Mets360 Draft series: The 2003 MLB Draft

While the Mets360 draft series is still in relative infancy, there is a very good chance the 2003 draft will go down as the least flashy of the bunch when the series concludes.

Looking at the previous three drafts dissected in this exercise, each has had a minimum of three players among the top 100 selected record a bWAR of at least 35 through the 2017 season. The best bWAR the 2003 draft could produce was 31.2, which belongs to 37th overall pick Adam Jones.

No player chosen in 2003’s first round has amassed a bWAR of at least 30. Nick Markakis, who was chosen seventh overall by the Baltimore Orioles, is close with 29.8. Half of the six players chosen ahead of Markakis – Kyle Sleeth, Chris Lubanski and Ryan Harvey – never even got the call to the big leagues.

Here’s the chronological order of the top 100 picks from 2003:

OvPck Team Signed Name bWAR Type
1 Devil Rays Y Delmon Young 2.5 HS
2 Brewers Y Rickie Weeks 11.7 4Yr
3 Tigers Y Kyle Sleeth 4Yr
4 Padres Y Tim Stauffer 3.6 4Yr
5 Royals Y Chris Lubanski HS
6 Cubs Y Ryan Harvey HS
7 Orioles Y Nick Markakis 29.8 JC
8 Pirates Y Paul Maholm 12.1 4Yr
9 Rangers Y John Danks 21 HS
10 Rockies Y Ian Stewart 2.8 HS
11 Indians Y Michael Aubrey 0.2 4Yr
12 Mets Y Lastings Milledge 0.5 HS
13 Blue Jays Y Aaron Hill 23.8 4Yr
14 Reds Y Ryan Wagner -0.3 4Yr
15 White Sox Y Brian Anderson -0.2 4Yr
16 Marlins Y Jeff Allison HS
17 Red Sox Y David Murphy 10.2 4Yr
18 Indians via Phillies Y *Brad Snyder -0.1 4Yr
19 Diamondbacks via Mariners Y *Conor Jackson 2.3 4Yr
20 Expos Y Chad Cordero 7.5 4Yr
21 Twins Y Matt Moses HS
22 Giants via Astros Y *David Aardsma 1.9 4Yr
23 Angels Y Brandon Wood -3.7 HS
24 Dodgers Y Chad Billingsley 16.9 HS
25 Athletics Y Brad Sullivan 4Yr
26 Athletics via Giants Y *Brian Snyder 4Yr
27 Yankees Y Eric Duncan   HS
28 Cardinals Y Daric Barton 9.1 HS
29 Diamondbacks Y Carlos Quentin 10.4 4Yr
30 Royals via Braves Y *Mitch Maier 1.4 4Yr
31 Indians Y *Adam Miller HS
32 Red Sox Y *Matt Murton 3.3 4Yr
33 Athletics Y *Omar Quintanilla -0.8 4Yr
34 Giants Y *Craig Whitaker HS
35 Braves Y *Luis Atilano -0.9 HS
