Every No. 1 overall Draft pick in MLB history
The Pirates won the inaugural MLB Draft lottery on Tuesday night, meaning they will make the No. 1 overall pick for July's 2023 Draft in Seattle.
This marks the sixth time that Pittsburgh has had the top pick in the Draft -- and the second time in the last three years. The Pirates drafted catcher Henry Davis out of Louisville in 2021.
With great power comes great responsibility, and that old adage holds true in the MLB Draft. A team has the pick of thousands of talented high school and collegiate ballplayers when it holds the No. 1 overall pick, and the player it eventually chooses could have long-lasting consequences -- for better or worse.
History shows drafting in baseball is an extremely inexact science, and one doesn't need to look any further for proof than the list of players chosen with the top overall pick. Some of them went on to change the courses of history for both their clubs and the Major Leagues as a whole. Others, sadly, never fulfilled the potential accompanying their lofty statuses thanks to unforeseen circumstances.
Here's a look at all the No. 1 overall picks in history dating back to the event's first installment in 1965.
(Note: The positions listed are the positions each player manned at the time he was drafted. WAR totals are up to date through the 2022 season and courtesy of Baseball-Reference.)
2022: Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles
School: Stillwater HS (Stillwater, Okla.)
Career WAR: N/A
The son of seven-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday, Jackson was the Orioles' second No. 1 overall pick in the last four seasons. After taking Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State in 2019, they went the prep route in 2022, taking the 18-year-old left-handed-hitting shortstop from the same Oklahoma high school his dad attended. Holliday then posted a .911 OPS in his 20-game pro debut.
2021: Henry Davis, C, Pirates
Career WAR: N/A
This was the fifth time Pittsburgh held the No. 1 pick, and it surprised some by opting for Davis, a right-handed hitter with stellar power and a plus-plus throwing arm. After the Draft went 17 years without a catcher being taken first, Davis was the second backstop to go No. 1 in a three-year span, and the Pirates will hope he's part of the next great Bucs squad. He reached Double-A in 2022
2020: Spencer Torkelson, 3B, Tigers
School: Arizona State
Career WAR: -1.3
Torkelson manned first base in college, but the Tigers announced him as a third baseman to make him the first No. 1 overall pick announced at the hot corner since Pat Burrell in 1998. Torkelson shattered Barry Bonds' freshman home run record at Arizona State and finished just a few homers shy of the school's career record set by Bob Horner -- another No. 1 overall pick. However, his entry to the Majors in 2022 was a rocky one.
2019: Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles
School: Oregon State
Career WAR: 5.2
As was widely anticipated, the Orioles took Rutschman first overall. He became the first catcher to be taken first overall since Joe Mauer in 2001. The 2019 Draft was just the second time the Orioles had the first overall pick -- they took Ben McDonald first overall in 1989. Rutschman debuted in Baltimore on May 21, helping usher in a new era of Orioles baseball and finishing second in the AL Rookie of the Year Award race.
2018: Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers
Career WAR: 2.7
As many expected, Mize went first overall to the Tigers and he joined 2009 top pick Stephen Strasburg as players to go from undrafted out of high school to the top overall pick in college. Mize twirled a no-hitter in the Minors and showed promise as a rookie in 2021 but made just two starts this past season before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
2017: Royce Lewis, SS, Twins
School: JSerra Catholic HS (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Career WAR: 0.3
Lewis was a surprise No. 1 pick to some talent evaluators, but he was the top-rated high school prospect in the 2017 Draft thanks to his premier athleticism both at the plate and at the shortstop position. Injuries have put a damper on his pro career thus far, with the latest (a re-torn ACL in his right knee) interrupting a strong MLB debut after 12 games this May.
2016: Mickey Moniak, OF, Phillies
School: La Costa Canyon HS (Carlsbad, Calif.)
Career WAR: -1.3
Moniak cited the great Mickey Mantle as his favorite baseball player, but for his talents on the field much more so than the common name. The Phillies believed they found their next great outfielder when they used their No. 1 pick on Moniak, who slugged .921 in his senior season at La Costa Canyon. But Moniak only recorded 12 hits over bits of three seasons in a Phillies uniform before he was traded to the Angels in August as part of a swap for Noah Syndergaard.
2015: Dansby Swanson, SS, D-backs
School: Vanderbilt University
Career WAR: 14.5
Swanson had an unforgettable Draft day, hitting a homer in the NCAA Super Regional final for the Commodores and then watching the D-backs select him with the No. 1 overall pick. Arizona traded Swanson to Atlanta that winter, much to the Braves' benefit. Swanson became a solid everyday shortstop with the club, helping it to a World Series title in 2021 and making his first All-Star team in '22 before becoming a free agent.
2014: Brady Aiken, LHP, Astros
School: Cathedral Catholic HS (San Diego, Calif.)
Career WAR: N/A
At age 17, the southpaw Aiken drew comparisons to Clayton Kershaw and Andy Pettitte. Standing 6-foot-4, Aiken appeared to have the whole package as the Astros continued to rebuild with their third consecutive No. 1 overall pick. Health issues and a disagreement over Aiken's signing bonus precluded him from signing with Houston before the July 18 deadline, however, making him the first No. 1 pick not to sign since Tim Belcher in 1983. Aiken underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2015, then was selected 17th overall by Cleveland two months later. He hasn't pitched in a professional game since April 2019.
2013: Mark Appel, RHP, Astros
School: Stanford University
Career WAR: 0.3
The Pirates selected Appel with the eighth pick of the 2012 Draft, but the right-hander opted to return to Stanford for his senior season instead of signing with Pittsburgh. Houston took Appel No. 1 overall in '13, but the righty was unable to rise through the ranks and the Astros traded him to the Phillies. Elbow and shoulder injuries followed for Appel, who eventually announced in February 2018 that he was stepping away from baseball. But that was just a prelude to an inspiring comeback that saw Appel finally make his long-awaited Major League debut for Philly on June 29.
2012: Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
School: Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
Career WAR: 39.5
Correa emanated star potential from the get-go. The hulking shortstop captured the American League Rookie of the Year Award at age 20, helped Puerto Rico reach the final of the 2017 World Baseball Classic and helped lead the Astros to their first World Series title later that fall. He produced 34.1 WAR for Houston before signing as a free agent with the Twins this past offseason.
2011: Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates
Career WAR: 33.7
Originally drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2008 Draft, Cole chose UCLA instead and developed his high-velocity arsenal to convince the Pirates to take him first overall three years later. As a rookie in 2013, Cole helped the moribund Pirates achieve their first winning season and secure their first postseason berth in 20 years. He led them to the Wild Card Game as staff ace again in '15 before Pittsburgh traded him to Houston in January 2018. Cole reached another level in the Lone Star State, earning All-Star bids twice with the Astros and finishing second in Cy Young voting in 2019 before signing a massive nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees.
2010: Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
School: Southern Nevada College
Career WAR: 42.5
Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2009 at the age of 16, and he is one phenom who lived up to the hype. He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2012 at the age of 19, and was named the unanimous NL MVP in 2015 when he hit a league-leading 42 homers. Harper began the next chapter of his career when he inked a record-setting 13-year, $330 million free-agent deal with the Phillies before the '19 campaign, nabbing his second NL MVP Award in '21. At age 30, he's already the sixth-most-valuable No. 1 pick ever.
2009: Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals
School: San Diego State University
Career WAR: 32.3
Among the most closely-watched pitching prospects in baseball history, Strasburg and his electric arsenal made him a no-brainer No. 1 pick for Washington. Strasburg signed for a record $15.1 million, then quickly rose through the ranks and delivered one of the most memorable debuts in history: A 14-strikeout performance against the Pirates in front of a raucous crowd at Nationals Park. Strasburg paced the NL with 242 strikeouts in 2014, memorably struck out 22 batters over two starts against the Cubs in the 2017 NLDS and was World Series MVP for the Nationals in 2019. However, injuries have severely limited him since then.
2008: Tim Beckham, SS, Rays
School: Griffin (Ga.) HS
Career WAR: 3.2
Designated as a legitimate five-tool player out of high school, Beckham has shown flashes of his potential over the years but struggled to turn that into consistent performance over parts of seven seasons with the Rays, Orioles, Mariners and Twins. He was out of the Majors from 2020-21 before returning to appear in 12 games for Minnesota in '22.
