The 1996 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, was held on June 4 and 5, 1996. A total of 1740 players were drafted over the course of 100 rounds.
This is the only draft to last 100 rounds. The last player taken was outfielder Aron Amundson, drafted by the New York Yankees in the 100th round.
This draft is also notable because a record four first-round draft picks were not offered contracts by the teams that drafted them and subsequently became free agents.
|1996 Major League Baseball draft|
|Date(s)||June 4–5, 1996|
|First selection||Kris Benson|
|1||Kris Benson||Pittsburgh Pirates||P||Clemson University|
|2||Travis Lee||Minnesota Twins||1B||San Diego State University|
|3||Braden Looper||St. Louis Cardinals||P||Wichita State University|
|4||Billy Koch||Toronto Blue Jays||P||Clemson University|
|5||John Patterson||Montreal Expos||P||West Orange Stark HS (West Orange, TX)|
|6||Seth Greisinger||Detroit Tigers||P||University of Virginia|
|7||Matt White||San Francisco Giants||P||Waynesboro Area HS (Waynesboro, PA)|
|8||Chad Green||Milwaukee Brewers||OF||University of Kentucky|
|9||Mark Kotsay||Florida Marlins||OF||Cal State Fullerton University|
|10||Eric Chavez||Oakland Athletics||3B||Mount Carmel HS (San Diego, CA)|
|11||Adam Eaton||Philadelphia Phillies||P||Snohomish HS (Snohomish, WA)|
|12||Bobby Seay||Chicago White Sox||P||Sarasota HS (Sarasota, FL)|
|13||Rob Stratton||New York Mets||OF||San Marcos HS (Santa Barbara, CA)|
|14||Dermal Brown||Kansas City Royals||OF||Marlboro Central HS (Marlboro, NY)|
|15||Matt Halloran||San Diego Padres||SS||Chancellor HS (Fredericksburg, VA)|
|16||Joe Lawrence||Toronto Blue Jays[Compensation 1]||SS||Barbe HS (Lake Charles, LA)|
|17||Todd Noel||Chicago Cubs||P||North Vermillion HS (Maurice, LA)|
|18||R.A. Dickey||Texas Rangers||P||University of Tennessee|
|19||Mark Johnson||Houston Astros||P||University of Hawaii|
|20||Eric Milton||New York Yankees[Compensation 2]||P||University of Maryland|
|21||Jake Westbrook||Colorado Rockies||P||Madison County HS (Danielsville, GA)|
|22||Gil Meche||Seattle Mariners||P||Acadiana HS (Lafayette, LA)|
|23||Damian Rolls||Los Angeles Dodgers||3B||Schlagle HS (Kansas City, KS)|
|24||Sam Marsonek||Texas Rangers[Compensation 3]||P||Jesuit HS (Tampa, FL)|
|25||John Oliver||Cincinnati Reds||OF||Lake-Lehman HS (Lehman, PA)|
|26||Josh Garrett||Boston Red Sox||P||South Spencer HS (Richland, IN)|
|27||A.J. Zapp||Atlanta Braves||1B||Center Grove HS (Greenwood, IN)|
|28||Danny Peoples||Cleveland Indians||1B||University of Texas|
|29||Paul Wilder||Tampa Bay Devil Rays||OF||Cary HS (Cary, NC)|
|30||Nick Bierbrodt||Arizona Diamondbacks||P||Millikan HS (Long Beach, CA)|
|31||Pete Tucci||Toronto Blue Jays[Compensation 4]||1B, OF||Providence College|
|32||Corey Lee||Texas Rangers[Compensation 5]||P||North Carolina State University|
|33||Matt McClendon||Cincinnati Reds[Compensation 6]||P||Dr. Phillips HS (Orlando, FL)|
|34||Chris Reitsma||Boston Red Sox[Compensation 7]||P||Calgary Christian HS (Calgary, AB)|
|35||Jason Marquis||Atlanta Braves[Compensation 8]||P||Tottenville HS (Staten Island, NY)|
| 1st Overall Picks
Aaron Wade Taylor (born August 20, 1977), nicknamed Big Country, is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.
Taylor was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft and was drafted in the 1999 Rule 5 draft by the Seattle Mariners. He made his debut for the Mariners on September 9, 2002, but gave up 4 earned runs in only 1 inning. He made his final appearance on October 2, 2004. On December 20, 2004, Taylor was traded to the Colorado Rockies for Sean Green, but he never pitched a game for the Rockies. In 2006, he played 3 games for the independent Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League.Allen Levrault
Allen Harry Levrault (born August 15, 1977) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers and Florida Marlins. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 13th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.
