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Extinct Player Types, Wednesday Afternoon Edition


DrungoHazewood

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Can you imagine if the Orioles left a guy at Bowie for about 1000 PAs of a .410 OBP today? And not some Lance Blankenship OBP where he had a .320 slugging, Milligan slugged .462 in AA. And they sent him back, twice.

And you know... I thought maybe the Mets had a stacked minor league system and there was no room for Milligan in AAA. Nope! In 1985 the Tidewater 1B was cult minor league slugger Rick Lancellotti who hit .180/.260/.304 in about 100 games. In '86 it was a 33-year-old minor league journeyman named Tim Corcoran who OPS'd .639. Amazing.

Mets had Keith Hernandez at 1B at the time though so it's understandable that they didn't bring him up despite the damage he was doing.

Moving Sid Bream from 1st in Pittsburgh '88 seemed to be an easier task. Milligan was more productive, albeit in a smaller sample size.

I picked the username Moose Milligan because one of my first memories was going to a game at Memorial Stadium, had to be '89 or '90....he came to the plate and the crowd went "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSEEE" My mom thought everyone was booing him then my dad thought it was funny that they were calling him Moose. Moose became one of my favorites despite the fact I probably wouldn't have recognized him if I saw him anywhere. I liked him for the following years, was pretty heartbroken when he was let go. Being 9 to 13 years old at the time while he was in Baltimore, certainly had no idea that he was such a productive player, I just liked him a lot.

I remember looking at box scores when he went to the Reds and Expos, kept an eye on him.

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Mets had Keith Hernandez at 1B at the time though so it's understandable that they didn't bring him up despite the damage he was doing.

They didn't call him up to AAA, despite having unproductive, older journeymen filling first base at Tidewater. They sent him back to AA for a third straight year so Tim Corcoran, fresh off a .570 OPS season for the Phils, could OPS .639 at the age of 33.

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Imagine if they didn't trade Eddie. No Glenn Davis trade. Milligan at First and Eddie at DH. Schilling, Harnisch in the rotation along with Mussina for half of the 90's. Anderson, Finley in the outfield...

Orioles would have become a dynasty, and would have a St. Louis-Cardnials-esque following, and the revenue to sustain a direct competition with the Yankees, Red Sox. Expos would have never encroached because they would have had no chance.

Some alternate universe, somewhere...

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With the plethora of available stats today, it seems amazing that his OBP was ignored.

But remember, this was pre-internet. It really was a different world. A member of the general public, for example, would have NO WAY to even learn his minor league OBP and compare it to others. Maybe in the late 80s or early 90s, Baseball America might have expanded their stats to include OBP.

Now I'm sure teams had access to Fuller stats, probably in the form of printed stats received in the mail after the season from a company such as Elias. And I'm sure someone looked at that stuff. But I'll bet it carried a lot less weight than actual reports from scouts, minor league managers, etc

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Imagine if they didn't trade Eddie. No Glenn Davis trade. Milligan at First and Eddie at DH. Schilling, Harnisch in the rotation along with Mussina for half of the 90's. Anderson, Finley in the outfield...

Orioles would have become a dynasty, and would have a St. Louis-Cardnials-esque following, and the revenue to sustain a direct competition with the Yankees, Red Sox. Expos would have never encroached because they would have had no chance.

Some alternate universe, somewhere...

I think it'd have been Eddie at 1st (3x gold glover) with Milligan at DH. Regardless, a great lieup.

With the plethora of available stats today, it seems amazing that his OBP was ignored.

But remember, this was pre-internet. It really was a different world. A member of the general public, for example, would have NO WAY to even learn his minor league OBP and compare it to others. Maybe in the late 80s or early 90s, Baseball America might have expanded their stats to include OBP.

Now I'm sure teams had access to Fuller stats, probably in the form of printed stats received in the mail after the season from a company such as Elias. And I'm sure someone looked at that stuff. But I'll bet it carried a lot less weight than actual reports from scouts, minor league managers, etc

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True, but I remember rummaging through some baseball cards a few years ago and I can't remember who's All-Star card it was, but it had to be from the '88 or '89 Topps set. Anyway, on the back was the On Base Percentage Leaders for the league of the previous year.

Understandably that minor league stats weren't well known publicly but it doesn't seem like OBP on the whole wasn't completely off the grid. It amazes me that it took all that time for someone to go "Hey, the higher the OBP the better chane we have to have a longer inning with more scoring..."

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