Saturday, February 9, 2008

#1 Picks of the Past

With the Season 7 draft just around the corner we look back at #1 overall picks of the past.

Season 1 - Francis Bird (P), Las Vegas Double Downs - After becoming the first ever Second City draft pick Bird went 40-21 with a 2.70 ERA in 4 minor league seasons. He made 7 starts in a cup of coffee trip to the bigs in Season 4. Then he took home the NL Rookie of the Year award in Season 5, going 13-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 196 IP. Bird remains the ace of the 6 time division champion Double Downs.

Season 2 - Billy Hoffman (P), Chicago Hog Butchers - Huffman landed with Hog Butchers (now the Toledo Boones Farmers). He was dealt in Season 3 by then-owner texasviking of the short-lived Minnestoa Mighty Bats. The recipient was wang35 and the San Juan Crownrificos. In return the 'rificos sent Lucas Laxton (career .270 hitter for Toledo), Omar Sosa (currently unemployed, never played in bigs), and Jarret Graves (currently at AA for Atlanta, never saw the bigs) to the Bats. Huffman, a high school pick, went 64-15 in 5 minor league seasons (2.88 ERA). Since making his big league debut in season 5, Huffman is 13-1 with a 2.70 ERA for the Crownrificos. Season 7 looks to be his first year spent entirely in the bigs as a 23 year-old.

Season 3 - Tom Davidson (2b), Colorado Mountain Oysters - Davidson, the first college junior to be drafted #1 overall, shot through the minors and made his ML debut late in season 3, hitting .364 in 77 ABs. He's never returned to the minors, hitting .347 with 103 career homers. Last year was his finest season, posting a .376 average with 29 HRs and 136 RBIs. After making 39 errors as a rookie, Davidson has become a solid in unspectacular fielder in Colorado. He signed a 5-year, $39.5M contract extension this past off-season.

Season 4 - Brett Davis (SS), Scranton Nittany Lions - The Lions have treated Davis with kid-gloves, slowly bringing along the high school pick that just turned 21. Scouts consider him a can't-miss prospect with the chance to consistently hit 50+ HR's a season. Davis has hit .329 with 94 career minor league dingers. Some scouts feel that Davis will eventually end up at 3b after a 62 error season at AA in year 5. He settled down last year making just 19 errors at AAA and is expected to make his big league debut later this season as a SS.

Season 5 - Vernon Mota (P), Texas Riders - Mota blew through the minors making the RL all-star team in Season 5 and arriving in the bigs late in Season 6 following a 10-1, 3.29 performance at AA. The Riders are counting on him as a key part of their rotation going forward, though the 23 year-old continues to struggle in a hitter-friendly park, posting a 6-4 record and 5.52 ERA so far this season.

Season 6 - Kevin Canseco (2B), Honolulu Dolphins - The high school legend from tiny Woodbury, MN made a big splash winning the rookie league silver slugger in his first professional year. The Dolphins haven't been shy, starting the precocious youngster at AA where he hit .347 in 46 games this year before a promotion to AAA. He's just 9 games in at AAA but scouts expect big things from Canseco going forward though he's probably 2-3 years from making a meaningful contribution in the bigs.

Season 7 - ????

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