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Richie Sexson prospect retrospective

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John Sickels looks back at Richie Sexson's minor league career:

Richie Sexson was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 24th round in 1993, out of high school in Brush Prairie, Washington. He hit very poorly in his pro debut, putting up just a .186/.320/.247 line in 40 games for Burlington in the Appalachian League. The only positive marker was the fact that he drew 18 walks against 97 at-bats, but other numbers were weak and he was overmatched by pro pitching. At this point he would be a Grade C prospect at best, someone with intriguing physicality and raw power, but no refinement.

And, of course, it went uphill from there.  Richie has been involved in steals for the Brewers both coming in and going out: remember this gem?

July 28, 2000: Traded by the Cleveland Indians with a player to be named later, Kane Davis, and Paul Rigdon to the Milwaukee Brewers for Bob Wickman, Steve Woodard, and Jason Bere. The Cleveland Indians sent Marco Scutaro (August 30, 2000) to the Milwaukee Brewers to complete the trade.

Wickman has worked out nicely for the Indians, but he didn't come cheap; Bere was below average at the time of the trade and was even further below average in his brief stay in Cleveland; nobody else in the trade has really mattered much to this point.  I know Richie didn't really figure in the Indians' plans when they dealt him, but...wow, that was steal.  Not only was he young and inexpensive, but he wasn't unproven--as a 24 year old he hit 31/116/.255--making the deal all the more inexplicable.  

Interesting to note that Thome has blocked two major 1B prospects--Sexson and Ryan Howard--each of whom may end up having better careers than Thome did.  I suspect that dealing Thome to fill a need, rather than dealing the blocked prospect to get an aging closer, is the smarter move.