Chris Young

Redoing the 2001 draft: picks 11-20


I’m redoing round one of the 2001 draft, pick by pick.  If you missed part one Wednesday, click here.

11. Detroit Tigers
Actual: Kenny Baugh
Redo: Gavin Floyd (4th pick, Phillies)

After an impressive debut in 2001, Baugh suffered a torn labrum and missed the 2002 season. His stuff failed to come all of the way back, and he finally gave up after a stint in indy ball in 2009. In his place comes Floyd, a late bloomer who wouldn’t have made a difference in the Tigers’ 2006 postseason run, but who is on his way to a fourth straight season as an above average starter.

12. Milwaukee Brewers
Actual: Mike Jones
Redo: Chris Young (493rd pick, White Sox)

Jones, who spent his entire 10 years career in the Brewers organization without ever reaching the majors, underwent two shoulder procedures and Tommy John surgery before announcing his retirement in February. Taking over for him and filling what’s been a pretty big hole for Milwaukee in center field is Young. The Brewers did get two nice years from Mike Cameron in 2008-09, but they relied on Brady Clark and Bill Hall the two previous years and Carlos Gomez last season.

13. Anaheim Angels
Actual: Casey Kotchman
Redo: Geovany Soto (318th pick, Cubs)

I was high on the Kotchman pick at the time, and it worked out just fine, considering that he was a solid regular in 2007 and ’08 and then was turned into Teixeira in a 2009 trade with the Braves. Still, I’ll make a change here. While I’m not convinced the Angels really needed a catcher — they always did just fine with Mike Napoli behind the plate — Soto’s presence may well have spared us the Jeff Mathis era. Mathis was the Angels’ supplemental first-round pick this year, going 33rd overall.

14. San Diego Padres
Actual: Jake Gautreau
Redo: Jeremy Bonderman (26th pick, Athletics)

Gautreau was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2002, and whether that had much to do it with it or not, he never fulfilled his potential. He was last seen playing indy ball in 2008. Bonderman is done now, but he could have been of real use to those 2005-08 Padres teams that went to the postseason twice and missed by one game another year. He had his best season in 2006, going 14-8 with a 4.08 ERA and then 1-0 with a 3.10 ERA in three postseason starts for Detroit. Had he been a part of San Diego’s rotation, perhaps the team wouldn’t have lost in the NLDS.

15. Toronto Blue Jays
Actual: Gabe Gross
Redo: Edwin Jackson (190th pick, Dodgers)

Gross turned into a useful role player for a few years, but only after Toronto traded him to Milwaukee as part of the Lyle Overbay deal. With no shortstop worth mentioning from 2005-08, the Blue Jays really could have used J.J. Hardy. But he didn’t fall, and the other shortstop possibility here, Jason Bartlett, had his one great season in 2009, which is what Marco Scutaro had a career year for Toronto. As a result, I’m simply giving the Jays the best available pitcher. Jackson still hasn’t developed into a consistent force eight years after debuting in the majors, but he has his moments.

16. Chicago White Sox
Actual: Kris Honel
Redo: Brandon League (59th pick, Blue Jays)

Honel was still looking like a strong prospect a couple of years after getting drafted, but he hurt elbow in 2004 and underwent Tommy John surgery. Unfortunately, while his stuff mostly came back afterwards, his command went from average from terrible. Getting nothing from their 2001 first-rounder didn’t stop the White Sox from winning the World Series in 2005, and I’m not seeing anyone left on the board who would have made a real difference for the club when it lost in the ALDS in 2008. So, I decided to focus strictly on who would be helping the team most right at this moment, and the answer would seem to be League, who just made the All-Star team as Seattle’s closer.

