The Ones That Got Away: American League Central


Best positional player: Placido Polanco (1993: Round 49, Pick 1,357) was part of the infamous Bud Smith for Scott Rolen package. Remember when Smith threw a no hitter?

Best pitcher: Jeff Weaver (1997: Round 2, Pick 62) needs to allow 15 more home runs to take the record for most homers allowed by a Fresno State pitcher in the majors. Otherwise, it doesn’t appear he’s going to catch many records, including those set by Dick Ruthven, like wins (22 away) or innings pitched (300 away).

Honorable mention: J.J. Putz (1995: Round 3, Pick 84) the division really was enamored with Putz, as we’ll see later.


The Indians are in the rare position of not really having a mentionable positional player who they failed to sign. Instead there was Luke Scott, who they traded for Jeriome Robertson, and Ryan Church, who was traded (with Maicer Izturis) for Scott Stewart.

Best pitcher: Tim Lincecum (2005: Round 42, Pick 1,261) does anyone really need to be notified as to why this (1) was mentioned; and (2) isn’t as bad of an indictment on the Indians.


The Tigers have a boring draft history too with regards to non-signs.

Best pitcher: Matt Thornton (1995: Round 27, Pick 742)

Honorable mention: Kiko Calero (1994: Round 41, Pick 1,142)

2010 draft connection: Barrett Loux is the Texas A&M righty whom Keith Law had going in the 20s in his latest mock draft. The Tigers took Loux in the 24th round of the 2007 draft and obviously did not sign him.

Kansas City

Best positional player: Jacque Jones (1993: Round 31, Pick 861) accounts for 1,302 games out of the 2,117 by Kennesaw State University alumni. Willie Harris has another 806 of those. Kennesaw State isn’t quite the baseball hotbed you’d assume it would be.

Best pitcher: Matt Guerrier (1996: Round 33, Pick 979)

Honorable mention: Chris Sampson (1997: Round 41, Pick 1,231) they just don’t pick that many interesting players without signing them.


Best positional player: Jason Varitek (1993: Round 1, Pick 21) the most insane thing about this is that you know who pick 20 was? Torii Hunter. You know who made that pick? The Twins. They almost had two of the five or six best players in the first round with back-to-back picks in the 20s. Good drafting there.

Best pitcher: J.J. Putz (1998: Round 17, Pick 499)

Honorable mention: Adam Lind (2002: Round 8, Pick 242) fun fact: Jason Kubel and Lind both went to Highland High School, only halfway across the country apart. Okay, maybe that’s not all too fun after all.

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Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson

Infamous Bud Smith for Rolen package? While I hated that trade, Smith was never intended to be the centerpiece, Polanco and even Mike Timlin were considered bigger trade pieces. It was an awful trade, but Bud Smith was really just the throw in (he was even in the minors at the time).