All-Time MLB Draft – Round 2

The second round of the all-time draft is in the books now. This round saw five players return to their former real-life teams, and plenty of recently retired players came off the board as well.

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.

This is a snake draft, meaning the first pick of the second round will be whoever had the last pick of the first. So the Rays are right back on the board.

1. Tampa Bay Rays – LF: Ed Delahanty

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

11             158         .082        .088       .083      8.0      4.1      70.8       8.3

Boy, if the Rays’ last pick was an off-field distraction, this guy counts as two. His career was cut short because he drunkenly fell off a bridge and died during the season after he led the league in AVG, OBP, and SLG. Not many remember him, but he was the best hitter of the 1890s. Like Alexander, Delahanty could be another steal if the Rays can keep him sober.

2. San Diego Padres – SP: Tom Seaver

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

13           73           78          1.07       3.04      79.0      97.4              31.7

The original Tom Terrific was incredibly consistent. Had a nine-year period in which he led the league in at least one major pitching category every year, even with stiff competition from the likes of Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Gaylord Perry, and Fergie Jenkins. In his Baseball Abstract, Bill James said there’s a case for Seaver to be regarded as the best pitcher ever. While I wouldn’t say that, James certainly wasn’t far off.

3. Philadelphia Phillies – 1B: Albert Pujols

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

12             164         .061        .080       .124       5.3      85.0       7.4

The Machine is having a renaissance year in 2015, so I may have to tack a few years onto his prime later on. As it stands now though, Pujols is the most well-rounded first baseman ever. He’ll likely bat behind Trout in Philadelphia, as he does now in Anaheim.

4. Seattle Mariners – CF: Ken Griffey, Jr.

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

11             145         .030        .044       .129        7.1       7.3      71.4       7.4

Keeping with their recent trend of acquiring power hitters, Seattle brings back the Kid. Over the course of his twenties, he hit 382 home runs (second most of any player in his twenties) and won a Gold Glove every year. If he can stay healthy, which he simply couldn’t do after he turned 30, he’ll reach his full career potential.

5. Colorado Rockies – RF: Mel Ott

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

18             158        .026        .075       .116        12.1      2.9      111.2       7.0

Over his impressively long 18-year peak, Ott averaged 102 runs scored and RBI per year. He was a major league regular from age 19 to 36. Ott benefitted greatly from playing in the Polo Grounds, which had foul posts closer to the plate than in any other stadium, but playing in the thin air of Denver should ensure that his slugging numbers aren’t, well, sluggish.

6. Miami Marlins – 2B: Joe Morgan

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

12             143        .023        .076       .041        64.2    -1.3     78.6       7.2

Morgan was the best player on Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine of the 1970s. His high OBP and quickness make him an ideal leadoff or #2 hitter, and he has some pop, too. His negative fielding value contradicts his five Gold Gloves, so I’m assuming the truth is somewhere in the middle.

7. Texas Rangers – 3B: George Brett

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

14             143        .051        .054       .068        4.6     78.0       6.8

Brett and Mike Schmidt were picked back-to-back in the second round of the 1971 MLB draft. Brett was the better all-around hitter of the two, and was also above average in the field. He’s not a major power hitter, but his home run total should be high considering the 109 home run factor for lefties in Arlington.

8. Baltimore Orioles – RF: Frank Robinson

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

19            153         .034        .061       .108        15.5     1.4      102.9      6.1

Often forgotten because he played at the same time as Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Roberto Clemente, Robinson is another one of those players with extended peaks that kept on going. He returns to the city in which he won a Triple Crown in 1966.

9. New York Mets – 3B: Wade Boggs

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

10            146         .078        .102       -.014       8.1      69.2      7.6

The best on-base machine left on the board, and an interesting top-of-the-lineup guy in that he couldn’t run. But “Chicken Man” could hit for average as well as anyone, and he wasn’t just a singles hitter – over his peak, he averaged 40 doubles per season. He also had Gold Glove-caliber defense, even better than his two awards would suggest.

