Andy Benes was the first pick in the 1988 MLB Draft, chosen out of the University of Evansville by the San Diego Padres.
Rather than beginning his professional career that summer, though, Benes played with the Team U.S.A. baseball squad, helping them win a gold medal in the Seoul Olympics in September.
He would make his major league debut in August of 1989 after a quick run through the Padres’ minor league system, pitching well enough in less than half a season to finish fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting.
Benes would go on to win 155 games in the big leagues over the course of a 14-year career that spanned four franchises (Padres, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks).
Benes young brother, Alan, pitched in the majors for eight years.
After Alan Benes, the in the 1988 MLB Draft, the Cleveland Indians selected shortstop Mark Lewis, with pitchers Steve Avery (Atlanta Braves), Gregg Olson (Baltimore Orioles), and Bill Bene (Los Angeles Dodgers) rounding out the top 5 picks.
Mike Piazza, a 62nd-round choice by the Dodgers is the only member of the 1988 MLB Draft class who has made the Hall of Fame as of 2022.
All of Robin Ventura, Tino Martinez, Kenny Lofton, and Jim Edmonds all crafted careers worthy of at least consideration for enshrinement in Cooperstown, however.