Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on June 3, 1990 · Page 198
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 198

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Sunday, June 3, 1990
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I .' 4E1HE DF TROIT NEWSSundoy, June 3, 1990 C3u J liters niiumber me i ""-""n r3 r"" v? o otic Top picks dogged by failure By Dave Dye Detroit News Staff Writer The last first-round draft pick by the Tigers to become a regular in the major leagues was Glenn Wilson, selected in 1980. Wilson was traded to Philadelphia six years ago, and now plays with Houston. The rest of the club's No. 1 choices during the decade have either failed to produce in the majors or haven't even gotten there yet. Some are with other organizations, others have dropped out of pro ball. Part of the problem has been poor draft position. The Tigers never finished with a losing record during the decade, winning two division titles and one World Series. The highest they ever selected was 15th overall. There have also been some front-office mistakes on recent draft days, which explains why President Bo Schembechler is devoting much of his time in that area. General Manager Bill Lajoie ran the scouting department until August 1986, when Joe McDonald was hired as Vice President of Player Procurement & Development. Monday's Free Agent Amateur Draft marks the first time in 14 years that the Tigers have had a top-five selection. Detroit picks second overall, after the Atlanta Braves. The Tigers are expected to take outfielder Tony Clark, 17, from El Cajon, Calif. Perhaps Clark can do what so many others before him haven't for t he Tigers: 1980, 18th pick: Drafted as a third baseman, Wilson was moved to the outfield during his second professional season. He had a 19-game hitting streak as a rookie in 1982, but he didn't get along with Manager Sparky Anderson. Wilson was traded to Philadelphia with John Wocken-fuss for Dave Bergman and Willie Hernandez in March 1984. That season, Hernandez was named the American League's Most Valuable Player and won the Cy Young Award, leading the Tigers to the world championship with a 9-3 record, 32 saves and a 1.93 earned run average. Wilson, 31, has since played for Seattle, Pittsburgh and now the Astros. His best season was in 1985, when he hit .275 with 14 homers and 102 RBI for the Phillies. But he hasn't had more than 64 RBI in any of the last three seasons. 1981, 17th pick: The Tigers had high hopes for hard-throwing Ricky Barlow, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound right-hander from Woodville, Texas. But Barlow never developed any control. He walked 101 in 122 innings while going 1-17 with a 6.79 ERA In 1984 at Class A Lakeland, his fourth season in pro ball. The next year, Barlow was 2-12 combined at Lakeland and Double-A Birmingham, giving him a 3-29 record over t hree seasons. Nevertheless, the Tigers thought highly enough of Barlow's potential t hat he was on their 40-man roster for a while. Barlow showed signs of being able to reach the majors in 1986 when he had 16 saves and a 2.63 ERA at Double-A Glens Falls, after he was converted to a short reliever. But in '87 he split time between starting Mets stand up to TUB FIRING of New York Mets Manager Davey Johnson angered outfielder Kevin McReynolds, who will probably leave the Mets when he becomes a free agent after next season. McReynolds Notebook consiaerea donnson "country people like me." "I think it stinks," McReynolds said. "It's definitely unnecessary. I guess his history with the Mets doesn't matter to the geniuses in the front office. "I can't say I'm surprised because there was so much talk about it. But that doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. Davey gave so much of himself and this is how they treat him. It just ticks me off." The Mets averaged 96 victories a year during Johnson's six full seasons, finishing first twice and second WW mi Dave Dye in i. -.i.i....... ..i...iiiil.ihI.iii,ji i mmmmmmmmmmmammmmuM-mw,' 1 1 -." " ' ' n. . .vW'' ' " '.wip l, . , ' ": 1 " ,' 1 ,)ppmi : V" i .-y , ' 1 ' I is I ' 1 v? Glenn Wilson, who was drafted No. ATk m r . , iPr t w v . m a r -if: : m'm .;i I . I X 4 s I t ' 1 . ... .-a-j.