Bourn signs Indians while Mets keep their cursed first-round pick
If you haven’t heard, Michael Bourn signed a four-year deal with the Indians today, putting an abrupt end to the Mets’ pursuit of him. With Bourn off the table, the Mets will likely proceed with an Opening Day outfield of Lucas Duda in left, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill platooning in center, and Mike Baxter in right.
General manager Sandy Alderson did have an offer on the table for Bourn, but the two-time All-Star selected Cleveland because it was a sure thing. New York was not willing to sign him if it meant forfeiting its first-round Draft pick, 11th overall, and Bourn was not willing to wait out the grievance process to try to reinterpret that rule.
So what exactly did the Mets fight to keep? The 11th overall Draft pick has a bizarre history of busts relative to the picks around it. Of the 48 players in history taken 11th overall, only five have amassed more than 10 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference (though two of them, Andrew McCutchen and Max Scherzer, are active and in their primes).
Seventeen of the 48 players never made the Majors, while 10 of those who did crack the big leagues finished with negative career WAR.
That means nothing, of course, in terms of how the Mets might fare with the 11th overall pick (not to mention all the lost slot money had they forfeited it). But it is interesting to look at this oddly undistinguished list of the 11 best 11th picks in history:
11th Overall Picks:
1. Greg Luzinski, PHI, 1968 (23.6 WAR)
2. Shane Mack, SD, 1984 (20.4)
3. Andrew McCutchen, PIT, 2005 (18.1)
4. Walt Weiss, OAK, 1985 (14.6)
5. Max Scherzer, ARI, 2006 (10.5)
6. Shawn Estes, SEA, 1991 (9.1)
7. Neil Walker, PIT, 2004 (6.1)
8. Rod Scurry, PIT, 1974 (5.1)
9. Adam Eaton, PHI, 1996 (3.8)
10. Calvin Murray, CLE, 1989 (1.9)
11. Jeremy Hermida, FLA, 2002 (1.8)
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