There have been countless times that I've found myself
Most people argue that NFL players have an immediate impact, and are therefore more valuable. Advocates of baseball say that since high draft picks spend time being groomed in the minors, they are more refined and polished when they finally reach the pinnacle stage.
Well, I'm here to settle the dispute.
(clicks play button on tape recorder)
(bows to recorded applause and cheers)
I'm going to take the last fifteen #1 draft picks from both sports - excluding 2007 and 2008 due to lack of evidence - and through in-depth analysis and stat dissection (stare at both respective sport reference sites, flip a coin), I will decide which players can be considered successes or failures. Part I - MLB - obviously runs today. Part II comes tomorrow with much fanfare and critical acclaim. Part III - running on Thursday - will be the weakest of the bunch, but still tie the story together, satisfying the hardcore fans.
1992 - Phil Nevin, 3B - Houston Astros
Not great, not average, certainly not awful. Great goatee. An All-Star once, and ranked twice in the top 30 in MVP voting (2001 and 2004).
1993 - Alex Rodriguez, SS - Seattle Mariners
1995 - Darin Erstad, OF - Anaheim Angels
Two-time All Star, two-time Silver Slugger, ranked twice in top 20 for MVP (1998, 2000).
1998 - Pat Burrell, OF - Philadelphia Phillies
Contrary to Philly lore, Burrell has had a solid to good career. But if you ask anyone from the City of Brotherly Love, their assessment will have you thinking Burrell strangled 23 orphans with a rusty piano wire.
1999 - Josh Hamilton, OF - Tampa Bay Rays
Up until 2007, he was a bust, but switched lists after a career resurrection. Before that he was nothing more than a tatted-up druggy who preferred to stare at the sun rather than take extra BP.
2000 - Adrian Gonzalez, 1B - Florida Marlins
He's currently one of the best first-basemen in baseball, both offensively and defensively. Unfortunately he's stuck in San Diego, where God goes to hang-over vomit.
2001 - Joe Mauer, C - Minnesota Twins
The press's darling, Mauer is a top-tier catcher and an iconic figure for overweight middle-aged Midwesterner's who want nothing more than to leave their awful families and be Mauer's live-in friend.
2003 - Delmon Young, OF - Tampa Bay Rays
Has put together two solid seasons in the pros. In his spare time, Young enjoys spending time with his family and throwing Louisville Sluggers at lethargic, elderly, underpaid umpires.
2005 - Justin Upton, SS - Arizona Diamondbacks
Imagine having two of your kids not only play professional baseball, but also get drafted in the first round as the #1 pick overall. Okay, now imagine your gene pool isn't as polluted as the East River...
1994 - Paul Wilson, P - New York Mets
Part of Generation K, got beat-up by Krazy Kyle, compiled a 40-58 career mark, hasn't been seen or heard from since 2005.
1996 - Kris Benson, P - Pittsburgh Pirates
Besides his smoking-hot (albeit pain-in-the-ass) wife, he never contributed much. He's still out there somewhere, throwing a never-ending pitching session for scouts that have nothing better to do than leer at Anna's cans.
1997 - Matt Anderson, P - Detroit Tigers
Seriously, who the fuck is Matt Anderson?
2002 - Bryan Bullington, P - Pittsburgh Pirates
Just so you know how dumb the Pirates organization is, BB was drafted in the 1st round before: Scott Kazmir, Prince Fielder, B.J. Upton, Joe Saunders, Zach Greinke, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Jeremy Guthrie, Joe Blanton...should I keep going?
2004 - Matt Bush, SS - San Diego Padres
He's been arrested twice since signing with the Padres - once last year for beating up a pair of high school kids - and was released last week to make room for Cliff Floyd.
2006 - Luke Hochevar, P - Kansas City Royals
It's too early to tell, but since there will be no neutral section in these posts, and Hochevar looked overwhelmed last year (6-12, 129 IP, 5.51 ERA), he goes with the losers.
TOTAL SUCCESSES: 9
TOTAL FAILURES: 6
SUCCESS PERCENTAGE: 66%