- ti-inirli ASSOCIATED PRESS London's Rico Brogna, a No. 1 pick in 1988, has been an inconsistent hitter during his minor-league career. and relief, finishing with a 3-9 record and 6.01 ERA at Triple-A Toledo. He left the Tigers after the '87 season as a six-year free agent, signing with the Chicago White Sox. He was released before pitching in any games. He tried a comeback last year, but was let go by Double-A Memphis of the Kansas City organization. His former high school coach, Melvin Houston, said Barlow suffered some arm problems after leaving the Tigers. Barlow is living in a poor section of Woodville. He does not have a telephone. A cousin of Barlow's gave him a message to contact The Detroit News, but Barlow didn't return the call. The cousin said he didn't think Barlow had a job. four times. In 1986, they won the World Series; in 1988, they were defeated in the National League Championship Series. Coach Bud Harrelson was named by General Manager Frank Cashen as Johnson's replacement. Darryl Strawberry, often at odds with Johnson, supported his former manager. "Even with all our disagreements, I love the man, I really do," Strawberry said. "He stood by me when it got tough for me." Dave Magadan, upset with Johnson earlier this season when Mike Marshall was named the starting first baseman, also came to Johnson's defense after Tuesday's firing. At the time, the fourth-place Mets were 20-22, six games out of first. Since then, the Mets were 1-1 through Friday. "It's 99.9 percent not his fault that we played awful," Magadan said. "Moses could have come down, and if we don't look at ourselves and kick ourselves in the butt, we still weren't ; J - V ' y, , v is o. : - ? 1 in 1980, is the only Tigers' first-round Where the Tigers' top Year No. Name, position Where now 1989 21 Greg Gohr, P 3-3 record, 3.09 ERA at Class A Lakeland 1988 26 Rico Brogna, 1B .221 average, 8 HR, 22 RBI at Double-A London ; 1987 20 Bill Henderson, C Traded to St. Louis organization after last season, no longer playing professional baseball 21 Steve Pegues, OF .242 average, 2 HR, 20 RBI at Double-A London 1986 18 Phil Clark, C .167 average, 1 HR, 7 RBI at Triple-A Toledo, currently out after arthroscopic knee surgery 1985 26 Randy Nosek, P 1-0 record, 6.41 ERA at Triple-A Toledo 1984 No first-round pick because of Darrell Evans free-agent signing 1983 15 Wayne Dotson, P Released in spring training 1986, no longer playing pro baseball 1982 20 Richard Monteleone, P Traded to Seattle in 1985, currently with Triple-A Columbus (Yankees) 1981 17 Ricky Barlow, P Signed with Chicago White Sox as six-year free agent after '87 season, no longer playing pro ball 1980 18 Glenn Wilson, 3B Traded to Philadelphia in spring training 1984, now outfielder with Astros 1982, 20th pick: The Tigers traded Richard Monteleone to Seattle for Darnell Coles after he went 6-12 with a 5.08 ERA at Triple-A Nashville in 1985. Monteleone, a 6-foot-2, 217-pound right-hander, pitched in the majors for the Mariners and California Angels, who signed him in 1988 after he was released by Seattle. Monteleone's major-league totals: 2-2, 3.35 ERA in 30 games. He was traded in April to the New York Yankees along with Claudell Washington for Luis Polonia. In seven games with Triple-A Columbus, Monteleone is 0-1 with two saves and a 2.91 ERA. defend Johnson in wake of firing going to win. I'm surprised they didn't fire everybody on the team and bring up (Triple-A) Tidewater after the way we played." Part of the Mets' problem is that they've traded some of their more competitive players, such as' Len Dykstra, Mookie Wilson and Wally Backman. With them went most of the Mets' fire. Now the focus shifts to the other side of town, where the reeling Yankees could soon fire Manager Bucky Dent. Speculation is George Stein-brenner actually might replace him with Johnson. "I've got too many other things to try to figure it out," Dent said of his security. "If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. I'll do the best job I can. That's the way I am. Why should I worry about it every day?" Runnin' Rickey: Cleveland catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. was surprised to learn that Rickey Henderson was going for the American League stolen-base record last week- pick in the '80s to establish himself picks are now 1983, 15th pick: The highest first-round pick the Tigers had during the '80s was Wayne Dotson, a pitcher who was released during the '86 spring training for a non-baseball related personal problem. Dotson got to Double-A Birmingham late in the previous season, posting a 1-5 record and 4.85 ERA. Dotson was picked up by Baltimore's Class A affiliate in Hagers-town (Md.) for about three months in '86, then sent to Class A Miami, an independent affiliate. He was released by the Marlins in September and hasn't played pro ball since. ' 1984, 52nd pick: The Tigers end. He threw out Henderson once Friday night. "They kept showing the replay of me throwing him out (on television) and I couldn't figure out why," Alomar said. The next day, Henderson tied former Tiger Ty Cobb's A.L. record. Then he broke the record Sunday