St. Louis Cardinals history: The 10 worst first-round picks in the 21st century

The Cardinals have found some pristine talent in the first round of some drafts. but they've also had some duds.
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8. Pitcher Blake Williams: 24th pick in the 2000 MLB draft

The story of Blake Williams's brief baseball career hardly comes from somebody that was drafted so high. He was a compensation pick for when Darren Oliver left St. Louis and made 6 starts for New Jersey in the New York/Penn League and had a solid 1.59 ERA in his first-year pro.

In 2001 he went to High-A Potomac and despite the 4-10 record, he had a 2.43 ERA. That apparently wasn't good enough to keep him in High A or to promote him, as he went back to the New York/Penn League in 2002 and ended up only making 2 starts. He then went 2-10 with a 4.36 ERA for the Palm Beach Cardinals in 2003 and that was it, with the Cardinals organization at least, he went to Independent Ball.

If you're just looking at just these stats (9-22 record with a 3.03 ERA in the Cardinals system) it sounds to me that Williams pitched well and just didn't get any run support. But nonetheless being out of the organization and out of Major League Baseball altogether by the time he turned 25 seems disappointing. Williams didn't last long in Independent Ball either, a very perplexing career for sure.

One reason Williams isn't higher on this list is that it seems the 2000 first-round draft class had a lot of disappointments, I mean a lot. In fact, only one player taken after Williams in the 1st round made an All-Star team, that player? Adam Wainwright, maybe that was our plan all along.