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2011 MLB Draft Revisited

2011 MLB Draft Revisited

2011 MLB Draft Revisited

No one is going to look at the 2011 MLB Draft and marvel at the generational talent it contained. It didn't have a pair of $300 million men — Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — as the 2010 version did. And it didn't have the player many consider to be the best in baseball — Mike Trout — like the 2009 Draft boasted.

But calling the '11 edition subpar is a big mistake. It featured Gerrit Cole, one of the top pitchers in the game today. Eight of the first 18 prospects selected have become All-Stars. And any draft that contains Mookie Betts in the fifth round has to be pretty darn good.

Here is a look back at the 2011 draft, with the main focus on the first round, as well as a look at some of the top selections later on.

1. Pirates: Gerrit Cole, RHP

UCLA • '13-17, Pittsburgh; '18-19, Houston; '20, New York Yankees
The fact that the Yankees signed Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract before the 2020 season demonstrates how highly he is regarded around baseball. In 2019, he posted a 20–5 record, with an AL-leading 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts, which topped all MLB pitchers. Cole has registered a 101–55 record with a 3.19 ERA during his eight seasons. He is also 8–4 in the postseason, with a 2.68 ERA.
All-Star Games: 3

2. Mariners: Danny Hultzen, LHP

Virginia • '19, Chicago Cubs
Hultzen pitched six games in relief for the Cubs as a September call-up in 2019. He signed with the Cubs before the 2018 season and spent all but those six games with Chicago's Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. He struggled with shoulder injuries during his five years in Seattle's system.
All-Star Games: 0

3. Diamondbacks: Trevor Bauer, RHP

UCLA • '12, Arizona; '13-19, Cleveland; '19-20, Cincinnati
Bauer went 67–53 in Cleveland, including a 17–9 mark in 2017. He was traded to Cincinnati on July 31, 2019 and was 5–4 for the Reds during his 2020 Cy Young season, when he posted an NL-leading 1.73 ERA and an 0.80 WHIP. He became a free agent after the '20 season and signed a three-year, $102 million contract to join the Dodgers.
All-Star Games: 1

4. Orioles: Dylan Bundy, RHP

Owasso (Okla.) HS • '12, '16-19, Baltimore; '20, Los Angeles Angels
Elbow and shoulder problems plagued Bundy in the early part of his career. He joined the Baltimore rotation in 2016 and won 10 games. Bundy won 13 the following season but lost an AL-leading 16 in '18 and 14 more in 2019. He was traded to the Angels before the 2020 campaign and went 6–3 with an encouraging 3.29 ERA.
All-Star Games: 0

5. Royals: Bubba Starling, OF

Gardner Edgerton (Kan.) HS • '19-20, Kansas City
Starling had turned down a chance to play football at Nebraska and received what was then the second-largest signing bonus in MLB history, $7.5 million. After hitting .310 in Triple-A ball in 2019, Starling joined the Royals for 56 games the next year but hit only .215. In 2020, he played in 35 games and hit a mere .169.
All-Star Games: 0

6. Nationals: Anthony Rendon, 3B

Rice • '13-19, Washington; '20, Los Angeles Angels
A complete hitter with an outstanding glove who somehow has played in only one All-Star Game, Rendon inked a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels after the 2019 campaign. He hit better than .300 in each season from 2017-19 and had his best year in '19, with a .319 average, 34 homers, an MLB-best 126 RBIs, and a whopping 1.010 OPS.
All-Star Games: 1

7. Diamondbacks: Archie Bradley, RHP

Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS • '15-20, Arizona; '20 Cincinnati
After beginning his MLB career in Arizona as a starter, Bradley switched to bullpen work and became one of the majors' most durable relievers. From 2017-19, Bradley averaged 68.3 appearances per season, with 76 in '18 his high-water mark. On August 31, 2020, Bradley was traded to the Reds.
All-Star Games: 0

8. Indians: Francisco Lindor, SS

Monteverde (Fla.) Academy • '15-20, Cleveland
A four-time All-Star who has won two Gold Gloves and a pair of Silver Slugger awards, Lindor is an outstanding fielder who can also hit for power and run well. He has hit more than 30 homers three times, including 38 in 2018. He has a .285 career batting average and .833 OPS. Lindor was traded to the New York Mets in January.
All-Star Games: 4

