All-Time MLB Draft: Round 1, Picks 11-30

A quick refresher on the stats:

AVG+, OBP+, and ISO+ are how many points above and below league average each of that hitters’ stats are.

BsR is how may runs a player contributed on the basepaths. This includes stealing and advancing to third on hits.

Fld is fielding runs above average determined by Ultimate Zone Rating since 2002 and Total Zone before that.

WAR/162 is the Wins Above Replacement a player would be expected to produce in a full modern-day season playing every game.

Def is the runs above average per year each pitchers’ defenses were. I included this in attempt to explain large gaps between some pitchers’ ERAs and FIPs.

We continue the draft with the lovable losers. Let’s see who they think can turn their fortunes around.

11. Chicago Cubs – 1B: Lou Gehrig

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

12             180         .062        .101        .176       0.1      108.0      9.5

Long the Robin to Ruth’s Batman, Gehrig won’t be playing second fiddle to anyone in Chicago. His wRC+ is third highest of all the peak seasons I’ve compiled, and of course, it’s nice to count on a player taking the field every day like the Iron Horse did.

  1. Los Angeles Angels – CF: Tris Speaker

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

18             161         .072        .087        .065       5.9      5.1      127.2     8.1

I was tempted to bring Mike Trout back to Anaheim, but Speaker’s skill set plays better in spacious Angel Stadium. In addition to his superior contact skills, Speaker had such confidence in his fielding range that he used to play closer to second base than the outfield wall.

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks – RF: Hank Aaron

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

19             159         .051        .054        .127       25.4    5.3      132.8     7.6

Still the all-time record holder for career RBI and total bases, Aaron had a ridiculously long 19-year peak, and should probably be regarded as the most consistent player ever. He hit .300 with 35 homers like clockwork, rarely missed a game, and also was excellent in right field and on the basepaths. I wouldn’t expect anything but the same in hitter-friendly Chase Field.

  1. Oakland Athletics – SP: Randy Johnson

Years     ERA-     FIP-     WHIP    K/BB    WAR     RA9WAR    Def

12           63           61          1.08       4.28      92.3      91.0              19.1

Maybe it’s because his career ended recently, but I don’t think most people realize how dominant Randy Johnson was. Almost as impressive as his numbers is the fact that he started his 12-year peak at age 29. Led the league in ERA-, FIP-, WHIP, and K’s at age 40.

  1. Toronto Blue Jays – LF: Stan Musial

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

16             166         .069        .083       .104       5.2      3.1      116.7      7.9

This guy gets all kinds of hits: doubles, triples, and home runs. He doesn’t discriminate. The artificial turf at the Rogers Centre will make sure those extra-base hits will be plentiful. From 1943 to 1954: led league in doubles 8 times; AVG, SLG, and total bases 6 times; OBP, runs scored, and triples 5 times.

  1. Atlanta Braves – SP: Pedro Martinez

Years     ERA-     FIP-     WHIP    K/BB    WAR     RA9WAR    Def

12           61           63          1.01       4.53       79.0      84.3              16.3

Pedro has the lowest ERA- that I measured, and owns, in my opinion, the two greatest single-season pitching performances ever, which were posted in back-to-back years (1999 and 2000). I mean, a 1.74 ERA in the highest-scoring year since the Treaty of Paris? In the bandbox that is Fenway Park? Wicked good.

  1. Houston Astros – 3B: Mike Schmidt

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

14             153         .006        .051        .145       9.4      102.9      7.9

I expect to see plenty of baseballs launched beyond the train tracks at Minute Maid Park by this slugger. Only Babe Ruth has led his league in home runs more often than the 8 times Schmidt did. Some people can’t get past that low batting average, but his high walk rate and premium power more than make up for it.

  1. Kansas City Royals – 2B: Eddie Collins

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

18            146         .063        .086        .003      43.0    2.6      116.7      7.4

His nickname was Cocky, and so he should have been. He immediately slots as the leadoff of #2 hitter thanks to his astronomical OBP and great speed. Collins posted 12 seasons with double-digit triples.

  1. Washington Nationals – SP: Lefty Grove

Years     ERA-     FIP-     WHIP    K/BB    WAR     RA9WAR    Def

14           64           73          1.24       2.11      83.9       108.5            33.1

In his Baseball Abstract, Bill James ranked Grove as the second best pitcher of all time. I essentially came to the same conclusion, as three of the four pitchers picked before him hadn’t yet finished their careers at the time he wrote the book. In Grove, the Nats get a guy who vastly outperforms his FIP, which is already terrific.