2007: David Price, LHP, Rays
School: Vanderbilt University
Career WAR: 40.1
Price found himself on Tampa Bay's roster just a year after the Draft, and he made an immediate impact by earning the save in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS against the Red Sox to spur the Rays to their first World Series appearance. From there, Price developed into the Rays' ace. The southpaw started the 2010 All-Star Game for the AL and captured his first Cy Young Award in '12 after leading the Junior Circuit with 20 wins and a 2.56 ERA. Price went on to help the Tigers, Blue Jays and Red Sox to postseason appearances as one of the most accomplished starters in baseball, and claimed his first World Series ring with some clutch October outings for Boston in 2018. He was traded to the Dodgers along with Mookie Betts prior to the 2020 season, and helped Los Angeles win that year's World Series.
2006: Luke Hochevar, RHP, Royals
School: University of Tennessee
Career WAR: 3.7
Hochevar was drafted by the Dodgers both out of high school (39th round) and after his sophomore year at Tennessee (40th overall), but he didn't sign either time. He blossomed as a junior instead, striking out 154 batters with a 2.26 ERA while going 15-3 for Tennessee to earn SEC Pitcher of the Year Honors and the Roger Clemens Award (given to the nation's top NCAA Division I pitcher) before Kansas City selected him first overall. Hochevar struggled with consistency as a starter at the big league level and ultimately had to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2014, but he eventually returned as a valuable setup man for the resurgent Royals. In 2015, Hochevar went into the history books as the winning pitcher in Kansas City's decisive Game 5 victory over the Mets in the World Series.
2005: Justin Upton, SS, D-backs
School: Great Bridge HS (Chesapeake, Va.)
Career WAR: 32.3
Drafted as a shortstop out of high school, Upton's head-turning power was clear from the start. Upton moved to the outfield as a professional and helped lead Arizona to a surprise three-game sweep of the Cubs in the 2007 NLDS. He earned the first of four All-Star Game selections in 2009 and has launched more than 300 home runs during his time with the D-backs, Braves, Padres, Tigers, Angels and Mariners.
2004: Matt Bush, SS, Padres
School: Mission Bay HS (San Diego, Calif.)
Career WAR: 2.5
Originally drafted as a shortstop, Bush encountered a long and winding road to the Majors. Bush was suspended before his first professional at-bat after he was involved in an altercation, and a series of off-field incidents followed as both the Padres and Blue Jays traded him and then the Rays released him following the 2012 season. Bush was converted to a pitcher along the way, and his high-90s fastball eventually earned him a callup with the Rangers in May 2016. He stayed with Texas until the club traded him to Milwaukee in August.
2003: Delmon Young, OF, Rays
School: Adolfo Camarillo (Calif.) HS
Career WAR: 3.2
The younger brother of two-time All-Star Dmitri Young, Delmon was highly touted and the hype swelled after he was named Baseball America's 2005 Minor League Player of the Year. Young finished second in the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year vote before the Rays traded him to the Twins in a deal involving pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Bartlett. He hit 21 home runs and drove in 112 runs while finishing 10th in AL MVP voting with Minnesota in 2010 before helping the Tigers and Orioles to ALCS appearances.
2002: Bryan Bullington, RHP, Pirates
School: Ball State University
Career WAR: -0.2
Bullington captured attention after going 15-0 during his senior year of high school before earning first-team All-American honors at Ball State. Bullington made his Pirates debut in September 2006 before undergoing surgery for a torn labrum on his pitching shoulder. Pittsburgh designated Bullington for assignment in 2008 and he went on to make 20 combined Major League appearances for the Indians, Blue Jays and Royals before going on to find success in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League.
2001: Joe Mauer, C, Twins
School: Cretin HS (St. Paul, Minn.)
Career WAR: 55.2
As local a hero as it gets in modern baseball, the Twins drafted this three-sport Minnesota high school star at the top of the 2001 Draft and watched Mauer develop into one of the sweetest-swinging catchers in recent history. Mauer became the first backstop to claim the AL batting title in 2006 -- his first of three batting crowns -- and captured the '09 AL MVP after leading the Junior Circuit in average, OBP and slugging. Mauer helped lead the Twins to four AL Central division titles in a span of seven seasons from 2004-10, and collected his 2,000th career hit in 2018 before retiring at the end of the season. The Twins retired Mauer's No. 7 in June 2019.
