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Past & Present: A history of the eighth overall pick in the MLB draft

With the Rockies holding the eighth overall pick in this year's draft, a look back at players taken in that spot in the past.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies will make the eighth selection in Thursday's MLB Draft, something they have done so twice previously in franchise history, one of which really worked out and one of which really didn't. As for how eighth picks throughout history have fared overall, here's a look at some of the recent and notable players taken in that slot.

Team: Kansas City Royals
Player: SS Hunter Dozier, Stephen F. Austin
Career MLB Stats: N/A
2014 Stats: .277/.388/.373, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 7 SB at High-A Wilmington

After a strong 2013 season at two levels in Kansas City's minor league system, Dozier was ranked the No. 96 prospect in baseball entering the 2014 season. He has continued to display a strong on-base skill at Wilmington this season, but has just 13 extra-base hits in 177 at bats.

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Player: RHP Mark Appel, Stanford
Career MLB Stats: N/A
2014 Stats: 0-1, 11.93 ERA, 5 GS, 14 1/3 IP, 5 BB, 15 K at High-A Lancaster (Houston)

Appel did not sign with Pittsburgh after being taken with the eighth overall pick in 2012, electing to return to Stanford for his senior season. The snub netted the Pirates a compensation pick in 2013, which they used to select outfielder Austin Meadows. Appel was selected first overall by the Astros in 2013, but has thus far struggled this season in the California League.

Team: Cleveland Indians
Player: SS Francisco Lindor, Montverde (Fla.) HS
Career MLB Stats: N/A
2014 Stats: .279/.372/.393, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 12 SB at AA Akron

Entering each of the last three season, Lindor has been a consensus top 50 prospect in baseball. Currently considered by most to be the top prospect in the Indians' system, Lindor is putting together another solid season as a 20-year-old in AA. He could be in Cleveland sooner rather than later.

Team: Houston Astros
Player: OF Delino DeShields Jr., Woodward (Ga.) Academy
Career MLB Stats: N/A
2014 Stats: .260/.343/.404, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 24 SB at AA Corpus Christi

A bona fide speed merchant in the mold of Billy Hamilton, DeShields stole 101 bases in 135 games over two minor league levels in 2012, putting him firmly on the radar. He followed that up with 51 steals in 111 games at High-A Lancaster, but was caught 18 times. Entering this season as the No. 66 prospect in baseball according to, DeShields has swiped 24 bags at Corpus Christi, only being caught four times.

Team: Cincinnati Reds
Player: RHP Mike Leake, Arizona State
Career MLB Stats: 125 G, 120 GS, 3.88 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 45-33, 754 1/3 IP, 191 BB, 497 K, 9.3 rWAR
2014 Stats: 2.92 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 3-4, 77 IP, 15 BB, 50 K, 1.6 rWAR

A late sign in 2009, Leake skipped the minors completely, breaking camp with the Reds at the start of the 2010 season. Me made 22 starts (24 appearances overall) in his rookie season, posting a 4.23 ERA in 138 1/3 innings. Leake is having the best season of his career so far in 2014, posting a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts, walking just 15 and striking out 50 in 77 innings.

Team: Chicago White Sox
Player: 2B Gordon Beckham, Georgia
Career MLB Stats: .250/.314/.382, 673 G, 2,357 AB, 590 H, 58 HR, 251 RBI, 27 SB, 6.8 rWAR
2014 Stats: .279/.318/.414, 35 G, 140 AB, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB, 1.2 rWAR

Beckham made it to the majors just a year after being drafted, debuting with the White Sox on June 4, 2009. He had a strong rookie season, with an .808 OPS and 14 home runs in 378 at bats, finishing fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting. However, he failed to live up to the promise he showed in '09, with an OPS+ below 90 in each of the next four seasons, though he has showed signs of a bounce back in 2014.

Team: Colorado Rockies
Player: RHP Casey Weathers, Vanderbilt
Career MLB Stats: N/A
2014 Stats: N/A

One of the biggest draft busts in Rockies history, Weathers never made it past AA with Colorado before being traded along with Ian Stewart to the Cubs for Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu. Weathers hasn't pitched since a disastrous season in AA with Chicago in 2012, but was recently picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Team: Cincinnati Reds
Player: OF Drew Stubbs, Texas
Career MLB Stats: .243/.313/.385, 673 G, 2,325 AB, 564 H, 72 HR, 232 RBI, 133 SB, 7.4 rWAR
2014 Stats: .317/.360/.471, 41 G, 104 AB, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 6 SB, 0.9 rWAR (with Colorado)

Throughout his career, Stubbs has had a reputation for having plenty of speed and power and for striking out way too much. In 2011, he had 40 extra-base hits and 40 stolen bases in 604 at bats, but struck out a whopping 205 times, leading the league. He is thriving in his first season with Colorado in 2014 in a platoon role, with a career-high .831 OPS.

Team: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Player: RHP Wade Townsend, Rice
Career MLB Stats: N/A
2014 Stats: N/A

Townsend was a top prospect coming out of Rice, but struggled with injuries throughout his professional career, which was limited to just 214 minor league innings over five seasons.

Team: Baltimore Orioles
Player: RHP Wade Townsend, Rice
Career MLB Stats: N/A
2014 Stats: N/A

Townsend was also selected eighth overall by the Orioles in 2004, but elected to return to Rice to finish his degree. The Orioles took left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson in 2005 with the compensation pick they received for not signing Townsend.

Other notable selections

Team: Colorado Rockies
Player: 1B Todd Helton, Tennessee
Career MLB Stats: .316/.414/.539, 2,247 G, 7,962 AB, 2,519 H, 592 2B, 369 HR, 1,406 RBI, 61.5 rWAR

The best draft pick in Rockies history was also the best eighth overall pick in history. With close to 600 doubles and more than 2,500 hits in a 17-year career with the Rockies, Helton has made a nice case for his inclusion in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Rockies will retire his number 17 in August.

Team: Minnesota Twins
Player: SS Jay Bell, Gonzalez Tate (Fla.) HS
Career MLB Stats: .265/.343/.416, 2,063 G, 7,398 AB, 1,963 H, 394 2B, 195 HR, 860 RBI, 36.9 rWAR

Bell is to date the only other player than Helton to reach 20 rWAR as the eighth overall pick. He put together a solid career with five different teams over 18 seasons, making  a pair of All-Star Games and winning a World Series with Arizona in 2001.