Sigh. Oh, what could have been. But I’ve talked at length about the idea of Sizemore as a National, so today let’s look at Sizemore’s minor league record up to 2001. Sizemore was a third round pick for the Expos in 2000, and made his debut in 2000 Bowman Draft (which I may have posted here already…can’t recall).
In Rookie Ball in 2000 at the tender age of 17 (can you believe he’s that young here?), Sizemore put up a 293/380/376 slash in 55 games. He also stole 16 out of 17 bases, so it was clear right away that he was something special. Oh, and a 19-year-old Shawn Hill was one of his teammates at the time.
In 2001 they bumped him up to Low A Clinton, where he teamed with players like Jason Bay and Brandon Watson. Faced with the tougher pitching, his BA and SLG dropped, but his OBP stayed steady, with a 268/381/335 slash.
So at this point, he still looked like a good prospect, but there must have been some questions about his ability to handle stronger pitching. John Sickels at Minor League Ball summed up his 2000 and 2001 seasons as follows:
“Grady Sizemore was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the third round in 2000, out of high school in Everett, Washington. He was considered a first round talent due to his excellent tools, but he had a football scholarship to the University of Washington, and it took $2,000,000 to convince him to play baseball. He hit .293/.380/.376 with 16 steals in 55 games for the GCL Expos, showing strong speed and strike zone judgment, but not much power. I gave him a Grade C+ entering 2001, noting that he did have some power potential but needed to refine his swing.
Sizemore spent 2001 with Clinton in the Midwest League, hitting .268/.381/.335 with 32 steals, 81 walks, and 92 strikeouts in 451 at-bats. His power was unimpressive, but the plate discipline and speed continued to stand out. Scouts complained a bit about his route-running and said his defense needed work, and also worried that his line drive swing was not conducive for power at that point. I gave him a Grade B-.”
Of course, poor Grady has been injured the last two seasons and it’s kept his numbers down, but I think he can still pull it together and have a decent, if not Hall of Fame, career. That’s respectable, certainly. We’ll see.