A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rating the Rookie Cups - 1992

Here we go with the final "overproduction era" Rookie All Star Team (1986-1994) in this series.  For you new readers, I am selecting years in the order that I completed the team set which means that 1992 Topps was the final OP era RAST I completed.  I know a lot of people just scoff at the cards from these years, but they will always mean something to me because they are my childhood. 

As far as the actual team, one thing stands out with the 1992 team above all else and that is the 4 Houston Astros on the team.  Never before and never since has one team supplied four members to a Rookie All Star Team.  Whether or not all four of them deserved to be on the team is a question I will get into a little bit later.  Let's take a look and rate at the 1992 Topps Rookie All Star Team.

Ivan Rodriguez - Texas - C -                          (Rookie)   4   (Career)  9
Jeff Bagwell - Houston - 1B -                         (Rookie)   7   (Career)  8
Chuck Knoblauch - Minnesota - 2B -             (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6

Leo Gomez - Baltimore - 3B -                         (Rookie)   4   (Career)  2
Andujar Cedeno - Houston - SS -                   (Rookie)   2   (Career)  3

Milt Cuyler - Detroit - OF -                           (Rookie)   6   (Career)  2
Luis Gonzalez - Houston - OF -                     (Rookie)   5   (Career)  7
Ray Lankford - St. Louis - OF -                    (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6

Mark Leiter - Detroit - RHP -                      (Rookie)   4   (Career)  4
Al Osuna - Houston - LHP -                        (Rookie)   3   (Career)  2

Strongest Team Members (in 1991) - Jeff Bagwell, Chuck Knoblauch, Milt Cuyler

Strongest Team Members (as of 2013) - Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, Luis Gonzalez

Weakest Team Members (in 1991) - Andujar Cedeno, Al Osuna, Mark Leiter

Weakest Team Members (as of 2013) - Al Osuna, Milt Cuyler, Leo Gomez

Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 0

Best Card (IMHO) - Chuck Knoblauch (A nice professional batting photo)

Worst Card (IMHO) - Andujar Cedeno (I can't see past the wrong coloration of the letters despite the cool pic)

Overall Team Rating (1-10 compared to other RASTs)   6

This team should be right near the middle of the pack and maybe slightly above average when all is said and done.  Half of the players on this team would qualify as disappointments for their career, while the other half ranged from fairly solid to probable Hall of Famers.  Barring a PED backlash both Bagwell and Rodriguez should get into the Hall of Fame and there are very few teams with two Hall of Famers which would probably bump the score up a bit.


Here are the players I feel should have been on this Rookie All Star Team.  This is based on rookie year data only.

Catcher - Chris Hoiles - Baltimore
This is one of the more difficult changes that I have made.  Obviously, Pudge had a better career but Hoiles had a better rookie year.  A big factor was that Hoiles was 25 while Pudge was only 19, but better is still better no matter the qualification.

First Baseman - Jeff Bagwell - Houston
The two best rookies in 1991 were both first basemen.  Obviously Bagwell had a great year since he was the 1991 NL Rookie of the Year.  However, Orlando Merced of the Pirates was not that far behind him.  But he was still behind him and didn't qualify at any other position.

Second Baseman - Chuck Knoblauch - Minnesota
Unlike most years, second base was a relatively strong position in 1991.  Knoblauch, the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year, stood out above other full year starters Terry Shumpert of Kansas City and Luis Sojo of the Angels as well as strong half seasons from Craig Grebeck of the White Sox and Philadelphia's Mickey Morandini.

Third Baseman - Leo Gomez - Baltimore
Leo Gomez was not a no doubt candidate for the third base spot, but he was the only full season contender.  His full time gig was slightly than a strong half season from super utility guy Craig Grebeck of the White Sox.

Shortstop - Craig Grebeck - Chicago (AL)
This was another difficult position to choose, but unlike the other choices shortstop had no full season contenders.  Grebeck started at short less than at second and third, but he was still better than half seasons from Cedeno, Montreal's Bret Barberie, and Mark Lewis of the Indians.

Outfield - Milt Cuyler - Detroit, Luis Gonzalez - Houston, Ray Lankford - St. Louis
The outfield for this team was the easiest decision to make.  These three were the only full season starters and they all had solid seasons.  Other contenders included Thomas Howard of the Padres, Philadelphia's Wes Chamberlain, and Mark Whiten who split the year between Toronto and Cleveland.

RHP - Juan Guzman - Toronto
I have no idea what Topps was thinking with their choice of Mark Leiter.  In my research, I found seven pitchers that would have been better choices than Leiter, including Omar Olivares of St. Louis and Rich DeLucia of the Mariners.  In the end, it came down to two pitchers, Juan Guzman and Charles Nagy of Cleveland.  Nagy pitched more, but Guzman was a bit of a mid season wunderkind in 1991 and deserved the spot just a bit more.

LHP - Al Osuna - Houston
When choosing a pitcher for these teams, I start by separating the guys with both 10 wins or 10 saves.  Then I separate them by their pitching hand.  Out of the 8 rookie pitchers from the first separation, Al Osuna was 8th on the list in my mind but he was also the only left handed pitcher so he gets the spot. 


Previous Question:

Which Rookie Cup cards are first and last alphabetically by last name?


Jim Abbott - 1990
Ryan Zimmerman - 2007


Which Rookie Cup card had the highest card number?


The 1995 team appearing on 1996 Topps.

Thanx for reading.

No comments: