Archive for November, 2006

1992 Draft – Part II

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Yesterday we looked at the first 8 picks of the 1992 draft, which on the whole appears to be an alright draft, especially in the later rounds. Here is the next piece of the puzzle.

9. Preston Wilson – OF (NYM / Stats) – Something I didn’t know about Preston Wilson, who was picked out of high school, was that he played SS in high school and is the stepson of former Major Leaguer Mookie Wilson, who is the reigning Mookie of the Year Award, narrowly edging out Mookie Blalock from the NBA. Wilson had a great rookie year and finished 2nd in the ballot, behind Scott Williamson. For the most part, he has failed to live up to the hype and yet is still considered a major player in the league. The fact of the matter is, he doesn’t get on base at a high enough clip and strikes out way too much to be considered a major player. The Mets made a great move in trading him to the Marlins for Mike Piazza.

10. Michael Tucker – SS/2B (KC / Stats) – Played for the US in Barcelona. Tucker was picked out of Longwood University, which has produced no other major league talent. He’s had a serviceable career, his best year coming with the Giants in 2004.

11. Derek Wallace – P (CHC / Stats) – The pitcher out of Pepperdine University never even saw the field for the Cubs. They shipped him to Kansas City in a deal to bring in Brian McRae, who my friend Rob used to say was the “smartest player in baseball”. Unfortunately, I often wonder if Rob was a heavy drinker. =)

12. Ken Felder – OF (MIL) – Attended Florida State University but never made it to the Majors

13. Chad McConnell – OF (PHI) – competed for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, but never reached the major leagues, spending his entire professional career with either the Reading Phillies or the Clearwater Phillies. He debuted with the 1993 Clearwater team and hit .240/~.350/.377. In 1994 he batted .317/.410/.525 for Clearwater and .232/.308/.356 with Reading. The 1995 season was spent with Reading, where McConnell hit .276/~.332/.423. He finished his career with that club in 1996 with a .247/~.318/.444 with 119 strikeouts.

14. Ron Villone – P (SEA / Stats) – Competed for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Villone attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which has also produced the wonderful Jeff Reardon who was found not guilty by reason of insanity to the charge of armed robbery in 2005. Villone has spent time as a starter and as a reliever, most recently with the Yankees this past year.

15. Sean Lowe – P (STL / Stats) – Attended Arizona State but was not special in his major league career. Out of baseball by 2003.

16. Rick Greene – P (DET / Stats) – Attended LSU and pitched in only one major league game but his minor league career stretched from 1993 to 2000. He competed for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

17. Jim Pittsley – P (KC / Stats) – I don’t know much about this guy other than the fact that he was selected out of Dubois Area High School in Dubois, PA. He was a FA Compensation pick from the San Diego Padres.

18. Christopher Roberts – OF / P (NYM) – Competed for the United States at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. As a college senior that year he hit .286 with 12 homers and went 8-4 with a 2.34 ERA. He allowed one run in three innings in the Olympics. Currently, Roberts is a pitching coach at North Carolina State University.

19. Shannon Stewart – OF – (TOR / Stats) – Picked out of high school where he was a three-sport standout in track, baseball, and football. As a senior, he was an All-Dade County selection in baseball. As a junior, he was an All-Dade County selection in football. Stewart has been criticized for his poor arm in the outfield and his dwindling aggression on the bases, largely as the result of continued hamstring injuries. Shannon is often seen as a liability in the field; opposing base runners frequently take bases they might not take if another fielder were playing his position.

20. Benji Grigsby – P (OAK) – 9-3 in 26 games at San Diego State University in 1992 with 7 saves in 26 games and 107 SO in 79 IP. He never reached the Major Leagues.

Check back tomorrow for the rest of the 1992 draft…

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1992 Draft – Welcome COL & FLA

Monday, November 20th, 2006

After the turd 1991 draft, I was excited to get into a different year and do some research. 1992 appears to be a profitable draft in the first round. We also get our first look at the draft of Colorado and Florida as they enter the league thanks to expansion. In case you missed the other two drafts in the series, here are some links for you.

1990 Draft – Part I / Part II
1991 Draft – Part I / Part II / Part III

1. Phil Nevin – 3B (HOU / Stats) – I’m not sure what the hype was on Phil Nevin. My guess is that he was the most talented of all the college players in the eyes of the scouts. Five straight college players were taken to start the draft. None of them had as successful a career as Nevin. What I wonder though is what was the scouting report on Derek Jeter, who would be drafted out of high school and fall all the way to number 6 by the Yankees. How do five teams pass him up. He had to be talented. Nevin has gone on to be an oft-injured journeyman hot corner guy. He’s not going to make the hall of fame and he has never really been a difference maker. I wonder what things would have been like for the Astros had they selected differently.

