I forget what I was looking up when I eventually came to what I want to discuss here. You know how Wikipedia is, you start looking up something innocent and all of a sudden you’re looking at a cartoon of two people in a sexual position. All you wanted to know was the last name of the kid’s on Rugrats and now you are staring at a horrific image.
The journey I went on led me to information on baseball’s number one draft picks throughout history.
The first MLB draft took place in 1965. Outfielder Rick Monday was selected by the Kansas City Royals. For his career Monday hit .264 with 241 home runs which is not the worst performance by a number one overall pick. The following year catcher Steve Chilcott was selected by the New York Mets. He never played a game in the majors. Only Brien Taylor (New York Yankees 1991) and Matt Bush (San Diego Padres 2004) left baseball without reaching the majors.
(Maybe his mistake was not holding his glove the right way for a catcher)
Going through the list of number one draft picks starting from the beginning, I saw how few were legendary names. It is not until 1987, 22 years after the first amateur draft, when we get a future Hall of Famer in Ken Griffey Jr. He is not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame as he has not gone fishing long enough, but as one of the few home run hitters from the steroid era never to be accused of taking PEDs, Griffey Jr. will enter the hall on the first ballot.
In addition to Junior, 1990 has Chipper Jones who in 5 years will enter Cooperstown. 1993 has Alex Rodriguez. If not for his admittance and the rumor that he has a picture of him as a centaur hanging above his fireplace, Rodriguez would be a first ballot inductee too. As it stands, I don’t think Rodriguez will get in if Barry Bonds or Clemens do not first. Surely Rodriguez had the skills without having to cheat. Bud Selig should be happy injuries will probably ruin Rodriguez’s shot at breaking the all-time home run record. Just what baseball needs, a new record holder who didn’t do it honestly.
1999 has Josh Hamilton who would probably have Hall of Fame numbers if he didn’t have an alcohol and drug problem. He has about as good of a shot at making it now as I do. My .658 batting average when I was 10 was indeed very impressive.
2000 brought us Adrian Gonzalez who is nothing more than a middle of the pack first baseman power hitter. He’s a fine player, not Hall of Fame worthy. 2001 was Joe Mauer. I do believe Joe Mauer has the potential at being at being a Hall of Famer when he retires. He’s a .323 career hitter and is a fine defensive catcher. As long as his average stays above .295 for his career and his other numbers don’t take a nosedive, Mauer should deserve a spot in Cooperstown as Buster Poser will if he continues down his career path.
2007’s number one overall pick was David Price. It’s still too early to tell with Price, but he has a lot of the potential. 2009 and 2010 the Nationals picked up Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Barring injuries to either, they will most likely be the first two men to wear a Nationals’s hat for all eternity.
As it currently stands, there are only two locks to enter the Hall of Fame, Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones. Alex Rodriguez’s numbers deserve it. It’s A-Rod’s heart that may strip the honor away. Joe Mauer is the next closest while David Price, Stephen Strasburg, and Bryce Harper still have many years to prove they are the real deal.
(Ken Griffey Jr., the first number one overall pick to enter the Hall of Fa
Too see the full list you can click on the link below.