Pittsburgh Pirates: 5 Pitchers that Broke the Hearts of Fans Since 2005
#3, Paul Maholm, 2005-2012
After his collegiate career, Paul Maholm was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2003 MLB Draft. He quickly rose through the Pirates' minor league system and made his MLB debut on August 30, 2005, against the Milwaukee Brewers. Maholm struggled in his first season, going 3-10 with a 5.53 ERA in 17 starts.
However, Maholm improved in his second season, going 8-10 with a 4.76 ERA in 29 starts. He continued to improve over the next few seasons, becoming a reliable starter for the Pirates. In 2008, Maholm had a breakout season, going 9-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 31 starts. He followed that up with a solid 2009 campaign, going 8-9 with a 4.44 ERA in 29 starts.
Maholm continued to pitch well for the Pirates, but the team struggled to compete, finishing with losing records every season from 2005 to 2011. In the 201-2012 offseason, the Pirates declined their option on the left-hander. Maholm would end up signing with the division rival Cubs later that offseason. A first-round pick, a lefty too, who just never reached their potential and was not even a trade chip for the team.