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Recently on Twitter, I fielded a series of questions about how this player or that was seen when he was drafted or coming up as a prospect. With the 140 character limit, I tried to answer with a combination of information and humor, and in the end, it reminded me of a fantastic piece in the independently published magazine Chunklet called “Bands In A Minute” in which you tried to sum up an act as briefly as possible. Basically, I try to go back in time to think about how I would have answered a question about them at the time, while hopefully having some fun with it as well.

Detroit Tigers
Alex Avila, C: Went higher than he should have because he's Avila's son. Not sure he'll catch long term, but he can hit a little bit.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B: I can't believe anybody thinks he can stay at shortstop, as that lower half is enormous. Oh, he can really mash.
Austin Jackson, OF: Helluva point guard, but the Yankees sure paid a lot of money to try to figure out if he can play baseball.
Magglio Ordonez, OF: Was just an organizational player until he hit at the upper levels; kind of an out of nowhere guy, but could be an everyday type.
Delmon Young, OF: One of the best high school hitters anyone has ever seen. Plays a little non-chalant at times, but the talent will certainly shine through.
Joaquin Benoit, P: Look, great stuff, but he just can't stay healthy.
Doug Fister, P: Decent senior sign as a fastball/slider guy, outside shot to fit in the back of the rotation for a second-division club.
Rick Porcello, P: Monster arm, but wants a ton of money. Mid-90s heat, two good breaking ball, could really be a monster. Sinker? No, I didn't see him throw one.
Max Scherzer, P: Really fell off as a junior at Missouri. Throw in the ugly delivery and so-so secondary stuff and I'm not convinced he can start long term.
Justin Verlander, P: 80 fastball, 80 curveball, but doesn't always dominate at a school like Old Dominion like he should. If he figures out how to harness that stuff, he's an ace, but there's risk there.

Texas Rangers
Nelson Cruz, OF: Some skills there, but he's kind of older and on his fourth organization for a reason.
Josh Hamilton, OF: Really, the Cubs took him as a Rule 5 guy and traded him to the Reds? He's still in baseball? No way that's ever going to turn into anything. What a waste of talent.
Ian Kinsler, 2B: Look, I understand that he's hitting .400 in the Midwest League, but he's was the 496th pick in the draft for a reason, so let's all calm down here a bit.
Mitch Moreland, 1B: Look, no way he's going to hit, but he showed some impressive arm strength as a reliever, and I'd like to see him move there permanently.
Mike Napoli, C: I understand he put up massive numbers in the California League, but he's a bat-only guy and he just can't catch, period.
Michael Young, 2B: One of those polished college types. Solid across the board, zero star potential.
Neftali Feliz, P: “This is a teenager with a lightning arm who could turn into a frontline starter or a dominant closer, but right now, he's a teenager with a lightning arm.”
Me, Baseball Prospectus, November 10, 2006.
Colby Lewis, P: Failed guy who the Rangers are bringing back from Japan for some reason.
Alexi Ogando, OF: “Tooly, high-upside outfielder . . . already displays plus-power to all fields . . . stronger arm in the [Oakland] system.”
Me, Baseball America, January, 2005
C.J. Wilson, P: Fringy reliever, nothing special.

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kmbart
10/08
More than a little selection bias at work here, I would say. Did you hit the nail on the head of ANY of the AL post-season participants, Kevin? Methinks you are picking and choosing among the least apt of your assessments, but I find it hard to believe that you whiffed on ALL of them...
pford68
10/08
Cherry-picking, yes, but funny.
kgoldstein
10/08
Those aren't as fun, no?
delorean
10/08
Had no idea Ogando came up as an outfielder! Great piece--hope you do more of these, KG.
deanmara
10/08
Great job Kevin. I like a guy who can go back and be honest about the past. man...it just shows how prediction the future is just really a crap shoot.
SaberTJ
10/08
Kevin, loved the piece. Not sure if there were any, but if you do any future pieces like this I wouldn't mind seeing you add any players you might have projected greatness from that others did not.
Kampfer
10/09
I love this. Can I have some more?
Johnston
10/09
Really funny piece.
cknapp34
10/10
Look, this was a great piece.
BrewersTT
10/14
Nelson Cruz is listed as 30 years of age for both 2010 and 2011 on his player card. Maybe part of the secret of his late blooming is some new PED that grants immortality.