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  #31  
Old 08-08-2019, 12:54 AM
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Nellie_Fox Nellie_Fox is offline
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Unless I’m missing someone who went straight from amateur baseball to MLB and skipped the minor leagues, every MLB player was at one point a “going nowhere minor leaguer.”



Baseball Hall of Fame Members Who Never Played in the Minor Leagues
  • Bob Feller
Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller went straight to the major leagues when he was 17 years old in 1936. Feller won 266 games for the Cleveland Indians in his 18 year career, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. Feller missed three prime years of his career due to WW II, which prevented him from being a 300 game winner.
  • Frankie Frisch
Nicknamed “The Fordham Flash”, Frankie Frisch went directly from Fordham University to the major leagues in 1919 at the age of 20. Frisch, one of the best switch-hitters in baseball history, was the National League MVP in 1931, and he hit .316 over his 19 year career. Frankie Frisch was inducted into Cooperstown in 1947.
  • Catfish Hunter
After recovering from a hunting accident that cost him one of his toes, Catfish Hunter went right into the major leagues at the age of 19 in 1965. Hunter pitched in the majors for 15 years, won 224 games, was the American League Cy Young Award winner in 1974, won five World Series, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Al Kaline
Al Kaline went right from high school to the Detroit Tigers in 1953 at the age of 18. Kaline played in the majors for 22 years, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.
  • Harmon Killebrew
After turning down a scholarship to play for the University of Oregon, Harmon Killebrew signed a contract with the Washington Senators and went right to the major leagues as a 18 year old kid in 1954. Killebrew hit 573 career home runs, the 11th most in baseball history, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
  • Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax went from pitching for the University of Cincinnati to pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955 at age 19. Koufax went on to pitch four no-hitters, won three Cy Young Awards, was MVP in 1963, won three World Series, and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1972.
  • Mel Ott
Mel Ott signed with the New York Giants at age 17 and went directly to the major leagues, having never played in the minor leagues. Ott went on to hit 511 home runs, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.
  • George Sisler
After playing for Branch Rickey at the University of Michigan, George Sisler went right to the majors in 1915, playing for the St. Louis Browns at age 22. Rickey had left Michigan to join the Browns two years earlier. Sisler had previously signed a minor league contract years before, but it was declared void and he went right to the majors.
After his major league career was over in 1930, George Sisler did play in the minor leagues in 1931 and 1932. Sisler, who twice batted over .400 in a season, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
  • Dave Winfield
After a brilliant collegiate career at the University of Minnesota, where he played both basketball and baseball, Dave Winfield skipped the minor leagues and started playing for the San Diego Padres in 1973 at age 21. Winfield was such a great athlete in college that he was drafted by four different professional sports teams.
In addition to the Padres in baseball, Dave Winfield was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, the Utah Stars in the ABA, and even though he never played football in college, the Minnesota Vikings took him in the NFL Draft. After a great 22 year career in the major leagues, Dave Winfield was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.
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  #32  
Old 08-08-2019, 01:37 AM
TDog TDog is offline
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The list of minor leaguers the White Sox have acquired from other organizations this century who have never played in the majors is longer. The length of that list has to have more impact when you consider the lack of accomplishment of some White Sox major leaguers this century.

As a point of contrast, no players who appeared in the 2017 World Series for the Astros were acquired as prospects in trade for an accomplished veteran players.

It is true that the term "going nowhere minor leaguer" may be unfair. I would have put that label on AJ Reed until he surprised me when I saw him in the White Sox lineup.

But I still can't believe people are upset the White Sox didn't trade Abreu for someone who would be labeled in this forum as garbage or a bucket of balls, common designations here that I don't use, although I am questioned for the "going nowhere minor leaguer" designation.
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  #33  
Old 08-08-2019, 04:04 AM
Grzegorz Grzegorz is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
But I still can't believe people are upset the White Sox didn't trade Abreu for someone who would be labeled in this forum as garbage or a bucket of balls, common designations here that I don't use, although I am questioned for the "going nowhere minor leaguer" designation.
It's always easier to point out missed opportunities when you do not have skin in the game.
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  #34  
Old 08-08-2019, 07:13 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nellie_Fox View Post
Baseball Hall of Fame Members Who Never Played in the Minor Leagues
  • Bob Feller
Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller went straight to the major leagues when he was 17 years old in 1936. Feller won 266 games for the Cleveland Indians in his 18 year career, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. Feller missed three prime years of his career due to WW II, which prevented him from being a 300 game winner.
  • Frankie Frisch
Nicknamed “The Fordham Flash”, Frankie Frisch went directly from Fordham University to the major leagues in 1919 at the age of 20. Frisch, one of the best switch-hitters in baseball history, was the National League MVP in 1931, and he hit .316 over his 19 year career. Frankie Frisch was inducted into Cooperstown in 1947.
  • Catfish Hunter
After recovering from a hunting accident that cost him one of his toes, Catfish Hunter went right into the major leagues at the age of 19 in 1965. Hunter pitched in the majors for 15 years, won 224 games, was the American League Cy Young Award winner in 1974, won five World Series, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Al Kaline
Al Kaline went right from high school to the Detroit Tigers in 1953 at the age of 18. Kaline played in the majors for 22 years, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.
  • Harmon Killebrew
After turning down a scholarship to play for the University of Oregon, Harmon Killebrew signed a contract with the Washington Senators and went right to the major leagues as a 18 year old kid in 1954. Killebrew hit 573 career home runs, the 11th most in baseball history, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
  • Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax went from pitching for the University of Cincinnati to pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955 at age 19. Koufax went on to pitch four no-hitters, won three Cy Young Awards, was MVP in 1963, won three World Series, and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1972.
  • Mel Ott
Mel Ott signed with the New York Giants at age 17 and went directly to the major leagues, having never played in the minor leagues. Ott went on to hit 511 home runs, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.
  • George Sisler
After playing for Branch Rickey at the University of Michigan, George Sisler went right to the majors in 1915, playing for the St. Louis Browns at age 22. Rickey had left Michigan to join the Browns two years earlier. Sisler had previously signed a minor league contract years before, but it was declared void and he went right to the majors.
After his major league career was over in 1930, George Sisler did play in the minor leagues in 1931 and 1932. Sisler, who twice batted over .400 in a season, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
  • Dave Winfield
After a brilliant collegiate career at the University of Minnesota, where he played both basketball and baseball, Dave Winfield skipped the minor leagues and started playing for the San Diego Padres in 1973 at age 21. Winfield was such a great athlete in college that he was drafted by four different professional sports teams.
In addition to the Padres in baseball, Dave Winfield was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, the Utah Stars in the ABA, and even though he never played football in college, the Minnesota Vikings took him in the NFL Draft. After a great 22 year career in the major leagues, Dave Winfield was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Thanks, Nellie.

