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Worst Draft Pick in O's History


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#1 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:33 AM

Who would you nominate as the worst draft pick in O's history? There are a lot to choose from, unfortunately. I only included players picked in the top 15 who never made the majors (which explains why there are so few from long ago - we rarely picked in the top half of the draft because we were consistently so good).

2009 Matt Hobgood
Picked #5 overall, has yet to get past Low A, picked ahead of Mike Leake, Drew Storen, Aaron Crow

2006 Billy Rowell
Picked #9 overall, after 3 seasons at Frederick finally got to Bowie this year, only to be suspended for 50 games, only one of top 11 picks in 2006 not to make majors, picked ahead of Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer

2001 Chris Smith
Picked #7 overall, blew out shoulder and pitched total of 24 games over 4 years, never higher than Low A, picked ahead of Casey Kotchman, Gabe Gross

2000 Beau Hale
Picked #14 overall, blew out his arm after 2 years, returned as middle reliever never higher than AA, picked ahead of Chase Utley

1999 Mike Paradis
Picked #13 overall, pitched 12 innings at AAA in his 5th and final minor league season, 5.24 overall minor league ERA, picked ahead of Jason Jennings, Alex RIos

1987 Chris Myers
Picked #7 overall, actually not a terrible minor leaguer, got as high as AAA before blowing out his arm, but never played in majors, picked ahead of Kevin Appier, Delino DeShields

1964 Scott McDonald
Picked #15 overall, only reached as high as AA, picked ahead of Bernie Carbo

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#2 Nuclear Dish

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:49 AM

To answer my own post:

You can hardly blame the F.O. for guys who blew out their arms (thereby eliminating Smith, Hale, and Myers). When they took Paradis, there weren't so many great options available. And with scouting what it was in 1965 in the first ever draft, taking #15, it's no surprise they missed on McDonald.

So in my mind, it comes down Hobgood and Rowell. Hobgood because he was a top-5 pick who we should have known better than to take. He was a reach from the moment we took him, and he didn't even pass the sight test. Rowell more because we didn't take Lincecum, who was picked immediately after him.

I will go with Hobgood as the worst draft pick in O's history.

However, I want to make special mention of another pick that has driven me crazy for over 20 years:

1991 Mark Smith
Taken #9 overall, Smith was the best college bat in the draft. He was also a slow, white guy with a low ceiling. Everyone knew the O's wanted a hitter, having hit the jackpot 3 years in a row with pitchers (Olsen, McDonald, Mussina). But the correct choice that even I could see as an 18-year old intern in the O's F.O. was the can't-miss Dominican out of NYC. I remember being sick to my stomach when we took Smith over the other guy. It's a feeling I've never forgotten, and I've resented Mark Smith (not that it was his fault) ever since.

Mark Smith: 414 G, 959 AB, 233 H, 51 2B, 32 HR, 130 RBI, .243/.316/.403, 85 OPS+, -0.5 WAR
Other guy: 2302 G, 8244 AB, 2574 H, 547 2B, 555 HR, 1831 RBI, .312/.411/.585, 154 OPS+, 64.9 WAR (BREF)

How great would we have been had we followed up those strong pitching drafts with Manny Ramirez, who was picked 4 picks later by the Indians?

"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax..."

-Walter Sobchak


#3 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:58 AM

Alvie Shepherd, and Rick Elder could get votes.

I'll go with Mike Paradis, 13th overall in the '99 draft. He did have a power arm, but I remember saying at the time that I thought that it was early in the draft to pull the trigger on an arm which did not dominate in College.

Man, that '99 draft still makes you shake your head.

18th overall R. Stahl (shame he never stayed healthy, he did show some promise)
21st overall Bigbie (at least he got to the Majors and showed something)
23rd overall Reed (one of the reasons plenty of O's fans are weary of toolsy HS OF)
34th overall Cenate
44th overall Rice
50th overall Roberts

I guess Roberts career was strong enough to take away some of the sting of the other misses.

#4 JeremyStrain

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:08 AM

I was going to give a special award to the entire 1999 draft class. Sure you hit on Roberts and Bedard, but with THAT many high picks they should have hit on 3 players just by law of averages. I always felt like signability played too big a role there, but that 2nd and 3rd round area was a gold mine, and with that many picks, that is the range of players they should have been looking through (that's why Paradis went so high). They just picked the wrong ones...
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#5 Mackus

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:51 AM

I've always felt it was Chris Smith. Maybe that was just the disappointment of not landing Teixeira, but he was a total reach anyways.

Hobgood is a close second.

Rowell a long third, IMO. He was a good pick at the time and that position, just didn't pan out like many HS hitters with potential do.

#6 SportsGuy

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

Dylan Bundy...we gave him a lot of money and he can't even get out of Delmarva! :D

#7 RichardZ

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:20 PM

Say what you want about Chris Smith and Hobgood but we never got to see a healthy version of either. For that reason, I'd put Rowell right up at the top.

#8 DJ MC

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 03:11 PM

Hobgood still has the opportunity to turn into something, so I would go with Rowell right now.

Overall though, I might have to go with our 40th-round pick from 1969. Should've signed that guy.

#9 JeffLong

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:19 PM

Hobgood still has the opportunity to turn into something, so I would go with Rowell right now.

Overall though, I might have to go with our 40th-round pick from 1969. Should've signed that guy.


Well done sir.
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