SI.com: Best and Worst MLB draft picks of all-time

The 2010 MLB Draft starts tonight and in order to get things kicked off, SI.com’s Jon Heyman ranked the best and worst picks in the draft’s history.

Here are a few picks from each category.

Worst:

3. Matt Bush, SS, 2004, No. 1 overall, Padres. This pick was terrible in itself, but considering Justin Verlander came next makes it even worse. Bush not only never rose above Class-A, he is most memorable for the damage he and his buddies caused to Padres owner John Moores’ private box shortly after San Diego drafted Bush. This was one of those supposed cost-saving picks because real prospects such as Verlander, Stephen Drew and Jered Weaver were seeking much higher bonuses than the $3 million wasted on Bush. What makes matters worse is that Bush hailed from the San Diego area, so they should have known better.

5. Brien Taylor, LHP, 1991, No. 1 overall, Yankees. Taylor signed a record-setting bonus of $1.55 million and looked like a can’t-miss prospect until hurting his throwing shoulder in a fight defending his brother. Sadly, Taylor never pitched a game in majors, joining Chilcott as the second No. 1 pick never to play in the bigs.

12. Jeff Clement, C, 2005, No. 3 overall, Mariners. The Mariners gave away their No. 3 overall pick after they recognized he wasn’t going to be anything close to a star, trading him to the Pirates last summer. What’s worse is that the two players drafted immediately after Clements were Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals) and Ryan Braun (Brewers). Clement is hitting .197 as a Pirates first baseman this year and is a .223 career hitter.

Best:

1. Piazza, C, 1989, Dodgers, 62nd round. Hard to top a Cooperstown-bound catcher in round 62. Was a legacy pick at family friend Lasorda’s behest but he became a superstar.

6. Ryan Howard, 1B, 2000 Phillies, 5th round. This later bloomer was slow to be promoted to the majors, too, perhaps because of the presence of power-hitting Jim Thome. But as as soon as Howard arrived, he established himself as baseball’s top slugger.

7. Bay, OF, 2000, Expos, 22nd round. The Canadian was underappreciated almost right to the point where he signed that $66-million contract with the Mets. The Expos were full of good picks. This was one of their best.

Ha! Matt Bush. He’s so easy to root against in life.

How about the Expos finding Bay in the 22nd round? They probably had no idea what the hell they had, although as Heyman notes in the feature, they were actually one of the better organizations at drafting young players. (And then subsequently trading them away.)

Good list overall. There are always arguments to be made when rankings like these are released, but Heyman knows his baseball and I think he covers a wide spectrum of players. He also stays away from the most recent drafts, as one never knows if a player will fizzle after finding success early in his career. (Although I don’t think anyone would have bulked if Heyman mentioned Tim Lincecum among the best picks. He already has two Cy Young awards and the Giants showed guts taking him with the 10th overall pick despite his unusual throwing motion and small stature. Of course, I’m also a Giants fan, so take what I say at it’s worth.)


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts