With this year’s MLB Amateur Draft recently concluding, let’s take a look at the best player drafted by each team in the fifth round or later.
To be considered for the list, the player must have been successful with the team that drafted him. Nolan Ryan wasn’t drafted until the 12th round by the Mets, but his Hall of Fame career didn’t really take off until he was traded by them. John Smoltz was drafted in the 22nd round by the Tigers, but was traded before he ever pitched for them.
Without further ado, here’s the list.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt, 2009 (8th round)
Goldschmidt is in his seventh season with Arizona. He has made the last four NL All-Star teams, has won two Gold Gloves, and has been runner-up for NL MVP twice. As of June 15, he has a career .301 batting average with 155 home runs and 112 stolen bases.
Atlanta Braves – Kevin Millwood, 1993 (11th round)
Millwood played for the Braves from 1997-2002. He was not NL All-Star in 1999, and won at least 17 games with Atlanta three times. He won 75 games with the Braves, and 169 for his career.
Baltimore Orioles – Mike Flanagan, 1973 (7th round)
Flanagan spent nearly 15 full years as a member of the Orioles, and had a 141-116 record for the club in 450 games (328 starts). He won the 1979 AL Cy Young Award in a season where he led the league with 23 wins.
Boston Red Sox – Wade Boggs, 1976 (7th round)
Boggs spent the first 11 of his 18 MLB seasons with the Red Sox in a career that earned him a trip to the Hall of Fame in 2005. He made the AL All-Star team in each of his last eight seasons in Boston, and won five batting titles with the team. For his career, he had 3,010 hits.
Chicago Cubs – Mark Grace, 1985 (24th round)
Grace played for the Cubs from 1988-2000. During that time, he was named to three All-Star teams and won four Gold Gloves. He had a career .308 batting average for the Cubs, and led all players with 1,754 hits in the 1990’s.
Chicago White Sox – Mark Buehrle, 1998 (38th round)
Buehrle was a model of consistency in his 12 seasons with the White Sox, and had double-digit win totals in his last 11. He was named to four AL All-Star teams with the club and won three Gold Gloves. He was a member of their 2005 World Series-winning team.
Cincinnati Reds – Eric Davis, 1980 (8th round)
Davis played for the Reds from 1984-91, before rejoining the team for a season in 1996. He made two NL All-Star teams, won three Gold Gloves, and won the World Series in 1990 with Cincinnati. He finished between ninth to 13th in NL MVP voting from 1986-90. He hit 203 home runs and stole 270 bases with the team.
Cleveland Indians – Jim Thome, 1989 (13th round)
Thome spent parts of 13 seasons with the Indians in which he batted .287 with 337 home runs and 937 RBI’s. During his time in Cleveland he made three AL All-Star teams and finished in the top-7 in AL MVP voting three times. His 612 career home runs are seventh in MLB history.
Colorado Rockies – Matt Holliday, 1998 (7th round)
Holliday played for the Rockies from 2004-08. He made the NL All-Star team from 2006-08, and was the NL MVP runner-up in 2007. He finished with a .319 batting average and 128 home runs in his time with Colorado.
Detroit Tigers – Lou Whitaker, 1975 (5th round)
“Sweet Lou” spent his entire 19-year career with the Tigers. He was the 1978 AL Rookie of the Year and made the AL All-Star team for five straight seasons from 1983-87. He also won three Gold Gloves and won a World Series in 1984. He finished his career with 244 home runs, 2,369 hits, and 1,386 runs.
Houston Astros – Roy Oswalt, 1996 (23rd round)
Oswalt won 143 games in 9.5 seasons as a member of the Astros. Five times with the team he finished in the top-5 of NL Cy Young voting. He led the NL with 20 wins in 2004, and led with a 2.98 ERA in 2006. He was named the NLCS MVP in 2005.
Kansas City Royals – Bret Saberhagen, 1982 (19th round)
Saberhagen spent his first eight seasons as a member of the Royals. He won the AL Cy Young in both 1985 and 1989. He was also named the World Series MVP in that 1985 season, giving up just one total run in two complete game victories over the Cardinals.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Jim Edmonds, 1988 (7th round)
Edmonds played seven seasons with the Angels, making one AL All-Star team and winning two Gold Gloves. Three times, he scored at least 115 runs in a season with the team. He batted .290 with the Angels with 121 home runs.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Mike Piazza, 1988 (62nd round)
No, that is not an error. Piazza was drafted in the 62ND ROUND in 1988. In 726 career games with Los Angeles, he batted .331 with 177 home runs. He was named the 1993 NL Rookie of the Year, and finished as the runner-up for NL MVP in both 1996 and 1997.
Miami Marlins – A. J. Ramos, 2009 (21st round)
Ramos is the current closer for the Marlins, a spot he took over for the club during the 2015 season. He was named an NL All-Star in 2016 as he saved 40 games. As of June 15, he has 81 saves and a 2.73 ERA for his career.
