MLB drafts: 10 best selections from 2012-16

SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 03: A general view of the completed first round draft board during the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft at Studio 42 at the MLB Network on Monday, June 3, 2019 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 03: A general view of the completed first round draft board during the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft at Studio 42 at the MLB Network on Monday, June 3, 2019 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

MLB draft: 10 best selections from 2012-16

1. Alex Bregman (2015 draft), 5.20 average WAR

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On second thought, maybe the Astros aren’t too worked up over missing out on Bryant. Their consolation prize was Bregman.

They took him with the second selection of the 2015 draft, three years after the Red Sox tried and failed to sign him out of Albuquerque Academy. By 2015  Bregman was a star at LSU, carrying a .338  average through three college seasons that included appearances in the College World Series.

He lasted only 146 minor league games – batting .300 with 24 home runs – before the Astros got the point and summoned him in July of 2016.

Bregman’s chart has been on a steady uptick since then. His batting average, RBI total, WAR, OPS+ and walk total have all improved annually, to 41 homers, 112 RBIs, 1 .296 average, 119 walks, 162 OPS+ and 8.4 WAR in 2019. That was even more impressive than it looks because injuries forced Bregman to alternate between third base and shortstop.

Like many very productive MBL draft picks, Bregman’s production has come at a bargain-basement rate. He’s generated a total of 20.8 WAR to Houston’s regular-season success and its 2017 World Series win. And he did so at a cost of just $1.6 million.

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His contributions, however, are soon to come at a steeper, if more equitable price. The Astros and Bregman agreed earlier this year to a new contract that will pay him $99 million through 2024.