First

Where are they now? MLB First overall picks from 2010-2019

  • Adley Rutschman
  • Brady Aiken
  • Bryce Harper
  • Carlos Correa
  • Casey Mize
  • Dansby Swanson
  • Gerrit Cole
  • Mark Appel
  • Mickey Moniak
  • MLB Draft
  • Royce Lewis
By Michael Flores June 12, 2020 0 Comment
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Looking back at the first overall pick from each draft over the past decade. Where are they now? Did they live up to the hype?

Being drafted in any sport is a big deal, but that does not mean that you will make it to the highest level. In baseball, less than 1 in 5 players drafted make it to the majors. Being the first overall pick in the draft is a huge accomplishment, but a lot to live up to. Where are the first overall picks of the last decade now?

2010 – Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

Fresh off drafting Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick the year prior, the Washington Nationals were looking for their second straight number one pick. There was no doubt who the number one pick was going to be. Bryce Harper was already a household name at the age of 16 when he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Harper made his debut two years later and took home NL Rookie of the Year. Three years later he brought home NL MVP honors with a career-high in home runs (42), On-base percentage (.460), slugging (.649). He also had career highs in both OPS+ (198) and bWAR (9.7). In 2019 he signed a record-setting 13-year $330MM contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

2011 – Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates went with RHP Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick of the 2011 MLB draft. They gave him an $8MM signing bonus, the largest bonus signed in MLB draft history. Two years later, Cole would make his MLB debut. He helped the team make it to the 2013 National League Division Series, where he started  Game two, and the deciding game five, the Pirates would lose the series. In 2018, Cole was traded to the Astros and finished both seasons with a sub 3.00 ERA and a top-5 MVP finish both years. Gerrit Cole would go on to sign a nine-year $245MM contract with the New York Yankees, the largest contract ever for a pitcher.

2012 – Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros chose Carlos Correa with their first of three consecutive years with the first overall pick in the draft. Correa would win AL Rookie of the year in 2015. He would later help the Astros win a very controversial 2017 World Series. His numbers have been down since his 2017 season where he had career highs in home runs (24), average (.315), On-base percentage (.391), and slugging (.550). He will become a free agent for the first time in 2022 and is looking to make some decent money.

2013 – Mark Appel, Houston Astros

Houston Astros wanted Mark Appel in 2012, but the rumor was that he was demanding a high signing bonus. Appel did not sign with the Pirates, who drafted him eighth overall. In the draft for the third time, he was chosen first overall by the Astros in 2013. He was promoted to Class-A and along with Carlos Correa, became the first time that consecutive first overall picks played for the same minor league team. Injuries and command issues prevented Appel from making it past AAA with the Astros. After the 2015 season, the Astros traded him to the Phillies. Again, injuries prevented him from making it past AAA. In 2018, at the age of 26, Appel decided to retire from baseball.

2014 – Brady Aiken, Houston Astros

The Astros chose Brady Aiken first overall. They later found elbow inflammation in his throwing arm. They reduced his signing bonus by $1.5MM. He went unsigned, becoming the first, first overall pick to go unsigned since 1983. The Astros were given the okay to sign Aiken after the deadline after they invoked a clause at MLB discretion. Aiken insisted that if he were to sign, it would have to be a sign and trade deal. The Astros refused. Before the draft, he announced that he underwent Tommy John Surgery. The Cleveland Indians took a chance on him and selected him  17th. He did not pitch well in the minors, combining for a 5.18 ERA in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Aiken did pitch in 2018 and only pitched twice in 2019. He has since decided to step away but has not formally announced a retirement.

2015 – Dansby Swanson, Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Dansby Swanson with the first overall pick. Unfortunately, 22 games were the extent of Swanson’s Diamondbacks career. By the end of the year, the Diamondbacks traded him to the Atlanta Braves. He made his Major League debut that very next season. He has not been very impressive in his short career, but his numbers have been improving each year. 2019 looked very promising for him when he started the season batting .270 with 17 home runs. He sustained a heel injury and did not finish the regular season off strong. The Braves did make the postseason and Swanson had a great run in the National League Division Series.  He hit .389/.421/.556 with 3 doubles before losing in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals.

2016 – Mickey Moniak, Philadelphia Phillies

Mickey Moniak was named Baseball America’s High School Player of the Year and was taken by the Phillies with the first overall pick in 2016. He looked great in his professional debut with the Rookie-Level squad. MLB.com ranked him as the 19th overall prospect. He did not look as good the following year when he was promoted to Class-A. His numbers improved, he had more hits, more doubles, and more RBI in fewer at-bats. He made his AA debut in 2019 and made the Eastern League All-Star team. However, he is no longer on MLB’s top 100 prospect list.

2017 – Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twisns

In 2016, Royce Lewis won MVP in both the Under Armour All-American Game and the Perfect Game All-American Classic. The Minnesota Twins selected Lewis with the 2017 first overall pick. The next year he was promoted to High-A ball after tearing up the Class-A competition, he hit .315 and stole 22 bases. He won the 2018 MVP of the Midwest League and was the 10th overall prospect. To start the 2019 season, he rose to the fifth overall spot in MLB’s prospect rankings. Lewis was promoted to AA where he struggled a bit. He had a 3 to 1 K:BB ratio and only hit .231. He was invited to join the Arizona Fall League, where he destroyed the competition, and won the Arizona Fall League MVP.

2018 – Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers

The Tigers drafted RHP Casey Mize with the first overall pick in 2018. He only made one start for the Rookie team before being promoted to High-A. He only made 5 starts between the two levels, he was shut down due to an innings limit that was placed on him. Mize began the 2019 season in High-A and destroyed the competition with a sub 1.00 ERA. He was called up to AA and immediately made an impact. He threw a 98 pitch, seven strikeout no-hitter.

2019 – Adley Rutschman, Seattle Mariners

Adley Rutschman was initially drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 40th round in 2016. He did not sign and won’t go to college instead. He entered the draft again in 2019 and was the first overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles. Rutschman signed an $8.1MM signing bonus, breaking Gerrit Cole’s record. He made his debut with the Rookie squad and was quickly promoted twice. He ended the year at Class-A but struggled in the little time there. However, he did excel in Low-A where he slashed .325/.413/.481.

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Born on the South Side of Chicago. Manage 2 dynasty teams and a yearly redraft team, also a Little League team. Follow me on Twitter @mpflores90

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