The 2002 Draft: The East in Review

A while back I took a look at the first round of the 2002 draft and reviewed the picks of each team.  With 10 years in the bank, it is fair to look back and judge how everything went for the teams.  I would also like to review each team and will do so by division starting with the west.  Here are the 10 east teams and their 2002 performance.

Other divisions: WEST

THE EAST

A look at the 2002 drafts of the East division teams by the numbers.

*player in minors, but played in MLB recently

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 6 (12%)

Combined WAR: -0.7

Best Pick: John Maine (3.7 WAR) in the 6th round

Still Playing in MLB: Adam Loewen*, Val Majewski* and Antoan Richardson*

Notable Picks: Hayden Penn and Brandon Fahey

Grade: F

Comments: Richardson was drafted in four of five years from 2001 to 2005 including in back-to-back years in the 27th round by the O’s before eventually winding up with the Giants in 2005.  He has toured the minors since getting a sniff with the Braves last year (4 PA) and has come full circle landing back in the Orioles organization.  This was a busted draft with a failed 1st rounder and the only notable pick getting traded for 30 below league average starts from Kris Benson (4.82 ERA, 94 ERA+).

 

BOSTON RED SOX

Picks: 49

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: 35.9

Best Pick: Jon Lester (22.1 WAR) in the 2nd round

Still Playing in MLB: Lester, Brandon Moss, Ricky Romero (didn’t sign) and Brian Bannister (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: someone named Chris Smith who pitch in the MLB as recently as 2010 & in the minors last year

Grade: B+

Comments: Didn’t get anything but Lester, but he’s a star and came in the 2nd round as they were without a 1st rounder. That’s at least a semi-successful draft, if not an overwhelmingly successful one.

 

NEW YORK YANKEES

Picks: 48

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: 0.4

Best Pick: Phil Coke (1.3 WAR) in the 26th round

Still Playing in MLB: Coke, Matt Carson, Eric Hacker, Dane de la Rosa

Notable Picks: Brad Halsey and Brandon Weeden, yes that Brandon Weeden

Grade: D-

Comments: I gave them a D- instead of an F+ because they were without a 1st or 3rd round pick.  Coke at least did something and aided in the Curtis Granderson trade, though I doubt it hinged on him in any way, shape or form.  Do they get additional WAR if Weeden leads the Browns to several good seasons in the NFL?

 

TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS

Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 9 (18%)

Combined WAR: 35.5

Best Pick: B.J. Upton (12.1 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Upton, Jacoby Ellsbury (didn’t sign), Mike Pelfrey (didn’t sign), Jason Hammel, Cesar Ramos, Chris Leroux* (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: Jason Pridie, Elijah Dukes, Wes Bankston

Grade: B

Comments: It would’ve been an A+++ had they been able to get their picks to sign, but Pelf and Ells went to college.  A solid B for a potential star in Upton who is still just starting his prime, the thinking behind the Pelf and Ells picks (essentially partial credit since they didn’t sign) and Hammel who only showed flashes with the Devil Rays before breaking out in Baltimore this year.

 

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 8 (16%)

Combined WAR: -0.5

Best Pick: Dave Bush (2.5 WAR) in the 2nd round

Still Playing in MLB: Bush, Erik Kratz, Drew Butera

Notable Picks: Russ Adams, J. Brent Cox (later a 2nd round pick of NYY in 2005)

Grade: D+

Comments: It might look like an F, but I guess 506 games from their first two picks is at least something even though they didn’t really pan out.  Bush teased and tantalized with impressive skills, mostly with Milwaukee, but could never really put it together despite his consistently strong K/BB rates.

He was actually at an NL-best 4.4 in 2006, his first year with the Brewers, but still posted a basically league average 4.41 ERA in 210 innings. Another thing that kept it from F-dom is that Bush yielded Lyle Overbay, who gave the Jays 10.9 WAR in five years.  That’s not particularly special, but enough to keep from failing.

