January 23 – Happy Birthday Charley Spikes

Today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant was the fifth first round draft choice in Yankee franchise history. Labeled a “can’t miss prospect,” the Yankees didn’t miss Charley at all because they used him as part of a package of players they traded to obtain third base great, Graig Nettles from Cleveland in 1972. Spikes’ entire Yankee career consisted of fourteen games at the end of the 1972 season. He played well for Cleveland during his first few seasons there and stuck around to enjoy a nine-year career in the big leagues, which ended with the Atlanta Braves in 1980. Spikes shares his birthday with this former Yankee first-round draft pick and this one-time Yankee first baseman.

Counting Ty Hensley in 2012, the Yankees have selected 48 total players in the first round of Major League Baseball’s Amateur Draft. Here’s my list of the best ten Yankee first round draft choices in franchise history based on the eventual Major League success of the players chosen:

1 – Derek Jeter (1992)
2 – Thurman Munson (1968)
3 – Scott McGregor (1972)
4 – Phil Hughes (2004)
5 – Carl Everett (1990)
6 – Pat Tabler (1976)
7 – Eric Milton (1997)
8 – Mark Prior (1998)
9 – Rex Hudler (1978)
10 - Terry Whitfield (1971) See Whitfields Yankee and career stats below:
Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1972 NYY 14 35 34 2 5 1 0 0 3 0 1 13 .147 .171 .176 .348
9 Yrs 670 2232 2039 240 502 72 12 65 256 27 154 388 .246 .304 .389 .693
CLE (5 yrs) 539 2025 1848 219 454 61 12 62 228 27 143 321 .246 .305 .392 .697
ATL (2 yrs) 107 140 129 18 36 9 0 3 23 0 8 48 .279 .321 .419 .740
NYY (1 yr) 14 35 34 2 5 1 0 0 3 0 1 13 .147 .171 .176 .348
DET (1 yr) 10 32 28 1 7 1 0 0 2 0 2 6 .250 .344 .286 .629
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/24/2014.

2 Comments

Whatever happened to Eric Milton? I remember him as a terrific pitcher who got hurt but was nevertheless very talented.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane,

After a good career with the Twins, Milton became the most effective starter on the Phillies staff during his one season in Philadelphia, in 2004. He then parlayed that performance into a nice multi-year free agent contract with the Reds. That’s when he injured his pitching elbow. A couple of years ago he tried coming back with the Dodgers but was not successful.

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