Archive for November, 2006

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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    Drive-By Blogging

    Monday, November 13th, 2006

    As long as I’m in the neighborhood, thought I’d share a bit of this n that and then move on before my next cameo.

    Since I missed the official greeting somehow allow me to welcome the newest member of the VFTB staff, Nick Bettilyon! First Mastrick, now NBAD. Just goes to show, you comment enough, and sooner or later you get your own caricature and a key to the executive washroom. Helps if you can put two sentences, together, too. If you were a true Cubs fan, Nick you’d take that bag off yer head!

    Recently visited the Louisville Slugger Museum – well, I saw the gift shop and picked up a small bat with the Cub logo on it that any 7-year old would be proud of. Also saw the Big Bat out front. What a spectacle that is.


    It stands (er, leans) 120 ft. long and 9 ft. diameter at the base; 3 ft. 6 in. diameter at the handle with a 6 ft. 6 in. diameter knob. The total weight of the bat is approximately 68,000 pounds. The hollow interior has a 30,000 gallon capacity. The bat is constructed of ASTM A36 carbon steel. Awesome.

    Since we were visiting my brother and he was hungry and he was paying, we didn’t go through the museum and factory. I did however get my first Kentucky Brown which was delicious.

    Congratulations to Greg Maddux for winning yet another Gold Glove and to Zambrano for his Silver Slugger. Those gloves are pretty good size. Wonder where The Professor puts them all?

    In a less noteworthy vein, I see that Wood was re-signed. Why don’t they ever listen to me?

    Over the week-end I attended Ball State’s season opener over Northern Colorado. Neither team looked that good tho the Cardinals showed some good hustle. I was more disappointed in the third full gym. I am used to SRO and not being prompted by the announcer when to stand up and cheer. Again, the tickets were free so I can’t complain. A day out with the guys was way overdue.

    Tonight is IU’s first game of the season. Go Hoosiers! Only one year away from the big debut of Eric Gordon in the cream n crimson. Sorry, Joe. Couldn’t resist. Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers.

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    1991 Draft in Review (Part I of II)

    Monday, November 13th, 2006

    After looking at the 1990 class and seeing potential hall of fame players coming out of it, it would be easy to assume that was the norm. However, 1991 was a much weaker draft class on the whole. The biggest story involves the #1 overall selection. Before we get to that, I want to summarize what we saw from the 1990 draft.

    1990 1st Round breakdown
    High School Players – 16 (6 became ML starters)
    College Players – 10 (4 became ML starters)

    Potential Hall of Fame players in the draft – 4 (Mussina, C. Jones, Pettitte, Percival)

    1. Brien Taylor – LHP (NYY) – Taylor was a very hyped pitcher out of East Carteret High School in North Carolina. He signed for $1.55 million, which was huge at the time. His high school numbers look like this:

    29-6 with a 1.25 ERA, striking out 476 hitters in just 239 innings. That is just utterly ridiculous on the whole. Unfortunately for the Yankees, who had a very good draft in 1990, totally drafted a bust with this pick. Taylor missed the entire 1991 season due to contract negotiations stalling out. He had a very promising 1992 and 1993, pitching in A and AA respectively. After the season, his career took a turn for the worst as Taylor got in a fight outside of baseball and hurt his shoulder with the severity to need surgery. He never recovered fully enough to regain the zip on his fastball and and became very hittable. He bounced around the Yankee farm getting shelled until being released in 1999. He was out of baseball that year, never to be heard from again.

    2. Mike Kelly – OF (ATL / Stats) Drafted out of Arizona State University, a school that has produced MLB names like Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, and even Cub favorite Rick Monday, Kelly made it to the major leagues in 1994 with the Braves. In 30 games, he hit a promising .273. Unfortunately, the following year, he would fail to reach even the Mendoza line. That prompted the Braves to cut their losses and deal Kelly to the Reds for a pair of middle relievers in Chad Fox and Ray King. Not a bad deal if you ask me. He would bomb out in Cincy and be traded to the Devil Rays for Dimitri Young, who was actually pick two spots after Kelly

    3. David McCarty – OF (MIN / Stats) Drafted out of Stanford University. Other notable people to attend Stanford include: Mike Mussina, Jack McDowell, John Elway, and White Sox GM Kenny Williams. McCarty spent his career as a bench player with seven different teams over 11 seasons.

    4. Dimitri Young – 3b / OF (STL / Stats) We get our first meaningful contributor out of this class at number four. Dimitri was picked out of Rio Mesa High School in California. Young has been a starter in the majors since 1997 and was even selected to the All Star game with the Tigers in 2003. He has hit .289 with an on base percentage just a shade under .350 for his career. Baseball Reference compares him to players like Raul Ibanez, Jacque Jones, and Kevin Millar. Not superstars, but above average ballplayers that can help a team win. If only he could field.

    5. Kenny Henderson – RHP (MIL) Was drafted and never signed. He went to the University of Miami and entered the 1994 draft and was picked in the 2nd round by the Expos. He declined and returned for his senior year of school. In 1995 he was picked in the 5th round by the Padres. He never made it to the major leagues.

    6. John Burke – RHP (HOU / Stats) The second player in the draft to not sign comes at the number six spot out of the University of Florida. Burke re-entered the draft in 1992 and was picked by the Rockies. He played two short seasons in the majors for the Rockies with no success to speak of.

    7. Joe Vitiello – OF (KC / Stats) Vitiello attended the University of Alabama, which claims such names as Lance Cormier and Florida Marlin Taylor Tankersley. Vitiello broke into the majors in 1995 and was a bench player for 7 seasons with the Royals, Padres and the Expos. He finished his career with 172 hits and a career average of .248.

    8. Joey Hamilton – RHP (SD / Stats) Drafted out Georgia Southern University, which generally has a powerhouse IAA football program, Hamilton showed promise with the Padres, posting three straight double digit win seasons in 1996 to 1998. He was voted to the 1994 Topps Rookie All Star Roster for his performance. Other names on the list included Raul Mondesi, Manny Ramirez, and Javy Lopez. Hamilton would finish the good years of his career in 98 and never win more than 7 from that year on.

    9. Mark Smith – OF (BAL / Stats) Drafted out of USC, which has produced baseball names like Mark McGwire, Tom Seaver, Dave Kingman, Jacque Jones, and the golden boy, Mark Prior, Smith bounced around as a bench player for the Orioles, Pirates, Marlins, Expos and Brewers in a short 8 year career. He finished with a career average of .243.

    10. Tyler Green – RHP (PHI / Stats) The son of ex-pro football player Charles Green, Tyler was drafted in the first round of the 1991 draft, 10th overall out of Whichita State University (gotta love their logo). He never quite lived up to his first round status, partly because he was hampered by shoulder and elbow problems the first three years of his pro career. Overall, he had a career record of 18-25 with an ERA well over 5.

    Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the picks in round one as well as other notable selections from the 1991 draft.

    Complete Draft Series
    1990 Draft – Part I / Part II

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