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Paul Goldschmidt Jersey

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The St. Louis Cardinals and star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt have agreed to a five-year extension worth around $130 million, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported Thursday the two sides were nearing a deal. Goldschmidt is due to hit free agency after the 2019 season. Rosenthal added it’s unclear whether Goldschmidt’s contract includes any opt-outs or a no-trade clause.

The Cardinals acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December.

This move would continue the recent trend of top stars signing long-term extensions well before they hit the open market.

Fox 26′s Mark Berman reported Tuesday the Houston Astros agreed to a six-year, $100 million deal with Alex Bregman that will cover his remaining arbitration years and what would’ve been his first two free-agent years. Also on Tuesday, Passan reported Mike Trout agreed to a 12-year, $430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Passan also reported Thursday the Tampa Bay Rays inked American League Cy Young winner Ian Snell to a five-year, $50 million extension.

Goldschmidt may be content to get long-term security now rather than risk going unsigned for a large chunk of the 2020 offseason and potentially settling for a salary below what many would’ve expected.

Manny Machado and Bryce Harper—both of whom are in their respective primes—didn’t sign until February, while Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain without a team. Considering he’ll turn 32 in September, Goldschmidt might have found a lukewarm market in free agency.

At potentially $22 million a year, re-signing Goldschmidt is a no-brainer for the Cardinals.

Over the past five years, he ranks sixth in WAR among position players (26.8), per FanGraphs. During that span, he has a .301/.408/.539 slash line, 145 home runs and 477 RBI, and his .398 weighted on-base average is fifth-highest in MLB.

The six-time All-Star has generally been a model of consistency at the plate, and he has shown little sign of declining. Even if Goldschmidt’s performance starts slipping a bit, he should more than justify St. Louis’ investment.

Mike Koplove Jersey

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The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

Kevin Cron Jersey

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On May 24, the Arizona Diamondbacks called up Kevin Cron to the big-league club. At the time the 26-year-old led all minor leaguers with 21 home runs. He was called up to help an offense that needed a boost. On June 6, he hit his first big-league home run. Since then, he was sent down when Arizona needed another pitcher, then returned to provide pinch hitting duties and some occasional time at first base. He is also being utilized as the DH when the team is in an American League city.
Arrival to Arizona

Cron attended high school in Phoenix. He was originally drafted out of high school by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2011 draft but decided to attend Texas Christian University instead. A catcher in high school, he was moved to first base at TCU. In 2014, after his junior season, the Diamondbacks selected him in the 14th round of the MLB draft. He signed with them on June 23, 2014.

Playing in the Minor Leagues

Cron made his professional debut with the Missoula Osprey of the Rookie-level Pioneer League, and quickly moved up to the Hillsboro Hops of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League. He finished 2014 with a combined .291 batting average along with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs.

He spent 2015 with the Visalia Rawhide of the Class A-Advanced California League in 2015 where he hit 27 home runs and had 97 RBIs. In 2016 he was with the AA Mobile BayBears. He added 88 RBIs and 26 home runs to his stats.

After the 2016 season, he played in front of the local Arizona fans when he was assigned to the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. In 2017, Cron played for the AA Jackson Generals. He was named the league’s most valuable player after batting .283 with 25 home runs and 91 RBIs. Cron spent last year with the AAA Reno Aces, improving his batting average to .309 while hitting 22 home runs and adding 97 RBIs to his lifetime totals.
Improved his Power Swing Potential

We know that since he came out of college Cron has a ton of power. At 6-foot-5, and around 245 pounds, his strength is obvious. His swing power is above average.
However, while he hit all those home runs in his three full seasons, he also struck out more than 130 times each year as well, leading some to question if he could make enough contact to tap into his power at the highest level.

He worked persistently with each minor league hitting coach on swing-and-miss issues and on the lack of plate discipline, two things that previously held him back and a key indicator on why he played Double-A ball in 2017. The work has paid off. His pitch recognition has improved. That has led to increased walks helping to offset what will always be a big strikeout total.
Baseball Family

Kevin Cron’s life has revolved around baseball, the game and the clubhouse. His father, Chris Cron, was an MLB player with both the then California Angels and Chicago White Sox. Currently, he is the manager of the AAA Reno Aces. Kevin’s brother, C. J. Cron, plays for the Minnesota Twins and their cousin is former Diamondbacks catcher Chad Moeller. Being around pro baseball at a young age certainly goes along way to help learn the ways players handle themselves and what it takes to be a professional. Not only that, but hanging around the players and managers and hearing their stories and their game breakdowns, you learn the in-outs of the game that are often overlooked or missed by those without this experience. This, too, has helped Cron.

