Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Twins Top 10 - 1999 Retrospective

I did a retrospective last year of the Twins Top 10 for 1998. I want to do the same thing for 1999. Again I am going to look beyond prospect lists at the time to the players who played in the Twins minor leagues in 1998 and later contributed at the major league level. Here is that list:

GCL (Rookie)
Tommy Watkins IF (18)
Luis Rodriguez IF (18)

E-Twins (Rookie)

Michael Restovich OF (19)
Grant Balfour P (20)
Kevin Frederick P (21)
Saul Rivera P (20)

Fort Wayne (Low-A)

Michael Cuddyer IF (19)
Matt LeCroy C (22)
Michael Ryan IF (20)
Juan Rincon (19)
Brad Thomas (20)

Fort Myers (High-A)

Luis Rivas IF (18)
Cleatus Davidson IF (21)
Matt LeCroy C (22)
Matt Kinney P (21)

New Britain (AA)

Cristian Guzman IF (20)
Jacque Jones OF (23)
Chad Allen OF (23)
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B (24)
Torii Hunter OF (22)
Chad Moeller C (23)
John Barnes OF (22)
Mike Lincoln P (23)
JC Romero P (22)
Joe Mays P (22)

Salt Lake City (AAA)
Corey Koskie IF (25)
Brian Buchanan OF (24)
AJ Pierzinsky C (21)
Benj Sampson P (23)
Mark Redman P (24)
Todd RItchie P (26)
Travis Miller P (25)

Based on their actual performances in the major leagues, here is a list of the Twins top ten future major league players after the 2008 season:

Torii Hunter
AJ Pierzynski
Jacque Jones
Cristian Guzman
Michael Cuddyer
Corey Koskie
Juan Rincon
Doug Mientkiewicz
Mark Redman
Luis Rivas

The other candidates to be on that list would be Joe Mays, Todd Ritchie, JC Romero and Matt LeCroy. Compared to the 1997 list, only David Ortiz had graduated to the majors. Guzman came over in the Knoblauch trade and replaced him on the list. It says something about the 1998 draft that not one player made the list. Saul Rivera is really the only player the Twins took in that draft that has had more than a brief stint in the major leagues.

So how does the actual outcome compare to the evaluations at the time?

Baseball America's Top Ten for 1998-99
  1. Michael Cuddyer, 3b
  2. Mike Restovich, of
  3. Cristian Guzman, ss
  4. Luis Rivas, ss
  5. Matt LeCroy, c
  6. Ryan Mills, lhp
  7. Jacque Jones, of
  8. Doug Mientkiewicz, 1b
  9. Corey Koskie, 3b
  10. Mike Lincoln, rhp
Missing: Hunter, Pierzinsky, Rincon, Redman
Misses: Restovich, LeCroy, Mills, Lincoln

1 comment:

thrylos98 said...

Interesting. I like these retro-prospect features.

Here is another tidbit about LeCroy from Ortiz' (and Tony Masseroti's) book: Big Papi: my story of big hits and big dreams (great read, if you like Twins' stories should get a hold of it):

When Ortiz was let go in 2002, Hunter went to Ryan and asked him why he let Ortiz go. Ryan answered him that the payroll could not cover both Ortiz and LeCroy and by far LeCroy was the superior hitter...

(file that on the famous last words folder)

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