This is a fun exercise that doesn’t really mean a whole lot, but I’ve done it the last handful of years and I enjoy it.
So, here are all the selections for 25 and 31 in the last 20 drafts (since 1999).
2018: 2B Matt McClain, Diamondbacks*
2017: LHP Seth Romero, Nationals
2016: LHP Eric Lauer, Padres
2015: OF D.J. Stewart, Orioles
2014: 3B Matt Chapman, Athletics
2013: SS Christian Arroyo, Giants
2012: 3B Richie Shaffer, Rays
2011: RHP Joe Ross, Padres
2010: 3B Zack Cox, Cardinals
2009: OF Mike Trout, Angels
2008: LHP Christian Friedrich, Rockies
2007: LHP Aaron Poreda, White Sox
2006: C Hank Conger, Angels
2005: RHP Matt Garza, Twins
2004: RHP Kyle Waldrop, Twins
2003: RHP Brad Sullivan, Athletics
2002: RHP Matt Cain, Giants
2001: SS Bobby Crosby, Athletics
2000: C Scott Heard, Rangers
1999: RHP Mike MacDougal, Royals
*- Did not sign
Some big names on this list, including some Trout guy back in ’09. Even without including perhaps the best baseball player ever, there are a few really good names here. Most recent, Chapman, who might one day be the best third baseman in baseball. Arroyo (Evan Longoria) and Ross (Trea Turner/Wil Myers) were involved in a couple of high-profile trades. Garza, despite being an asshole, had his moments in the majors. Cain had a himself a solid MLB career. Lastly, Crosby is a former Rookie of the Year. A solid group for sure; even more impressive with Trout.
Here are some other notable No. 25 selections (10 or better bWAR):
Knoblauch, despite his throwing issues late in his career, was one of the top second baseman in the game. And Buckner, who died last weekend, had a better career and should be remembered for more than what happened in the 1986 World Series.
2018: LHP Shane McClanahan, Rays
2017: RHP Drew Rasmussen, Rays*
2016: LHP Anthony Kay, Mets
2015: 1B Chris Shaw, Giants
2014: LHP Justus Sheffield, Cleveland
2013: RHP Jason Hursh, Braves
2012: LHP Brian Johnson, Red Sox
2011: OF Mikie Mahtook, Rays
2010: C Justin O’Conner, Rays
2009: OF Brett Jackson, Cubs
2008: RHP Shooter Hunt, Twins
2007: LHP Josh Smoker, Nationals
2006: SS Preston Mattingly, Dodgers
2005: RHP Matt Torra, Diamondbacks
2004: LHP J.P. Howell, Royals
2003: RHP Adam Miller, Cleveland
2002: LHP Greg Miller, Dodgers
2001: SS Bryan Bass, Orioles
2000: RHP Aaron Heilman, Twins*
1999: RHP Casey Daigle, Diamondbacks
*- Did not sign
Lots and lots of familiar names here, but none of them in the last 20 years come close to matching Cain’s career, let alone Trout’s. The Dodgers have a couple guys here who were expected to be really good. Miller was “Clayton Kershaw before Clayton Kershaw” and Mattingly was the son of one of the best hitters of the 1980s. Former Dodger reliever Howell makes an appearance as well, as does 2019 non-roster invitee Smoker. As for non-Dodger connections, McClanahan was the guy I wanted (and thought) the Dodgers would pop last year at 30. Sheffield was dealt in the offseason for James Paxton and is one of the best pitching prospects in the game.
But one former 2-time Dodger saves this list.
No, not Washburn — who was a perfectly mediocre pitcher in his day. But Maddux is one of the best of all-time, so expect the Dodgers to draft someone like that. /sarcasm
Here are the notable players taken at No. 78:
And that’s about it. Seriously. Freeman is a stud and Garko was the 1-season manager for the Tulsa Drillers before becoming the head coach at the University of the Pacific.
We’ll see how things shake out on draft day. The more 1st-round picks, the better chance of success. But with the way the Dodgers’ last couple drafts have gone, perhaps the real value is in the middle (3-10) rounds.