Future in MLB

Since being recalled by the Diamondbacks, he has been limited mostly to pinch-hit duty. Jake Lamb’s return from injury and Christian Walker have pushed Cron’s to a limited role. But, we could see him get more playing time in the second half of the season if the Diamondbacks decide to become sellers and trade Lamb. A lot of that will depend on the team’s playoff chances. Stay tuned.

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NEW YORK — Zac Gallen had just moved into his Miami apartment.

Two weeks later, he needed to move out.

A day after making his seventh career start with the Marlins and lowering his ERA to 2.72 with seven innings of two-run, eight-strikeout ball, the rookie right-hander was summoned to manager Don Mattingly’s office.

Gallen, who was just beginning to get acclimated to his new surroundings, initially assumed the coaching staff wanted to go over his last outing. But the Marlins had other plans on July 31 — and they weren’t sending Gallen back down to the minors.

Instead, Miami sent the 24-year-old to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade-deadline deal. In exchange, the Marlins received middle infield prospect Jazz Chisholm. Mattingly and Michael Hill, Miami’s president of baseball operations, delivered the news.

Well, sort of.

“At first, they didn’t tell me what team I’d been traded to. So at the end of the meeting, I was like, ‘Hey, where am I going?’” Gallen, who will match up against Reds righty Trevor Bauer on Sunday, told Yahoo Sports.

“They didn’t say. But at the time, I didn’t know what to do. I was just like I’ve got to pack up my stuff within like 12 hours. It was crazy.”
Different city, same results

Gallen found out about the trade at 2:30 p.m. He left Marlins Park two hours later after cleaning out his locker, saying his goodbyes and talking to reporters. Next, it was time to pack. Fortunately, Gallen had a close friend in town, who proved to be a huge help with the move.

“My phone was blowing up all day,” Gallen said. “And it was tough because I had to decide what to bring with me and what I was going to get shipped in my car a couple weeks later. I’m kind of a paranoid packer.”

Nevertheless, after taking a flight out west, Gallen found himself in another meeting with Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo. And this one went a bit differently.

“‘We’re excited to have you. We wanted you for a few months now, and we were finally able to make it happen,’” Gallen was told.

“So that was awesome to hear,” he said. “When you get traded, it’s good and bad. One team doesn’t want you, I guess you could say, but another does, so it’s cool. I was really glad to hear that they had so much interest in me.”

While the Diamondbacks have sputtered of late, their playoff hopes hanging by a thread after a four-game sweep at the hands of the New York Mets at Citi Field, Gallen hasn’t slowed down. And Arizona has yet to feel the sting of losing staff ace Zack Greinke, who they moved to Houston at the deadline.

In seven starts with the Diamondbacks, Gallen has compiled a 2.61 ERA. On Sept. 4, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. In his last outing, against the Mets, he struck out nine — including All-Stars Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso a combined five times in six plate appearances.

Zac Gallen, Filthy 87mph Changeup (release/spin axis/slow). pic.twitter.com/C6HdG4NOQz
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 11, 2019

He is the second NL pitcher to begin his career with 14 consecutive starts allowing three or fewer runs. Over that span, he has averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings.

“He’s really good,” Arizona veteran Robbie Ray said. “He knows how to pitch.”

Or, as one Diamondbacks source put it, “Sure, we had to give up Jazz. But he’s been a damn good pickup for us.”

Gallen didn’t necessarily expect to be traded, though he had been before — a young player on a rebuilding team — but he’s enjoyed his new environment so far.

“At the beginning of the year, I didn’t expect I’d be anywhere close to a playoff hunt,” he said. “And then here I am two months after I made my debut and we’re right in the mix. It’s pretty cool.”
Oh, what could’ve been in Miami

In an alternate universe, Miami would still have a Big Three. It just wouldn’t consist of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

A new trio of Luis Castillo, Chris Paddack and Domingo German would dominate on the mound. And with a potent lineup featuring Christian Yelich (Brewers), Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Marcell Ozuna (Cardinals) and J.T. Realmuto (Phillies), the Marlins would be among the favorites to reach the World Series in 2019.