10. Milwaukee Brewers – SS: Arky Vaughan

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

12           139         .043        .068       .023        19.2     1.3      70.6       6.8

Bill James ranks Vaughan as the second-greatest shortstop ever, but that was before A-Rod had finished his career. He’s the best-hitting shortstop left on the board though, so it makes sense that the Brewers want to put him in hitter-friendly Miller Park. Positive contributor in all phases of offense.

11. Minnesota Twins – SP: Bob Gibson

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

13           73           77          1.14       2.60       79.0      90.4              43.7

Gibby is probably the most fearless pitcher in major league history. His 1968 season in which he posted a modern-day record 1.12 ERA still stands as one of the greatest single-season performances by any player. He was also one of the great postseason pitchers ever, recording 92 Ks in 81 World Series innings with a 1.89 ERA. He completed 8 of his 9 starts and won World Series MVP twice.

12. Washington Nationals – LF: Shoeless Joe Jackson

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

9            165          .087        .083       .075        1.3      59.7       7.4

Despite hitting .373, .382, .395, and .408 in various seasons throughout his career, Shoeless Joe never won a batting title. He’s still one of the greatest hitters the game’s ever seen, though. He was banned from baseball for his part in the Black Sox Scandal after a 7.7 WAR season, suggesting that he had plenty left in the tank.

13. Kansas City Royals – Johnny Bench

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

13            129         .006        .014       .093        6.7      72.9       6.4

The first catcher to come off the board, Bench is the, uh, benchmark against whom all great catchers are measured. He’ll produce right away, too – Bench had the 11th most valuable age-22 and age-24 seasons in MLB history.

14. Houston Astros – SP: Roy Halladay

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

11            67           70         1.11        4.52       62.9      70.4              -2.2

Before jumping to the conclusion that it’s too early to decide Halladay’s place among the greats, take a look at how his stats measure up around those drafted around him. He’s the 12th pitcher to come off the board, and I think it’s well-deserved. Not only are his rate stats outstanding, he’s also the most durable pitcher of the last generation, leading the league in complete games seven times.

15. Atlanta Braves – 1B: Johnny Mize

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

10           167          .049        .065       .145        1.2      62.5       7.2

Mize’s career WAR jumps to 82.6 if we give him credit for the three years he spent in the military during WWII. He didn’t let the war hinder him, though – Mize hit 51 homers in his first full year back from service. He was incredibly consistent, too, posting no lower than 155 wRC+ in any peak season I measured.

16. Toronto Blue Jays – 1B: Hank Greenberg

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

8            160          .034        .054       .176        2.0      55.1       7.8

The slection of Greenberg makes it back-to-back WWII-era first basemen. The Hebrew Hammer is essentially the same player as Mize, but he bats right-handed and hits less for average and more for power. The 110 home run factor for righties in Rogers Centre must have him drooling.

17. Oakland Athletics – CF: Billy Hamilton

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

11           146         .068         .109        -.011       70.6    3.0      63.1       7.8

This isn’t the current speedy center fielder who plays for the Reds. This Billy Hamilton played in the 1890s and is still third on the all-time stolen base list. Billy Beane, the A’s GM, has shown a preference toward guys who walk a lot, and Hamilton fits the bill. There have been few better players better-equipped to bat leadoff.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks – C: Mike Piazza

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

10           152          .058        .054       .102       -3.6     58.1       6.9

Piazza is one of the worst defensive catchers I measured, but he more than makes up for it with his prolific skills with the bat. I’ll take the weakness behind the plate to get a guy who can bat .362 with 40 home runs in a season as a catcher, which he did in 1997. Hitter-friendly Chase Field will augment his already impressive stats.

19. Los Angeles Angels – SP: Sandy Koufax

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

6             63          68          0.97       4.16       46.3      52.3              32.5

He has the shortest peak of any player measured so far, but that’s mainly due to the Dodgers handling his elbow injury poorly by overworking him. It certainly wasn’t because he was ineffective – Koufax posted a 1.73 ERA with 317 Ks his last year in the league. In fact, leading up to his retirement, he led the league in ERA five straight years and in FIP six straight. Koufax also had a career 0.95 ERA in the World Series.