9. Cubs: Javier Baez, SS

Arlington (Fla.) Country Day School • '14-20, Chicago Cubs
A versatile infielder who can play short, second, and third, Baez is a solid fielder who has proven he can hit for power and average. In 2018, he finished second in the NL MVP balloting when he hit .290, with 34 homers, 111 RBIs, and an .881 OPS. Baez slumped to a .203 average and just a .599 OPS during the shortened 2020 season.
All-Star Games: 2

10. Padres: Cory Spangenberg, 2B

Indian River (Fla.) Community College • '14-18, San Diego; '19, Milwaukee
Although Spangenberg wasn't necessarily going to be a star in the big leagues, he did have two chances at full-time work derailed by injury, first to his knee and later to his quadriceps. In 2015, he had his best year, hitting .271 and posting a .733 OPS. Two years later, he played in 129 games and hit .264. Spangenberg spent the 2020 season playing in Japan.
All-Star Games: 0

11. Astros: George Springer, OF

Connecticut • '14-20, Houston
The '17 season was Springer's breakout year. He was an All-Star for the first time, won a Silver Slugger Award, and earned World Series MVP after a record-tying five homers in the Astros' win. In 2019, he established career bests in average (.292), homers (39), RBIs (96), and OPS (.974). After becoming a free agent following the 2020 season, Springer signed a six-year, $150 million contract with Toronto.
All-Star Games: 3

12. Brewers: Taylor Jungmann, RHP

Texas • '15-17, Milwaukee
Jungmann won the Dick Howser Trophy as the best player in college baseball in 2011. He went 9–8 with a 3.77 ERA for the Brewers in his 2015 rookie campaign but never won another game in the majors. He spent the 2018 and '19 seasons playing with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.
All-Star Games: 0

13. Mets: Brandon Nimmo, OF

Cheyenne East (Wyo.) HS • '16-20, New York Mets
After scuffling, Nimmo became a regular in 2020 and posted a .280 average and an .888 OPS. In 2018, he appeared in 140 games and hit .263 with an .886 OPS, but a bulging disc in his neck limited his time in 2019. Nimmo got healthy for 2020, and it showed.
All-Star Games: 0

14. Marlins: Jose Fernandez, RHP

Braulio Alonso (Fla.) HS • '13-16, Miami
Fernandez was NL Rookie of the Year in 2013 after going 12–6 with a 2.19 ERA. After missing much of 2014 and 2015 after Tommy John surgery, Fernandez was outstanding in 2016, going 16–8, with a 2.86 ERA and 253 strikeouts. In late September of that year, Fernandez and two other men died when a boat he was piloting crashed into a jetty.
All-Star Games: 2

15. Brewers: Jed Bradley, LHP

Georgia Tech • '16, Atlanta
Bradley appeared in just six games — all in relief — with the Braves in '16, when he posted a 5.14 ERA. He retired in May 2017 but came back to baseball in '19 when he pitched with the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League. He was not on a roster at all in 2020.
All-Star Games: 0

16. Dodgers: Chris Reed, LHP

Stanford • '15, Miami
The highlight of Reed's relatively unremarkable career was a stint on the British national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He pitched two games for the Marlins in '15, accumulating four innings. Reed spent the '18 and '19 seasons with New Britain of the Atlantic League.
All-Star Games: 0

17. Angels: C.J. Cron, 1B

Utah • '14-17, Los Angeles Angels; '18, Tampa Bay; '19, Minnesota; '20, Tigers
After four years with the Angels that featured three straight 16-homer campaigns, he blossomed in 2018 with the Rays, hitting 30 dingers and knocking in 74. The next year with Minnesota, he hit 25 home runs and knocked in 78. Cron played just 13 games with the Tigers in 2020 before suffering a knee injury that required surgery.
All-Star Games: 0

18. A's: Sonny Gray, RHP

Vanderbilt • '13-17, Oakland; '17-18, New York Yankees; '19-20, Cincinnati
Although Gray has never won more than 14 games in a season (he did it twice), he is considered one of MLB's more reliable starters. He has a career 3.54 ERA, has played in two All-Star Games, and finished third in the 2015 Cy Young balloting.
All-Star Games: 2

