Thursday is the Rule 5 Draft. We all know selecting a player from the Rule 5 Draft is a gamble. Sometimes a team can find a diamond in the rough, and most times players selected will probably never be heard from again. As part of our ongoing Rule 5 coverage, I devised a list of the Padres’ all-time Rule 5 Draft busts.
Here is my list:
1.Donaldo Mendez – Once hailed as the Padres shortstop of the future, he became the biggest Rule 5 Draft bust in the team’s history.
The Padres selected the slick fielding Mendez in the 2000 Rule 5 Draft out of the Houston Astros’ organization.
Mendez was supposed to be the next best thing at short, but he never lived up to the hype.
His defense was Gold-Glove caliber, but his offense was the Mendoza line. While Mendez gobbled up every ball that was hit to him, he couldn’t hit a ball that was pitched.
Over the course of two-years (72 games) Mendez was a career .183 hitter with three home runs and 14 RBIs.
For the fact he didn’t live up to all the buildup that surrounded him, easily makes him No.1 on the Rule 5 draft bust countdown.
2. Kory DeHaan – After playing in 102 games over a two-year span with the Padres, DeHann was never heard of again in Major League Baseball.
DeHaan, a Padres 2000 Rule 5 draftee from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, is a Rule 5 bust.
He was a primarily an outfielder, but soon was delegated to pinch hitting duties because he wasn’t any good with the bat. He was an average defender too.
However, the Padres thought highly enough of him to serve as a minor league coach in 2011.
If it wasn’t for all the publicity that surrounded the once promising Mendez, DeHaan could have easily been No. 1 on this list.
3. Will Cunnane- Cunnane was an average player at best. He managed to pitch for parts of eight Major League seasons with four different teams. It was with the Padres though where he had his longest tenure.
Cunnane, a 1996 Rule 5 pick from the Florida Marlins, pitched in 108 games with the Friars to a tune of a 9-5 record with a 5.33 ERA.
Cunnane may have pitched in parts of four seasons with the Padres, but makes the draft bust list because he didn’t really do much with the opportunity presented to him.
With the Padres he was mostly used as a reliever and often times a spot starter.
Cunnane last pitched in the Majors with the Chicago Cubs in 2004.
4. Luis Perdomo– The Padres didn’t draft anyone in the 2008 Rule 5 Draft, but they did manage to
swing a waiver deal to land Rule 5 draftee Luis Perdomo, before the start of the ’09 season.
The San Francisco Giants from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Rule 5 Draft originally selected Perdomo.
Control issues led the right-handed Dominican pitcher to appear in 36 career games with the Padres where he posted a 1-0 record with a 4.87 ERA before he was finally released from the ball club.
This past season he pitched in 15 games in relief and had a 3.18 ERA with a 0-0 record as a member of the Minnesota Twins.
Nowadays Perdomo is a free agent still trying to stick on a Major League roster.
5.Callix Crabbe- The 17th pick in the 2007 Rule 5 Draft was supposed to be the super utility player the Padres desperately needed. Instead, he was the futile player who is still making a living playing Minor League Baseball.
Crabbe only lasted in 21 games for the Padres where he complied a .176 average batting average in 34 at-bats. He also scored four runs on six hits and two RBIs.
Crabbe is currently in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
6. Jason Szuminski – The MIT alum had the smarts for baseball, but he just didn’t have the talent.
Selected out of the 2003 Rule 5 Draft from the Chicago Cubs, Szuminski saw limited game action with the Padres, pitching in seven games with a 0-0 record and a woeful 7.20 ERA.
He was returned to the Cubs early in the 2004 season, and that was the end of his Major League career.
It’s ok if baseball didn’t work out for the right-hander, I’m sure he is doing great things with his degree from MIT.
7. Kevin Cameron- Who? Exactly. His playing days are just a fragment of my imagination, but his stats show he made 58 appearances in a two-year stretch for the Padres where he posted a 2-0 record and a combined 2.91 earned run average.
After Cameron’s two-years in San Diego, he went on to have a small cameo with the Oakland A’s and then disappeared from the Major Leagues.
The 2006 Rule 5 draftee from the Minnesota Twins is no longer playing in Major League baseball. Because he had decent numbers he made the last slot on this countdown, and was borderline making the best Padres’ Rule-5 choices if it weren’t for such a brief career.
This wraps up my Padres’ Rule 5 Draft bust countdown. Let me know what you think of my list in the comments section below. Which players did I rank to high and which ones should be lower?
Stay tuned tomorrow for the Padres’ best Rule 5 Draft Picks.
*Co-Editor, Kevin Charity contributed to this blog.