Mets360 Draft series: The 2008 MLB Draft

The top of the 2008 Draft was defined by signability. Buster Posey was in the running for top overall pick until it was suggested that he was going to ask for $12 million, which took him out of the running. Scott Boras was advising several of the top talents, including Pedro Alvarez, Gerrit Cole and Eric Hosmer, who were all seeking big contracts. That helped the Rays select Tim Beckham, who ended up signing for over $6 million. Posey fell to the Giants at five and barely got half of the rumored $12 million.

Beckham has had anything but a smooth ride to the majors. He was unspectacular his first three years in pro ball. Then when it looked like he was turning the corner, he got a 50-game suspension for a drug of choice. He finally established himself in the majors last year, only to get traded to the Orioles. In 50 games for Baltimore, he put up an .871 OPS and appeared to be set for years to come. But there’s still uncertainty in his situation, as the Orioles have announced that Manny Machado will play shortstop this year, with Beckham moving to third base. Meanwhile, Beckham has played a total of nine games at the hot corner in the majors.

Posey has easily been the class of this draft, although there are solid major league performers throughout the first round. Here is the chronological list of the top 100 players. All WAR totals throughout the piece are from Baseball-Reference:

OvPck Tm Signed Name WAR Type
1 Rays Y Tim Beckham 4.5 HS
2 Pirates Y Pedro Alvarez 6 4Yr
3 Royals Y Eric Hosmer 14.1 HS
4 Orioles Y Brian Matusz 2.7 4Yr
5 Giants Y Buster Posey 37.5 4Yr
6 Marlins Y Kyle Skipworth -0.1 HS
7 Reds Y Yonder Alonso 7.9 4Yr
8 White Sox Y Gordon Beckham 5.7 4Yr
9 Nationals N Aaron Crow 2.4 4Yr
10 Astros Y Jason Castro 12.1 4Yr
11 Rangers Y Justin Smoak 4.7 4Yr
12 Athletics Y Jemile Weeks 1.1 4Yr
13 Cardinals Y Brett Wallace -0.6 4Yr
14 Twins Y Aaron Hicks 5.7 HS
15 Dodgers Y Ethan Martin -0.5 HS
16 Brewers Y Brett Lawrie 15.2 HS
17 Blue Jays Y David Cooper 0.1 4Yr
18 Mets via Braves Y *Ike Davis 4.9 4Yr
19 Cubs Y Andrew Cashner 8.7 4Yr
20 Mariners Y Josh Fields 1 4Yr
21 Tigers Y Ryan Perry 0.3 4Yr
22 Mets Y Reese Havens   4Yr
23 Padres Y Allan Dykstra -0.5 4Yr
24 Phillies Y Anthony Hewitt   HS
25 Rockies Y Christian Friedrich -0.4 4Yr
26 Diamondbacks Y Daniel Schlereth 0 4Yr
27 Twins via Angels Y *Carlos Gutierrez   4Yr
28 Yankees N Gerrit Cole 12.2 HS
29 Indians Y Lonnie Chisenhall 8.8 JC
30 Red Sox Y Casey Kelly -1.5 HS
31 Twins Y *Shooter Hunt   4Yr
32 Brewers Y *Jake Odorizzi 8 HS
33 Mets Y Bradley Holt   4Yr
34 Phillies Y *Zach Collier   HS
35 Brewers Y *Evan Frederickson   4Yr
36 Royals Y Mike Montgomery 5 HS
37 Giants Y *Conor Gillaspie 1 4Yr
38 Astros Y *Jordan Lyles -3.5 HS
39 Cardinals Y *Lance Lynn 14.1 4Yr
40 Braves Y *Brett DeVall   HS
41 Cubs Y *Ryan Flaherty 1.6 4Yr
42 Padres Y Jaff Decker -1.5 HS
43 Diamondbacks Y *Wade Miley 8.3 4Yr
44 Yankees Y *Jeremy Bleich   4Yr
45 Red Sox Y *Bryan Price -0.2 4Yr
46 Padres Y *Logan Forsythe 12.5 4Yr
47 Rays Y Kyle Lobstein 0.2 HS
48 Pirates N Tanner Scheppers 1.1 4Yr
49 Royals Y Johnny Giavotella 0.8 4Yr
50 Orioles Y Xavier Avery -0.3 HS
51 Phillies via Giants Y *Anthony Gose 1.9 HS
52 Marlins Y Brad Hand 4.4 HS
53 Brewers Y Seth Lintz   HS
54 Brewers Y Cutter Dykstra   HS
55 Nationals Y Destin Hood -0.2 HS
56 Astros Y Jay Austin   HS
57 Rangers Y Robbie Ross 2.8 HS
58 Athletics Y Tyson Ross 6 4Yr
59 Cardinals Y Shane Peterson 0.9 4Yr
60 Twins Y Tyler Ladendorf -0.4 JC
61 Dodgers Y Josh Lindblom 1 4Yr
62 Brewers Y Cody Adams   4Yr
63 Blue Jays Y Kenny Wilson   HS
64 Braves Y Tyler Stovall   HS
65 Cubs Y Aaron Shafer   4Yr
66 Mariners Y Dennis Raben   4Yr
67 Tigers Y Cody Satterwhite   4Yr
68 Mets Y Javier Rodriguez   HS
69 Padres Y James Darnell -0.6 4Yr
70 Braves Y Zeke Spruill -0.4 HS
71 Phillies Y Jason Knapp   HS
72 Rockies Y Charlie Blackmon 15.2 4Yr
73 Diamondbacks Y Bryan Shaw 6.4 4Yr
74 Angels Y Tyler Chatwood 10.2 HS
75 Yankees N Scott Bittle   4Yr
76 Indians Y Trey Haley   HS
77 Red Sox Y Derrik Gibson   HS
78 Rays Y Jake Jefferies   4Yr
79 Pirates Y Jordy Mercer 7.3 4Yr
80 Royals Y Tyler Sample   HS
81 Orioles Y L.J. Hoes 0.1 HS
82 Giants Y Roger Kieschnick -1 4Yr
83 Marlins Y Edgar Olmos -0.5 HS
84 Reds Y Zach Stewart -1.6 4Yr
85 Red Sox Y *Stephen Fife 0.7 4Yr
86 White Sox Y Brent Morel 0.5 4Yr
87 Nationals Y Danny Espinosa 7.5 4Yr
88 Astros Y Chase Davidson   HS
89 Rangers Y Tim Murphy   4Yr
90 Athletics Y Petey Paramore   4Yr
91 Cardinals Y Niko Vasquez   HS
92 Twins Y Bobby Lanigan   4Yr
93 Dodgers Y Kyle Russell   4Yr
94 Brewers Y Logan Schafer 0.7 4Yr
95 Blue Jays Y Andrew Liebel   4Yr
96 Braves Y Craig Kimbrel 18.2 JC
97 Cubs Y Chris Carpenter 0 4Yr
98 Mariners Y Aaron Pribanic   4Yr
99 Tigers Y Scott Green   4Yr
100 Mets Y Kirk Nieuwenhuis 2.8 4Yr

