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First-Year Player Draft History

Draft Report: 1980s
1965-69  |  1970-79  |  1980-89  |  1990-99  |  2000-09  |  2010s

The 1980 June draft was marked by controversy. The Yankees had to forfeit their selection of Billy Cannon, Jr. after Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ruled that the club was guilty of tampering. Other major league clubs accused Cannon's father, former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star Billy Sr., who had written 25 teams explaining that his son had planned to attend college and there was no reason to waste a draft pick on him. Those clubs agreed and when it came time for the Yankees to pick in the third round, Cannon, who under normal circumstances would have been a first round selection, was available. After the selection was ruled void, Cannon chose to attend Texas A&M and was later a draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Yankees' cross-town rival fared much better in the draft. The Mets had three first round selections and picked Darryl Strawberry (number one overall), Billy Beane and John Gibbons with those picks. Three years later, Strawberry was the National League's Rookie of the Year.

Other selections of note included Darnell Coles (Seattle), Terry Francona (Montreal), Dion James (Milwaukee), Glenn Wilson (Detroit) and Walt Terrell and Tom Henke (Texas).

First Round - June, Regular Phase

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.MetsDarryl StrawberryOFLos Angeles, CA
2.Blue JaysGarry HarrisSSSan Diego, CA
3.BravesKen DayleyLHPU of Portland
4.AthleticsMike KingLHPMorningside College
5.PadresJeff PyburnOFU of Georgia
6.MarinersDarnell ColesSSRialto, CA
7.GiantsJay Reid1BLynwood, CA
8.White SoxCecil EspyOFSan Diego, CA
9.DodgersRoss JonesSSU of Miami
10.IndiansKelly GruberSSAustin, TX
11.CubsDon SchulzeRHPRoselle, IL
12.TwinsJeff ReedCJoliet, IL
13.PhilliesLebo PowellCPensacola, FL
14.RangersTim MakiRHPHumtertown, IN
15.CardinalsDon CollinsRHPNewport News, VA
16.RoyalsFrank WillsRHPTulane U
17.AngelsDennis RasmussenLHPCreighton U
18.TigersGlenn Wilson3BSam Houston State U
19.RedsRon RobinsonRHP-SSWoodlake, CA
20.PiratesRich RenteriaSSSouth Gate, CA
21.BravesJim AckerRHPU of Texas
22.ExposTerry FranconaOFU of Arizona
23.MetsBilly BeaneOFRancho Bernardo, CA
24.MetsJohn GibbonsCSan Antonio, TX
25.BrewersDion JamesOFSacramento, CA
26.OriolesJeff WilliamsOFCincinnati, OH


The 1981 draft illustrated a shift from the drafting of high school players to collegiate players. Of the first 50 players selected in June, 34 were from college programs, more than double the previous highest total.

Seventeen first round picks were from colleges. The previous high was nine in 1979 and 1980. It was also the first draft in which college players went 1-2, as the Mariners selected Oral Roberts pitcher Mike Moore and the Cubs followed with Wichita State outfielder Joe Carter.

Other prominent picks in the June draft included Kevin McReynolds and Tony Gwynn (San Diego), Ron Darling (Texas), Dick Schofield (California), Frank Viola (Minnesota), Mike Pagliarulo (New York Yankees), Phil Bradley (Seattle) and Sid Fernandez (Los Angeles). The Astros selected Glenn Davis in the secondary phase of the January draft.

The Yankees chose John Elway, who did not play in the Yankee farm system in 1981, but signed a contract that allowed him to play minor league ball for New York in 1982. After a few games with Oneonta in 1982, Elway decided to pursue a career in football.

