Ahead of the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft next week, theScore's MLB editors imagine a world where trades and free agency don't exist and clubs can only use players they drafted. We assembled teams from the last 20 drafts dating back to 2000 and ranked each from 30-1. Here's Part 3:
Note: Some players were moved to their secondary positions in order to build the best roster.
|RP||Carl Edwards Jr.||2011||2.6|
The Rangers have drafted well over the last two decades. The power department is most notable, as Teixeira, Kinsler, Encarnacion, Davis, and Gallo have combined for 1,485 home runs. Had the five of them played together, they would've formed one of the most feared lineups in baseball. Texas has also enjoyed moderate success at finding starting pitching in the draft, although Hendricks, Danks, and Roark never appeared for the club. Catching has been a weak spot, with Teagarden being the best find and first-round picks Scott Heard (2000) and Kellin Deglan (2010) never reaching the majors.
|OF||Melvin Upton Jr.||2002||24.4|
The Rays have no choice but to excel in drafting and player development with the franchise consistently owning one of the league's lowest payrolls. Tampa Bay hit a homer after taking Longoria with the third pick in 2006. The three-time All-Star has accrued the third-highest WAR of any player on this list. However, pitching is the organization's crown jewel. Price and Snell own Cy Young Awards, Hellickson won Rookie of the Year, and Davis was arguably the best closer in the majors at one point. The Rays' all-drafted staff holds a combined 10 All-Star selections.
The Marlins have produced some legitimate stars over the last two decades - it's too bad that financial hurdles resulted in almost all of them being traded away. Stanton and Yelich have combined for two MVPs, a home run crown, two batting titles, five Silver Sluggers, and six All-Star nods. Gonzalez never played a game with Miami but enjoyed a very good 15-year run that saw him post a career .843 OPS with five All-Star selections. The team's eye for pitching also can't be ignored. Johnson won an ERA title and Fernandez looked like a perennial Cy Young threat before his death. Paddack is one of the best young hurlers in the big leagues, albeit with the Padres.
Teams that excel in the draft are able to find talent in the middle and later rounds. The Diamondbacks proved that they have a great eye for prospects when they plucked Goldschmidt in the eighth round in 2009. The slugging first baseman surpassed all expectations by becoming one of the best players in baseball. On the flip side, Upton, a former first overall pick, is a four-time All-Star, but more was expected out of a player that could've been a generational talent. Arizona looks great for drafting Scherzer, who's a three-time Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer. However, trading the ace to the Tigers after 37 career starts is a tough pill to swallow. Webb, meanwhile, is one of the most underappreciated starters over the last two decades. The right-hander won the 2006 NL Cy Young and finished second in voting for the award in the following two seasons.
The Brewers have a knack for selecting great position players. The outfield trio of Braun, Cain, and Brantley might be the best overall on both sides of the ball on this list, even though Brantley never played for the team. Milwaukee also drafted Lucroy, whose 8.2 WAR in 2014 was second only to Angels superstar Mike Trout. The club's track record for pitching is a different story, however. Gallardo, Odorizzi, and Fiers are fine middle-of-the-rotation guys but lack elite talent. Yamamoto may turn into something but he now pitches for the Marlins.
After being so terrible for so long, the Astros were able to stockpile plenty of high-profile draft picks that are still paying dividends. While seeing the likes of Zobrist and Martinez become All-Stars in other organizations may be painful, the current offensive core of Bregman, Correa, and Springer is homegrown. Keuchel - who won a Cy Young with the Astros - and McCullers were also part of Houston's first World Series-winning team. Just think how much better the club would have been had it taken Kris Bryant over Mark Appel in 2013.
The Cubs have drafted really well over the last two decades, even if few members of the 2016 World Series-winning squad were homegrown. Of the names listed above, only Bryant, Baez, and Schwarber were on the roster that broke the curse. Donaldson spent a year as a catcher in the Cubs' system before ultimately being traded to Oakland. Similarly, players like Nolasco, Willis, and Harrison found success in different uniforms. But Chicago has long proven to be aggressive on the trade front, as the team dealt Cashner to the Padres for a package that included Anthony Rizzo, who has since become one of the primary faces of the franchise.
Baseball's model of consistency, the Braves have reached the postseason in 11 of the last 20 years despite Minor being the only top-10 selection among the names listed above. Although Wainwright, Heyward, and Soroka were all first-rounders, some of Atlanta's best picks have come in the second round, where McCann, Freeman, and Simmons were all taken. Kimbrel, baseball's best closer of the last 10 years, was selected in the third round. Still, much of the franchise's recent success on draft day came before 2010, outside of a couple exceptions. Time will tell how the likes of Ian Anderson and Shea Langeliers - top-10 picks in 2016 and 2019, respectively - will pan out, and if the Braves are still evaluating talent at a top level.
|OF||Jackie Bradley Jr.||2011||13.5|
The Red Sox have drafted an All-Star at each position other than catcher over the last two decades, including a pair of MVPs and three players that have finished in the top three in MVP voting. This is the best lineup any team can boast in our rankings - a mix of power, speed, and on-base skill in addition to a ridiculous 15 Gold Gloves combined. The organization's ability to produce pitching hasn't been quite as solid, though, especially in recent years. Of the 105 pitchers Boston has drafted in the first 10 rounds since 2000, only six have made at least 20 major-league starts. Having Lester - who ranks eighth in WAR among starters since debuting in 2006 - lead the rotation, and Papelbon - one of the game's elite closers - anchor the relief corps makes Boston's team as good as anyone's.
The Nationals/Expos franchise has built a legacy as the gold standard of drafting and developing talent. Its all-drafted team includes an MVP, a Cy Young winner, a World Series MVP, a Reliever of the Year, and two Rookie of the Year honorees, plus a countless number of All-Star appearances, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, and several members of last year's World Series champions. Drafting Strasburg and Harper first overall in consecutive years helps, of course, but this franchise has also done a stellar job of mining talent in the later rounds, with several of those selections making the all-drafted team. Second base stands out as the lone position where the organization didn't draft an All-Star player, but you can hardly call it a weak spot. The Nationals/Expos have far and away been the best at drafting over the last 20 seasons.