Darren Dreifort

Top Ten LA Dodger Bums 6: Darren Dreifort (Bumfort)

We go from South Korea to Wichita State University for our next guy on the all time Top Ten LA Dodger Bum List.  Darren James Dreifort (Bumfort) was born in 1972 in Wichita, Kansas. He went to high school there, and was drafted out of high school in 1990 by the Mets. Dreifort declines, instead choosing to attend Wichita State.  As a College pitcher, Dreifort was one of the best. He was a two time consensus all-American and the 1993 NCAA player of the year. As a Collegiate for Wichita State he was 25-6 with a 2.24 ERA. For his great Collegiate career he was inducted into the Kansas state sports hall of fame.

Perhaps he should have just saved himself the trouble and retired right then and there. Once Dreifort donned a Dodger Blue uniform, he became one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory. He is also the number 6 all time LA Dodger Bum……..

Darren Dreifort  (Bumfort)

Darren Dreifort was drafted in the first round and the second overall pick behind Alex Rodriguez in 1993 by the Dodgers.

Dreifort was so hyped that the Dodgers chose to promote him to the Majors right away. As a result of their decision, Dreifort never played a game in the minors in his life. Dreifort was one of the few players to ever go straight from college to the majors. So you can imagine the immense hype that was surrounding Dreifort.

Dreifort made his MLB debut on April 7, 1994 against the Marlins. He worked a scoreless inning of relief in his first outing. The rest of his first year, Dreifort was nothing short of god-awful. He appeared in 27 games, was 0-5, and finished with an ERA of 6.21.

After the 1994 season, the injuries began to pile up. Dreifort didn’t pitch at all in 1995. Dreifort became a medical insurance administrator’s best friend succumbing to so many injuries. It at times seemed like he lived on the disabled list, or at least was receiving mail there. Dreifort returned to the Dodgers Bullpen in 1996. That year he pitched in 19 games. He was 1-4 with a 4.94 ERA.

In 1997 Dreifort pitched mainly as a setup man, and pitched effectively. This was his best and only good year, going 5-2 with a 2.86 ERA and 4 saves. He struck out 63 batters in 53 innings of work. Things were going well for Dreifort at that time, and he had managed to stay off the DL, at least for the moment it seemed.

Then for some reason the Dodgers decided to try and make him a starter. Brilliant. He was of course underwhelming. In 1998 Drefort’s first year as a starter, he finished 8-12 with an ERA of 4.00. However he did pitch 180 innings and whiff 168 batters.

Over the next two seasons, Dreifort pitched as a starter for the Dodgers, and pitched inconsistently.  In 1999 Dreifort was 13-13 with a 4.79 ERA in 178 innings. In 2000 Dreifort put up a record of 12-9 and an ERA of 4.16. He pitched 192 innings and whiffed 164. Then cue the ridiculous contract. The Dodgers fearing that another team would sign Dreifort, signed him to a ludicrous 55 million dollar contract. Don’t ask me why in the world they would do this.

In 2001 Dreifort began to pitch terrible. By July he was 4-7 with a 5.13 ERA, and had a walk per nine rate of 4.5. Then cue the injuries. He had to have complete elbow reconstructive surgery. The injuries wouldn’t end there though. Then it was his hip, then his knee, then his shoulder….etc….etc…..

The elbow surgery caused him to miss the entire 2002 season. Dreifort returned in 2003, but man was he terrible. He looked like a shell of his former self, and that’s not saying much.

The Dodgers learned that Dreifort had some kind of degenerative condition that damaged his tissues in his body.  Dreifort was also diagnosed with a deformed femur that caused him a lot of hip problems. The Dodgers also found out Dreifort had contracted the following diseases during his contract: Bubonic plague, as well as lepracy, and small pox.  In 2003 Dreifort only pitched in 10 games for the Dodgers, posting a 4-4 record and a 4.04 ERA.

The next season the doctors advised the Dodgers that Dreifort could not in any way pitch as a starter or his arm would fall off or dissolve into goo. The Dodgers put him back in the bullpen for the 2004 season.

Dreifort would pitch in 60 games that year in what would be his last season, he was 1-4 with a 4.44 ERA, and  in 50 innings of work he whiffed 63 batters. That was all his feeble body could take. The Dodgers would never see him pitch again. What did 55 million dollars get them? Dreifort’s career record of 48-60, a 4.36 ERA, and an awful 4.0 career walk rate. Not too mention 11 meaningless saves. All total Dreifort is reported to have had 20 major surgeries during his futile pitching career. We salute you Darren, you are the 6th worst LA Dodger ever. Dreifort currently lives in the Pacific Palisades and works as a minor league instructor for the Dodgers.

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