First Round - June, Regular Phase

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.MarinersMike MooreRHPOral Roberts U
2.CubsJoe CarterOFWichita State U
3.AngelsDick SchofieldSSSpringfield, IL
4.MetsTerry BlockerOFTennessee State U
5.Blue JaysMatt WilliamsRHPRice U
6.PadresKevin McReynoldsOFU of Arkansas
7.White SoxDaryl BostonOFCincinnati, OH
8.CardinalsBobby MeachamSSSan Diego State U
9.RangersRon DarlingRHPYale U
10.GiantsMark GrantRHPJoliet, IL
11.TwinsMike Sodders3BArizona State U
12.BravesJay RobertsOFCentralia, WA
13.IndiansGeorge AlpertOFLivingston, NJ
14.PiratesJim WinnRHPJohn Brown U
15.AthleticsTim Pyznarski3B-OFEastern Illinois U
16.CubsVance LovelaceLHPTampa, FL
17.TigersRicky BarlowRHPWoodville, TX
18.ExposDarren DilksLHPOklahoma State U
19.Red SoxSteve LyonsOF-SSOregon State U
20.PhilliesJohnny AbregoRHPSan Jose, CA
21.Blue JaysJohn CeruttiLHPAmherst College
22.DodgersDave AndersonSSMemphis State U
23.RoyalsDave LeeperOFU of Southern California
24.RangersAl LachowiczRHPU of Pittsburgh
25.Red SoxKevin BurrellCPoway, CA
26.PadresFrank CastroCU of Miami


The New York Mets had a banner draft in 1982. Their top pick, Dwight Gooden, would earn National League Rookie of the Year honors two years later and each of their first five selections - Gooden, Floyd Youmans (2nd round), Roger McDowell (3rd round), Tracy Jones (4th round) and Gerald Young (5th round) - went on to play in the big leagues. Jones was the only one not to sign with the Mets.

The Cardinals also had an outstanding draft, picking up pitcher Todd Worrell (1st round), third baseman Terry Pendleton (7th round) and outfielder Vince Coleman (10th round), one of the draft's biggest steals. The most interesting pick was once again made by the Yankees, who selected Bo Jackson in the second round.

Other picks of note were Shawon Dunston (Chicago Cubs), Franklin Stubbs (Los Angeles), Sam Horn (Boston), Bret Saberhagen (Kansas City), Dale Sveum (Milwaukee) and Spike Owen (Seattle). The Twins selected Kirby Puckett in the January draft.

First Round - June, Regular Phase

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.CubsShawon DunstonSSBrooklyn, NY
2.Blue JaysAugie SchmidtSSU of New Orleans
3.PadresJimmy JonesRHPDallas, TX
4.TwinsBryan OelkersLHPWichita State U
5.MetsDwight GoodenRHPTampa, FL
6.MarinersSpike OwenSSU of Texas
7.PiratesSam KhalifaSSTucson, AZ
8.AngelsBob KipperLHPAurora, IL
9.BravesDuane WardRHPFarmington, NM
10.RoyalsJohn MorrisOFSeton Hall U
11.GiantsSteve Stanicek1BU of Nebraksa
12.IndiansMark SnyderRHPKnoxville, TN
13.PhilliesJohn RussellC-OFU of Oklahoma
14.White SoxRon KarkoviceCOrlando, FL
15.AstrosSteve SwainOFEl Cajon, CA
16.Red SoxSam Horn1BSan Diego, CA
17.CubsTony WoodsSSWhittier College
18.Red SoxRob ParkinsRHPCerritos, CA
19.DodgersFranklin Stubbs1BVirginia Tech
20.TigersRich MonteleoneRHPTampa, FL
21.CardinalsTodd WorrellRHPBiola College
22.RedsScott JonesLHPHinsdale, IL
23.RedsBill HawleyRHPWest Columbia, SC
24.OriolesJoe KucharskiRHPU of South Carolina
25.BrewersDale SveumSSPinole, CA
26.Red SoxJeff Ledbetter1B-OFFlorida State U


Hard-throwing Tim Belcher, selected by the Twins, became only the second number one pick in the history of the draft not to sign a contract. The other number one pick who didn't sign was high school catcher Danny Goodwin, picked by the White Sox in 1971.

The Milwaukee Brewers had a very productive draft, choosing future major leaguers Dan Plesac (1st round), Glenn Braggs (2nd round), Mike Birkbeck (4th round) and Joey Meyer (5th round).

