2000 Topps All-Star Rookie subset

23 10 2014

Topps All-Star Rookies

  • RHP – Billy Koch
  • LHP – John Halama
  • C – Ben Davis
  • 1B – Brian Daubach
  • 2B – Warren Morris
  • 3B – Corey Koskie
  • SS – Alex Gonzalez
  • OF – Preston Wilson, Chris Singleton, Carlos Beltran

Like the previous year’s class, the 1999 Topps All-Star Rookie Team (featured on 2000 Topps) was fairly mediocre from a historical perspective – this after the teams shown on 1997 and 1998 were exceptional.  In fact, this one was even worse than the previous year, which had Todd Helton (a Hall of Famer in my opinion), Magglio Ordonez (a 6-time All-Star) and a couple of notable names like Kerry Wood and Mark Kotsay.  Like last year – there is one stellar player – Carlos Beltran.  In fact, Beltran has more career Wins-Above-Replacement than the rest of the team combined – 67.4 to 62.8.  And while I think Beltran is a borderline HOF-er, he’s someone I probably wouldn’t put in.  He is one of 7 guys with 300 homers and 300 SB – and I never realized how close he was in 2004 to a 40-40 season (across 2 leagues as he was traded from KC to Houston).

Corey Koskie was the second best player of this group and was actually better than I’d have guessed – he stopped playing in 2006 when he was still a very effective player.  I looked it up – apparently he got a concussion in July 2006 that ended up being the last game he ever played in the Majors.  He tried to catch on after that, and he even played for Team Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.  But post-concussion syndrome made it too risky for him to play, and he retired after signing a Minor League deal with the Twins in early 2009.

Billy Koch had a decent career as a closer, saving over 160 games and having a great year for the 2002 Moneyball Oakland A’s.  Alex Gonzalez actually played for 15 seasons – but was never all that good after making the All-Star team his rookie year.  He still hasn’t retired and played a few games this year for the Tigers, but was released April.  Preston Wilson led the NL in RBI in 2003 while making the All-Star team in Colorado, and Chris Singleton is best known for being the ESPN analyst these days.

2000 Topps All-Star Rookie Team

2000 Topps All-Star Rookie Team_0001

This is one of the few times a Rookie of the Year wasn’t on the team.  Beltran was nearly unanimous as the AL RoY – however Reds righty Scott Williamson won the NL award with 19 saves, 12 wins and 107 strikeouts in 90 relief innings.  Koch saved more games for Toronto, but he wasn’t nearly as good as Williamson.  Still – I wouldn’t have given it to Williamson either.  Freddy Garcia pitched over 200 innings and won 17 games and would have been my pick for right-hander.  Interestingly, Garcia would have easily been the 2nd best player historically on this team.  I’d also put Tim Hudson over Williamson or Koch; he went 11-2 in just over half of the season.

Other than that, it’s hard to argue with the selections Topps made.  Carlos Lee was very good with 84 RBI, but I wouldn’t have put him above any of the 3 outfielders based on their 1999 campaign.  Joe McEwing was also pretty good – but he played multiple positions. Meanwhile, Warren Morris was a 2nd baseman the whole season and he wouldn’t have bumped those 3 outfielders.


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