Startin’ Off In Style: MLB Debuts Of Baseball’s Top Overall Draft Picks

Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in the amateur draft earlier this month, made his professional debut last night for Tampa Bay’s Rookie-level team in Princeton, West Virginia, going 1-for-4 with an infield single. 

Beckham is the 44th player taken with the first overall choice since 1965; of those, 39 have made it to the major leagues.  Steve Chilcott (1966) and Brien Taylor (1991) missed their windows, for various reasons; the jury is still out on Matthew Bush (2004), who was drafted as a shortstop, converted to pitcher, and is out for the season with arm trouble (good news: he’s only 22); David Price (2007) could be making an impact in Tampa as soon as August or September; and it’s still way too soon to look that far into Beckham’s future.

So if we can’t look into the future, let’s look into the past.  In honor of Beckham’s first day, here are the results enjoyed by each of his 39 predecessors in their major league debuts.

Position Players
2005: Justin Upton, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
August 2, 2007 – 0-1

2003: Delmon Young, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
August 29, 2006 – 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 RS

2001: Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins
April 5, 2004 – 2-3, 2 BB, 2 RS

2000: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Florida Marlins
April 18, 2004 – 0-3

1999: Josh Hamilton, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
April 2, 2007 – 0-1

1998: Pat Burrell, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies
May 24, 2000 – 2-5, 3B, 2 RBI

1995: Darin Erstad, OF, Anaheim Angels
June 14, 1996 – 0-4, BB, 3 K

1993: Alex Rodriguez, SS, Seattle Mariners
July 8, 1994 – 0-3

1992: Phil Nevin, 3B, Houston Astros
June 11, 1995 – 1-5, RBI

1990: Chipper Jones, SS, Atlanta Braves
September 11, 1993 – 0-0 (entered game defensively in ninth inning)

1987: Ken Griffey, Jr., OF, Seattle Mariners
April 3, 1989 – 1-3, 2B, RS, BB

1986: Jeff King, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
June 2, 1989 – 1-1, 2B (led off the 11th inning with a pinch-hit double and scored the go-ahead run)

1985: B.J. Surhoff, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
April 8, 1987 – 1-4

1984: Shawn Abner, OF, New York Mets
September 8, 1987 – 0-1

1982: Shawon Dunston, SS, Chicago Cubs
April 9, 1985 – 1-4

1980: Darryl Strawberry, OF, New York Mets
May 6, 1983 – 0-4, 2 BB, SB, 3 K (walked and scored game-winning run in the bottom of the 13th)

1979: Al Chambers, OF, Seattle Mariners
July 23, 1983 – 2-4, 4 RBI

1978: Bob Horner, 3B, Atlanta Braves
June 16, 1978 – 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, RS (Horner went directly from Arizona State to the major leagues, which makes it unbelievably impressive that he homered in his third big league at-bat)

1977: Harold Baines, 1B, Chicago White Sox
April 10, 1980 – 0-4

1975, 1971: Danny Goodwin, C, California Angels
September 3, 1975 – 0-1 (the designated hitter, Goodwin was replaced by pinch-hitter Bobby Valentine in the fourth inning, with the Angels down 4-2 and two runners in scoring position)

1974: Bill Almon, SS, San Diego Padres
September 2, 1974 – 0-4

1972: Dave Roberts, 3B, San Diego Padres
June 7, 1972 – 0-3, 2 K (originally entered as a defensive replacement in the 11th inning; the game went 18; Roberts made the second out in the bottom of the 18th; he arrived in the major leagues having never played a day in the minors)

1970: Mike Ivie, C, San Diego Padres
September 4, 1971 – 0-1

1969: Jeff Burroughs, OF, Texas Rangers
July 20, 1970 – 0-3

1968: Tim Foli, SS, New York Mets
September 11, 1970 – 0-0 (entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning)

1967: Ron Blomberg, 1B, New York Yankees
September 10, 1969 – 0-0, BB

1965: Rick Monday, OF, Kansas City Athletics
September 3, 1966 – 0-3, 2 K

Pitchers
2006: Luke Hochevar, RHP, Kansas City Royals
September 8, 2007 – 3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K

2002: Bryan Bullington, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
September 18, 2005 – 1.1 IP, 2 R, , 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K

1997: Matt Anderson, RHP, Detroit Tigers
June 25, 1998 – 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, first major league win

1996: Kris Benson, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
April 9, 1999 – 6 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 K, first major league win

1994: Paul Wilson, RHP, New York Mets
April 4, 1996 – 6 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K

1989: Ben McDonald, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
September 6, 1989 – 2.2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K

1988: Andy Benes, RHP, San Diego Padres
August 11, 1989 – 6 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 4 BB, 7 K, first major league loss

1983: Tim Belcher, RHP, Minnesota Twins
September 6, 1987 – 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K, first major league win

1981: Mike Moore, RHP, Seattle Mariners
April 11, 1982 – 6.1 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 6 BB, 3 K, first major league loss

1976: Floyd Bannister, LHP, Houston Astros
April 19, 1977 – 1.1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K, first major league loss

1973: David Clyde, LHP, Texas Rangers
June 27, 1973 – 5 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 7 BB, 8 K, first major league win (Clyde went directly from high school to the majors, a move that is said to have ruined his career; his debut performance might have been better than Horner’s, if only because this was an 18-year-old kid shutting down a major league team to the tune of one hit and eight strikeouts over five innings)

About these ads

8 responses to this post.

  1. What’s striking to me is that not until Griffey (1987) are there any HOF-worthy players listed here–and the only other two are Chipper in ’90 and A-Rod in ’93. Seems a pretty low return for all the hype.

    Reply

  2. That’s exactly why I hate to talk about recruiting and drafting. It’s damn near a total crapshoot.

    Reply

  3. [...] Startin’ Off In Style: MLB Debuts Of Baseball’s Top Overall Draft Picks Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in the amateur draft earlier this month, made his professional debut last night for [...] [...]

    Reply

  4. To be fair, though none of them are Hall of Famers, Baines, Horner, Strawberry, Monday, and Burroughs were stars; Bannister, Benes, Belcher, and Moore were all very good pitchers; and Hamilton, Gonzalez, and Mauer are good now.

    Reply

  5. Wow. Dave Roberts is old.

    Reply

  6. Maybe he should retire, and try investment in indonesia

    Reply

  7. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: