Each team's best Draft pick still on the roster
The MLB Draft is next week, and while it can sometimes feel like the MLB Draft is a trailer for a movie you won’t watch for several years, these players will be here faster than you think. It seems like Nick Senzel was just picked second overall, and now here he is, smacking homers for the Reds. The future is nearer than you think.
So, today, we look at the best player currently on each team who was drafted by the team. This ignores free-agent signees, international free agents or players acquired by trade. The best player, right now, on each roster, who was selected by his current team in the Draft. When we do this again in a few years … you’ll see the list include names announced next week.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays -- Marcus Stroman, RHP (1st round, No. 22 overall in 2012)
The Blue Jays picked him out of Duke University, and this year, he has lived up to every expectation they might have had of him. (Just in time to maybe trade him.)
Orioles -- John Means, LHP (11th round in 2014)
Means has been a stealth Rookie of the Year candidate so far and a highlight for an Orioles team that hasn’t had many to choose from.
Rays -- Brandon Lowe, 2B (3rd round in 2015)
Speaking of Rookie of the Year candidates, Lowe has been a revelation for the Rays this year. Eric Milton currently has the highest WAR of any player drafted out of the University of Maryland (16.4), and Lowe seems on track to top that in a few years.
Red Sox -- Mookie Betts, OF (5th round in 2011)
Yes, the 2018 AL Most Valuable Player was a fifth-round pick. Don’t torture yourself by looking at all the players your team chose over him.
Yankees -- Aaron Judge, OF (1st round, No. 32 overall in 2013)
The Yankees had three of the first 33 picks during this Draft, and Judge was sandwiched between Eric Jagielo (No. 26) and Ian Clarkin (No. 33).
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians -- Francisco Lindor, SS (1st round, No. 8 overall in 2011)
This is precisely what you’re looking for with a first-round pick.
Royals -- Hunter Dozier, 1B/3B (1st round, No. 8 overall in 2013)
It took six years, but this year, Dozier has finally become the player the Royals imagined he might someday be.
Tigers -- Nicholas Castellanos, OF (1st round, No. 44 overall in 2010)
The slugger has had a slow start to the season. But even with that, he has been the best Tigers hitter so far in this rough season.
Twins -- Byron Buxton, OF (1st round, No. 2 overall in 2012)
This is why you wait for first-round picks with the pedigree of Buxton to eventually come around. When they finally do, it’s glorious.
White Sox -- Tim Anderson, SS (1st round, No. 17 overall in 2013)
Anderson, soon to be 26 years old, is younger than you probably realize he is. He might end up being here for the long haul, after all.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels -- Mike Trout, OF (1st round, No. 25 overall in 2009)
And now he’s almost certainly going to end his career here. It’s going to be a privilege to get to watch him do it.
Astros -- Alex Bregman, 3B (1st round, No. 2 overall in 2015)
That there are so many players to choose from -- Bregman, George Springer, Carlos Correa -- is yet another reason why the Astros are where they are.
Athletics -- Matt Chapman, 3B (1st round, No. 25 overall in 2014)
Have you noticed how many first-round picks are on this list? That turns out not to be a coincidence. (Fun fact: He was a high school teammate of the Rockies’ entry on this list.)
Mariners -- Kyle Seager, 3B (3rd round in 2009)
It is the most Mariners thing ever that the only player on their entire roster that they drafted didn't play until Saturday this year because of injury.
Rangers -- Joey Gallo, OF (1st round, No. 39 overall in 2012)
This is the culmination season we all dreamed might happen but were not sure ever would. This could turn out to be something amazing.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves -- Freddie Freeman, 1B (2nd round in 2007)
He’s quietly becoming one of the best Braves of all time. And now he has some extremely talented traveling partners along on his journey.
Marlins -- Brian Anderson, 3B/OF (3rd round in 2014)
It would behoove the Marlins to have a lot more players to choose from for this list five years from now than at this precise second.
Mets -- Pete Alonso, 1B (2nd round in 2016)
It’s either him or Michael Conforto (No. 10 overall in 2014). We’ll go with Alonso, at least for now.
Nationals -- Anthony Rendon, 3B (1st round, No. 6 overall in 2011)
It’s tempting to pick Stephen Strasburg, but Rendon was the sixth overall pick in 2011 and is their best player right now. That he was drafted so high is yet another reason it’s so baffling he has glided so far under the radar his whole career.
Phillies -- Rhys Hoskins, 1B (5th round in 2014)
He was a Draft coup that now feels franchise-defining for the Phillies.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers -- Ryan Braun, OF (1st round, No. 5 overall in 2005)
Take your pick between him and Brandon Woodruff, but I’ll go with the guy who was selected 14 years ago, in the first round, in between Ryan Zimmerman and Ricky Romero.
Cardinals -- Paul DeJong, SS (4th round in 2015)
In years past, this would have been Matt Carpenter or Yadier Molina (neither of whom were picked in the first three rounds), but DeJong, the 131st pick in 2015, is an MVP candidate this year.
Cubs -- Javier Baez, SS (1st round, No. 9 overall in 2011)
Half of the Cubs’ regular lineup consists of their own first-round picks. Even with Kris Bryant (the No. 2 overall pick in 2013) around, Baez is still the pick here.
Pirates -- Josh Bell, 1B (2nd round in 2011)
Bell was the second-round pick for the Pirates in 2011. Their first-round pick? Gerrit Cole, who went first overall.
Reds – Joey Votto, 1B (2nd round in 2002)
He’s off to a rough start by his standards, but he’s still the answer until Senzel passes him, which could be sooner than you think.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs -- Archie Bradley, RHP (1st round, No. 7 overall in 2011)
No one currently in the D-backs’ lineup was drafted by the team. Right-hander Taylor Clarke (third round in 2015) started Saturday, but is still trying to earn a regular spot in the pitching rotation.
Dodgers -- Cody Bellinger, OF (4th round in 2013)
Want some hope for all the players picked in the fourth round next week? How about this guy?
Giants -- Madison Bumgarner, LHP (1st round, No. 10 overall in 2007)
The way the season has gone so far for the Giants, we might as well give him this prize one last time.
Padres -- Hunter Renfroe, OF (1st round, No. 13 overall in 2013)
Considering the turnover of the Padres since Renfroe was drafted in 2013, he almost feels like a survivor still being around.
Rockies -- Nolan Arenado, 3B (2nd round in 2009)
It has been 10 years since the Rockies selected their All-World third baseman. It’s looking likely now he’ll be around for another 10. (Fun fact: He was a high school teammate of the A’s entry on this list.)