It wasn't a good week for former No. 1 overall picks.
On Thursday, the Padres designated Matt Bush for assignment, one day after Bush allegedly was involved in a drunken confrontation with members of the boys lacrosse team at Granite Hills High in El Cajon, Calif. If San Diego doesn't swing a trade for Bush by Feb. 15, it has to expose him to waivers. Bush, who missed all of 2008 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, seems intent on claiming the title of worst No. 1 choice ever.
The best ever isn't enjoying life these days, either. On Saturday, Sports Illustrated reported that Alex Rodriguez had tested positive for two anabolic steroids in 2003. Millions of words already have been devoted to that topic, but the story I'd love to read is why the union didn't have all the results destroyed from what was supposed to be anonymous survey testing. I'm not going to get my wish, because the New York Times reports that the MLBPA is restricted from commenting by a court order.
I suspect we'll be examining the David Price vs. Stephen Strasburg debate in greater depth come Draft Preview time in May. They're 1-2 on the list of No. 1 picks of the 2000s, though Justin Upton isn't far behind.
1. David Price, lhp, Rays (2007)
Gets the nod over Strasburg because he's a lefty and faced tougher college competition.
2. Stephen Strasburg, rhp, Nationals (projected 2009)
How did this happen? Kirk Kenney has the details here.
3. Justin Upton, of, Diamondbacks (2005)
Talk that he'd be the No. 1 pick began when he was 14-year-old Area Code Games sensation.
4. Joe Mauer, c, Twins (2001)
Mauer wasn't even the consensus top prospect in 2001, rating behind Mark Prior and Mark Teixeira.
5. Delmon Young, of, Rays (2003)
His bat has yet to live up to expectations, but he's also still just 23.
6. Tim Beckham, ss, Rays (2008)
Potential five-tool shortstop emerged as 2008's top prep prospect with a strong showcase circuit in 2007.
7. Bryan Bullington, rhp, Pirates (2002)
Pittsburgh only billed him as a potential No. 3 starter after passing up B.J. Upton to take him. Whoops.
8. Luke Hochevar, rhp, Royals (2006)
BA's No. 7-rated pitcher in the 2006 draft, behind Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Joba Chamberlain.
9. Adrian Gonzalez, 1b, Marlins (2000)
Give Florida credit for seeing more in Gonzalez than most clubs, who viewed him as a mid-first-rounder.
10. Matt Bush, ss, Padres (2004)
San Diego botched this pick in so many ways, though his arm and defense were enticing tools.
Harvey is currently the leading candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2010 draft, but he's not as polished as some of the top pitchers in this year's crop. He had a 90-96 mph fastball and a power breaking ball, though he still needs to improve his command, fastball life and changeup. While he has an ideal 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame, he still has some rough edges in his delivery.
Of the top prospects in the 2009 draft, Harvey reminds me the most of Baylor's Kendal Volz, who's No. 10 overall on our preseason list . If he were eligible in June, I think Harvey would fit behind Strasburg, White and Aaron Crow (who'll be with the Fort Worth Cats this spring) and be in the same mix as the top high school arms (Tyler Matzek, Matt Purke), Missouri's Kyle Gibson, Volz, Oklahoma State's Andrew Oliver, Vanderbilt's Mike Minor and Arizona's Jason Stoffel.
It's good to see former BA national writer and soon-to-be North Carolina law school grad Will Kimmey in the Ask BA house. Starting in 2003, the third year of the Prospect Handbook, we posted The 31st Team, our name for all of the scouting reports that were written but didn't make it into the book. This year may have been the death knell for The 31st Team, because we created a bonus section for customers who bought the Handbook directly from us—full scouting reports on each team's No. 31 prospect. That took care of most of our extra reports, and left us with just 17 for what we tabbed The 32nd Team.
Nevertheless, the six editions of The 31st Team from 2003-08 (all accessible via that link for The 32nd Team) produced more than two dozen big leaguers, most notably James Shields. Below is our all-star team of 31st Teamers, along with the No. 30 prospect for their team that year, and other players who also couldn't crack that system's Top 30. Two prospects who could play their way onto the squad in the future are Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez (2006) and Cardinals outfielder Daryl Jones (2008).
Rob Bowen, c, Twins (2003)
No. 30: B.J. Garbe; also missed: Jason Bartlett, Pat Neshek.
Ryan Shealy, 1b, Rockies (2004)
No. 30: Aaron Marsden; also missed: Manny Corpas, Luis Gonzalez.
Josh Wilson, 2b, Marlins (2006)
No. 30: Jeff Allison; also missed: Randy Messenger, Gabe Sanchez.
Note: Wilson was a Marlin when the Handbook went to print, and a Rockie on The 31st Team.
Martin Prado, 3b, Braves (2007, 2008)
2007 No. 30: Cody Johnson; also missed: Gregor Blanco, Charlie Morton, Tony Pena Jr.
2008 No. 30: Phillip Britton; also missed: Gregor Blanco, Charlie Morton.
Brendan Harris, ss, Nationals (2007)
No. 30: Mike Hinckley; also missed: Joel Hanrahan.
Note: Harris was a National when the Handbook went to print, and a Devil Ray on The 31st Team.
Ben Francisco, lf, Indians (2003)
No. 30: Brian Slocum; also missed: Jody Gerut, Maicer Izturis.
Nyjer Morgan, cf, Pirates (2007)
No. 30: Romulo Sanchez; also missed: Shane Youman.
Jody Gerut, rf, Indians (2003)
No. 30: Brian Slocum; also missed: Ben Francisco, Maicer Izturis.
Nate Robertson, lhsp, Tigers (2003)
No. 30: Juan Tejeda; also missed: Craig Monroe, Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya.
James Shields, rhsp, Devil Rays (2004)
No. 30: Elliot Johnson; also missed: Jorge Cantu, Tim Corcoran.
Carlos Villanueva, lhrp, Brewers (2006)
No. 30: Drew Anderson; also missed: Michael Brantley, Steve Garrison.
Fernando Rodney, rhrp, Tigers (2003)
No. 30: Juan Tejeda; also missed: Craig Monroe, Nate Robertson, Joel Zumaya.