Chipper Jones stands out among draft’s No. 1 picks
In 1990, the Atlanta Braves drafted Chipper Jones with the No. 1 overall pick, and he accomplished something no other player has done after being selected first.
Not Ken Griffey Jr, not Alex Rodriguez, not Joe Mauer.
Jones was both an MVP and a World Series champion with the team that drafted him. Plenty of other No. 1 overall picks have accomplished one or the other — but not both.
Darryl Strawberry, Darin Erstad, Pat Burrell, Luke Hochevar and Carlos Correa won the World Series with the team that drafted them, but they didn’t win an MVP as well. Jeff Burroughs, Griffey, Mauer and Bryce Harper were MVPs for the teams that picked them, but they couldn’t bring those franchises a World Series title.
On the pitching side, David Price was picked No. 1 by Tampa Bay and won a Cy Young Award, but his World Series championship didn’t come until after he was with Boston.
Jones was part of Atlanta’s title team in 1995, and he earned MVP honors four years later. He also went into the Hall of Fame last year.
Baltimore picks first in this year’s draft Monday. The only other time the Orioles have had the No. 1 pick was in 1989, a year after Baltimore began the season 0-21 and ultimately lost 107 games. The Orioles picked pitcher Ben McDonald of LSU, and he actually made his major league debut almost immediately, in September of that year.
Baltimore nearly went from worst to first in the AL East in 1989, which was exciting for Orioles fans but took the team well out of contention for the top pick in the draft in 1990 — the one Atlanta used on Jones.
Elsewhere around the majors:
UPS AND DOWNS
Oakland climbed back into the thick of the American League playoff race with a 10-game winning streak, but the Athletics have dropped five in a row since then, including three against division-leading Houston. So the A’s trail the Astros by 10 ½ games in the AL West.
Oakland has a plus-24 run differential, but with the Twins, Astros, Yankees and Rays playing better than .600 ball, there’s a decent-sized gap between that foursome and the rest of the postseason contenders. Boston (30-29), Oakland (29-30) and Cleveland (29-30) all made the playoffs a year ago. None of them are in great shape at the moment.
The Chicago White Sox have made some strides this season and are hovering around .500, but this week, their ballpark was the site of a slapstick ceremonial first pitch. Mary Ruich’s toss hit a team photographer standing to her left, between the mound and first base line, before Tuesday’s game against Kansas City.
The ball hit Darren Georgia’s lens, and replays went viral, but it seemed like everyone was a good sport . Ruich is a server in one of Guaranteed Rate Field’s restaurants. She joined Ruich at a news conference and presented him with a cake decorated like a baseball, including the scuff mark where the ball hit the camera.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Derek Dietrich hit three two-run homers in Cincinnati’s 11-6 win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. Dietrich was signed to a minor league deal in February, and he now has 17 home runs, including 12 in May.
Honorable mention: Colorado’s Trevor Story homered twice, drove in seven runs and scored four times in a 13-6 victory over Toronto on Friday.
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