Friday, January 10, 2014

#1 DRAFT PICKS OF THE 1970's. A SPECIAL SUB-SET...BILLY ALMON: SAN DIEGO PADRES: 1974

Another year, another San Diego Padre #1 overall draft pick!
In only the fourth year of the decade, San Diego had the #1 overall pick for the third time! 
Sadly for the organization, as with their other two #1 picks: Mike Ivie in '70 and Dave Roberts in '72, the Padres would end up picking somewhat of a "bust" in 1974 with a youngster out of Brown University, shortstop Billy Almon.
Before we get to Almon's Major League resume, take a gander at my custom Almon card for the "#1 Draft Picks" sub-set I imagined for the 1979 set:

Another "swing-and-a-miss" by the Padres in the amateur draft.

I don't want to sound harsh here regarding the Padres organization, but considering their draft track record, and the fact that some of the other players taken in the first round AFTER Almon were Dale Murphy, Willie Wilson, Gary Templeton, Lonnie Smith, Lance Parrish and Rick Sutcliffe, you see where I can be a little bit of a hard-ass here.
The Padres were just atrocious with their draft picks during the decade, (aside from 1973: Dave Winfield).
In all fairness, Billy Almon did manage to carve out a 15-year career in the Majors, playing for seven teams and hitting .254. 
His best year in the Big Leagues would probably be 1977, his first full season, when he hit .261 with 160 hits and 20 stolen bases and 75 runs scored over 155 games and 613 at-bats for the Padres.
He'd never again play in that many games over the course of a season, and would only top 100+ hits three other times in his career, topping out with 120 in 1983 for the Chicago White Sox.
A couple of years earlier, during the strike-year of 1981 he DID hit over .300, .301 to be exact, and somehow got 6 points in the M.V.P. voting, good for 19th place.
Hey, you go with what you got, right?
Almon called it a career after the 1988 season, after appearing in 20 games for the Philadelphia Philles and hitting .115 while playing the infield.
Stay tuned for the next entry on this thread, as we revisit a previous #1 overall pick from 1971, Danny Goodwin, as he goes first yet again in 1975 after a successful college career at Southern University and A&M.

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