The 24 Players Drafted Before Mike Trout, A Look at Where They Are Now

24 players selected Angels chose Mike Trout
Image Source: GiraffeNeckMarc@Youtube

Not always is the best player drafted with the first overall pick. We have seen this all the time as Michael Jordan was third overall as an example and baseball is even more difficult.

There were 24 players selected before the Los Angeles Angels chose Mike Trout. Who are those 24 players and what did they do?

1. Stephen Strasburg — Washington Nationals — RHP

The right-handed pitcher from San Diego State was the first overall pick by the Washington Nationals. The hype around Strasburg was strong as he climbed through the minors. He quickly made his debut on June 8, 2010, and has had a successful career. Strasburg is a three-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger, World Series Champion, and World Series MVP. However, injuries have plagued him in recent years, limiting his starts.

2. Dustin Ackley — Seattle Mariners — Outfielder

The first position player selected was outfielder Dustin Ackley. He had a six-year career in the major leagues, playing for the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees. Ackley was known for his below-average hitting skills, with a career OPS+ of 91. He finished sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2011.

3. Donovan Tate — San Diego Padres — Outfielder

Donovan Tate was drafted out of high school by the San Diego Padres but did not make it past Single-A in his career. He played in the minor leagues for six seasons before retiring in 2016.

4. Tony Sanchez — Pittsburgh Pirates — Catcher

Catcher Tony Sanchez was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates but had a limited impact in the majors. He played in 52 games between 2013 and 2017 and had a .676 OPS. After retiring in 2019, Sanchez continued his career in the minor leagues.

5. Matt Hobgood — Baltimore Orioles — RHP

The Baltimore Orioles selected Matt Hobgood out of high school but he struggled and only made it as far as Double-A. He retired in 2015 after pitching in the minor leagues.

6. Zack Wheeler — San Francisco Giants — RHP

Zack Wheeler was drafted by the San Francisco Giants out of high school and has had a successful career so far. He is a one-time All-Star who made his debut with the New York Mets in 2013. After the 2019 season, Wheeler signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has accumulated 83 wins and is approaching 100 wins for his career.

7. Mike Minor — Atlanta Braves — LHP

Mike Minor, drafted out of Vanderbilt, had a respectable career as a left-handed pitcher. He played 11 seasons in the majors, including stints with the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Kansas City Royals. He finished with an 83-90 record and a 4.25 ERA.

8. Mike Leake — Cincinnati Reds — RHP

Mike Leake, a right-handed pitcher out of Arizona State, made an immediate impact in the majors. He played 10 seasons, earning a 105-98 record and a 4.05 ERA. Leake won the American League Gold Glove in 2019 and retired in 2020.

9. Jacob Turner — Detroit Tigers — RHP

Jacob Turner, drafted by the Detroit Tigers out of high school, struggled to find success in the majors. He pitched in 102 games, starting 56 of them, and finished with a 14-31 record. Turner retired in 2018 after a seven-year career.

10. Drew Storen — Washington Nationals — RHP

Drew Storen was selected by the Washington Nationals as compensation for failing to sign Aaron Crow in the previous draft. He had a decent career, pitching for the Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, and Cincinnati Reds. Storen retired after the 2019 season while playing in the Kansas City Royals farm system.

11. Tyler Matzek — Colorado Rockies — LHP

Tyler Matzek, a left-handed pitcher drafted by the Colorado Rockies, had a unique career path. He didn’t make his MLB debut until 2014 and had a hiatus from the majors from 2016 to 2020. Matzek joined the Atlanta Braves and was part of their bullpen during their World Series victory in 2021.

12. Aaron Crow — Kansas City Royals — RHP

Aaron Crow was selected by the Kansas City Royals as compensation for not signing with the Washington Nationals the previous year. Crow had a promising rookie season in 2011, earning an All-Star selection. However, he never reached the same level of success and retired in 2018 after playing in Mexican leagues.

13. Grant Green — Oakland Athletics — Shortstop

Grant Green, an infielder selected by the Oakland Athletics, did not have a successful MLB career. He played in only five games with the Athletics and finished with a negative WAR. Green retired from professional baseball in 2018.

14. Matt Purke — Texas Rangers — LHP

ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 24: The Texas Rangers logo to the entrance of the press box is shown before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

Matt Purke did not sign with the Texas Rangers and opted to play college baseball at TCU instead. He later pitched in 12 games in the MLB before retiring from professional baseball.

15. Alex White — Cleveland Indians — RHP

Alex White, a right-handed pitcher from the University of North Carolina, played three games with the Cleveland Indians before being traded to the Colorado Rockies. However, he never pitched in the MLB again after 2012 and retired in 2015.

16. Bobby Borchering — Arizona Diamondbacks — Third Baseman

Bobby Borchering, a third baseman drafted out of high school, never played above Single-A and retired from professional baseball in 2015.

17. AJ Pollock — Arizona Diamondbacks — Outfield

AJ Pollock, an outfielder drafted by the Diamondbacks, has had a successful career in the MLB. He played for the Diamondbacks from 2012 to 2018 and has since played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Pollock has been an All-Star, won a Gold Glove, and was a contender for the NL MVP in 2015.

18. Chad James — Miami Marlins — LHP

Chad James, a left-handed pitcher drafted by the Marlins, made it as far as Double-A in his career before retiring at the age of 24.

19. Shelby Miller — St. Louis Cardinals — RHP

Shelby Miller, a right-handed pitcher selected by the Cardinals out of high school, had a solid career in the majors. He played for the Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, and Philadelphia Phillies. Miller was an All-Star in 2015 and currently pitches for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

20. Chad Jenkins — Toronto Blue Jays — RHP

Chad Jenkins, a right-handed pitcher out of Kennesaw State University, played in the MLB from 2012 to 2015. He had a 3.31 ERA in 100.2 innings but never pitched in the majors after that. Jenkins retired in 2016 after playing in Triple-A.

21. Jiovanni Mier — Houston Astros — Shortstop

Jiovanni Mier, drafted by the Astros, never reached the majors and retired from professional baseball in 2018 after playing in Tijuana, Mexico.

22. Kyle Gibson — Minnesota Twins — RHP

Kyle Gibson, selected by the Twins out of the University of Missouri, has had a solid career in the majors. He has played for the Twins, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Baltimore Orioles. Gibson was named an All-Star in 2021 and currently pitches for the Orioles.

24. Jared Mitchell — Chicago White Sox — Outfielder

Jared Mitchell, an outfielder drafted by the White Sox, did not make it to the majors. He last played in the Independent League in 2022.

24. Randal Grichuk — Los Angeles Angels — Outfielder

The final player selected before Mike Trout was outfielder Randal Grichuk. Grichuk was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels and has since played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays. He is currently back with the Angels after being traded from the Colorado Rockies. Grichuk has had a solid MLB career with a .762 OPS.


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