MLB Draft: The KC Royals have mixed 9th pick luck

(Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport)
(Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

This hard throwing KC Royals first-rounder never made it to the majors.

As a ballplayer, he was the stuff of legend, a fireballing righthander who threw 100 mph-plus pitches before he graduated from high school and became a first-round big league draft pick when Kansas City grabbed him with the ninth overall selection in 1973.

He had promise and potential. But two things prevented Colt Griffin from reaching the majors.

The first was his control, a serious problem that surfaced as soon as he signed and reported to Kansas City Class A affiliate Spokane, where he walked seven (and gave up an equal number of runs) in only 2.1 innings.

He pitched much far more in 2002 but couldn’t shake that pesky control problem—he walked 87 batters in 95.1 innings. And although he went 10-11 across A and High-A the next year, he still fought the strike zone. His BB9 for the year was 5.6, a too-high number that increased to 6.2 in 2004 and 6.9 in 2005.

Injuries posed the other problem for Griffin, who reportedly had rotator cuff surgery after the 2005 campaign and retired without throwing a regular season pitch in 2006. He finished his five-year minor league career with a 19-25 record and 4.79 ERA.