The Red Sox are picking seventh in the 2013 MLB draft, the first time they've selected this early since 1993. As such, we're not quite used to what a #7 pick turns out to be. As with any pick, there are plenty of failures, but let's start with the bright side, and look at the top-10 careers in history from the seventh-overall spot in the amateur entry draft:
|Year||Tm||Pos||WAR ▾||Drafted Out of|
|1989||White Sox||Frank Thomas (minors)||1B||73.6||Auburn University (Auburn, AL)|
|2005||Rockies||Troy Tulowitzki (minors)||SS||30.5||California State University Long Beach (CA)|
|2006||Dodgers||Clayton Kershaw (minors)||LHP||28.6||Highland Park HS (Highland Park, TX)|
|2003||Orioles||Nick Markakis (minors)||OF||24.4||Young Harris College (Young Harris, GA)|
|2002||Brewers||Prince Fielder (minors)||1B||23.2||Eau Gallie HS (Melbourne, FL)|
|1993||Red Sox||Trot Nixon (minors)||OF||21.2||New Hanover HS (Wilmington, NC)|
|1977||Angels||Richard Dotson (minors)||RHP||16.3||Anderson HS (Cincinnati, OH)|
|1990||Reds||Dan Wilson (minors)||C||13.0||University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)|
|1998||Reds||Austin Kearns (minors)||OF||12.9||Lafayette HS (Lexington, KY)|
|1965||Indians||Ray Fosse (minors)||C||12.9||Marion HS (Marion, IL)|
I mean, if the Red Sox could get a Frank Thomas out of the draft, that would be pretty solid. But let's be realistic, yeah? The seventh spot actually hasn't seen a lot of success historically, but in recent years, that's changed. Since 2002, the seventh spot has produced Prince Fielder, Nick Markakis, Troy Tulowitzki, and Clayton Kershaw. That's a very good first baseman, a high-quality outfielder, a fantastic shortstop -- albeit one with health issues -- and one of the game's very best starting pitchers. Homer Bailey, Yonder Alonso, Mike Minor, and Matt Harvey are other recent #7 picks, while the last two, Max Fried and Archie Bradley, are the #46 and #25 prospects in the minors, courtesy Baseball America.
Obviously, the Red Sox will be hoping for something more in line with recent years than in the distant past. Not to knock Trot Nixon, who was a solid player in his day, but you have to be hoping for a better result than that this time around -- even if he is one of the better sevens ever, if only because most of the other successes are so new.
It's hard to get a list of the "worst" ever from this spot, because you've got 14 picks that never reached the majors (and guys like Fried and Bradley who just haven't yet), as well as a slew of players who just didn't do well and never got much of a chance to post poor numbers we could cower in fear at.
With that being said, we can leave you with one name and one year, though: Matt LaPorta, 2007. Let's avoid that, shall we?
All draft information courtesy the ever-informative Baseball Reference
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