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Derek Jeter Selected Sixth in 1992 Draft by the New York Yankees
Overall Pick/Year Drafted: Fifth (1992)
Years in MLB: Five
Chad Mottola shouldn’t be No. 1 on this list. He made it to the bigs with four different teams, and had a baseball career that lasted 16 seasons.
However, one of the best scouts in the Reds organization—Gene Bennett—didn’t want Mottola as the No. 1 pick. Bennett wanted the player selected directly after Mottola by the New York Yankees.
His name is Derek Jeter, and you might have heard of him.
Sullivan explains in a piece how Bennett was one of the few scouts under Jim Bowden who saw much more potential in Jeter over Mottola.
The Reds scouting director at the time, Julian Mock, made the final call on Mottola.
Mock says he was pressured to find a power hitter who could quickly become a part of the big league roster. Mottola was a 20-year-old at the University of Central Florida while Jeter was only 17 years old.
The Mottola and Jeter draft goes down as one of the worst draft picks for the Cincinnati Reds.
After Jeter became a proven MLB star, Bennett was asked by a reporter how often he thought about his disregarded opinion.
“Every day,” he said.