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What is the chance of playing MLB after being selected in the annual baseball draft?
Our analysis uses MLB draft data from 1965 to 2019, over which time 22,231 players were selected. The playing career progression data of all players is up to date as of August 21, 2019. The modern draft has 40 rounds, in which 30 players (one for each team) are taken in each round.
The percentage of players who have made at least an appearance in MLB as a function of draft round is :
The overall historical appearance rate for drafted MLB players in about 12%. This is very dependent on draft round position, and falls off quickly for the sixth round or later. The three career levels are: career MLB player with > 3 seasons, appearances between 80 games and 3 seasons, and less than 80 games. Many of the less than 80 game career players may appear in as few as 10 games. The overall percentage is heavily weighted by the results from Rounds 11-40 of the draft, which represent 75% of the players selected.
The percentage of players who have MLB experience has been relatively constant in time from 1965-2019. Note there is a time delay that can be seen in recent drafts where players spend time in the minor leagues before gradually being promoted to MLB:
The percentage of players by position has also been relatively constant in time frame from 1965-2019. Note pitchers comprise up to half of the drafted players.