 35 innings today.
crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are around...wtf...
Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!
Who would have thought?
Jackstraw 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series. Left lots of ducks on the pond. Could take some of the pressure off the pen.
Jackstraw 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
You could hit your thumb with a hammer. Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza. Just sayin.
Eric S 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day