History of No. 23 pick in the MLB Draft

Jacoby Ellsbury (Via)

This is an exercise I do every year for the draft. I look back at the players who were chosen where the Dodgers are picking this year. This year, it’s No. 23, and that’s it because the Dodgers don’t have any additional 1st-round picks.

Here we go.

History of the No. 23 pick

2016: SS Delvin Perez, Cardinals
2015: OF Nick Plummer, Cardinals
2014: OF Derek Hill, Tigers
2013: RHP Chi-Chi Gonzalez, Rangers
2012: OF James Ramsey, Cardinals
2011: RHP Alex Meyer, Nationals
2010: OF Christian Yelich, Marlins
2009: OF Jared Mitchell, White Sox
2008: 1B Allan Dykstra, Padres
2007: LHP Nick Schmidt, Padres
2006: C Maxwell Sapp, Sapp
2005: OF Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
2004: RHP Phil Hughes, Yankees
2003: SS Brandon Wood, Angels
2002: OF Jeff Francoeur, Braves
2001: OF John-Ford Griffin, Blue Jays
2000: SS David Espinosa, Reds
1999: OF Keith Reed, Astros
1998: OF Bubba Crosby, Dodgers
1997: RHP Donnie Bridges, Expos

Not the biggest or best players here. The Cardinals have picked 23rd three of the last five years, including last year when they chose the guy I wanted the Dodgers to pop in Perez. Hill was No. 2 on my board the year the Dodgers chose Grant Holmes. Ramsey was in the Dodger organization last season for a bit before trading him to Seattle. Meyer was traded to the Twins for Denard Span and was sent to the Angels with Ricky Nolasco for Hector Santiago last year. Yelich is, for my money, the best player among the 20 names listed, while Ellsbury has been the most productive in their respective careers to date. Hughes was a former top Yankee prospect who’s in the Twins’ rotation, while Wood looked like the second coming of Cal Ripken after his second full season (43 home runs), but he flamed out big time. Francoeur was a super prospect with the Braves before cooling off considerably. Finally, the Dodgers have drafted a “Bubba” not only in the first round, but at this very pick. Oh, and he was an outfielder. I bring that up because they have been continually tied to Alabama high school outfielder Bubba Thompson. We’ll see if he’s the pick on draft day.

Here are a few other notable picks at No. 23.

1996: 3B Damian Rolls, Dodgers
1992: C Jason Kendall, Pirates
1991: RHP Aaron Sele, Red Sox
1989: 1B Mo Vaughn, Red Sox
1987: C Bill Hasselman, Rangers
1984: LHP Dennis Livingston, Dodgers
1980: OF Billy Beane, Mets

Rolls and Livingston were Dodger farmhands, while Kendall was the best player of this lot. Sele for a former Dodger, Vaugnn a former MVP and Hasselman is the OKC Dodgers’ manager right now. And yes, that’s the Billy Beane who was drafted by the Mets in 1980.


The Dodgers also have selections 62 and 100.

62: Alex Verdugo, (2014), Andre Ethier (2003), Jeff Weaver (1997), Billy Ashley (1988)

100: Ryon Healy (2013), Steven Souza (2007), Ron Gant (1983), Shane Mack (1981)

It is merely a coincidence the notable picks at No. 62 were/are former/current Dodgers. Verdugo and Ashley were drafted by LA, while Ethier and Weaver were acquired via trade. Pick 100 hasn’t returned much in the way of talent, with Healy and Souza having solid seasons for the A’s and Rays. Gant was a fixture in the Braves’ lineup of the 1990s, while Mack was one of the Twins’ best hitters in the early 90s.


There’s no guarantee the Dodgers are going to land a future All-Star at any of their selections. As you see above, there isn’t a Hall of Famer in the bunch of players drafted at 23, 62 or 100. But that doesn’t mean they won’t land some quality players this week.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.