Pat Burrell and the 1998 Draft

Although often regarded as a disappointment given his status as the first player picked in 1998, Pat Burrell was an above-average player despite his limitations. Compare him to the other players drafted in the first round in 1998:


1) Burrell, 3B-1B, Phillies (University of Miami) 21.9 WAR
2) Mark Mulder, LHP, Athletics (Michigan State) 21.1 WAR
3) Corey Patterson, OF, Cubs (Georgia HS) 11.5 WAR
4) Jeff Austin, RHP, Royals (Stanford) -0.4 WAR
5) J.D. Drew, OF, Cardinals (St. Paul, Northern League) 47.6 WAR
6) Ryan Mills, LHP, Twins (Arizona State) BZZT
7) Austin Kearns, OF, Reds (Kentucky HS) 18.7 WAR
8) Felipe Lopez, SS, Blue Jays (Florida HS) 12.1 WAR
9) Sean Burroughs, 3B, Padres (California HS) 6.4 WAR
10) Carlos Pena, 1B, Rangers (Northeastern University) 19.9 WAR
11) Josh McKinley, SS, Expos (Pennsylvania HS) BZZT
12) Adam Everett, SS, Red Sox (South Carolina) 10.1 WAR
13) J.M. Gold, RHP, Brewers (New Jersey HS) BZZT
14) Jeff Weaver, RHP, Tigers (Fresno State) 23.2 WAR
15) Clint Johnston, LHP, Pirates (Vanderbilt) BZZT
16) Kip Wells, RHP, White Sox (Baylor) 11.8 WAR
17) Brad Lidge, RHP, Astros (Notre Dame) 11.6 WAR
18) Seth Etherton, RHP, Angels (USC) -0.4 WAR
19) Tony Torcato, 3B, Giants (California HS) -0.2 WAR
20) C.C. Sabathia, LHP, Indians (California HS) 57.0 WAR
21) Jason Tyner, OF, Mets (Texas A&M) 2.1 WAR
22) Matt Thornton, LHP, Mariners (Grand Valley State) 9.5 WAR
23) Bubba Crosby, OF, Dodgers (Rice) -1.3 WAR
24) Andy Brown, OF, Yankees (Indiana HS) BZZT
25) Nate Bump, RHP, Giants (Penn State) -0.7 WAR
26) Rick Elder, OF, Orioles (Georgia HS) BZZT
27) Chip Ambres, OF, Marlins (Texas HS) -0.3 WAR
28) Matt Roney, RHP, Rockies (Oklahoma HS) -0.6 WAR
29) Arturo McDowell, OF, Giants (Mississippi HS) BZZT
30) Matt Burch, RHP, Royals (Virginia Commonwealth) BZZT

Among 1998 first-round picks, only J.D. Drew and C.C. Sabathia have been significantly more valuable than Burrell, according to WAR anyway. Mark Mulder, Carlos Pena, and Jeff Weaver are all in Burrell's neighborhood.

This doesn't look at the rest of the '98 draft class, but it does provide some perspective.

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