Who is #1525 James Rice

By: Devon Teeple
James Rice was MLB Draft Pick #1525.  The last pick of the draft, the last pick of the defending World Series champion New York Yankees.

When people look at the draft, they pay attention to the first 3 to 4 rounds, obviously, as that is where all the power plays are taking place.  A cosmic dance between agents and players, agents and team officials.  One trying to sign the most lucrative contract possible, with the other side building their roster for the future.

Those die-hards fans can probably name the best all-time number one picks: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Hamilton, Joe Mauer, Ken Griffey Jr., Bryan Bullington (whoops), I mean Chipper Jones, and maybe Bryce Harper.

What about the other 49 rounds?

What about the player that scouts looked over or passed up because they did not meet a specific number on a scale that maxes out to 80?

What about those players that cross-checkers moved aside because they were too small or did not project to a five-tool player or even a three-tool player?

Sometimes those late-round picks are the diamonds in the rough, the superstars that all teams want to find, the franchise player that can turn around an organization.

Nate McLouth, despite having a horrendous year (let us chalk that up to injuries) was one of those late-round surprises.  How late? 25th round. 

The Evil Empire plucked Mike Lowell, a cornerstone of the Red Sox since 2006, out of the 20th round in 1995.

Personally, I am not sure what Orlando Hudson has to do to become one of the poster boys of this game.  Every year Hudson puts up numbers comparable to any second baseman in the game, and his defense ranks up with the best of the best, evidenced by four Rawlings Gold Gloves.  Despite these numbers, Hudson has played for 4 different teams in his eight seasons, yet has made the playoffs with each team (assuming the Minnesota Twins make it) except the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Where was he drafted?  43rd round, 1,280th overall by the Jays in 1997.

Finally, the best late-round pick ever is a 62nd rounder, or the 1,390th pick, quite possibly the most prolific power-hitting catcher of all-time: Mike Piazza.

That brings me back to James Rice. 

It is well known that once the picks are completed, those players are assigned to their minor league teams.  The player's dream is still is alive, but in the offices, those players chosen in late rounds are simply selected to fill roster spots plain and simple.

However, occasionally a blue-chipper is one of those fill-ins, proving all the naysayers wrong.  Will James Rice, this Western Kentucky Hilltopper become the next Ben Davis or the next Mike Piazza?

Odds are neither, but it is very fun watching how this all plays out.

Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of  Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.   Devon is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network.  He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is available for hire or freelance opportunities.

Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide’s Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is an intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.

Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.  He can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com , thegmsperspective@yahoo.com or devon@businessofsportsnetwork.com

Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
Arizona Winter League
Jury Jiu Jitsu
Myles Jury
OMG Cleaning Services