It's almost Christmas for Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and the rest of the boys in the Cubs' front office. No, not the real Christmas( the one where "Annual Gift Man" visits Japan according to an old Simpsons episode)...a figurative Christmas...the Cubs' brass biggest day of the baseball calendar. This year they have a pretty big (potential) present under their tree with the No. 2 overall pick. What can they expect to get? Let's look at the history of the 2nd pick since the inception of the draft...
This is actually the fourth time the Cubs have had the second pick; 1967 SS Terry Hughes, 1981 Joe Carter and 2001 Mark Prior. Hughes was a gigantic bust (see my book), Carter was an asset used to get Rick Sutcliffe, and Prior...fill in your own depressing description of what happened.
Here is a list of some(I didn't want to list all 47 picks) of the players selected Number 2...placed in nice convenient categories.
HALL OF FAMER(only 1)/STUDS- Reggie Jackson, J.R. Richard(was a strikeout king before an unfortunate stroke), Joe Carter, Will Clark, Josh Beckett, and Justin Verlander.
PLAYERS WITH SOLID MLB CAREERS' & GUYS WHO STILL COULD MAKE IT BIG- Rick Manning, Bill Gullickson, John Stearns, Lloyd Moseby, Greg Swindell, Mark Mulder, BJ Upton, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Pedro Alvarez, and Dustin Ackley.
PLAYERS WHO NEVER REALLY MADE IT OR JUST TURNED INTO FRINGE GUYS- Pete Broberg, Pat Underwood, Tim Leary, Kurt Stillwell, Tony Clark, Ben Davis, JD Drew, Travis Lee, Paul Shuey
HYPED PLAYERS WHO EITHER GOT INJURED, OR JUST WERE BAD AT BASEBALL- Tyler Houston, Darren Dreifort, Mark Lewis, Ben Grieve and Mark Prior(sigh)
WHO THE F%#K?- Les Rohr, Steve Dunning, Mike Lentz, Garry Harris, Augie Schmidt (no, that's not a made up name), Mark Merchant, Mike Kelly and Adam Johnson.
After reviewing this list, one can quickly surmise that the Cubs have better odds(at least historically) of selecting a player that would fall in the bottom four groups...as opposed to an impact guy. That makes this pick( as pointed out lately by many astute BNers on this site)...pretty, pretty, pretty big.
That present under the tree is as likely to be coal as it is a diamond.