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Thread: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

      
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    Default 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    The 10 worst number one draft picks in MLB history

    By Darren Pare, Yahoo! Contributor Network Mar 3, 2:05 pm EST This article was produced by a Yahoo! Sports user. Submit a story.

    In sports, the player draft is often how teams rebuild their franchise, especially if the team has the number one overall pick. Unfortunately, the draft is not an exact science. Instead, number one picks are wasted on guys like JaMarcus Russell in the NFL, Kwame Brown in the NBA, and Greg Joly in the NHL. Major League Baseball has had its fair share of first pick disasters. Here is a list of 10 worst number one picks in MLB. A quick note: I didn't consider any player taken in the last five years, just because it takes time to work your way up to the majors.

    10. 1999 Josh Hamilton(notes): I know, I know, he is coming off an MVP season, but for the Tampa Bay Rays he was a complete bust. The Rays got to deal with the drugs and injuries and then watch Hamilton prosper with the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers. He was taken in the Rule V Draft in 2006 by the Chicago Cubs, so Tampa Bay got nothing for him, but a little bit of cash. The Cubs then traded him to Cincinnati that same day and the rest is history. It all makes for a great story, except for the Rays. Better pick: Josh Beckett(notes) pick number 2.


    9. 1997 Matt Anderson: The Detroit Tigers got one decent season from Anderson in 2001, when he saved 22 games for them. Anderson finished his MLB career in 2005 with an earned run average 5.19. Overall he played in the majors for seven seasons. Better pick: Troy Glaus(notes) pick number 3.

    8. 1973 David Clyde: The Texas Rangers picked Clyde right out of high school. There is no doubt that the Rangers rushed him to the majors to make some quick cash. The lefty did improve attendance for the Rangers on days that he pitched, but in the long run it may have cost him his career. By the age of 26 Clyde was a has been with arm injuries. In all he won 18 and lost 33 games with an ERA of 4.63 and a strikeout to walk ratio of just 1.27. Better pick: Robin Yount pick number 3 or Dave Winfield pick number 4.

    7. 1984 Shawn Abner: The New York Mets selected the outfielder out of high school. He would never play in the bigs with the Mets, he was traded to the San Diego Padres in 1986. Abner made the majors in 1987 and hung around until 1992. The problem was that Abner never had more than 216 at bats in a season. In 840 big league at bats he hit just 11 home runs and drove in just 71 runs. He had a meager .227 batting average. Better pick: Mark McGwire pick number 10.

    6. 1979 Al Chambers: The left handed hitting outfielder was taken first by the Seattle Mariners. His career was over by 1985 after just 141 at bats in the majors. Chambers had a career batting average of .303, in AAA. In the majors he hit just .208. Better pick: Andy Van Slyke pick number 6.

    5. 2002 Bryan Bullington(notes): The Pittsburgh Pirates top pick out of Ball State, Bullington was still kicking around with the Kansas City Royals in 2010. The pitcher made his big league debut in 2005, but only managed to pick up his first win in 2010. The Pirates got 18 1/3 innings out of Bullington before he was picked off of waivers by the Cleveland Indians in 2008. He is now trying to pitch in Japan. Better pick: Prince Fielder(notes) pick number 7.

    4. 2004 Matt Bush(notes): The Padres drafted Bush as a shortstop, but after three unsuccessful years in the low minors they converted him into a pitcher. In 2010 he was traded to Tampa Bay. Bush still has not made it above single A in the minors. If that stays the same he just might jump to the very top of this list. In his time with the Padres Bush did manage a record, a police one that is. He was arrested two times in his time in the Padres system. One bright note for Bush is that is part of the Rays 40 man roster in 2011. Better pick: Justin Verlander(notes) pick number 2.

    3. 1975 Danny Goodwin: Goodwin holds the great honor of being the only player ever taken number one twice. In 1971 the Chicago White Sox took him first and he didn't sign, then the California Angels took him first in 1975. After all that he was still a huge bust. He did make it to the majors in 1975 and would play parts of seven seasons with California, Minnesota, and Oakland. He batted .236 with 13 home runs in 636 at bats in his career. One good thing you can say about the Angels pick is that it was a brutal first round in 1975. Better pick?: Rick Cerone pick number 7.

