There’s a lot of pressure put on number one picks. They’re supposed to be THE guy for their franchise. They’re expected to come up through the minors incredibly quickly and turn the fortunes of an ailing organization around. Anything less is unacceptable.
There have been some generational talents taken at the number one spot — Bryce Harper, Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez — but there have been a lot more underwhelming first picks. Let’s take a look at a few poor first overall draftees, and see who that team should’ve taken instead.
The Arizona Diamondbacks decided to choose Dansby Swanson as their first overall selection in the 2015 draft. The Vanderbilt shortstop was quickly traded to the Atlanta Braves (perhaps the writing was on the wall), and despite the Braves winning the NL East the next year, Swanson wasn’t a big part of that.
He’s been up and down from the majors to the minors and is hitting .244 with 23 home runs and 127 RBIs in his short career. But, there was a much better choice for the Diamondbacks that year.