2. Paul Shuey – P (CLE / Stats) – Picked out of on of my top three most hated universities, North Carolina, Shuey seems like a waste of a number two pick. Even if he went on to play to his hype, why waste a pick on a middle reliever when there are hitters and starting pitchers on the board. I’m confused on that one.

3. B. J. Wallace – P (MON) – Selected out of Mississippi State University, Wallace competed for the United States at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Unfortunately, shoulder issues prevented him from ever reaching the big leagues.

4. Jeffrey Hammonds – OF (BAL / Stats) – A teammate of Mike Mussina at Stanford, Hammonds competed for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics where he batted .414. Was the first 1992 draftee to make the Majors. Hammonds was selected in the 9th round of the 1989 draft by the Blue Jays but opted to attend Stanford instead. He would play for the Orioles, Reds, Rockies, Brewers, Giants, and end his career in 2005 with the Washington Nationals.

5. Chad Mottola – OF (CIN / Stats) Mattola played for the University of Central Florida, which has produced Mike Maroth and Esix Snead. He played sparingly in the majors, never really making a splash. He’s been signed and released his fair share of times and even saw some action in 2006 for the Blue Jays.

6. Derek Jeter – SS (NYY / Stats) – The Yankees get the prize of the Draft and it comes as the first high school player picked in this year’s draft. They were great in the 1990 draft as well. Now, they get another. In my mind, Jeter is a first ballot Hall of Fame player if he retired right now. He’s got four World Series rings, an 8 time all-star, 1996 Rookie of the Year in the AL, just to name a few of his accomplishments. He’s got 2150 hits and a career average of .317 and on base % of .388. Oh yeah, he’s only 32 years old.

7. Calvin Murray – OF / 3B (SF / Stats) – Another olympian for the US team in 1992. Murray played for the University of Texas, which for the most part tends to be a powerhouse in the College baseball scene. The biggest name to come out of the school is probably Roger Clemens, unless you want to make a case for Pinky Higgins. I’m a little surprised that they haven’t produced more hall of fame type players in their history. Murray hasn’t amounted to much, but he did spend a brief time with the Cubs. He fit right in, hitting .200 in five at bats.

8. Pete Janicki – P (ANA) – Selected out of the University of California, Janicki never made it to the majors.

Part II tomorrow…

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Cubs Sign Soriano

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

ESPN is reporting that the Cubs have signed Soriano to an 8 year deal worth $136 million.

Wow!!! That’s all that I can think of at this moment.

When we re-signed Ramirez, I figured that it meant we were planning on focusing on the pitching from here on out. I guess I was wrong. This signing would lead me to believe that the Cubs plan to go with Matt Murton and Ryan Theriot as well as some other young guys for the rest of the spots due to money concerns. Then again, the way the Cubs are buying this off-season, can we be certain of anything? I wouldn’t be surprised to read in the next few days that the Cubs have brought in Zito or Carlos Lee as well. Good god Hendry, where have you been all my life? Keep up the good work.

Read about it

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Big Name or Many Names?

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

This morning I was thinking about what the best plan for Jim Hendry would be in terms of the pitching staff. We have a few guys that have potential to play well in Rich Hill, Wade Miller, Sean Marshall, etc. Would you rather see Jim Hendry go after one big fish in Jason Schmidt or Barry Zito and count on the guys we have to fill the rest. OR, would you rather see Hendry go after two smaller pitchers like Vicente Padilla and Jason Marquis and use the Zito / Schmidt money to go after Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano?

I think i’d rather see two pitchers and a hitter than see one big pitcher like Zito or Schmidt. What are your thoughts?

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He’s back…

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Hello boys and girls, it’s Hendry the Clown again! We had a terrible 2006, most people in baseball suggested we should add a couple of bonafide starters, a power hitting outfielder, an infielder with some offensive zip and a good bat off the bench. Know what I’m going to do? I’m going to ignore all of that and continue with our Attack of the Super Clones, spending major bucks on utility players and backups! Of course we won’t have enough money for two decent pitchers so guess what, I’m gonna turn Jason Marquis around and make Neil Cotts a starter – I can wave my magic GM’s wand and it will happen!

And then I’ll get Gil Meche to fill out the rotation, we’ll just kill ’em with Zambrano, Hill, Miller, Gil Meche and Cotts! My big move will be to sign Soriano to play center, I really loved his attitude about moving to left field so I’m gonna move him to center! Of course, he’s never played center before, but who cares? He can steal bases, therefore he must be capable of playing center.