But none of that is going to happen.

Castillo has emerged as an NL Cy Young award candidate — in Cincinnati. Paddack just wrapped up a solid rookie year with six shutout innings against the Cubs — in San Diego. And German became an unsung hero, winning 18 games — in the Bronx.

Roberto Alomar Jersey

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For most of his career, the only time the word “second” appeared in the same sentence as Roberto Alomar was when someone was describing his position in the field.

At the plate, with the leather or in the final standings, Alomar was usually on top.

Born Feb. 5, 1968 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Alomar had baseball in his blood. His father, Sandy Alomar Sr., was an All-Star second baseman in his 15-year major league career. Like his father, Roberto played second, threw right-handed and switch-hit. Alomar’s brother, Sandy, Jr., also made it to the big leagues as a catcher.

At 18, Roberto Alomar signed with the San Diego Padres and won the California League batting title in his second year in the minors with a .346 batting average. By 1988, he was with the parent club, making a splash with his defense and speed and finishing fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He earned his first All-Star selection in 1990.

Following that season, Alomar was traded to Toronto – where his offense took off. Alomar raised his average over .300, helping the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-1993 while finishing in third in the AL batting title race in 1993. He hit a combined .354 in four postseason series in those two championship seasons.

“Everybody can see the skills on the field,” said teammate Dave Winfield, himself a Hall of Famer. “He’s acrobatic, flamboyant, he’s got his style.”

Following the 1995 season, Alomar signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Forming a Hall of Fame double-play combination with Cal Ripken Jr., helped his team get back to the playoffs – advancing to the ALCS in 1996 and 1997. Following the 1998 season, Alomar signed with the Cleveland Indians and played with his brother Sandy for the first time.

“He reminds me of some of the great players that I’ve played with, who seem like they write their own script,” said Davey Johnson, who managed Alomar with the Orioles. “Frank Robinson’s one, Henry Aaron was the other.”

It was in Cleveland that Alomar had two of his best seasons. In 1999, he hit .323 with 24 homers, 120 RBI and 37 stolen bases. He finished third in MVP voting and led the league in runs scored (138) and sacrifice flies (13). In 2001, he hit .336 with 20 homers, 100 RBI and 30 stolen bases.

Teamed with Omar Vizquel, the double-play combo won three consecutive Gold Gloves together. The Indians advanced to the postseason in both 1999 and 2001.

Alomar was traded to the Mets in 2002 before later stops with the White Sox and Diamondbacks. He retired after the 2004 season.

In 17 major league seasons, Alomar tallied 2,724 hits, 210 home runs, 1,134 RBI, a .300 batting average and .984 fielding percentage. He made 12 consecutive All-Star appearances.

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Angels manager Brad Ausmus has only been on the job for a year, but the club “would consider” firing him to hire Joe Maddon after the season, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription link). That would require the Cubs to move on from Maddon, whose contract is up, while the Angels would likely need to make the 65-year-old a substantial offer. The first part of that equation looks like a real possibility, but it appears the second would pose a problem. Angels owner Arte Moreno likely doesn’t want to pay two managers, per Rosenthal, who adds it’s very doubtful he’d be willing to match Maddon’s current salary of $6MM. Notably, though, there is quite a bit of history between Maddon and the Angels. He spent 31 years with the organization in a variety of roles before his managerial career began with the Rays prior to the 2006 season.

Recent speculation has linked longtime Giants executive Brian Sabean to the Marlins, but the 63-year-old told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that he isn’t going anywhere. Although Sabean’s contract is about to expire, he and the Giants are in talks to keep him in place for what would be his 28th year with the organization in 2020. “We’re in the process of sorting that out as we speak,” Sabean said. “I’m quite sure my Giant career will continue in some form or fashion. I’m not interested in looking to go anywhere else. We’ll see how it develops in the next month or so.” While Sabean was at the helm of the Giants’ baseball department during all three of their World Series wins this decade, he has taken on a lesser role since the team hired Farhan Zaidi to steer the ship last offseason. Sabean spent a large portion of this season scouting, which is his passion, Schulman notes.

