14. Arthur Rhodes
It seems odd to include an individual who pitched 20 years in the major leagues and was even named an All-Star reliever as a member of the Cincinnati Reds in 2010, but Rhodes was once regarded as the Orioles’ top pitching prospect before failing miserably as a starter in several opportunities.
The left-hander was a second-round pick in the 1988 draft and shot up the charts nationally as Baseball America’s No. 6 overall prospect in 1991 — ranked ahead of even the great Mike Mussina — and fifth-best overall prospect in 1992, but Rhodes could never put it together as a starter — posting a 5.81 ERA in 61 career starts — as he bounced back and forth between Baltimore and Triple-A Rochester for several years. He eventually found a home in the bullpen where he succeeded as a long reliever, winning 10 games and posting a 3.02 ERA in 1997.
Rhodes departed via free agency after the 1999 season and went on to have a long career working out of the bullpen, but a middle-relief role wasn’t remotely what the Orioles had in mind for the hard-throwing southpaw when he made his debut at Memorial Stadium in 1991. It’s not at all different from what the Orioles are currently experiencing with lefty reliever Brian Matusz, who appears destined to stay in the bullpen despite being a first-round pick in 2008.
Continue to next page for No. 13