COMMENTARY | The Major League Baseball draft always brings a sense of hope in the future for fans. Their favorite team could be selecting the next big-league star, but it could also choose someone who will do nothing but disappoint.
The New York Mets have had their fair share of great picks, and awful picks.
Here are the top five first-round busts in Mets history:
Beane was a five-tool player that could do anything he wanted on a baseball field. He was projected to be a star in Flushing for years to come after New York selected him with the 23rd overall pick in the 1980 draft. Beane was expected to join the first overall pick in the '80 draft, Darryl Strawberry, in the outfield for the next generation of great Mets teams. Strawberry lived up to expectations, but Beane did not. He played 13 games in parts of two seasons with New York, posting a .167/.167/.222 line with no home runs and one RBI in 18 at-bats.
New York selected Wilson with the first overall pick in the 1994 draft. They envisioned him being in their starting rotation for years to come with Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher as a part of "Generation-K." He worked his way to the majors in 1996 but struggled to a 5-12 record, 5.38 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, and 71 walks allowed in 149 innings pitched. Wilson was back in the minors for the '97 and '98 seasons before missing all of '99 with an injury. The Mets finally gave up on him on July 28, 2000, trading him to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Sterling was the fourth overall pick of the 1969 draft out of Key West High School. He reached the majors in the 1973 season. The right-hander earned a September call-up after posting 10-9 record, 3.04 ERA, and 1.31 WHIP for Triple-A Tidewater. In the big leagues, Sterling went 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in 9.1 innings pitched. He spent another full season with Tidewater in 1975 and decided to call it quits once the year was over.
Known for his defense more than his bat, Puig was taken 14th overall by New York in the 1971 draft. The second baseman appeared in four games for the '74 Mets as a September call-up. He went hitless in 11 plate appearances, including one walk. He was sent back to Triple-A Tidewater in 1975, but he was released in the middle of the season after posting a .182 batting average with no homers and three RBIs. The Mets selected Puig instead of Hall of Famer Jim Rice in the 1971 draft. The Boston Red Sox took him with the 15th overall pick.
The 12th overall pick in the 2003 draft, Milledge was expected to be a big part of the future outfield in New York. He spent parts of two seasons with the Mets, compiling a .257/.326/.414 line with 11 homers and 51 RBIs in 115 games played. There were issues regarding Milledge's maturity level and how he carried himself both on and off the field. It led to him getting traded in November 2007 to the Washington Nationals in exchange for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.
Matt Musico's Mets opinion has been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue and Rising Apple. He also provides his analysis and opinion on the rest of Major League Baseball at his personal blog, On The Way Home.
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