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Ken Griffey Jr., 1997 American League MVP, was taken first overall in the 1987 First-Year Player Draft.

The First-Year Player Draft, also known as the Rule 4 Draft, is Major League Baseball's (MLB) primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. Unlike most professional sports, MLB does not permit the trading of draft picks,[1] so the draft order is solely determined by the previous season's standings; the team that possesses the worst record receives the first pick.[2] If two teams have identical records, the team with the worse record in the previous season will receive the higher pick.[2] In addition, teams that lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded "compensatory" picks.[2] The first draft took place in 1965; it was introduced to prevent richer teams from negotiating wealthier contracts with top-level prospects and therefore, monopolizing the player market.[3] Originally, three drafts were held each year. The first draft took place in June and involved high-school graduates and college seniors who had just finished their seasons. The second draft took place in January for high school and college players who had graduated in December. The third draft took place in August and was for players who participated in American amateur summer leagues.[4] The August draft was eliminated after two years, and the January draft lasted until 1986.[5]

In 1965, Rick Monday became MLB's first draft pick after being selected by the Kansas City Athletics. Stephen Strasburg is the most recent first overall draft pick after being selected by the Washington Nationals in 2009. Overall, 18 of the 45 picks have participated in the All-Star Game, and two, Bob Horner and Darryl Strawberry, have won the Rookie of the Year Award. Twenty of the forty-five picks have been drafted from high schools, one has been drafted out of the Independent American Association, and the others were drafted from universities. To date, Arizona State University has been the only school from which mulitple number-one overall draft picks have been chosen. No first overall draft pick has been elected into the Hall of Fame. The New York Mets and San Diego Padres are tied for the most first overall picks with five, and the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays are tied for second most, with four.



 *  All-Star
   Rookie of the Year and All-Star
 #  Retired without playing a game in the MLB
italics Active player


Harold Baines, the 1977 first overall pick
Chipper Jones, the 1990 first overall pick
Alex Rodriguez, the 1993 first overall pick
Pat Burrell, the 1998 first overall pick
Joe Mauer, the 2001 first overall pick
Year[c] Player Team Position Club/School
1965 Monday, RickRick Monday* Kansas City Athletics Outfielder Arizona State University
1966 Chilcott, SteveSteve Chilcott# New York Mets Catcher Antelope Valley High School
1967 Blomberg, RonRon Blomberg New York Yankees First baseman Druid Hills High School
1968 Foli, TimTim Foli New York Mets Shortstop Notre Dame High School
1969 Burroughs, JeffJeff Burroughs* Washington Senators Outfielder Woodrow Wilson Classical High School
1970 Ivie, MikeMike Ivie San Diego Padres Catcher Walker High School
1971 Goodwin, DannyDanny Goodwin Chicago White Sox Catcher Peoria High School
1972 Roberts, DaveDave Roberts San Diego Padres Third baseman University of Oregon
1973 Clyde, DavidDavid Clyde Texas Rangers Pitcher Westchester High School
1974 Almon, BillBill Almon San Diego Padres Shortstop Brown University
1975 Goodwin, DannyDanny Goodwin [a] California Angels Catcher Southern University
1976 Bannister, FloydFloyd Bannister* Houston Astros Pitcher Arizona State University
1977 Baines, HaroldHarold Baines* Chicago White Sox Outfielder St. Michaels Middle/High School
1978 Horner, BobBob Horner Atlanta Braves Third baseman Arizona State University
1979 Chambers, AlAl Chambers Seattle Mariners Outfielder John Harris High School
1980 Strawberry, DarrylDarryl Strawberry New York Mets Outfielder Crenshaw High School
1981 Moore, MikeMike Moore* Seattle Mariners Pitcher Oral Roberts University
1982 Dunston, ShawonShawon Dunston* Chicago Cubs Shortstop Thomas Jefferson High School
1983 Belcher, TimTim Belcher Minnesota Twins Pitcher Mount Vernon Nazarene University
1984 Abner, ShawnShawn Abner New York Mets Outfielder Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School
1985 Surhoff, B.J.B.J. Surhoff* Milwaukee Brewers Catcher University of North Carolina
1986 King, JeffJeff King Pittsburgh Pirates Third baseman University of Arkansas
1987 Griffey, Jr., KenKen Griffey, Jr.* Seattle Mariners Outfielder Moeller High School
1988 Benes, AndyAndy Benes* San Diego Padres Pitcher University of Evansville
1989 McDonald, BenBen McDonald Baltimore Orioles Pitcher Louisiana State University
1990 Jones, ChipperChipper Jones* Atlanta Braves Shortstop Bolles High School
1991 Taylor, BrienBrien Taylor# New York Yankees Pitcher East Carteret High School
1992 Nevin, PhilPhil Nevin* Houston Astros Third baseman California State University, Fullerton
1993 Rodriguez, AlexAlex Rodriguez* Seattle Mariners Shortstop Westminster Christian High School
1994 Wilson, PaulPaul Wilson [b] New York Mets Pitcher Florida State University
1995 Erstad, DarinDarin Erstad* California Angels Outfielder University of Nebraska–Lincoln
1996 Benson, KrisKris Benson Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher Clemson University
1997 Anderson, MattMatt Anderson Detroit Tigers Pitcher Rice University
1998 Burrell, PatPat Burrell Philadelphia Phillies Left Fielder University of Miami
1999 Hamilton, JoshJosh Hamilton* Tampa Bay Devil Rays Outfielder Athens Drive High School
2000 González, AdriánAdrián González* Florida Marlins First baseman Eastlake High School
2001 Mauer, JoeJoe Mauer* Minnesota Twins Catcher Cretin-Derham Hall High School
2002 Bullington, BryanBryan Bullington Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher Ball State University
2003 Young, DelmonDelmon Young Tampa Bay Devil Rays Outfielder Adolfo Camarillo High School
2004 Bush, MattMatt Bush San Diego Padres Shortstop Mission Bay Senior High School
2005 Upton, JustinJustin Upton Arizona Diamondbacks Shortstop Great Bridge High School
2006 Hochevar, LukeLuke Hochevar Kansas City Royals Pitcher Fort Worth Cats
2007 Price, DavidDavid Price Tampa Bay Devil Rays Pitcher Vanderbilt University
2008 Beckham, TimTim Beckham Tampa Bay Rays Shortstop Griffin High School
2009 Strasburg, StephenStephen Strasburg Washington Nationals Pitcher San Diego State University


a  Goodwin chose to attend university instead of signing with the Chicago White Sox, and re-entered the draft once he graduated in 1975.[6]
b  Wilson has not officially retired, but last played in the Golden Baseball League before being released in June 2008.[7]
c  Each year is linked to an article about the MLB draft for that season.



"Baseball Draft:First overall picks in the June Draft". Sports Reference LLC. October 30, 2008. Retrieved 25 November 2008.  

  1. ^ Jim Moloney (June 8, 2005). "Trading picks would reshape draft". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 29 November 2008.  
  2. ^ a b c "First Year Player Draft FAQ". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 29 November 2008.  
  3. ^ Simpson, Allan (June 4, 2005). "Bonus Concerns Created Draft; Yet Still Exist". Baseball America. Retrieved 16 February 2007.  
  4. ^ Koppett, Leonard (February 28, 1965). "Baseball's New Draft". New York Times: pp. S2.  
  5. ^ "Year Draft Results: Supplemental Phase". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 18 February 2007.  
  6. ^ "Draft Report:1970s". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 1 January 2009.  
  7. ^ "Silver Sox Release Four". Golden Baseball League. June 9, 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.  


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