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 Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

MLB draft: 10 best selections from 2012-16

4. Matt Chapman (2014 draft), 3.70 average WAR

Chapman was a sophomore star at Cal State Fullerton’s two-time NCAA tournament team when the Athletics took him with the 25th pick of the 2014 MLB draft. At Fullerton Chapman had hit .312 as a sophomore. Signing as soon as his Titans were eliminated from tournament contention, he reported to the A’s rookie team, smashed six hits in his first 14 cuts, and within three games had his first promotion.

The A’s deemed Chapman ready for big-league competition in June of 2017; he hit just .234 but showed the defensive skills that would soon mark him as one of the game’s best infield defenders.

When his bat caught up with major league pitching, in time for the 2018 season he hit .278, delivered 24 home runs, and got Most  Valuable Player votes.

In his just-concluded season Chapman —  still only 26 – hit 36 home runs, drove in 91, and produced a .848 OPS, all of that explaining his first All-Star Game selection. In Oakland, he is now viewed as the cornerstone of the team’s playoff lineup.

And he’s done it all at a price tag even the Athletics can appreciate, costing a cumulative $1.7 million for his first three seasons. He’s almost certain to be a bargain again in 2020 because Chapman won’t be arbitration-eligible for another full year.