The Diamondbacks have shut right-handers Luke Weaver and Zac Gallen down for the season, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Weaver sat out all of June, July, August and most of September with forearm and UCL injuries, but he made a successful two-inning return last weekend to cap off his 2019. He and Gallen, whom the D-backs acquired at the trade deadline, figure to slot in near the top of the club’s rotation in 2020. Fellow righty Taijuan Walker could join them if he overcomes the arm problems that have essentially shelved him for two straight seasons. Walker could, however, take the ball for the first and only time of the season in Arizona’s finale on Sunday, Piecoro relays.

The Athletics just designated catcher Beau Taylor for assignment for the second time this year, but that doesn’t mean his days with the organization are over. On the contrary, chances are “good” that the A’s will try to re-sign Taylor in the offseason, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Judging by the glowing reviews of Taylor that prized young catcher Sean Murphy and manager Bob Melvin offer in Slusser’s piece, he clearly has the respect of the A’s players and coaches.

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We missed an installment from good ol’ Kenny Rosenthal yesterday. He’s back today in full force (unlike another great rumor source, Buster Olney, who posted nothing really new in his blog today).

The A’s, once considered the best bet for Barry Bonds, are no longer interested in the indicted slugger. Rosenthal thinks it’s likely that Bond’s trial will start after Opening Day, causing him to miss time regardless of the verdict. And then there’s the whole prison issue.

The Rangers spoke to the Mariners at the GM meetings regarding the availability of Ben Broussard. Talks didn’t really go anywhere, since Broussard is a non-tender candidate. The Mariners might not be too keen on offering Broussard a raise over the $3.55 million he made last year, in which he managed just 264 plate appearances.

Teams, including the Dodgers, might be more interested in Aaron Rowand over Torii Hunter because of one year and $30 million. Rowand is seeking five years, $60 million, while Hunter wants six and $90 mil. Hunter is far more proven a commodity, though, and is more athletic than Rowand. The negative in Hunter’s corner is that he’s two years older than Rowand.

He mentions that the Cubs are interested in Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, both switch hitters, to play second base next year. The Astros and Mets are also in on Castillo, while the Rockies would like to re-sign Kaz — though they have a number of internal candidates, including Ian Stewart.

The Padres are considering offering arbitration to Mike Cameron and Mike Barrett. Barrett seems like a no-brainer. He’s a Type A free agent, and would probably be worth a one-year deal. He could be pricey, though, as Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are making $13 million or more. Cameron also makes sense. The Padres still need a center fielder for 2008, and they’d do well to sign Cam to a one-year deal should he accept arbitration. Otherwise, the supplemental pick would be nice.

Reggie Sanders will consider retirement if he can’t land a deal with the Dodgers, Giants, or Padres. Sanders missed most of the 2007 season with hamstring problems.

Joel Payamps Jersey

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Joel Payamps career is a case study in patience and perseverance. Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic as a 17 year old Amateur free agent by the Rockies back in 2011, he toiled 4 years in the low minors for that organization, the last two of which did not go well. Consecutive seasons of 6+ ERA in 2013-14 resulted in the Rockies releasing him. After not pitching at all in 2015, he was signed by the Diamondbacks as a Minor League Free Agent at the end of 2015. Since joining the DBacks organization he has steadily progressed, appearing in both AA Jackson and AAA Reno each of the last three seasons before earning a brief callup to the majors in 2019.

Sometimes described as wiry and lanky, standing at 6’2” and 200 lbs, Payamps throws a Fastball, Sinker, Slider and Change. If used as a reliever, he’ll mostly use the 4 Seamer and slider. His 4 Seamer averages 93 MPH, maxing out at 96. He may be able to add a little to that velocity working strictly as a reliever. His command has been inconsistent, but when he has it, he strikes out a lot of batters and can dominate.
2019

The year did not start off Well for Payamps. In his first start on April 6th he took a comebacker off his foot which caused him to miss two months with a fracture. But when he returned in early June he was lights out. In his 41 IP at Jackson he walked just 2 while striking out 39, and allowed just 2 HR, good for a 2.17 FIP and a promotion to Reno.

Upon arriving in Reno in mid July, his success continued. In his first 4 starts, 22.2 IP, he allowed just 6 earned runs, 2.38 ERA. However the K/BB ratio fell to just 12/10. He then got roughed up in his two subsequent starts allowing 9 runs in 9.2 IP on 11 hits and 2 homers. Ironically he struck out 10 and walked just 3 during those two starts. Overall it was enough to earn him a callup to the big club in August.