Milwaukee Brewers – Jeff Cirillo, 1991 (11th round)
Cirillo was a member of the Brewers from 1994-99, before rejoining the team for two more years in 2005-06. He was named an AL All-Star in 1997. He had at least a .321 average in three seasons with Milwaukee, and was a career .307 hitter with the Brewers.
Minnesota Twins – Kent Hrbek, 1978 (17th round)
Hrbek played all 14 of his MLB seasons with the Twins, and was a member of World Series-winning teams in 1987 and 1991. He was an AL All-Star in 1982 and finished second in AL MVP voting in 1984. He had 293 home runs and 1,086 RBI’s for his career.
New York Mets – Jacob deGrom, 2010 (9th round)
Now in his fourth season with the Mets, deGrom owns a 35-25 record and a 2.97 ERA in his career as of June 15. He was the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year and finished seventh in NL Cy Young voting in 2015.
New York Yankees – Andy Pettitte, 1990 (22nd round)
Tough choice here between Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Don Mattingly. Pettitte gets the slight nod as he won 219 games with the Yankees from 1995-2003, 2007-10, and 2012-13. He won five World Series and 18 postseason games with the team. He had four top-6 AL Cy Young finishes with the Yankees.
Oakland Athletics – Sal Bando, 1965 (6th round)
Bando played for the Athletics from 1966-76. In that time, he was named to four AL All-Star teams and had three top-4 AL MVP finishes. He played for the Athletics teams that three-peated from 1972-74. He finished his A’s career with 192 home runs and 796 RBI’s.
Philadelphia Phillies – Ryan Howard, 2001 (5th round)
Howard played 13 season for the Phillies from 2004-16. He was a three-time All-Star, 2005 NL Rookie of the Year, 2006 NL MVP, 2009 NLCS MVP, and a 2009 World Series winner. He led the NL in home runs twice and RBI’s three times. Altogether, he hit 382 home runs and drove in 1,194 runs.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Dave Parker, 1970 (14th round)
Parker spent his first 11 big league seasons with Pittsburgh. During that time he made four NL All-Star teams, won three Gold Gloves, won two NL batting titles, won the NL MVP in 1978, and won a World Series in 1979. During his Pirates tenure, he batted .305 with 166 home runs and 123 stolen bases.
San Diego Padres – Jake Peavy, 1999 (15th round)
Peavy played 7.5 seasons with the Padres and won 92 games. He won the 2007 NL Cy Young Award, a year where he led the NL in wins (19), ERA (2.54), WHIP (1.06), and strikeouts (240). He also led the NL with a 2.27 ERA in 2004.
San Francisco Giants – Jack Clark, 1973 (13th round)
Clark spent 10 seasons as a member of the Giants where he was named to two NL All-Star teams. He hit at least 20 home runs in five of those years, and had 103 RBI’s in 1982. He batted .277 with 163 home runs with San Francisco.
Seattle Mariners – Alvin Davis, 1982 (6th round)
Davis was a member of the Mariners from 1984-91. He was an AL All-Star and AL Rookie of the Year in his initial season of 1984. He batted .280 with 160 home runs in his Mariners career.
St. Louis Cardinals – Albert Pujols, 1999 (13th round)
Pujols spent 2001-11 with the Cardinals and is widely seen as one of the best right-handed hitters of all-time. His accolades with the Cardinals are endless, and include winning NL Rookie of the Year, three NL MVP Awards, two World Series, and an NL batting crown. In 11 seasons with St. Louis, he batted .328 with 445 home runs and 1,329 RBI’s.
Tampa Bay Rays – James Shields, 2000 (16th round)
Shields pitched seven seasons with the Rays, winning 87 games while being named a 2011 AL All-Star. That season he finished third in AL Cy Young voting, and led the AL with 11 complete games and four shutouts. His 87 wins and 1,250 strikeouts are most in Rays history.
Texas Rangers – Ian Kinsler, 2003 (17th round)
Kinsler spent the 2006-13 seasons as a member of the Rangers. During his time there, he was named to three AL All-Star teams and scored over 100 runs four times. He hit 156 home runs and 249 doubles with Texas.
Toronto Blue Jays – Dave Stieb, 1978 (5th round)
Stieb played for the Blue Jays from 1979-92 before ending his career with them in 1998. He made seven AL All-Star teams with Toronto, and led the AL with a 2.48 ERA in 1985. He won 175 games with the Jays and finished in the top-7 of AL Cy Young voting four times.
Washington Nationals – Andre Dawson (Montreal Expos), 1975 (11th round)
A 2010 Hall Of Fame inductee, Dawson spent his first 11 seasons with the Expos. He was named the 1977 NL Rookie of the Year, and made three NL All-Star Games with Montreal. He won four Gold Gloves with the Expos, and twice was the runner-up for NL MVP. He hit .280 with 225 home runs with the Expos.