Apr 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the Colorado Rockies logo before the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The race is on...for the first pick in the 2015 MLB draft

Sure, we have a couple of divisions and wild card races that are getting a bit close to nail-biting time. Three of the six division leads are at four games or less. Over the past couple of days, the chase for the AL #2 Wild Card slot is getting some pub. The NL Wild Card race is not as determined at the #1 as it is in the AL, but there are a handful of teams still alive for both spots.

Yes, there is still time to settle those matters.

And there’s time to settle another matter as there’s another race forming: finishing with MLB’s worst record and getting the 2015 MLB draft’s top pick. Not sure you really want your team to be mentioned here, but here goes.

For a review, here’s a quick peek over the past three years involving the teams that have held the top five picks…

PICK 2012 2013 2014
1-1 Astros Astros Astros
1-2 Twins Cubs Marlins
1-3 Mariners Rockies White Sox
1-4 Orioles Twins Cubs
1-5 Royals Indians Twins

There are a couple of constants here. One is obvious: the Houston Astros having the top pick in each of the past three drafts. The other is the Minnesota Twins “residing” in the top five, although it appears the Twins are progressing to move out of that territory.

One other team just missed having their name here for all three years: the Chicago Cubs. In 2012 they held the 1-6 pick.

As of this morning, Fangraphs projects these six teams as posting the five worst records.

Rockies 66 96
Rangers 66 96
Astros 69 93
Diamondbacks 71 91
Cubs 72 90
Twins 72 90

Astros still there. So are the Twins. Both could be among the top five in 2015. Well, the Astros surely will. But we should pay attention to those “top” four spots (or four worst records, if you will) because the Astros are guaranteed to have the 1-2 pick in 2015. This is due to the “inability” to sign the 2014 1-1, Brady Aiken. (Think of that situation what you will.)

It’s also worth noting that should the Astros finish 2014 posting no better than baseball’s fourth worst record, they will hold two of the top five selections. According to this model, they currently hold the #2 and #4 picks.

The Twins could once again find themselves holding one of the top five picks. There’s not much room for error for them, is there?

As of these projections, it will be either the Rangers or the Rockies that get that #1 pick. Here’s a listing of these six teams and who they selected with their last 1-1 pick:

Rangers – 1973: David Clyde (Westchester HS, Houston)
Rockies – have never held 1-1 pick; had 1-2 in 2006 (Greg Reynolds)
Astros – see above
Diamondbacks – 2005: Justin Upton (Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake, VA)
Cubs – 1982: Shawon Dunston (Thomas Jefferson HS, Brooklyn, NY)
Twins – 2001: Joe Mauer (Cretin HS, St. Paul)

If Colorado does end up with the 2015 draft’s top selection, it will mark the first time they have been able to claim that “title”.

Again, the landscape could change as there’s plenty of room for movement.

I don’t think this race will take the stage the postseason races will. In fact, I dare say this race won’t get hardly any other mention until the last game on the season’s last day is played should it go that far.

If you’re a fan of one of the teams listed here, is this a race you want to win?

Tags: MLB Draft

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