2000: Adrián González, 1B, Marlins
School: Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Career WAR: 43.5
The first infielder to be taken first overall since Alex Rodriguez in 1993, González was traded by the Marlins in June 2003 to the Rangers, who promptly dealt him to the Padres that offseason. It was in San Diego that the powerful González became a franchise icon, etching his name into the top five of several of the Padres' all-time offensive lists before he was traded to the Red Sox in December 2010. González was an All-Star again for Boston in 2011 before moving on to the Dodgers via a mega-deal in August 2012. He paced the NL with 116 RBIs for Los Angeles in 2014 and helped lead the Dodgers to five straight NL West titles from 2013-17.
1999: Josh Hamilton, OF, Rays
School: Athens Drive HS (Raleigh, N.C.)
Career WAR: 28.2
Hamilton was considered a can't-miss prospect with prodigious power before injuries and a drug addiction set his career on a roller-coaster path. The outfielder resurfaced with an excellent rookie season for the Reds in 2007, followed by a breathtaking stretch of power with the Rangers that included a legendary performance in the '08 Home Run Derby, the '10 AL MVP and back-to-back World Series appearances in '10 and '11. Injuries again slowed Hamilton after he signed a 5-year, $125 million deal with the Angels in December 2012.
1998: Pat Burrell, 3B, Phillies
School: University of Miami
Career WAR: 18.9
A Golden Spikes Award winner with the Hurricanes, Burrell placed fourth in the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year vote before belting a career-high 37 home runs in '02 for the Phillies. Burrell (33 homers) served as a main power source alongside Ryan Howard and Chase Utley for the Philadelphia club that captured the '08 World Series title, and proved to be a valuable veteran piece on the Giants' world championship club two years later.
1997: Matt Anderson, RHP, Tigers
School: Rice University
Career WAR: -0.6
Anderson set numerous career records at Rice and owned a sub-1.00 ERA in the Minors before the Tigers called him up to be a reliever at age 21 in 1998. Anderson started strong as a rookie but could never find that form in subsequent years, finishing his big league career with a 5.19 ERA over 257 relief appearances for the Tigers and Rockies.
1996: Kris Benson, RHP, Pirates
School: Clemson University
Career WAR: 12.9
An undefeated junior season at Clemson earned Benson the top overall slot, and hopes were high in Pittsburgh after the righty placed fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1999 and followed up with an even better season in 2000. Benson unfortunately required Tommy John surgery immediately after that campaign, but rallied to record three more productive seasons for the Mets and Orioles between '04-'06.
1995: Darin Erstad, OF, Angels
School: University of Nebraska
Career WAR: 32.3
Both a talented collegiate hitter and a starting punter for the football team at Nebraska, Erstad's athleticism translated to a highly productive 14-year career in the Major Leagues. Beloved by Angels fans, Erstad led the AL with 240 hits and batted .355 in 2000 while also becoming the first leadoff hitter in history to record 100 RBIs. Two years later, Erstad helped lead the Angels to their first World Series title with a key home run in Game 6 against the Giants. Erstad became the first player in MLB history to win a Gold Glove Award as both an outfielder and an infielder when he was honored at first base in '04.
1994: Paul Wilson, RHP, Mets
School: Florida State University
Career WAR: 2.0
Part of the Mets' hyped "Generation K" alongside Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher, Wilson never quite fulfilled expectations over parts of seven Major League seasons. Wilson's best season came in 2004 with the Reds, when the righty went 11-6 with a 4.36 ERA over 29 starts.
1993: Alex Rodriguez, SS, Mariners
School: Westminster Christian HS (Miami, Fla.)
Career WAR: 117.6
Rodriguez ranks among the greatest players in MLB history, and also one of its most controversial following repeated use of performance-enhancing drugs. Coming of age as part of a new age of shortstops alongside Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter, Rodriguez captured three AL MVP Awards and five league home run crowns, appeared in 14 All-Star Games and helped lead the Yankees to the 2009 World Series title. He resides in an exclusive group with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Albert Pujols as players with both 3,000 hits and 600 home runs, finishing his career fourth on the all-time homer list with 696.
1992: Phil Nevin, 3B, Astros
School: California State University Fullerton
Career WAR: 15.9
Nevin was a bona-fide star at Cal State Fullerton, leading the Titans to the championship game of the 1992 College World Series and capturing the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's best collegiate player. Memorably drafted ahead of Derek Jeter, Nevin eventually came into his own as a Major League third baseman, earning an All-Star Game selection with the Padres in 2001 when he hit .306 with 41 home runs and 126 RBIs. Nevin appeared in parts of 12 Major League seasons before transitioning to a coaching role, which led to him becoming the Angels' interim manager when Joe Maddon was fired earlier this year.
