Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ten MLB Debuts = One Bad Team

In 1992 Topps put out an MLB debut set. There were 10 Cubs in the set! It usually is not a good sign when a team has ten players making their debut in a season. And of the ten, only two made their debuts as September callups.

That means the 1991 Cubs needed eight rookies to fill spots, not a good thing. The team finished in fourth place, with a record of 77-83. The record isn't as bad as I figured it would be with all the rookies.

Of the ten, none had really good careers. About half lasted in the bigs at least six seasons, although they were marginal players who moved around a lot.

Franks Castillo - Debut on June 27, 1991. He went on to a half way decent 13 year career.

Ced Landrum - Debut on May 28, 1991. Career went nowhere. Played in 78 games over two seasons (one with the Cubs, one with the Mets).

Erik Pappas - Debut on April 19, 1991. Played in 17 games for the Cubs in '91. Resurfaced two years later with the Cardinals and was finished after the 1994 season. And no, he is not related for former Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas.

Yorkis Perez - Debut September 30, 1991. One of the September callups. Pitched three games with the '91 Cubs and then reappeared in the big leagues with the Marlins in 1994. He bounced around with several teams until 2002.

Laddie Renfroe - Debut on July 1, 1991. His real first name is Cohen. He was a 29 year old rookie and made four appearance in 1991 and that was it.

Rey Sanchez - Debut on September 8, 1991. Rey had a 15 year career, mostly as a utility infielder. Played on nine different teams.

Bob Scanlan - Debut on May 7, 1991. Had a nine year career with six different teams. He was used mostly in relief.

Gary Scott - Debut on April 9, 1991. He was supposed to be the next Ron Santo. He wasn't even the next Steve Ontiveros. He hit .167 in two seasons with the Cubs and was added to the long list of hyped rookie flops.

Heathcliff Slocumb - Debut on April 11, 1991. He had the best season of the ten rookies, getting into 52 games out of the pen and recording a 3.45 ERA. Spent 10 years in the majors and made the NL All Star team in 1995.

Rick Wilkins - Debut on June 6, 1991. He appeared in 86 games for the Cubs in 1991 season. Wilkins had what we hoped was his breakout season in 1993 when he smacked 30 home runs and hit .303. But he never came close to matching that season again. He bounced around with seven different clubs after the Cubs and finished his 11 year run with a .244 career average.

1 comment:

  1. I went to high school with Erik Pappas. He runs a bb school on the south side of Chicago.
    There were a lot of journeymen in this 10 card set. Even if you weren't very good, I still think it is impressive to stick around for 10 years. Then again, guys like Scott, Renfroe and Landrum...maybe just happy to have made it at all?