My latest at Hardball Times continues our 1987 redraft with the benefit of hindsight. This installment covers picks 17 through 24. Aside from the amusing fact that in 2000, the Toronto Blue Jays would have been better off with almost anyone in their rotation other than Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay, there are a couple items of interest to Padres fans.
The first is that in our revised draft, the Texas Rangers take Brad Ausmus with the 19th pick. Presumably he is not left unprotected in the 1992 expansion draft and taken by the Colorado Rockies, who later trade Ausmus and Andy Ashby to the Padres in one of then-GM Randy Smith’s finest hours. The Padres, you will recall, are already without Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley in our scenario. Now there is no Ashby, which gives us one more reason to kiss ’96 and ’98 goodbye.
The second is that the Detroit Tigers take Dave Hollins with the 21st pick. This sounds devastating, but of course, Hollins never played for the Padres, being selected by Philadelphia in the 1989 Rule V draft.
Here’s the thing about the Padres’ 1987 draft. It stunk. For as much as we like to complain about 2004, at least Kyle Blanks might turn into something. You know what the Padres got in ’87? They got this:
PA BA OBP SLG 206 .197 .280 .236
That is parts of three seasons from 23rd-round pick Paul Faries. A couple other guys (Roger Smithberg, Alan Newman) had cups of coffee elsewhere. Newman never signed with the Padres; neither did shortstop Marty Cordova, who elected to attend Orange Coast College instead. Cordova was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in ’89 and won American League Rookie of the Year honors in ’95.
The only player the Padres drafted and signed in 1987 who had a career was sixth-round pick Hollins, and he never appeared in a single game for them. In the early-’90s, before Tom Werner embarked on his slash-and-burn campaign, the Padres were on the cusp of respectability. With so many picks from the ’87 draft establishing themselves during that period, one wonders what the Padres might have accomplished had they gotten more out of their picks than what Faries gave them.
Anywho, it’s a long article — I get carried away with my research sometimes — but I like to think it makes for an entertaining read. Head on over and check it out if you’re so inclined.
I’ve been following your alternate history ’87 draft, and it occurs to me that you’ll have to follow up with alternate history final standings for the entire decade of the ’90s, possibly with alternate history playoffs and World Series results. Do the people at Hardball Times know that you’ve set up a career’s worth of future articles?