1991: Brien Taylor, LHP, Yankees
School: East Carteret HS (Beaufort, N.C.)
Career WAR: N/A
Once called the "best high school pitcher I've seen in my life" by high-profile agent Scott Boras, Taylor signed with the Yankees for $1.55 million after New York selected him with the top pick. Billed as the game's top prospect by Baseball America in 1992, the southpaw injured his pitching shoulder in an off-field altercation and was never able to fully recover. Taylor retired in 2000 after seven seasons in the Minors, following Steve Chilcott as just the second No. 1 overall pick to never appear in the Majors.
1990: Chipper Jones, SS, Braves
School: The Bolles HS (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Career WAR: 85.3
Jones, somewhat incredibly, was not Atlanta's first choice for the No. 1 overall selection; the team went with Jones after pitcher Todd Van Poppel stated publicly that he would not sign with Atlanta. All Jones did was become one of the most important players in franchise history, earning eight All-Star Game selections, the 1999 NL MVP and the 2008 NL batting title while establishing himself as one of the best third basemen in history. Jones retired in '12 as the only switch-hitter in MLB history to hit at least .300 while slugging at least 400 home runs, as well as the only switch-hitter with a career .300/.400/.500 slash line over at least 10,000 plate appearances. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first time on the ballot in 2018, garnering 97.2% of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) vote.
1989: Ben McDonald, RHP, Orioles
School: Louisiana State University
Career WAR: 20.8
A two-sport star in both baseball and basketball at LSU, McDonald helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul before earning the Golden Spikes Award in '89. McDonald twirled a shutout against the White Sox in his first Major League start on July 21, 1990, and went on to record double-digit wins in four separate seasons for the Orioles and Brewers.
1988: Andy Benes, RHP, Padres
School: University of Evansville
Career WAR: 31.5
Benes hit the fast track after his top billing in the 1988 Draft, going 6-3 over 10 starts with the Padres in '89 to place fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year race. The righty earned his lone All-Star Game nod in '93 before leading the NL with 189 strikeouts the following year. Benes' most decorated season came in '96 when he went 18-10 for the Cardinals and finished third in Cy Young voting.
1987: Ken Griffey Jr., OF, Mariners
School: Archbishop Mueller HS (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Career WAR: 83.8
Nicknamed "The Kid," Griffey made an immediate impact in center field for the Mariners, memorably hitting back-to-back homers with his dad in 1990 and recording 10 consecutive seasons with both a Gold Glove Award and All-Star Game selection from 1990-99. A generational talent with an unforgettable left-handed swing, Griffey dominated the sport with three consecutive seasons of 48-plus homers from 1997-99, and claimed the '97 AL MVP when he paced the Junior Circuit with 56 homers and 147 RBIs. Griffey was traded to his hometown Reds before the 2000 season and finished his career fifth on the all-time home runs list with 630. In 2016, Griffey earned a then-record 99.3% of the BBWAA vote to become the first No. 1 overall pick to eventually earn a plaque in the Hall of Fame.
1986: Jeff King, SS, Pirates
School: University of Arkansas
Career WAR: 16.9
King proved a competent hitter over 11 Major League seasons, finishing his career with a .256 average and 154 home runs. King hit in the heart of the Pirates' order amid Pittsburgh's three consecutive NL East championship clubs from 1990-92. In '96, King joined Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Willie McCovey to become the third player in history to homer twice in the same inning on two separate occasions in their career.
1985: B.J. Surhoff, SS, Brewers
School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Career WAR: 34.4
A super-utility man who played everywhere on a Major League diamond except pitcher, Surhoff proved a valuable player on the roster over 19 seasons for the Brewers, Orioles and Braves. Surhoff's best season was probably 1999 with the Orioles, when he finished second in the AL with 207 hits and was named the team's most valuable player while also earning his lone All-Star nod. Surhoff retired in 2005 with 2,326 career hits, 1,153 RBIs and 440 doubles.
1984: Shawn Abner, OF, Mets
School: Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Area HS
Career WAR: -1.3
The Mets were high on Abner when they took him first overall following the success of their other recent picks in Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, but the Pennsylvania outfielder ultimately never played in a New York uniform. The Mets traded Abner after the 1986 season to the Padres, with whom he played in a part-time role for four and a half seasons. Abner made cameos with the Angels and White Sox before a knee injury he suffered in a pickup basketball game brought his career to a close.
