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June 8, 2010

(Don't) Believe the Hype?

By the time last year's first pick Stephen Strasburg throws a pitch Tuesday night, this year's number one, Bryce Harper, will have been the property of the Washington Nationals for close to 24 hours.

That said, the Ultimate Warrior lookalike is already being called "the Lebron James of baseball" and, along with Strasburg, is being looked at to make the Nationals a power in the National League East.

Now, while we're probably a few years away from that (if not more), one thing is for certain...greatness is not necessarily a guarantee.

Sure, Strasburg finished his minor league stint with an overall record of 7–2, an ERA of 1.30, 65 strikeouts and 13 walks in 55⅓ innings and was featured prominently across ESPN's Bottomline.

And sure, Harper's legendary 502 foot bomb at Tropicana Field last year has a few million views on YouTube and in 62 collegiate games this year, he batted .442 with 29 home runs, 88 runs scored, 89 RBI and 18 steals.

But how many former number one picks have gone on to greatness?

Would you be shocked to find out that since the draft started in 1965, there hasn't been a single number one draft pick to make his way to The Hall of Fame?

It's true.

Matter of fact, only four players that have been selected in the top ten of the respective draft classes have been enshrined...Reggie Jackson (drafted second overall in 1966), Robin Yount and Dave Winfield (selected with the third and fourth picks in the 1973) and Paul Molitor (taken third overall in 1977).

All in all, a pretty good foursome...but you've gotta admit, it is a little surprising.

And before you ask, yes, there appears to be at least three number ones that will be joining Jackson, Yount, Winfield and Molitor in Cooperstown in the upcoming years. Ken Griffey, Jr., Chipper Jones and Alex Rodriguez were all taken first in 1987, 1990 and 1993 respectively.

So, before you start to ponder whether or not you should make reservations in Cooperstown some 25 years from now remember this...for every Junior and A-Rod that get selected first overall...there are two times as many Al Chambers and David Clydes.

BallHype: hype it up!

1 comment:

Cleveland Frowns said...

Interesting post. I'd expect the number of #1 HOFers to continue to increase with time though, given that it's so much easier to scout players now than it used to be. More efficient market and all that.

More importantly, John Candeleria? Fantastic.