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Top 10 Draft Picks, Season 1 - Where Are They Now

#1 RF Juan Valentin - Scranton Breakers
WATN - Starting RF for Scranton
Huge pick for Scranton that is working out beautifully. 5 minor league seasons: 3 MVP awards, 3 All-Star selections, 2 Silver Slugger Awards, and total hitting numbers of .327/.422/.662, not to mention a BB/K ratio of 355/309. In Season 6 Valentin claimed his rightful place with the big kids by hitting .312/.383/.582, earning him an All-Star nod and Rookie of the Year. The future's bright.

#2 P Dwight Hamilton - Honolulu Rain
Did not sign.

#3 2b Chris Hamilton - Minnesota North Stars
WATN - Starting LF for Minnesota
Hamilton, one of three first-round picks for Minnesota in Season 1, has progressed the furthest compared to his peers, P Russell Fisher and RF Tito Presley. Hamilton rose quickly to AAA, but never achieved as much success at that level. He made the parent club out of Season 5 Spring Training and hit almost 100 points better than his last AAA season. After a great rookie season, Hamilton encountered a second base position battle in Season 6 which he lost and moved to left field. Hamilton prefers his natural position, but playing in left gave the club better defense at two positions and kept Herm Munoz in the lineup while the everyday leftfielder, Fausto Johnson, had an off year. Munoz led the club in homers and hit over .300 while Hamilton cracked almost 40 doubles and played in 160 games, proving that a little teamwork can go a long way. -Hamilton write-up courtesy of mnnorthstars

#4 P Alberto Chantres - Boise Idaho Taters
Did not sign.

#5 SS Bruce File - Jackson Riverdogs
WATN - Starting SS for Jackson
Another pick that is working out as planned. File has hit at every level, including his big league rookie campaign. After 5 minor league seasons with a composite line of .352/.434/.617, File continued to toy with pitchers in the bigs by hitting .302/.375/.493 in his first 700 PA's. Add in solid defense at SS, a 99 health rating, and the fact that he's just 25 and getting better, and we're looking at a Cal Ripken-type with just a little less power. Sweet.

#6 P Joe Suppan - St. Louis Archers
Did not sign.

#7 CF Alex Beck - Anaheim Anteaters
WATN - Starting CF in Anaheim
Beck raked in the lower minors, but levelled off at the higher levels and spent 2+ seasons at AAA. He earned 3 All-Star nods in the minors and hit .313/.409/.595 in 4 1/2 seasons. Beck was overmatched in his first big league season, hitting .239, but last season he knocked 35 bombs and, at 24, is still maturing. He'll probably be in CF for a long time in Anaheim.

#8 P Donzell Greer - Little Rock Travellers
WATN - P for Little Rock
Greer had a very strong and steady rise through the Little Rock farm system. In 5 minor league seasons he amassed a 63-23 record, along with a 3.40era. He experienced virtually no bumps in rising to the bigs. In Season 5 Greer had an unspectacular cup of coffee(28 inninngs and a 7.39era), and Season 6, his first full big league season, saw him as a promising, if inconsistent, swingman(8-7, 6.44era). Greer's ratings look good, but he will need to be careful with the longball after allowing 33 in 130 innings last season.

#9 P Edgar Nunez - Ottawa Ice
Did not sign.

#10 P Kip Herges - Las Vegas Longballers
WATN - P for Las Vegas
Herges was an unsigned draftee in Season 1, but jrnyfan01 worked his owner's magic and signed him as a minor league free agent in Season 2. Herges started his career at AAA, going 9-2 in 135 innings, and then accumulated a 41-30 record with a 4.52era over 4 total minor league seasons. Herge's big league debut in Season 6 was inauspicious(3-9, 7.57era), but his ratings portend that better numbers may be around the corner.

Notes: 5 of the first 10 picks did not sign, with Herges signing a season later. No other draft has seen more than 2 of the top 10 picks not sign. Also, none of the above players have been traded. They all debuted with their original big league squads in Season 5 or 6 and appear to have promising careers ahead of them, though Greer and Herges have yet to prove themselves in the bigs.


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