Derek Jeter And The Top 100 List

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced on Wednesday that the 2014 season would be his last. So, after 20 years, the surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer will call it a career. You’ll see plenty of tributes to the Yankees’ captain—today, tomorrow, and in ballparks throughout the season—but you probably won’t see one like ours.

Derek Jeter (Photo by Cliff Welch).

Derek Jeter (Photo by Cliff Welch).

Jeter was Baseball America’s 1996 Rookie of the Year and 1994 Minor League Player of the Year, putting him in select company. Other winners of both awards include Jason Heyward, Jeremy Hellickson, Mike Trout and Sandy Alomar, who was the only one to do it before Jeter. But the future Yankee captain never reached the peak of our top 100 lists. The highest he got was No. 4 in 1995, and he wasn’t even the top-rated Yankee that year; that honor went to outfielder Ruben Rivera.

With the newest edition of the top 100 coming out next week, we’ve decided to take a look back at the 43 players we ranked above Jeter in 1993, when he first appeared on our Top 100 list less than a year after being drafted sixth overall out of high school, and see how their careers fared.

No. 43 — Marc Newfield: Played six years, hit 22 career home runs and had a .249/.303/.375 career line. He was included in the package of players sent from San Diego to Milwaukee in exchange for slugging outfielder Greg Vaughn.

No. 42 — Todd Jones: Pitched for 16 years, made one all-star team, ranked fifth in the American League Cy Young balloting in 2000 as Detroit’s closer.

No. 41 — Jessie Hollins: After signing with the Cubs in the 40th round of the 1988 draft, Hollins lasted just four games before succumbing to injuries and retiring in 1996. He drowned in a 2009 accident.

No. 40 — Michael Tucker: Played 12 major league seasons with seven teams and hit 125 home runs.

No. 39 — Melvin Nieves: Lasted seven seasons in the big leagues, and peaked with 24 home runs with the Tigers in 1996. He also played two seasons in Japan, and has spent time in the Northern, Atlantic and Mexican leagues.

No. 38 — Mike Piazza: If you don’t know Mike Piazza, you’re probably pretty new to baseball. Here’s a quick primer: One of the best offensive catchers of all time, 427 career home runs, .922 career OPS, 12-time all-star, 1993 rookie of the year, finished in the top-10 in MVP voting 10 times, 10 Silver Sluggers. Even shorter: He was really, really good.

No. 37 — Nigel Wilson: 22 major league games, two career home runs.

No. 36 — John Roper: Made 30 starts for the Reds between 1993 and 1994, but appeared in only six more games. Struck out 111 hitters but walked 72.

No. 35 — Kevin Young: Played 12 seasons in the big leagues, all but 55 games with the Pirates. He had a half-season with the Royals in 1996 after being released by the Pirates in spring training. He hit 144 career homers, including 53 between 1998 and 1999.

No. 34 — Mike Kelly: The second pick of the 1991 draft—right behind the ill-fated Brien Taylor—played in six seasons with the Braves, Reds, Rays and Rockies, including 97 with 1995 World Series champion Atlanta.

No. 33 — Calvin Murray: Picked one spot after Jeter in the 1992 draft, he played 288 big league games, mostly with the Giants, including more than 100 games with San Francisco in the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Hit eight career homers.

No. 32 — Jim Pittsley: The 17th pick of the 1992 draft, Pittsley pitched in 81 games (29 starts) over six seasons with the Royals and Brewers.

No. 31 — Tyler Green: Started 68 games for the Phillies between 1993 and 1998 and was named to the all-star team in 1995. Struck out 263 hitters in 384 innings.

No. 30 — Phil Nevin: The top pick in the 1992 draft, Nevin had a respectable career, swatting 208 homers over 12 seasons. He spent the previous three seasons as the manager of the Toledo Mud Hens, Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate in the International League.

No. 29 — Troy Percival: Four-time All-Star with the Angels. 358 career saves. Helped Anaheim to a World Series in 2002.

No. 28 — Bobby Jones: Pitched 10 years with the Mets and Padres. Helped get the Mets to the 2000 World Series, where he gave up a leadoff home run in Game Four to … Jeter.

No. 27 — Alex Gonzalez: Former Blue Jays shortstop had fine seasons at ages 23-24 but never got much better and accumulated a career 11.1 WAR. He may be best known as the Cubs shortstop who made the error that opened the floodgates for the Marlins in eighth inning of the Steve Bartman game in the 2003 National League Championship Series. (Sorry, Cubs fans.)

No. 26 — Ryan Klesko: Swatted 278 homers over a 16-year career, including three in Atlanta’s run to the 1995 World Series crown. Got to the Series twice more, but lost to Jeter and the Yankees on both occasions.

No. 25 — Frankie Rodriguez: Pitched in 184 games and made 82 starts, mostly with the Twins, between 1995 and 2001. Was dealt from Boston to Minnesota in 1995 for Rick Aguilera.

No. 24 — Willie Greene: The 18th pick of the 1989 draft, Greene played nine seasons, mostly with the Reds, swatted 86 home runs and collected 307 RBIs. Traded with Moises Alou to the Expos for Zane Smith, then dealt from the Expos to the Reds for Bill Risley and John Wetteland.

No. 23 — David Nied: Fifty-two games and 41 starts over a five-year career with the Rockies, who made him the top pick in the 1992 expansion draft. Pitched 122 innings in 1994, then 9 2/3 frames over the next two seasons.

No. 22 — Johnny Damon: Jeter’s teammate for four seasons, including the 2009 World Series winners. Also was on the 2004 Red Sox team that finally broke through and ended the franchise’s championship drought. 56.3 career bWAR. Famously bearded.

