Mets360 Draft series: The 2004 MLB Draft

After a relatively poor draft in 2003, the top 100 of 2004 showed up to restore our faith in both the talent of U.S. amateurs and the ability of organizations to identify that talent. All told, 27 of the first 30 picks made the majors, with 22 of those 27 providing positive bWAR values. There was also great value to be had in the second and third rounds, too. To date, two players have put up near Hall of Fame numbers in Justin Verlander and Dustin Pedroia.

Here’s the chronological order of the top 100 picks from 2004. All WAR values stated in this piece are from Baseball-Reference:

OvPck Tm Signed Name WAR Type
1 Padres Y Matt Bush 2.3 HS
2 Tigers Y Justin Verlander 56.6 4Yr
3 Mets Y Philip Humber 0.9 4Yr
4 Devil Rays Y Jeff Niemann 4.1 4Yr
5 Brewers Y Mark Rogers 1.1 HS
6 Indians Y Jeremy Sowers 1.6 4Yr
7 Reds Y Homer Bailey 6.2 HS
8 Orioles N Wade Townsend   4Yr
9 Rockies Y Chris Nelson -2.4 HS
10 Rangers Y Thomas Diamond -0.4 4Yr
11 Pirates Y Neil Walker 20.4 HS
12 Angels Y Jered Weaver 34.6 4Yr
13 Expos Y Bill Bray 2.5 4Yr
14 Royals Y Billy Butler 11.5 HS
15 Diamondbacks Y Stephen Drew 17.2 4Yr
16 Blue Jays Y David Purcey 0.1 4Yr
17 Dodgers Y Scott Elbert 1.5 HS
18 White Sox Y Josh Fields -1.1 4Yr
19 Cardinals Y Chris Lambert -0.8 4Yr
20 Twins Y Trevor Plouffe 7.7 HS
21 Phillies Y Greg Golson -0.5 HS
22 Twins via Mariners Y *Glen Perkins 8.7 4Yr
23 Yankees via Astros Y *Phil Hughes 11.6 HS
24 Athletics via Red Sox Y *Landon Powell 0.2 4Yr
25 Twins via Cubs Y *Kyle Waldrop 0.5 HS
26 Athletics Y Richie Robnett   4Yr
27 Marlins Y Taylor Tankersley 0.7 4Yr
28 Dodgers via Yankees Y *Blake DeWitt 1.9 HS
29 Royals via Giants Y *Matt Campbell   4Yr
30 Rangers via Braves Y *Eric Hurley 0.1 HS
31 Royals Y *J.P. Howell 8 4Yr
32 Blue Jays Y *Zach Jackson -0.8 4Yr
33 Dodgers Y *Justin Orenduff   4Yr
34 White Sox Y *Tyler Lumsden   4Yr
35 Twins Y *Matt Fox 0 4Yr
36 Athletics Y *Danny Putnam -0.2 4Yr
37 Yankees Y *Jon Poterson   HS
38 White Sox Y *Gio Gonzalez 26.1 HS
39 Twins Y *Jay Rainville   HS
40 Athletics Y *Huston Street 14.4 4Yr
41 Yankees Y *Jeff Marquez 0 JC
42 Yankees via Padres Y *Brett Smith   4Yr
43 Tigers Y Eric Beattie   4Yr
44 Mets Y Matt Durkin   4Yr
45 Devil Rays Y Reid Brignac -0.5 HS
46 Brewers Y Yovani Gallardo 23.3 HS
47 Indians Y Justin Hoyman   4Yr
48 Reds Y B.J. Szymanski   4Yr
49 Athletics via Orioles Y *Michael Rogers   4Yr
50 Rockies Y Seth Smith 12 4Yr
51 Rangers Y K.C. Herren   HS
52 Pirates Y Brian Bixler -1.3 4Yr
53 White Sox via Angels Y *Wes Whisler -0.1 4Yr
54 Expos Y Erick San Pedro   4Yr
55 Royals Y Billy Buckner -1 4Yr
56 Diamondbacks Y Jon Zeringue   4Yr
57 Blue Jays Y Curtis Thigpen -0.3 4Yr
58 Dodgers Y Blake Johnson   HS
59 White Sox Y Donny Lucy 0.2 4Yr
60 Cardinals Y Mike Ferris   4Yr
61 Twins Y Anthony Swarzak 4.8 HS
62 Phillies Y Jason Jaramillo -0.8 4Yr
63 Royals via Mariners Y *Erik Cordier -0.2 HS
64 Astros Y Hunter Pence 29.9 4Yr
65 Red Sox Y Dustin Pedroia 52.2 4Yr
66 Cubs Y Grant Johnson   4Yr
67 Athletics Y Kurt Suzuki 17.6 4Yr
68 Marlins Y Jason Vargas 15.9 4Yr
69 White Sox via Yankees Y *Ray Liotta   JC
70 Giants Y Eddy Martinez-Esteve   4Yr
71 Braves Y Eric Campbell   HS
72 Padres Y Billy Killian   HS
73 Tigers Y Jeff Frazier -0.1 4Yr
74 Mets Y Gaby Hernandez   HS
75 Devil Rays Y Wade Davis 11.7 HS
76 Brewers Y Joshua Wahpepah   JC
77 Indians Y Scott Lewis 0.6 4Yr
78 Reds Y Craig Tatum 0.1 4Yr
79 Orioles Y Jeff Fiorentino 0.7 4Yr
80 Rockies Y Steven Register -0.2 4Yr
81 Rangers Y Michael Schlact   HS
82 Pirates Y Eddie Prasch   HS
83 Blue Jays via Angels Y *Adam Lind 11.9 4Yr
84 Expos Y Ian Desmond 17.2 HS
85 Royals Y Josh Johnson   HS
86 Diamondbacks Y Garrett Mock -0.6 4Yr
87 Blue Jays Y Danny Hill   4Yr
88 Dodgers Y Cory Dunlap   JC
89 White Sox Y Grant Hansen   4Yr
90 Cardinals Y Eric Haberer   4Yr
91 Twins Y Eddie Morlan   HS
92 Phillies Y J.A. Happ 17.3 4Yr
93 Mariners Y Matt Tuiasosopo -0.2 HS
94 Astros Y Jordan Parraz   JC
95 Red Sox Y Andrew Dobies   4Yr
96 Cubs Y Mark Reed   HS
97 Athletics Y Jason Windsor -0.3 4Yr
98 Marlins Y Greg Burns   HS
99 Yankees Y Christian Garcia 0.3 HS
100 Giants Y John Bowker -1.5 4Yr

