1.19 SP Daniel Davis – This selection has reinforced to the Oilers brass that picking high school pitchers is extremely risky. OC was extremely excited with the Davis selection but within his first 3 starts, it was clear they had made a colossal mistake.
During Davis’ 3rd start, he suffered a torn labrum which took him out for the season. While it’s possible that the injury severely derailed his development, he was dreadful in the 10 innings before the injury. He allowed 21 hits, 9 ER, 3 HR, 4 walks, and only 3 K’s. As an older high schooler, he did not qualify for a return to the U20 league his next season. In U22 during 1985, he was just as bad. He allowed far too many HR, BB, and could only strike out 5.9 batters per 9 IP. The Oilers released him after the 1985 season in what will likely stand as the worst 1st round pick in OC history. Currently, Davis is toiling in the ABA reserve league and has yet to be called up.
2.21 RF Phil Cordier – The 1984 draft would be considered a disaster if not for the selection of Cordier here. Cordier exceeded his draft slot and has been selected to the last 2 all-star games and won the last to silver slugger awards at RF. In 2 and a half seasons, he’s already amassed 5.8 WAR and hit 44 HR. Cordier is very popular with Oiler fans and will likely spend his career in OC.
3.4 RP Randy Badolato – Baldo has yet to make an impact on the OC roster despite having 3 season worth of service time. Randy quickly advanced through the system and has spent his time as a valuable backup bullpen option. This season, the Oiler will expect him to handle a greater role as the setup man to stopper, Jorge Lopez. GM Joe Peters has faith that Badolato could serve as the team’s stopper if Lopez were to go down for a significant time.
3.12 RP josh Meighan – Josh has spent the last 2 full seasons at U27 and it doesn’t look like he’ll advance to AAA next year when he turns 27. His career looked very promising but stalled at U27 as so many do. He will likely end up as an average ABA pitcher.
3.22 3B/OF Jason O’Brien – Jason was a key piece in the trade to El Paso for Aaron Kissane. Kissane was extremely valuable for OC and Jason played a part in that. Only 23, he still has some untapped potential and he could compete for an MVP one day. An excellent defender, only his average hitting is stopping him from being one of the best young players in the game. Going into his 3rd season in El Paso, O’Brien is an excellent breakout candidate.
5.21 CF Will Novotny – Will was traded before the 1988 season to NOLA for 2B Kichibei Uemura and Bill Dorset. Both players had value for OC last season, and Novotny was having a fine rookie season for NOLA until it was cut short due to injury. Also just 23, Novo is an above average player and could be an all-star one day.
19.22 RP Mike Robinson – Mike was released following a fine 1986 season in U22, but was released to due multiple team violations, and an overall negative energy. His whereabouts are mostly unknown for the ’87 season but was signed by Oakland to a minor league contract in July 1988. He pitched a very good summer in U24 and could get the call to U27 at some point this upcoming season. He’s got a great 3-pitch repertoire but still has some control issue that could be fixed if he stays more consistent in his delivery. Robinson certainly could become a valuable member of an ML bullpen and/or spot starter in the future if the control develops.
Out of the 26 players selected by Oil City, only 10 remain in the organization 5 years later.
Joe Peters, TBC/CEB Commissioner, GM Oil City (TBC)/Venice (CEB)