Draft Retrospective: Strasburg, Trout and more in 2009

By Jonathan Raymond

With the 2013 MLB Draft scheduled to take place on Thursday, we thought we’d take the next few days to run down how some of the more intriguing picks out of the top rounds from the last few Drafts have fared. We start with 2009.

  1. Stephen Strasburg, Washington (2013: MLB Nationals) — Strasburg has pretty much panned out as hoped for the Nationals, turning into one of the best pitchers in the big leagues.
  2. Dustin Ackley, Seattle (2013: MLB Mariners, Triple-A Tacoma) — Drafted as an outfielder out of North Carolina, Ackley soon made the move to second base. He made it to the Majors after just a year and a half in the Seattle system and debuted impressively, hitting .273/.348/.417 in 90 games in the bigs in 2011. The 25-year-old regressed in the following two seasons, though, and now finds himself in the Pacific Coast League after posting a .516 OPS in 45 games with the M’s to begin this year.
  3. Donavan Tate, San Diego (2013: Unassigned within Padres Org) — Tate signed for $6.25 million in 2009, underwhelmed in his 2010 debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League, then missed much of 2011 due to a suspension for testing positive for a drug of abuse. After hitting .226/.342/.278 in 107 games between Class A Fort Wayne and Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore last year, the outfielder failed to show up for San Diego’s Minor League camp due to a “personal issue” earlier this year and has yet to make an appearance anywhere this season.
  4. Tony Sanchez, Pittsburgh (2013: Triple-A Indianapolis) — Sanchez has dealt with injuries off and on throughout his career but appears to be healthy and is putting together perhaps his best season to date in the International League this year. He’s hitting .317/.415/.577 with six homers in 39 games for the Indians and put together his first career four-hit game on May 31.
  5. Matt Hobgood, Baltimore (2013: Class A Delmarva) — Now 22, the right-hander was mostly plagued by injuries in his first three Minor League seasons. The Orioles have the former starter working out of the bullpen in the South Atlantic League, where he’s posted a 2.38 ERA with one save in 34 innings for the Shorebirds.
  6. Zack Wheeler, San Francisco (2013: Triple-A Las Vegas) — Traded by the Giants to the Mets for Carlos Beltran at the deadline in 2011, Wheeler blossomed into one of baseball’s best pitching prospects, and appears to be close to making his debut with the Mets this year.

    Zack Wheeler Pitcher Las Vegas 51s Baseball Team

    Zack Wheeler is MLB.com’s No. 7 overall prospect (Steve Spatafore)

  7. Mike Minor, Atlanta (2013: MLB Braves)
  8. Mike Leake, Cincinnati (2013: MLB Reds)
  9. Jacob Turner, Detroit (2013: MLB Marlins, Triple-A New Orleans) — Turner was given two cups of coffee in the bigs in 2010 and 2011 with the Tigers before becoming the big prize for the Marlins in the trade last year that brought Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit. He had a 3.38 ERA in seven starts for Miami last season and was 3-4 with a 4.47 ERA in the Pacific Coast League this year before tossing seven shutout innings in a win against the Mets on May 31.
  10. Drew Storen, Washington (2013: MLB Nationals) — The former Stanford closer notched 43 saves for the Nationals in 2011 before being hampered some  by injures in the last two years. Has a 3.14 ERA in 183 2/3 innings across four Major League seasons so far in his career.
  11. Tyler Matzek, Colorado (2013: Double-A Tulsa)
  12. Aaron Crow, Kansas City (2013: MLB Royals)
  13. Grant Green, Oakland (2013: Triple-A Sacramento) — The former Southern California star has had trouble sticking at a position, moving off shortstop, to centerfield, to the corner outfield spots, to a few tries at third base to second base, where he’s playing this year for the River Cats.
  14. Matt Purke, Texas (2013: Class A Hagerstown) — The lefty never signed with the Rangers, instead reentering the Draft the next year where Washington selected him in the third round. He’s battled arm problems, throwing just 15 1/3 innings for Hagerstown last year and making one appearance so far this season.
  15. Alex White, Cleveland (2013: MLB Rockies)
  16. Bobby Borchering, Arizona (2013: Double-A Corpus Christi)
  17. A.J. Pollock, Arizona (2013: MLB Diamondbacks)
  18. Chad James, Miami (2013: Unassigned in Marlins Org)
  19. Shelby Miller, St. Louis (2013: MLB Cardinals) — The right-hander debuted late with St. Louis last season and has been one of the best starters in the Majors this year, owning a 1.82 ERA in 69 1/3 innings.
  20. Chad Jenkins, Toronto (2013: MLB Blue Jays)
  21.  Jiovanni Mier, Houston (2013: Double-A Corpus Christi)
  22. Kyle Gibson, Minnesota (2013: Triple-A Rochester) — He missed part of 2011 and much of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. He has a 3.38 ERA in 66 2/3 innings for the Red Wings this year, striking out 59 and walking 19, and threw his first complete game following the surgery on May 8.
  23. Jared Mitchell, Chicago AL (2013: Triple-A Charlotte, Double-A Birmingham) — Mitchell tore a tendon in his left ankle during Spring Training in 2010 that derailed his season before it got out of the station. He returned last year to hit .237/.358/.420 between Birmingham and Charlotte but has mustered just a .156/.305/.229 line between those two clubs in 27 games this year.
  24. Randal Grichuk, Los Angeles AL (2013: Double-A Arkansas) — For better or worse, Grichuk will likely always be linked to the man who was picked directly behind him. For his part, the 21-year-old is still working his way through the Angels’ system and has a .243/.296/.491 line in 48 games for the Travelers this year. He’s shown good power, with 18 homers and a .488 slugging percentage for Class A Advanced Inland Empire last season.
  25. Mike Trout, Los Angeles AL (2013: MLB Angels) — He quickly made his way to the big leagues and emerged as one of the best players in baseball, finishing second in the AL MVP race in 2012.
  26. Eric Arnett, Milwaukee (2013: Unassigned in Brewers Org)
  27. Nick Franklin, Seattle (2013: MLB Mariners, Triple-A Tacoma) — Franklin began the year in the PCL and caught fire, hitting .324/.440/.472 in 39 games, leading to his Major League debut on May 27.
  28. Reymond Fuentes, Boston (2013: Double-A San Antonio)
  29. Slade Heathcott, New York AL (2013: Double-A Trenton) — The 22-year-old has progressed through the Yankees system steadily and owns a .246/.300/.377 line in 46 games for the Thunder this year. He recently outshined Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis while they rehabbed in the Eastern league.
  30. LeVon Washington, Tampa Bay (2013: Class A Lake County) – Never signed with Tampa, instead opting to return the following Draft, where Cleveland took him in the second round.
  31. Brett Jackson, Chicago NL (2013: Triple-A Iowa)
  32. Tim Wheeler, Colorado (2013: Triple-A Colorado Springs)

