I am a sports and music fanatic from Farmington, CT, currently attending Saint Joseph's University in Connecticut. I am mainly interested in College Basketball, CIAC High School Basketball, and Major League Baseball, though I follow just about all sports closely.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rewriting the Draft: Major League Baseball 1998
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I have decided to do a series that will "re-write" different draft classes from certain major league sports. Baseball, to me, is the most interesting because it is the most difficult to pick. I will be rearranging the picks of the 1st round (including the compensation picks) of the somewhat unspectacular 1998 draft. I will only be looking at those players chosen in the 1st round, although there are definately some more deserving picks later in the draft. The players who did not sign, will be placed at the end of the draft.

1. Philadelphia Phillies
Who They Picked: 1B Pat Burrell- Miami (FL)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP C.C Sabathia- Vallejo High School (CA)
Why: Burrell was far from being a bad pick, or a draft "bust" with the #1 overall. He was a superstar for Miami in College and was the obvious pick. C.C., on the other hand, was a highly touted high school pitcher, who had already signed to play Tight End at Hawaii. That being said, while Burrell has turned in a solid career for the Phillies and Rays, Sabathia has developed in to the most dominant (and expensive) pitchers in baseball.

2. Oakland Athletics
Who They Picked: SP Mark Mulder- Michigan State
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Mark Mulder- Michigan State
Why: Mulder's career was short, during his prime with the Oakland Athletics he was a dominant part of their "Big 3". Mark finished 2nd in the 2001 Cy Young after winning 21 games, and made it to two all-star games in his injury-shortened career.

3. Chicago Cubs
Who They Picked:  CF Corey Patterson- Harrison HS (GA)
Who They Should Have Picked: 1B Carlos Peña- Northeastern
Why: Patterson was an incredibly talented centerfielder, who, despite underachieving throughout his career, was still a reliable player at times for the Cubs and Orioles. Peña, though, has developed into one of baseball's premier sluggers, after struggling to live up to his bigtime prospect status early in his career.

4. Kansas City Royals
Who They Picked: SP Jeff Austin- Stanford
Who They Should Have Picked: RF J.D Drew- Florida State
Why: Drew's character and passion for the game have been questioned ever since he failed to come to terms with the Phillies after the 1997 draft. But despite that, he has turned in quite a solid career while managing to get both the cities of Boston and Philadelphia to despise him. Jeff Austin was a bust, playing just parts of three seasons in the big leagues, with little success.

5. St. Louis Cardinals
Who They Picked: RF J.D. Drew- Florida State
Who They Should Have Picked: CF Aaron Rowand- Cal State Fullerton
Why: Aaron Rowand has been the ultimate dirt-dog for all three teams he's played for so far in his career. Despite running into injury problems because of his hard play, Rowand has had a quality career, especially during his years with the White Sox and Phillies.

6. Minnesota Twins
Who They Picked: SP Ryan Mills- Arizona State
Who They Should Have Picked: LF Pat Burrell- Miami (FL)
Why: First player picked that did not ever play in the majors, Mills can be described as a "bust". As mentioned before, Burrell has turned in a solid, but unspectacular career.

7. Cincinnati Reds
Who They Picked: OF Austin Kearns- Lafayette HS (KY)
Who They Should Have Picked: RP Brad Lidge- Notre Dame
Why: Kearns was a big-time high school prospect for the Reds, that made his way to a few solid big league season, but never fully lived up to his complete potential. Lidge on the other hand, has been the most inconsistent reliever in baseball, but has been an all-star and helped win a World Series for the Phillies.

8. Toronto Blue Jays
Who They Picked: SS Felipe Lopez- Lake Brantley HS (FL)
Who They Should Have Picked: SS Felipe Lopez- Lake Brantley HS (FL)
Why: Felipe has been a very reliable, and underappreciated infielder in the majors for the last decade or so. He had an all-star appearance in 2005, and has over 1,000 career hits. He is by no means a superstar, but definately a quality big leaguer.

9. San Diego Padres
Who They Picked: 3B Sean Burroughs- Woodrow Wilson HS (CA)
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Austin Kearns- Lafayette HS (KY)
Why: Burroughs, similar to Kearns, was a big high school position player who looked to be a future star. While neither really panned out, Kearns hit 107 HR's to Burrough's 11.

