Couple Allen & Ginter autographs I picked up from a collector on SCN.
Travis Lee was the 2nd overall pick of the 1996 draft by the Twins, but due to a loophole in the system (the Twins did not offer him a contract within 15 days), he became a free agent and signed with the Diamondbacks.
There was a lot of prospect buzz around Lee, which should be expected for a Golden Spikes winner and second overall pick.
That buzz was best illustrated by the popularity of his 1997 Bowman rookie card, which was the grail of prospect collectors for most of 1997. I paid $20 for my copy that season…which was a ton of money for 15 year old me.
Lee made the majors in 1998 and came out swinging. He hit 20 HR, had an OPS+ of 103, and ended the season #3 in ROY voting. But he slumped pretty hard for the next couple seasons, and in 2000 was traded to the Phillies as part of the Curt Schilling deal.
He would have a couple more league average seasons, but nothing all that exciting. He would retire in 2007.
Over nine seasons in the majors he would have a career WAR of 7.2.
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Khalil Greene. I lived in Omaha, and in 2002 I went to the College World Series pretty much just to get his autograph. I got it. I met his dad. It was a cool day.
He was…kind of a big deal. Playing at Clemson, in 2002 he would hit .480 with 26 HR, and was named winner of the Dick Howser Trophy, the Rotary Smith Award, and the Golden Spikes Award. Collegiate Baseball named him National Player of the Year.
He was the 13th overall pick of the 2002 draft.
Greene blew though the minors and became the first player from the 2002 draft to make the majors. He scuffed a little, but with his plus defense and huge potential the Padres were thrilled with him.
He has a solid 2004, hitting .273/.349/.446 with 15 HR and came in #2 in ROY voting. Those numbers were pretty consistent for the next couple seasons. Not amazing, but very solid–especially for a National League shortstop.
He was traded to the Cardinals for the 2009 season, and that is when things went downhill. He struggled, and would eventually get put on the DH due to severe social anxiety disorder. He would never really get over it. He would make the majors again later that year, and in 2010 with the Rangers, but the anxiety disorder would continue to be a crippling issue that would eventually end his career.
Seven year career, 8.4 WAR.
I have a real soft spot for the dude. I hope he is doing OK.
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