COMMENTARY | The Los Angeles Dodgers have had their fair share of first-round picks not pan out. They've had so many that compiling a list of the top five to falter would have so many iterations that coming to a consensus would be extremely difficult.
While the Dodgers have had first-round successes and success in later rounds (Matt Kemp: Round 6; Mike Piazza: Round 62), many of their first-round selections have not even reached the majors.
In no particular order, here is my list of the five biggest first-round busts in Dodgers history:
Preston Mattingly (2006)
The Dodgers have had a penchant for selecting family members of former players and coaches, but they chose the son of current manager Don Mattingly in 2006, prior to Donnie Baseball coming to Los Angeles. Preston never advanced beyond High-A Ball and hasn't played pro ball since 2011. In six minor-league seasons, he hit just .232/.276/.335/.611 in over 1800 plate appearances.
James Adkins (2007)
Adkins only pitched four innings beyond Double-A for the Dodgers and never reached The Show. Injuries and ineffectiveness plagued him, as James walked far too many and couldn't miss enough bats. In six seasons, his career WHIP was 1.62 and his minor-league ERA was just under 5.00. He last pitched in the Cincinnati Reds' minor-league system in 2011 after being released by Los Angeles.
Justin Orenduff (2004)
Orenduff's propensity to issue free passes and allow homers doomed any chance he had of reaching the majors (1.49 WHIP, over a homer and four-plus walks per game). He made it as far as AAA in 2008 before being demoted to High-A Ball and retiring in 2009. He came back two years later but struggled again and was released, last pitching professionally in 2011.
Orenduff is perhaps most well-known as the player the Dodgers removed from the 40-man roster in 2009 to make room for Manny Ramirez.
Ben Diggins (2000)
Diggins appeared in just five major-league games, all coming in 2002 with Milwaukee. Ben was dealt by the Dodgers in the summer of 2002 in what was an overall uneventful transaction. He was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by Houston in 2005 following 2004 Tommy John surgery but was released before attempting to transition to first base with an independent league team.
Diggins last pitched professionally in 2006 and now works as a mortgage loan officer.
Jamie McAndrew (1989)
McAndrew pitched just under 56 innings in the majors, all with Milwaukee in 1995 and 1997. He walked more than he struck out and had a career ERA of 5.98 in the majors and 4.90 in five seasons in AAA.
While his minor-league career started off solidly, it got progressively worse, and McAndrew is most known for being one of the replacement players to suit up during the 1995 spring training strike.
Greg Zakwin is the founder of Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle, a Dodgers' and sports card blog. He writes with an analytical tilt about The Blue Crew at ChadMoriyama.com. You can find and follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke. A graduate of UCLA in 2011 with a Bachelor's in History, he's been a follower of the Dodgers since birth and still mourns the loss of both Mike Piazza and Carlos Santana.
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