Well that’s it for now boys and girls, don’t forget who your favorite clown is, it’s ME! Hendry the Clown!

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Donald Veal Interview

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Recently, I ran across an interview with one of Mark’s favorite Cubs prospects, Donald Veal. Veal pitched great last year in A and high A ball.

In two minor league seasons, his numbers look like this:

12-8 with a 2.37 ERA in 37 starts. He has a WHIP of 1.13 and a K’s/9 IP of 10.30. The concern I have is the 4.73 BB / 9 IP, but hopefully that will continue to improve.

In the meantime, take a look at the interview from Project Prospect on Donald Veal. I’ll try to catch up with him this season, assuming he is pitching for the Tenn Smokies (AA) this season.

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1991 Draft in Review (Part III of III)

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

16. Shawn Green – OF (TOR / Stats) Drafted out of high school, he made his debut in the Majors at the age of 20. He finished 5th in the ROY balloting with the Blue Jays in ’95 behind Marty Cordova, Garrett Anderson, Andy Pettitte, and Troy Percival. He was the only one of the five that did not receive a first place vote. Some have knocked Green for not playing on Yom Kippur, but I applaud the stance he’s always taken on that issue. Green has turned into your typical above average outfielder with a seasoning of a couple monster years. At the age of 33, he could have 5 or so years left in him. He’s not going to get to 3000 hits, but 400 HR and 2500 hits isn’t out of the question. I think he’s a borderline potential hall of fame candidate based on what he can accomplish in the twilight of the career.

17. Eduardo Perez – 1B (ANA – Stats) Drafted out of Florida State University, which has supprisingly not produced very many notable names. The main two I could find were Deion Sanders and J.D. Drew. Unless you consider Larry Rothschild a superstar. Perez has served as primarily a backup and has failed to duplicate the production of his Hall of Fame papa, Tony Perez.

18. Alfred Shirley – OF (NYM) Drafted out of High School, Shirley played in the Mets and Royals organization. He failed to make it past AA before being released.

19. Benji Gil – SS (TEX / Stats) Benji Gil was the first Mexican native to be picked in the first round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. To be honest, i’m not sure how he stuck around as long as he did. His numbers were not good.

20. Pokey Reese – SS (CIN / Stats) Reese is a two time NL Gold Glove winner (1999 & 2000) He has also won a World Series ring with the Red Sox in 2004. I’ve always liked him as a player, but for the most part, he’s just a clone of the millions of other no-hit, good field SS that come from south of the US border.

21. Allen Watson – LHP (STL / Stats) What cracks me up about this one is the school he went to. I had never heard of it before doing the research for this post. He went to the New York Institute of Technology, which has produced such products as, well, no one. Allen Watson has the most career Major League AB’s of all the products of that school and he was a pitcher. Here is the breakdown of the school.

22. Brian Barber – RHP (STL / Stats) Back to back picks for the Cards and neither of them turn into winners. Barber was picked out of Dr. Phillips High School (Where do they get these names?) He made it to the majors briefly, but nothing to really write home about. What makes me laugh is the baseball card picture of him. Is it just me, or does this card look like a cheesy one you see on people’s refrigerators of their son’s little league team?

23. Aaron Sele – RHP (BOS / Stats) Picked out of Washington State, which has produced Ron Cey and John Olerud, Sele has quietly turned in a pretty good career. He’s 36 now, so 200 wins is out of the question. However, I would rule 160 to 170 out of the question if he can stay healthy and pitch with a good offense behind him. Not a hall of fame pitcher, but overall, not a bad pick here. His best years were with Texas though. He was traded to the Rangers in ’97 along with Mark Brandenburg and Bill Haselman for Damon Buford and Jim Leyritz.

24. Jon Farrell – C/OF (PIT) I can’t find a single thing about this guy other than the school he came from, which was Florida Community College. All I know is that he never reached the big leagues. What I did find was a heck of a picture of him. Gotta love that afro. Maybe that had something to do with his lack of success.

25. Scott Ruffcorn – RHP (CWS / Stats) He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 39th round of the 1988 amateur draft, but did not sign. Usually when guys don’t sign, they don’t jump this much. Ruffcorn was impressive enough to move into the back end of round 1 out of Baylor University. He signed the day after the draft. He pitched for the White Sox and made nine total starts. He failed to ever win a Major League game, going 0-8.