  1. Minnesota Twins – CF: Joe DiMaggio

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

12             154        .052        .046        .131        3.9      80.3      8.0

If you give Joltin’ Joe credit for the three prime seasons he lost to World War II, assuming he played at the same level as he did before and after, his career WAR jumps to 102.6. Top-level contributor in all phases of the game.

  1. Milwaukee Brewers – 1B: Jimmie Foxx

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

14             163         .041        .073        .162       2.0      99.8      8.0

The dude’s nickname was “beast.” In Miller Park, one of the more hitter-friendly parks in baseball, Foxx should put up gaudy slugging numbers. If he didn’t play at the same time as Ruth and Gehrig, he would’ve been remembered as the best player of his era.

  1. New York Mets – SP: Cy Young

Years     ERA-     FIP-     WHIP    K/BB    WAR     RA9WAR    Def

18           71           78          1.13       2.37       122.0     171.3             29.8

One of my favorite stats: of the 815 games Young started, he went the distance in 749 of them. I don’t care if complete games were more common when he played – a 92% CG rate still boggles my mind. Another fun stat: hitters dominated so much early in his career that he led the league with 0.99 K/BB in 1893. Led league in that statistic 11 times and FIP, WHIP, and shutouts 7 times.

  1. Baltimore Orioles – LF: Rickey Henderson

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

14             145         .034        .087       .026      117.0   8.6      92.2      7.8

There’s no player you’d put at the top of your lineup over Henderson. The Man of Steal gets on base and swipes a bag as often as anyone. He added over 8 runs per year with his baserunning alone! Throw in a little pop in his bat plus gold glove-caliber defense and you have an all-around superstar.

  1. Texas Rangers – SS: Alex Rodriguez

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

13            150         .036        .051        .114        35.8    1.7       97.4      8.0

The most polarizing player in the game today returns to the place where he put up his best seasons. He’s eligible as a shortstop because we’re taking each player at the beginning of his peak.

  1. Miami Marlins – SP: Greg Maddux

Years     ERA-     FIP-     WHIP    K/BB    WAR     RA9WAR    Def

14           64           70          1.08       3.72      92.0      103.0           72.1

Maddux was great through his whole peak, but one four-year period stands out to me. From 1992 to 1995, he led the NL in innings pitched, ERA-, and FIP- every year, and WHIP three seasons. His cumulative ERA was 1.98, and he won the Cy Young Award each of those years.

  1. Colorado Rockies – 3B: Eddie Mathews

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

13             149         .017        .059       .110        4.2      3.2      88.7       7.4

Mathews routinely crushed the baseball, and in the thin air at Coors Field, he’ll hit plenty of tape-measure dingers. Fun fact: Mathews, not Hank Aaron, holds the Milwaukee Braves record for career home runs.

  1. Seattle Mariners – SP: Christy Mathewson

Years     ERA-     FIP-     WHIP    K/BB    WAR     RA9WAR    Def

13           68           73          1.05      3.02      84.9       108.4           22.2

Mathewson has to be excited about playing in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. Led the league in FIP 8 times out of a 10-year period and had another 10-year stretch in which he led in K/BB 9 times.

  1. Philadelphia Phillies – CF: Mike Trout

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     BsR     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

3             170          .062        .091        .168       24.9    2.6      28.4       10.1

The Millville Meteor was a Philadelphia fan growing up, and the Phils reward his fanhood by putting him in an excellent hitter’s park. No player’s first three seasons have been as good as Trout’s, and his fourth is shaping up to be just as good. If I were to re-draft in 10 years, Trout may be going ahead of the likes of Mantle and Bonds.

  1. San Diego Padres – 2B: Nap Lajoie

Years     wRC+     AVG+     OBP+     ISO+     Fld     WAR     WAR/162

17             154         .084        .068       .055      5.9      100.9     7.9

Often forgotten because he played around the turn of the 20th century, Lajoie is a perfect fit in San Diego. His ability to hit for average overcomes the terrible hitting environment of Petco Park. Fun fact: the Cleveland Indians were known for a while as the Naps, in honor of Lajoie, their captain.

  1. Tampa Bay Rays – SP: Pete Alexander

Years     ERA-     FIP-     WHIP    K/BB    WAR     RA9WAR    Def

16           71           79          1.11        2.37      90.5       122.6            35.3

The Rays could be getting a steal here. Old Pete put up excellent numbers, but they might have been even better were it not for his drinking problems. If the Rays can keep him clean, they may have made the best pick in the first round.


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