Mets360 Draft series: The 2005 MLB Draft

There is a superstition that bad things come in threes.  That certainly seems to have held true for the first half dozen Major League Baseball Amateur Drafts of the 21st century – even the ones dripping with talent, like the 2005 edition.

The Seattle Mariners’ selection of catcher Jeff Clement with the third pick of the 2005 draft continued a string of six consecutive players picked in that spot to have either not made the majors or managed a career bWAR less than 1.0.

Clement produced a -1.2 bWAR in a career that spanned parts of four major league seasons, joining Luis Montanez and Dewon Brazelton as No. 3 picks with negative career bWAR from the first six drafts of the 2000s.  Philip Humber, who went to the Mets at No. 3 in 2004, posted that slot’s high-water mark from that period with a 0.9 bWAR.  Chris Gruler and Kyle Sleeth, chosen third in 2002 and 2003, respectively, never made the majors.

Seattle’s only top-100 choice in 2005, Clement stuck out like a sore thumb in terms of futility due in large part to the selections around him.  The other players drafted within the top dozen that year have combined for a 277.4 bWAR.

Here are the top 100 picks from 2005 in chronological order:

OvPck Team Signed Name WAR Type
1 Diamondbacks Y Justin Upton 32.4 HS
2 Royals Y Alex Gordon 32.7 4Yr
3 Mariners Y Jeff Clement -1.2 4Yr
4 Nationals Y Ryan Zimmerman 36.5 4Yr
5 Brewers Y Ryan Braun 45.6 4Yr
6 Blue Jays Y Ricky Romero 9.7 4Yr
7 Rockies Y Troy Tulowitzki 43.8 4Yr
8 Devil Rays Y Wade Townsend 4Yr
9 Mets Y Mike Pelfrey 4.8 4Yr
10 Tigers Y Cameron Maybin 13 HS
11 Pirates Y Andrew McCutchen 40.1 HS
12 Reds Y Jay Bruce 18.8 HS
13 Orioles Y Brandon Snyder 0 HS
14 Indians Y Trevor Crowe 0 4Yr
15 White Sox Y Lance Broadway 0.3 4Yr
16 Marlins Y Chris Volstad 2.6 HS
17 Yankees via Phillies Y *C.J. Henry HS
18 Padres Y Cesar Carrillo -0.7 4Yr
19 Rangers Y John Mayberry 0.7 4Yr
20 Cubs Y Mark Pawelek HS
21 Athletics Y Cliff Pennington 11.1 4Yr
22 Marlins via Giants Y *Aaron Thompson -0.1 HS
23 Red Sox via Angels Y *Jacoby Ellsbury 30.9 4Yr
24 Astros Y Brian Bogusevic 2.1 4Yr
25 Twins Y Matt Garza 12.2 4Yr
26 Red Sox via Dodgers Y *Craig Hansen -1.9 4Yr
27 Braves Y Joey Devine 2.1 4Yr
28 Cardinals via Red Sox Y *Colby Rasmus 19.5 HS
29 Marlins via Yankees Y *Jacob Marceaux 4Yr
30 Cardinals Y Tyler Greene -0.6 4Yr
31 Diamondbacks Y *Matt Torra 4Yr
32 Rockies Y *Chaz Roe 0.7 HS
33 Indians Y *Johnny Drennen HS
34 Marlins Y *Ryan Tucker -1.3 HS
35 Padres Y *Cesar Ramos 1.3 4Yr
36 Athletics Y *Travis Buck 3.1 4Yr
37 Angels Y *Trevor Bell -1.2 HS
38 Astros Y *Eli Iorg 4Yr
39 Twins Y *Hank Sanchez HS
40 Dodgers N *Luke Hochevar 3.1 4Yr
41 Braves Y *Beau Jones HS
42 Red Sox Y *Clay Buchholz 15.5 JC
43 Cardinals Y *Mark McCormick 4Yr
44 Marlins Y *Sean West -0.1 HS
45 Red Sox Y *Jed Lowrie 12.6 4Yr
46 Cardinals Y *Tyler Herron HS
47 Red Sox Y *Michael Bowden 0.8 HS
