- Keith Law, ESPN Insider
If you talk to a scouting director the day after a draft ends and ask him how he felt the draft went for his club, you'll get some variation of the answer, "We'll see in five years." So let's step in the way-back machine and evaluate the 2002 draft, five years on. The book isn't quite closed on some of the first-round draft picks from 2002, but enough time has passed for some trends to become apparent and for us to label some picks as obvious busts.
Sixteen pitchers were selected in the first round of the 2002 MLB Rule 4 draft. Of those 16, eight suffered major injuries that cost them all or most of a professional season, and only Cole Hamels has developed as expected, with Joe Saunders becoming an up-and-down guy but never fully recovering from his injury. Two more -- Zack Greinke and Derick Grigsby-- missed significant time due to emotional problems. To make matters worse, the 31st and 32nd overall picks, Greg Miller (Dodgers) and Luke Hagerty (Cubs) blew out their arms, and to this point neither has reached the majors.
While nearly half of the 2002 first-rounders could be labeled busts, the draft did yield Prince Fielder, Nick Swisher and many other talents.