Monday, November 1, 2010

Madison Bumgarner: What could have been

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Madison Bumgarner just became the fourth youngest pitcher in Major League history to start and win a World Series game. Bumgarner, who went eight shutout innings against one of the best offenses in baseball, was the 10th pick in the 2007 draft, four picks after the Nationals selected Ross Detwiler.

Drafting, as we know, is an inexact science. Some players peak at an early age, some develop late, and some never at all. Bumgarner seems to be just beginning to tap into his potential. Detwiler? Well, he's looking like another bust in a long line of failures from former GM Jim Bowden.

It's not hard to imagine Bumgarner in a Nationals uniform; a young lefty, just beginning to understand his massive potential as he forms a potent 1-2-3 punch at the top of the rotation with the likes of Strasburg and Zimmermann. But alas, that was not meant to be. Detwiler, who I'm sure the Nationals expected to be what Bumgarner has become, has been nothing short of a disappointment. Outside of a few good starts to end 2009, Detwiler has shown nothing to make fans, or the front office, believe he will be anything more than a pitcher that has a hard time sticking on a 25 man roster.

When you compare the two lefties, the numbers are not close.

Bumgarner - 22 G, 19 GS - 7-6, 2.90 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 7.1 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.31 K/BB

Detwiler - 24 G, 19 GS - 2-9, 4.74 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 5.2 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 1.30 K/BB

In short, there is nothing Ross Detwiler does that is better than Madison Bumgarner.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but, in regards to Detwiler v. Bumgarner, the result is clear.

Madison Bumgarner should have been the Washington Nationals first round pick in 2007. You won't find anyone that disagrees.


  1. I would personally be a lot happier if he had gone to the Nationals instead of the Giants!

  2. Nine other teams whiffed on Bumgarner as well, including three AFTER the Nationals picked Detwiler. It happens.

    I'm more bummed about the '06 draft in which I've heard rumors that the Lerners told Bowden as they were finalizing their purchase of the team that they didn't want any more "expensive" college draftees like Ryan Zimmerman. The result was a whole list of high school busts, Colten Willems being the most notorious, and the Nats being the only team to not yet have a single player from that draft play a Major League game.

  3. Jason Heyward was also skipped by the Nats and a ton of other teams.

    It's funny when you look back at the past drafts and the talent that gets passed over.

    Hopefully for the Nats, they'll start hitting on more of their draft picks and having less "misses".

  4. It is tough to really kill the Nats for picking Detwiler over either Bumgarner, Heywood or Porcello (yeah, that's THREE huge misses) because that was the consensus pick at that spont.

    That being said, Even LaPorta was a better prospect in hind sight.
    Frankly i'd rather have Heyward.