20. Chicago Cubs – SS: Ernie Banks

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

7             139          .026        .024       .129        8.3     48.2       7.4

Mr. Cub also had a short peak, which was also due to injuries. His problems stemmed from his service time in the Korean War, which gave him knee problems late in his career and forced a move to first base. In this scenario, we’ll assume this injury didn’t happen since it occurred outside the diamond. We don’t know how long Banks’ peak would’ve lasted if he’d stayed healthy, but regardless, his actual peak was extremely impressive.

21. Cincinnati Reds – 3B: Chipper Jones

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

13           148         .043         .068       .078       4.9      -2.3     72.2       6.2

Larry Wayne Jones was every bit as good at the plate as the four third basemen selected before him, but was actually the worst fielding third baseman I measured. It doesn’t really matter though. This lineup is already starting to look scary, with Jones probably batting behind Lou Gehrig in Chicago’s batting order.

22. Chicago White Sox – C: Gary Carter

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

10            128         .011        .018        .075       10.9     58.9      6.6

Carter is fifth all-time in career home runs as a catcher, and also fifth in ISO+ among the backstops I measured. His style of hitting will play well at US Cellular Field, which has the second best home run factor for righties at 114. Carter also ranks first among catchers in average fielding runs added to his team that I measured.

23. Pittsburgh Pirates – Roberto Clemente

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

13            143          .068       .050       .045       10.4     72.7       6.5

Clemente batted .312 with a 135 wRC+ and 4.0 WAR in 102 games at age 37 before his premature death that October. He had one of the best outfield arms the game has ever seen, which helps explain his high fielding runs score. The Pirates will probably get a nice attendance boost the most celebrated figure in team history returns to the Steel City.

24. Detroit Tigers – SP: Curt Schilling

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

14           78           74          1.11        4.70      76.6      77.3               29.2

Schill had excellent control over his long career, and even led the league in K/BB at age 39. His ERA wasn’t quite as good as his FIP would suggest, and it can’t really be explained by poor defense, so he gets a knock there. Still, the man best known for his bloody sock is the best pitcher available, and his gritty attitude will mesh perfectly with the blue-collar vibe of Detroit.

25. Cleveland Indians – LF: Carl Yastrzemski

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

13            143         .034        .064       .057       11.5     75.5       6.2

The Indians pick up Yaz right before the Sox get a chance to take him. Perhaps some revenge for the 2007 ALCS? Yaz will have to deal with another tall left field wall in Cleveland, but not nearly as high as the Green Monster. Speaking of monsters, Yaz was scary good in left field, posting some of the best outfield defense numbers I measured and winning seven Gold Gloves.

26. Boston Red Sox – 2B: Charlie Gehringer

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

14            129          .038       .048       .034       2.9      77.3       26.1

This player earned his nickname of Mechanical Man – he was one of the more consistent players in the league, and he led the AL in games played four times. Over the course of his long career, he averaged 13 HR, 40 doubles, and 10 triples per 162 games. I expect to see lots of those triples turn into doubles off the Green Monster.

27. St. Louis Cardinals – SP: Kid Nichols

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

14           71           87          1.23       1.44       72.8       118.7            41.8

Nichols was one of the first great aces of baseball. His enormous 16-point ERA-FIP gap suggests that he can consistently outperform his peripherals, even if he got a little help from an outstanding Beaneaters defense.

28. Los Angeles Dodgers – SP: Mike Mussina

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

17           82           79          1.19       3.61       81.5       80.5             -20.6

Yes, I do think Mussina is a second-round talent. His peak encompassed his entire career, and his numbers hold up against anyone, regardless of era. “Moose” also won seven Gold Gloves.

29. San Francisco Giants – SS: George Davis

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

14           123         .032         .036       .026       35.6     9.4     75.3       23.9

Davis wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame until 90 years after he retired, but he was more than deserving of the honor. He spent most of his career with the New York Giants in the 1890s, and he was just as valuable at age 35 as he was at 22. He was also probably the best fielding shortstop of his era.

30. New York Yankees – SP: Steve Carlton

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

17           82           84          1.21       2.45      89.5      94.4              34.1

New York needs a southpaw to neutralize left-handed power hitters at Yankee Stadium, and who better to do that than a guy nicknamed “Lefty”? Carlton was one of the great iron men of the game whose best seasons were from age 35 to 38, and he’s ninth all-time in innings pitched.


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