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Looking Back At The Draft: 1983

February 14, 2010
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Next up in our Looking Back at the Draft series is 1983.

The final episode of MASH airs. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut is bombed, killing 63. Sally Ride becomes the 1st woman in space. The original 8-bit Nintendo goes on sale in Japan. The U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut are bombed, killing 241 American servicemen. President Reagan signs a bill introducing Martin Luther King Day as a federal holiday. "Return of the Jedi" is a box office hit. Derek Anderson is born, and throws his 1st interception. The Indians go 70-92, and pick 11th overall in the June draft.

Indians 1st round pick: Dave Clark, OF from Jackson State. Clark is the "best" 1st round pick that we have looked at in this series so far. He only played four years as an Indian, but managed to hang around the league for 14 years. His lifetime batting average was a pedestrian .264, and he hit 62 career HR's with a season high of 11. Clark is probably best known for finishing out the 2009 season as the Astros interim manager, having managed in their minor league system since 2005.

Best 1st round pick: This one is pretty easy, as the Boston Red Sox chose a pitcher out of Texas by the name of Roger Clemens with the 19th pick in the 1st round. All he did was win 354 games and strike out 4,672 hitters over his career.

Honorable mention: While 20 of 28 players selected in the 1st round of the 1983 draft reached the majors, none other than Clemens was really an impact player. Dan Plesac, selected 26th overall by the Brewers, managed to hang around for 18 seasons as a LOOGY after his closer stuff deserted him.

Indians best pick: Probably John Farrell, plucked out of Oklahoma State in the 16th round. Farrell had two solid years on some pretty bad Indians teams in 1988 and 1989, going a combined 23-24 with ERAs of 4.24 and 3.63, respectively. Injuries robbed him of a promising career, but it was a good pick nonetheless, even if he would rather be the pitching coach in Boston than manager in Cleveland (allegedly).

Honorable mention: Another putrid draft for the Sons of Geronimo. As a kid growing up, I remember Andy Allanson (2nd round out of Richmond) being a lot better than his career .594 OPS indicates. Only four of the twenty-seven players drafted that June reached the major leagues, and only Clark, Allanson and Farrell had more than a cup of coffee.

Best early round picks: The Braves chose Ron Gant out of a Texas HS in the 4th round; he went on to hit 321 career HR's...In addition to Clemens, the Red Sox chose Ellis Burks in the 1st round of the January draft...The Angels chose Wally Joyner in the 3rd round with a compensation pick from losing Don Baylor to free agency...The Reds drafted 3B Chris Sabo out of the University of Michigan; as we all know, Sabo was a failure because the Ohio State fans in Cincy never forgave the fact that he went to Michigan...The Reds also got Nasty Boy Rob Dibble in the 1st round of the Secondary Phase of the June draft...The Mets chose relievers Calvin Schiraldi and Rick Aguilera in the 1st and 3rd rounds, respectively; Schiraldi is more famous for his role in the 1986 Red Sox collapse, taking the loss in games 6 and 7 of the World Series that year...Oakland selected Terry Steinbach in the 9th round as a third baseman and converted him to catcher.

Best late round picks: Mark Lemke in the 27th round to Atlanta was awfully good value...The White Sox got Doug Drabek in the 11th round...Also in the 11th round, the Royals snagged future Indian Kevin Seitzer...The Pirates chose future Indian John Smiley in the 12th round.

The ones that got away: The #1 overall pick in the draft was Tim Belcher out of noted baseball factory Mt. Vernon Nazarene college; Belcher was lowballed by the Twins and refused to sign...Atlanta selected but didn't sign future Mariner Jay Buhner in the 9th round...The Mets chose 3B Matt Williams in the 27th round out of Carson City HS, but couldn't sign him...The Phillies took future Indian bullpen stalwart Mike Jackson in the 29th round, but they couldn't come to terms.

Other interesting picks: The Dodgers drafted future Indian Wayne Kirby in the 11th round; I'll never forget Kirby's game winning hit in the 1st regular season game at The Jake...Jim Morris was chosen by the Brewers with the 4th overall pick of the Secondary Phase of the January draft; Morris would not pitch in the major leagues until 1999 with Tampa Bay, a story so improbable they made the movie "The Rookie" about it...The Yankees took Ozzie Canseco in the 2nd round of the January draft...Glenallen Hill was a 9th round pick of the Blue Jays; he hit a career-high 27 HR's for the Blue Jays in 2000 after a couple stints as an Indian.

Indians June draft:

1. Dave Clark, OF
2. Andy Allanson, C
3. Carl Santarelli, RHP
4. Glenn Edwards, OF
5. Mike Greer, RHP
6. Stephen Whitmyer, RHP
7. Paul Perry, RHP
8. Richard Browne, LHP
9. Joe Kramer, OF
10. Miachel Street, RHP
11. Steve Smith, OF
12. Tom Reynolds, RHP
13. Kelly Robinette, INF
14. Bruce Crabbe, INF
15. Vin Martelli, C
16. John Farrell, RHP
17. Jeffery Killings, OF
18. Mike Murphy, RHP
19. Kenneth Connerty, OF
20. John Boling, LHP
21. Steve Arbogast, RHP
22. Vic Madden, 1B
23. John Ramos, C
24. David Zapien, 1B
25. James Rockey, OF
26. Andy Leonard, C
27. Erik Rapp, RHP

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