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The history of MLB’s 10th overall pick

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How well can their draftee be expected to contribute at the big league level?

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It’s very often that we get quite excited about the draft this time of year, but little do people care about how that pick has performed in the past. With the draft on Monday, it’s time to take a peek at how the 10th overall selection (the first and most valuable of the Halos 2017 draft picks) has fared in the past.

For the Angels, this #10 pick is the highest draft pick they have had since 2000, when they selected Joe Torres. Their other 10th overall selections have (mostly) fared poorly, with 1972 draftee Dave Chalk the only one of four to contribute any significant MLB value.

Since the new millenium, the Angels’ other high draft picks have been largely successful. Casey Kotchman (13th overall in 2001), Joe Saunders (12th overall in 2002), and Jered Weaver (12th overall in 2004) represent successful drafting in the middle-upper first round, with the exception of the aforementioned Torres.

The below graph shows how #10 picks have performed, in Baseball-Reference WAR form. Keep in mind that 2 WAR per year is an average player, that players drafted recently are still in the minors, and players drafted in the last 10-15 years may still be accruing value.

Here are the players with greater than 20 bWAR nabbed with the number 10 pick.

Notable selections at 10th overall

Notable Selections Career bWAR
Notable Selections Career bWAR
Ted Simmons 50.1
Tim Wallach 38.3
Mark McGwire* 62
Robin Ventura 56
Charles Johnson 22.6
Carl Everett 20.4
Eric Chavez 37.4
Jon Garland 22.4
Carlos Pena 25.1
Ben Sheets 23.4
Tim Lincecum 21.1
Madison Bumgarner 30.3

Average bWAR from the 10th overall pick: 9.17

There are good players available to choose from, now it will be up to Billy Eppler and Scouting Director Matt Swanson to pick the right one. Two days away!