Bush was a signability pick and the Padres picked the San Diego native over Verlander and Weaver, considered the top prospects heading into the draft. Bush ran into alcohol/substance problems and looked like he was going to be a bust. But he moved from the infield to the pitcher’s mound and developed into a hard-throwing reliever, even briefly holding the closer’s job for the Rangers last year.

While Bush leapt to the top of the draft because of his willingness to sign, Weaver fell to the 12th pick. While he may not have had a dominating MLB career, Weaver put up a very strong 34.6 WAR. He was one of six players in the first round to post a double-digit WAR and there’s an outside shot that one or two more will be added to that list before their career is over. Right now, 13 players have reached that double-digit total.

The Mets, thanks to a 66-95 record, had the third overall pick. Rumors had them interested in Verlander but when he went second, they ended up picking Humber from Rice University, a school which was in the process of establishing a reputation for overworking pitchers. The ’04 Owls had three pitchers who were highly regarded – Humber, Townsend and Niemann – and went in the top eight of the draft. Those three combined for just 5.0 WAR in the majors, although Humber did have one moment of glory as he threw a perfect game for the White Sox in 2012.

The Mets’ other two picks among the top 100 were Durkin and Hernandez, neither of which made the majors. But Hernandez did provide dividends for the Mets, as he was the main piece dealt to the Marlins for Paul Lo Duca, who turned in an All-Star season for the 2006 pennant winning squad.

