MLB Draft Results: All-Time Best Players the Chicago Cubs Passed on Drafting
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Chris Carpenter - 1993
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
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
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
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
Just three picks after the Sox chose Ventura, World Series hero Tino Martinez was selected by the Seattle Mariners.
Jack McDowell - 1987
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
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
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
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.