1983: Tim Belcher, RHP, Twins
School: Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Career WAR: 26.0
Belcher's road to the Majors was anything but conventional -- he refused to sign with the Twins, was later taken by the Yankees in the supplemental draft, picked up by the A's and then traded to the Dodgers -- but he certainly looked the part once he got there. Belcher beat his former Oakland club in Game 4 of the 1988 World Series and paced the Majors with eight shutouts the following season. The right-hander wound up pitching for seven different clubs, winning 15 games in two different seasons.
1982: Shawon Dunston, SS, Cubs
School: Thomas Jefferson HS (N.Y.)
Career WAR: 11.5
The Brooklyn native became the first No. 1 overall pick from the New York City area and represented himself when he signed a $100,000 contract with the Cubs in 1982. Dunston beat out Larry Bowa for the Cubs' starting shortstop job to begin the '85 season and, when not injured, served as Ryne Sandberg's primary double-play partner until Sandberg’s first retirement after the 1994 season. Dunston batted .278/.320/.403 for Chicago’s 1989 NL East champions. He made two All-Star Games with the Cubs before moving on to the Giants, Pirates, Indians, Cardinals and Mets over an 18-year career.
1981: Mike Moore, RHP, Mariners
School: Oral Roberts University
Career WAR: 27.9
Moore spent his first seven years with the Mariners but is known more for his four-year tenure with the A's from 1989-92. The righty won 19 games and earned his lone All-Star Game nod during his first year with Oakland in '89, also winning all three of his postseason starts including Games 2 and 4 of the World Series against the Giants. Moore finished his 14-year career with a 161-176 record and 4.39 ERA.
1980: Darryl Strawberry, OF, Mets
School: Crenshaw HS (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Career WAR: 42.2
Strawberry ranked among baseball's most feared sluggers during his 1980s heyday with the Mets, beginning with his NL Rookie of the Year-winning season in 1983 when he clubbed 26 homers at age 21. Launching tape-measure blasts against hapless opposing pitchers, Strawberry helped to turn New York into World Series champions in '86 and earned eight consecutive All-Star Game selections from 1984-91. Strawberry was handed multiple suspensions for substance abuse off the field, but battled back to become a valuable veteran presence for three Yankees world championship clubs in 1996, '98 and '99.
1979: Al Chambers, OF, Mariners
School: John Harris HS (Harrisburg, Pa.)
Career WAR: -0.4
The Mariners thought they might be getting the next Jim Rice when they drafted the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Chambers out of Harrisburg, with team scout Bill Kearns memorably stating "people will pay just to watch this guy take batting practice." But Chambers would play just 57 games for Seattle between 1983-85, batting .206 with two home runs before the Mariners released him in the spring of '86.
1978: Bob Horner, 3B, Braves
School: Arizona State University
Career WAR: 21.8
Horner won the 1977 College World Series MVP Award and became the first Sun Devil to capture the Golden Spikes Award in '78 before the Braves picked him at the top of the Draft. Horner would memorably appear in the Majors that same year, bypassing the Minors entirely and homering off future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven in his MLB debut. Horner hit 23 total home runs that year to beat out Ozzie Smith for NL Rookie of the Year honors and would top 30 homers three times before injuries began to hamper his promising career. On July 6, 1986, Horner joined the select group of players to hit four homers in a single game.
1977: Harold Baines, 1B, White Sox
School: St. Michael's HS (Easton, Md.)
Career WAR: 38.8
Tracked by White Sox owner Bill Veeck since he was a Little Leaguer, Baines became one of the 1980s' best run producers as a first baseman and later designated hitter on the South Side. A career .289 hitter over 22 big league seasons, Baines hit at least 20 home runs in 12 different seasons and drove in at least 80 runs in 11. The six-time All-Star entered the Hall of Fame in 2019, and he's honored with both a statue at both the White Sox ballpark and enshrinement in the Orioles Hall of Fame thanks to seven excellent seasons in Baltimore.
1976: Floyd Bannister, LHP, Astros
School: Arizona State University
Career WAR: 26.4
Bannister made just seven Minor League appearances before opening the 1977 season on the Astros' big league roster. The southpaw pitched two years in Houston before he was traded to the Mariners, where he led the AL with 209 strikeouts and appeared in his only All-Star Game in '82. Bannister reached 16 victories twice over his 15-year career, finishing with a 4.06 lifetime ERA.