The Mets also drafted well, taking Stan Jefferson (1st round, compensation), Calvin Schiraldi (1st round, compensation), Dave Magadan (2nd round) and Rick Aguilera (3rd round).

The steal of the draft was Boston's selection of Roger Clemens in the first round, the 18th pick overall. Others selected in the 1983 June draft included Kurt Stillwell (Cincinnati), Jeff Klunkel (Texas), Joel Davis (Chicago White Sox) and Wally Joyner (California). San Francisco chose Robby Thompson in the secondary phase of the June draft.

First Round - June, Regular Phase

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.Twins*Tim BelcherRHPMt. Vernon Nazarene Col
2.RedsKurt StillwellSSThousand Oaks, CA
3.RangersJeff KunkelSSRider College
4.MetsEddie Williams3BSan Diego, CA
5.AthleticsStan HiltonRHPBaylor U
6.CubsJackie DavidsonRHPEverman, TX
7.MarinersDarrel AkerfeldsRHPMesa College
8.AstrosRobbie WineCOklahoma State U
9.Blue JaysMatt StarkCHacienda Heights, CA
10.PadresRay HaywardLHPOklahoma U
11.IndiansDave ClarkOFJackson State U
12.PiratesRon DeLucchiOFMoraga, CA
13.White SoxJoel DavisRHPJacksonville, FL
14.ExposRich StollRHPU of Michigan
15.TigersWayne DotsonRHPLubbock, TX
16.ExposBrian HolmanRHPWichita, KA
17.MarinersTerry BellCOld Dominion U
18.DodgersErik SonbergLHPWichita State U
19.Red SoxRoger ClemensRHPU of Texas
20.MetsStan JeffersonOFBethune-Cookman College
21.RoyalsGary ThurmanOFIndianapolis, IN
22.PhilliesRicky Jordan1BSacramento, CA
23.AngelsMark DoranOFU of Wisconsin
24.CardinalsJim Lindeman3BBradley U
25.OriolesWayne WilsonRHPRedondo Beach, CA
26.BrewersDan PlesacLHPNorth Carolina St. U

* Did not sign


Of the 25 first round selections in the 1984 draft, 17 had played Major League Baseball by the start of the 1988 season. Sixteen of those players were on the original 30-man Olympic roster and a June draft record 18 were from colleges. Even the Cincinnati Reds, who had never selected a college player as their first pick, chose Seton Hall's Pat Pacillo in the first round.

The New York Mets made Shawn Abner, a high school outfielder from Pennsylvania, the number one pick. There had been speculation that for the first time ever, brothers would be chosen in the first round. But Abner's older brother, Ben, was not selected until the 5th round by the Expos.

Among the first round draft choices in 1984 were Cory Snyder (Cleveland), Mike Dunne (St. Louis), Mark McGwire (Oakland), Oddibe McDowell (Texas) and Scott Bankhead (Kansas City).

First Round - June, Regular Phase

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.MetsShawn AbnerOFMechanicsburg, PA
2.MarinersBilly SwiftRHPU of Maine
3.CubsDrew HallLHPMorehead State U
4.IndiansCory SnyderSSBrigham Young U
5.RedsPat PacilloRHPSeton Hall U
6.AngelsErik PappasCChicago, IL
7.CardinalsMike DunneRHPBradley U
8.TwinsJay BellSSPensacola, FL
9.GiantsAlan CockrellOFU of Tennessee
10.AthleticsMark McGwire1BU of Southern California
11.PadresShane MackOFUCLA
12.RangersOddibe McDowellOFArizona State U
13.ExposBob CaffreyCCal State Fullerton
14.Red SoxJohn MarzanoCTemple U
15.PiratesKevin AndershLHPU of New Mexico
16.RoyalsScott BankheadRHPU of North Carolina
17.AstrosDon AugustRHPChapman College
18.BrewersIsaiah ClarkSSCrockett, TX
19.BravesDrew Denson1B-OFCincinnati, OH
20.White SoxTony MenendezRHPCarol City, FL
21.PhilliesPete SmithRHPBurlington, MA
22.YankeesJeff PriesRHPUCLA
23.DodgersDennis LivingstonLHPOklahoma State U
24.GiantsTerry MulhollandLHPMarietta College
25.OriolesJohn HooverRHPFresno State U
26.White SoxTom HartleyOFVancouver, WA


