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A brief history of the 13th pick

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How has the pick historically done?

Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants are picking 13th in the 2020 MLB Draft, which is quickly approaching. Who will the Giants select? I have no idea, but the mock drafters have their opinions.

It will be a few weeks before we know the Giants selection, but it will be a few years before we know if it was a good selection. Where should we set our expectation?

To help determine that, here’s a brief history of the 13th pick in the MLB Draft, for the last 20 years. There’s nothing special about the 13th pick, of course — plenty of times it’s preceded by much worse picks and proceeded by much better ones. That’s just how drafts work. But with a large enough sample, you can get a little feel for the type of player available, as well as the type of player that the Giants are most likely to end up with.

So here they are, with all Wins Above Replacement (WAR) stats coming via Fangraphs.

2000: Shaun Boyd, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals

Highest level: AAA
MLB career length: 0 years
Peak WAR: N/A
Career WAR: N/A

2001: Casey Kotchman, 1B, Anaheim Angels

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 10 years
Peak WAR: 2.7
Career WAR: 1.9

2002: Kahlil Greene, SS, San Diego Padres

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 7 years
Peak WAR: 3.2
Career WAR: 8.0

2003: Aaron Hill, SS, Toronto Blue Jays

Highest level: MLB (1x All-Star, 2x Silver Slugger, 2x MVP shares)
MLB career length: 13 years
Peak WAR: 5.0
Career WAR: 21.0

2004: Bill Bray, LHP, Montreal Expos

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 6 years
Peak WAR: 0.6
Career WAR: 1.3

2005: Brandon Snyder, C, Baltimore Orioles

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 6 years (was in training camp in 2020, so perhaps longer)
Peak WAR: 0.2
Career WAR: 0.2

2006: Tyler Colvin, LF, Chicago Cubs

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 6 years
Peak WAR: 2.2
Career WAR: 1.9

2007: Beau Mills, 1B, Cleveland

Highest level: AAA
MLB career length: 0 years
Peak WAR: N/A
Career WAR: N/A

2008: Brett Wallace, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 6 years
Peak WAR: 0.6
Career WAR: -0.9

2009: Grant Green, SS, Oakland A’s

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 5 years
Peak WAR: -0.1
Career WAR: -1.1

2010: Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox

Highest level: MLB (7x All-Star, 7x Cy Young shares, 4x MVP shares)
MLB career length: 10+ years, still active
Peak WAR: 7.6
Career WAR: 44.5

2011: Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 4+ years, still active
Peak WAR: 4.5
Career WAR: 7.1

2012: Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago White Sox

Highest level: AAA
MLB career length: 0 years, still active
Peak WAR: N/A
Career WAR: N/A

2013: Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 4+ years, still active
Peak WAR: 1.9
Career WAR: 4.2

2014: Trea Turner, SS, San Diego Padres

Highest level: MLB
MLB career length: 5+ years, still active
Peak WAR: 4.8
Career WAR: 14.3

2015: Garrett Whitley, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Highest level: A+
MLB career length: 0 years, still active
Prospect status: 40+ FV, not listed on MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Rays prospects

2016: Josh Lowe, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

Highest level: AA
MLB career length: 0 years, still active
Prospect status: 50 FV, 9th-best Rays prospect per MLB Pipeline

2017: Trevor Rogers, LHP, Miami Marlins

Highest level: AA
MLB career length: 0 years, still active
Prospect status: 45+ FV, 8th-best Marlins prospect per MLB Pipeline

2018: Connor Scott, OF, Miami Marlins

Highest level: A+
MLB career length: 0 years, still active
Prospect status: 45 FV, 13th-best Marlins prospect per MLB Pipeline

2019: Keoni Cavaco, OF, Minnesota Twins

Highest level: R
MLB career length: 0 years, still active
Prospect status: 45 FV, 7th-best Twins prospect per MLB Pipeline

My professional analysis is that the Giants should select the next Chris Sale, but what do I know.