Saturday, August 6, 2016

Revisiting the 2001 draft

Mark Teixeira doubled Friday, hours after announcing
that he would retire after this season,
Mark Teixeira said Friday that this will be his last season. Inasmuch as he's 36, in the last year of his contract and was hitting .198/.287/.340 when he made this announcement, he's basically saying to the game, you can't fire me, I quit.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Mauer has become unpopular with Twins fans, but performance says he was an exceptional draft pick! Dispite concussions and lacking HR power consistently he has longevity while still being productive.

    If this was a typical draft, it illustrates just how much is left to "chance" in drafted players ever having a successful career in MLB!

    It may have been time to rebuild the Twins organization, but Ryan's leadership looks better by comparison.