George Brett

Recapping the 1971 MLB Draft

Updated: 2013-07-30T05:08:30Z

The Kansas City Star

It would seem easy to say the Royals made the right call to select George Brett in the 1971 MLB Draft.

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 franchise’s 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 he’s from St. Louis!

Branch’s 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.

Here’s a list of the first 30 players chosen in the 1971 draft:

Pick Team Player Pos. MLB games Drafted from
1White SoxDanny GoodwinC252Peoria Central HS (Peoria, Ill.)
2PadresJay FranklinRHP3James Madison HS (Vienna, Va.)
3BrewersTommy BiancoSS18Sewanhaka HS (Elmont, N.Y.)
4ExposCondredge HollowaySS0Lee HS (Huntsville, Ala.)
5RoyalsRoy BranchRHP2Beaumont HS (St. Louis)
6PhilliesRoy ThomasRHP182Lompoc HS (Lompoc, Calif.)
7SenatorsRoger QuirogaRHP0Ball HS (Galveston, Texas)
8CardinalsEd Kurpiel1B0Archbishop Molloy HS (Queens, N.Y.)
9IndiansDavid SloanRHP0Santa Clara HS (Santa Clara, Calif.)
10BravesTaylor DuncanSS112Grant Union HS (Sacramento, Calif.)
11TigersTom VeryzerSS996Islip HS (Islip, N.Y.)
12AstrosNeil RasmussenSS0Arcadia HS (Arcadia, Calif.)
13AngelsFrank TananaLHP639Catholic Central HS (Redford, Mich.)
14MetsRich Puig2B4Hillsborough HS (Tampa, Fla.)
15Red SoxJim RiceOF2,089T. L. Hanna HS (Anderson, S.C.)
16CubsJeff WehmeierRHP0Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory HS (Indianapolis)
17AthleticsWilliam DanielsRHP0Mackenzie HS (Detroit)
18GiantsFrank RiccelliLHP17Christian Brothers Academy HS (Syracuse, N.Y.)
19YankeesTerry WhitfieldOF730Palo Verde HS (Blythe, Calif.)
20DodgersRick RhodenRHP427Atlantic HS (Delray Beach, Fla.)
21TwinsDale SoderholmSS0Coral Park HS (Miami)
22PiratesCraig ReynoldsSS1,491Regan HS (Houston)
23OriolesRandy SteinRHP65Ganesha HS (Pomona, Calif.)
24RedsMike MileySS84East Jefferson HS (Kenner, La.)
25White SoxBill SharpOF398Ohio State University
26PadresWillie BoyntonRHP0Springfield HS (Skowhegan, Maine)
27BrewersLarry AndersonRHP16El Rancho HS (Pico Rivera, Calif.)
28ExposDan WarthenLHP83North HS (Omaha, Neb.)
29RoyalsGeorge BrettSS2,707El Segundo HS (El Segundo, Calif.)
30PhilliesMike SchmidtSS2,404Ohio University


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