Six of the first eight draft picks from the June regular phase had at least one full year of major league experience prior to the start of the 1987 season. Included in that list were B.J. Surhoff (Milwaukee), the draft's number one pick, Will Clark (San Francisco), Bobby Witt (Texas), Barry Larkin (Cincinnati), Pete Incaviglia (Montreal) and Barry Bonds (Pittsburgh).

Incaviglia was selected eighth overall by the Expos, but was unable to reach a contract and was traded to Texas. He made his major league debut on Opening Day 1986 as the Rangers' left fielder, becoming just the 15th drafted player to go directly to the majors.

First Round - June, Regular Phase

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.BrewersB.J. SurhoffCU of North Carolina
2.GiantsWill Clark1BMississippi State U
3.RangersBobby WittRHPU of Oklahoma
4.RedsBarry LarkinSSU of Michigan
5.White SoxKurt BrownCGlendora, CA
6.PiratesBarry BondsOFArizona State U
7.MarinersMike CampbellRHPU of Hawaii
8.ExposPete IncavigliaOFOklahoma State U
9.IndiansMike PoehlRHPU of Texas
10.DodgersChris GwynnOFSan Diego State U
11.AthleticsWalt WeissSSU of North Carolina
12.AstrosCameron DrewOFU of New Haven
13.TwinsJeff BumgarnerRHPRichland, WA
14.BravesTommy GreeneRHPWhiteville, NC
15.AngelsWillie FraserRHPConcordia College
16.PhilliesTrey McCallCAbingdon, VA
17.RoyalsBrian McRaeSSBlue Springs, FL
18.CardinalsJoe MagraneLHPU of Arizona
19.AngelsMike CookRHPU of South Carolina
20.MetsGregg JefferiesSSMillbrae, CA
21.Red SoxDan GabrieleRHPWalled Lake, MI
22.CubsRafael PalmeiroOFMississippi State U
23.PadresJoey CoraSSVanderbilt U
24.CubsDave MastersRHPU of California
25.Blue JaysGreg DavidOFNaples, FL
26.TigersRandy NosekRHPChillicothe, MO


1986 was the final year of the January Free Agent Draft. Since 1966, the January draft had been held for junior college players and those whose eligibility had expired. It also marked the final year of the draft being conducted in two phases, regular and secondary. Beginning in 1987, the Rule 4 draft would be conducted in June only, consisting of just one phase.

A total of 436 selections were made in the January draft and 1,004 in the June draft. Philadelphia led the way with 29 selections in January's regular phase, while the 48 selections each by Houston and Baltimore were tops in the June regular phase. Draftees with college baseball experience continued to outnumber high school draftees by a 2-1 margin. Selections from the June regular phase included 662 college players compared to 334 high school prospects. Sixty-four percent of the total selections (646) signed professional contracts, including 76 percent (504) of the college draftees and 43 percent (142) of the high school draftees.

First Round - June, Regular Phase

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.PiratesJeff King3BU of Arkansas
2.IndiansGreg SwindellLHPU of Texas
3.GiantsMatt WilliamsSSU of Nevada-Las Vegas
4.RangersKevin BrownRHPGeorgia Tech
5.BravesKent MerckerLHPDublin, OH
6.BrewersGary SheffieldSSTampa, FL
7.PhilliesBrad BrinkRHPU of Southern California
8.MarinersPatrick LennonSSWhiteville, NC
9.CubsDerrick MayOFNewark, DE
10.TwinsDerek ParksCUpland, CA
11.PadresThomas HowardOFBall State U
12.AthleticsScott HemondCU of South Florida
13.AstrosRyan BowenRHPHanford, CA
14.Red Sox*Greg McMurtryOFBrockton, MA
15.ExposKevin DeanOFVallejo, CA
16.AngelsRoberto HernandezRHPU of South Carolina
17.RedsScott ScudderRHPBlossom, TX
18.TigersPhil ClarkCCrockett, TX
19.DodgersMike WhiteOFLoudon, TN
20.White SoxGrady HallLHPNorthwestern U
21.MetsLee MayOFCincinnati, OH
22.AngelsLee StevensOFLawrence, KS
23.CardinalsLuis Alicea2BFlorida State U
24.RoyalsTony ClementsSSChino, CA
25.AngelsTerry CarrOFSalisbury, MD
26.Blue JaysEarl SandersRHPJackson State U

* Did not sign


A record 1,263 selections were made in 75 rounds. The previous record was established in 1967 when 1,162 draftees were chosen. Kansas City led the way with 74 selections, followed by Toronto with 71 and the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds with 61 each.

Of the 832 players chosen from two and four-year schools, 630 (76 percent) signed contracts. Only 160 (39 percent) of the 415 high school draftees reached agreements.

The Mariners made Ken Griffey, Jr., the son of major league Ken, Sr., the nation's number one pick. Others selected in the first round included Jack McDowell (Chicago White Sox), Derek Lilliquist (Atlanta), Delino DeShields (Montreal), Mike Remlinger (San Francisco), Jack Armstrong (Cincinnati) and Craig Biggio (Houston).

First Round

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.MarinersKen Griffey, Jr.OFCincinnati, OH
2.PiratesMark MerchantOFOviedo, FL
3.TwinsWillie BanksRHPJersey City, NJ
4.CubsMike HarkeyRHPCal State Fullerton
5.White SoxJack McDowellRHPStanford U
6.BravesDerek LilliquistLHPU of Georgia
7.OriolesChris MyersLHPTampa, FL
8.DodgersDan OppermanRHPLas Vegas, NV
9.RoyalsKevin AppierRHPAntelope Valley JC
10.PadresKevin GarnerRHP-OFU of Texas
11.AthleticsLee TinsleyOFShelbyville, KY
12.ExposDelino DeShieldsSS-2BSeaford, DE
13.BrewersBill SpiersSSClemson U
14.CardinalsCris CarpenterRHPU of Georgia
15.Orioles*Brad DuVallRHPVirginia Tech
16.GiantsMike RemlingerLHPDartmouth College
17.Blue JaysAlex SanchezRHPUCLA
18.RedsJack ArmstrongRHPU of Oklahoma
19.RangersBrian BohanonLHPHouston, TX
20.TigersBill HendersonCMiami, FL
21.TigersSteve PeguesOFPontotoc, MS
22.AstrosCraig BiggioCSeton Hall U
23.RangersBill HaselmanCUCLA
24.MetsChris Donnels3BLoyola Marymount U
25.AngelsJohn OrtonCCal Poly San Luis Obispo
26.Red SoxReggie HarrisRHPWaynesboro, VA

* Did not sign


For the second consecutive year, a record number of selections were made. There were 1,432 picks in 74 rounds, and Toronto led the way with 73 selections. The San Diego Padres made University of Evansville right-hander Andy Benes the nation's top draft pick. Benes, who also played football and basketball in college, became the first pitcher selected number one since the Twins picked Tim Belcher in 1983. In all, 14 of the first 26 first round selections were pitchers, including four of the top five. University of Michigan pitcher Jim Abbott became the 16th drafted player to go directly to the majors. Abbott was the Angels' number one pick (8th overall) and made his major league debut against the Seattle Mariners on April 8, 1989.

The Chicago White Sox selected Oklahoma State's Robin Ventura with their number one pick (10th overall). Ventura set an NCAA record in 1988 with a 58-game hitting streak. The Montreal Expos tabbed Canadian David Wainhouse of Washington State with their number one pick (19th overall) while Pete Rose, Jr. was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th round.