    2. 1966 Steve Chilcott: The first number one pick to never make it to the majors, Chilcott was taken by the Mets in 1966. The catcher battled injuries most of his career, which spanned seven seasons in the minors. Better pick: Reggie Jackson pick number 2.

    1. 1991 Brien Taylor: Leave it to the New York Yankees to make the biggest blunder of all time with a number one pick. A left handed pitcher out of Beaufort, North Carolina, Taylor played seven seasons in the minors. He became the second top pick to never crack the majors. In 1993 Taylor got into a fight in a trailer park and hurt his arm. He never was able to recover his career. Before the injury his ERA was 3.02, afterward 11.24. The Yankees lost a number one pick and their $1.55 million bonus. Better pick: Manny Ramirez(notes) pick number 13.

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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    This is what happens when you are the Pittsburgh Pirates and you choose to draft someone on both signability and a projected short path to the majors for the bubblegum and popsicle stick team building that went on in the McClatchy era.

    Sometimes it is a little more difficult to predict what happens after the 1st Round of a draft. Even players that look good on paper can bust badly (Limas Sweed for the Steelers) but....

    You absolutely have got to hit with your #1 pick. You have to, especially as both a small market team and a team that is going to build it's core through the draft. You have to hit on the #1 pick. Not just the overall (which is perhaps even more important) but your teams #1. Perhaps that #1 doesn't become the perennial All-Star or what not, but you need to get above average Major League production out of them. we can't project injuries in some cases (pitchers to an extent scouts can look at arm fatigue and such) so in a way it is unfair to really blame injuries but... you still cannot Draft at #1 a pitcher that was projected to be a #3 starter. Even with injuries, you can't avoid historical losing streaks when your picks don't pan out for whatever reason in the 1st Round. Call it bad luck and made management. One or the other or both. When that happens... you end up with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    now, one of the pluses is that for the first time in a good long time, we have Fou8r of our very own #1 picks in the lineup - Paul Maholm, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen... That's really what you need to get out of your 1st rounders. Tony Sanchez with a good season this year is probably a june call up in 2012 from joining this crew
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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    You absolutely have got to hit with your #1 pick. You have to, especially as both a small market team and a team that is going to build it's core through the draft.
    I'm going to disagree a little here. It is a dangerous mentality.

    That fear of missing, the fear of getting nothing, is exactly what prompted picks like Bullington throughout the Littlefield regime. They were (supposedly) projectable and safe. Littlefield was not about maximizing value. He was about minimizing risk. Even if his guys had panned out their best case scenario was still mediocrity.

    It is far more important to have the balls to take the biggest impact player, even if that means a little risk. It is acquiring those true star players that makes this kind of plan work. Any team can afford to miss a #1 once in a while. What you can't afford is to whiff completely multiple years in a row, as the Pirates pretty much did from 1993 to 2002.

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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Quote Originally Posted by Daskid View Post
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    I'm going to disagree a little here. It is a dangerous mentality.

    That fear of missing, the fear of getting nothing, is exactly what prompted picks like Bullington throughout the Littlefield regime. They were (supposedly) projectable and safe. Littlefield was not about maximizing value. He was about minimizing risk. Even if his guys had panned out their best case scenario was still mediocrity.

    It is far more important to have the balls to take the biggest impact player, even if that means a little risk. It is acquiring those true star players that makes this kind of plan work. Any team can afford to miss a #1 once in a while. What you can't afford is to whiff completely multiple years in a row, as the Pirates pretty much did from 1993 to 2002.
    I agree with you, I wasn't saying to be "safe" as much as I was suggesting that you need to in general hit on your #1 picks. Bringing up Bullington was my way of saying "don't draft safe".

    I believe in drafting BPA. I also will always have a concern to a degree regarding risk because the ultimate goal is to always put the best talent possible in the system and have that talent be the best and longest term projectable player. Which is what usually didn't happen when Littlefield drafted college players. He generally was drafting college players based on a short path to the majors. You can't draft anything but BPA. when you end up getting similar talents at similar levels, then you can weigh heavier things like position and success rates and need.

