Across the major professional sports, entry drafts prove year after year that scouting and developing are an inexact science. More often than not, teams end up with a bust instead of an All-Star. But the high-profile busts are usually the mistakes that are most-remembered. You can't go one NBA draft without being reminded of Kwame Brown, one NHL draft without hearing Rick DiPietro's name and one NFL draft without conjuring up memories of David Carr.
But while NFL, NBA and NHL teams have had their fair share of draft misses, none of them compare to the MLB's first-year player draft. To see evidence of how hard it is to pick a superstar, you have to look no further than the success of No. 1 overall draft picks. Major League Baseball has held a draft every year since 1965. In the 51 drafts, 22 of the 30 MLB teams have had the No. 1 overall pick at least once, with the only exceptions being the Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. Despite the competitive balance, only one No. 1 overall pick has ever made it to the Hall of Fame: Ken Griffey Jr., who was just elected in January.
While fellow No. 1 overall picks Chipper Jones, Joe Mauer, Alex Rodriguez and Bryce Harper, among others, could eventually join Griffey in the Hall of Fame, there are far more players who haven't even gotten close to baseball's highest honor. With the 2016 MLB Draft less than two months away and the Philadelphia Phillies on the clock first for the first time since 1998, here's a look at the 15 worst No. 1 overall MLB draft picks.
15 15. Dave Roberts, 3B, San Diego Padres (1972)
14 14. Brady Aiken, P, Houston Astros (2014)
13 13. Paul Wilson, P, New York Mets (1994)
12 12. Tim Beckham, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (2008)
11 11. Al Chambers, OF, Seattle Mariners (1979)
10 10. Mark Appel, P, Houston Astros (2013)
9 9. Danny Goodwin, C, Chicago White Sox (1971)
8 8. Matt Anderson, P, Detroit Tigers (1997)
7 7. Bryan Bullington, P, Pittsburgh Pirates (2002)
6 6. David Clyde, P, Texas Rangers (1973)
5 5. Shawn Abner, OF, New York Mets (1984)
4 4. Tim Belcher, P, Minnesota Twins (1983)
3 3. Brien Taylor, P, New York Yankees (1991)
2 2. Steve Chilcott, C, New York Mets (1966)
1 1. Matt Bush, SS/P, San Diego Padres (2004)
Matt Bush has become more famous for what he's done off the field rather than on it. After he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2004, Bush has dealt with alcoholism and legal issues, which have derailed his baseball career. From 2004 to 2007, he struggled with the bat, posting a meager .219 batting average with three home runs and 70 RBI in 259 games. Off the field, he was arrested for fighting at a party, and was released by the Padres. He signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, who released him before he played a game because he violated their zero-tolerance alcohol policy. He then signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, who converted him to a relief pitcher, and had some moderate success, posting a 4.50 ERA in 64 innings. However, Bush was released and served time in prison after he struck and killed a pedestrian while under the influence of alcohol. He's currently in the midst of a comeback in the Texas Rangers' organization and has given up just two runs in 9 innings in Double-A with six strikeouts and three walks. However, it is more important to note that he's sober and is being watched carefully by both his family and organization.
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