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Taking stock of Draft's conclusion

Taking stock of Draft's conclusion

Taking stock of Draft's conclusion
NEW YORK -- It's all over. Baseball's annual First-Year Player Draft came to a close on Wednesday evening, more than 1,200 picks and 46 hours after it began in earnest. The Draft went through 40 rounds, distributing the next generation of talent to organizations who will try to nurture it.

Houston got the proceedings started by taking Carlos Correa with the top overall selection on Monday night, and he could be signed to a contract as early as Thursday. And that's well ahead of schedule, as teams will have until July 13 to get all their picks under contract.

The various Major League teams went through 15 rounds of talent on Wednesday, and most of the players selected will wind up shoring up the depth of each organization's lower-level affiliates. For now, the prospects are still projects, and most will need years of development to rise up the chain.

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This year's Draft had good balance, with teams selecting 630 pitchers and 608 position players. Right-handed pitchers (461) were by far the most common type of player selected, nearly triple the number of left-handers taken (169). And even with a reduction in rounds, the data reveals interesting trends.

2012 Draft Central

Major League teams drafted 55.2 percent of their players from four-year universities, which stands as the third-highest percentage in the last 27 years. The high school ranks accounted for 33.6 percent of the draftees, and junior college players were just 10.6 percent of the field, the lowest in two decades.

The two years that garnered a higher percentage of college draftees were 2008 (56.1) and 1985 (61.2), but this year's overall numbers were fairly similar to last year. Last season, teams used 53.4 percent of their picks on college players, 33.9 on prepsters and 11.7 on players from the JC ranks.

Left-handed pitchers wound up at their third-lowest percentage (13.7) in the last 16 years, and catchers jumped to their second-highest level (10.3) since 2002. The amount of right-handed pitchers remained virtually the same, measuring 37.2 percent of the field this year and 37.5 last year.

Teams have coveted pitchers more than hitters in the Draft for quite some time, but this year represented the third-closest split (50.9 to 49.1) since 1998. Hitters accounted for just 45.1 percent of draftees in 2000, but the splits have steadily grown in their favor over the last decade.

Another interesting milestone happened in Monday's first round, when teams drafted the highest number of African-American players since 2002. Seven players -- or 22.6 percent of the first round -- were African-American this year, the most since teams drafted 10 players a decade ago.

One thing that hasn't changed is the amount of legacy picks on Day Three of the Draft. Several teams opted to take players with famous fathers on Wednesday, with Baltimore's selection of Ryan Ripken -- son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken -- and Ryan Garvey, son of Steve, selected by the Rockies.

Teams opted to draft the sons of four big league managers Wednesday -- Tate Matheny, Lance Roenicke, Cameron Gibson and Rustin Sveum -- and also added the scions of some team executives. Chris O'Dowd -- son of Colorado general manager Dan O'Dowd -- was selected by San Diego, and Kyle Wren, the son of Atlanta general manager Frank Wren, was taken by Cincinnati.

This year's edition of the Draft even saw the grandson of a famous player. Michael Yastrzemski, grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, was drafted by Seattle on Wednesday.

Some interesting data also emerged in the players' state of origin. More than 46 states were represented, and the runaway leaders in talent were California (222), Florida (146) and Texas (141). Only four states -- Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and South Dakota -- did not produce a draftee.

Arizona State led all participating schools with 10 draftees, and three programs -- University of Florida, Texas Tech and the University of Kentucky -- tied for second with nine players. Another three schools -- Rice, Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas -- managed to have eight draftees.

The signing timetable has been pushed up as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement, and teams will have a little more than a month to get their players under contract. The deadline was in mid-August last year, but this year's July 13 limit may allow more players to make their pro debut.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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