Two teams who successfully tanked. The Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros have changed the game – but who has the upper hand moving forward?
Any time you’re discussing the two most recent World Series champions, it’s bound to be a hot topic. As is the case with the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs.
Going into the 2013 Draft, both the Cubs and Astros organizations had the same goal. They needed to pick a player that they could build a franchise around. Houston heldthe first overall selection, and with the Cubs second, both teams were locked in what appeared to be a lengthy rebuild.
The Astros also had the first pick in 2012 and drafted shortstop of the future, Carlos Correa. Now they wanted a pitcher. They made the mistake of drafting for their needs rather than simply taking the best player on the board, Kris Bryant.
Jeff Luhnow and Houston ended up taking the draft’s “safest player” in Mark Appel, a right-handed pitcher out of Stanford who appeared to be big-league ready. Appel never lived up to his expectations, and finds himself retired just five years after being drafted. The Astros were able to send Appel to the Phillies for their current closer Ken Giles, but nonetheless missed on the opportunity to draft an elite talent with Bryant.