50 thoughts on “2020 WGOM Draft: Round 4”

  1. Gonna keep fillin' in my infield.

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    Also - Beltré has become known for the joy and the sense of playfulness that he exhibits on the field. Which is good enough reason for me.

    1. Beltré was the guy I was intending to take this round if he made it back to me. Excellent choice — a hall of fame personality on top of the performance.

      1. As a youngster, my favorite player was George Brett. My older brother favored Mike Schmidt and we had countless arguments over who was best. In the end, they were both incredible.

        1. Well I think we have now definitively proved that your older brother was right by exactly 7 baseball players.

    1. "Who's the pitchers in this game?" just kills me every. single. time. Truly one of the best punchlines of all time.

      1. He was basically my parents' "Joe Mauer." He was just barely older than them and spent parts of two seasons in Omaha when my parents were in college and then joined Omaha's "hometown" team. I remember them always getting extra excited when we were going to a Royals game during his career. (I can only confirm one of his games that I attended, and he went 1-for-4 against Bert that day.)

    2. Back in my sportswriter days, I covered a few games for the minor league team owned by him and his brother, and at least one of them showed up a time or two in the press box. He also was in a Senior Pro-Am golf tourney that I covered, but I didn't get a chance to interview him. I did get to interview Chi-Chi Rodriguez.

  2. Well, I need a pitcher. Why not take the all-time leader in ERA+. His run from 2011 through 2017 might be the best seven year-stretch by any pitcher, just without the world-class playoff performances. And he's got plenty of years left to add to his resume.

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  3. This keeps getting harder! With a number of players I was considering off the market, I decided to take a rotation-mate of my last pick. He's the greatest left-handler to ever pitch for the Twins...

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  4. Thanks, CH. Lefty was on my short list, but he is one weird dude.

    My pick:

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    The Left Arm of God only had six quality seasons, but they were ridiculous. He retired at age-30 after leading the league in WAR for pitchers, ERA, ERA+, FIP, Ks, and wins, and taking his third Cy Young in four years.

    In those six years, he accumulated 1,713 Ks in 1,632.2 innings, and had a 156 ERA+ and 2.16 FIP.

    Writers used to say that Koufax was rather mediocre in his early career. And it is true that ages 19-24, he didn't look all that special, despite high K rates. But in his age-25 season, his BB rate dropped sharply and he became an all-star for the first time. The next year started a five year run of greatness.

    1. I knew nothing of his weirdness (seems a charitable word, honestly) until your comment prompted me to look — uffda.

      He’s going to have to deal with the fact that I’m not picking Tim McCarver for my backup catcher, the team broadcaster, or his personal spokesman.

      1. There's the possibility apocryphal story about when the 87 Twins went to the White House, and he was identified in a photo as "unnamed Twins coach."

    2. His Game 7 vs. the Twins >>> Jack Morris' Game 7 but doesn't seem like it's appreciated nearly as much. Pitching on 2 days rest and pitches a shutout vs. the AL's best offense on the road.

  5. Round 4 Pick SelectShow

    Second highest WAR7 for any third baseman, batting .357 from '85 to '89 while also walking over a hundred times a year. His skill set was very underrated at the time, and though he led all AL position players in WAR in three of those seasons, and was runner up in the other two, he never placed higher than 4th in any MVP voting. Third best mustache in baseball history.

    I guess I'll be buying chicken in bulk.

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  6. Round 4 Pick SelectShow

    So I'm going to pick a leadoff batter, someone who played a lot of positions, someone who played a long time and played at a very high level. I'm not sure where I'm going to slot him in on defense yet, but he gives me lots of options.
    Although he's best known for making really dumb choices, I did learn something new about him that makes me respect him a bit more-
    From Wikipedia-
    He entered the United States Army Reserves after the 1963 baseball season. He was assigned to Fort Knox for six months of active duty, which was followed by six years of regular attendance with a 478th Engineering Battalion USAR unit at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Other Reds players in the unit included Johnny Bench, Bobby Tolan, and Darrel Chaney.

        1. If he does it right, probably can bunt Rickey up two bases.
          OK, I don't think that would happen too often, but it would be fun.

      1. The practice doesn’t seem unusual in the post-Korea draft years. Along with the players bhiggum mentioned, here are other notables with post-Korea service in a Reserve component of one of the branches:

        Rod Carew (USMC)
        Roberto Clemente (USMC)
        Thurman Munson (USA)
        Nolan Ryan (USA)
        Tom Seaver (USMC)

        I found this NYT article from June 1970 that details some military commitments around the league that season:

        Military service for major league baseball Players, ranging from two weks in summer camp to weekend meetings with reserve units, could have an important bearing on the 1970 pennant races.

        Approximately 100 of the 600 players on the current 25‐man rosters of the 24 major league clubs will spend some time in the military during the season, an Associated Press survey has found.

        According to Baseball Almanac, 54 players had their careers interrupted by service in Vietnam. Baseball Reference has a longer list with a couple of dubious names on it. I don’t think any of the names I’ve seen could be described as meeting the Berra/Mays/Robinson/Williams level of elite stardom. I suspect Reserve commitments were a way of mitigating & controlling the disruption of conscription into active duty.

  7. I debated going yet another round without selecting a pitcher but decided to let nibbish be the last person to select one.

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    He struck out a bunch of people in an era of few strikeouts. It did admittedly help to throw every inning of 30+ games in a season. He finished his career avoiding walks. If there's anything I learned, you do well when you max-min those two respectively.

    1. There was a children's baseball series called Iron Mask when I was a kid that Gary Carter had a hand in. A lot of the experiences of the kid in the books borrowed from his career, but one of the games has a play like the one in the video. I remember thinking as a kid that it was really cool but doubtful that it could ever happen in real life. I was thrilled when I found out that it had happened.

  8. Happy Birthday!

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    Focusing on dominance, I went with a pitcher who might not have stuck around quite long enough to get into the Hall of Fame, but one he finally got his permanent place in the starting rotation, he was the best pitcher in baseball while healthy. And that included contemporaries Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay and Max Scherzer. 2 Cy Youngs and should have had 3 and had a 4th season where he led the NL in ERA and innings pitched. He got screwed twice by the BBWAA, first when he didn't get a second consecutive Cy Young despite clearly being the best pitcher in the AL, and also when he was one and done for the Hall of Fame. Also, best changeup ever.

  9. SoCal just took who I was going to pick here, so I'll have to go another way. Instead, I'll go with one of my all-time favorites:

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    I always loved his underdog story. Taken in the 62nd round of the draft, essentially as a favor to his dad, but became one of the best hitters ever at his position. (Though reading about him now, much less of an underdog upbringing; his dad made $100 million selling cars and real estate, and Ted Williams once gave him personal instruction in his backyard batting cage.) I had two baseball player posters of in my room when I was in middle school, and he was one of them. It was a hard choice between the two of them, but I'll just hope the other one makes it through the next 4 picks to get back to me.

  10. Alright, I'll make this pick now, since it's a pretty easy call for me. Round 5 will be tougher.

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