 

ATLANTA BRAVES

Picks: 52

Played in the majors: 6 (11%)

Combined WAR: 27

Best Pick: Brian McCann (20 WAR) in the 2nd round

Still Playing in MLB: McCann, Jeff Francoeur, Tyler Greene (didn’t sign), Charlie Morton, Chuck James*

Notable Picks: Dan Meyer (big piece in Tim Hudson deal)

Grade: A-

Comments: They pulled a superstar talent in the second round with McCann and he is essentially the entire basis for their A- grade.  Francoeur gave them a solid four and a half years.  After a down 2008-2010, his career has been somewhat reborn in Kansas City.  Morton and James essentially cancel each other out.

 

FLORIDA MARLINS

Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 9 (18%)

Combined WAR: 29

Best Pick: Josh Johnson (21.8 WAR) in the 4th round

Still Playing in MLB: Johnson, Jeremy Hermida, Robert Andino, Nick Hundley (didn’t sign), Tim Wood*, Ross Wolf*

Notable Picks: Scott Olsen

Grade: A-

Comments: Like Atlanta, their grade is built on a non-1st rounder becoming a superstar and he was an even later pick than McCann.  Hermida didn’t really pan out as a 1st rounder, but he has logged 2012 at-bats, 1708 of them for Florida, as essentially an average player (101 OPS+).  No, it’s not star-level by any stretch, but it’s not a complete bust, either.

Andino has been a late-20s bloomer with the Orioles netting 2.7 of 2.0 career WAR with them.  The Marlins got Hayden Penn for him in 2009, who never emerged.  If Hundley had signed or Olsen had panned out on his rookie year promise (181 IP, 8.3 K/9 as a 22-year old), this would’ve been an incredible draft for the Marlins.

 

MONTREAL EXPOS

Picks: 50

Played in the majors: 5 (10%)

Combined WAR: -0.3

Best Pick: LOL

Still Playing in MLB: Mike O’Connor*, Sean White*, Jon Link*

Notable Picks: Clint Everts*

Grade: F—, even Texas thought this was a bad draft

Comments: I think I ended up giving the Rangers a Q- and the Expos were worse as they had just two guys deliver positive WAR and nobody cracked the 1.0 WAR mark.  Everts, their top pick, hasn’t made the majors yet he still plugging away in the minors at age 27.  He is now a bullpen arm in AAA for the Blue Jays.  Control has always eluded him, but he is enjoying his best stretch of finding the zone with Las Vegas albeit in just 16 innings (2.2 BB/9).  Beyond that, three relievers are still knocking around the minors from this draft, though none remain with the Expos/Nationals.

 

NEW YORK METS

Picks: 48

Played in the majors: 2 (4%)

Combined WAR: 18

Best Pick: Scott Kazmir (15.2 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Matt Lindstrom

Notable Picks:

Grade: C-

Comments: Kazmir was a nice 1st round pick, but the Mets netted exactly none of the profit as they dealt him for Victor Zambrano, inexplicably.  If I am going to factor the positive returns of traded prospects, then I have to factor in the negative returns like this horrific trade.  In three years, they got 202 innings of 4.42 ERA from Zambrano.  Lindstrom never made it to the majors with the Mets.  He was traded for Jason Vargas and then Vargas was part of a big deal that netted J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed, all three of whom did nothing as Mets and two of whom (Vargs and Putz) have emerged elsewhere.

 

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Picks: 48

Played in the majors: 7 (14%)

Combined WAR: 24.6

Best Pick: Cole Hamels (25.5 WAR) in the 1st round

Still Playing in MLB: Zack Segovia*, Bobby Korecky*, Sam LeCure (didn’t sign)

Notable Picks: Scott Mathieson, Dusty Ryan

Grade: A-

Comments: A superstar 1st rounder is the only return here, but it’s an ace-level elite pitcher who has given them 1244 innings with incredible skills and continues to get better.  Plus he was a mid-round pick, it wouldn’t be as impressive if he was a top five star who panned out.  Of course, this is likely their last year with him as they are unlikely to re-sign him.  If things don’t turn around for the team there are rumors they could trade Hamels in July.

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