MLB Trade Rumors discussed the concerns on uber-prospect Bryce Harper in a post yesterday. Most of the article discusses whether or not Harper will live up to the hype if he eventually goes No. 1 to the Nationals this June, but something else caught my eye in the comments section. One of the comments listed all the number one draft picks dating back to 1997…

1997 Matt Anderson (MISS)
1998 Pat Burrell (MISS)
1999 Josh Hamilton (MISS)
2000 Adrian Gonzalez (HIT)
2001 Joe Mauer (HIT)
2002 Bryan Bullington (MISS)
2003 Delmon Young (MISS)
2004 Matt Bush (MISS)
2005 Justin Upton (HIT)
2006 Luke Hochevar (MISS)
2007 David Price (MISS, still early)

This set off a debate in the comments of how Burrell can be listed as a miss. This got me thinking about this list of players. It all comes down to your definition of a “miss.” Obviously, guys like Justin Upton, Joe Mauer and Adrian Gonzalez are special players and are hits, but is it fair to label Burrell as a miss along with Bryan Bullington? As a Pirates fan, I would know firsthand that Bullington was a MISS. Burrell, I’m not buying that though. I would define a “miss” as someone who didn’t make it to the Majors or did for a brief stint and flamed out. This is not at all Burrell.

Burrell (career stats) has 10 major league seasons under his belt after his debut in 2000, and only hit less than 20 homers once in a season since his rookie year when he hit 18 dingers. He’s hit more than 30 home runs four different times and has averaged 26.5 homers with a .363 on-base percentage in his ML career. Not too shabby in my opinion. Burrell helped the Phillies to a World Series title in 2008 before having his worst season yet in ’09 following his signing with the Rays.

Burrell is definitely no superstar, but labeling him as a miss is just ridiculous. You never know what to expect from the amateur baseball draft and drafting a very productive major leaguer to rely on for 10 years plus is something that any team would take with a the number one pick.

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