1992 Upper Deck Minors
Rick Huisman was one of the Giants’ super prospects in the early 90s. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1990 draft, he shined in his first minor league season, going 6-5 with a 2.11ERA at two levels. Promoted to high-A in 1991, he went 16-4 with a 1.83 ERA, winning the pitching “Quadruple Crown” for San Jose, becoming the only pitcher in league history to top the circuit in wins, strikeouts, ERA, and winning percentage. Continuing his stellar rise, he went 10-6 with a 2.38 ERA in 1992 between AA and AAA.
So what happened? Why didn’t he make it big in the majors? You guessed it: injury. He hurt his shoulder at the end of the ’92 season and was never quite the same after that. Oh, he tasted the majors from 95-96 with Kansas City, ending with a career 93 OPS+ in the majors. Sad story.
Kevin Rogers was kind of Shawn Estes before Shawn Estes (and we will get to Shawn), only he never really stuck in the majors like Estes did. Unfortunately, Rogers got moved to the bullpen, where he did okay, but then had a blood clot in his shoulder, and was shot as far as the major leagues went. He pitched in the minors until 1998, but was never really the same pitcher. I always thought he had at least a shot at stardom, but lost interest after the move to the bullpen. Now that I think about it, it seems like the Giants were cursed as far as minor leaguers go in the early to mid 90s. I’ll cover more of those as time goes on.