Making his major league debut on August 21, he came on in the 6th to relieve Mike Leake with the Dbacks down 5-0 to the Rockies. He pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, all singles, walking one batter and striking out three. In his second appearance he pitched a scoreless 8th inning in a 4-0 loss to the Brewers.

The two mop up appearances were all he would get in 2019. He was sent back to Reno and made one more appearance there on August 30th, his last of the season. He was not added to the MLB roster in September, which was somewhat of a surprise to me at the time as I had projected him to be among the September Callups . I’m not quite certain what happened there.
Whats Next in 2020 ?

As a member of the 40 man roster, he’ll likely start the year in Reno, and could be called up to either relieve or spot start as needed in 2020. He has an intriguing arm, and while I don’t think he will ever be more more than a very back end rotation option, he still has some upside as a reliever in my view. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a shot at the 2020 bullpen in spring training. He has the stuff, but will need more consistent command to be successful.

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Eric Hosmer could not stop his swing, and right-hander Taijuan Walker slapped his glove in celebration of the inning-ending strikeout. For the second time in as many weeks, a pitcher expected to be a key part of next year’s rotation had briefly demonstrated his health – and, in the process, provided a glimmer of hope for the Diamondbacks.

In his first and only big-league inning of the year, Walker gave up a hit, struck out a batter, hit 94 mph on the radar gun and threw a total of 15 pitches. His appearance in the Diamondbacks’ 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field did not last long, but it meant something to both him and the organization as they turn their attention toward next year.

The Diamondbacks ended their season with five consecutive victories, all of which came after they officially were eliminated from postseason contention. At 85-77, they finished 21 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers and four games out of a wild-card spot.

“Definitely I can go into the offseason knowing I’m 100 percent, completely healthy,” Walker said. “I can have a normal offseason and get ready for spring training.”

Right-hander Luke Weaver made similar remarks after tossing two innings in his return from the injured list the previous weekend in San Diego. The Diamondbacks will be counting on both he and Walker to play prominent roles in their starting rotation next year.

“It gives us a little bit more clarity, certainly,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We know they got on the mound, they jumped into that arena of competition. They probably mentally checked a big box off.”

Two years ago, Walker was a mainstay in one of the better rotations in Diamondbacks history, posting a 3.49 ERA with a 146 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings. Three starts into 2018, he went down with Tommy John surgery, and just as he was nearing a return this past May, he experienced shoulder problems that sidelined him until Sunday.

He threw mostly fastballs and change-ups against the Padres. He largely threw strikes. He elicited a couple of swings and misses. Walker was content with all that. But he seemed genuinely excited to be able to walk off a mound in a game that counted and feel healthy.

“I felt comfortable,” he said. “Just to go out there and get outs for the first time in forever, it felt nice.”

As it stands, the Diamondbacks have too many starters for too few rotation spots for 2020. Beyond Walker and Weaver, there are veterans Robbie Ray and Mike Leake and rookies Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Alex Young.

The team lacks the kind of clear-cut ace that right-hander Zack Greinke represented before he was traded in July. But the Diamondbacks believe they have pitchers capable of developing into that sort of pitcher.

“Every fifth day (with Greinke) you knew you were going to have a really, really good chance to go out and win a baseball game,” Lovullo said. “But I feel like we have other guys who are emerging.”

Walker and Ray each have had success in the majors. Weaver seemed to be developing into a frontline starter before going down with elbow problems in May. Gallen made 15 starts this year in his first exposure to the major leagues; he did not allow more than three runs in any of them.

“I feel like there’s some potential for guys to emerge into that role, but they’re going to have to earn it,” Lovullo said. “You don’t get anointed that position. You have to earn it.”

The Diamondbacks’ season served as an example of how pitching depth can vanish with a handful of injuries. That said, the club could view its rotation surplus as area from which to trade this offseason.

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This morning, veteran infielder Stephen Drew announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. Drew was quite the prospect when he came into pro ball 13 years ago. Let’s take a look at what was expected of him and what he actually accomplished.

A star shortstop at Florida State University, Stephen Drew hit .344/.468/.692 for the Seminoles in the spring of 2004 and was considered by many to be the most complete player available in the draft that year. He also had a history of injuries and Scott Boras as an agent, factors which pushed him down draft boards.

