The 6'4" 220-pound right-hander signed a record $15.1 million, four-year contract with the Nationals after he was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft. Strasburg was 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA in five Triple-A starts when the Nationals announced he would be called up. In 10 minor league starts, including five with Double-A Harrisburg, Strasburg is 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA, with 60 strikeouts in 50 1-3 innings.
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Shortstop, Griffin High
Beckham was rated by many publications as the top high school prospect in America. Standing 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he projects as a five-tool talent with great speed. He's currently playing for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, a Class A team.
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Pitcher, Vanderbilt University
After tearing up the SEC for three seasons at Vandy, Price signed a six-year deal with Tampa Bay worth $8.5 million, including a $5.6 million signing bonus. Price was called up to the big club in his first professional season, making his debut on Sept. 14, 2008, and made his presence felt during the Rays' magical postseason run to the World Series. In the ALCS against Boston, Price earned the win in Game 2 and the save in Game 7.
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Pitcher, Fort Worth Cats
University of Tennessee star Luke Hochevar was taken 40th overall in the 2005 draft by the Dodgers, but the right-hander never signed with Los Angeles. He briefly pitched for the Fort Worth Cats in the Independent League before re-entering the draft in 2006. He signed a four-year major league contract worth $5.3 million guaranteed with the Royals. He has struggled mightily in the majors (7-15, 5.51 ERA over 160 innings).
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Shortstop, Great Bridge High
Three years after his brother, B.J., was taken second overall, Justin went off the board at No. 1, featuring a skill set that scouts drool over. He motored through the minors and made his big league debut in 2007 at the age of 19. After an up-and-down 2008 campaign, Upton's enjoying a breakout season in '09, hitting .320 with 11 homers, 34 RBIs and eight steals through June 7. As anyone within the game will tell you, the sky's the limit for this freakish 21-year-old.
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Shortstop, Mission Bay High
San Diego's selection of Bush was strictly based on signability. Jeff Niemann, Stephen Drew and Jered Weaver were all more hyped, but the Padres' didn't want to pay a hefty bonus, so they decided to go with a local high school shortstop. So far, he's been a complete flop. Bush couldn't hit a lick, so the Padres converted him to a pitcher, but he blew out his arm. And after multiple run-ins with the law, Bush was sent to Toronto for either a player to be named later or cash considerations. In April, Toronto released Bush for violating a zero tolerance behavioral policy.
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Outfielder, Adolfo Camarillo High
Young immediately tore up the minor leagues after going No. 1 to the Rays, but he struggled to contain his temper. In April 2006, Young threw his bat at an umpire after being called out on strikes and was suspended for 50 games. He bounced back to enjoy a great rookie campaign in 2007, finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting to Dustin Pedroia. After that season, the Rays sent him to Minnesota in a trade for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett. Thus far, Young has struggled to produce with the Twins, and the trade currently looks like an absolute fleecing for the Twins.
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Pitcher, Ball State University
In 2002 at Ball State, Bullington went 11-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 139-to-18 strikeout-to-walk differential. The Pirates took him first because they figured they had a much better chance to sign him than a number of more hyped prospects, including B.J. Upton, Prince Fielder, Scott Kazmir, Cole Hamels and Nick Swisher. Thus far, he's been a complete bust. He's logged 39 innings pitched with the Pirates, Indians and Blue Jays, holding a career record of 0-5 with a 5.08 ERA.
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Catcher Cretin-Derham Hall High
Mauer was a phenom in both baseball (catcher) and football (quarterback) at Saint Paul's Cretin-Derham Hall High, receiving numerous national awards in both sports. He ultimately turned down a football scholarship from Florida State to enter the draft. Mauer has quickly become one of the best all-around players in the game. Owning one of the sweetest swings in baseball, Mauer already has two batting titles. After starting this season on the disabled list, the Twins catcher is off to his best start ever, showing newfound home-run power at the plate.
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First baseman, Eastlake High
Adrian Gonzalez went first overall to the Marlins, but after the slugging first baseman suffered a wrist injury, Florida flipped him to Texas in a deal for Ugueth Urbina. Gonzalez never amounted to much with the Rangers and was traded to San Diego for Chris Young and Terrmel Sledge. Even though the Pads probably play in the worst hitters' park in baseball, Gonzalez has been highly productive in San Diego. Over the past three seasons, he averaged 30 homers and 100 RBIs, and this season he leads the majors in home runs (as of June 7).
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Outfielder, Athens Drive High
Hamilton's well-documented journey to stardom is one of the most fascinating stories in the game today. The Rays took the high school phenom over Josh Beckett, who went second in the '99 draft. He was regarded as one of baseball's top prospects until a car accident prior to the 2001 season. After the accident, Hamilton started on a downward spiral into drug addiction. He was suspended for violating the MLB's drug policy and did not play baseball from 2004 to '06, going in and out of rehab attempts. The Reds scooped him up through the Rule 5 Draft in 2006. In 2007, he hit .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in 90 games, but Cincinnati traded him to Texas for Edinson Volquez. Hamilton fully realized his immense potential in 2008, hitting .304 with 32 homers and 130 RBIs and playing in his first All-Star Game (putting on an unforgettable show during the Home Run Derby).
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Left fielder, University of Miami
"Pat the Bat" made quite a name for himself at Miami, where he was MVP of the 1996 College World Series and won the 1998 Golden Spikes Award. In nine years for the Phillies, Burrell averaged 27 homers and 91 RBIs. Last season, he helped the Phillies win their second World Series title (and first since 1980). In the offseason, he signed a two-year deal with the Rays -- the team Burrell beat in the 2008 World Series -- worth $16 million.