19. Red Sox: Matt Barnes, RHP

Connecticut • '14-20, Boston
Barnes has been a steady bullpen component for the Sox. He has posted a 26–21 record during his time with Boston and has registered 438 strikeouts in 337.1 total innings pitched. In 2018, he appeared 10 times in the postseason and allowed just one earned run in 8.2 innings.
All-Star Games: 0

20. Rockies: Tyler Anderson, LHP

Oregon • '16-19, Colorado; '20, San Francisco
Although Anderson has spent the majority of the past five seasons in the majors, he has struggled with injuries and the long ball, which have limited his effectiveness. The one full campaign he completed, 2018, was one in which he led the NL in homers allowed.
All-Star Games: 0

21. Blue Jays: Tyler Beede, RHP

Lawrence (Mass.) Academy • '18-19, San Francisco
Beede was the only member of the 2011 first-round class not to sign with the team that selected him. He spent three years at Vanderbilt and was later chosen 14th overall by the Giants in 2014. He has made a total of 24 major-league starts and posted a career 5–11 mark. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020.
All-Star Games: 0

22. Cardinals: Kolten Wong, 2B

Hawaii • '13-20, St. Louis
Wong has been a steady force for the Cards at second over the past several seasons. He won Gold Gloves in 2019 and '20 and hit .285 in both 2017 and 2019. However, St. Louis did not exercise its team option on him for 2020, and Wong signed a multi-year contract with Milwaukee, one of the Cardinals' NL Central rivals.
All-Star Games: 0

23. Nationals: Alex Meyer, RHP

Kentucky • '15-16, Minnesota; '16-17, Los Angeles Angels
Meyer had his high-water mark in 2017 with the Angels, when he went 4–5 with a 3.74 ERA in 13 starts in what turned out to be his last major league action. A torn labrum, subsequent surgery and a difficult rehab led him to retire from baseball in June 2019.
All-Star Games: 0

24. Rays: Taylor Guerrieri, RHP

Spring Valley (S.C.) HS • '18, Toronto; '19, Texas
Guerrieri showed some promise in Double-A ball, going 12–6 with a 3.76 ERA in 2016. But he didn't continue his upward trajectory, although he did appear in nine games in '18 with the Jays and in 20 with Texas in 2019. Guerrieri did not play organized baseball in 2020.
All-Star Games: 0

25. Padres: Joe Ross, RHP

Bishop O'Dowd (Calif.) HS • '15-19, Washington
Ross has never spent a full season in the majors. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and missed most of the '18 campaign. He has been primarily a starter during his career, although in 2019, he spent more time in the 'pen. Ross has a career 21-19 record with a 4.29 ERA.
All-Star Games: 0

26. Red Sox: Blake Swihart, C

V. Sue Cleveland (N.M.) HS • '15-19, Boston; '19, Arizona
Swihart showed some promise during his first season in the majors, hitting .274. The Red Sox granted his request for a trade in 2019, sending him to the Diamondbacks, who designated him for assignment. Swihart signed a minor league deal with Texas in 2020 and was released in August.
All-Star Games: 0

27. Reds: Robert Stephenson, RHP

Alhambra (Calif.) HS • '16-20, Cincinnati
His best season came in 2019, when he worked out of the bullpen. That year, he posted career bests in ERA (3.76) and WHIP (1.036), in 57 appearances. Alas, his good fortune did not continue in 2020, when he had a 9.90 ERA in 10 games.
All-Star Games: 0

28. Braves: Sean Gilmartin, LHP

Florida State • '15-17, New York Mets; '18-19, Baltimore; '20, Tampa Bay
After failing to reach the majors with either Atlanta or Minnesota, Gilmartin had a strong year with the Mets in 2015, going 3–2 with a 2.67 ERA in 50 appearances. He never got close to that level of work after that, and his big-league career fizzled in '19 and '20.
All-Star Games: 0

29. Giants: Joe Panik, SS

St. John's (N.Y.) • '14-19, San Francisco; '19, New York Mets; '20, Toronto
After starting his MLB career strongly, Panik wasn't able to reach those levels again, partly due to a fracture of his L5 vertebra suffered during the '15 season. Panik was released by San Francisco in 2019 and hit just .225 with a .640 OPS during the '20 campaign with Toronto.
All-Star Games: 1