48 Orioles Y *Garrett Olson -2.7 4Yr
49 Diamondbacks Y Matt Green 4Yr
50 Royals Y Jeff Bianchi 0.5 HS
51 Dodgers via Mariners Y *Ivan De Jesus -1.5
52 Rockies via Nationals Y *Daniel Carte 4Yr
53 Athletics via Brewers Y *Craig Italiano HS
54 Twins via Blue Jays Y *Paul Kelly HS
55 Rockies Y Zach Simons JC
56 Devil Rays Y Chris Mason 4Yr
57 Red Sox via Mets Y *Jonathan Egan HS
58 Angels via Tigers Y *Ryan Mount HS
59 Pirates Y Brad Corley 4Yr
60 Reds Y Travis Wood 7.1 HS
61 Orioles Y Nolan Reimold 2.2 4Yr
62 Indians Y Stephen Head 4Yr
63 Yankees via White Sox Y *J.B. Cox 4Yr
64 Marlins Y Kris Harvey   4Yr
65 Phillies Y Mike Costanzo -0.6 4Yr
66 Padres Y Chase Headley 26.8 4Yr
67 Rangers Y John Whittleman HS
68 Cubs Y Donnie Veal 0 JC
69 Athletics Y Jared Lansford HS
70 Cardinals via Giants Y *Josh Wilson HS
71 Angels Y P.J. Phillips HS
72 Astros Y Ralph Henriquez HS
73 Twins Y Kevin Slowey 4.6 4Yr
74 Dodgers Y Josh Wall -1 HS
75 Braves Y Yunel Escobar 26.7
76 Padres via Red Sox Y *Nick Hundley 7.7 4Yr
77 Braves via Yankees Y *Jeff Lyman HS
78 Cardinals Y Nicholas Webber 4Yr
79 Marlins Y *Brett Hayes -1.3 4Yr
80 Twins Y *Drew Thompson HS
81 Diamondbacks Y Jason Neighborgall 4Yr
82 Royals Y Chris Nicoll 4Yr
83 Diamondbacks via Mariners Y *Micah Owings 4 4Yr
84 Twins via Nationals Y *Brian Duensing 7.8 4Yr
85 Brewers Y Will Inman   HS
86 Blue Jays Y Brian Pettway 4Yr
87 Rockies Y Kyle Hancock HS
88 Devil Rays N Bryan Morris 2.6 HS
89 Astros via Mets Y *Tommy Manzella -1.4 4Yr
90 Tigers Y Chris Robinson 0 4Yr
91 Pirates Y James Boone 4Yr
92 Reds Y Zach Ward   4Yr
93 Orioles Y Brandon Erbe HS
94 Indians Y Nick Weglarz  
95 White Sox Y Ricky Brooks 4Yr
96 Marlins Y Matthew Goyen 4Yr
97 Phillies Y Matt Maloney -0.2 4Yr
98 Padres Y Josh Geer -0.7 4Yr
99 Rangers Y Taylor Teagarden 0.4 4Yr
100 Cubs Y Mark Holliman 4Yr

There’s no shortage of big names near the top, with the best of that bunch in terms of bWAR being fifth overall pick Ryan Braun (45.6).  Troy Tulowitzki, who went two picks after Braun, checks in with the second-best bWAR of the top 100 at 43.8, including a draft-best six 5-win seasons.  The two players taken ahead of Clement – Justin Upton and Alex Gordon – have accumulated nearly identical bWAR of 32.4 and 32.7, respectively.

Upton’s older brother Melvin, who went by B.J. at the time, was the second overall pick three years earlier.  To date, the younger Upton has a healthy 15.8 advantage in career bWAR as he enters his 12th major league season.  Melvin last played in 2016.

The Mets’ only top-100 selection was Mike Pelfrey, who went ninth overall and was the third pitcher off the board.  He spent the first seven years of his major league career in New York, highlighted by a 15-win campaign in 2010.  Since that season, however, he has managed just a 25-62 record with four organizations.  His career 4.8 bWAR ranks just outside the top 20 among the first 100 players taken in his draft class.