when he stole third with two outs and the Athletics trailing 2-0 in the sixth. Toronto third baseman Kelly Gruber has had a feud going with Henderson since the playoffs last year. "That's great, I'm happy for him," Gruber said. "But if he didn't make it, he's broken a major rule in baseball (getting thrown out at third for the last out of an inning). That's still an opportunity you have to take. Who knows, he may break his leg tomorrow." Henderson gave the base from No. 892 (tying Cobb) to his mother. Please see Notebook5E THE DETROIT NEWS as a major-leaguer. gave up their first-round pick to San Francisco for signing free agent Darrell Evans. Thus, their top pick was second-round choice Rob Souza, a pitcher from the University of Miami who got to Double-A in his first season. Souza was killed in a car accident in Florida in January 1985. "We thought he very quickly would be a major-league pitcher," Lajoie said. 1985, 26th pick: Randy Nosek was rushed from Double-A to the majors last season. Nosek started twice, lost twice and had a 13.50 ERA before returning to the minors. Manager Sparky Anderson was back home in California on leave The Mets averaged 96 victories during Davey Johnson's six-year tenure. f Ty from the team last May when Nosek got a start. "Every half-hour they' give us scores on the news station,"' Anderson recently told a Kansas City reporter. "I heard we were starting: Nosek, I said, 'Uh oh.' " I Nosek, back in Triple-A this sea-, son, is 1-0 with a 6.41 ERA. ': , "He still shows us the outstanding fastball, 90 mph," McDonald said,,? "Every once in a while you see he has one of the best arms in our organizai tion. But he needs to refine his skills. He has command problems." 1986, 18th pick: Catcher Phil Clark has advanced to Triple-A To- ledo as a decent hitter but inconsis-, tent defensive player. Clark was hitting just .167 with one homer and seven RBI this season when he had arthroscopic knee surgery a couple of weeks ago. "It may have been that knee probC lem," McDonald said of Clark's slow start hitting. "He is not a complainen He finally did acknowledge he had a knee problem." 1987, 20th and 21st picks: , The first pick under McDonald's guidance was a flop. Catcher Bill' Henderson was traded to St. Louis (in the deal that brought pitcher Matt Kinzer and first baseman Jim' Lindeman to the Tigers) after hitting ' .252 at Class A Lakeland last season, Henderson has since left pro baseball and plans to play football at . Miami (Fla.) next season as a backup quarterback and punter. He is not expected to get much playing time. Outfielder Steve Pegues, 22, is hitting .242 at Double-A London. McDonald thinks he has the "tools"; to make the majors. "He still has excellent potential," McDonald said. "He's an interesting guy. He can run exceptional, he can throw. When he makes contact the ball jumps off his bat. On any given day you can go in there and if he has a hot day, then you'll say, 'Now; there's a major-league player.' If yoq go in there when he's having a tough-day and he may strike out four times' So it depends on the day that you see Steve. We're hoping the good days' will surpass the bad days in due time." 1988, 26th pick: Anderson has already given Rico Brogna, 20, the ultimate jinx, saying that Brogna is a can't-miss prospect. ; Brogna struggled in his first two.' seasons in the minors, hitting .254 and .235 at Class A. This year he's at .221 with eight homers and 22 RBI at London. But he's already considered a major-league talent defensively at first base. Only time will tell. 1989, 21st pick: It's also way too early to make an opinion on Greg Gohr, a 22-year-old right-hander from Campbell, Calif. He was 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA at Class A Fayette-, ville before suffering a groin injury and missing the end of last season. This year he has a 3-3 record and 3.09 ERA at Lakeland. McDonald defends the Tigers' first-round struggles, pointing to To!-ledo shortstop Travis Fryman, perhaps the organization's top prospect. Fryman was the Tigers' third pick in the 1987 draft. "People automatically emphasize the first round," McDonald said "But the draft doesn't depend upon the first round in baseball. It neven has, maybe this year will be for the J first time ever, but I doubt it. Down4 below there are going to be some! drafts that are good major-league! players. "The baseball draft is not scientif-! ic and it's not sophisticated in com-) parison to basketball and football.' Baseball's got to make more mis- takes. You're dealing with a product', that's not as well known." ifit "t PRESS t X J . ASSOCIATED I fc, 7 V ' fi - - CJj

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