As a great folk singer once said in a song about New England, I’m here to talk about the draft.
All right, now that I’ve lost the under-60 crowd, let’s get down to business. Major League Baseball’s 2015 Draft. A year’s worth of hype packed into three days, 40 rounds, and 1215 picks. As we’ve come to expect, quite a few New England college products heard their names called, some of them in the earliest rounds. There’s no question it’s a talented bunch (just ask the world champion Giants), but how does it stack up to draft classes of the past?
To answer that question, I’ll take a look at the past quarter-century’s worth of drafts to see how 2015’s class compares. That takes us back to 1991, something of a landmark year for the region. Maine hosted the final Northeast Regional in Orono, losing to Clemson in the final. After that, true regionals became a thing of the past, something that threw a brick wall in front of New England teams’ hopes of replicating the many College World Series appearances of decades past. 1991 also marked the first national title for LSU, the poster child of the Southern-dominated gorilla ball of the 90s. So, since that fateful year, how good has New England been at turning out professional talent?
I’ll look mostly at class size and quality, but I’ll delve into a few other issues, as well, like D2 and D3 draftees and how individual programs fared. (I drew the data from the always handy Baseball-Reference.com, and I’m happy to send my Excel file along to anyone who’d like to take a closer look. For a full list of New Englanders picked, head to Mill City Sports.) Let’s get started.