1st Round Pick
The Twins drafted old battery-face Chuck Knoblauch with the 25th overall pick in the 1989 draft. Knoblauch would rise through the Minors quickly and win the AL Rookie of the Year and a World Championship in 1991. He has to be considered one of the best draft picks in Twins' history.
Ah, but what if?
Only Frank Thomas posted a higher WAR than Knoblauch among players taken in the 1989 first round. In fact, I refuse to even look at early second round picks, as Knoblauch was just too great of a pick to change. However, Jeff Bagwell lasted to pick 112, so perhaps we can "what if" with Jeff Bagwell in the 2nd round instead of John Gumpf, who will be mentioned again later, but not for his baseball abilities.
Best Player Drafted
Knoblauch, and it's not really all that close. However, the Twins drafted really well in 1989, taking Denny Neagle in the 3rd round, Scott Erickson in the 4th round, Marty Cordova in the 10th round and Mike Trombley in the 14th round. Each contributed in some way down the line.
Worst Player to Reach MLB
Poor Denny Hocking. It isn't his fault that he wasn't very good at baseball and that he had terrible taste in hair color. Luckily for Hocking in this instance, George Tsamis posted a -0.6 career WAR to Hocking's -0.5 career WAR. Derrick White posted a -1.8 career WAR, but did not sign with the Twins after being drafted in the 23rd round. The Expos got to waste a 6th round pick on him a couple years later.
The One Who Got Away
The Twins drafted Reggie Jackson in the 49th round of the 1989 draft. Unfortunately, Mr. October, as he would soon be called, was not long for Minnesota. He did the majority of his damage with the Yankees and Athletics, winning multiple championships and hitting over 500 home runs. What? Not the same guy? Oh. Well, no one then.
The aforementioned John Gumpf and Rex de la Nuez, drafted in the 22nd round
- 2 future Rookies of the Year were drafted in 1989 - Knoblauch and Cordova
- Denny Neagle was happily traded after one season with the Twins for John Smiley (get it?!?!)
- 10 players drafted by the Twins in 1989 reached the majors and five - Hocking, White, Tsamis, Dan Masteller and Tom Urbani, posted negative career WAR
- The other 5 who made it to the MLB posted a combined WAR over 110
- Fans threw batteries at Chuck Knoblauch once. Seriously.
All those drafted who made it to the Bigs
Chuck Knoblauch, Scott Erickson, Denny Neagle, Mike Trombley, Marty Cordova, George Tsamis, Tom Urbani, Dan Masteller, Derrick White, and Denny Hocking (who always comes last on any list I am making).
One Sentence Summary
If the 1988 draft was the Ocean's Twelve of drafts, the 1989 draft was Ocean's Eleven.