When I thought about the U.S. World Baseball Classic roster, I thought that these must be the best players from the United States. This must mean they all have been drafted and they were likely high picks.
So here is a breakdown of the roster in the round the player was picked along with the team and draft year.
Jeremy Affeldt: 3rd round, Royals, 1997
Heath Bell: UDFA, Mets, 1998
Mitchell Boggs: 5th round, Cardinals, 2005
Steve Cishek: 5th round, Marlins, 2007
Tim Collins: UDFA, Blue Jays, 2007
Ross Detwiler: 1st round, Nationals, 2007
Gio Gonzalez: 1st round, White Sox, 2004
Luke Gregerson: 28th round, Cardinals, 2006
David Hernandez: 16th round, Orioles, 2005
Derek Holland: 25th round, Rangers, 2006
Craig Kimbrel: 3rd round, Braves, 2008
Glen Perkins: 1st round, Twins, 2004
Vinnie Pestano: 20th round, Indians, 2006
Ryan Vogelsong: 5th round, Giants, 1998
J.P. Arencibia: 1st round, Blue Jays, 2007
Jonathan Lucroy: 3rd round, Brewers, 2007
Joe Mauer, 1st round, Twins, 2001
Willie Bloomquist: 3rd round, Mariners, 1999
Eric Hosmer: 1st round, Royals, 2008
Brandon Phillips: 2nd round, Expos, 1999
Jimmy Rollins: 2nd round, Phillies, 1996
David Wright: 1st round, Mets, 2001
Ben Zobrist: 6th round, Astros, 2004
Ryan Braun: 1st round, Brewers, 2005
Adam Jones: 1st round, Mariners, 2003
Giancarlo Stanton: 2nd round, Marlins, 2007
Shane Victorinio: 6th round, Dodgers, 1999
So to wrap up these findings, it appears as though for pitchers, you have a fighting chance even if you aren’t one of the top draft picks. There is only five pitchers out of the 14 which were drafted inside the first three rounds.
For batters, it appears that the Albert Pujols (13th round) story isn’t very common. All the hitters outside of two were drafted inside the first three rounds.