Last week I started telling you about the worst selections ever made by each MLB team. I will continue again this week.Let us begin: 1973 Philadelphia Phillies – No. 2 C John Stearns from Colorado. Stearns had a solid major league career, but not with the Phillies, for whom he played one game. He was a four-time all-star for the Mets. But, still, the Phillies passed on a couple of Hall of Famers to select Stearns. Who were they? At No. 3 the Brewers selected Robin Yount and at No. 4 the Padres took Dave Winfield.
2007 Cleveland Indians – No. 13 1B Beau Mills of Fresno State. Mills retired after the 2012 season having never made it to the big leagues. Who did the Indians pass on? Jason Heyward who the Braves took at No. 14. Heyward hit a three-run home run on the first major league pitch at which he swung his bat. He was Baseball America’s Major League Rookie of the Year and The Sporting News’ National League Rookie of the Year in 2012.
2005 Seattle Mariners – No. 3 C Jeff Clement of Southern Cal. Clement was the winner of the Johnny Bench award as the best catcher in college baseball. But, he batted .218 in 152 major league games over four seasons with two different clubs. He was another player plagued by injuries. Who did the Mariners pass on? Well, how about No. 4 Ryan Zimmerman, No. 5 Ryan Braun, No. 7 Troy Dolowitz, No. 10 Andrew McCuthen, No. 11 Jay Bruce, No. 23 Jacoby Ellsbury and No. 28 Colby Rasmus. Enough said.
1994 Florida Marlins – No. 5 SS Josh Booty from Evangel Christian High. Booty played in 13 major league games and batter .269 before leaving baseball to go to college to play quarterback at LSU. He later played professional football for the Seattle Seahawks. Who did the Marlins pass on? Nomar Garciaparra who was picked at No. 12 by the Red Sox. Garciaparra was the 1997 American League Rookie of the Year. He was a six-time all-star who batted .323 in his nine years with Boston.
1966 New York Mets – No. 1 C Steven Chilcott of Antelope Valley High. Chilcott injured his throwing arm in the minors in 1966 and never got better. He left the game without reaching the major leagues in 1972. Who did the Mets pass on? Reggie Jackson who was picked by the A’s at No. 2. Reggie Jackson went on to become, well, Reggie Jackson, a Hall of Fame outfielder who hit .269, smashed 563 home runs, knocked in 1,702 runners and had 2,584 hits. Jackson made 14 all-star teams, won five World Series Rings, was the American League MVP in 1973, was World Series MVP in 1973 and 1977 and had his number retired by both the A’s and Yankees.
2007 Washington Nationals – No. 6 LHP Ross Detwiler from Missouri State. Detwiler had his moments with the Nationals but could not stay healthy or consistent. Who did the Nationals pass on? Madison Bumgarner who was taken by the Giants at No. 10. Bumgarner became an October legend for helping the Giants to the World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
2006 Baltimore Orioles – No. 9 3B Billy Rowell from Bishop Eustace Prep. Rowell never made it past Double-A, failed several drug tests and tried to become a pitcher before being cut loose by the Orioles in 2012. Who did the Orioles pass on to get Rowell? No. 10 Tim Lincecum to the Giants and No. 11 Max Scherzer to the Diamondbacks. Lincecum won the Cy Young award in both 2008 and 2009. Scherzer won the Cy Young award in 2013. Need I say more?
2004 San Diego Padres – No. 1 SS Matt Bush from Mission Bay High. Bush signed for a $3.15 million bonus and never played for the major league club. He bounced around and had legal problems before signing with the Texas Rangers where he had a 7-2 record as a pitcher in 2016. He was 3-4 in 57 relief appearances in 2017 before being diagnosed with AC joint soreness in his right shoulder. He started 2018 in the majors, but was sent down to Triple-A to work on his command after walking nine batters in 11.1 innings. Who did the Padres pass on? Justin Verlander who was taken at No. 2 by the Detroit Tigers. Verlander was American League Rookie of the Year in 2006 and won the Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011 as he pitches his way to the Hall of Fame it appears.
This is where I think we should stop for this week. Next week, I will tell you the rest of the worst draft choices ever by major league teams. This week’s worst draft selections were as bad, if not worse, than last week’s. Next week, expect to see an even worse bunch of selections.
Mark Clark is a local sports writer for
The Citizen of East Alabama.