First Round

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.PadresAndy BenesRHPU of Evansville
2.IndiansMark LewisSSHamilton, OH
3.BravesSteve AveryLHPTaylor, MI
4.OriolesGregg OlsonRHPAuburn U
5.DodgersBill BeneRHPCal State - LA
6.RangersMonty FarissSSOklahoma State U
7.AstrosWillie AnsleyOFPlainview, TX
8.AngelsJim AbbottLHPU of Michigan
9.CubsTy Griffin2BGeorgia Tech
10.White SoxRobin Ventura3BOklahoma State U
11.PhilliesPat CombsLHPBaylor U
12.Red SoxTom FischerLHPU of Wisconsin
13.PiratesAustin ManahanSSPhoenix, AZ
14.MarinersTino Martinez1BU of Tampa
15.GiantsRoyce ClaytonSSPlaya del Rey, CA
16.AthleticsStan Royer3BEastern Illinois U
17.IndiansCharles NagyRHPU of Connecticut
18.RoyalsHugh WalkerOFJacksonville, AR
19.ExposDavid WainhouseRHPWashington State U
20.TwinsJohnny ArdRHPManatee JC
21.MetsDave ProctorRHPAllen County CC
22.CardinalsJohn EricksRHPU of Illinois
23.CardinalsBrad DuVallRHPVirginia Tech
24.Brewers*Alex FernandezRHPMiami, FL
25.Blue JaysEd Sprague3BStanford U
26.TigersRico Brogna1BWatertown, CT

* Did not sign


The draft produced a record number of selections (1,483) for the third year in a row and a record number of rounds (88). The Astros led all teams with a record 88 selections. Three of the top five players were drafted out of high school. Overall there were 597 high school players selected, the highest total since 1970, when 646 were chosen. Atlanta signed its first 14 selections, the most of any team.

The Baltimore Orioles, the first team since the draft began in 1965 to have the first pick and be in first place at the same time, made Louisiana State right-handed pitcher Ben McDonald, a two-time All-American and Olympic Gold Medalist, the draft's top pick.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected John Olerud, Baseball America's NCAA Player of the Year for 1987-88, as their third round pick and signed him on August 26th. Olerud went straight to the majors, the 17th player to do so, and went 2-for-4 against the Orioles in his first major league game.

Right-handed pitcher Scott Burrell from Hamden (CT) High School was the Mariners' number one pick (26th overall), but he opted for the University of Connecticut where he led the Huskies' basketball team to the NCAA Tournament.

A draftee that falls into the one that got away category is catcher Mike Piazza, who was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers as their final pick of the draft in the 62nd round.

First Round

 Pick Team Player Position College/Hometown
1.OriolesBen McDonaldRHPLouisiana State U
2.BravesTyler HoustonCLas Vegas, NV
3.MarinersRoger SalkeldRHPSaugus, CA
4.PhilliesJeff JacksonOFChicago, IL
5.RangersDonald HarrisOFTexas Tech
6.CardinalsPaul ColemanOFFrankston, TX
7.White SoxFrank Thomas1BAuburn U
8.CubsEarl CunninghamOFLancaster, SC
9.AngelsKyle AbbotLHPLong Beach State U
10.Expos*Charles JohnsonCFort Pierce, FL
11.Indians*Calvin Murray3BDallas, TX
12.AstrosJeff JudenRHPSalem, MA
13.RoyalsBrent MayneCCal State Fullerton
14.GiantsSteve HoseyOFFresno State U
15.DodgersKiki JonesRHPTampa, FL
16.Red SoxGreg BlosserOFSarasota, FL
17.BrewersCal EldredRHPU of Iowa
18.PiratesWillie GreeneSSGray, GA
19.Blue JaysEddie ZoskySSFresno State U
20.RedsScott BryantOF-RHPU of Texas
21.TigersGreg GohrRHPSanta Clara U
22.DodgersTom GoodwinOFFrenso State U
23.Red SoxMaurice Vaughn1BSeton Hall U
24.MetsAlan ZinterCU of Arizona
25.TwinsChuck KnoblauchSSTexas A&M
26.Mariners*Scott BurrellRHPHamden, CT

* Did not sign