Prep Baseball Report

MLB Draft Review (2017-2021): AL Central

By David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

Welcome to the WAR Penthouse, otherwise known as the American League Central. Collectively, the division has produced 95 Major Leaguers and a 100.7 bWAR from the 2017-2021 drafts. These totals place the division first in total WAR, first in the number of Major Leaguers and second in return on investment when compared with the six MLB divisions.

Divisional Rankings:

  1. AL Central (100.7 WAR / 95 ML'ers / $2.654M per 1.0 WAR, ROI)
  2. AL West (82.8 / 85 / $2.569M)
  3. NL Central (80.6 / 81 / $3.005M)
  4. AL East (79.1 / 62 / $2.977M)
  5. NL West (68.1 / 84 / $3.554M)
  6. NL East (53.1 / 71 / $4.270M)

Within the AL Central, the Guardians and Twins continue to be WAR monsters, while the Royals are surging on the backs of a high-producing, college-heavy draft class in 2018 and Bobby Witt, Jr. Both Kansas City and Minnesota pace the league with two of the top five individual WAR producers. Possessing top picks (two No. 1 overall picks) and the bonus cash ($65.2M) to make an impact, the Tigers missed a big opportunity while the White Sox continue to send a large number of late-round picks to the Major Leagues.

Team ROI ($/1.0 WAR) Total WAR # of Picks to MLB
Guardians $1,572,701 26.0 21
Twins $1,721,768 26.7 19
Royals $3,139,500 20.6 21
Tigers $3,975,915 16.4 17
White Sox $4,594,509 11.0 17


+ 2017 MLB Draft

  • First Round: Jake Burger (2.9 WAR), No. 11 overall.
  • WAR Leader: Burger
  • All Draftees Combined WAR: 3.2
  • ML’ers to Date: 3 (Burger, Gavin Sheets, Luis Gonzalez)
  • Signing Bonuses: $8.78M

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