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

Comments

this 1/2 inning interview with "the dude who made the shawn-o-meter" 25 years ago is one of the most nervously awkward things in the booth of a cubs game in quite a while...and edwin jackson pitching a slow inning doesn't help. ...and they send him home "early" after a long string of questions and ejax's 2nd walk in a row with 1 out.

aw bummer...Don Zimmer passes away at age 83.

Story on Popeye calling the triple steal

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1893&da...

cubs lead! ejax in line for the win.

RIP Popeye

Eloy looks huge standing next to Manny. https://twitter.com/iplbaseball_rd/status/474...

That's Eloy Jimenez on the left, Manny Ramirez in the middle, and Gleyber Torres on the right

This kid is 17? He may grow more. Where are they gonna put all of him?

Power forward. #4 in the current lingo.

I wonder what happened with Paul Blackburn last night at Kane County: 30 pitches...2/3 IP, 3 walks...1hit, 2 ER. Ugh

Recent comments

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  • crunch 2 hours 23 min ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.

     

  • bradsbeard 6 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 19 min ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.

     

  • Hagsag 17 hours 29 min ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 

     

  • azbobbop 1 day 10 min ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.

     

  • tim815 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:

    RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN

     

  • Childersb3 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    AzP,

    Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.

     

  • tim815 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.

     

  • crunch 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.

    as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.

    it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.

     

  • Cubster 4 days 35 min ago (view)

    Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.