Can You Name These MLB Players Drafted Out of High School?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo

Alexander Rodriguez of Westminster Christian School (Miami, FL) was selected No. 1 overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 1993 Major League Baseball draft. A-Rod, as he is popularly known, went on to become one of the superstars of the game. Among his accolades is being a 14-time All-Star.

Madison Bumgarner signed with the San Francisco Giants in 2007 – his first and only team, to date. Apart from his 2014 World Series MVP award, Bumgarner’s other achievements include two other World Series Championships (2010 and 2012), as well as being a 4-time All-Star. Bumgarner attended South Caldwell High School (Hudson, NC).

Although Jason Heyward currently plays for the Chicago Cubs, he was first drafted by the Atlanta Braves back in 2007 at age 17. Popularly known as J-Hey, he is highly regarded for his abilities as a right fielder and is the holder of 5 Gold Glove awards, so far.

The Seattle Mariners selected Gil Meche in the first round of the 1996 MLB draft and he debuted for them in 1999, at age 20. He was a pitcher with the Mariners until 2006, after which he signed with Kansas City Royals until his retirement in 2010.

The Milwaukee Brewers chose Prince Fielder of Eau Gallie High School (Melbourne, FL) during the first round of the 2002 MLB draft. He stayed with the team until 2011, becoming their home run record holder in the process, then moved on to join the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers.

Jacob “Jake” Westbrook attended Madison County High School (Danielsville, GA) before becoming the first-round pick for the Colorado Rockies in the 1996 draft. He has played with the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals whom he helped to the World Series Championship in 2011.

Mike Trout of Millville Senior High School (Millville, NJ) was drafted by the Angels in 2009 and debuted for them one month before his 20th birthday in 2011. Trout has been an All-Star on seven occasions, so far, and became a member of the 30-30 club in 2012 when he had 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the season.

CC Sabathia played for the Cleveland Indians until 2008 and in that time he made the All-Star list on three occasions. He would move that total to six, with three more All-Star appearances between 2010 and 2011 while with the New York Yankees, for whom he still pitches, currently.

After being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1997, Jon Garland went on to make his MLB debut with the Chicago White Sox in 2000. He stayed with that team until 2007, achieving All-Star status in 2005. He has had brief stints with at least five other teams, including twice with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kerry Wood was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 1998 when he tied the record for most strikeouts in a single game (20). Apart from the Chicago Cubs, who drafted him as 4th overall pick in 1998, he has also played for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. Wood returned to the Cubs in 2011 before retiring in 2012.

Vernon Wells was drafted from Bowie High School (Arlington, TX) by the Toronto Blue Jays as 5th pick overall in 1997. He debuted for them in 1999 and went on to become a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner while with the team. His last stint in the MLB was in 2013 with the New York Yankees.

Josh Beckett, a former student of Spring High School (Spring, TX), has been a World Series champion twice. The first time was in 2003 with the Florida Marlins who had drafted him as second pick overall in 1999. Beckett also played for Boston Red Sox when they took the championship in 2007.

Shawon Dunston stayed with the Chicago Cubs from 1982, when he was selected by the team in the first overall MLB draft selections, until 1995. Dunston, a shortstop and outfielder, was an All-Star twice while with the Cubs – 1988 and 1990.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays chose Josh Hamilton as a highly regarded prospect in the 1999 MLB draft. Despite injury and addiction early in his professional career, Hamilton managed to earn All-Star status on five consecutive occasions – from 2008 to 2012, while playing for the Texas Rangers.

Mauer had excelled at baseball while he attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School (St. Paul, MN). In 2001, the Minnesota Twins chose the future six-time All-Star as first pick overall in the MLB draft. He spent all 15 years of his outstanding professional baseball career with the Twins who announced they would retire his number 7.

Alex Rios was drafted from San Pedro Martin High School (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) by the Toronto Blue Jays. He stayed with the team until 2009 and was an All-Star twice during that time. Rios went on to play for the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and, finally, the Kansas City Royals, whom he helped to win the World Series in 2015.

Adrian Gonzalez attended Eastlake High School (Chula Vista, CA) before being drafted as the first pick overall by the Florida Marlins in 2000. He was traded to the Texas Rangers and made his MLB debut with that team in 2004.

Donald Zachary “Zack” Greinke has been with the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2016. His initial team was the Kansas City Royals, who drafted him from Apopka High School (Apopka, FL) as the sixth pick overall in 2002. Greinke achieved All-Star status in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Scott Kazmir made the All-Star roster in 2006 and 2008 while playing for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, to whom he was traded by the Mets. He was All-Star again in 2014, this time as a player for the Oakland Athletics. The Kazmanian Devil, as he is known to fans, is a former student of Cypress Falls High School (Houston, TX).

Phil “Peej” Hughes was chosen 21st overall by the New York Yankees in the 2004 draft. He debuted with them in 2007 against the Toronto Blue Jays, a couple of months before his 21st birthday. Hughes, who ended his tenure with the Yankees in 2013, was named on the 2010 All-Star roster.

Mike Ivie, a former student of Walker High School (Atlanta, GA), had just turned 19 when he debuted for the San Diego Padres in a 1971 game against the Atlanta Braves. He moved on in 1978 and spent the rest of his professional career playing for the San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers.

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Andrew “Cutch” McCutchen from Fort Meade High School (Fort Meade, FL) as the 11th pick in the 2005 MLB draft. It wasn’t until 2009, however, that they debuted him in the major league. McCutchen stayed with the Pirates until 2017 and achieved All-Star status on five occasions during that time.

When the Cincinnati Reds drafted 18-year-old Jay Bruce in 2005, it was as the 12th pick in the first round. Bruce, who attended West Brook High School (Beaumont, TX), went on to debut with the Reds in 2008 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before leaving the Reds in 2016, Bruce already had three All-Star appearances to his credit.