Supplemental first round:

  1. Steve Baron, Seattle (2013: Class A Advanced High Desert)
  2. Rex Brothers, Colorado (2013: MLB Rockies)
  3. Matt Davidson, Arizona (2013: Triple-A Reno) — Davidson emerged as one of the D-backs’ best prospects over the last couple years. He’s hitting .285/.332/.460 in 51 games for the Aces this season.
  4. Aaron Miller, Los Angeles NL (2013: Class A Great Lakes) — The former starting pitcher is now trying his turn in the outfield. The 25-year-old hit .297/.333/.541 with a home run and eight RBIs in 28 games for Double-A Chattanooga last year and is hitting .167 in 19 games between Double-A and Class A this year.
  5. James Paxton, Toronto (2013: Triple-A Tacoma) — The native Canadian never signed with the Blue Jays and became a fourth-round pick of the Mariners the next year. The 24-year-old is 2-4 with a 5.01 ERA for the Rainiers this season.
  6. Josh Phegley, Chicago AL (2013: Triple-A Charlotte) — Enjoying a breakout year offensively for the Knights, Phegley has a .329/.386/.639 slash line with 11 homers and 14 doubles in 41 games.
  7. Kentrail Davis, Milwaukee (2013: Double-A Huntsville)
  8. Tyler Skaggs, Los Angeles AL (2013: MLB Diamondbacks, Triple-A Reno) — Acquired by the D-backs in 2010 as part of the package for Dan Haren, Skaggs turned into one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. The 21-year-old tossed six shutout innings in a spot-start win over Texas on May 27 after posting three straight quality starts for the Aces from May 11-22. Overall has a 5.23 ERA in 51 2/3 innings in the PCL with 54 strikeouts to 17 walks.
  9. Chris Owings, Arizona (2013: Triple-A Reno)
  10. Garrett Richards, Los Angeles AL (2013: MLB Angels) — He’s spent the past couple years working mostly out of the bullpen and making the occasional start for the Angels. He has a 4.92 career ERA in 128 big-league innings.
  11. Brad Boxberger, Cincinnati (2013: MLB Padres, Triple-A Tucson)
  12. Tanner Scheppers, Texas (2013: MLB Rangers) — Scheppers has worked out of the Rangers’ bullpen the last two seasons and boasts a 0.66 ERA in 27 1/3 innings this year.
  13. Michael Belfiore, Arizona (2013: Triple-A Norfolk, MLB Orioles) — Belfiore was dealt to Baltimore for Josh Bell in 2012. A reliever since 2011, the 24-year-old has a 4.28 ERA in 27 1/3 frames for the Tides and was called up to the Majors in May.
  14. Matt Bashore, Minnesota (2013: Unassigned in Yankees Org)
  15. Kyle Heckathorn, Milwaukee (2013: Triple-A Nashville)
  16. Tyler Kehrer, Los Angeles AL (2013: Unassigned in Marlins Org)
  17. Vic Black, Pittsburgh (2013: Triple-A Indianapolis) — The 25-year-old has a 2.63 ERA and 11 saves in 19 appearances for Indianapolis. He posted a 1.65 ERA and saved 13 games for Double-A Altoona last year.

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