We strive to give you the best analysis here at Dodgers Digest using facts and data. Yet, this exercise — while having facts and data — doesn’t really mean a thing. It’s more of a fun exercise … for me, at least.
I’m looking at the history of the 40th selection in the MLB Draft over the years. Here are the last 20 selections at pick 40.
- 2021: OF Jud Fabian, Red Sox (did not sign)
- 2020: LHP Dax Fulton, Marlins
- 2019: RHP Seth Johnson, Rays
- 2018: LHP Kris Bubic, Royals
- 2017: RHP Michael Mercardo, Rays
- 2016: LHP Joey Wentz, Braves
- 2015: LHP Nathan Kirby, Brewers
- 2014: C Chase Vallot, Royals
- 2013: RHP Andrew Thurman, Astros
- 2012: RHP Shane Watson, Phillies
- 2011: OF Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox
- 2010: OF Ryan Bolden, Angels
- 2009: LHP Tyler Skaggs, Angels
- 2008: LHP Brett DeVall, Braves
- 2007: OF Kellen Kulbacki, Padres
- 2006: LHP Kris Johnson, Red Sox
- 2005: RHP Luke Hochevar, Dodgers (did not sign)
- 2004: RHP Huston Street, Athletics
- 2003: RHP Jay Sborz, Tigers
- 2002: 3B Mark Schramek, Reds
While the best player selected at No. 40 in MLB history is likely still to come, there are some notable names above. The one who sticks out most is Hochevar, who famously went back on his agreement with the Dodgers after switching agents. Because of that, he was available in the 2006 draft and went No. 1 to the Royals, allowing, in part, Clayton Kershaw to fall to No. 7. After the Tigers popped Andrew Miller at No. 6, Kershaw fell into the Dodgers’ lap. And the rest is history.
Other notable players include Fabian, a Top 50 prospect in this draft, Johnson, a guy I liked in 2019, Skaggs, who had a solid career before his untimely passing, Bradley Jr. — who has carved out a nice career for himself — and Street, a decent closer in his time.
For fun, here are the players selected at No. 40 since the draft began (1965) who accumulated a 10 Baseball-Reference WAR or better over the course of their careers
- 1996: OF Milton Bradley, Expos
- 1986: RHP Kevin Tapani, Athletics
- 1969: LHP Larry Gura, Cubs
Two old friends, even if one (Bradley) is a twice-convicted domestic abuser.
For even more fun, here are some notable players selected at No. 105 in the draft.
- 2000: LHP Cliff Lee, Expos
- 1999: 3B Hank Blalock, Rangers
- 1990: RHP James Baldwin, White Sox
- 1986: OF Bo Jackson, Royals
One old friend (Baldwin), one shoulda-been old friend (Lee), the guy who homered off Eric Gagne in the 2003 All-Star Game during his 84-save streak and perhaps the most physically gifted athlete ever … who knows.
A new name will be added to this list in just a few hours. Here’s hoping it’s a good one!