He went 15th-overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks but held out. I filed this report in the 2005 edition of the Baseball Prospect Book:

Picked in the first round but “just” 15th overall last June, Stephen Drew was rated as the top college player available by most experts, but fell in the draft due to his bonus demands. As I write this (December 5, 2004) he has not signed, but supposedly there is a good chance he will by spring training. Drew is a complete player, a Seven Skill middle infielder. He hits for average, hits for power, controls the strike zone, steals bases, has good range in the field, is reliable, and knows how to use his arm. That’s all seven. About the only thing anyone says bad about him is that he hasn’t always been a rah-rah leader-type guy in the clubhouse. There have also been concerns that he’s not willing to play through injuries. At this point, it is hard to know how seriously to take those kinds of worries, since they are impossible to quantify. For now, he gets a Grade B+ since we don’t know exactly how quickly he will adjust to pro ball. Understand that this is a conservative grade, and that most people think he’ll be ready for the Show within two years, if not sooner. I think he’s more likely to turn out to be a good player like brother J.D. rather than a disappointment like brother Tim.

The holdout went on longer than expected: he began 2005 playing with the Camden Riversharks in the independent Atlantic League. He spent 19 games there until finally coming to terms with the Diamondbacks. He ripped up the Cal League after signing (.389/.486/.738 in 149 at-bats) but was less effective after moving up to Double-A (.218/.301/.386 in 101 at-bats), at least partially due to more nagging injuries.

The report entering 2006:

Maybe there is something I just don’t understand about life. But I really don’t comprehend why it’s necessary for guys like Stephen Drew to hold out. What point does it make, really? He’s gonna make millions anyway. Why delay the start of his career? It’s one thing for a top draftee to hold out for a few months, but I really don’t get the whole “hold out until next spring and get your career off to a late start” dynamic, not for a guy like Drew who will be set for life either way. Anyway, whatever his personal philosophy, Drew is one helluva player, and could possibly end up being the best of the three Drew brothers. His bat is excellent, with unusually good power for a middle infielder. His strike zone judgment is solid, and he has pop to all fields. Although he struggled during a one-month Double-A trial, he smoked the Arizona Fall League, and no one doubts his bat despite the shaky Tennessee numbers. Defense is another matter. Drew is athletic enough to be a fine defender, but scouts say he doesn’t seem to care about his glovework, at least in comparison to his hitting. He runs well, although a leg injury hampered his speed in ’05. I have no doubts that Drew is one of the best prospects in the game, but nagging concerns about his defense will keep him from the absolute top of the list. Grade A-.

Drew split 2006 between Triple-A and the majors and was quite good after moving up, hitting .316/.357/.517 in 209 at-bats. He was the regular shortstop in 2007 and was healthy, playing 150 games, but often struggled and finished with a disappointing .238/.313/.370 line.

He rebounded in 2008 with a .291/.333/.502 line across 611 at-bats. Shaky defense drove down his WAR value however, which came in at 1.9 fWAR. His best season turned out to be 2010, with a .278/.352/.458 line and better glovework resulting in a 4.8 fWAR. He was 27 years old, the classic peak.

It started to go bad in 2011, with a serious ankle injury limiting him to 86 games. He came back in 2012 but was never the same, was traded to the Athletics, then drifted between various major league clubs as a free agent, seeing time with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Nationals.

At times he would flash the old ability. He hit just .201 for the Yankees in 2015 but did knock 17 homers. He was a useful part-timer with the Nationals in 2016 (.266/.348/.524 in 70 games, 143 at-bats) but was clearly winding down in 2017 and his retirement this week is no surprise.

Overall, Drew hit .252/.318/.423 over 4917 plate appearances, collecting 14.1 fWAR.

Among retired players with a similar amount of playing time, his fWAR puts him in the neighborhood of Bucky Dent (15.5), Walt Weiss (14.8), Rey Sanchez (14.6), Julio Lugo (13.9), Dick Schofield (13.8) and Zoilo Versailles (13.5). Sim Score comparables include Jeff Blauser, Alex “Blue Jays” Gonzalez, Robby Thompson, Felipe Lopez, and Versailles.

Despite criticisms of his defensive effort in college and the minors, his glove actually turned out to be better than his bat, at least if you believe WAR. His range declined with age but he made few errors and was still playable in the middle infield on a reserve basis at the end of his career.

Overall, Drew was a very good player at his peak but never lived up to the full superstar potential perceived by scouts when he was an amateur.