Billy Ray Butler from Wolfson High School (Jacksonville, FL) was selected 14th overall by the Kansas City Royals in the 2004 MLB draft. Butler, who is known to fans as “Country Breakfast,” made the All-Star roster in 2012 – the same year he received the Silver Slugger Award.

The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted Justin “J-Up” Upton as the first pick in the 1st round of the 2005 MLB draft. His older brother, Melvin Upton Jr., had been selected second overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3 years earlier. Justin, who attended Great Bridge High School (Chesapeake, VA), has gone on to prove his worth by becoming a four-time All-Star.

Back in 1969, the Texas Rangers were still known as the Washington Senators when they selected Jeff Burroughs as the first pick in the first round of the draft. Burroughs, an outfielder, is a two-time All-Star and the father of third baseman Sean Burroughs, whom the San Diego Padres selected ninth overall in 1998.

Chad Billingsley was attending Defiance High School (Defiance, OH) when he was chosen by the Los Angeles Dodgers as the 24th pick in the first round of the 2003 MLB draft. The pitcher moved on to the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2015 season and then on to a career as a high school baseball coach.

In 2005, the Seattle Mariners picked Lance Lynn in the sixth round of the draft, but he decided to attend college instead. He was back in the MLB draft pool in 2008 and this time it was the St. Louis Cardinals who opted for future the All-Star as the 39th pick in the first round.

Matt Cain of Houston High School (Germantown, TN) was chosen by the San Francisco Giants as the 25th pick in the first round of the 2002 MLB draft. Cain spent his entire professional career with the Giants, helping them to the World Series championships in 2010 and 2012.

Clayton Kershaw has been with the Los Angeles Dodgers ever since 2006 when they drafted him as the seventh pick overall. He is a former student of Highland Park High School (University Park, TX) where he excelled at both baseball and football. Kershaw has been an All-Star seven times and earned the Triple Crown in pitching in 2011.

Devin Mesoraco from Punxsutawney High School (Punxsutawney, PA) was the 15th pick in the first round of the 2007 MLB draft thanks to being selected by the Cincinnati Reds. Mesoraco played for the Reds up to 2018 when he was traded to the New York Mets.

After being selected in the number 37 position by the Seattle Mariners in the 2007 draft, Adam Jones stayed with the team until 2007. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 2008 and so far has made five All-Star appearances, as well as won a Silver Slugger Award and four Gold Glove Awards as a member of that team.

The Philadelphia Phillies chose Cole Hamels as the 17th pick overall in the 2002 MLB draft. Hamels, who once attended Rancho Bernardo High School (San Diego, CA), is a four-time All-Star who helped the Phillies to the World Series championships in 2008. He has since pitched for the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.

Manny Machado began his professional career with the Baltimore Orioles after they selected him as the third overall pick in the 2010 draft. Machado, who is a former student of Brito Miami Private School (Miami, FL), made the All-Star roster on four occasions before the Orioles traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was the Atlanta Braves who drafted Adam Wainwright from Glynn Academy High School (Brunswick, GA) as 29th pick in the 2000 draft. They traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003, with whom he made his major league debut in 2005, then helped them to the World Series championship in 2006.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Roy Halladay of Arvada West High School (Arvada, CO) as the 17th pick in the first round of the 1995 MLB draft. Halladay went on to make five of his eight All-Star appearances with the Blue Jays before they traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies, for whom he pitched a perfect game in 2010.

Michael Cuddyer from Great Bridge High School (Chesapeake, VA) made his majors debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2001 after they had drafted him back in 1997. He made the All-Star roster in 2011 while still with the Twins and again in 2013 after joining the Colorado Rockies.

The New York Mets drafted David Wright in 38th place overall in 2001 and he stayed with the team for his entire professional career. The Hickory High School (Chesapeake, VA) alumnus achieved superstar status with the Mets, with accolades including making seven All-Star appearances and becoming a member of the 30-30 club in 2007.

Puerto Rican-born Felipe López attended Lake Brantley High School (Altamonte Springs, FL) before being picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1998 MLB draft. He has played with several other teams during his career but it was in 2005 while signed to his second team, the Cincinnati Reds, that he made it as an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award.

In 1997, the Baltimore Orioles chose Jayson Werth from Glenwood High School (Chatham, IL) as the 22nd pick in the first round of the MLB draft. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000. Another trade saw Werth playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he was an All-Star in 2009 after becoming World Series champion in 2008.

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Image: Wiki Commons by Jeramey Jannene

About This Quiz

Play ball! Prove you are one hot dog when it comes to knowing who's who in the major leagues!

The Major League Baseball draft is one of the high points on the yearly baseball calendar.  It is the chance for fans to find out who the hottest prospects are and which teams will be lucky enough to get them - whether as players or as bargaining chips.

It is true that many players choose to go on to college before going professional, but there are those who make that fateful decision to pursue baseball at the highest level right out of high school. Very often those brilliant up-and-comers have already given a glimpse of the greatness they have in store while they played for their high school teams. That greatness is often manifested in the awards they go on to win and the All-Star appearances they make.

This trivia-filled MLB quiz will help you to relive some of the best moments of these MLB players who were drafted out of high school and went on to make their mark on the game. Like that 14-time All-Star who was picked first by the Mariners in 1993 or the player who was first pick in 2005 when his brother was second pick a few years earlier. Will you be able to recognize them? Take the quiz and let's see how you do!

Dedicated MLB fans will definitely have the guts to step up to the plate and take a swing at this quiz.  Don't strike out now - we are rooting for you! Start the quiz!

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