The MLB draft is not as high profile of an event as the NFL draft. In fact, players selected in the first round are not expected to contribute right away. Instead, they are expected to go to the minor leagues and perfect their craft.
Then, when the time is right, the team that drafted them will bring them up to the majors making their childhood dreams come true.
Sadly, not all of those dreams come true, and some of those failures costs teams millions of dollars. The public rarely reads about these draft busts, these dreamers that woke up to the harshest of realities.
Not every draft pick is Buster Posey, who was drafted by the Giants in 2008, called up to the majors in 2010, and has now won three World Series and a National League MVP.
Posey signed a $6.2 million signing bonus with San Francisco coming out the draft. In 2013, he received a $167 million contract extension.
So, who isn’t Buster Posey? What players were given large signing bonuses only to waste away in the minors and fail in the majors?
Below is the list of the most expensive draft busts in MLB history based on signing bonus — the MLB equivalent of a rookie contract.
14. Matt White, 1996 Rays – $10.2 million
Starting off with a little controversy, White was not drafted by the Devil Rays in 1996. He was actually drafted by the Giants, but his agent found a loophole making him a free agent. He then signed with Tampa Bay and was awarded his more than generous signing bonus. Unfortunately, his 0.65 career high school ERA did not translate and he never made it to the majors. Shoulder and back injuries ended his career after 122 minor league games. He would be 1st on this list if he had signed with the Giants.
13. Danny Goodwin, 1971 White Sox/1975 Angels – $125,000
The only player to be drafted 1st overall two separate times, Goodwin signed with the Angels out of college in 1975 for his then-record signing bonus. Drafted as a catcher, he never caught a single game and spent the last four years of his professional career in Japan.