No. 21 — Benji Gil: The 19th overall pick in 1991, Gil played exclusively in the A.L. West, getting into 604 games with the Rangers and Angels. He hit 32 career homers and was on Anaheim’s 2002 championship team.

No. 20 — Javier Lopez: One of the best backstops the Braves ever had, he had the pleasure of catching Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, and occasionally Greg Maddux, in their primes. Not to mention he finished with a career OPS of 112, and a World Series ring from 1995.

No. 19 — Jeffrey Hammonds: Thirteen years in the big leagues, six with Baltimore. Swatted 110 homers and drove in 423 runs. Finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 1994, and hit .335/.395/.529 with 20 home runs in 2000 as a member of the Rockies.

No. 18 — Brad Pennington: Noted for being one of the game’s hardest-throwing lefties in the 1990s. Pitched for the Orioles, Reds, Red Sox and Angels between 1993 and 1996, with one appearance with the Rays in 1998. Finished his career with a 3-6 record and a 7.02 ERA over 79 games.

No. 17 — Tavo Alvarez: The Expos’ second rounder in 1990, Alvarez lasted just two seasons. He allowed just two home runs in his career, however, and they weren’t to slouches, either: Hal Morris and Matt Williams took him deep.

No. 16 — David McCarty: Bounced around for 11 seasons with seven teams. Hit 36 career home runs and made it to the 2003 American League Championship Series with the Red Sox, where he faced Jeter’s Yankees in an epic seven-game clash.

No. 15 — Rondell White: The 24th pick of the 1990 draft, White played mostly for Montreal over his 15-year career and slammed 198 home runs. He was Jeter’s teammate for one season, 2002. He was traded for Bubba Trammell and Mark Phillips the next year, and was an All-Star for the Padres.

No. 14 — Ray McDavid: One extra-base hit (a double) in 48 plate appearances over two seasons with the Padres. That double did come off of Mike Maddux, though, so he can always say he got a hit off of Maddux.

No. 13 — Manny Ramirez: Arguably the greatest righthanded hitter of his generation. Arguably the wackiest, too. Remembered for 555 home runs, .996 OPS, dreadlocks, “being Manny” and performance-enhancing drugs suspensions.

No. 12 — Dmitri Young: The fourth pick of the 1991 draft, Young, the older brother of Delmon Young, was a two-time all-star and hit 171 home runs in his career, including a career-high 29 in 2003.

No. 11 — Kurt Miller: The fifth pick of the 1990 draft, Miller made just 44 appearances in the big leagues, including nine starts. He struck out 55, walked 50 and won just two games against seven losses.

No. 10 — Tyrone Hill: Never made the major leagues. Never made it out of Double-A, in fact. Went 14-14 in six minor league seasons before calling it a career. Bust.

No. 9 — Allen Watson: Journeyman pitched for eight seasons, including his final two with Jeter and the Yankees. Compiled a 51-55 record and was used as a reliever in the later stages of his career. Pitched in three games of the 1999 ALCS.

No. 8 — Jason Bere: Pitched for 11 seasons, eight of which came with the White Sox and Cubs. Got shelled in his one start in the 1993 ALCS. Finished with 71-65 career record and was second in the Rookie of the Year ballot in 1993. Made the all-star team in 1994.

No. 7 — Todd Van Poppel: One of the most hyped prospects ever, Van Poppel signed a major league contract as the 14th overall pick of the 1990 draft, getting $1.2 million in a deal that helped make draft compensation skyrocket. He reached the major leagues but didn’t live up to the praise. Went 40-53 over 11 seasons and finished with a 5.58 ERA.

No. 6 — Wil Cordero: Was an all-star and won the Silver Slugger in 1994. Clubbed 122 career home runs over 14 seasons, half of which were spent with the Expos/Nationals. Played in the Division Series with Cleveland in 1999 and 2001.

No. 5 — Tim Salmon: Rookie of the Year in 1993, finished in the top-10 of the MVP vote twice, won the 1995 Silver Slugger. Salmon finished with 299 home runs, a 128 OPS+ and hit four home runs during Anaheim’s run to the title in 2002.

No. 4 — Carlos Delgado: Two-time all-star, three-time Silver Slugger, finished among the top-10 in MVP voting four times, including a second-place finish in 2003. Career 44.3 bWAR, 483 doubles, 473 homers. Simply one of the better hitters of his generation.

No. 3 — Cliff Floyd: The 14th pick of the 1991 draft was a good one and one of the more exciting prospects over prior to a gruesome wrist injury that sapped some of his power. Floyd played for 17 seasons, hit 233 home runs (and two more in the playoffs) and was worth 25.8 bWAR. He hosts a baseball talk show on SiriusXM.

No. 2 — Brien Taylor: The No. 1 overall pick in 1991, Taylor never reached the major leagues after a widely publicized bar fight did a number on his pitching shoulder, including a dislocation and a torn labrum. Signed for a draft record $1.55 million—nearly triple the previous mark at the time of $575,000—Taylor never pitched above Double-A. He is currently in prison after pleading guilty to distributing crack cocaine.

No. 1 — Chipper Jones: The newly retired Jones was everything the Braves could have hoped for and more. Named to eight all-star teams, the winner of an MVP and two Silver Sluggers, Jones was the face of the Braves for years and one of the best No. 1 overall draft picks (1990) ever, a group that includes Ken Griffey Jr. (1987), Alex Rodriguez (1993) and Joe Mauer (2003). He slugged 468 career home runs, hit 549 doubles, stole 150 bags, and even rescued current Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman from a snowstorm in Atlanta earlier this year. Cooperstown awaits.

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