The worst first pick in MLB history

Not too long ago, my brother sent out an email saying that the 2005 draft may one day become the MLB draft that compares to the 1984 NBA draft, which is the greatest collection of talent in one draft class in any sport ever, unless you count the Diana Taurasi WNBA draft, which I don't.

While looking through past drafts to see if this was the case, I came across what was the crowning achievement of the Dave Littlefield and Ed Creech era. The Pittsburgh Pirates are the proud owner of the Worst First Overall Draft Pick in MLB History.

In 2002, the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to use the first overall pick on a pitcher from Ball State named Bryan Bullington. He wasn't the highest rated prospect, he wasn't even the highest rated pitcher. But the Buccos thought he could come up quick and be a 3rd of 4th starter....a 3rd or 4th starter....with the first pick. So, the Pirates took Bullington and here is a brief list of the players taken after him....

B.J. Upton (2)
Prince Fielder (7)
Jeff Francis (9)
Jeremy Hermida (11)
Khalil Greene (13)
Scott Kazmir (15)
Nick Swisher (16)
Cole Hamels (17)
James Loney (19)
Joe Blanton (24)
Mark Teahen (39)
Jeremy Reed (59)
Jonathan Broxton (60)
Elijah Dukes (74)
Curtis Granderson (80)
John Maine (166)
Joel Zumaya (320)
Andy LaRoche (625)
Jacoby Ellsbury (674)
Hunter Pence (1189)
Jonathan Papelbon (1208)

Every one of these players has come up and accomplished something in their careers. At least more than our #1 pick. Jeff King and Kris Benson did more...and that's saying something. Even the Pirates took Brad Eldred, Matt Capps and Nyjer Morgan in that draft and they all have more upside than Bullington does. (this was written before Eldred was cut, but I stand by my claim).

The Pirates went in knowing this guy was going to be average at best. And they paid him 4 million for that privilege. The Pirates have taken players who never panned out right before talented players for years. (They took Bobby Bradley right before Barry Zito and Ben Sheets and Mark Farris before Nomar, Konerko and Varitek...all in a row). I could do that with almost every draft except the Bonds, Kendall, Walker and McCutcheon drafts.

This year, the Pirates took a future setup man instead of the best hitter in the draft and a man who was just named the #1 prospect in the Hawaii Winter League, Matt Wieters. But fear not, Bucs fans, the money we could have spent on Wieters went to the Character building Matt Morris. Because we are only a 4th starter away from....well where we are right now.

In addition, with Wieters, we wouldn't have to hear about Johnny Estrada, Damian Miller or Michael Barrett. I can only hope that we make better decisions in the future. We have the second pick coming up this year...hopefully we don't get another short reliever with arm trouble.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.