MLB Draft Results: All-Time Best Players the Chicago Cubs Passed on Drafting

George DarkowCorrespondent IJune 7, 2011

MLB Draft Results: All-Time Best Players the Chicago Cubs Passed on Drafting

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    SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 07:  The draft board seen after the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    The Chicago Cubs have been nothing short of terrible when it comes to the MLB Draft.  

    Granted, many teams have missed out on their fair share of draft picks.  Albert Pujols was passed on by every Major League club numerous times, as he was drafted in the 13th round.

    But how poorly have the Cubs truly performed in the draft?

    One would figure that for the Cubs the law of averages would have swung in their favor at some point.  However, it has not.  Have a look for yourself.  The following is a complete list of all the players the Cubs have passed on in just the first round of the MLB Draft, since 1980.

    Given the talent the Cubs have under-evaluated, it's of no surprise that there hasn't been a World Series on the north side of town since 1945.

Jason Heyward - 2007

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 18:  Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 5-4 in e
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    In 2007, the Cubs had the No. 3 pick in the draft.  They selected Josh Vitters.  Vitters' development has slowed considerably, and after three seasons in the minor leagues, Vitters should be closer to the big leagues than he is.  

    The Atlanta Braves selected Jason Heyward with the 14th pick in the '07 draft, 11 picks after the Cubs.

Jacoby Ellsbury - 2005

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox heads to second base against the New York Yankees on May 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    With the 20th pick in the draft, the Cubs selected Mark Pawelek.  Pawelek never amounted to anything for the Cubs and was released in 2009 after "being sent home for disciplinary issues".  Pawelek can also be credited for being the first player in the history of baseball to suffer a shoulder injury by way of tripping over an Xbox 360 system.

     The Boston Red Sox, drafting at No. 23, selected Jacoby Ellsbury, who has grown into one of the premiere center fielders and leadoff hitters in baseball.

Matt Cain - 2002

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with the World Series Championship trophy out to the field after they won 3-1 against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlingt
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    With the 21st pick in the 2002 draft, the Cubs selected Bobby Brownlie.  Brownlie has since moved on to the Washington Nationals organization with little success.  

    Two picks after the Cubs selection, Matt Cain was chosen by the San Francisco Giants.  In 2010, Cain was 2-0 in the postseason and did not surrender a single run throughout the playoffs.

Chase Utley - 2000

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 23:  Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies runs off the field after turing a double play against the San Francisco Giants in Game Six of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2010 in Phila
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Blessed with a high draft position in 2000, the Cubs selected at No. 3.  They chose Luis Montanez, who after 10 seasons in the minor leagues finally was called up by the Cubs this season.  

    Drafting at the No. 15 spot were the Philadelphia Phillies, who selected perennial All-Star second baseman Chase Utley.  

Adam Wainwright - 2000

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    HOUSTON - JULY 09:  Pitcher Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 9, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Along with Utley, Adam Wainwright was selected beyond the Cubs' drafting position in the 2000 draft.  Wainwright has gone on to a 66-35 record in the National League, along with a sparkling 2.97 ERA.

CC Sabathia - 1998

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    BOSTON - OCTOBER 12:  Starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia #52 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during Game One of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 12, 2007 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Ge
    Elsa/Getty Images

    With another high pick at No. 3, the Cubs selected can't-miss prospect Corey Patterson.  Patterson had an injury-plagued career with Cubs, before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles for virtually nothing.  

    Chosen at No. 20 by the Cleveland Indians was CC Sabathia.  Among other players passed on by the Cubs in the first round of the 1998 draft were J.D. Drew, Jeff Weaver and Brad Lidge. 

Lance Berkman - 1997

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    CHICAGO - MAY 16: Lance Berkman #17 of the Houston Astros hits the ball against the Chicago Cubs on May 16, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Astros 5-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    With the 10th pick in the '97 draft, the Cubs selected Jon Garland.  Needing bullpen help for their 1998 playoff run, the Cubs promptly traded Garland to the White Sox for Matt Karchner.  Garland, of course, went on to be a key player in the Sox' 2005 World Series victory.  

    Meanwhile, the Houston Astros selected one of the great all-time Cub killers, Lance Berkman, with the 16th pick in the draft.

Billy Wagner - 1993

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    5 Oct 2001: Relief pitcher Billy Wagner #13 of the Houston Astros celebrates the last out of the game giving Houston the 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/ALLSPORT
    Elsa/Getty Images

    On of the worst drafts in Cubs' history saw the Cubs with two first-round picks.  Choosing at No. 10, the Cubs selected Brooks Kieschnick.  Kieschnick never amounted to anything after a promising career at the University of Texas, where he was a standout at the plate and on the mound.  