Here’s the top 100, sorted by WAR:

OvPck Tm Signed Name WAR Type  
2 Tigers Y Justin Verlander 56.6 4Yr  
65 Red Sox Y Dustin Pedroia 52.2 4Yr  
12 Angels Y Jered Weaver 34.6 4Yr  
64 Astros Y Hunter Pence 29.9 4Yr  
38 White Sox Y *Gio Gonzalez 26.1 HS  
46 Brewers Y Yovani Gallardo 23.3 HS  
11 Pirates Y Neil Walker 20.4 HS  
67 Athletics Y Kurt Suzuki 17.6 4Yr  
92 Phillies Y J.A. Happ 17.3 4Yr  
15 Diamondbacks Y Stephen Drew 17.2 4Yr  
84 Expos Y Ian Desmond 17.2 HS  
68 Marlins Y Jason Vargas 15.9 4Yr  
40 Athletics Y *Huston Street 14.4 4Yr  
50 Rockies Y Seth Smith 12 4Yr  
83 Blue Jays via Angels Y *Adam Lind 11.9 4Yr  
75 Devil Rays Y Wade Davis 11.7 HS  
23 Yankees via Astros Y *Phil Hughes 11.6 HS  
14 Royals Y Billy Butler 11.5 HS  
22 Twins via Mariners Y *Glen Perkins 8.7 4Yr  
31 Royals Y *J.P. Howell 8 4Yr  
20 Twins Y Trevor Plouffe 7.7 HS  
7 Reds Y Homer Bailey 6.2 HS  
61 Twins Y Anthony Swarzak 4.8 HS  
4 Devil Rays Y Jeff Niemann 4.1 4Yr  
13 Expos Y Bill Bray 2.5 4Yr  
1 Padres Y Matt Bush 2.3 HS  
28 Dodgers via Yankees Y *Blake DeWitt 1.9 HS  
6 Indians Y Jeremy Sowers 1.6 4Yr  
17 Dodgers Y Scott Elbert 1.5 HS  
5 Brewers Y Mark Rogers 1.1 HS  
3 Mets Y Philip Humber 0.9 4Yr  
27 Marlins Y Taylor Tankersley 0.7 4Yr  
79 Orioles Y Jeff Fiorentino 0.7 4Yr  
77 Indians Y Scott Lewis 0.6 4Yr  
25 Twins via Cubs Y *Kyle Waldrop 0.5 HS  
99 Yankees Y Christian Garcia 0.3 HS  
24 Athletics via Red Sox Y *Landon Powell 0.2 4Yr  
59 White Sox Y Donny Lucy 0.2 4Yr  
16 Blue Jays Y David Purcey 0.1 4Yr  
30 Rangers via Braves Y *Eric Hurley 0.1 HS  
78 Reds Y Craig Tatum 0.1 4Yr  
35 Twins Y *Matt Fox 0 4Yr  
41 Yankees Y *Jeff Marquez 0 JC  
53 White Sox via Angels Y *Wes Whisler -0.1 4Yr  
73 Tigers Y Jeff Frazier -0.1 4Yr  
36 Athletics Y *Danny Putnam -0.2 4Yr  
63 Royals via Mariners Y *Erik Cordier -0.2 HS  
80 Rockies Y Steven Register -0.2 4Yr  
93 Mariners Y Matt Tuiasosopo -0.2 HS  
57 Blue Jays Y Curtis Thigpen -0.3 4Yr  
97 Athletics Y Jason Windsor -0.3 4Yr  
10 Rangers Y Thomas Diamond -0.4 4Yr  
21 Phillies Y Greg Golson -0.5 HS  
45 Devil Rays Y Reid Brignac -0.5 HS  
86 Diamondbacks Y Garrett Mock -0.6 4Yr  
19 Cardinals Y Chris Lambert -0.8 4Yr  
32 Blue Jays Y *Zach Jackson -0.8 4Yr  
62 Phillies Y Jason Jaramillo -0.8 4Yr  
55 Royals Y Billy Buckner -1 4Yr  
18 White Sox Y Josh Fields -1.1 4Yr  
52 Pirates Y Brian Bixler -1.3 4Yr  
100 Giants Y John Bowker -1.5 4Yr  
9 Rockies Y Chris Nelson -2.4 HS  
8 Orioles N Wade Townsend   4Yr  
26 Athletics Y Richie Robnett   4Yr  
29 Royals via Giants Y *Matt Campbell   4Yr  
33 Dodgers Y *Justin Orenduff   4Yr  
34 White Sox Y *Tyler Lumsden   4Yr  
37 Yankees Y *Jon Poterson   HS  
39 Twins Y *Jay Rainville   HS  
42 Yankees via Padres Y *Brett Smith   4Yr  
43 Tigers Y Eric Beattie   4Yr  
44 Mets Y Matt Durkin   4Yr  
47 Indians Y Justin Hoyman   4Yr  
48 Reds Y B.J. Szymanski   4Yr  
49 Athletics via Orioles Y *Michael Rogers   4Yr  
51 Rangers Y K.C. Herren   HS  
54 Expos Y Erick San Pedro   4Yr  
56 Diamondbacks Y Jon Zeringue   4Yr  
58 Dodgers Y Blake Johnson   HS  
60 Cardinals Y Mike Ferris   4Yr  
66 Cubs Y Grant Johnson   4Yr  
69 White Sox via Yankees Y *Ray Liotta   JC  
70 Giants Y Eddy Martinez-Esteve   4Yr  
71 Braves Y Eric Campbell   HS  
72 Padres Y Billy Killian   HS  
74 Mets Y Gaby Hernandez   HS  
76 Brewers Y Joshua Wahpepah   JC  
81 Rangers Y Michael Schlact   HS  
82 Pirates Y Eddie Prasch   HS  
85 Royals Y Josh Johnson   HS  
87 Blue Jays Y Danny Hill   4Yr  
88 Dodgers Y Cory Dunlap   JC  
89 White Sox Y Grant Hansen   4Yr  
90 Cardinals Y Eric Haberer   4Yr  
91 Twins Y Eddie Morlan   HS  
94 Astros Y Jordan Parraz   JC  
95 Red Sox Y Andrew Dobies   4Yr  
96 Cubs Y Mark Reed   HS  
98 Marlins Y Greg Burns   HS

