Before the Miami Marlins hit home runs on Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich in the first round, the team had a long run of drafting first round busts, from 2001 to 2010. Included busts in that period were Jeremy Hermida, Jeffrey Allison, Chris Volstad, Matt Dominguez, Kyle Skipworth, and Chad James.
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Chad James was the Marlins first round pick during the 2009 MLB draft. He was a big time miss for the Fish, as just 5 picks later, Mike Trout was selected by the Angels.
Six years later, the Marlins are still agonizing on the James pick, as Trout continues to post numbers that emulate the all-time greats of the sport. James on the other hand was suspended on Tuesday due to amphetamine use, according to Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk.
- Free agent Minor League pitcher Chad James, a 50-game suspension after testing positive for an amphetamine
On April 1st of last season, the Marlins decided to part ways with their former first round pick. James posted a 5.74 ERA and a 4.55 FIP in 53 1/3 innings in Low-A in his final season with the Marlins organization, in 2013.
He was scooped up by the Texas Rangers shortly after the Marlins parted ways with the left hander and he didn’t do much to impress with the Rangers. In 42 2/3 innings, James posted a 2.74 ERA, which was camouflaged by a hideous 4.69 FIP in High-A for the Rangers organization.
James was still a free agent at the time of his suspension and at 24 years of age with no sustained success in his pro career, James is likely headed out of baseball for good, following his suspension.
Part of the Marlins lack of success following their 2003 world series championship can be attributed to the team’s lack of putting together a strong draft class. An infusion of top prospects could have helped the teams from 2004 and 2005 off-set some of the regression from the older players and helped the 2009 team fill holes on their major league roster.
While the names of Jeremy Hermida and Chris Volstad are considered two of the bigger busts in Marlins franchise history, it’s important to note they are better remembered as busts because they had more successful careers than James. Each at least reached the Majors at some point and had a bit of success. The same cannot be said for James and that’s very unlikely to change.