With the 25th pick in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim select….Mike Trout, Outfielder from New Jersey.
The MLB amateur draft is a fickle business. Of the four major sports, it is likely the one draft that is most difficult to get right. When you consider that future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round, and that HOF catcher Mike Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round, the baseball draft truly is a crapshoot.
The 2009 draft proved to be no exception. With the news breaking earlier this week that Mike Trout had agreed to the largest contract in professional sports history, I thought I’d revisit the first round of the 2009 draft which saw Trout go to the Los Angeles Angels at pick #25.
Before we do, let’s consider some numbers from Trout’s 7+ year career so far:
- Starting with his first full season in MLB in 2012 (at age 20), Trout has appeared in every All Star Game.
- Trout has finished 1st or 2nd in the AL MVP race in 6 of the 7 years with 2 wins and one 4th place finish.
- His career OPS+ (park adjusted OPS – On Base % Plus Slugging %) is 175. 100 is considered league average.
- Trout has amassed a career WAR (per Baseball-Reference) of 64.3 (an average of over 9 WAR per season). I’m not a big proponent of WAR, but it is a useful tool to use when comparing players.
- After his 3rd full season in the majors, Trout signed a 6 year, $144 million contract to give the Angels two additional seasons of control. This type of contract that early in a player’s career is unheard of.
Considering all of that, it isn’t terribly presumptuous to state that Mike Trout is putting together an all-time-great career. With that in mind, and with no offense intended to those players taken ahead of him, let’s take a look at the 24 players that were drafted ahead of Trout in the 2009 Draft…