Will the Real Mr. Irrelevant Please Stand Up?


Admittedly, this article is a few days late, but please forgive the author; he’s been doomed to a life without a decent working computer thanks in large part to a rather malicious malware (I’m looking at you, Mr. Creator of the XP Antivirus 2012 Malware!).  But, as they say: better late than never.

Cheta Ozougwu, the former defensive end out of Rice, was ceremoniously dubbed this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant”, a name reserved for the player taken with the final pick in the NFL draft.  Along with the title, Ozougwu gained a certain amount of notoriety as well: He was featured in numerous articles on ESPN, Yahoo!, and Fox Sports.

Sort of ironic, isn’t it?

Cheta Ozougwu, who fell to the 254th pick in the draft, earned a rather dubious nickname all the while gaining more attention than any player outside of the first two – maybe three – rounds.

Ozougwu isn’t “Mr. Irrelevant.”  No, not even close.  Meet Matt Buschmann, the final pick in the most recent draft – the Double-A Phase of the Rule Five Draft.

Buschmann’s career has been filled with both ups and down, though it has been mostly downs for the past three seasons.  His career began like many before him: a middle-to-late round pick – fifteenth round, to be exact.  As a college hopeful, he was just looking to carve a niche in the ever humbling world of baseball.  And, unsurprisingly, his early results in the Padres system were strong.  From 2006 through 2008, he posted a 2.98 ERA with a 26 – 16 record and decent peripherals: 7.3 SO/9 and 2.4 BB/9.  Since then, however, he’s thrown 366 innings of 5.68-ball and less-than-stellar peripherals (6.6 SO/9 and 3.4 BB/9).

The problem?  His age.

Buschmann’s career began at the ripe old age of 22, one year older than Albert Pujols’ age at the time of his big league career (sorry to bring him up, Cardinal fans), and he’s been old for every level of competition.  And it finally caught up with him in 2009, his first stint in Triple-A.

Buschmann’s career will likely peter out within the next few seasons; at this point he’s nothing more than an organizational soldier, a spare right wing, a 27-year-old baseball player doomed towards the back of any pitching staff. But with Washington’s selection in the Double-A phase of the Rule Five Draft, Matt Buschmann became baseball’s – no, of all sports – Mr. Irrelevant.


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