Everything You Need to Know about Dave Dombrowski’s Drafts

MLB: AUG 30 Red Sox at Angels
ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 30: President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox Dave Dombrowski looks on during batting practice before a MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 30, 2019 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

In the recent week, we saw a glimpse of the Philadelphia Phillies’ front as they hired Dave Dombrowski to be their new president of baseball operations. Dombrowski, who has a clear history of helping teams become “win now” teams, has drawn some mixed feelings from the fanbase because of this. Despite typically trading away prospects, Dombrowski’s drafts have gone well, as he has drafted some big-name talent throughout his tenure as a general manager.

As I overheard on 94.1 WIP Sunday morning, Ray Didinger described Dombrowski as a “traditional baseball guy” who “trusts his head scouts.” Based on some of his draft history, Didinger is right. Based on his history, Dombrowski’s method of trusting scouts over analytics has brought him some of the biggest names in recent baseball history- especially in the first round.

Dombrowski’s Drafts with the Expos:

Notable first round picks:

  • 1989- Charles Johnson (12 year career, 2x All Star)
  • 1990- Rondell White (15 year career, 1x all star)
  • 1991- Cliff Floyd (17 year career, 1x all star)

Other Notable Picks:

  • 1991- Mark Grudzielanek (15 year career, 1x all star)
  • 1991- Kirk Rueter (13 year career)

Drafting with the Marlins:

Notable first round picks:

  • 1992- Charles Johnson (did not sign first time, so drafted him again)
  • 1996- Mark Kotsay (17 year career)
  • 1999- Josh Beckett (14 year career, 3x all star)
  • 2000- Adrián González (15 year career, 5x all star)

Other Notable Picks:

  • 1995- Randy Winn (13 year career, 1x all star)

Dombrowski’s Drafts with the Tigers:

First Picks:

  • 2004- Justin Verlandet (16 year career, 8x all star, MVP, 2x Cy Young)
  • 2005- Cameron Maybin (14 year career)
  • 2006- Andrew Miller (15 year career, 2x all star)
  • 2007- Rick Porcello (12 year career)
  • 2009- Jacob Turner (7 year career)
  • 2010-Nick Castellanos (8 year career)
  • 2013- Corey Knebel (6 year career, 1x all star)
  • 2014- Derek Hill (first appearance in 2020)
  • 2020- Beau Burrow (first appearance in 2020)

Other notable picks:

  • 2002: Curtis Granderson (16 year career, 3x all star)
  • 2008: Alex Avila (12 year career, 1x all star)
  • 2010: Drew Smyly (7 year career)
  • 2010: Bryan Holaday (9 year career)
  • 2011: James McCann (7 year career, 1x all star)
  • 2013: Buck Farmer (7 year career)
  • 2013: Chad Green (5 year career)

Dombrowski’s Drafts with Red Sox:

First Round Draft Picks:

The Caveat

Dave Dombroski has proven to consistently hire top scouts who draft some top talent. It would be nearly impossible given the circumstances to compare the percentage of Dombrowski’s picks that have made the league compared to other general managers. However, given the talent that was named above, and their longevity in the league, there is no doubt that the newest member in Philly’s leadership has proven his worth on draft night.

There is a bad part here, though. Most of these picks ended up on other teams. Of the names listed above, not many of their first games actually were played for the team they were drafted by. Again, the exact numbers are tough to crunch. However Dombrowski’s drafts have gone well. Big names such as Justin Verlander, Adrian Gonzalez, and Curtis Granderson have shown that Dombrowski knows how to build a farm system- just not maintain it.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

*All draft information is courtesy of Baseball Reference*