Chicago Cubs: Best first round picks of the past 25 years

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Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs, Jon Garland (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Here we look at the top five first-round draft picks of the Chicago Cubs since 1995.

With the MLB Draft set for this coming week, it might be a good time to look back on some of the Chicago Cubs‘ best draft picks in recent memory. Here, we’ll look at five of their best first-round picks of the past 25 years.

Chicago Cubs: Jon Garland

Jon Garland was the Cubs’ first pick, and tenth overall, in the 1997 draft, out of Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, CA. Though he was not a superstar in the major leagues, he put together a very respectable 13-year major league career, and thus his inclusion on this list.

As we know, Garland never actually threw a pitch for the Cubs’ major league club. In 1998, he struggled with the Cubs’ Rockford club in the Class A Midwest League, putting up a 5.79 ERA in 19 starts. On July 29, with the Cubs in the middle of a pennant race, the team traded Garland to the Chicago White Sox for reliever Matt Karchner.

Karchner wasn’t particularly great for the Cubs in 1998, posting a 5.14 ERA in 28 innings, and he also pitched for them a little in 1999 and 2000. Garland, meanwhile, made his major league debut in 2000 and was a dependable starter for the White Sox. Between 2002 and 2007, he made at least 32 starts for them every year. His best year, by far, was that magical 2005 season on the south side, as Garland posted a 3.50 ERA while setting a career-high with 18 wins and 221 innings pitched.

Garland also pitched for the Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Los Angeles Dodgers before last appearing with the Colorado Rockies in 2013. Overall, he collected 136 wins.

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