26. Brent Gates – SS (OAK / Stats) I couldn’t seem to find out why this guy just up and quit playing baseball at the age of 29. He was not a bad hitter (career .264) and even had two seasons over .280. If someone knows something about him, please fill me in. He is a Golden Gopher, from the university of Minnesota. I think Minnesota is probably the quietest team in all of the Big Ten. Not that it has anything to do with anything.

Other Notable Names From the 1991 Draft

  • Brad Radke – RHP – Picked in the 8th round by the Twins. His career has ended too soon due to a partially torn labrum this year. (Stats)
  • Jason Isringhausen – RHP – Picked in the 44th round by the New York Mets, he was hyped up like crazy as being part of the next generation of New York Mets’ superstars. At the time, Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, and Izzy were all in the minor leagues. Good call on that one. Izzy has turned into a wicked closer though. Plus, he’s from Barrington, IL. Can you really go wrong there? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him to get 400 saves before hanging up the spikes. (Stats) So that’s it. 1991 draft on a whole was a lot less productive and has only produced two potential Hall of Fame guys in Manny and Izzy. What are your thoughts on this draft?
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    Let’s get ‘er done!

    Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

    I’m totally perplexed as to why I’m not reading anything about Hendry talking with Carlos Lee. Lee would gladly take a paycut (compared to what he could get) and a four year contract to come back to Chicago, and he is an absolute terror in Wrigley Field.

    And what’s all this talk about Soriano playing center? He’s never played center to my knowledge, can he play goalie too? Khabibulin’s hurt, maybe he’s another Deion Sanders. Here’s a guy that blatantly refused to play left field when his Hall of Fame manager asked him to. And the Cubs are gonna spend a hundred million for him to play a position that he’s never played before…what kind of insanity is that?

    Come on people, let’s get real. Carlos Lee has hit 100 homeruns in three years, he’s averaged a .348 on base percentage over the last three years so I could see him leading off more than I could see Soriano playing center. Not that I’m recommending that, mind you. C-Lee has averaged 110 RBIs per year during that time horizon and has played in 153, 162 and 161 games per season. So what are we waiting for Mr. Hendry?

    I’m hopeful that the Cubs will do the right thing and sign this guy. If necessary, give Dave Roberts a two year contract and use Felix Pie on a callup basis in center when Roberts can’t play. Add these moves and get Cliff Lee and Kei Igawa for the rotation and I’ll pick the Cubs for second in the Central and a fightin’ chance for the divisional title!

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    1991 Draft in Review (Part II of III)

    Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

    The first 10 picks in this draft were not nearly as good as the picks in the rest of the round. Overall, the 1991 draft was not as good.

    11. Shawn Estes – LHP (SEA / Stats) Estes becomes the first pitcher in this draft class to actually make something of his Major League career. Drafted out of Douglas High School in Nevada, Estes is one win away from 100 for his career. I remember going to a game against the Braves when Estes was pitching. I was mad that he was who I got to see pitch. However, he dominated that game and made it very exciting.

    12. Doug Glanville – OF (CHI / Stats) – This pick seems like a good one until you realize what the Cubs could have gotten with just a little better scouting. Doug Glanville is that rarest of creatures, an Ivy Leaguer who majored in engineering and was also successful in the major leagues. His senior engineering project at the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania was a transportation-feasibility study for a proposed baseball stadium on the site of the Philadelphia post office at 30th Street. Doug Glanville had a short appearance, as himself, in the 2001 movie Summer Catch starring Freddie Prinz Jr. As of the summer of 2005, he was a managing partner for a real estate company in Chicago, as well as a member of the Board of Overseers for Penn’s College of Engineering.

    13. Manny Ramirez – OF (CLE / Stats) – Here we get our first potential hall of fame player from this class. In high school, Manny Ramirez was named to the All-City team in 1989, 1990 and 1991 and was the New York City Public Schools High School Player of the Year in 1991, when he batted .615 with 14 homers in 22 games. In 1999 he was inducted into the New York City Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame with Bobby Thomson, John Franco, Shawon Dunston and Nate “Tiny” Archibald.

    14. Cliff Floyd – OF (MON / Stats) This is a guy that I often wonder what might have been. Injuries have limited Cliff Floyd to only four seasons of 145 or more games, but when healthy he is a dangerous left-handed slugger. In his career he has five seasons of 20 or more home runs and two seasons with 30 or more. In 2005 Floyd set a career high with 34 home runs for the New York Mets.

    15. Tyrone Hill – LHP – (MIL) Picked out of Yucaipa High School in California. Never made it to the big leagues.

    I had anticipated doing this draft in two parts, but I wasn’t feeling well last night so this was as far as I got. I’ll finish the 1991 draft off on Wednesday and move on to 1992 on Monday.

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