It’s been a little bit since I have reviewed a draft, so I thought, what the heck, why not do another one? The 2005 draft presents an age old question. Is it a good draft if you used one of the players you drafted, who might not be near as good as the guy you acquired, as a piece to get someone of a superstar level? Well, long story short, in my opinion, no. I’m of the opinion that the player’s performance is what makes the player a good pick or not, not whether another team also misjudged the talent level and traded a better player for them.
However, this situation may not apply here, since the Tigers first round pick in 2005 has started to come into his own a little.
1st round (Cameron Maybin)
2005 was a banner draft year for major league baseball. The Tigers picked 1oth that year and had a bunch of guys to choose from and went with the ultra projectable high schooler Cameron Maybin. The Tigers pushed Maybin quickly, and a shot to straight away center for his first homer off of Roger Clemens as a 20 year old looked promising. Maybin then became part of the huge Miguel Cabrera deal before the 2008 season, and struggled until last year. 2011 was somewhat of a breakout for the talented Maybin, who started to show ability to hit, run and play an outstanding CF. He could be one of the more emerging players in 2012.
Many more that went in the 1st round of this draft have made the majors. Maybin has accumulated 5.1 bWAR, which is 14th highest in that draft.
2nd round (no pick)
3rd round (Chris Robinson)
Robinson was a catcher drafted out of the University of Illinois. Robinson to this point hasn’t made it to the major leagues, and in the effort of expediency, I won’t look it up but I know he is still kicking around the minor leagues. He was traded by the Tigers to the Cubs, and while there hasn’t been a huge impact by too many guys drafted behind Robinson, it still wasn’t a good pick. Taylor Teagarden was much more highly regarded, and while he hasn’t panned out great, he has at least big league ability. Teagarden was drafted 9 spots later. The best 3rd round pick that year was late, and it was Brett Gardner of the Yankees.
4th round (Kevin Whelan)
Whelan was a hard throwing relief pitcher that the Tigers eventually shipped to New York in the Gary Sheffield trade. While Whelan has appeared in the big leagues, it was only for two games, and he just hasn’t shown the necessary command to stick in the bigs. He has battled injury, and could possibly get another chance at some point, but I do believe he was designated for assignment earlier this winter by the Yanks. The 4th round in 2005 was fruitful, at least moreso than usual. Jeremy Hellickson, Gaby Sanchez, Chris Getz, and Mat Gamel were all drafted that year.
5th round (Jeff Larish)
Larish was a slugging 1B drafted out of Arizona St, and was one of the few to actually make the big leagues in this draft. His negative WAR says that might not be a good thing, but plenty of Tigers fans felt that Larish never got an opportunity he should have. His discerning eye, and major hole in his swing, mean he is going to bounce around the minors for a while yet, but not much is going to come of his career at this point. Michael Kirkman of the Rangers appears to be the only 5th rounder left with much chance of contributing to the big leagues at this point.
If you are looking at just sheer numbers of players that have made it to the big leagues, the Tigers dominated in this draft. Matt Joyce, Casper Wells, Burke Badenhop, along with Cameron Maybin will all have long big league careers. Wells might never be more than a 4th outfielder, but his defensive capability on the corner and pop mean he is going to provide a positive WAR more than once. Maybin I think is a consistent 3.5 to 4.5 WAR player, and that is nothing to sneeze at. Joyce really provided quality offense for Tampa last season as well, and now Badenhop joins him there as well as a solid 6th inning type reliever. I wouldn’t say this is a great draft, but a very good one. A-/B+
I don’t know, am I tough grader?