Levrault graduated from Westport High School in Westport, Massachusetts in 1995.
In 2002 Levrault played for the Oakland Athletics Triple-A affiliate the Sacramento River Cats.
In 2003, he pitched in 19 games for the World Champions Florida Marlins. He went 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA with 15 walks and 21 strikeouts. He pitched in his final major league game on June 27, 2003.
In 2004, Levrault played for the Seattle Mariners' Double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions. He last played in 2005, for the independent Elmira Pioneers and Joliet Jackhammers.
Allen in 2001 was featured in A Player to be Named Later. A documentary about the life of a Triple-A ball player joining the Milwaukee Brewers affiliate at the time the Indianapolis Indians
Allen was married on September 5, 2009 to Vanessa Joy Quirk Levrault of Swansea, Massachusetts. They currently reside in Westport, Massachusetts) with their son and daughter.Brandon Berger
Brandon Charles Berger (born February 21, 1975) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder.
Berger attended Beechwood High School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in high school, but went to college at Eastern Kentucky University and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 14th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, and signed on June 4, 1996. He played for the Royals for parts of four seasons between 2001 and 2004. He also owns his own Baseball Training Center, called At The Yard.Brent Abernathy
Michael Brent Abernathy (born September 23, 1977) is an American former professional baseball infielder. He played in the major leagues from 2001 to 2003 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Kansas City Royals, and again in 2005 for the Minnesota Twins.
He attended high school at The Lovett School, where he played on the school's baseball team. He was awarded the Dial Award for the national high-school scholar-athlete of the year in 1995. Abernathy was named to the All-America First Team by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings.Abernathy was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. In 2000, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for pitchers Steve Trachsel and Mark Guthrie. He played for the gold-medal winning United States team in the 2000 Olympics, and went on to make his debut in the majors with Tampa Bay and later played with the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins. He has not been in the majors since 2005.
Abernathy was one of two Tampa Bay Devil Rays players to reach base against the Boston Red Sox on April 27, 2002, on a walk, but then was thrown out at second after Russ Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice. Abernathy’s plate appearance broke up Derek Lowe's bid for a perfect game. Lowe did finish the game, however, with a no-hitter.
On April 7, 2008, Abernathy signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. His last season in professional baseball was 2009, when he played with the Camden Riversharks.Carl Sadler
William Carl Sadler (born October 11, 1976) is an American former Major League Baseball player. A pitcher, Sadler played for the Cleveland Indians in 2002 and 2003.
Sadler attended high school in Perry, Florida, and was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 34th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the team, and spent the 1997 season with the Expos' rookie team as well as the Vermont Expos. He missed the 1998 season due to elbow surgery, and was released by the Expos. The Cleveland Indians signed him in 1996, but he underwent Tommy John surgery after six games, missing the rest of 1999 and some of 2000, with doctors giving Sadler a 50-50 chance of pitching again after surgery. In 2001, Sadler spent most of the season with the Kinston Indians, finishing with a win-loss record of 6-0, a 1.88 earned run average (ERA), and 78 strikeouts in 27 appearances. He spent 2002 with the Akron Aeros and Buffalo Bisons, and had ERAs of 2.33 and 1.93 in 33 combined games, which led to his major league debut.Sadler made his major league debut on July 31, 2002, and played in 24 games, going 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA. The following year, he made the roster to start the season, and over the first two months of the season had a 1.88 ERA. However, opposing left-handed hitters had a .333 batting average against him, and he was demoted in spite of the low ERA. He finished the season with Buffalo, and had a 6.28 ERA in 31 appearances. The following season, Sadler split the season with Akron and Buffalo, and he was released at the end of the season. In 2005, he played for the Long Island Ducks and Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League and the Yuma Scorpions of the Golden Baseball League, retiring after the season ended.Chad Durbin
Chad Griffin Durbin (born December 3, 1977), is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, and Cleveland Indians, and Detroit Tigers of the American League (AL), and the Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, and Atlanta Braves of the National League (NL).Durbin attended Woodlawn High School, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals, in the 3rd round, 79th overall, of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft. Durbin‘s major league debut came in a scoreless relief appearance, for the Royals, on September 26, 1999.Chad Paronto
Chad Michael Paronto (born July 28, 1975) is an American former Major League Baseball player. Paronto attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst before being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. Paronto's best pitches include a 90–94 mph fastball and a heavy sinker which he uses mainly with men on base.Chris Wakeland
Christopher Robert Wakeland (born June 15, 1975) is a former professional baseball player who played Major League Baseball, appearing in ten games for the Detroit Tigers in 2001. Wakeland was drafted by the Tigers out of Oregon State University in the 15th round (431st overall) of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.Cody McKay
Cody Dean McKay (born January 11, 1974) is a former Major League Baseball catcher. He is 6 feet 0 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds.
