Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Economics and Business

First Advisor

Robert Mellman

Second Advisor

Kevin Foster


MLB, MLB Draft, Discounted Cash Flow


This study explored the Net Present Value (NPV) in dollar terms of draft pick slots in the Major League Rule IV Draft. In order to accomplish this, the cumulative performance of players selected in each slot within the draft was evaluated and brought to the Present Value of the time they were selected using a discount rate. The performance of the players was determined using the baseball-reference Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric. It is intuitive that earlier draft picks are the most valuable; however, it is unclear how quickly the value of draft picks decline. This research demonstrates that the decline in NPV is rapid for the first 40 draft selections before the pace slows. Around the 116th selection, draft pick slots level off and experience little decline, as teams are less able to determine the value of the players’ talents. There is substantial difference between the top 5 picks in the draft and the draft picks following the 116th selection, as the top 5 picks are worth in excess of $28 million each, while the later selections level off around $2 million each.



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