Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rush, Rush, Rush

A couple of years ago, Major League Baseball clubs had a great idea, draft hard throwing college closers and rush them to the big leagues in order to help them during at tight pennant race.

The trend started in 2003 when the three teams drafted hard throwing college closers and rushed them up. It continued in 2004 when the Oakland took Houston Street. It really wrapped up in 2005, when two teams went with the idea of drafting hard throwing closers.

Here is a recap of what has happened to the some of the those pitchers that were part of the trend:
  • Ryan Wagner: first drafted by the Reds and the traded to the Nationals. Has not developed the way that everyone thought. During his career so far he has 4.79 ERA and zero career saves.
  • Chad Cordero: won a national championship in college with Cal State Fullerton. He has been the most successful of the group having had two 30 saves season and a 40 save season. Cordero has been an All Star too.
  • David Aardsma: Could hit a 100 mph on the gun when he came out of Rice. Has played for Giants, Cubs and Red Sox. Probably most affected by being rushed to the major leagues.
  • Houston Street: Besides Cordero Street has been a good player since breaking into the A's bullpen. Street was rookie of the year in 2005 and has also had a 30 save season.
  • Craig Hansen: When the Red Sox drafted him, some people thought that he would be a key late season addition that would allow the Sox to beat the Yankees. Boy were people wrong. Hansen has just struggled to hold down a regular roster spot.
  • Joey Devine (pictured above) : Yes Joey Devin. Coming out of NC State many thought that he would have a huge impact on the future of the Braves. Throws as hard as anyone and had a nasty slider. But that did not lead to success with the Braves during the off season he was traded to the A's.
So as you see rushing pitchers to the major league is not the best way to handle things.

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