36 Braves Y *Jarrod Saltalamacchia 6 HS
37 Mariners Y *Adam Jones 31.2 HS
38 Devil Rays Y James Houser -0.1 HS
39 Brewers Y Tony Gwynn 5.8 4Yr
40 Tigers Y Jay Sborz -0.3 HS
41 Padres Y Daniel Moore 4Yr
42 Royals Y Shane Costa -0.6 4Yr
43 Braves via Cubs Y *Jo-Jo Reyes -3.8 HS
44 Orioles Y Brian Finch 4Yr
45 Pirates Y Tom Gorzelanny 5.9 4Yr
46 Rangers Y Vince Sinisi 4Yr
47 Rockies Y Scott Beerer 4Yr
48 Indians Y Javi Herrera 4Yr
49 Red Sox via Mets Y *Abe Alvarez -0.4 4Yr
50 Blue Jays Y Josh Banks -0.8 4Yr
51 Reds Y Thomas Pauly   4Yr
52 White Sox Y Ryan Sweeney 6.5 HS
53 Marlins Y Logan Kensing -1 4Yr
54 Red Sox Y Mickey Hall HS
55 Giants Y Todd Jennings 4Yr
56 Mariners Y Jeff Flaig HS
57 Expos Y Jerry Owens 0.8 4Yr
58 Twins Y Scott Baker 15.7 4Yr
59 Astros Y Jason Hirsh -0.3 4Yr
60 Angels Y Anthony Whittington HS
61 Dodgers Y Chuck Tiffany HS
62 Athletics Y Andre Ethier 21.8 4Yr
63 Giants Y Nate Schierholtz 4.3 JC
64 Yankees Y Estee Harris   HS
65 Cardinals Y Stu Pomeranz -0.1 HS
66 Diamondbacks Y Jamie D’Antona -0.3 4Yr
67 Braves Y Paul Bacot HS
68 Devil Rays N Andrew Miller 8.4 HS
69 Brewers Y Lou Palmisano JC
70 Tigers Y Tony Giarratano -0.3 4Yr
71 Padres Y Colt Morton -0.3 4Yr
72 Royals Y Brian McFall JC
73 Cubs Y Jake Fox -0.6 4Yr
74 Orioles Y Chris Ray 3.2 4Yr
75 Pirates Y Steven Lerud -0.3 HS
76 Rangers Y John Hudgins   4Yr
77 Rockies Y Aaron Marsden 4Yr
78 Indians Y Ryan Garko 3.6 4Yr
79 Braves via Mets Y *Jake Stevens   HS
80 Blue Jays Y Shaun Marcum 13.4 4Yr
81 Reds Y Willy Jo Ronda HS
82 White Sox Y Clint King 4Yr
83 Marlins Y Jon Fulton   HS
84 Red Sox Y Beau Vaughan 4Yr
85 Phillies Y Tim Moss   4Yr
86 Mariners Y Ryan Feierabend -1.4 HS
87 Expos Y Kory Casto -1.6 4Yr
88 Twins Y Johnny Woodard   JC
89 Astros N Drew Stubbs 8.3 HS
90 Angels Y Sean Rodriguez 9.1 HS
91 Dodgers N Cory VanAllen HS
92 Athletics Y Dustin Majewski   4Yr
93 Giants Y Brian Buscher 0.5 4Yr
94 Yankees Y Tim Battle   HS
95 Cardinals Y Dennis Dove -0.2 4Yr
96 Diamondbacks Y Matt Chico 0.6 JC
97 Braves Y Matt Harrison 9.1 HS
98 Devil Rays Y Travis Schlichting 0.3 HS
99 Brewers Y Charlie Fermaint HS
100 Tigers Y Josh Rainwater HS

