Blog Entry

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:50 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 4:45 pm
 





























Pat Burrell had a better career than you think. In fact, "Pat the Bat" had a better career than the vast majority of the other No. 1 overall draft picks, maybe 75 percent of the overall No. 1s, or maybe even more than that.

Of the first 34 overall No. 1s, from Rick Monday in 1965 by the A's to Burrell in 1998 by the Phillies, only five clearly had a better career than Burrell. That would be Ken Griffey Jr. (1987, Mariners), Alex Rodriguez (1993, Mariners), Chipper Jones (1990, Braves), Harold Baines (1977, White Sox) and Darryl Strawberry (1980, Mets). That's three out of 34 with Hall of Fame resumes, one with an extremely long and productive career and a fifth who probably should have been going to Cooperstown. Burrell falls into the next group of nine who had very nice careers but far short of great. But he's probably at or near the top of that group, so while he never became a superstar or even made an All-Star team, he was a solid first selection, certainly a lot more solid than most top picks.

The other eight No. 1 overalls I'd put into that good-but-not-great category would be Jeff Burroughs (1969, Senators), Bob Horner (1978, Braves), B.J. Surhoff (1985, Brewers), Andy Benes (1988, Padres), Phil Nevin (1992, Astros), Tim Belcher (1983, Twins), Shawon Dunston (1982, Cubs) and Mike Moore (1981, Mariners). I'd rank Burrell seventh overall, just behind Monday at No. 6 but ahead of the others in this group -- though, if someone wants to reorder the players within that group I wouldn't necessarily quibble. Burrell could be eighth, ninth or 10th, but he's clearly in the top third, at the very worst.

Shawon Dunston has a pretty good case to be at or near the top of this second group, too, with 150 home runs and an all-time shortstop arm in a 20-year career, but I'd put him just below Burrell. Benes has really solid stats, with a 155-139 record and 3.97 ERA, but he didn't have as much impact as Burrell. Burroughs and Horner has similar careers to each other, with some high highs (an MVP in Burroughs' case) but either not quite as much length or consistency. Surhoff was versatile and a high average hitter (.282) but he's more famous for having been picked ahead of Barry Bonds, Barry Larkin and Will Clark in that stellar '85 draft.

Burrell, who CBSSports.com has confirmed will retire (Tim Dierkes of @mlbtraderumors first reported the news), hit 292 home runs, twice finished in the top 14 in MVP voting and was a key contributor on two World Series winning teams, the 2008 Phillies and 2010 Giants (although the '10 World Series wasn't his finest hour). Burrell was a prodigious and consistent power hitter for the Phillies, and he had a very respectable .834 OPS for his career.

It's amazing how many of the overall No. 1 picks, especially the early ones, simply did not deliver. Danny Goodwin, a marginal major leaguer, was twice a No. 1 pick overall pick. David Clyde was the biggest-hyped high school pitcher maybe ever. Mike Ivie never became the big slugger some figured he might be. Tim Foli was a notable scrapper, but at some point , big-league scouts figured it wasn't worth taking a scrapper No. 1 overall.

Only two of the 34 No. 1s overall never played in the big leagues, Steve Chilcott (1966, Mets) and Brien Taylor (1991, Yankees). Chilcott was an incredible miscalculation, and was a mistake that is illuminated by the man picked right behind him, Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. Taylor never regained his 99-mph fastball or any of his early promise after injuring his left shoulder defending his brother in a bar fight after he signed a record $1.55-million contract after a negotiation depicted by "60 Minutes'' and a couple impressive minor-league seasons. Shawn Abner, Matt Anderson and Al Chambers were busts in their own right.

Counting the ignominious New York picks Chilcott and Taylor, 19 No. 1 overall picks from '65 to '98 clearly had inferior careers to Burrell's (at least in my mind). And while that may say something about the crapshoot aspect of the amateur draft, some bad early picks before scouting improved or something else entirely, Burrell can't be considered any sort of disappointment, no matter how you measure it.
Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Feb 26, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:40 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

I actually don't know a whole lot about Burrell, but I always heard he had the reputation around Philly of being more interested in hanging out at the clubs/bars chasing skirt than he did working on his game. Don't get me wrong, if I was fortunate enough to be a pro ball player I would take advantage of the many perks as much as anybody, but it seems he got the rep of not taking his career seriously enough. I'm not sure if this is all true, but that's what I've heard- anybody else have any insight on this?  



Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:11 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

Perhaps jconte, because none of the other first picks have retired yet.   Strasburg?  He has not played a full season yet has he?  The article is about career achievement, not a game by game who is dominant.

