Saturday, June 5, 2010

The MLB Draft's 4th Pick

With Major League Baseball's amateur draft starting on Monday, people like to look back at the top picks from the past decade. Well, we also happen to care about the fourth pick. But should we?

2000
4. Mike Stodolka, Royals, LHP

Stodolka made it as high as AA as a pitcher and as high as AAA as a hitter. Pro career seems to have ended in 2008. He is currently, I assume, a goat farmer in East California.

Verdict: We should not care

2001
4. Gavin Floyd, Phillies, RHP

Floyd was drafted one spot before fellow high school teammate Mark Teixeira. How good was that team? The Phillies traded Floyd and Gio Gonzalez in 2006 to the White Sox for Freddy Garcia. In his four seasons with the White Sox, Floyd is 31-30 with a 104 ERA+. Solid back end of the rotation guy.

Verdict: We should care, but not too much

2002
4. Adam Loewen, Orioles, LHP

Loewen reached the majors in 2006. After 29 starts over the next three seasons, Loewen posted a 85 ERA+ and a 1.26 strikeout to walk ratio. Then he developed control problems. He tried to transition to a positional player and was signed by the Blue Jays in 2008. He's currently barbacking in a Toronto strip club.[citation needed]

Verdict: We should not care

2003
4. Tim Stauffer, Padres, RHP

Stauffer has been up and down with the big club over the past five seasons. During that stretch, he's started 32 games with an 83 ERA+ and a 1.74 strikeout to walk ratio. Tim turned 28 just three days ago. Happy belated!

Verdict: We should not care

2004
4. Jeff Niemann, Rays, RHP














Niemann got a cup of coffee in the bigs in 2008 but really broke in last season. In 2009, Niemann tossed 180 innings with an ERA of 3.94 and an ERA+ of 115. This year he is 5-0 in 11 starts with a 2.79 ERA and a 154 ERA+. Does struggle with basic shaving concepts.

Verdict: We should care

2005
4. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 3B














Zimmerman actually got 62 plate appearances in 2005 and has been the Nationals everyday third baseman ever since. He plays Gold Glove defense (whatever that means) and his bat became special last season. In 2009, he hit 33 home runs and .292/.364./525. This year through 197 plate appearances, he's got 11 home runs and a .309/.411/.594 slash line. Fellow third baseman and first pick overall, Alex Gordon, toils in the minors looking for a new position.

Verdict: We should care

2006
4. Brad Lincoln, Pirates, RHP

We're now entering the Pittsburgh Pirate portion of this segment. Go get your "we should not care" shirts on. Go ahead, I'll wait. Lincoln is 25-years-old and has decent stats in AAA. It's hard to care because Clayton Kershaw went 7th and Tim Lincecum went 10th.

Verdict: We should care, but not too much

2007
4. Daniel Moskos, Pirates, LHP

Moskos is 24 and in his second year of AA. I suppose it's too early to tell but they did pass up Matt Wieters. I'll cut them a little slack since a bunch of other teams also passed on Jason Heyward in the first round.

Verdict: Too early to tell, but I'm not happy about it

2008
4. Brian Matusz, Orioles, LHP

Matusz pitched 44 innings last season and 61 so far this year. The stats aren't pretty but his stuff in nasty. Considering he's been pitching against the AL East, I think the kid has a bright future. Plus, he's only 23-years-old. Now if he can just do something about that whole, being on the Orioles thing.

Verdict: We should care

2009
4. Tony Sanchez, Pirates, C

Sanchez crushed the ball at Boston College and it's too early to tell anything about last year's crop of draftees. I'm not entirely sure why I even included 2009.

Verdict: Too early to tell

Recap: 3 We should not care, 3 We should care, 3 We should care, but not too much, 2 Too early to tell

Summary: I've wasted both your time and mine.

Good luck on Monday, boys. The draft is like a box of chocolates and every third one is filled with toothpaste.

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