|Bottom third: Mr. Irrelevant (almost)||09.22.08 at 5:05 pm ET|
Indians starter Zach Jackson has experienced a pretty broad spectrum of the MLB Rule 4 amateur draft. The White Sox took him out of high school in the 50th and final round of the 2001 draft but failed to sign the fourth-to-last pick of that draft. (Jackson was selected with overall pick No. 1,482.)
After three years at Texas A&M, Jackson was once again draft eligible. The Blue Jays tabbed him as a sandwich-round pick (32nd overall) in the 2004 draft.
As best as I can tell, Jackson is just one of two players who was once selected in the 50th round this decade to reach the majors. The other was former Sox prospect David Murphy, who went from being a Mr. Almost Irrelevant in 2000 to a first-round selection of Boston in 2003.
In the spirit of that conversation, one of the more interesting aspects of this year’s draft was the Red Sox’ approach to drafting “Mr. Irrelevant.” The Sox used the last pick of this year’s draft to take Kyle Stroup, a hulking high-school pitcher out of Illinois. Stroup showed excellent velocity when he came to Fenway Park for a showcase of draftees this summer, pumping low- to mid-90s gas across the plate. After following him during the summer, the Sox decided to sign him to a $150,000 bonus, or roughly fifth or sixth round money.
Back to the Indians’ Jackson, who just gave up an RBI double to Kevin Youkilis: he’s been part of a couple of fairly major trades, first going from the Blue Jays to the Brewers in 2005 as part of the deal that landed Lyle Overbay in Toronto. He then went from Milwaukee’s system to Cleveland as part of this summer’s blockbuster that sent CC Sabathia to the Brew Crew.
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