Friday, April 6, 2007

Where Are They Now?: The 1998 Oriole Draftees

(No game last night so here's something a little different...)

The fourth installment of our continuing series of dismal tragedy and high comedy that is this organization's drafts under the Angelos Regime. Let's have at it!

Rick Elder - OF - High School - 1st Round

Elder tore up the Rookie Leagues but never adjusted to A ball. He got as high as Delmarva in 2001 and is now playing in the Independent leagues.

Mamon Tucker - OF - High School - 1st Round

Two first round picks on high school outfielders, two busts. He made it to A+ Frederick and was selected in the Rule V draft by Philadelphia. He bounced around the minors for a couple more years hitting .262 with 11 homeruns for his career. He's out of baseball.

Ben Knapp - RHP - High School - 2nd Round

Ben never really got it together, even in the low minors. He got to Frederick, briefly, in 2003 and was released. he played a year of independent league ball and now is out. he compiled a 23-27 record and a 4.65 ERA over 5 seasons.

Alex Hart - RHP - High School - 2nd Round

Drafted but never signed. A wasted pick. I'll include an 11th draftee to even things out.

Steve Bechler - RHP - High School - 3rd Round

We'll never know what Bechler could've been but signs pointed to him being a useful major league reliever someday. For those that don't know, Bechler died of a heart attack (probably brought on by ephedrine) during Spring Training of 2003.

Chris Davidson - P - Western Carolina University - 4th Round

Unclear on the reasons here but Chris Davidson never pitched professionally for anyone. Out of baseball.

Joshua Yarno - RHP - High School - 5th Round

Another guy who I can find no record of. Out of baseball.

Tim Raines, Jr. - OF - High School - 6th Round

Tim is no longer with the organization but was still kicking around the Nationals' minor league system last year. I don't want to spoil the rest of this list but with 75 games played and a .213 average in the Majors, Tim is the most successful member of this draft class. (sigh)

Tim Nelson - 3B - Allan Hancock College - 7th Round

Played two seasons at Bluefield and hung 'em up. Hit .226 over 34 games.

Randy Perez - LHP - High School - 8th Round

Randy never really distinguished himself at the lower levels and rose only as far a A+ Frederick. After 2003, he was out of baseball.

Francisco Monzon - C - High School - 9th Round

Monzon couldn't hit his way out of a wet paper bag in Rookie ball. That's as far as he got.

Top Ten Draft Pick Stats

Number that are regular contributors for the O's: 0
Number still in the organization: 0
Number traded for regular contributors: 0
Number out of baseball: 9
Diamonds in the rough: 0


I didn't think it was possible but now this draft is the worst I've ever seen and by a huge margin. Pat Gillick gets partial credit for Bechler I suppose, maybe. How bad was it? Out of the dozens of players selected by Baltimore that year only three made it as high as AAA: Tim Raines, Steve Bechler and a guy named Joey Hammond (and his stint was a cup of coffee). Dreadful.

And people wonder why we want Angelos gone. And why the farm system has been so bad

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