30. Twins: Levi Michael, SS

North Carolina
After spending six years in the Minnesota minor league system, Michael bounced to the Mets and Giants in 2018 and '19. However, he never reached the majors, and a 94-game stint with San Francisco's Triple-A club, for which he hit .248, was his high-water mark.
All-Star Games: 0

31. Rays: Mikie Mahtook, OF

LSU • '15-16, Tampa Bay; '17-19, Detroit
Mahtook's big-league debut in 2015 was extremely promising. But Mahtook hit only .195 the next season, and Tampa Bay dished him to Detroit before the 2017 campaign. He struggled and became a free agent after the '19 season. He signed a minor league deal in 2020 with the Phillies.
All-Star Games: 0

32. Rays: Jake Hager, SS

Sierra Vista (Nev.) HS
Although Hager has had a couple of AAA stints, he has never made it to the majors. He spent the 2020 season on a minor-league contract with the Mets.
All-Star Games: 0

33. Rangers: Kevin Matthews, LHP

Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS
Injuries and unfulfilled potential led to Matthews' never becoming a big-leaguer. Save one Triple-A start for Atlanta's Gwinnett affiliate in 2017, he never got out of Single-A.
All-Star Games: 0

Other Notable Selections

Josh Bell, OF

Pirates (Rd. 2) • Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas
Bell showed flashes of power in his first two full big-league seasons, but really he broke out in 2019, making the National League All-Star Team and hitting 37 homers, knocking in 116, and compiling a .936 OPS.

Mookie Betts, SS
Red Sox (Rd. 5) • John Overton (Tenn.) HS
There may have been better fifth-round picks in MLB history than Betts, but the list isn't too long. The 2018 AL MVP is a four-time All-Star and has five Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards. In February 2020, Boston traded him to the Dodgers, with whom he earned his second World Series title.

Jackie Bradley Jr., OF
Red Sox (Rd. 1 – Supplemental) • South Carolina
Bradley was a fixture in the outfield for Boston over the past seven seasons before signing with Milwaukee as a free agent in March. He hit a career-high .283 with an .814 OPS in 2020.

James McCann, C

Tigers (Rd. 2) • Arkansas
The White Sox signed him to a free-agent deal in 2019, and he responded with an All-Star performance that included career highs in homers (18) and RBIs (60). McCann cashed in on that career year by signing a four-year, $40 million free-agent deal with the New York Mets after the 2020 season.

Blake Snell, LHP
Rays (Rd. 1 – Supplemental) • Shorewood (Wash.) HS
Snell was in the headlines in the sixth game of the 2020 World Series when he was taken out early while throwing a gem. His top year was 2018, when he won the Cy Young Award with a 21–5 record and a 1.89 ERA. Snell was traded to San Diego at the end of December.

Trevor Story, SS
Rockies (Rd. 1 – Supplemental) • Irving (Texas) HS
He has established himself as a fine hitter, winning Silver Sluggers in 2018 and '19 and making the NL All-Star team both seasons. He hit 37 homers in '18 and 35 in '19.

Blake Treinen, RHP
A's (Rd. 7) • South Dakota State
Treinen spent his first year in the big leagues primarily as a starter but moved to the bullpen after that. In 2018, he was an All-Star and posted a 9–2 record with 38 saves, a 0.78 ERA, and a minuscule 0.834 WHIP.

Trea Turner, SS
Pirates (Rd. 20) • Park Vista Community (Fla.) HS
Turner didn't sign with the Pirates, choosing instead to go to NC State. San Diego then drafted him in 2014 in the first round but later traded him to Washington, where he has become a fixture in the Nats' infield.

Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Cubs (Rd. 2) • Bishop Verot (Fla.) HS
Vogelbach has never hit higher than .214 during his career, but he showed some impressive power in 2019, when he hit 30 dingers, knocked in 76, and made the AL All-Star roster with Seattle.

— Written by Michael Bradley (@dailyhombre) for the Athlon Sports 2021 MLB Annual. At 224 pages, it's the largest on the newsstand and the most complete preview available today. Click here to get your copy.

(Gerrit Cole photo courtesy of @Yankees)