Spring Training 2.0 is almost underway…baseball is coming back! You know what else is coming back…the Future Star? Wait, what happened to the Future Stars (see ‘87 and ‘88)? Apparently, in 1989, Topps decided to label these cards as Future Star instead of Future Stars. And just like in 1988, Topps assigned only five players as Future Star(s) in their 1989 baseball card set. So with that, I introduce to you, the 1989 Topps Future Star(s) ranked…
5. Steve Searcy was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the third round (80th pick) of the 1985 Major League Baseball Draft. At the 1987 trade deadline, the Tigers, looking for a veteran arm, opted to trade John Smolz (for Doyle Alexander) instead of Searcy, to the Atlanta Braves. Searcy was named the International League Pitcher of the Year in 1988, and was a late season call up by Detroit. Searcy spent five injury riddled seasons in the majors playing for the Tigers and Phillies. Searcy’s career numbers are:
- Win-loss record: 6-13
- ERA: 5.68
- Strikeouts: 140
4. Mike Harkey was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the fourth overall pick in the 1987 MLB Draft. Harkey dealt with shoulder and arm injuries early in his Cubs career and even injured his knee attempting a cartwheel during pregame warm-ups in 1992. Harkey spent most of his eight seasons in the bigs with the Cubs, but also pitched for the Rockies, Athletics, Angels, and Dodgers. Harkey’s career numbers are:
- Win-loss record: 36-36
- ERA: 4.49
- Strikeouts: 316
3. Gregg Jefferies was selected by the New York Mets with the 20th overall pick in the 1985 MLB Draft. Jefferies was named the Minor League Player of the Year in 1986 and 1987, and was called up by the Mets at the age of 19. Along with the Mets, Jefferies spent his 14 year playing career with the Royals, Cardinals, Phillies, Angels, and Tigers. Jefferies appeared in back to back All-Star Games as a member of the Cardinals in 1993 and 1994. Jefferies career numbers are:
- Batting average: .289
- Hits: 1,593
- Home runs: 126
- RBIs: 663
2. Sandy Alomar Jr. was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the San Diego Padres in 1983. Alomar Jr. spent 20 seasons in the majors, playing for the Padres, Indians, White Sox, Rockies, Rangers, Dodgers, and Mets. In 1990, Alomar Jr. was named the American League Rookie of the Year with the Indians, won the Gold Glove Award, and became the first rookie catcher to start in an All-Star Game. Alomar Jr. would play in five more All-Star Games during his time in Cleveland (winning MVP honors at the 1997 game). Alomar Jr.’s career numbers are:
- Batting average: .273
- Hits: 1,236
- Home runs: 112
- RBIs: 588
1. Gary Sheffield was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the sixth overall pick in the 1986 MLB Draft. Sheffield spent his 22 year major league career playing for the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Tigers, and Mets. Sheffield was a nine time All-Star, five time Silver Slugger Award winner, won the National League batting title in 1992, and was a World Series Champion with the Marlins in 1997. Sheffield used steroids and his career numbers are:
- Batting average: .292
- Hits: 2,689
- Home runs: 509
- RBIs: 1,676
Bonus – #1 Draft Pick: In 1989, for the first time ever, Topps made cards for the top 10 draft picks from the previous year’s MLB draft (1988). Here are those cards, and that players’ career major league numbers…
1st pick – Andy Benes (San Diego Padres)
- 14 year career with the Padres, Mariners, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks.
- Win-loss record: 155-139
- ERA: 3.97
- Strikeouts: 2,000
2nd pick – Mark Lewis (Cleveland Indians)
- 11 year career with the Indians, Reds, Tigers, Giants, Phillies, and Orioles.
- Batting average: .263
- Hits: 736
- Home runs: 48
- RBIs: 306
3rd pick – Steve Avery (Atlanta Braves)
- 11 year career with the Braves, Red Sox, Reds, and Tigers.
- Win-loss record: 96-83
- ERA: 4.19
- Strikeouts: 980
4th pick – Gregg Olson (Baltimore Orioles)
- 14 year career with the Orioles, Braves, Indians, Royals, Tigers, Astros, Twins, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers.
- Win-loss record: 40-39
- ERA: 3.46
- Strikeouts: 588
- Saves: 217
5th pick – Bill Bene (Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Did not pitch in the majors.
6th pick – Monty Fariss (Texas Rangers)
- 3 year career with the Rangers and Marlins.
- Batting average: .217
- Hits: 49
- Home runs: 4
- RBIs: 29
7th pick – Willie Ansley (Houston Astros)
- Did not play in the majors.
8th pick – Jim Abbott (California Angels)
- 10 year career with the Angels, Yankees, White Sox, and Brewers.
- Win-loss record: 87-108
- ERA: 4.25
- Strikeouts: 888
9th pick – Ty Griffin (Chicago Cubs)
- Did not play in the majors.
10th pick – Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox)
- 16 year career with the White Sox, Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers.
- Batting average: .267
- Hits: 1,885
- Home runs: 294
- RBIs: 1,182
And that is the rankings of the 1989 Topps Future Star(s) and #1 Draft Picks. Again, some hits, some misses, and plenty of stories to go around with each card…especially the #1 Draft Picks. Stay tuned for the 1990 Topps Future Stars and #1 Draft Picks!