Friday 5: Worst Draft Picks Since 2000

I haven’t written a Friday 5 in a while and I kind of stumbled across this idea while on the greatest website ever created (except this one, of course).  While we do love our NFL Draft around here, this one is referring to the Major League Draft and I’m going to throw out some rules before we get into it.  I’m not talking about the Matt Bush’s of the world who flame out before hitting the big leagues or a pitcher whose arm falls off in Class A ball.  Or just for Chappy, a guy who gets drafted in the first round, becomes the subject of a best-selling novel and plays a whopping five Major League Games.  But hey, that’s exactly five more Major League games than all the readers and writers of this site have ever played in.  No, I’m talking about the guys who were taken high and rocketed through the minors only to flame out and be done within three years.

Some of the players may surprise you.  Let’s get started.

5. Adam Johnson – SP – Minnesota Twins – 2nd overall pick in 2000

The 2000 draft may go down as one of the worst in history.  For a while it looked like the first pick, Adrian Gonzalez, was going to be a massive bust, but he’s found a home in San Diego.  Adam Johnson, who went right behind Gonzalez, hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2003.  Let’s check his vitals.  In his career with the Twins he went a grand total of 1-3 with a 10.25 ERA in 9 games.  Helpful.  In his 26.1 inning career he gave up 7 homers.  That’s a lot.  He also gave up 40 hits, 14 walks, hit five batters, and gave up 30 runs.  He had a WHIP of over two.  This was your second overall pick.  Good start.

Johnson gets the nod over Justin Wayne, Joe Borchard and his light tower power, and Phil Dumatrait.  All are bad…none were picked 2nd overall.

The Twins could have had:  Chase Utley (15th overall), Adam Wainwright (29th overall) or Grady Sizemore (75th overall)

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The Perfect Game That Wasn’t

Armando Galarraga smiles after losing his perfect game with 2 outs in the 9th inning.

Obviously the talk for the last 24 hours has been about Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and his near perfect game.  By now you know that veteran umpire Jim Joyce blew the call at first base with two outs in the ninth inning of Detroit’s 3-0 victory.  As I watched it last night on someone’s phone,  I couldn’t help but feel sick to my stomach for Galarraga and Joyce.  I watched Jim Leyland come out and argue the call as any manager would have (and should have) done.  I watched first baseman Miguel Cabrera hang his head in disbelief and the rest of the Tigers beeline to Joyce after Galarraga completed the one-hit shutout.

Then a funny thing happened:  Everything that is right about the game of baseball shown through.

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Winter Meetings – The Rich Get Richer

Curtis Granderson

Baseball held their annual Winter Meetings in Indianapolis over the past three days which are always interesting to the Hot Stove crowd.  This year’s edition featured a blockbuster trade and a few free agent signings, plus just enough rumors to make us all want baseball to come back.

Let’s review.

The Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson, the D’Backs acquired Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy , and the Tigers acquired Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson in a three team trade.

The World Series Champs made their team even stronger by acquiring the speedy lefty Granderson to man center field for the next few years.  Granderson mashed 30 homers last year in Detroit, so there’s no telling what number he’ll reach at the new Yankee Stadium.  Than lineup is actually scarier now than it was last year.

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2009 Baseball Previews – AL Central

This is the second one of my 2009 baseball previews.  You can check out the AL East here.  Just a note, it was written before A-Rod needed surgery.

The AL Central is going to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball.  Last year, the Twins and White Sox needed a one game playoff to settle the score.  I feel like anyone but the Royals could easily win the crown.  Continue reading

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