Jun 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman John Mayberry Jr. (15) walks to the plate to bat during a game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 5-3 in the bottom of the fourteenth inning. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
2004: Greg Golson
This is where it starts to hurt. Golson was a failure for the Phillies, never having his impressive athleticism translate into actual baseball talent. For his career, he amassed -0.5 bWAR. He had 42 plate appearances in the majors, with a 22 OPS+. The one nice thing Golson did for the team was allow them to acquire John Mayberry, Jr., who had a decent, though regularly miscast, career with the Phillies.
Notable players drafted after Phillies’ pick: Phil Hughes, Gio Gonzalez, Huston Street. Whatever your thoughts are on this trio, any of them would have been better than Golson. Hughes is basically a league average pitcher, and Street is a decent enough closer.
Gonzalez was in the Phillies’ farm system once, when they traded Thome to the White Sox, but was summarily shipped out when they acquired Freddy Garcia. While they probably did see the talent he possessed, they at the time valued Garcia’s veteran presence over Gonzalez’s upside. Guess they hadn’t seen Garcia actually pitch recently.
Next: Phillies Draft 2005: What Was and Could Have Been