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What If? Ben McDonald, the 1989 First Overall Pick, Had Reached His Potential

Ben McDonald was the first overall pick in the 1989 MLB draft, but he never reached his potential. What if he had? We look at the players drafted after him and what could have been for the Orioles.
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Wow, this guy’s a blast from the past.  He was good, but nowhere near the level he should have been. The first overall pick in 1989, he was extremely hyped coming out of LSU.

I hate to remind you, but here’s a list of players drafted after, and who were  better than Ben (ironically a few ended up being Orioles at some point in their careers): Tim Salmon, Jeff Bagwell, Scott Erickson, Chuck Knoblaugh, Mo Vaughn, Frank Thomas, Charles Johnson, Jim Thome, Brian Giles, Ryan Klesko, Jeff Kent, Jason Giambi, and Trevor Hoffman.

Now, it’s probably unfair to complain about all the players drafted after the first round, because the MLB draft has the poorest yield rate of any professional sports draft. I think the player we’re most upset about is Frank Thomas, drafted by the White Sox with the seventh pick. Can you imagine the 1996/97/98 O’s with the Big Hurt in their lineup? What if …

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1995 Score Ben McDonald
1995 Score Ben McDonald
Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald - Sports Illustrated
Mike Mussina and Ben McDonald – Sports Illustrated
1990 Donruss Ben McDonald
1990 Donruss Ben McDonald
1990 Donruss
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Ben McDonald

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