Dodger prospect busts 1990 – 1999
Last week we took a look at the Dodger prospect busts of the 21st century. Today we will take a look at the busts from 1990 – 1999. Thanks to an old Dodger Thoughts column by Jon Weisman I was able to find this link to all of the Baseball America Top 100 lists from 1990 – 2005 which helped jog my memory.
Before we hit the busts we should briefly applaud the prospects who made it. They didn’t’ just make it, they made it big.
Paul Konerko, Adrian Beltre, Todd Hollandsworth, Chan Ho Park, Raul Mondesi, Mike Piazza, Pedro Martinez, and Eric Karros. That is two current HOF and one for sure in Adrian Beltre. Konerko will roam the Hall of the Very Good. Unfortunately for the Dodgers other than Piazza they didn’t do any of their HOF work with the Dodgers. Martinez, Beltre, and Konerko were gone from the team before they were 26 years old.
Darren Dreifort is a tough player to grade. He wasn’t a major league bust but when you are the 2nd pick in the draft and go straight from college to the major leagues you expect more from a career than what Darren was able to provide. Baseball America ranked Darren as the 11th best prospect in 1994. Even before injuries ended his career he was an enigma to me. Advanced stats that are available in 2017 might be have helped enlighten the enigma back in the 1990’s. His stuff looked as unhittable as any pitcher I’d seen but hitters didn’t really seem to have a problem hitting him. He was good (barely) but he was never great. For a guy drafted right after possibly the greatest infielder in the history of baseball, that is a big fall.
Karim Garcia looked like he was going to be a star for the Dodgers. He was only 19 and was already pummeling AAA. Headed into his age 20 season Baseball America marked him as the 7th best prospect in baseball. His first few years he struggled in the majors but he was still extremely young when Arizona poached him in the expansion draft in 1997. I was livid but it turned out the Dodgers were right in exposing him in the draft. I expected great things from Karim but it never happened to him. Karim had a long career but only managed 1500 plate appearances in ten years and other than one year in 2002 was never ever to put those tools to proper use.
Was Jose Offerman a bust? Baseball America ranked him as the 4th best prospect in baseball in 1991. Offerman would end up with a fifteen-year career but over 1/2 of his 13 fWAR was collected in just two years with Royals. I was so in on Offerman as a prospect that I actually collected his minor league cards. When he hit a home run in his first major league game on Aug 19th, 1990 I felt that Jose Offerman would be the greatest shortstop the Los Angeles Dodgers would have had up to that point. It was not to be. Mainly because Jose Offerman was a horrible shortstop. Horrible. Even when the Royals turned out to be smarter than the Dodgers by moving him to 2nd base he still couldn’t field well enough to help his team. Not once in his fifteen-year career did he post a positive dWAR. His carer dWAR is -56. I was harder on Jose Offerman than I was on most Dodgers who don’t pan out. I really expected him to be something. It was not his fault he wasn’t but in 1995 he became one of the few Dodgers I’ve ever booed.
In the 1989 draft the Dodgers had three number one picks. The 15th pick was used on Kiki Jones considered the best high school pitcher. Kiki reported to the highly offensive Pioneer League and proceeded to dominate as no 19-year-old had done in many a year. Kiki went 8 – 0 in 12 starts, threw two complete-game shutouts and found himself ranked as the 6th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He then blew out his arm and never got above AA ball.
In the Baseball America 1991 ranking, the Dodgers had
4th – Jose Offerman
14th – Raul Mondesi
29th – Henry Rodriquez
40th – Jamie McAndrew
43rd – Kiki Jones
71st – Dan Opperman
74th – Tom Goodwin
94th – Eric Karros
Thank goodness for Raul Mondesi.
In a three year time, the Dodgers lost Dan Opperman, Kiki Jones, and Jamie McAndrew to arm injuries. That was right about the time I was seduced by TINSTAAPP.