It would seem easy to say the Royals made the right call to select George Brett in the 1971 MLB Draft.
The Kansas City Star
After all, Brett went on to a 21-year major-league career that produced 3,000 hits, three batting titles, two American League pennants and the franchises only World Series title (and homegrown Hall of Famer).
But with the benefit of hindsight, what in the world were the Royals thinking drafting Brett in the second round?
The Royals first-round pick, No. 5 overall, was pitcher Roy Branch. And hes from St. Louis!
Branchs major-league totals: Pitched in two games during the 1979 season for Seattle.
The first round that year produced 16 major-leaguers out of 24 picks, including Hall of Fame outfielder Jim Rice, All-Star pitchers Frank Tanana and Rick Rhoden and infielder Craig Reynolds.
Brett was taken with the fifth pick of the second round, 29th overall, one spot ahead of another Hall of Fame third baseman: Mike Schmidt.
Heres a list of the first 30 players chosen in the 1971 draft:
|Pick||Team||Player||Pos.||MLB games||Drafted from|
|1||White Sox||Danny Goodwin||C||252||Peoria Central HS (Peoria, Ill.)|
|2||Padres||Jay Franklin||RHP||3||James Madison HS (Vienna, Va.)|
|3||Brewers||Tommy Bianco||SS||18||Sewanhaka HS (Elmont, N.Y.)|
|4||Expos||Condredge Holloway||SS||0||Lee HS (Huntsville, Ala.)|
|5||Royals||Roy Branch||RHP||2||Beaumont HS (St. Louis)|
|6||Phillies||Roy Thomas||RHP||182||Lompoc HS (Lompoc, Calif.)|
|7||Senators||Roger Quiroga||RHP||0||Ball HS (Galveston, Texas)|
|8||Cardinals||Ed Kurpiel||1B||0||Archbishop Molloy HS (Queens, N.Y.)|
|9||Indians||David Sloan||RHP||0||Santa Clara HS (Santa Clara, Calif.)|
|10||Braves||Taylor Duncan||SS||112||Grant Union HS (Sacramento, Calif.)|
|11||Tigers||Tom Veryzer||SS||996||Islip HS (Islip, N.Y.)|
|12||Astros||Neil Rasmussen||SS||0||Arcadia HS (Arcadia, Calif.)|
|13||Angels||Frank Tanana||LHP||639||Catholic Central HS (Redford, Mich.)|
|14||Mets||Rich Puig||2B||4||Hillsborough HS (Tampa, Fla.)|
|15||Red Sox||Jim Rice||OF||2,089||T. L. Hanna HS (Anderson, S.C.)|
|16||Cubs||Jeff Wehmeier||RHP||0||Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory HS (Indianapolis)|
|17||Athletics||William Daniels||RHP||0||Mackenzie HS (Detroit)|
|18||Giants||Frank Riccelli||LHP||17||Christian Brothers Academy HS (Syracuse, N.Y.)|
|19||Yankees||Terry Whitfield||OF||730||Palo Verde HS (Blythe, Calif.)|
|20||Dodgers||Rick Rhoden||RHP||427||Atlantic HS (Delray Beach, Fla.)|
|21||Twins||Dale Soderholm||SS||0||Coral Park HS (Miami)|
|22||Pirates||Craig Reynolds||SS||1,491||Regan HS (Houston)|
|23||Orioles||Randy Stein||RHP||65||Ganesha HS (Pomona, Calif.)|
|24||Reds||Mike Miley||SS||84||East Jefferson HS (Kenner, La.)|
|25||White Sox||Bill Sharp||OF||398||Ohio State University|
|26||Padres||Willie Boynton||RHP||0||Springfield HS (Skowhegan, Maine)|
|27||Brewers||Larry Anderson||RHP||16||El Rancho HS (Pico Rivera, Calif.)|
|28||Expos||Dan Warthen||LHP||83||North HS (Omaha, Neb.)|
|29||Royals||George Brett||SS||2,707||El Segundo HS (El Segundo, Calif.)|
|30||Phillies||Mike Schmidt||SS||2,404||Ohio University|