Padres Draft: Best players drafted eighth overall

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Padres Draft, Jim Abbott
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Jim Abbott

Talk about making the most of yourself. Despite being born without a right hand, Jim Abbott played his collegiate baseball at the University of Michigan. He garnered the attention of the California Angels in the first round of the 1988 MLB Draft. More impressive, Abbott never saw time in the minors.

Instead, he joined the Angels rotation as a rookie for the 1989 season. He posted a 3.92 EA in 29 starts as a 21-year-old and finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting. Abbott had a breakout year in 1991, making 34 starts and posting a 2.89 ERA. He struck out 158 batters in 243.0 innings and finished third in Cy Young Award voting.

After the 1992 season, Abbott was traded to the Yankees and tossed a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians on September 4, 1993. After a brief stint with the Chicago White Sox, he returned to the California Angels. But things got progressively worse for him in the twilight of his career.

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He posted a 7.48 and MLB-worst 2-18 record for starting pitchers in 1996. Abbott peaked very early in his career, logging a 7.6 and 5.7 WAR at age 23 and 24, respectively. He accumulated a 19.7 WAR for his career while helping Team USA win a Gold Medal in the 1988 Olympic Games.