Mike Trout and the 2009 MLB Draft – Later Rounds
Anyone that knows baseball understands that the MLB draft is a crap shoot. The long road from draft prospect through the minor leagues and to Major League Baseball means that nothing is a sure thing. That much is evident by looking at the top picks over the years. There have been hits and there have been misses throughout.
That luck extends to the later rounds. Scouting isn’t an exact science and sometimes guys fall to later rounds but still end up being better than their first-round counterparts. Hindsight is 20/20 and some scouts have undoubtedly kicked themselves for missing on Mike Trout and letting him fall to the 25th selection.
But what of the players that fell after Trout? Surely some talented players were selected outside of the first round in 2009.
Of the players selected in the 29 rounds after Mike Trout, ten other players have accrued a bWAR of 20 or greater. A Cy Young winner, Dallas Keuchel, barely missed that mark by checking in with 19.8.
Among the current luminaries in the game that made that list, Paul Goldschmidt has the second-highest bWAR of the 2009 draft class. In nine seasons split between the Diamondbacks and Cardinals, the 8th round selection has turned a .292/.391/.524 batting line into 243 home runs, 807 RBI, a 43.1 bWAR. For comparison sake, that is still nearly 30 points below Trout’s bWAR of 72.8.
The next two on the list fit on both sides of the aforementioned Stephen Strasburg and are coincidentally both third basemen. Nolan Arenado was selected in the second round by the Rockies and has been worth 37.5 bWAR over his seven seasons, built on a .295/.351/.546 slash line, 227 home runs, and 734 RBI while playing Gold Glove defense. Kyle Seager was a third-round pick for the Mariners. Also a veteran of nine seasons, he’s been worth a 32.5 bWAR while hitting .256/.324/.443 with 198 home runs and 666 RBI. However, most of his value was accrued during a solid stretch between 2013 to 2017.
Other notable names in the latter rounds of 2009 include D.J. LeMahieu (21.8 – 2nd round), Jason Kipnis (21.0 – 2nd Round), Brandon Belt (23.0 – 5th round), Brian Dozier (23.5 – 8th Round), Matt Carpenter (28.3 – 13th round), and JD Martinez (24.2 – 20th round).
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As you can see, Mike Trout kept some excellent company in the 2009 MLB draft. However, even among other superstars, he’s been far and away better than his classmates.