Former Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Russ Adams retired from baseball yesterday after a poor start at Triple A Buffalo. He finishes his career with 993 plate appearances over 286 games, putting up a .685 OPS, after being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays fourteenth overall in the 2002 amateur draft.

He didn’t quite live up to being picked that early. From the 2002 draft:

Pick Team Player Pos WAR Type Drafted Out of
6 Royals Zack Greinke RHP 22.8 HS Apopka HS (Apopka, FL)
25 Giants Matt Cain RHP 20.1 HS Houston HS (Germantown, TN)
17 Phillies Cole Hamels LHP 17.1 HS Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego, CA)
15 Mets Scott Kazmir LHP 17.0 HS Cypress Falls HS (Houston, TX)
16 Athletics via Red Sox *Nick Swisher 1B 15.9 Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
7 Brewers Prince Fielder 1B 15.8 HS Eau Gallie HS (Melbourne, FL)
22 Indians Jeremy Guthrie RHP 14.4 Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
2 Devil Rays B.J. Upton SS 13.1 HS Greenbrier Christian Academy (Chesapeake, VA)
24 Athletics via Yankees *Joe Blanton RHP 10.8 University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)
13 Padres Khalil Greene SS 8.1 Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
12 Angels Joe Saunders LHP 8.0 Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
20 Twins Denard Span OF 7.2 HS Tampa Catholic HS (Tampa, FL)
9 Rockies Jeff Francis LHP 6.5 University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
19 Dodgers James Loney 1B 4.6 HS Lawrence E Elkins HS (Missouri City, TX)
23 Braves Jeff Francoeur OF 4.0 HS Parkview HS (Lilburn, GA)
11 Marlins Jeremy Hermida OF 3.1 HS Wheeler HS (Marietta, GA)
27 Diamondbacks Sergio Santos SS 1.4 HS Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, CA)
4 Orioles Adam Loewen LHP 0.9 HS Fraser Valley Christian HS (Surrey, BC)
35 Athletics *Jeremy Brown C 0.0 University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
10 Rangers Drew Meyer SS -0.3 University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
1 Pirates Bryan Bullington RHP -0.4 Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
28 Mariners John Mayberry OF -0.4 HS Rockhurst HS (Kansas City, MO)
39 Athletics *Mark Teahen 3B -0.7 St. Mary’s College of California (Moraga, CA)
8 Tigers Scott Moore SS -0.9 HS Cypress HS (Cypress, CA)
18 White Sox Royce Ring LHP -1.0 San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
14 Blue Jays Russ Adams SS -1.1 University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC)
34 Braves *Dan Meyer LHP -1.4 James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA)
3 Reds Chris Gruler (minors) RHP HS Liberty Union HS (Oakley, CA)
5 Expos Clint Everts (minors) RHP HS Cypress Falls HS (Houston, TX)
21 Cubs Bobby Brownlie (minors) RHP Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
26 Athletics John McCurdy (minors) SS University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
29 Astros Derick Grigsby (minors) RHP JC Northeast Texas CC (Mount Pleasant, TX)
30 Athletics via Cardinals *Ben Fritz (minors) RHP Fresno State University (Fresno, CA)
31 Dodgers *Greg Miller (minors) LHP HS Esperanza HS (Yorba Linda, CA)
32 Cubs *Luke Hagerty (minors) LHP Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
33 Indians *Matthew Whitney (minors) 3B HS Palm Beach Gardens HS (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
36 Cubs *Chadd Blasko (minors) RHP Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
37 Athletics *Steve Obenchain (minors) RHP University of Evansville (Evansville, IN)
38 Cubs *Matt Clanton (minors) RHP JC Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, CA)
40 Reds *Mark Schramek (minors) 3B University of Texas (Austin, TX)
41 Indians *Micah Schilling (minors) 2B HS Silliman Institute (Clinton, LA)

It’s become almost impossible for Blue Jays fans to separate Adams failure with the shortcomings of former general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who made the middle infielder his first ever draft pick. But while selecting Adams ahead of Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and Nick Swisher was bad enough, Adams and Ricciardi’s legacy will forever be remembered for standing in the way of drafting Troy Tulowitzki as a shortstop in 2005.

Just over a year later, after 90 games in 2006, the Blue Jays gave up on Adams as a Major League shortstop and they began pushing their revolving door at that position picking up stop gaps and relying on John McDonald until Yunel Escobar joined the team last season from the Atlanta Braves. Tulowitzki, of course, is currently enjoying an alright career with the Colorado Rockies.

And The Rest:

After Snidering the Minor Leagues so far this year, Eric Hosmer will be making his Major League debut with the Kansas City Royals shortly.

Matt Stairs was the final player to be on an active roster the entire season to get a hit. It just so happened it was his 100th career pinch hit.

An interesting profile on Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers.

