8. Todd Van Poppel
Before Stephen Strasburg, there was Todd Van Poppel, who Sports Illustrated dubbed, “the premier high school pitcher in the land” and the “next Nolan Ryan.” Oops.
Van Poppel was drafted out of high school in the first round (14th overall; he dropped after expressing interest in attending college) by the Oakland Athletics, after much talk that the Atlanta Braves would take him with their No. 1 overall pick (they instead chose some guy named Chipper Jones).
In an effort to utilize their pick, the A’s rushed him through the minors (just 32 starts) before calling him up for significant time in 1993. While Van Poppel lasted 11 years in the bigs, they were underwhelming at best: the former Texas high school star compiled a 40-52 record with a 5.58 ERA while pitching for six different teams.