Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....
1993 Pat Watkins OF SECOND ROUND 32
1994 C.J. Nitkowski LHP St. John's U 9
1995 Brett Tomko RHP SECOND ROUND 54
1996 John Oliver OF Lehman, PA 25
1997 Brandon Larson SS Louisiana State U 14
1998 Austin Kearns RF Lexington, KY 7
1999 Ty Howington LHP Vancouver, WA 14
2000 David Espinosa SS Miami, FL 23
2001 *Jeremy Sowers LHP Ballard HS, KY 20
2002 Chris Gruler RHP Brentwood, CA 3
2003 Ryan Wagner RH1P Un of Houston 14
Is that really all that terrible a pre-Howington record of first round draft picks? Looking over history from the 70's and 80's it looks like there is about a 1/3 chance that a player drafter in the first round will be a "recognizable" major league player and about a 50/50 chance that a first rounder will wach out before having a major league appearance. Those odds very much skewe such that a pick in the top 10 will be much more likely to get there.
Pat Watkins got to the major leagues, showed some promise and then got run over by Willie Greene. Watkins power vanished after that. He was dealt to the Yankees and vanished. You can call that a failure if you want, but Watkins certainly reached the majors.
Nitkowski reached the majors and had a career. Such that it was.
Tomko reached the majors and had a career. Such that it was.
John Oliver vanished.
Brandon Larson reached the majors as a marginal player.
Austin Kearns became Austin Kearns.
Ty Howington was a HSpitcher that got hurt.
Espinosa signed a major league deal that pretty much killed his career. He's topped out as a AAA player.
Sowers certainly has the talent to be get to the majors.
Wagner...special case. They were drafting for today and given that restraint, they did a decent enough job.
In the pre-Howington category that's six players, five of whom reached the majors. Two of those have gone on to have real careers.
If Willie Greene didn't do a tap dance on Pat Watkins head, you're probably looking at a 50/50 split that half of Bowden's pre-Howington picks had real major league careers most of the others actually made it to the majors.That's NOT a terrible record. Compare and contrast with any other organization you want.