These are the Phillies’ biggest first-round draft busts
The Philadelphia Phillies have a record of making terrible draft picks
There’s no secret that the Philadelphia Phillies have failed to produce from within, making the task of building a championship team extremely difficult. While there have been a few hits in the first round (Greg Luzinski, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Pat Burrell, Aaron Nola), there have been many more misses, some downright disasters. Let’s take a look at the worst top ten selection picks in Phillies history.
5: Gavin Floyd (2001, 4th overall)
The 2001 MLB Draft was not one to write home about, but the Phillies selection of Floyd didn’t pan out. First, Mark Teixeira was still on the board (selected 5th) and Floyd’s 7-5 record with a 6.96 ERA over parts of three seasons was far less than stellar. The Phillies traded Floyd along with Gio Gonzales to the White Sox for Freddy Garcia. That turned out to be a disaster as Garcia went just 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 games with the Phillies. Turns out that Floyd had some productive years after the trade and went on to win 74 games. But with the Phillies, it was a debacle.
4: Brad Brink (1986, 7th overall)
The Phillies had surpassed their glory days of the late 1970s and early 1980s and were in a rebuilding phase. Part of the process would be to try to build from within, however, the pick of Brad Brink in 1986 was far off the mark. The Phillies overlooked players such as Roberto Hernandez, Lee Stevens, and Derrick May, who all had at least moderate success in the Major Leagues. As for Brink, he floated around the Phillies minor league system until 1992 and posted a 4.14 ERA in 8 games over 41 1/3 innings. However, he appeared in only two more games in a Phillies uniform in 1993 and retired with an 0-4 record in 14 games, covering 55 2/3 innings.
3: Mike Martin (1970, 5th overall)
Martin was a left-handed pitcher and the second pitcher selected overall in the 1970 draft. Still on the board at the time of the pick were Bucky Dent, Paul Dade, John D’Acquisto, and Dan Ford, all of whom had some success at the Major League level. As for Martin, he had success in the Rookie League, A, and AA levels, posting a record of 28-17 with an ERA under 3, however, he was unable to ever advance to the Major Leagues. He retired after the 1978 season with a minor league record of 48-34 with a 3.77 ERA. That’s clearly not good enough for a top-five draft pick.
2: Mickey Moniak (2016, 1st overall)
Coming off a dreadful 2015 season in which the Phillies barely avoided a 100-loss season, the Phillies looked to hit the jackpot with the first pick in the 2016 draft. With the selection of Mickey Moniak, the Phillies expected a star, power-hitting outfielder. Moniak is still only 23-years old, the pick is looking more and more like a colossal disaster. Moniak went 3-for-14 with six strikeouts in 2020 and was even more dreadful last season. Although he hit his first Major League home run last season, Moniak went just 3-for-33 and fanned 16 times. Time may be running out for Moniak.
1: Jeff Jackson (1989, 4th overall)
How Frank Thomas was overlooked by six teams in the 1989 draft is beyond comprehension, unfortunately, the Phillies were one of those teams. Instead, the Phillies selected outfielder Jeff Jackson out of Simeon Career Academy. Jackson hit only .227 in 48 games for the Martinsville Phillies in 1989 and .198 in 63 games in 1990 and .225 in class A Spartansburg in 1991. Jackson was never able to advance past AA Reading and ended his professional career with a .234 average in 666 Minor League games.