17. Cleveland Indians
Actual: Dan Denham
Redo: Luke Scott (277th pick, Indians)

The Indians took Denham and J.D. Martin with their two compensation picks for losing Manny Ramirez to the Red Sox. Only Martin eventually reached the majors, doing so with the Nationals in 2009. In Denham’s place, the Indians get Scott, their ninth-round pick whom they traded away to the Astros for Jeriome Robertson in 2004. As it was, the Indians never realized what they had in him. However, Scott could have helped plenty during a 2007 season in which the team got a .718 OPS from its left fielders and a .760 OPS from its right fielders. That was the year they lost to the Red Sox in the ALCS, and Scott had a nice .855 OPS with 18 homers and 64 RBI in 369 at-bats for Houston.

18. New York Mets
Actual: Aaron Heilman
Redo: Ricky Nolasco (108th pick, Cubs)

The Mets lost the NLCS in 2006 and then missed the postseason by a game in 2007 and ’08, so that would be the reasonable place to look for help. But, since we’re redoing the whole draft, the Mets don’t have David Wright and probably wouldn’t have had such strong records those seasons anyway. Based on that logic, I changed my mind about keeping Heilman here. Nolasco is 28 now and still has just one above average season under his belt, but there’s still hope that he’ll improve.

19. Baltimore Orioles
Actual: Mike Fontenot
Redo: Jason Bartlett (390th pick, Padres)

This is the first of two picks Baltimore received after Mike Mussina signed with the Yankees. After bypassing J.J. Hardy to give C.J. Wilson to the Orioles with the seventh pick, I am supplying Baltimore with a shortstop here. Bartlett won’t ever have another year like his 2009, when he hit .320/.389/.490 and went to the All-Star Game for the Rays, but he’s a solid regular and he would have been a big upgrade over Juan Castro in 2008 and Cesar Izturis in 2009 and ’10.

20. Cincinnati Reds
Actual: Jeremy Sowers
Redo: Jason Hammel (559th pick, Rays)

Many speculated that the Reds had no intention of signing Sowers after using the 20th pick on him. He ended up going to Vanderbilt and getting taken sixth overall by the Indians three years later. In his place comes Hammel. The right-hander failed to develop in Tampa Bay, but he’s on his way to a third straight solid season as a member of Colorado’s rotation. I also considered another Tampa Bay product instead: Jonny Gomes, who drove in 86 runs for the Reds when they won the NL Central last year.

Jacob deGrom outduels Clayton Kershaw, Mets take 1-0 NLDS lead

Jacob de Grom
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Jacob deGrom put together one of the best post-season starts in Mets history, outdueling three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to pitch his team into a 1-0 NLDS lead. The right-hander fanned 13 over seven shutout innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits and a walk as the Mets won 3-1.

deGrom’s game score of 79 is the fifth-best by a Mets starter in the playoffs, behind Jon Matlack, Mike Hampton, Bobby Jones, and Tom Seaver, according to Baseball Reference. As Katie Sharp notes on Twitter, deGrom is one of three pitchers to hold the opposition scoreless on 13 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks. The other two are Tim Lincecum and Mike Scott.

In the eighth inning, reliever Tyler Clippard allowed a one-out double to Howie Kendrick followed by an RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez as the Dodgers finally got on the board. Closer Jeurys Familia entered and recorded the final out of the eighth inning by inducing a weak line out from Justin Turner. In the ninth, Familia worked a 1-2-3 frame to wrap up the game.

Kershaw remains winless in the post-season since Game 1 of the 2013 NLDS, a span of seven starts. He gave up a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning, then walked the bases loaded in the seventh inning before departing with two outs. Reliever Pedro Baez entered and allowed two of his inherited runners to score when David Wright lined a single to center field. On the evening, Kershaw was on the hook for three runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts. Though he lost his command a bit towards the end of his start, the lefty pitched quite well and will be on the receiving end of some unnecessary criticism as a result of taking another post-season loss.

deGrom and Kershaw both struck out 11 batters, the first time that has happened in a major league post-season game.

Michael Cuddyer didn’t look too good out in left field for the Mets.

Game 2 of the NLDS will continue on Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets opposite Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom create MLB first with 11 strikeouts each in the playoffs

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.

The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.