Chris Gruler was strolling through Home Depot one February afternoon in 2006 when his cell phone rang. The news wasn’t good.

Gruler, a promising right-handed pitching prospect, had been drafted No. 1 (third overall) by the Reds in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. But after multiple shoulder surgeries and ill-fated comeback attempts, the Reds released him.

“It wasn’t something I had planned for,” Gruler said. “At first it was devastating. I felt like I let my family and friends down. I can’t imagine how many hours my parents put into Little League and showcases.”

Interesting article and a sad story.

5 Responses

  1. Jared

    I think football’s age rules help to negate this kind of thing from happening.. at least the kid would have a college education. Then again, without a real farm system, if anyone has a shot of making it in the NFL they are probably going to be making decent money right out of school, as opposed to whatever it is minor league baseball players get.

  2. daedalus

    College pitchers are often overused and abused, so that isn’t the answer.

    Every time I think of Gruler, the name Kazmir comes to mind, and I still cringe.

  3. Fire Dusty NOW

    We can all thank Mr. Bowden for that.

  4. Chris

    I agree, Daedalus. Still makes me mad.

  5. Mr. Redlegs

    You can thank Mr. Lindner. Reds didn’t have the money for Kazmir as Boras was asking for $5-$7 million and Kazmir, the top high school pitcher in the draft, fell all the way to No. 15. The Pirates had the No. 1 and took Bryan Bullinger . . . for $500,000. Kazmir signed with the Mets for $2.15 million, which was a lot at that time for someone out of the top 7-8. That was the Mets’ highest bonus ever at the time. The Reds would have never gotten Kazmir at No. 3 for the $2.5 mil they paid Gruler.