One of the most unique aspects of Major League Baseball has always been its draft. Sure every sport has one but MLB shrunk theirs to 20 total rounds in 2019 after being 40 in the past. For context, the NFL has 7 games, and the NBA just 2.
And just like how everyone loves an underdog story every now and then we get to see one of these late-round draft picks defy the odds and shine in MLB. This list will go over the top 10 draft STEALS since 2010.
France might not have the accolades like others on this list but only making his debut in 2019 he still has plenty of time. The main reason he made this list is that he was a thirty-fourth-round draft pick back in 2015. For reference players drafted in the eleventh round in the draft have less than a 10% chance to ever make it to the majors.
After being named an All-Star in 2022 probably overcame the biggest odds out of everyone on this list.
When Cody Bellinger burst onto the MLB scene he immediately became one of the most entertaining players to watch. In 2017 he was named the National League Rookie of the Year and then won NL MVP in 2019 which also came with a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. When the Dodgers selected him in the fourth round in 2013 they may have seen potential but it’s hard to imagine they saw that coming.
With a resurgence in the 2023 season, Bellinger is reminding a lot of teams they never should have passed up on him.
Josh Hader is undeniably one of the best closing pitchers in MLB and will be in line for a huge payday when the next offseason comes around. When he was drafted in the 19th round in 2012 by the Baltimore Orioles not many expected that. In 375 innings pitched, he sits at a 2.50 ERA and has already earned over 150 career saves. With five All-Star appearances under his belt and more to come, Hader has made his mark on MLB.
Woodruff was first drafted by the Texas Rangers in the fifth round in 2011 but opted to attend Mississippi State University instead. He was then drafted again in 2014 in the 11th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. As a two-time All-Star and finishing fifth in NL Cy Young voting in 2021 has given the Brewers more than they bargained for. 636 innings tossed and just a 3.16 ERA is a stat line any team will take in a starting pitcher.
Mancini is the definition of a success story. He was an 8th-round pick in 2013 for the Orioles. Trey has already had a great MLB career with a slash line of .263/.328/.448 and an OPS+ of 110 through 3051 at-bats. In 2020 he was diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer which would sideline him for the entire season. By 2021 he was back in full swing and had one of the best seasons of his career.
Pederson is constantly one of the most reliable hitters in MLB throughout his 10-year career. If every team knew what he would become there’s no doubt he would have gone much sooner than the 10th round in 2010. As a career OPS+ 110 hitter and 182 home runs he clearly made the most out of his opportunity.
deGrom is one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB when healthy. What a lot of people don’t know is he was a ninth-round draft pick by the New York Mets. By 2014 he made his MLB debut and did not disappoint the city of New York. Since then he’s won Rookie of the Year, two Cy Youngs, and is a four-time All-Star.
After signing a new contract with the Texas Rangers in 2023 it’s not often a ninth-round pick gets a deal worth $185 million
Cortes comes in as the latest draft pick out of anyone on this draft. As a 36th-round pick by the Yankees in 2013 Cortes has shown out. His MLB career started in 2018 and finally broke out in 2021. In 2022 he was named to his first All-Star game and finished eighth in Cy Young voting. The fact that he even made it to the majors would be enough to put him on this list but he has gone above and beyond.
Mookie Betts is a career MVP candidate and a shoo-in for the All-Star game every year but his career started as an uphill battle. the 2011 fifth-round pick he had just a 32% chance to make it to the show. Of course, as any baseball fan would know he crushed those odds. He went on to win MVP in 2018 and has gone to seven All-Star games. It’s undeniable that Betts will eventually be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Cleveland Guardians have drafted Cody Allen twice. The first being in 2010 and the second in 2011 in the 23rd round. He doesn’t have any All-Star appearances or other accolades but as the 480th overall pick, it doesn’t matter. He put together a solid career throwing 463.2 innings and keeping his ERA down to 3.14. Add in his 153 career saves Allen put together a memorable career.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.