It was spring of 2007 and the Cincinnati Reds had three players in the clubhouse who had been taken with the first overall pick in the MLB Draft -- and at the time, they represented anything but a common path.
Ken Griffey Jr. was the ideal -- picked No. 1 out of Cincinnati Moeller High School, Griffey was in the big leagues less than two years later.
Also in that clubhouse was Paul Wilson, the top pick in 1994, who had a long, if not distinguished Major League career ravaged by an arm injury.
And then there was the 1999 1-1: Josh Hamilton. At the time, he was little more than a curiosity, the ultimate cautionary tale, promise derailed by a mixture of injuries and addiction.
Since then, Hamilton has bounced back to become an All-Star and Wilson and Griffey have retired.
As for top picks, in 2016, Griffey will become the first 1-1 since the draft was started in 1965 to be enshrined in Cooperstown, N.Y. Since Rick Monday was the first No. 1 pick in 1965, only 19 of those players taken have been All-Stars. Along with Griffey, it appears Chipper Jones (1990) and Alex Rodriguez (1993) will make it to the Hall of Fame, and Joe Mauer (2001) certainly looks to have that potential at this point.
Bryce Harper is the 46th first overall pick, and there's no guarantee he'll be what Washington Nationals fans expect.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans