Boom to bust: Major League prospects are no sure thing

From Todd van Poppel to Brien Taylor to Mark Prior, top Major League Baseball prospects are not guaranteed success in the big leagues.



    Taylor, left, was selected first overall in the 1991 MLB draft by the New York Yankees before an arm injury cut short his once-promising career. After a then-record signing bonus, Taylor became just the second amateur player to never reach the big leagues after being baseball's top pick. (AP/Carteret County Sheriff's Office)


    After going 18-0 as a high school senior in Houston, Clyde was drafted by the Texas Rangers first overall in 1973. He got a record $125,000 signing bonus, and although he did make the Major Leagues, he was a disappointment, going 18-33 in five years with the Rangers and the Cleveland Indians.


    Once billed as the "next Nolan Ryan" by Sports Illustrated, Todd van Poppel played 11 major league seasons, but finished with a 40-52 record and a 5.52 ERA. (AP)


    Pitcher Mark Prior, seen here in a 2007 photo while playing with the Chicago Cubs, was signed to a then-record rookie contract of $10.5 million in 2001, but a string of injuries debilitated his once-promising career. He is now pitching in AAA for the Boston Red Sox. (AP)


    The top overall pick by the San Diego Padres in 2004 draft, Matt Bush, now in the Tampa Bay Ray farm system, has seen his career plagued by personal and legal troubles. Most recently, in May, Bush pleaded not guilty to DUI and hit and run in Florida, where he seriously injured a 72-year-old motorcyclist. (AP)


    Steve Chilcott, seen here in 1966, was drafted top overall by the New York Mets, one spot ahead of future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. He went on to play six seasons, but never reached the big leagues. Chilcott, Taylor and Bush share the distinction as the only top picks to never reach the majors. (AP) a hard-hitting high school catcher poses at his California home in Lancaster, California on June 7, 1966 after the New York Mets picked him as their first choice in baseball's annual free agent draft. Chilcott, 17, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete, will be graduated at night on Thursday from Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, Calif. credit: Harold Filan/AP
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