Mike Trout and the 2009 MLB Draft – First Round
Of course, Mike Trout is hardly the only quality major leaguer to come out of the 2009 MLB draft. In particular, the first round of the draft was full of talented players and despite hindsight, it is easy to see why talent scouts may have passed on Trout with the first 24 picks.
Of the 48 players selected in the first round (including supplemental picks), 26 players have had a positive bWAR in the majors. Another seven players received shots at the game’s highest level and contributed below replacement value. In fact, only 14 players in the first round of the 2009 draft failed to reach the majors, and only six of those were selected before Mike Trout.
From a pure value standpoint, the first overall pick in that draft, Stephen Strasburg, is the closest to justifying his spot in the draft. The consensus top pick at the time, Strasburg has lived up to his billing with the Washington Nationals. Making his debut in 2010, Strasburg has gone 112-58 over his first 10 seasons, working to a 3.17 ERA, a 2.96 FIP, a 10.6 K/9 ratio, and has been worth a stellar 33.5 bWAR. He rode a World Series MVP performance in 2019 to sign a new seven-year, $245 million deal with Washington.
Of the other five players that have been worth 10 or more bWAR, four are pitchers (Mike Minor, Mike Leake, James Paxton, and Zach Wheeler). The other is A.J. Pollock (19.2 bWAR), who currently toils in the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield.
Other notable names in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft include Kyle Gibson, Shelby Miller, Dustin Ackley, Drew Storen, and Rex Brothers.