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Daniel Wilco | | June 11, 2020

Colleges with the most first-round MLB draft picks

Spencer Torkelson Arizona State highlights: 2019 NCAA baseball regionals

The first amateur Major League Baseball draft took place in 1965. Since then, 1,586 players have been drafted in the first round of the MLB draft.

Of those, around 700 came from an NCAA school. 

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And no school is more represented on that list than Stanford. Nico Hoerner, drafted No. 24 by the Chicago Cubs in 2018, became the Cardinal’s 24th player taken in the first round — more than any other college.

But Arizona State isn't far behind — the Sun Devils' Spencer Torkelson went No. 1 overall in 2020.

There are almost 100 other NCAA schools that have had at least two players taken in the first round. Here’s a look at the top 20:

Rank College First round draft picks No. 1 overall picks Conference
1 Stanford 24 1 Pac-12
2 Arizona State 23 4 Pac-12
3 Texas 21 0 Big 12
4 Florida State 20 1 ACC
5 Vanderbilt 18 2 SEC
6 North Carolina 17 1 ACC
7 Southern California 15 0 Pac-12
T8 Rice 14 1 C-USA
T8 Florida 14 0 SEC
T8 UCLA 14 1 Pac-12
T11 Cal State Fullerton 13 1 Big West
T11 Clemson 13 1 ACC
T11 Mississippi State 13 0 SEC
T14 Wichita State 12 0 American
T14 Fresno State 12 0 MWC
T14 Arizona 12 0 Pac-12
T17 Louisiana State 11 1 SEC
T17 Oklahoma State 11 0 Big 12
T17 Georgia Tech 11 0 ACC
T17 South Carolina 11 0 SEC

Three of the top seven schools hail from the Pac-12, but it's actually the SEC that holds the record for most first round draft picks with 124, ahead of the ACC at 119. The Pac-12 follows at 117.

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Those three conferences account for close to half of all NCAA first-round draftees since 1965.

With Arizona State's Torkelson going No. 1 in 2020, the Pac-12 moved past the ACC and SEC for the most top overall draft picks.

Only 27 of the No. 1 draft picks since 1965 have been from NCAA schools, and the SEC, ACC and Pac-12 combine for 16 of them.

But no individual school has more No. 1 overall picks than Arizona State.

The very first player ever taken in the amateur draft was Arizona State outfielder Rick Monday, drafted No. 1 overall in 1965 by the Kansas City Athletics. In 1976, the Houston Astros selected pitcher Floyd Bannister, and in 1978, the Atlanta Braves took outfielder Bob Horner, both Sun Devils. Torkelson then joined the list in 2020 after the Detroit Tigers choose the ASU first baseman with the top pick.

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Vanderbilt is the only other school to have more than one player taken first overall. In 2007, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays took pitcher David Price, and in 2015, the Arizona Diamondbacks picked shortstop Dansby Swanson.

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June 19-30, 2021
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