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Pitcher, Rice University
Anderson dominated the Southwest Conference during his time at Rice, posting a 1.82 ERA in his final season and setting multiple records. Anderson enjoyed a solid rookie season in 1998, going 5-1 out of the bullpen with a 3.27 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 44 innings (thanks in large part to a triple-digit fastball). But Anderson's career took a tragic turn when he participated in an octopus-throwing contest in an effort to win Detroit Red Wings playoff tickets. Anderson tore a muscle in his right armpit, losing his electric fastball forever.
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Pitcher, Clemson University
Although he enjoyed a few good seasons with the Pirates, Benson is probably best known for the outlandish antics of his wife, Anna. Benson, the ACC Male Athlete of the Year in 1996 at Clemson, has accumulated a 69-74 major league record with a 4.41 ERA in eight seasons with the Pirates, Mets, Orioles and Rangers.
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Outfielder, University of Nebraska
Not only did Erstad star on the diamond at Nebraska, but also he excelled on the gridiron. As the starting punter for the Cornhuskers football team, Erstad won a national title in 1994, average 42.6 yards per punt that season. He spent his first 11 major league seasons with the Angels, earning two All-Star nods and three Gold Gloves and winning a World Series in 2002. After that, Erstad played a season with the White Sox before heading to Houston, his current team. His best season came in 2000, when he hit .355 with 25 homers, 100 RBIs and 121 runs.
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Pitcher, Florida State
Wilson never came close to living up to the hype built around him at Florida State. In seven major league seasons with the Mets, Devil Rays and Reds, Wilson went 40-58 with a 4.86 ERA. His best season came with the Reds in 2004, when he had a 4.36 ERA and 11-6 record in 29 starts.
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Shortstop, Westminster Christian High
A-Rod enjoyed a spectacular career at Miami's Westminster Christian High, winning a national championship as a junior and being named USA Baseball Junior Player of the Year as a senior. He signed a letter of intent to Miami and was also recruited to play football at the school, but he eventually chose to sign with Seattle instead. Rodriguez quickly became one of the game's best players with the Mariners, and he signed a then-record $252 million as a free agent before the 2001 season. A-Rod was traded to the Yankees in February of 2004 in a deal for Alfonso Soriano. In December 2007, he signed a 10-year, $275 million contract with New York. Although his career has been tainted by a bombshell steroid report by SI.com (which Rodriguez admitted shortly thereafter), the three-time MVP is still regarded as one of the greatest players ever.
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Third baseman, Cal State Fullerton
Nevin won the Golden Spikes Award in 1992, leading Cal State Fullerton to a runner-up finish in the College World Series. He was taken first overall in the 1992 draft, five picks before Derek Jeter. Over a 12-year career, Nevin played for seven teams (Astros, Tigers, Angels, Padres, Rangers, Cubs and Twins), hitting .270 with 208 homers. He was an All-Star in 2001, setting career highs in batting average (.306), home runs (41) and RBIs (126).
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Pitcher, East Carteret High
Taylor is one of the bigger flops in MLB draft history, as he's best known as being just the second amateur player to be taken first overall and never reach the majors (Steve Chilcott was first). Taylor flourished in the minor leagues, quickly ascending the Yankees' farm system. But he suffered a torn labrum while defending his brother in a fistfight in a North Carolina trailer park and he was never the same pitcher again.
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Shortstop, Boelles High
The Braves wanted to draft pitcher Todd Van Poppel with the first overall pick, but Van Poppel stated that he would not sign if he was drafted by Atlanta. Lucky break. Instead, the Braves received one of the most consistent offensive forces of this generation. Over the past 16 seasons, Larry Wayne Jones has totaled 413 homers and 1,397 RBIs to go along with a .310 batting average. He won the National League MVP in 1999 -- smacking a career-high 45 homers -- and a batting title last season with a .364 average.
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McDonald won the Golden Spikes Award at LSU and led Team USA to a Gold Medal in 1988. The 6-foot-7 right-hander played nine major league seasons with the Orioles and Brewers, accumulating a 78-70 record and 3.91 ERA. McDonald logged a career-high 14 wins (to seven losses) for Baltimore during the strike-shortened 1994 campaign.
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Pitcher, University of Evansville
Benes spent less than a year in the minors before making his presence felt on the big squad. Over his 14-year career, Benes played for the Cardinals, Mariners, Padres and Diamondbacks, piling up a 155-139 record and respectable 3.97 ERA. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound right-hander won at least 10 games in 10 different seasons.
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Ken Griffey Jr.
Outfielder, Moeller High
"The Kid" was taken No. 1 overall straight out of high school. With his beautiful, majestic swing and spectacular defense in center field, Griffey quickly became one of the game's most celebrated players. Currently in his 21st season in the bigs, Griffey has enjoyed a Hall of Fame career, even though injuries have marred the latter half. The 13-time All-Star ranks fifth all time with 617 homers. He won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves and the MVP in 1997.
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Third baseman, University of Arkansas
King spent parts off 11 seasons in the majors, logging 1,201 games and finishing with a .256 career batting average to go along with 154 games. King played a key role in Pittsburgh's three division championship teams in 1990, '91 and '92.
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Catcher, University of North Carolina
After winning ACC Male Athlete of the Year and playing for Team USA in the 1984 Olympics, Surhoff went first overall to the Brewers. A very versatile player who spent time all over the field, Surhoff went on to enjoy a very productive, 19-season career, finishing with a .282 batting average, 2,326 hits and 1,153 RBIs.
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