Chicago’s “Chosen Ones”
About a month ago, Deadspin ran a story about all the people that Sports Illustrated has declared the “Chosen One”. It is a hilarious list. Some of them worked out, and some of them were complete busts. In honor of that list (which you should definitely check out), I have decided to do my own list of all the “Chosen Ones” in Chicago sports over the last 10-15 years, and how they’ve panned out. The fact that they are “Chosen Ones” is based on nothing more than my memory of media/fan hype at the time they joined their respective teams. Feel free to dissent, agree, or add more. I will update it with anyone that you guys can think of in the comments. Here goes:
Corey Patterson: The word on Patterson was that he was the next Lou Brock. After a good half season followed by an injury, his career sputtered out.
Mark Prior: The second pick in the draft behind Joe Mauer, Prior was amazing for a couple seasons, but injuries plagued his career. He was recently in camp with the Padres but *gasp* went down for the season with an injury.
Kerry Wood: Remember 1998? He was a rookie when he tied Clemens’ record for most strikeouts in a game with 20. He always had nagging injury problems and never developed into the Cy Young caliber pitcher everyone thought he could be. Eventually he was converted to a closer and he has had some success in that role.
Felix Pie: All you need to know is he was supposed to be the next Corey Patterson. Yikes.
Chicago White Sox
Gordon Beckham: All I hear Sox fans talk about is Gordon Beckham. The shortstop of the future they say. When he finally came up this season, he struggled a bit. Recently he has been hitting better though, and time will tell whether he pans out.
Joe Borchard: He was given the largest signing bonus in MLB draft history (until Justin Upton surpassed it). Unfortunately he only had one stint with the major league club, resulting in a .174 average. After bouncing around a bit the past couple years, he finally had to undergo Tommy John surgery last season
Josh Fields: Fields came up in August in 2007 and hit 23 home runs between then and the end of the season. Although he only hit .244, the City had high hopes for him. Unfortunately Crede came back from injury and started most of the 2008 season. Fields started this season at 3rd base, but due to poor hitting has been mostly relegated to the bench in recent weeks.
Brian Anderson: The next Willie Mays? Even I thought so after his ridiculous season in center field a couple years ago. He was suppsoed to be able to hit too, but unfortunately that never happened.
Jamal Crawford: The Bulls used a lottery pick on this guy, who was supposed to be an elite scorer. Unfortunately his poor poor defense and terrible shot selection doomed him to mediocrity. He was recently traded to the Atlanta Hawks, where I’m guessing he will score about 17 points a game while shooting 38% from the field.
Marcus Fizer: He was the big low post scoring presence the Bulls needed. Until he sucked. Terrible player.
Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler (Baby Bulls): Krause traded Elton Brand for the rights to select Chandler 2nd in the draft and then took Curry 4th. Curry never tried and Chandler never developed into the elite defensive/rebounding player he was supposed to be. Until he got traded to New Orleans of course.
Tyrus Thomas: John Paxson traded Aldridge for Tyrus on draft day and most people thought it was a great move. Tyrus is athletic and has a ton of upside and was only 19 years old. Oops. So far he has never taken the step from high talent/low IQ, and has been in all kinds of recent trade rumors.
Derrick Rose: Too early to tell, but most think he will be a perennial all-star at least and a hall of famer at best. We’ll see.
Curtis Enis: His ridiculous college numbers at Penn State did not translate into much of anything. He had a decent second season, almost breaking 1000 yards, but never made any noise in the NFL again.
Rashaan Salaam: After winning the Heisman in college, he rushed for 1,000 yards in his rookie season with the Bears. Everyone thought he was going to be a starter in the league for a long time. Too bad he could never cure his fumbleitis, and the injuries didn’t help.
Cade McNown: This quarterback from UCLA was going to be the best quarterback the Bears had since, well, ever. Or so people thought. He was young and perhaps did not deserve all the criticism and booing he got, but his performance on the field did not exactly light up any opposing defenses.
Rex Grossman: Oh the Sex Cannon. There’s not much to be said about him that hasn’t already been said. I love the guy, but he just couldn’t see over his line and made so many bad decisions. He was the quarterback that went to the Super Bowl in 2006, however (note how I didn’t say he “took” the Bears to the Super Bowl).
Brian Urlacher: Hey hey! Someone that actually panned out. He was a safety in college, but the Bears immediately moved him to outside linebacker and eventually to the middle. He was one of the dominant players at his position for the last decade.
David Terrell: The Bears needed receivers (sound familiar?) and turned to this standout from the University of Michigan. Someone forgot to tell us he couldn’t catch the ball though. Out of the league within a few years.
Jonathan Toews: Toews and Kane are pretty much inseparable in this discussion. The Hawks have finally begun to turn things around since old man Wirtz’s death. Toews had a stellar rookie season, scoring the second most goals on the team behind Kane. He was named a captain and helped lead the team to the Western Conference Finals this year.
Patrick Kane: Although he looks like he’s 12 and has a finesse (see: soft) game, he has been extremely effective for the Hawks. He won Rookie of the Year and continues to dazzle hockey fans. Also helped lead the Hawks to the Western Conference Finals alongside Toews this season.
Anyone Else from 1999-2006: I didn’t follow the team and I’m guessing most of you didn’t. I have no real memory of a “chosen one” from the Hawks during this time. If you can think of one let me know. We’ll call these “the lost years”.