The Detroit Tigers have the number one overall pick in next month’s MLB Draft. Does recent history suggest the Tigers will get the franchise player they are looking for?
Ever since the 2017 MLB season ended, Detroit Tigers fans have been looking ahead to the 2018 MLB draft. The Tigers have the first overall selection for the first time since 1997.
The 1996 season that led the Detroit Tigers to their first ever number one overall selection was even worse than 2017’s mark of 64-98. Detroit went 53-109 under Buddy Bell that season, finishing 14 games behind the next worst club in either league.
The Only No. 1 Overall Pick in Detroit Tigers History
The following June, the Detroit Tigers tabbed hard-throwing righty Matt Anderson with the number one overall pick. Anderson had just finished his junior year at Rice University, where he posted a K/9 rate of nearly 12.
Anderson made his professional debut in 1998, and needed only 30 minor league appearances before reaching Detroit. Less than 400 days after the Detroit Tigers selected him first overall, Anderson made his debut against the Cubs.
Despite his triple-digit fastball, Anderson never had sustained success in the majors. He did rack up 22 saves in 2001 and 26 total in six seasons with the Detroit Tigers, but did not post an ERA below 4.70 after his rookie season.
Most players would take it if they were told they would play seven seasons in the majors. However, it falls well short of the franchise savior fans and front offices are hoping to grab at the top of the draft.
Today, we look at the last 10 number one overall picks to determine the recent success rate of the draft’s top selections. Are the Detroit Tigers more likely to fare better this time around?