Chicago Cubs: Some stars have been selected with number seven pick
After the completion of play on Friday, including the Chicago Cubs‘ loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, the team is now guaranteed to receive the number seven overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft While many players chosen in that slot didn’t have a notable big league career, there are others who have gone on to become some of the game’s most recognizable names, including a Hall of Famer and another active player who seems destined for Cooperstown.
Let’s look at the top five #7 picks from when the draft first started in 1965 until now:
Chicago Cubs: Who are the top #7 MLB Draft picks of all time?
5. Aaron Nola (2014): 24.2 career WAR
The right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola is only 28 years old and could potentially climb up this list if he’s able to put together some more solid showings in the back half of his career. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round in 2011 but did not sign; the Philadelphia Phillies drafted and signed him in 2014, and he’s spent his whole seven-year career there. 2018 was his best single-season performance. Nola was an All-Star and finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting; for his career, he’s 67-49 with a 3.68 ERA.
4. Nick Markakis (2003): 33.6 career WAR
The Cincinnati Reds selected outfielder Nick Markakis in later rounds both in 2001 and 2002, but he didn’t sign. The Baltimore Orioles took him in 2003, and his big league career lasted from 2006 to 2020 with the Orioles and Atlanta Braves. While he only placed in MVP voting once (18th in 2018), he was a steady player who rarely missed much time and accumulated some nice career numbers, including 2,388 hits, 514 doubles, 1,046 RBI and 1,119 runs scored. He also owns three Gold Glove Awards.
3. Troy Tulowitzki (2005): 44.5 career WAR
The Colorado Rockies selected shortstop Troy Tulowitzki seventh overall in 2005, and he made his Major League debut in 2006. For several years, he was one of the game’s elite shortstops, earning five All-Star selections, MVP votes a half-dozen times, and a pair of Gold Glove Awards. In addition to the Rockies, he also played for the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. The career totals include a .290 batting average, 225 home runs, 264 doubles and 780 RBI.
2. Clayton Kershaw (2006): 71.9 career WAR
Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw might be this generation’s greatest pitcher and certainly will make the Hall of Fame when it’s all said and done. Since his debut in 2008, he’s 185-84 with a 2.49 ERA, leading the league in wins three times and ERA five times. His resume includes three NL Cy Young Awards, along with six other top 10 finishes, plus an MVP award in 2014. He finally got his long-awaited World Series ring in 2020. He’s only 33, so there’s still time to add to the resume assuming he bounces back from his recent injury.
1. Frank Thomas (1989): 73.8 career WAR
Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas tops this list for now, though Kershaw will likely take over the number one spot sometime next year. The career numbers at the plate are astounding: 2,468 hits, 495 doubles, 521 home runs, 1,704 RBIs, and a .301 average with a .974 OPS. He also walked (1,667 times) way more than he struck out (1,397 times). For his efforts, Thomas won the AL MVP Award both in 1993 and 1994, while he finished in the top ten of voting seven other times.