George Brett

July 29, 2013

Recapping the 1971 MLB Draft

The Royals’ selection of George Brett in the 1971 baseball draft went on to become a franchise-defining move. But Brett wasn’t the team’s first-round pick. Here are the 28 players who were chosen ahead of him.

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



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:

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