As Joe noted last time out, we’ve reached the stage where players haven’t been around long enough to accumulate large sums of WAR. Still, it’s impressive that the top 21 picks all made the majors and that 18 of those have accumulated a positive WAR. But before you think that GMs have figured this drafting thing out, notice that Kimbrel has the second-highest WAR total to date from the top 100 and he lasted until the 96th pick.

The Mets had three of the top 33 picks in this draft and five of the top 100. Their first pick was Davis at 18 and for a while it looked like he was going to be a solid MLB player. But some odd injuries and the inability to lay off the curve five feet off the plate ultimately did him in. Now he’s in the low minors with the Dodgers, trying to reinvent himself as a pitcher. Unfortunately, they had the 22nd pick, also known as the first guy in the ’08 Draft not to reach the majors. Havens seemed to have all of the skills necessary but he was consistently injured. The next two picks didn’t reach the majors, either. But the Mets made a nice choice at 100, going the small school route and picking up NAIA product Nieuwenhuis, who’s already amassed 1,146 PA in the majors.

Here’s the top 100, sorted by WAR:

OvPck Tm Signed Name WAR Type
5 Giants Y Buster Posey 37.5 4Yr
96 Braves Y Craig Kimbrel 18.2 JC
16 Brewers Y Brett Lawrie 15.2 HS
72 Rockies Y Charlie Blackmon 15.2 4Yr
3 Royals Y Eric Hosmer 14.1 HS
39 Cardinals Y *Lance Lynn 14.1 4Yr
46 Padres Y *Logan Forsythe 12.5 4Yr
28 Yankees N Gerrit Cole 12.2 HS
10 Astros Y Jason Castro 12.1 4Yr
74 Angels Y Tyler Chatwood 10.2 HS
29 Indians Y Lonnie Chisenhall 8.8 JC
19 Cubs Y Andrew Cashner 8.7 4Yr
43 Diamondbacks Y *Wade Miley 8.3 4Yr
32 Brewers Y *Jake Odorizzi 8 HS
7 Reds Y Yonder Alonso 7.9 4Yr
87 Nationals Y Danny Espinosa 7.5 4Yr
79 Pirates Y Jordy Mercer 7.3 4Yr
73 Diamondbacks Y Bryan Shaw 6.4 4Yr
2 Pirates Y Pedro Alvarez 6 4Yr
58 Athletics Y Tyson Ross 6 4Yr
8 White Sox Y Gordon Beckham 5.7 4Yr
14 Twins Y Aaron Hicks 5.7 HS
36 Royals Y Mike Montgomery 5 HS
18 Mets via Braves Y *Ike Davis 4.9 4Yr
11 Rangers Y Justin Smoak 4.7 4Yr
1 Rays Y Tim Beckham 4.5 HS
52 Marlins Y Brad Hand 4.4 HS
57 Rangers Y Robbie Ross 2.8 HS
100 Mets Y Kirk Nieuwenhuis 2.8 4Yr
4 Orioles Y Brian Matusz 2.7 4Yr
9 Nationals N Aaron Crow 2.4 4Yr
51 Phillies via Giants Y *Anthony Gose 1.9 HS
41 Cubs Y *Ryan Flaherty 1.6 4Yr
12 Athletics Y Jemile Weeks 1.1 4Yr
48 Pirates N Tanner Scheppers 1.1 4Yr
20 Mariners Y Josh Fields 1 4Yr
37 Giants Y *Conor Gillaspie 1 4Yr
61 Dodgers Y Josh Lindblom 1 4Yr