Below is the list ranked by bWAR:

OvPck Team Signed Name WAR Type
5 Brewers Y Ryan Braun 45.6 4Yr
7 Rockies Y Troy Tulowitzki 43.8 4Yr
11 Pirates Y Andrew McCutchen 40.1 HS
4 Nationals Y Ryan Zimmerman 36.5 4Yr
2 Royals Y Alex Gordon 32.7 4Yr
1 Diamondbacks Y Justin Upton 32.4 HS
23 Red Sox via Angels Y *Jacoby Ellsbury 30.9 4Yr
66 Padres Y Chase Headley 26.8 4Yr
75 Braves Y Yunel Escobar 26.7
28 Cardinals via Red Sox Y *Colby Rasmus 19.5 HS
12 Reds Y Jay Bruce 18.8 HS
42 Red Sox Y *Clay Buchholz 15.5 JC
10 Tigers Y Cameron Maybin 13 HS
45 Red Sox Y *Jed Lowrie 12.6 4Yr
25 Twins Y Matt Garza 12.2 4Yr
21 Athletics Y Cliff Pennington 11.1 4Yr
6 Blue Jays Y Ricky Romero 9.7 4Yr
84 Twins via Nationals Y *Brian Duensing 7.8 4Yr
76 Padres via Red Sox Y *Nick Hundley 7.7 4Yr
60 Reds Y Travis Wood 7.1 HS
9 Mets Y Mike Pelfrey 4.8 4Yr
73 Twins Y Kevin Slowey 4.6 4Yr
83 Diamondbacks via Mariners Y *Micah Owings 4 4Yr
36 Athletics Y *Travis Buck 3.1 4Yr
40 Dodgers N *Luke Hochevar 3.1 4Yr
16 Marlins Y Chris Volstad 2.6 HS
88 Devil Rays N Bryan Morris 2.6 HS
61 Orioles Y Nolan Reimold 2.2 4Yr
24 Astros Y Brian Bogusevic 2.1 4Yr
27 Braves Y Joey Devine 2.1 4Yr
35 Padres Y *Cesar Ramos 1.3 4Yr
47 Red Sox Y *Michael Bowden 0.8 HS
19 Rangers Y John Mayberry 0.7 4Yr
32 Rockies Y *Chaz Roe 0.7 HS
50 Royals Y Jeff Bianchi 0.5 HS
99 Rangers Y Taylor Teagarden 0.4 4Yr
15 White Sox Y Lance Broadway 0.3 4Yr
13 Orioles Y Brandon Snyder 0 HS
14 Indians Y Trevor Crowe 0 4Yr
68 Cubs Y Donnie Veal 0 JC
90 Tigers Y Chris Robinson 0 4Yr
22 Marlins via Giants Y *Aaron Thompson -0.1 HS
44 Marlins Y *Sean West -0.1 HS
97 Phillies Y Matt Maloney -0.2 4Yr
30 Cardinals Y Tyler Greene -0.6 4Yr
65 Phillies Y Mike Costanzo -0.6 4Yr
18 Padres Y Cesar Carrillo -0.7 4Yr
98 Padres Y Josh Geer -0.7 4Yr
74 Dodgers Y Josh Wall -1 HS
3 Mariners Y Jeff Clement -1.2 4Yr
37 Angels Y *Trevor Bell -1.2 HS
34 Marlins Y *Ryan Tucker -1.3 HS
79 Marlins Y *Brett Hayes -1.3 4Yr
89 Astros via Mets Y *Tommy Manzella -1.4 4Yr
51 Dodgers via Mariners Y *Ivan De Jesus -1.5
26 Red Sox via Dodgers Y *Craig Hansen -1.9 4Yr
48 Orioles Y *Garrett Olson -2.7 4Yr
64 Marlins Y Kris Harvey   4Yr
85 Brewers Y Will Inman   HS
92 Reds Y Zach Ward   4Yr
94 Indians Y Nick Weglarz  
8 Devil Rays Y Wade Townsend 4Yr
17 Yankees via Phillies Y *C.J. Henry HS
20 Cubs Y Mark Pawelek HS
29 Marlins via Yankees Y *Jacob Marceaux 4Yr
31 Diamondbacks Y *Matt Torra 4Yr
33 Indians Y *Johnny Drennen HS
38 Astros Y *Eli Iorg 4Yr
39 Twins Y *Hank Sanchez HS
41 Braves Y *Beau Jones HS
43 Cardinals Y *Mark McCormick 4Yr
46 Cardinals Y *Tyler Herron HS
49 Diamondbacks Y Matt Green 4Yr
52 Rockies via Nationals Y *Daniel Carte 4Yr
53 Athletics via Brewers Y *Craig Italiano HS
54 Twins via Blue Jays Y *Paul Kelly HS
55 Rockies Y Zach Simons JC
56 Devil Rays Y Chris Mason 4Yr
57 Red Sox via Mets Y *Jonathan Egan HS
58 Angels via Tigers Y *Ryan Mount HS
59 Pirates Y Brad Corley 4Yr
62 Indians Y Stephen Head 4Yr
63 Yankees via White Sox Y *J.B. Cox 4Yr
67 Rangers Y John Whittleman HS
69 Athletics Y Jared Lansford HS
70 Cardinals via Giants Y *Josh Wilson HS
71 Angels Y P.J. Phillips HS
72 Astros Y Ralph Henriquez HS
77 Braves via Yankees Y *Jeff Lyman HS
78 Cardinals Y Nicholas Webber 4Yr
80 Twins Y *Drew Thompson HS
81 Diamondbacks Y Jason Neighborgall 4Yr
82 Royals Y Chris Nicoll 4Yr
86 Blue Jays Y Brian Pettway 4Yr
87 Rockies Y Kyle Hancock HS
91 Pirates Y James Boone 4Yr
93 Orioles Y Brandon Erbe HS
95 White Sox Y Ricky Brooks 4Yr
96 Marlins Y Matthew Goyen 4Yr
100 Cubs Y Mark Holliman 4Yr

