15. Mike Adamson
Selected with the first overall pick of the 1967 June secondary draft, the 19-year-old pitcher became the first player to go straight to the majors after being drafted — the amateur draft began in 1965 — and the last Oriole to go directly to the majors after signing as a professional but clearly wasn’t ready when he arrived in Baltimore.
Nicknamed “Cash” after being awarded a hefty $100,000 package, Adamson made just three appearances with the Orioles in 1967 before being sent to the minors. He made just 11 major league appearances over three years — posting a 7.46 ERA — before suffering a serious shoulder injury in 1970, which all but ended his career despite pitching in the minors through the 1971 season.
Despite his talent never coming to fruition, Adamson was thought so highly of that he was protected in the 1968 expansion draft while another starting pitcher injured for much of the 1967 and 1968 seasons, future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, was initially left exposed. That nugget alone tells you how highly the Orioles thought of Adamson and how much he failed in living up to the hype.
Continue to next page for No. 14