Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The 2001 draft: Joe Mauer, Mark Prior, Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira let this grounder get through him in
Game 2 of the ALDS on Monday
Mark Teixeira looks ... old. He's 32, but the Yankees first baseman is playing older and stiffer than that.

In 2010, he hit .256/.365/.481; in 2011, he hit .248/.341/.494; this year, .251/.332/.475. Batting average unimpressive, walks dropping, still hitting an occasional bomb ... And the Yankees are committed to him for another four years at $22.5 million a year.

I've little doubt that the calf injury that cost him most of September still bothers him somewhat and helps make him look slow and unathletic in these playoffs, but that's still a three-year trend line that has to be worrisome to the Yankees.

Teixeira was the fifth player taken in the famous 2001 draft, although he was widely regarded as one of the top three talents. He slipped, without a doubt, because he was aligned with Scott Boras, and many a team preferred not to deal with that devil.

Joe Mauer, as we Twins fans know, went first and Mark Prior second. The only quarrels anybody had at the time was which order the two should be in. The Twins clearly made the right choice.

They were followed by  two high school pitchers: Dewon Brazelton (Tampa Bay) and Gavin Floyd (Philadelphia). Brazelton flopped, and the Phillies traded Floyd to the White Sox, where he's been a good-but-not-great starter for six seasons.

Then Texas popped Teixeira. He was the fifth guy taken in the draft, but he'll probably wind up making the most money of anybody in the field.

What intrigues me today, looking at the 2001 draft with more than a decade of hindsight, is how poorly the rest of the first round played out. The best of the rest were Casey Kotchman and Jeremy Bonderman. Noah Lowry and Bobby Crosby had their moments but flamed out early, and Mike Fontenot has hung around as a utilityman/low-grade regular, but you've got to go to the supplemental round and the 38th overall pick (David Wright) to find the next star in that draft.

1 comment:

  1. That is enlightening ... for the critism heaped on Twins scouts recommending mediocre players it Illustrates what a crapshoot the MLB draft is.