The Texas Rangers finally confirmed that they have signed Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin.

Technically speaking, the players on the Los Angeles Dodgers could become free agents if they’re not paid. Chad Billingsley might look nice in a Blue Jays uniform.

Rob Neyer is being a meany with his tweets, and somebody is telling.

Tim McCarver has already apologized for that time he was being a meany about the Mets owners.

Curtis Granderson continues being awesome on and off the field.

Jonathan Sanchez = 110%.

The Minnesota Twins are getting tough with their players, and of course it’s the right way.

Mark McGwire goes out on a limb and predicts good things for Mike Stanton.

The rest of San Francisco may be going crazy for Jose Reyes, but Brian Sabean is keeping quiet. Maybe he’s finally in shocked silence like the rest of us over his signing of Miguel Tejada.

A critical rereading of Bill James is pretty enlightening.

Your guide to company softball.

Finally, it’s Shin-Soo Choo’s sobriety test. All 18 minutes of it:

Comments (24)

  1. Just a nitpick, Russ Adams wasn’t drafted before Prince Fielder…..at least according to the above chart. Fielder was drafted 7th overall, Adams 14th.

  2. Clearly it wasn’t a great draft to start with. The Tigers also picked a shortstop who was as bad 6 picks before. Just goes to show there’s no such thing as a sure thing in the draft. And, yes, that includes Stephen Strasburg, who WAS a sure thing and now that is elbow blew out, who knows.

  3. Good catch. Thanks.

  4. Yeah, Fielder was drafted ahead of Adams.

    Ye gods, could you imagine the outcry if JP had passed on Prince for Adams? Jays fans have been lusting after Prince for years as it is.

  5. Fielder only has a 15.8 Career WAR?
    But Scott Kazmir has a 17.0 Career WAR

    Something seems off.

  6. this does nothing but furthers the stereotype that asians are bad drivers

  7. Parkes,

    I have confirmed that they are correct, the error is not on your part.. But don’t you find it strange, that 2 players going in opposite directions have nearly similar WARs.

    It only confirms that fact that WAR calculations favour pitchers.. Not to mention that Prince’s defensive UZ razings probably havent helped. But UZR for 1B is flawed to begin with

  8. What was I thinking listening to that clip? It try not to expect too much from baseball players when they are not on the field but that was just pathetic. I really love Choo as a player but it’s going to be hard to shake that association.

  9. I was disappointed with Choo more than with other ballplayers just because I really liked him. I feel really similarly. It’s hard to shake.

    Also, I feel that people forget that Kazmir’s first few years in the league were really really good. It’s only last year that he became completely unable to pitch.

  10. I find it quite interesting to see the other players on this list that JP signed to try and make up for his blunder in the draft… based on the logic that if he managed to sign everyone from that draft someone’ was bound to come good…

    Bryan Bullington
    Sergio Santos
    and (currently still playing in the minors)
    Adam Loewen

    Also illustrates how drafting young pitching is a lottery. Pitchers were taken at 1,3,4,5 and 6… only Grienke at 6 has managed to make a career… BJ Upton the best position player at 2…

  11. How is Prince Fielder only at 15.8 WAR? Seems like that number should be much higher, but I think I’ve just always envisioned him as an upper echelon slugger.

  12. Isn’t Fielder a well below avg firstbaseman? Seems to me a move to the AL should occur when he is a free agent. I am surprised Kazmir was in that draft, he must’ve made it to the bigs very fast.

  13. Neyer really shouldn’t be tweeting like that if he ever wants to a player to speak with him directly in the future.

  14. I’m really big on precedents. Was North Carolina a real hotbed for baseball players?

  15. I fastforwarded to the end of that video and Choo is in the car pleading with the police officer. I’m not defending the guy for his huge fuckup, but that’s sad that that’s out there. That’s a lot of thats

  16. “you speak korean?” ha ha that was priceless

  17. Sort of off topic, but from the picture above it looks like the Blue Jays got Josten’s to do their team photos back in 2005.

    Back on topic- it just goes to show you how rough of a draft 2005 was. Only 1 of the Top 5 selected are even playing for a big league team at the moment.

    And interestingly enough, the Blue Jays have Loewen (#4), Everts (#5) in their system, and Bryan Bullington spent a brief period with the Blue Jays as well.

  18. @Ian
    It was 2002.
    JP always lived in the past. See Brevin Mencherson acquisition.

  19. Thanks for the company softball link. Our team is a step below slow pitch but I still had some good laughs anyway. BTW, we play on Hanlan’s point and our lovely mayor has stopped all ferry service after 4pm. What a dink.

  20. “After Snidering the Minor Leagues so far this year”

    Best. Sentence. Ever.

  21. Was there not signabiltiy concerns withe the 3 taken right after Adams? Maybe not all of them but it seems to me there was, pretty sure on Hamels.

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