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A look back at the 1st round of the 1995 draft

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Farm-niks rejoice, we're just a little more than a month away from the draft! Last time I did a little retro of the 1994 draft. This time we'll look at the '95 draft. This a much improved draft class than the one that proceeded it, with several all-stars. 

In the chart you'll find some relevant info, including whether the player was drafted out of high school or college, as well as their six-year WAR totals. Why six years? Because that is the time it takes before they become eligible for free agency, or, in other words, when they quit being a bargain to the club employing them.

Player POS Team HS/College WAR
Darin Erstad OF CAL College 19.6
Ben Davis C SD HS 2.9
Jose Cruz OF SEA College 12
Kerry Wood P CHC HS 20.6
Ariel Prieto P OAK Cuba 2.9
Jaime Jones OF FLA HS 0
Jonathan Johnson P TEX College -0.9
Todd Helton 1B COL College 19.8
Geoff Jenkins OF MIL College 13.4
Chad Hermansen SS PIT HS -3.4
Mike Drumright P DET College 0
Matt Morris P STL College 16.6
Mark Redman P MIN College 9.1
Reggie Taylor OF PHI HS -0.4
Andy Yount P BOS HS 0
Joe Fontenot P SF HS -0.8
Roy Halladay P TOR HS 19.8
Ryan Jaroncyk SS NYM HS 0
Juan LeBron OF KC HS 0
David Yocum P LAD College 0
Alvie Shepherd P BAL College 0
Tony McKnight P HOU HS 1.1
David Miller 1B CLE College 0
Corey Jenkins OF BOS HS 0
Jeff Liefer 3B CHW College -2
Chad Hutchinson P ATL HS (did not sign)
Shea Morenz OF NYY College 0
Michael Barrett C MTL HS -2.9
Chris Haas 3B STL HS 0
Dave Coggin P PHI HS 0.2


  • Despite an on again, off again relationship with the disabled list, Kerry Wood produced the most of any of the first rounders during his first six years.
  • For some reason, Cuban emigre' Ariel Prieto had to go through the draft. Anyone remember why? Regardless of why, the pick didn't really pan out.
  • It was a great year for college hitters. Todd Helton, Darin Erstad and Geoff Jenkins all become all-stars. Todd Helton obviously turned out to be head-and-shoulders better than Erstad and Jenkins, but for a while there, Erstad and Jenkins were mostly pretty good ballplayers. Jose Cruz was another solid college position player. Helton, Cruz and Erstad all had the common denominator of being rather excellent defenders. 
  • Terrible year for high school hitters.
  • High school pitchers are typically the riskiest of picks. Two panned out - Halladay and Wood - out of six, but together they gave the HS pitcher class an average WAR of 1.14 per season proving that sometimes it's good to gamble on upside. 
  • Speaking of Halladay...Mark Redman. Over Roy Halladay. Over Roy Halladay!?!
  • I didn't know if I should have counted Hutchinson.  I mean, he didn't sign so he didn't cost the Braves any money, but he cost them a pick. He didn't contribute to the Cardinals either, who drafted him a year later. For that matter, he didn't help the Cowboys, either.
  • Helton has 54 WAR and counting. He slugged under .400 last year and played in only 83 games, but seems to be back to his old ways. He's 35 and signed through 2011, with a club option through 2012.  63-65 WAR for his career doesn't seem out of reach, which would put him up there in Hall of Fame consideration, but I have serious doubts Cooperstown will ever come calling.

Averages for each group:

Group # Total WAR Avg. Per Season
College Hitters 7 62.8 1.5
HS Hitters 9 -3.8 -0.07
College Pitchers 6 24.8 0.69
HS Pitchers 6 40.9 1.14