For more great baseball stories like this one, 'like' us on Facebook -

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Jeff Bumgarner put pressure as top pick, saw 8 pro seasons

Jeff Bumgarner 1990 Frederick Keys card

Jeff Bumgarner started off with high expectations as the Twins' top draft pick in 1985, the highest bonus in franchise history - $162,000 - tends to do that, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Three seasons in, going into 1988, Bumgarner spoke with The Sentinel about those expectations and trying to perform along with them.

"At first I put a lot of pressure on myself," Bumgarner told The Sentinel. "Instead of concentrating on pitching, I was trying to impress people. But in the past two years I've learned that I'm just another guy in a uniform."

Bumgarner, though, never did live up to those early expectations. He ended up playing eight total seasons. He topped out at AAA.

Bumgarner's career began in 1985, taken by the Twins 13th overall out of Hanford High School in Washington state.

He started with the Twins at rookie Elizabethton. He went 5-5, with a 3.09 ERA over 10 games, nine starts.

He moved to single-A Kenosha. He ended 7-14 over 23 starts, with a 3.46 ERA. He picked up a big win that May, still weeks shy of his 18th birthday. The win proved his third-straight complete game, The Kenosha News wrote.

"They think I'm a power pitcher, but I'll take a ground out or a pop up any time," Bumgarner told The News afterward. "I feel lately like I've been on a roll, but I've got to give credit tonight to the guys behind me. They made some big plays."

Bumgarner moved to AA Orlando for 1987. He went 13-10 there, with a 4.38 ERA. He returned to Orlando for 1988, and also saw seven starts at AAA Portland. He went 2-3, with a 7.71 ERA at Portland.

Sent to the Mets for 1989 in a trade, Bumgarner saw single-A St. Lucie and AA Jackson. He started 1990 ta AA Jackson, but got released and soon signed with the Orioles and played at high-A Frederick. He went 6-6, with a 3.09 ERA at Frederick.

He played 1991 at AA Hagerstown. