1993 Fleer Final Edition
Guillermo is a forgotten power-hitting prospect for the Padres. Signed as a free agent out of Mexico, he slugged 21 home runs in his third year in the minors, 1991, and got the attention of the Padres. He also hit .295 that year, but here’s where it gets baffling. Moved up to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League the following year, his average went up (as expected) to .309, but his homers fell to seven. That was good enough for a cup of coffee in 1992, where he had a 116 OPS+ in 15 games. In 1993 he boosted his average to .333 and got another promotion to the Majors, where he had a 50 OPS+ in 79 games, performing mostly in a platoon role when Fred McGriff went down with an injury. That was his last year in the majors, and he hung around in the minors until 1995. He resurfaced in the Mexican leagues in 2005, performing fairly well that first year but going down quickly.
I’m not sure how I feel about 1993 Fleer – it’s just kind of there. I mean, this shot is okay, but it never jumped out at me, and the design is pretty bland. Still, I remember being pretty excited about this guy for some reason, so I needed to feature him here.
Continuing on from yesterday’s entry about John Burke, here is the top Marlins prospect that I remember (although I remember him as a Blue Jay first). It’s funny, though, he was never an interesting Blue Jays prospect, and yet as soon as the Marlins drafted him #1, I became interested in him. I was a victim of expansion hype. I admit it. Of course, Wilson didn’t pan out, just as his standing in the Blue Jays system would have suggested, but that didn’t stop me from snapping up every card of him I could find.
And we get to the 93 Fleer Final Edition; I’ve already shown the Kevin Rogers card from this set, but didn’t comment on it. However, I was absolutely crazy about this set when it came out. It was loaded with rookies and prospects, many of which will eventually make their way here, and many of which never made an impact. Looking back, though, it’s a butt-ugly set, and I’m not sure that I would have cared if it weren’t for the prospects.
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.
I liked Manny from the day he was drafted. I thought the guy had the potential to become just what he has: an amazing hitter with plus power. I also admit, I was caught offguard with the PED suspension, but I still can’t bring myself to dislike him.
Here we see him very young and working his way up the Indians chain. I never had this card the first time around, so picking this up was a real treat for me. I think I might target more of ManRam’s minor league cards. It’s weird to see him so thin and with short hair.