10. Texas Rangers
Who They Picked: 1B Carlos Peña- Northeastern
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Jeff Weaver- Fresno State
Why: Jeff Weaver, though the weaker of two brothers, has been in and out of major league rotations since being called up in 1999. He should win his 100th game this year, and while he's been shaky at times, he has had a long, solid career.

11. Montreal Expos
Who They Picked: SS Josh McKinley- Malvern Prep (PA)
Who They Should Have Picked: CF Corey Patterson- Harrison HS (GA)
Why: McKinley was the 2nd player drafted who never reached the big show. Patterson, as mentioned before, turned in a few solid seasons with the Cubs despite never reaching his true potential.

12. Boston Red Sox
Who They Picked: SS Adam Everett- South Carolina
Who They Should Have Picked: RP Matt Thornton- Grand Valley State (MI)
Why: Thornton didn't get the call to the big leagues until he was 27 years old with Seattle, but has developed into a very solid reliever for the White Sox.

13. Milwaukee Brewers
Who They Picked: SP J.M. Gold- Toms River North HS (NJ)
Who They Should Have Picked: SS Adam Everett- South Carolina
Why: J.M. Gold was a promising young pitcher who fell victim to arm injuries, therefore losing all of his stuff and struggling in his minor league career. Everett has been a big league shortstop with three teams, and while unspectacular offensively, he has played solid enough baseball to stay at the big leagues.

14. Detroit Tigers
Who They Picked: SP Jeff Weaver- Fresno State
Who They Should Have Picked SP Kip Wells- Baylor
Why: Wells had a decent career bumping between the rotation and bullpen of a number of different teams. His best year probably came in 2003 with Pittsburgh, when he finished 10-9 with a 3.28 ERA.

15. Pittsburgh Pirates
Who They Picked: 1B Clint Johnston- Vanderbilt
Who They Should Have Picked: LF/1B Brad Wilkerson- Florida
Why: The Pirates never seem to make very good decisions on draft days, and Johnston was one of those mistakes. Wilkerson had some good years as a power hitter for the Montreal Expos in the early 21st century years.

16. Chicago White Sox
Who They Picked: SP Kip Wells- Baylor
Who They Should Have Picked: CF Jason Tyner- Texas A&M
Why: Tyner made things happen throughout his career despite displaying absolutely no power. He only had one career home run in 1358 at-bats, but was a key member of the speedy "piranhas" on the Twins in 2006-2007.

17. Houston Astros
Who They Picked: RP Brad Lidge- Notre Dame
Who They Should Have Picked: 3B Sean Burroughs- Woodrow Wilson HS (CA)
Why: Burroughs was a bust for the Padres because of his lack of power, but put up a solid average during his two years as the starter.

18. Anaheim Angels
Who They Picked: SP Seth Etherton- Southern California
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Seth Etherton- Southern California
Why: Etherton was never very good, but made starts for four different teams in four different years from 2000-2006.

19. San Francisco Giants
Who They Picked: OF Tony Torcato- Woodland HS (CA)
Who They Should Have Picked: RP Nate Bump- Penn State University
Why: Well, Bump would still be picked by the Giants later in the 1st round, but his three average seasons as a major league reliever bump him up to their first pick.

20. Cleveland Indians
Who They Picked: SP C.C. Sabathia- Vallejo HS (CA)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Nate Cornejo- Wellington HS (KS)
Why: I think Cleveland is happy about how their 1998 draft went. Sabathia looks a bit better than Cornejo right now.

21. New York Mets
Who They Picked: OF Jason Tyner- Texas A&M
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Bubba Crosby- Rice
Why: Crosby was a solid bench player for the Yankees for a few years, but didn't do much afterwards.

22. Seattle Marines
Who They Picked: RP Matt Thornton- Grand Valley State (MI)
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Choo Freeman- Dallas Christian School (TX)
Why: Not only does Raphael Freeman have an awesome nickname, he also played three seasons as a speedster off the bench for Colorado.

23. Los Angeles Dodgers
Who They Picked: OF Bubba Crosby- Rice
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Eric Valent- UCLA
Why: Valent himself admitted that his college success was in large part due to the aluminum bats used, but still managed to become a solid pinch hitter for the Phillies and Mets.

