The New York Yankees are the most winning franchise in MLB, and with winning comes history.
History, however, is not always full of positives: there are obscure passages to be told.
However, these three prospects failed to live up to expectations and are considered the biggest draft busts in Yankees history.
3. Cito Culver
Being appointed as a potential replacement for Derek Jeter as a 17-year-old kid is not an easy thing to do.
The Yankees, fresh off winning the World Series the year before, took Cito Culver, a shortstop, in the first round of the 2010 Draft, with the No. 32 overall pick.
And while Culver had a good glove and it was better than Jeter’s (to be fair, it’s not such a high bar with all due respect to the Hall of Famer), his offense was not in the same stratosphere as the Captain’s.
Culver was never able to develop offensively, and has a .231/.304/.328 line in 902 career minor league games and 3,279 at-bats.
It’s extremely rare that a first-round draft pick doesn’t make his debut in the major leagues, but Culver hasn’t played past Triple-A.
He is about to turn 29, and hasn’t played in the minor leagues since 2018.
Culver will go down as one of the worst draft picks in recent memory for the Yankees.
Definitely could do better. The Yankees have made a lot of suspect draft picks (Cito Culver? Holder?) and those have to stop. They have the resources to make better decisions with draft picks. https://t.co/XWU3IHTCK1
— Yankeesource (@YankeeSource) February 9, 2021
2. Andrew Brackman
When the Yankees took Andrew Brackman in the first round of the 2007 Draft with the No. 30 overall pick, they knew he was a high injury risk.
The tall right-hander had a big fastball, that he could push to the high-90s, but his career never panned out in part thanks to injuries.
He was infamously signed by the Yankees to an MLB contract worth $4.55 million, but had to undergo Tommy John surgery just a few days after the draft.
In total, he ended up making the majors eventually, but pitched only three games.
In 2.1 innings, he didn’t allow any earned runs but walked three guys and didn’t strike anyone out.
We can say with confidence that walks and injuries ruined his career.
His minor league career wasn’t much better, as he finished with a 5.38 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP in 124 games (66 starts) and 408.1 innings.
When he turned 27, he gave up pitching and tried to become a basketball player.
1. Brien Taylor
When talking about Yankees draft busts, every list should have Brien Taylor at the top.
The left-handed pitcher was something to behold in high school.
Agent Scott Boras famously said back in 2006 that he had never seen a high school pitcher like Taylor.
The Yankees held the top overall pick in the 1991 MLB Draft and used it on Taylor, seen as a can’t-miss prospect with a blazing fastball that could touch 100 mph.
Unfortunately, Taylor participated in a fight and tore his left (pitching) shoulder in one of the ugliest injuries his surgeon had ever seen.
In reality, he suffered the injury on a missed punch: he basically ripped his left arm right out of the socket, dislocating his shoulder and tearing both his labrum and capsule.
He tried to return, but instead of pumping 98-mph gas like he did before, he struggled to touch 90.
His career and life took a turn for the worse after the accident.
In 2012, Taylor served two years in prison for trafficking cocaine.
Yankees #1 pick/bust Brien Taylor has been sentenced 3+ years. He was so bad I bet he won't even get drafted for the prison softball team.
— Dan Giacobbe (@DanGiacobbe) November 7, 2012
He is, without a doubt, the biggest draft bust in Yankees’ history considering expectations.