Friday, June 3, 2011

Ones that Got Away: Mike Lowell

Previous Segments: Jose TabataIan KennedyAustin JacksonRoss Ohledorf, and Gerrit Cole
In these segments I will detail former Yankee prospects who were traded and have since become successful players for other teams.  The sixth in this series will be Mike Lowell

Trade to the Florida Marlins for Ed Yarnell, Mark Johnson, and Todd Noel

Background: Lowell was drafted by the Yankees in the 20th round of the 1995 MLB draft.  He played his college ball at Florida International University.  He spent his first season in the New York-Penn League where he hit only .260.  It would be his worst minor league year.  By 1997 he had already reached AAA which at that time was still in Columbus, OH after hitting .344 in half a season at AA.  Before the 1998 season began he was rated the #71 overall prospect by Baseball America.  He didn't disappoint, hitting .304 with 26 HR and 99 RBIs in Columbus.  In 1998 he also made his MLB debut.  He got in his first action on September 13th and played in 8 games for the Yankees that season.  He was then traded on February 1st 1999.

Since being trade: Going into the 1999 season he had risen to become the #58 overall prospect by Baseball America.  He again did not disappoint, hitting .313 in 24 games before being called up the the Marlins.  Over his 12 year career post Yankees, Lowell was a very solid player.  His career numbers include a .279 average, with a 162 game average of 23 HRs and 96 RBIs.  He was elected to 4 All-Star teams, won a gold glove, a silver slugger, and was in the voting for the MVP twice (once 5th and once 11th).  His best season was most likely 2007 for the Boston Red Sox (who he was traded to in 2005) in which he hit .324 with 21 HRs and 120 RBIs.

Comments on trade: Well looking back at this trade with the careers of these players finished, this was an awful trade by the Yankees,  They gave up a very serviceable 3B who played in the big leagues for 12 years for Yarnell, who made 7 career big league pitching appearances; Johnson, who never played for the Yankees, got rule 5 drafted away from them by the Tigers, and only made 9 career MLB appearances; and  Noel, who never made the big leagues.  At the time they were trading a 20th round draft pick for two previous first round picks (Noel and Johnson) and a 3rd round pick (Yarnell) but in the end this was a horrible trade.

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