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The Bleacher Bums: June 7, 2005 Archive

The triumphant return of LaTroy Hawkins

Posted at 8:36 AM on June 7, 2005 by David Zingler (6 Comments)

The Twins next 12 games come against the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants and Padres. Doesn’t that sound weird? With Barry Bonds (more than) likely out when the Giants visit the Dome next week, the only moderately appealing match up is the 1965 World Series rematch in Los Angeles. But how many of us remember that? Or were even alive then?

I’m sure it’s heresy to Mr. Collins, our resident curmudgeon, but what do you think of Interleague play?

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Introducing.... your 2011 Minnesota Twins

Posted at 1:08 PM on June 7, 2005 by Bob Collins (5 Comments)

The Strib today had an article about how the Twins were going to focus on shortstops and catchers today. So, naturally, they grabbed a pitcher with the first pick in the amateur draft. Wasn't much they could do in the 25th position, grabbing 21-year-old right-hander Matt Garza from Fresno State University. Many of the infield prospects were long gone. Not sure when the last time was a thirdbaseman was picked #1, but I suspect it was Sean Burroughs.

John Sickel's mock draft had Garza going in the second round at #78 to St. Louis.


In the compensation round, which the Twins got for one of the free agents they wisely let walk, the Twins went to high schooler Henry Sanchez from Mission Bay High School in California. He's a firstbaseman. Get this. He's 6 '3", 239 pounds. Let's hope there's big power there. The San Diego Tribune quotes his coach as saying, ""He's not just a home run hitter," Pugh said of Sanchez, who has clubbed a Mission Bay-record 26 career homers. "He's an all-around good hitter with the ability to hit to all fields."

At #54, they took Paul Kelley (memo to Dome staff, play that Woody Harrelson song to his girlfriend, Kelley, from Cheers when he comes up). Kelley is your shortstop, apparently. He's also a pitcher. He's from Flower Mound High School. Collegesports.com says he's been accepted to TCU, so Ryan may have a negotiating problem with him. BTW, I have no idea if any of these guys are Scott Boras clients.

At #73, Minnesota selected Kevin Slowey, a right-handed pitcher from Winthrop University. Apparently that's near Pittsburgh because the Pirates were rumored to be interested in drafting a local kid. Surprise, according to this article, he has terrific control. Welcome to the Twins, kid.

They had another pick at #80 and went with another shortstop and another high schooler, although this one might be the pick. Drew Thompson is former Major League shortstop Robbie Thompson's kid. Baseball America says he's among the "fastest movers" of the shortstops in the draft. He was rated the 9th-best shortstop in the draft by Baseball America.

A MLB.com article said, "He's got a similar body type to his father, Robbie, who manned second base for the San Francisco Giants for so many years. A line-drive hitter to all fields, he's shown a little power in his high school career. He's a smart baserunner and his arm strength looks like it will play at shortstop, though he also knows how to play second."

At #84, surprise, another pitcher. Brian Duensing, a lefty from the University of Nebraska. This is strictly a gamble pick. According
to HuskerNews.com he missed two years because of a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

I've got a bunch of stuff going here at work today, so I'm going to stop the updates up here. Other Bums -- and me too -- will be adding some in the comments section below. Add yours too!

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Michael Moore drafted!

Posted at 3:36 PM on June 7, 2005 by Ben Tesch

Yes, the 5'11" 205lb. catcher from East Tennessee State was drafted in the 5th round (135th overall) by the Twins. Which Michael Moore and which draft did you think I was referring to?

From 7th to 1,089th

Posted at 10:37 PM on June 7, 2005 by David Zingler

Day one of the free agent draft is history and every (if any) name that you may have recognized is likely off the board by now, but there is an annual ritual that remains before the proceedings are official -- somebody has to select Matt Harrington.

Harrington’s sad saga began in 2000 when he was a California schoolboy phemon with a fastball that regularly registered in the high 90s. Many felt that the 6-4, 210 lb. right-hander was the best player in the draft, but a few were scared off by his high asking price. The Colorado Rockies however, didn’t flinch and snared him with the 7th overall pick. It seemed like a bargain.

The trouble began when Harrington’s agent, Tommy Tanzer, claimed that he had a pre-draft agreement (which is illegal) with the Rockies that would net his client $4.95 million. The Rockies cried foul and eventually came to the table with a $4 million offer. Harrington balked.

Instead of signing, the 18-year-old sat out the entire season and went to camp with the St. Paul Saints in 2001. The Rockies eventually pulled the offer and Harrington re-entered the draft. This time he was selected in the 2nd round (58th overall) by San Diego. The Padres offered $1.25 million, but he stayed in St. Paul in hopes of pitching well and gaining leverage. Instead, the youngster developed shoulder stiffness and was shelved.

The former phemon surfaced with another independent team in 2002, the Western League’s Long Beach Breakers. In June he was drafted again, this time by Tampa Bay in the 13th round (374th overall). Negotiations never got serious and Harrington stayed in Long Beach where the shoulder problems persisted and he pitched little.

All the former first round pick had to show for his first two seasons in pro ball was a 0-3 record and 7.15 ERA. Meanwhile, the pipeline to financial security was all but dried up.

In 2003 Cincinnati took a shot, selected the fading prospect in the 24th Round (711th overall). Harrington spent the season with the Central Baseball League’s Fort Worth Cats. He went 2-6 with a 3.64 ERA in 33 appearances (5 starts) for the independent team.

Once an object of scorn by fans, the mood had changed to pity by 2004 when the Yankees selected hard luck hurler in the 36th round (1,089 overall). In five years, Harrington fell 1,082 slots. He remained in Fort Worth, posting a 1-2 record and 2.77 ERA in just 7 games.

The poster child for squandered opportunities returned to the Fort Worth Cats this season and made his debut on June 6, pitching 1 2/3 perfect innings in relief. It will be interesting to see if he is drafted for a sixth time tomorrow. After all, how much lower can he go?

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