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.

Mets’ Curtis Granderson wins 2016 Roberto Clemente Award

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 02:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets looks on during batting practice before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on July 2, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Mets’ outfielder Curtis Granderson has been named the 2016 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, an annual distinction bestowed on the major league players whose dedication to the game of baseball is evident both on and off the field.

Granderson is the 47th recipient of the award since its introduction in 1971, and, according to’s Anthony DiComo, the fourth Met honored with the distinction following former members Gary Carter (1989), Al Leiter (2000), and Carlos Delgado (2006).

The 35-year-old contributed 30 home runs and a .237/.355/.464 line during the Mets’ 87-75 run in 2016, but it was his work off the field that set him apart. Over the past six years, Granderson helped fund a new baseball facility at his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and partnered with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity. He has also been recognized for donations to the YMCA, United Neighborhood Houses, and City Harvest, among other charitable organizations. Most notably, he founded the Grand Kids Foundation, an organization that has furthered the education, fitness, and health of kids living in Chicago since 2007.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred recognized Granderson’s efforts in a brief ceremony preceding Game 3 of the World Series:

Curtis Granderson is an outstanding ambassador for our game and a positive role model for kids. His commitment to the many communities that have touched his life and the great impact of these efforts makes him a very deserving recipient of our most prestigious award. On behalf of Major League Baseball and all of our clubs, I congratulate Curtis and thank him and all of our nominees this year for everything they do to make a difference in the lives of others.

Joe Maddon’s biggest influence? Michael Scott, naturally

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 28:  Manager Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs speaks to the media before the game in Game Three of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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We all get inspiration from various sources. Sometimes, it comes from a mentor or peer who has excelled in their field. Sometimes, it’s a video of a dog owner dressing up as his golden retriever’s favorite chew toy (just me? Okay).

If you’re Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon, it’s Michael Scott, regional manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, Inc., founder of the Michael Scott Paper Company, and one-time star of the hit television show Fundle Bundle. At least, that’s what he told the press during the club’s pregame conference on Friday afternoon.

Thankfully, the Cubs don’t have to worry about Maddon emulating the more outlandish behaviors Steve Carell exhibited on The Office. If anything, the praise Michael heaps on himself as the World’s Best Boss could be aptly applied to Maddon’s managerial style — Spencer Gifts mug and all.