1971 and 1975: Danny Goodwin, C, Angels
School: Southern University and A&M
Career WAR: -1.7
Goodwin holds the distinction of being the only player to be chosen first overall in two separate Drafts, turning down the White Sox top pick in 1971 to attend Southern University before the Angels picked him first again in '75. The Halos fastracked the catcher for a 10-at-bat cameo, but Goodwin was unable to lock down a full-time job with the Angels, Twins and A's before he moved on to Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NBP) League in '86.
1974: Bill Almon, SS, Padres
School: Brown University
Career WAR: 4.7
Almon spent just 39 games in the Minors before debuting in September 1974 as the Padres' starting shortstop. The Ivy Leaguer suited up for seven different clubs over a 15-year career, finishing with a .254 average.
1973: David Clyde, LHP, Rangers
School: Westchester HS (Houston, Texas)
Career WAR: 0.6
This hard-throwing left-hander from Houston drew comparisons to Sandy Koufax, but his career took a more tragic turn. Cited by many as a pitcher who was mishandled, Clyde went straight from the Draft to the Majors at 18 years old, then developed shoulder problems and was out of baseball by the end of the decade.
1972: Dave Roberts, 3B, Padres
School: University of Oregon
Career WAR: 0.3
Roberts jetted straight from the Draft to the Majors in 1972, but struggled to hit competitively at the big league level. The infielder and backup catcher hit .239 over parts of 10 big league seasons with the Padres, Rangers, Astros and Phillies.
1970: Mike Ivie, C, Padres
School: Walker HS (Atlanta, Ga.)
Career WAR: 7.3
Ivie showed plenty of power in the Minors, at one point hitting 21 homers in a span of 21 games. The utility man eventually found a home in San Francisco, where he hit a memorable grand slam against the Dodgers amid a tight pennant race in 1978 and clubbed a career-high 27 homers the following year. Ivie was known league-wide for his batting practice power performances, but he was out of baseball by the end of '83.
1969: Jeff Burroughs, OF, Senators
School: Woodrow Wilson HS (Long Beach, Calif.)
Career WAR: 17.7
Burroughs featured plenty of power at the plate, knocking at least 20 homers five times between 1973-78. The outfielder became the first Texas Ranger to capture AL MVP honors in '74 when he hit. 301, homered 25 times and drove in an AL-high 118 runs. Burroughs went on to knock a career-high 41 homers for the Braves in '77.
1968: Tim Foli, SS, Mets
School: Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
Career WAR: 5.7
Known most for his glove around the infield, Foli twice paced MLB shortstops in fielding percentage in 1980 and '82. The Mets dealt Foli to the Expos alongside Ken Singleton for Rusty Staub before the '72 campaign, and the utility man later became the first Montreal player to hit for the cycle in '76. Foli proved instrumental in the "We Are Family" Pirates' run to the '79 World Series title, collecting a hit in six of Pittsburgh's seven Fall Classic games.
1967: Ron Blomberg, 1B, Yankees
School: Druid Hills HS (Atlanta, Ga.)
Career WAR: 9.4
Blomberg will forever be known as baseball's first designated hitter after he drew a bases-loaded walk against Red Sox ace Luis Tiant on April 6, 1973. He proved plenty capable of the "hitter" moniker, finishing with a .293 average and a .360 on-base percentage over parts of eight Major League seasons with the Yankees and White Sox.
1966: Steven Chilcott, C, Mets
School: Antelope Valley HS (Lancaster, Calif.)
Career WAR: N/A
Chilcott's promising career was hampered by a season-ending shoulder dislocation in 1967, setting off a string of injuries that eventually ended his career at age 24. MLB's second No. 1 overall pick unfortunately became one of the few to never step foot on a Major League diamond. Future Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson famously went second overall to the Kansas City A's.
1965: Rick Monday, A's
School: Arizona State University
Career WAR: 33.1
The first pick in the first Draft, Monday never became a superstar, but he made a pair of All-Star teams (1968 and 1978) and hit a go-ahead, ninth-inning home run in the decisive Game 5 of the 1981 against the Expos to send the Dodgers to the World Series. He is perhaps most famous for tackling two protesters who attempted to burn an American flag on the outfield grass of Dodger Stadium during a game on April 25, 1976.