It’s difficult as a Mets fan to look at the names available in this draft and who the team passed on at number three. In earlier looks this decade we saw the team make a great pick in David Wright and a strong pick with Scott Kazmir. But those two were the loud exceptions to the rule that the Mets drafted poorly in the first half of the 21st Century. This was the last draft before Omar Minaya took over.

4 comments for “Mets360 Draft series: The 2004 MLB Draft

  1. Name
    February 1, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Just for fun i’m going to start counting the number of pure first round guys who made the majors and played a full season – 600 PA for position players, 200 IP for starters, 75 innings for relievers – as it eliminates major leaguers with only sympathy appearances.

    2000 – 9/29
    2001 – 16/28
    2002 – 21/29
    2003 – 20/30
    2004 – 20/30

    Narrative about the same as yours, except while 03 wasn’t good at producing top end talent, it was the same as producing guys who played at least 1 year.

    • February 1, 2018 at 7:49 am

      The whole point of doing this is to put things in some kind of context. If you have something you’d like to see done with the info – please let us know and we’ll look into it.

      • Name
        February 1, 2018 at 2:06 pm

        Right now it seems like you are tracking 2 things.

        % of players to make the majors
        % of players with double digit WAR.

        I guess i would like to add
        % of players that made an “impact”. I used what a full season’s worth of PA/IP as the minimum, but that’s arbitrary. It’s an effort to weed thru the players and pick out the guys like Kunz, who did appear in a major league game but had no impact. Similarly, if Nimmo, Cecchini, Plawecki did not appear in another MLB game i don’t think they have done enough to warrant putting in the “win” column for Alderson, and i think this stat reflects that.

        • February 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm

          The idea was to gather the information, put something up immediately and then look to do more stuff once we had presented everything.

          I was thinking about production versus slot. You always hear people complain about – why did they draft A when they could have taken B instead? Unless the team has announced that we’re either going to take A or B – it should be what they got from the slot. In ’04 when the Mets took Humber, the complaint shouldn’t be – we should have taken Pedroia. It should be that with the 3rd overall pick the average team gets 15 WAR (or whatever it is) and the Mets didn’t come close to that.

          I was also thinking of doing groupings. What should you expect if you have picks 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, etc.

          And maybe we can even check to see if drafting has gotten better. We’re going to take it to 2011 or so. Break it into groups of three years and see if the 2009-2011 Drafts were better than the 2000-2002 ones.

          But certainly open to whatever ideas you or anyone else might have.

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