MLB Draft: No. 4 pick history features plenty of star power

MLB Draft: No. 4 pick history features plenty of star power
June 4, 2014, 9:45 am
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The Cubs have a pretty good history with the No. 4 pick, even if only one of the three players they've selected there has panned out.

That player, though: Kerry Wood.

The Cubs took Wood fourth overall in 1995 out of Grand Prairie (Texas) High School. Three years later he was in the big leagues, pitching the Cubs to the playoffs and, according to game score, throwing the greatest game a pitcher has had since 1976. 

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Prior to 1995, the Cubs picked fourth twice. Outfielder Brian Rosinski (1975) was a local product from Evanston Township High School but never played in the majors, while Mike Harkey (1987) had a promising start to his career derailed by shoulder and arm injuries.

The top 10 No. 4 picks ever, as ranked by WAR:

1. SS Barry Larkin: 70.2
2. RHP Kevin Brown: 68.3
3. OF Dave Winfield: 63.8 (Winfield, actually, was drafted as a pitcher)
4. C Thurman Munson: 45.9
5. C Darrell Porter: 40.7
6. LHP Jon Matlack: 39.7
7. 3B Ryan Zimmermann: 34.2
8. RHP Alex Fernandez: 28.9
9. RHP Kerry Wood: 27.7
10. LHP Ken Brett: 16.7

Other notable No. 4 picks: Ex-White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (15.2 WAR), former Cardinals, Reds, Tigers and Nationals outfielder/first baseman Dmitri Young (12.2 WAR) and Pirates closer Jason Grilli (4.6 WAR). Baltimore also selected a pair of top-rated pitching prospects fourth overall in 2011 (Dylan Bundy) and 2012 (Kevin Gausman).

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Ten of the 49 No. 4 picks in major league history have failed to reach the majors, though Minnesota right-hander Kohl Stewart (2013) and Kansass City infielder Christian Colon (2010) are active in the minor leagues.

The 39 No. 4 picks who have reached the majors have averaged 14.1 WAR in their careers.