24. New York Yankees
Who They Picked: OF Andy Brown- Richmond HS (IN)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Chris George- Klein HS (TX)
Why: Andy Brown was a high school prospect that bombed for the Yankees, hitting .228 in 8 minor league seasons. George made it to the major leagues, but struggled as a member of the Royals rotation, and hasn't been back to the big show since.

25. San Francisco Giants
Who They Picked: RP Nate Bump- Penn State
Who They Should Have Picked: RP Matt Roney- Edmond North HS (OK)
Why: Roney made it to the major leagues on a few different occations, but never did enough to cement his spot there, and spent most of his time dominating in AAA.

26. Baltimore Orioles
Who They Picked: 1B/OF Rick Elder- Sprayberry HS (GA)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Jeff Austin- Stanford
Why: Elder bombed as a prospect for the Orioles, never making it past A+, but Austin at least hit the big leagues.

27. Florida Marlins
Who They Picked: OF Chip Ambres- West Brook HS (TX)-----DID NOT SIGN
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Tony Torcato- Woodland HS (CA)
Why: Torcato was the last available player who made it to the major leagues. He spent parts of four seasons on the Giants bench.

28. Colorado Rockies
Who They Picked: RP Matt Roney- Edmond North HS (OK)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Mike Nannini- Green Valley HS (NV)
Why: Nannini had a long career in the minor leagues with a number of organizations, but never cracked the majors.

29. San Francisco Giants
Who They Picked: OF Arturo McDowell- Forest Hill Community HS (CA)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Jeff Urban- Ball State
Why: The 6'8" Urban was a top prospect for the Giants, but never got the call to the big leagues after two years in AAA.

30. Kansas City Royals
Who They Picked: P Matt Burch- Virginia Commonwealth
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Ryan Mills- Arizona State
Why: Mills, the #6 overall pick, was the last available to even play at the AAA level.

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SUPPLEMENTAL PICKS

31. Kansas City Royals
Who They Picked: SP Chris George- Klein HS (TX)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP/1B Clint Johnson- Vanderbilt


32. St. Louis Cardinals
Who They Picked: P Ben Diggins- Bradshaw Mountain HS (AZ)- DID NOT SIGN
Who They Should Have Picked: SS Josh McKinley- Malvern Prep (PA)

33. Montreal Expos
Who They Picked: 1B/OF Brad Wilkerson- Florida
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Matt Burch- Virginia Commonwealth

34. Detroit Tigers
Who They Picked: SP Nate Cornejo- Wellington HS (KS)
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Mamon Tucker- Stephen F. Austin HS (TX)

35. Chicago White Sox
Who They Picked: CF Aaron Rowand- Cal State Fullerton
Who They Should Have Picked: RP Chris Jones- Mecklenberg HS (NC)

36. Colorado Rockies
Who They Picked: CF Choo Freeman- Dallas Christian School (TX)
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Andy Brown- Richmond HS (IN)

37. Houston Astros
Who They Picked: SP Mike Nannini- Green Valley HS (NV)
Who They Should Have Picked: C Jeff Winchester- Archbiship Rummell HS (LA)


38. San Francisco Giants
Who They Picked: RP Chris Jones- Mecklenberg HS (NC)
Who They Should Have Picked: SP J.M. Gold- Toms River North HS (NJ)

39. Baltimore Orioles
Who They Picked: OF Mamon Tucker- Stephen F. Austin HS (TX)

Who They Should Have Picked: 1B/OF Rick Elder- Spraysberry HS (GA)

40. Colorado Rockies
Who They Picked: C Jeff Winchester- Archbishop Rummell HS (LA)
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Arturo McDonnell- Forest Hill Community HS (FL)

41. San Francisco Giants
Who They Picked: SP Jeff Urban- Ball State
Who They Should Have Picked: SP Mark Prior- University HS (CA)- DID NOT SIGN

42. Philadelphia Phillies
Who They Picked: OF Eric Valent- UCLA
Who They Should Have Picked: OF Chip Ambres- West Brook HS (TX)- DID NOT SIGN

43. New York Yankees
Who They Picked: SP Mark Prior- University HS (CA)- DID NOT SIGN
Who They Should Have Picked: P Ben Diggins- Bradshaw Mountain HS (AZ)- DID NOT SIGN    

















 

1 comment:

Keith said...

I must correct you on Jeff Urban. He did in fact reach the majors with the Giants a couple of times, but never pitched in a game. He still did collect a major league salary and service time for those short stints.