As seen on 3rdstringsafety.com
Let’s think about this for a second. We all know Josh Hamilton’s story. His battle with addiction and his rise to fame with great seasons in Texas and Cincinnati. However, Hamilton was the 1st overall pick of the 1999 Draft by Tampa Bay. Also selected in that draft was Carl Crawford, who is currently playing Left Field for the Rays.
Imagine the outfield that they could have had! Crawford in left, Hamilton in center, and any of their other 44 outfield prospects in right field. Like who? Glad you asked. How about Delmon Young, B.J. Upton, Elijah Dukes, Johnny Gomes, or Rocco Baldelli?
Now, I know what you are thinking. Well, if Hamilton succeeded, they wouldn’t have drafted all of those guys. Not true. In baseball, you almost never draft for need, because you don’t know who is ever going to make it to the big leagues. That’s part of the reason that Dukes and Young aren’t considered busts; they allowed them to get back fantastic prospects in return.
Nonetheless, any of those combinations probably would have gotten the Rays into contention a lot faster than they did in reality.
Here’s a better question: Who is scouting outfielders for the Rays? He’s fantastic. I’m aware of the fact that Upton was a shortstop, but it’s obvious that he could play center field. Nonetheless, the bevy of first round picks that have become stars for the Rays show that the baseball draft is not worthless as some lesser fans would suggest.
That being said, the Rays still needed some help from the Mets in the form of a trade that made no sense. How good would Scott Kazmir look in orange and blue right now?
Sorry, Met Fans. Just had to.