Delmon Young, the younger brother of established major leaguer Dmitri, went first overall to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Despite being Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2005 and runner-up for American League Rookie of the Year honors in 2007, Young ultimately fell short of expectations. He managed just a 2.5 bWAR in a 10-year major league career, thanks in part to poor plate discipline and troubles defensively.

The Devil Rays’ best pick in the draft turned out to be Andrew Miller at No. 68, but he did not sign with the team and since has become one of the best relievers in the game elsewhere.
Rickie Weeks was selected second overall by the Milwaukee Brewers and has put up a respectable 11.7 bWAR, which rounded out the top 10 in that category among the draft’s first 100 picks. Here’s how that ranking list looks:

OvPck Team Signed Name bWAR Type
37 Mariners Y *Adam Jones 31.2 HS
7 Orioles Y Nick Markakis 29.8 JC
13 Blue Jays Y Aaron Hill 23.8 4Yr
62 Athletics Y Andre Ethier 21.8 4Yr
9 Rangers Y John Danks 21 HS
24 Dodgers Y Chad Billingsley 16.9 HS
58 Twins Y Scott Baker 15.7 4Yr
80 Blue Jays Y Shaun Marcum 13.4 4Yr
8 Pirates Y Paul Maholm 12.1 4Yr
2 Brewers Y Rickie Weeks 11.7 4Yr
29 Diamondbacks Y Carlos Quentin 10.4 4Yr
17 Red Sox Y David Murphy 10.2 4Yr
28 Cardinals Y Daric Barton 9.1 HS
90 Angels Y Sean Rodriguez 9.1 HS
97 Braves Y Matt Harrison 9.1 HS
68 Devil Rays N Andrew Miller 8.4 HS
89 Astros N Drew Stubbs 8.3 HS
20 Expos Y Chad Cordero 7.5 4Yr
52 White Sox Y Ryan Sweeney 6.5 HS
36 Braves Y *Jarrod Saltalamacchia 6 HS
45 Pirates Y Tom Gorzelanny 5.9 4Yr
39 Brewers Y Tony Gwynn 5.8 4Yr
63 Giants Y Nate Schierholtz 4.3 JC
4 Padres Y Tim Stauffer 3.6 4Yr
78 Indians Y Ryan Garko 3.6 4Yr
32 Red Sox Y *Matt Murton 3.3 4Yr
74 Orioles Y Chris Ray 3.2 4Yr
10 Rockies Y Ian Stewart 2.8 HS
1 Devil Rays Y Delmon Young 2.5 HS
19 Diamondbacks via Mariners Y *Conor Jackson 2.3 4Yr
22 Giants via Astros Y *David Aardsma 1.9 4Yr
30 Royals via Braves Y *Mitch Maier 1.4 4Yr
57 Expos Y Jerry Owens 0.8 4Yr
96 Diamondbacks Y Matt Chico 0.6 JC
12 Mets Y Lastings Milledge 0.5 HS
93 Giants Y Brian Buscher 0.5 4Yr
98 Devil Rays Y Travis Schlichting 0.3 HS
11 Indians Y Michael Aubrey 0.2 4Yr
18 Indians via Phillies Y *Brad Snyder -0.1 4Yr
38 Devil Rays Y James Houser -0.1 HS
65 Cardinals Y Stu Pomeranz -0.1 HS
15 White Sox Y Brian Anderson -0.2 4Yr
95 Cardinals Y Dennis Dove -0.2 4Yr
14 Reds Y Ryan Wagner -0.3 4Yr
40 Tigers Y Jay Sborz -0.3 HS
59 Astros Y Jason Hirsh -0.3 4Yr
66 Diamondbacks Y Jamie D’Antona -0.3 4Yr
70 Tigers Y Tony Giarratano -0.3 4Yr
71 Padres Y Colt Morton -0.3 4Yr
75 Pirates Y Steven Lerud -0.3 HS
49 Red Sox via Mets Y *Abe Alvarez -0.4 4Yr
42 Royals Y Shane Costa -0.6 4Yr
73 Cubs Y Jake Fox -0.6 4Yr
33 Athletics Y *Omar Quintanilla -0.8 4Yr
50 Blue Jays Y Josh Banks -0.8 4Yr
35 Braves Y *Luis Atilano -0.9 HS
53 Marlins Y Logan Kensing -1 4Yr
86 Mariners Y Ryan Feierabend -1.4 HS
87 Expos Y Kory Casto -1.6 4Yr
23 Angels Y Brandon Wood -3.7 HS
43 Braves via Cubs Y *Jo-Jo Reyes -3.8 HS
27 Yankees Y Eric Duncan   HS
51 Reds Y Thomas Pauly   4Yr
64 Yankees Y Estee Harris   HS
76 Rangers Y John Hudgins   4Yr
79 Braves via Mets Y *Jake Stevens   HS
83 Marlins Y Jon Fulton   HS
85 Phillies Y Tim Moss   4Yr
88 Twins Y Johnny Woodard   JC
92 Athletics Y Dustin Majewski   4Yr
94 Yankees Y Tim Battle   HS
3 Tigers Y Kyle Sleeth 4Yr
5 Royals Y Chris Lubanski HS
6 Cubs Y Ryan Harvey HS
16 Marlins Y Jeff Allison HS
21 Twins Y Matt Moses HS
25 Athletics Y Brad Sullivan 4Yr
26 Athletics via Giants Y *Brian Snyder 4Yr
31 Indians Y *Adam Miller HS
34 Giants Y *Craig Whitaker HS
41 Padres Y Daniel Moore 4Yr
44 Orioles Y Brian Finch 4Yr
46 Rangers Y Vince Sinisi 4Yr
47 Rockies Y Scott Beerer 4Yr
48 Indians Y Javi Herrera 4Yr
54 Red Sox Y Mickey Hall HS
55 Giants Y Todd Jennings 4Yr
56 Mariners Y Jeff Flaig HS
60 Angels Y Anthony Whittington HS
61 Dodgers Y Chuck Tiffany HS
67 Braves Y Paul Bacot HS
69 Brewers Y Lou Palmisano JC
72 Royals Y Brian McFall JC
77 Rockies Y Aaron Marsden 4Yr
81 Reds Y Willy Jo Ronda HS
82 White Sox Y Clint King 4Yr
84 Red Sox Y Beau Vaughan 4Yr
91 Dodgers N Cory VanAllen HS
99 Brewers Y Charlie Fermaint HS
100 Tigers Y Josh Rainwater HS

