|Mark Teixeira doubled Friday, hours after announcing|
that he would retire after this season,
Which is not to denigrate his career. Man hit 404 homers, led the league in different years in homers, runs, RBIs, and total bases, won five Gold Gloves ... yeah, he could play a bit. He's got a Hall of Fame case, but I won't argue for him while Jeff Bagwell is still on the outside.
He was the fifth overall pick in 2001's draft, which was, of course, the year Joe Mauer went No. 1 overall. (Teixeira was taken out of college, which is why he's three years older than Mauer.) Teixeira's pending retirement will leave Mauer and Gavin Floyd as first round picks still playing from that draft. Floyd, now with the Blue Jays, is on the 60-day disabled list after suffering a torn lat, which just adds to a long list of injuries for the veteran in recent years.
But really, the list of 2001 first rounders is kinda daunting. Mauer and Teixeira were stars. Floyd had a good run in the White Sox rotation. Mark Prior had one big year. Casey Kotchman, Chris Burke, Jeremy Bonderman, Jason Bulger, Aaron Heilmann, Greg Gross, Mike Fontenot, Bobby Crosby -- they put in a few years as rotation pieces, marginal regulars, bullpen arms. And the rest, more than half the first round, didn't do much of anything. Dewon Brazelton? Josh Karp? Macay McBride?
Go a bit deeper into the draft and you find a few familar names scattred among the never-weres: David Wright (supplemental first round). J.J. Hardy (second round). And, in the fourth round, Ricky Nolasco.
Yes, Nolasco came out of the same draft class as Mauer and Teixeira. He's going to outlast Teixeira. And almost everybody else in that draft, for that matter.