    But ... I was saying basically that to be successful you need your #1 picks to pan out no matter how you decide to draft. #1 is usually your better and best shot at obtaining a good or best/better talent. After that it can be a crap shoot. We can look at the Pens and Steelers and look at their cores and see a lot of #1's in there (Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Staal, Orpik), (Roethlisberger, Mendenhall, Polamalu, Timmons, Pouncey) After those 1sts it's a scattering of #1-7's and undrafted guys.
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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    8. 1973 David Clyde: The Texas Rangers picked Clyde right out of high school. [HIGH-LIGHT]There is no doubt that the Rangers rushed him to the majors to make some quick cash. The lefty did improve attendance for the Rangers on days that he pitched, but in the long run it may have cost him his career.[/HIGH-LIGHT] By the age of 26 Clyde was a has been with arm injuries. In all he won 18 and lost 33 games with an ERA of 4.63 and a strikeout to walk ratio of just 1.27. Better pick: Robin Yount pick number 3 or Dave Winfield pick number 4.
    David Clyde has absolutely NO business being on this list.

    It sure as **** wasn't his fault that Texas pushed him into the Majors because they were in danger of going under, and the arm strain (and, to a lesser degree, the mental strain) they put on this kid ****ed his career but good. How is that HIS fault?
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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Quote Originally Posted by cocktailsfor2 View Post
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    David Clyde has absolutely NO business being on this list.

    It sure as **** wasn't his fault that Texas pushed him into the Majors because they were in danger of going under, and the arm strain (and, to a lesser degree, the mental strain) they put on this kid ****ed his career but good. How is that HIS fault?
    You're absolutely right. Add that to a list of bad management **** ups but how he could be considered a bad player to draft when he blew out his arm due to incompetence is amazing.
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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    I disagree a little with the criteria. I'd just like to see the busts... the failures. Brien Taylor's injury should disqualify him, IMO. Same with Clyde. Josh Hamilton is a great major league baseball player when his head is right. Including him the list b/c he didn't succeed for the team that drafted him is missing the mark, IMO.

    I think Kris Benson belongs on this list. He hung around the majors a long time but he sucked.

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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Quote Originally Posted by tocchet92 View Post
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    I disagree a little with the criteria. I'd just like to see the busts... the failures. Brien Taylor's injury should disqualify him, IMO. Same with Clyde. Josh Hamilton is a great major league baseball player when his head is right. Including him the list b/c he didn't succeed for the team that drafted him is missing the mark, IMO.

    I think Kris Benson belongs on this list. He hung around the majors a long time but he sucked.
    Injury there too with Benson. He missed an entire season due to a torn elbow ligament. He looked like he was going to be decent too. Improved nicely in his 2nd season, ate a ton of innings. Wanna say he was Top 10 or something in IP's that year, ERA in the 3's... Elbow surgery for a pitcher is killer.

    I hear what you're saying though... Busts in terms of guys that didn't get ruined because of injuries, but because they sucked
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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Abner and Chambers are NOT #1 busts. Why, they became Twilight League legends here in the Harrisburg Area.


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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeFoo View Post
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    Abner and Chambers are NOT #1 busts. Why, they became Twilight League legends here in the Harrisburg Area.

    Where ya been Lee? I thought Smizik's might have swallowed you whole and you were laying low as the Lemmings invasion came and went?
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    Default Re: 10 Worst #1 Picks in MLB History. You Know A Pirate Player Is On This List

    Quote Originally Posted by cocktailsfor2 View Post
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    David Clyde has absolutely NO business being on this list.

    It sure as **** wasn't his fault that Texas pushed him into the Majors because they were in danger of going under, and the arm strain (and, to a lesser degree, the mental strain) they put on this kid ****ed his career but good. How is that HIS fault?
    I remember reading where Whitey Herzog really regretted how he handled the Clyde situation. He said the older players,instead of looking out for the kid,were taking the 18 year old out partying. Herzog says he should have have stopped it but did nothing.
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