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
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.
Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!
What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.
Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...
Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.