Although the Mariners drafted the player who has accumulated the most bWAR among the draft’s first 100 selections, it’s difficult to declare them a winner considering they traded Jones to the Orioles before he truly established himself in the majors. Jones managed just 0.9 bWAR prior to the 2008 trade that sent him and four others, including Chris Tillman, to Baltimore for Erik Bedard.

The Orioles since have gotten 30.3 bWAR from Jones. Coupled with the 25.5 bWAR received from the first nine years of Markakis’ career, Baltimore would appear to be the chief beneficiary of the 2003 draft. In addition, reliever Chris Ray chipped in 3.2 bWAR after being the Orioles’ third-round pick that year.

Another benefactor from the 2003 draft was Los Angeles, which selected Chad Billingsley 24th overall. Billingsley accumulated the second-highest bWAR among pitchers drafted among the top 100 with 16.9. The Dodgers also have received all 21.8 bWAR from the career of Andre Ethier, who was selected 62nd overall in 2003 by Oakland but shipped to Los Angeles for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez two years later.

From a volume perspective, the Toronto Blue Jays were the only organization to produce multiple players that have contributed double-digit bWAR. Aaron Hill, who was chosen 13th overall, has the third-most bWAR from the 2003 draft with 23.8. Shaun Marcum, who went 80th, produced 13.4 bWAR in a career that ended in 2015.

With four drafted players among the top 100 combining for -0.6 bWAR, the Detroit Tigers stuck out as the biggest loser from the 2003 draft. Sleeth not graduating from Double-A despite being the third overall pick was particularly unfortunate for an organization that lost 119 games in 2003.

The Chicago Cubs also managed a combined -0.6 bWAR from its top-100 picks, including Harvey at No. 6. Each of the next seven players selected after Harvey, who topped out at Double-A, posted a positive bWAR and combined for over 90 bWAR.

The Tigers and Cubs were far from alone as underachievers in a draft devoid of big names. In fact, only nine players among the 2003 draft’s top 100 can claim to have even made an All-Star team. In that group, only Jones has been an All-Star more than twice.

While the 2003 draft has produced 38 players with a positive bWAR – the same number as in 2002 – it has produced less top-end talent than any previous draft in this series. Here’s hoping things can turn around in 2004!

1 comment for “Mets360 Draft series: The 2003 MLB Draft

  1. January 21, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I had high hopes for Kyle Sleeth. Even went and saw him pitch a game in college while the streak was alive.

    And Lastings, you could have made us proud.

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