McKay was twice drafted and not signed. First, by the San Francisco Giants in the 48th round of the 1992 Major League Baseball draft (1335th overall) and by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 5th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball draft (127th overall). He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 9th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft (255th overall) and did sign.
He is the son of former player and Arizona Diamondbacks first base coach Dave McKay. On December 13, 2007, he was implicated for use of banned performance-enhancing substances on page 197 of the Mitchell Report.Doug DeVore
Douglas Rinehart DeVore (born December 14, 1977) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and current Hitting coach for the A advanced Florida Fire Frogs. DeVore played in 50 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2004 season. DeVore had 24 hits in 107 at-bats, with three home runs, and a .224 batting average.
He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 35th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. He was again drafted in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft in the 12th round by the Diamondbacks, and signed. In 2005, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Matt Herges, but did not get called up that season, and was granted free agency. In 2006, DeVore followed the likes of Rickey Henderson, and Jose Canseco to play for the independent Newark Bears of the Atlantic League. In 27 games, he batted .229 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI.
DeVore was named as the hitting coach for the A advanced Florida Fire Frogs in the Atlanta Braves organization for the 2019 season.Josh Pearce
Joshua Ray Pearce (born August 20, 1977, in Yakima, Washington) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2002 to 2004.
Pearce was drafted by the New York Mets out of West Valley High School in Yakima, Washington in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. Instead, he attended Portland State University (1998), the University of Arizona and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2nd round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. Though not dominant in the minors, he steadily worked his way up the ranks and made his major league debut on April 20, 2002; he pitched 4.2 innings and gave up 3 earned runs, getting a no-decision. In 2004, Pearce pitched in relief for Triple-A Memphis and had a 3.56 ERA in 26 games. In 2005, his last professional season, he pitched for Double-A Springfield and Memphis.Kelly Dransfeldt
Kelly Daniel Dransfeldt (born April 16, 1975) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop for the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox. He is a graduate of Morris Community High School in Morris, Illinois, as a shortstop and infielder. He attended the University of Michigan and was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 4th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.
He made his Major League debut on May 1, 1999, for the Texas Rangers. He hit .205 in his 51 major league games over the course of his 4-year major league career. After being granted free agency in 2004, Dransfeldt retired from baseball and focused on his other passion, the business world. He currently works as a stock portfolio advisor and gives in-depth market reports on local radio in Morris, Illinois, daily as a locally based stock market expert.Mike Lincoln
Michael George Lincoln (born April 10, 1975) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. He played at Casa Roble High School, American River College and the University of Tennessee. Drafted in the 13th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins, he made his major league debut on April 7, 1999.
Lincoln had played for the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals before signing as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds on February 5, 2008, to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He made the team out of spring training and went 2-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 64 games. On December 4, 2008, Lincoln signed a two-year contract to stay with the Reds.Rob Ryan (baseball)
Rob Ryan (born June 24, 1973 in Havre, Montana) is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Oakland Athletics. He attended Washington State University where he played college baseball for the Cougars from 1993–1996, and was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 26th round (785th overall pick) of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Diamondbacks two days later on June 6. Ryan, who batted and threw left-handed, was listed at 5' 11" in height, and 192 lb in weight.Sam Marsonek
Samuel R. Marsonek (born July 10, 1978) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.
Marsonek was a 1st round pick (24th overall) of the Texas Rangers in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft. On December 13, 1999, he was traded by the Texas Rangers with pitcher Brandon Knight for outfielder Chad Curtis.
He has appeared in only one major league game in his career, on July 11, 2004, for the New York Yankees. He pitched 11⁄3 scoreless innings in relief.
