Every year, the best college and high school athletes gather in New York for the highly anticipated Major League Baseball Draft. During the draft, teams select prospective players that they would like to make a member of their organization. In the article, the focus is on all the players selected in the first round of the 2001 draft. Getting picked in the first round is a great accomplishment as a player, but it still does not guarantee your success. First round picks usually are the ones that teams project have the best shot at making it to the Big Leagues and also making an impact at that level. Also included in this article, are players from the 2001 draft from other rounds that are significant. Players that are selected in lower rounds still have a chance to make it, but they are just less likely to according to the organizations that select them. The draft in 2001 had a dynamic class of players including: Joe Mauer, Mark Prior, and Mark Teixeira. Many of these players are still active today and have played or still are playing major roles on teams around the league. A handful of the players selected in this draft have won World Series titles and some will argue that a select few of the players drafted could possibly make it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Minnesota Twins selected St. Paul, MN native Joe Mauer with the number one pick in the 2001 draft. The 18-year-old Mauer, a catcher from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, became the seventh Minnesotan to be selected in the first round and the first to be chosen number one overall. The back-stop was a member of the USA Junior National Team and won a gold medal at the world tournament in Taiwan in 1999. He was also a High School football standout as a quarterback and signed a letter of intent to play football at Florida State University before being drafted.
Right-handed pitcher Mark Prior of the University of Southern California was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the second overall pick in the draft. Prior, who was previously selected in the supplemental first round of the 1998 draft by the Yankees, was the first college player chosen in the 2001 draft. Prior won numerous National Player of the Year awards after going 15-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 202 strikeouts to lead the Trojans to a College World Series berth in his junior year.