Pat Burrell was a great Phillies player, and was let go for Raul Ibanez... that was a huge mistake.  But 20/20 hindsight I suppose... they were looking for someone less streaky than Pat had become, but found someone waaaay more streaky instead. 



Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:46 am
 

8 of the last 12 # 1 picks are Better already

Ok he was a capable Major League ballplayer.  More than I can say.  But why stop at 1998?  Since then at least 5 #1 overall picks have already proven to be better than Burrell..  Price, Mauer, Josh Hamilton, Upton, Adrian Gonzo...and Strasburg have already showed dominant major league talent...Not to mention Tim Beckham, who has flashed some skills, or even a kid named Bryce Harper...  

So maybe Burrell was in the middle of the pack for #1 overall picks.  BIG NEWS!  But it is January which means the MLB writers were desperate for something to publish!



Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:41 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

The Rays had no business even being in that WS, which is why they haven't been back since. 

And the Phillies showed that they could beat a weak team, nothing more, as proved by getting beat down by the Yanks that next years World Series.



Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:37 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

Congrats, hold on to your world series trip 4 years ago and talk up a whole thread like it was yesterday.. apparently it was a fluke because you havent gotten close since.. you won 97 games once in the past decade.. woop-dee-doo.. want a cookie with that?

i guess if i was a fan of tampa based teams i would have to talk about things years ago too.. not one team is worth talking about.. i feel for ya.
Says the guy with a 2008 championship picture in his profile, keep crying. The Phillies also only won 90+ games in what? 20 years? 30? LOL.  Immediately the city of Philadelphia declares their team a "dynasty" and a "baseball town" ROFL. Dont talk about living in the past when you're doing the same.


On topic...Pat Burrell was never good in my eyes, decent at best. I'm glad he's retiring so i don't have to see that ugly face of his anymore.



Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:50 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

No buisness being in the World Series? I guess I must have missed the fact that they won the ALCS over the defending World Champions and won 97 games in the toughest division in baseball. That comment was offcially retarded. Congratulations.

Congrats, hold on to your world series trip 4 years ago and talk up a whole thread like it was yesterday.. apparently it was a fluke because you havent gotten close since.. you won 97 games once in the past decade.. woop-dee-doo.. want a cookie with that?

i guess if i was a fan of tampa based teams i would have to talk about things years ago too.. not one team is worth talking about.. i feel for ya.



Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:43 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

I'm not a Phillies fan, so I think I can be impartial. I never really considered Pat Burrell anything more than a decent power hitter. He was never in the elite group of hitters in baseball. He was a very average outfielder. He walked a lot but was a base clogger.

In baseball-reference.com. the player Burrell most resembles is Jeromy Burnitz. They are both guys who has nice HR yearly totals, but were just corner outfielders that pretty much every team has. I mean Carlos Lee has played the same number of years and has much better numbers. Even Alfonso Soriano has has just as good numbers as Burrell.

I'm sorry but Pat Burrell retiring does nothing for me. He had nice numbers and made a ton of dough. But he's just the type of corner outfielder that is, and has been, so common. Yeah he turned out to be a better #1 pick than Shawn Abner, good for him.




Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:42 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

No buisness being in the World Series? I guess I must have missed the fact that they won the ALCS over the defending World Champions and won 97 games in the toughest division in baseball. That comment was offcially retarded. Congratulations.
HAH! Ok well since you want to talk about 4 seasons ago like it was yesterday... apparently it was a FLUKE! Congrats, you made 97 wins one time in the past decade... woopdeedoo!!



Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:58 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

You can't trust the numbers....remember bash the others, so bash him.  Dopers, juicers and pills...that was the league.  Bash the rest and bash him....bash them all....IF that is how you want to look at the game of MLB.  Do not bash a player for his color, race or sexuality.  Bash them all.  The pitchers too.  And let's include the umps too.  How clean are they?  Think about it, have not heard that one yet....an lush umpire, a stoner umpire....?????  Bash one you gotta bash them all.  Drew and this dude about the same....did not perform to their potential as number 1's, but you take a dump on a player that far exceeded the other juicers.  That is called hipocripsy and shame on you all...you people for being coach potatoe, back seat driving, back stabbers.  Word to your mother.




Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:34 am
 

Retiring Burrell stacks up well vs. other No. 1s

Yea at the end of my rant, I wrote "nice career though". I figured everyone would realize what I had written was in jest.
Had I seen that it was you, I wouldve known it was sarcasm right off the bat. Like I said, when you see a guy with an account made today talking like that, it just screams 'troll'.  




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