59 Cardinals Y Shane Peterson 0.9 4Yr
49 Royals Y Johnny Giavotella 0.8 4Yr
85 Red Sox Y *Stephen Fife 0.7 4Yr
94 Brewers Y Logan Schafer 0.7 4Yr
86 White Sox Y Brent Morel 0.5 4Yr
21 Tigers Y Ryan Perry 0.3 4Yr
47 Rays Y Kyle Lobstein 0.2 HS
17 Blue Jays Y David Cooper 0.1 4Yr
81 Orioles Y L.J. Hoes 0.1 HS
26 Diamondbacks Y Daniel Schlereth 0 4Yr
97 Cubs Y Chris Carpenter 0 4Yr
6 Marlins Y Kyle Skipworth -0.1 HS
45 Red Sox Y *Bryan Price -0.2 4Yr
55 Nationals Y Destin Hood -0.2 HS
50 Orioles Y Xavier Avery -0.3 HS
25 Rockies Y Christian Friedrich -0.4 4Yr
60 Twins Y Tyler Ladendorf -0.4 JC
70 Braves Y Zeke Spruill -0.4 HS
15 Dodgers Y Ethan Martin -0.5 HS
23 Padres Y Allan Dykstra -0.5 4Yr
83 Marlins Y Edgar Olmos -0.5 HS
13 Cardinals Y Brett Wallace -0.6 4Yr
69 Padres Y James Darnell -0.6 4Yr
82 Giants Y Roger Kieschnick -1 4Yr
30 Red Sox Y Casey Kelly -1.5 HS
42 Padres Y Jaff Decker -1.5 HS
84 Reds Y Zach Stewart -1.6 4Yr
38 Astros Y *Jordan Lyles -3.5 HS
22 Mets Y Reese Havens   4Yr
24 Phillies Y Anthony Hewitt   HS
27 Twins via Angels Y *Carlos Gutierrez   4Yr
31 Twins Y *Shooter Hunt   4Yr
33 Mets Y Bradley Holt   4Yr
34 Phillies Y *Zach Collier   HS
35 Brewers Y *Evan Frederickson   4Yr
40 Braves Y *Brett DeVall   HS
44 Yankees Y *Jeremy Bleich   4Yr
53 Brewers Y Seth Lintz   HS
54 Brewers Y Cutter Dykstra   HS
56 Astros Y Jay Austin   HS
62 Brewers Y Cody Adams   4Yr
63 Blue Jays Y Kenny Wilson   HS
64 Braves Y Tyler Stovall   HS
65 Cubs Y Aaron Shafer   4Yr
66 Mariners Y Dennis Raben   4Yr
67 Tigers Y Cody Satterwhite   4Yr
68 Mets Y Javier Rodriguez   HS
71 Phillies Y Jason Knapp   HS
75 Yankees N Scott Bittle   4Yr
76 Indians Y Trey Haley   HS
77 Red Sox Y Derrik Gibson   HS
78 Rays Y Jake Jefferies   4Yr
80 Royals Y Tyler Sample   HS
88 Astros Y Chase Davidson   HS
89 Rangers Y Tim Murphy   4Yr
90 Athletics Y Petey Paramore   4Yr
91 Cardinals Y Niko Vasquez   HS
92 Twins Y Bobby Lanigan   4Yr
93 Dodgers Y Kyle Russell   4Yr
95 Blue Jays Y Andrew Liebel   4Yr
98 Mariners Y Aaron Pribanic   4Yr
99 Tigers Y Scott Green   4Yr

Posey has accumulated twice as much WAR as Kimbrel. We already see 10 players have reached a double digit WAR total and we’re likely to add a few more before all is said and done. Currently, 48 players have recorded a positive WAR and 67 have made the majors. Interestingly, we see several high draft picks from 2008 hit free agency following the 2017 season. Hosmer, Lynn and Cashner are all available right now, while Alonso signed with Cleveland.

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