When the Florida Marlins made their selection in the 1994 MLB draft, they thought they had found an incredible athlete that they could build a team around.
Selected by the Marlins with the fifth overall pick in 1994, Josh Booty was a two-sport star in high school. He attended Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, La., and was named to the All-Time National High School All-American football team by Dick Butkus, Joe Namath and John Elway.
Booty was equally as good in baseball, where as a shortstop he batted .429 with 20 intentional walks, 25 stolen bases and 12 home runs in 70 at-bats. He was the starting shortstop for the U.S. Junior Olympic National Team that won the silver medal.
However, in retrospect, Booty chose the wrong sport.
He never got on track with the Marlins. In fact, Booty set the all-time strikeout record for the Kane County Cougars and the entire Midwest League by whiffing a whopping 195 times in 1996. He ended his minor league career with 621 strikeouts overall with a .198 batting average.
Booty did hit .269 in very limited time with the Marlins, but he just couldn't figure out curveballs. Booty eventually went back to football, deciding to play for LSU on a scholarship—one that he had originally turned down when he decided on baseball with the Marlins, in 1999.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.