Taking a look at the Tampa Bay Rays three biggest draft busts. These guys were all selected in the top eight overall picks of their respective drafts.
For this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the Tampa Bay Rays’ biggest draft mistakes throughout the years. For one reason or another, the players listed below were never able to contribute for the Rays’ at the major league level.
Tampa Bay Rays Draft Bust No. 3 – Dewon Brazelton
Dewon Brazelton was selected by the Rays’ with the third overall pick in the 2001 draft. The big 6-4 right-hander was supposed to be an instrumental part of Rays’ rotation right away but it didn’t quite work out that way. Brazelton was called up to the bigs in September 2002 and pitched for the Rays up until the 2005 season.
The 03’ season was a rough one for Brazelton as he posted an ugly 6.89 ERA in 10 starts. After showing some signs of improvement the following year with a 4.77 ERA over 120 innings of work, Brazelton fell off completely in the 2005 season. A move to the bullpen wasn’t able to revitalize a once-promising career as he posted a sky-high 7.61 ERA in over 20 appearances. That marked the end of Brazelton’s time in Tampa as he was dealt to the Padres in the offseason that year.
Tampa Bay Rays Draft Bust No. 2 – Wade Townsend
The Rays selected Townsend with the eighth overall pick in the 2005 draft. Townsend had an unfortunate start to his major league career as he posted an 0-4 record with a 5.49 ERA over ten starts. That offseason he underwent Tommy John surgery and never really found a groove again. After toiling in the minors the following few seasons Townsend’s career ended in 2010 after he came back from a torn labrum and pitched poorly in limited appearances
Tampa Bay Rays Draft Bust No. 1 – Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton will forever be the Rays’ biggest draft bust simply because of the lofty expectations put forth from being the first overall selection in the 1999 draft and you have to wonder what could have been if he remained focused on the game.
Unlike the other players mentioned here, Josh Hamilton struggles had nothing to do with ability. Hamilton performed pretty well during his time in the Rays’ minor league system, but numerous injuries and his well-documented battle with drug addiction ultimately led to him not appearing in a single major league game for the Tampa Bay Rays.
We all know what became of Josh Hamilton once he got himself straightened out. Being a five-time All-Star and 2010 AL MVP with the Texas Rangers, Rays’ fans have to wonder what might have happened if they would have had a healthy Josh Hamilton during those playoff runs in the late 2000s.