Here is where the meat of the draft comes. Not in the first round, but the later rounds. This draft produced a good number of serviceable Major League starters in the later rounds, including one hall of fame player.
21. Jamie Arnold – P (ATL / Stats) – Born on my birthday, March 24th if you plan on sending me a present, Arnold did not get his first shot at the bigs until 1999 with the Dodgers. He was eventually traded to the Cubs for Ismael Valdez.
22. Rick Helling – P (TEX / Stats) – Helling competed for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and went to Stanford University. His days are virtually over as a starting pitcher. He’s pitched lately out of the pen for Florida and Milwaukee and done a serviceable job. In his career, Helling has a career 93-81 record with an ERA of 4.68
23. Jason Kendall – C (PIT / Stats) – This is my favorite catcher in the game today. He also ranks very high on my list of overall favorite players of all time. I love his true grit attitude behind the plate. He always leads the majors in games caught and continues to hit the ball well as well as run. He is also almost always among the league leaders in hit-by-pitch. A three-time All Star, he has been in the top ten in batting three times. The year 2006 is his first year on a division-winning team. In my mind, there is no question that he will be a hall of fame inductee.
24. Eddie Pearson – 3B (CWS) – Never reached the majors after poking around in the Sox farm system for awhile.
26. Dan Serafini – P (MIN / Stats) – Drafted out of high school. Played for the Cubs for one year. Career ERA of 5.98 in his major league career.
27. John Burke – P (COL / Stats) – Rockies first pick gives them two bad years and is never heard from again. Not a good start. I’m not sure why Colorado and Florida were given the last two picks though.
28. Charles Johnson – C (FLA / Stats) – Everyone raves about CJ, but it’s certainly not for his bat. His 162 game average as a Catcher is .245 / .330 / .433 with 23 HR and 78 RBI. His strength has always been his fielding. He’s a 4-time NL Gold Glove winner, winning from 1995 to 1998. He was also part of the 1997 World Series winning Marlins team.
********** Other Notable Selections **********