I knew there were some examples. I didn’t know who they were off the top of my head. But I was reasonably certain - and you confirmed - there weren’t any current MLB players who accomplished this feat. I should have used the modifier “current” in my description that you quoted.
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  #35  
Old 08-08-2019, 04:05 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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The straight-to-majors Hall of Fame list is certainly valid, but it is a deceptive because labor has changed. More to the point are players like Chris Sale, who made his White Sox debut less than two months after he was drafted (and he probably didn't sign on draft day). He pitched 10.1 innings in the minors before going to the majors.

Before I was born (but I read about it), Harmon Killebrew was signed by the original Washington Senators as what baseball apparently officially designated a "bonus baby". Between 1947 and 1965, a player signed for a bonus of $4,000 or more were required to spend two years on the major league 25-man roster. Failure to comply placed the players on waivers. Hence, Killebrew hit .325 in Charlotte (then in Class A) after playing two years in the majors. There were about 60 bonus babies, Catfish Hunter being the last and one of four that went to the Hall of Fame. In addition to Killebrew, the only one of the four to be sent back down to the minors, there was Sandy Koufax and Al Kaline. I understand that a few bonus babies, like Bob Miller, who ended up pitching for both the 1962 Mets, had careers that were punctuated by things other than excellence.

The bonus-baby rule was supposed to make baseball more competitive, but it ended up holding down salaries. That seemed fine for owners until a bidding war for Rick Reichardt (the White Sox got the sloppy Reichardt seconds a decade later) went over $200,000, leading baseball to institute the amateur draft in 1965. About a month before the Kansas City A's selected Rick Monday as the first pick in the first draft, they signed Hunter as the last bonus baby. Monday came up to the A's in 1966, a year after Hunter, who, like Bob Feller, went straight from high school to the majors, avoiding the lowball offers the early draftees would get in the 1960s and becoming one of baseball's first big-money free agents in the 1970s.

Bob Horner went straight from ASU to the Braves in the 1970s and even won NL Rookie of the Year the same year he played in the finals of the College World Series. But just as MLB labor rules shortened the minor league careers for many players after World War II, current labor rules are contributing to keeping players in the majors longer because teams are concerned with service time.

Players now who go straight to to the majors are generally international signings. Alexei Ramirez never played an American baseball minor league game, although he played in Spanish-speaking countries before and after his MLB career. But people don't consider players like Ramirez or Jose Abreu, the Puigs or Cespedeses or the Japanese imports (who qualify for Rookie of the Year, nonetheless) as they do other prospects, even younger-at-signings international ones like Dayan Viciedo, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.

But I live in a Class A baseball city, where history tells us Walt "No-Neck" Williams broke into pro ball, as well as future White Sox coach Jeff Cox. I can see that most minor leaguers are going nowhere. Even Mike Yastrzemski the son of a Hall of Famer and father of a current rookie Giant, who I took out for beers one rainy AAA afternoon (it was a condition of the interview), never made it to the White Sox, although his roommate, Jack Hardy, did, although I doubt anyone remembers him. When I go to a Modesto Nuts game, I don't expect more than a couple players on the field to have a major league career in front of them, and I'm often let down by the ones I believed had a baseball future. Even at a AAA Reno Aces game, you have the occasional star who is on the fast track to the majors, like Adam Eaton who had an incredible year 2012 season. You see a lot of future major leaguers in Reno, but most are the kind you would want your team to trade for. Minor league baseball can be fun baseball, of course In 1978, I saw Greg Johnston have a great game for the Phoenix Giants, two triples, threw out a runner at the plate from right field. I would have loved to have seen the White Sox trade for him. Now, whenever I think I might make a good scout for an MLB team, I look at Greg Johnston's numbers on Baseball Reference and consider how much better the White Sox were sticking with their AA rightfield prospect, Harold Baines.
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