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.)


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Top 10 Infamous World Series Moments

Real Clear Sports lists the top 10 infamous World Series moments of all time.

Earthquake Series5. Loma Prieta Earthquake
Shortly before Game 3 began at Candlestick Park, the 6.9 magnitude Lorna Prieta earthquake struck. It was the first major earthquake in America to be broadcast on live television. At the time the quake struck, Tim McCarver was narrating highlights and Al Michaels cut in to say “I’ll tell you what — we’re having an earth–,” and at that point the feed from San Francisco was lost. Fans in the stadium were heard cheering “Let’s play ball,” shortly afterwards, as the damage at the stadium itself was minimal. A power outage forced the game to be postponed, however, and the damage to the rest of the bay area was far greater than a mere power outage…

4. Clemens Throws bat at Piazza
After two quick Clemens’ strikeouts, Piazza strode to the plate. On a 1-2 count, Clemens hummed a fastball inside, which Piazza fouled-off his hands, shattering his bat into three pieces. The barrel of the bat landed between the mound and first base, where it rested until Clemens ran over and picked it up (later saying that he thought it was the ball), and threw it over the first base line and into foul territory, directly in the path of Piazza. A confused Piazza turns towards Clemens, yelling at him “What’s your problem?” The two would get close to one another, but Clemens refused to acknowledge Piazza, and the situation eventually deescalated. Piazza grounded out on the next pitch, while the Yankees would go on to win the game, 6-5, and the series, 4-1, but the Clemens-Piazza fight remains the most memorable moment from the Subway Series.

1. Bill Buckner’s Error
Entering the bottom of the 10th inning, the Red Sox were leading 5-3, and after two quick outs, the title was seemingly inevitable. Three straight singles from the Mets made it 5-4, but still, all Boston needed was one out for their first World Series win since 1918. But then Bob Stanley uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the Mets to tie the game at five. Mookie Wilson followed, and hit a slow-bouncer down the first-base line, and it looked like, finally, the Sox were out of the inning, and onto the 11th. All Bill Bucker had to do was field the ball and toss it to first…

These are some great moments from the past 20 years. I’ll never forget watching the Giants-A’s ’89 Series as a youngster and not understanding the magnitude of the situation. And I’ll still never get why Clemens decided to chuck a bat at Piazza, then lie about why he did it, and then stick with the lie later. Hey, he kind of did that again later when it was discovered he used stero…

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