The draft turned out to be a long-term winner for many clubs, with each of the top five bWAR performers within the first 100 picks staying with the organization that drafted him for at least a decade.  Andrew McCutchen, whose 40.1 bWAR is third among the draft’s top 100, was the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates before they traded him to San Francisco this winter.  He has finished in the top-five in National League MVP voting four times, winning the award in 2013.

The Boston Red Sox had six selections crammed into a 35-pick span from Nos. 23-57.  Jacoby Ellsbury was the first choice of that crew and has posted a solid bWAR of 30.9.  The Red Sox also had Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie among the top 15 percent of the players chosen within the top 100 based on bWAR with 15.5 and 12.6, respectively.

The 2005 draft thus far has produced nine players with at least 25 career bWAR, the highest total to date in this series.  It paid to have a high pick in this draft, as six of the top 11 players selected have a bWAR value above 32.

Unfortunately for Bill Bavasi, who was making the initial first-round pick of his tenure as general manager of the Mariners, he was saddled with the seemingly cursed No. 3 pick and whiffed.  Andrew Friedman, who was hired as general manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays following the 2005 season, would break the curse in spectacular fashion with his debut choice at No. 3 in 2006.  Stay tuned!

3 comments for “Mets360 Draft series: The 2005 MLB Draft

  1. February 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

    My hope for this draft is that Bruce catches and surpasses Escobar in bWAR

  2. Steevy
    February 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Pitching is so important yet pitcher health and career longevity are so fragile I think I would draft postiin players with all my top picks and reach for pitchers later.

    • Name
      February 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      To me, that represents a rather significant flaw in WAR, or at minimum, makes it rather useless for comparing pitchers and hitters. All evidence does point to pitching having a better correlation with winning games, yet WAR doesn’t reflect that. Fangraphs (and i think BRef as well) gives the total position pool 570 fWAR and pitching pool just 430 fWAR. I’m not sure how they came up with those numbers. But that makes it easier for hitters to rack up WAR. For example, there were 19 hitters who produced a 5.0+ fWAR last year yet only 7 pitchers reached that mark.

      Long story short i’d avoid WAR comparisons between hitters and pitchers.

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