Very seldom do players who are drafted in the previous year make it up to the majors so fast. Last year, the Astros took SS Carlos Correa from Puerto Rico with the 1st pick. The Twins picked 2nd and took OF Byron Buxton from high school. The Mariners took catcher Mike Zunino out of the University of Florida and he is currently playing in AAA. RHP Kevin Gausman from LSU went 4th to the Orioles and he is currently pitching in the majors for Baltimore. The Royals picked 5th and took RHP Kyle Zimmer from the University of San Francisco.
2011 saw college pitchers go 1-3 in the draft. The Pirates took RHP Gerrit Cole from the University of California Los Angeles with the number one pick. The Mariners took LHP Danny Hultzen from the University of Virginia with the Diamondbacks taking RHP Trevor Bauer, Cole's teammate at UCLA, with the number 3 pick. RHP Dylan Bundy was taken with the 4th pick by the Orioles out of high school with the Royals taking OF Bubba Starling, from high school, with the number 5 pick. Bundy made his debut last season with the Orioles, while Bauer pitched last season with the Diamondbacks before being traded to the Indians, where he is pitching this season.
The number one pick in the 2010 draft was obviously OF Bryce Harper, the second of consecutive number one overall picks taken by the Washington Nationals. RHP Jameson Tallion went #2 to the Pirates, followed by SS Manny Machado by the Orioles. Harper was taken out of junior college, while Taillon and Machado were taken out of high school. SS Christian Colon was taken by the Royals at #4 out of Cal State Fullerton, with LHP Drew Pomeranz going number 5 to the Rockies out of Mississippi. In addition to Harper, who gets all the attention, Machado is becoming one of the top young stars in the game. Pomeranz has pitched in the major leagues, both with Colorado and with Cleveland, who has now traded for two top five pick pitchers in the past three drafts.
Stephen Strasburg dominated the 2009 draft, going #1 to the Nationals out of San Diego State. OF Dustin Ackley went 2nd to the Mariners out of North Carolina. Ackley has struggled this season in Seattle and is now in the minors. The Padres took CF Donovan Tate out of high school with the 3 pick, while the Pirates took catcher Tony Sanchez out of BC with the 4th pick. RHP Matthew Hobgood went to the Orioles at number 5 out of high school. Interestingly enough, there was a very interesting 6-10 in this draft class. Zack Wheeler was taken 6 by the Giants out of high school, followed by LHP Mike Minor (Braves), Mike Leake (Reds), RHP Jacob Turner (Tigers) and RHP Drew Storen (Nationals). The last 4 are all in the major leagues with Wheeler on the way in the Mets organization. Turner is pitching in Miami after being traded last season from Detroit.
2008 saw an interesting class with SS Tim Beckham going number 1 to the Rays. Though Beckham was drafted out of high school, he is the only one of the top 5 picks not currently in the major leagues. 3B Pedro Alvarez went #2 to the Pirates out of Vanderbilt. 1B Eric Hosmer went #3 to the Royals out of high school. LHP Brian Matusz went #4 to the Orioles out of San Diego. Two time World Series Champion, 2010 NL Rookie of the Year and 2012 NL MVP Buster Posey went to the Giants at number five out of Florida State.
The Tampa Bay Rays took 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price with the #1 overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Vanderbilt, where he was teammates with Alvarez. SS Mike Moustakas was taken #2 overall by the Royals out of high school. While Moustakas has taken over as the team's starting 3B, like Hosmer, he has struggled this season. 3B Josh Vitters went #3 overall to the Cubs also out of high school, and he made his MLB debut last season. LHP Daniel Moskos went forth to the Pirates out of Clemson. Even though he pitched in 31 games for the Pirates in 2011, he has not been back in the majors since. The Orioles took C Matt Wieters number five from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Orioles had top five picks in all six of the past drafts. Both the Pirates and Royals had top five picks in five of the last six draft. In fact, with the Royals taking RHP Luke Hochevar #1 overall and the Pirates taking RHP Brad Lincoln #4 in the 2006 draft, that gave the Royals and Pirates six top five picks in the past seven seasons. None of the three have top five picks in this year's draft. The top 5 this season will be #1 Astros (1 top 5 in past 7 seasons), #2 Cubs (1), #3 Rockies (1), #4 Twins (1) and #5 Indians (1).
For the record, after the Orioles, Royals and Pirates (6), the Mariners and Rays have had 3 top 5 picks in the past 7 years. Outside of the Nationals 2 #1 overall picks in 2010 and 2011, no other team has had any more than 1 top 5 pick over the past 7 seasons. Of course, the Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Twins and Indians will all be having their second top 5 pick in the past 8 seasons tomorrow.