    Two picks later, the Astros selected fireballer Billy Wagner.  

    The Cubs selected again with the 24th pick and chose another failed prospect, Jon Ratliff.

Derrek Lee - 1993

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    9 Aug 1998:  Derrek Lee #25 of the Florida Marlins gets ready to swing  during the game against the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Padres defeated the Marlins 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck  /Allsport
    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    In addition to passing on Billy Wagner, the Cubs also passed on a man they would eventually sign 10 years later—after he helped defeat the Cubs as a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins.  Derrek Lee was selected by the San Diego Padres with the 14th pick.

Chris Carpenter - 1993

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 5: Starter Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on June 5, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Cubs 3-2 in 10 innings.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Image
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The 1993 draft saw many future stars selected.  After the Cubs selected Kieschnick, and Wagner and Lee had been taken, the Toronto Blue Jays selected what would be a future thorn in the Cubs' side, Chris Carpenter.  

Torii Hunter - 1993

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    CHICAGO - APRIL 23:  Torii Hunter #48 of the Minnesota Twins makes a leaping catch to rob Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox of a home run in the third inning on April 23, 2006 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Twi
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    With the 20th pick in the 1993 draft, the Minnesota Twins selected All-Star center fielder Torii Hunter, making the 1993 draft even more painful, in hindsight, for the Chicago Cubs.

Manny Ramirez - 1991

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    Manny Ramirez #24 of the Cleveland Indians swings at the ball during the game against the Chicago White Sox at the Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The White Sox defeated the Indians 3-6.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    In perhaps the greatest draft disappointment in Cubs' history, the Cubs selected Doug Glanville with the 12th pick in the draft.  Just one selection later, one of the best right-handed hitters of all time was chosen by the Cleveland Indians—Manny Ramirez.

Robin Ventura - 1988

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    13 Mar 1998:  Infielder Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox in action during a spring training game against the Anaheim Angels at the Tucson Electric Park in Tucson, Arizona. The Angels defeated the White Sox 11-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Carlick  /All
    Jeff Carlick/Getty Images

    In 1988, the Cubs selected Ty Griffin with the ninth pick in the draft.  One pick later, the crosstown rival White Sox chose sure-handed third baseman Robin Ventura.

Tino Martinez - 1988

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    31 Oct 2001: Tino Martinez #24 of the New York Yankees circles the bases after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning during game four of the Major League Baseball World Series at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York.  The
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Just three picks after the Sox chose Ventura, World Series hero Tino Martinez was selected by the Seattle Mariners.

Jack McDowell - 1987

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Choosing at the No. 4 spot in the '87 draft, the Cubs chose pitcher Mike Harkey.  Harkey went on to have marginal success before becoming a mainstay on the Cubs' disabled list, most notably for injuring his knee attempting a cartwheel.  

    One pick later, the White Sox chose one of the 1990s' winningest pitchers, Jack McDowell.

Craig Biggio - 1987

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    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 2: Craig Biggio #7 of the Houston Astros swings at the pitch during the game agaiinst the Chicago Cubs on September  2, 2007 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Even later in the 1987 MLB Draft, the Houston Astros selected Craig Biggio, who would go on to be one of the biggest Cub killers of all time.  

Mark McGwire - 1984

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    OAKLAND, CA - 1989:  Mark McGwire #25 of the Oakland Athletics plays first base during a game in the 1989 season at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    In 1984, the Cubs found a gem in the MLB Draft.  They selected future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux—but not until the second round.  In the first round, the Cubs had a high pick at No. 3.  They selected Drew Hall.  Hall never amounted to much in his Cubs career, but all was forgotten thanks to the success of Maddux.

    However, in choosing Hall, the Cubs managed to pass on home run king Mark McGwire.

Roger Clemens - 1983

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    ANAHEIM, CA - 1989:  Roger Clemens #21 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the California Angels during a game in the 1989 MLB Season at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Choosing at No. 6 in the 1983 draft, the Cubs selected Jackie Davidson.  

    Every heard of him?  

    Didn't think so.  

    While Wrigleyville prepared for "Jackie Fever", the Red Sox drafted one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Roger Clemens, with the 19th pick in the draft.  Had the Cubs had the foresight to draft Clemens, they could have had a rotation consisting of Rick Sutcliffe, Greg Maddux and Clemens.