In 2007, Marsonek pitched in the independent Atlantic League for the Somerset Patriots. In 35 games (14 starts), he was 6-8 with a 5.03 ERA and 59 strikeouts.Scott Seabol
Scott Anthony Seabol (born May 17, 1975 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, United States) is a former Major League Baseball player.
He made his major league debut on April 8, 2001, with the New York Yankees, but only for a single game. After a short time in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on May 27, 2003 and was assigned to their AAA team, the Memphis (TN) Redbirds in the Pacific Coast League. After an injury to Scott Rolen, Seabol was promoted from Memphis and played several positions with the Cardinals in a backup role, primarily third base. In 2006, he was signed by the Florida Marlins and invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Seabol was assigned to the Marlins' AAA team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the Pacific Coast League. In early July, 2006, his contract was sold to the Kia Tigers of the Korean Professional Baseball League, causing him to miss the AAA All-Star game, to which he had been selected. In December 2007, Seabol signed with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Japanese Professional Baseball League for the 2008 season. His contract was not renewed by the Carp after the 2009 season, and he became a free agent.
Scott played junior college baseball at Allegany Community College and college baseball for the West Virginia Mountaineers. In high school, he played at South Allegheny Middle/Senior High School in Liberty Boro., Pennsylvania. He is one of five former Trojans to make it to the major leagues. The others are John Kruk, Joe Beimel, Stan Belinda, and Steve Kline.He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 88th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft. When he made his major league debut with the Yankees in 2001, he became the lowest drafted player ever to make it all the way to the major leagues. That record has since been broken by other players.Sean DePaula
Sean Michael DePaula (born November 7, 1973) is an American former Major League Baseball player. A pitcher, DePaula played for the Cleveland Indians appearing in major league games in 1999, 2000, and 2002.
DePaula attended high school at Cushing Academy, and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the eighth round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft. He chose not to sign with them, and instead played college baseball at Wake Forest University. After three years there, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the ninth round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, and signed with them. He spent the first three years of his professional career gradually moving up the minor league ranks, and in 1999 he spent the season split between the Kinston Indians, Akron Aeros, and Buffalo Bisons. With Kinston, he had a 4-2 win-loss record, a 2.28 earned run average (ERA), and 75 strikeouts in 23 games; his performance led to him making the major league roster in September.DePaula made his major league debut on August 31, 1999, and had a 4.63 ERA in 11 games. He also pitched five innings in the 1999 American League Division Series facing off against Pedro Martínez. DePaula pitched in 13 games in 2000, but tore a tendon in his elbow in April and September 2001, causing him to miss that season. He spent most of 2002 in Buffalo, but did pitch five games for the Indians. At the end of the season, he was released and signed with the Cincinnati Reds. In 2003, DePaula played 10 games for the Reds' Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats, and had a 6.17 ERA. He was released partway through the season and retired.Sean Spencer
Sean James Spencer (born May 29, 1975) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners and Montreal Expos.
Spencer was drafted out of the University of Washington, where he played college baseball for the Huskies from 1994–1995, by his hometown Seattle Mariners in the 40th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft. He made his major league debut with the Mariners on May 6, 1999, pitching 1/3 of an inning and giving up 2 earned runs against the Cleveland Indians. On August 10, 2000, Spencer was announced as the first of two PTBNLs traded to the Montreal Expos for Chris Widger. In 8 games for Montreal, he struck out 6 and had an ERA of 5.40. The Expos released him on July 19, 2002. On July 25, 2003, Spencer signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles and pitched in the minors for them until his retirement after the 2004 season.
Spencer played for Greece in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.Travis Lee
Travis Lee (born May 26, 1975) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder.
Lee graduated from Capital High School in Olympia, Washington in 1993, where he also played football. Being ambidextrous Lee played as a lefty in baseball and as a QB for the Capital High football team threw with his right. While playing for San Diego State University in 1996, Lee won the Golden Spikes Award, annually given to the best amateur baseball player by USA Baseball. Lee was initially drafted as the second pick in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins, but was declared a free agent by MLB after the Twins failed to tender him a contract within fifteen days of the end of the draft. He then signed a four-year, $10 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lee played on the 1996 Olympic baseball team for the United States. The team went 7-2 with losses to Cuba in the preliminary round and Japan in the semifinals. The U.S. team won the Bronze medal by defeating Nicaragua.
|First-year player drafts|
|Rule 5 drafts|
1996 MLB season by team