Skip to content

Pat Burrell and the Class of 1998

Jan 30, 2012, 10:00 PM EST

Pat Burrell, Charlie Manuel AP

Pat Burrell, the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, is expected to announce his retirement in the coming days. J.D. Drew, another top player from the same class, may do the same. So, here’s a look at the top players from the 1998 draft, as judged by Baseball-Reference’s version of WAR (the list only includes 1998 picks who signed):

49.8: CC Sabathia – Cle – 20th overall
46.3: Mark Buehrle – CWS – 1139th
45.9: J.D. Drew – StL – 5th
30.9: Matt Holliday – Col – 210th
24.0: Adam Dunn – Cin – 50th
20.2: Aaron Rowand – CWS – 35th
18.7: Pat Burrell – Phi – 1st
17.9: Brandon Inge – Det – 57th
16.3: Mark Mulder – Oak – 2nd
15.8: Austin Kearns – Cin – 7th
15.5: Jack Wilson – StL – 258th
15.2: Carlos Pena – Tex – 10th
14.2: Aubrey Huff – TB – 162nd
13.6: Juan Pierre – Col – 390th
13.3: Jeff Weaver – Det – 14th
13.3: Eric Byrnes – Oak – 225th
12.2: Morgan Ensberg – Hou – 272nd
12.2: B.J. Ryan – Cin – 500th
10.3: Eric Hinske – ChC – 496th
10.3: Brad Wilkerson – Mon – 33rd
9.4: Matt Thornton – Sea – 22nd
9.0: Ryan Madson – Phi – 254th
8.3: Brad Lidge – Hou – 17th
8.0: Nick Punto – Phi – 614th
7.9: Adam Everett – Bos – 12th
7.8: David Ross – LAD – 216th
7.4: Gerald Laird – Oak – 45th
7.4: Jason Michaels – Phi – 104th
7.1: Felipe Lopez – Tor – 8th
7.0: John Buck – Hou – 212th
6.5: Bill Hall – Mil – 176th
6.4: Brian Lawrence – SD – 502nd
6.2: Corey Patterson – ChC – 3rd
6.2: Kip Wells – CWS – 16th
6.1: Joe  Kennedy – TB – 252nd

Burrell comes in seventh, which seems about right given his lack of defensive value. Of the players below him, only Inge and Pena would seem to have much chance of passing him on the list, and it’s entirely possible Inge will produce negative WAR over the remainder of his career.

The Phillies, incidentally, also landed Madson, Punto and Michaels. They and the Reds were the only teams to land draft four semi-useful players in 1998, as I judge it anyway. The Reds selected Todd Coffey along with Dunn, Kearns and Ryan.

Here’s that list:

4 – Phillies, Reds
3 – Astros, Athletics, Cubs, Rockies, Tigers, White Sox
2 – Blue Jays, Braves, Cardinals, Rays, Red Sox
1 – Brewers, D’Backs, Dodgers, Expos, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Mets, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rangers
0 – Angels, Marlins, Orioles, Royals, Twins, Yankees

The Orioles drafted Cliff Lee and the Yankees picked Mark Prior, but neither player signed. I’d say the Royals had the worst draft of all: they had the 4th (Jeff Austin), 30th (Chris George) and 31st (Matt Burch) overall picks and got nothing from them.

  1. jwbiii - Jan 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Adam Dunn could pass him, too!

  2. natsattack - Jan 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Where are the gnats on that list?

    • Utley's Hair - Jan 30, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      Matthew renamed them in homage of that team from nearby Baltimore under the 1s.

    • JBerardi - Jan 30, 2012 at 10:39 PM

      The thing that really jumps out is Mark Buehrle at 1139th. If Sabathia breaks down, he could easily end up at the top of this list.

    • jwbiii - Jan 30, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      10.3: Brad Wilkerson – Mon – 33rd

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      Whoops. The Expos were another team with one. Besides Wilkerson, their only draftee to make the majors was Jimmy Serrano.

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        Is Jimmy Serrano any relation to Pedro Serrano?

  3. illuminatemyfate - Jan 30, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    What jumps out to me is that Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge were drafted in the same draft where Lidge is at the end of his closing career and Madson is at the beginning…

    • phillyphreak - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      Yea me too. More digging revealed that Lidge was actually drafted in 1995 by the Giants out of high school. But he went to college at Notre Dame and got drafted again in 1998. Madson was drafted out of HS but went into rookie ball instead….

  4. weaselpuppy - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    He that Sucketh and Polarizeth…Brandon Inge, is the 8th highest WAR from that draft? Likely to finish top 10 as Pena seem sto be the only lock to pass him….

  5. rambodiaz - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Dear Cam Bonifay,

    I know hindsight is 20/20, so it’s a bit unfair to completely lambaste you here. I just wanted to sincerely thank you for taking Clint Johnston (LHP, Vanderbilt) in that draft. I would never boo you at an event, because Craig tells me that’s wrong, but I will surely not ever be adding you to my Christmas Card list.


  6. yankeesgameday - Jan 31, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    I was at the univ of Miami when pat was a a freshman and sophomore. Now he retires and I feel really old

    Oh and I don’t call it the “U”. I spent 5 years there and no one ever called it that. Ever. I hate how they do that now.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Jan 31, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Miami lost Burrell, Michaels and Huff to the draft and won the CWS the next year.

      • yankeesgameday - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        That happens all the time I guess.

        Payton Manning never won a national title. He never beat the University of Florida. Lost to them four years in a row. The year after Manning went to the NFL Tee Martin was the QB to win the national title for Tennessee.

        Who? Tee Martin.
        Who? I said it wasn’t Payton Manning, it was Tee Martin the next year.

  7. timasahh - Jan 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Great picture.

  8. - Jan 31, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    The GM who QB’d the 1998 Royals draft is now working for the Red Sox. Just so you know.

  9. ryanhowardsnose - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Worth noting that J.D. Drew was originally a member of the Class of 1997, drafted by Philadelphia. He was re-drafted in ’98 after refusing to play for the Phillies because they would not pay him his requested salary.

    Suck batteries.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Upton (2566)
  2. M. Saunders (2309)
  3. G. Richards (2135)
  4. F. Rodriguez (2132)
  5. A. Simmons (2086)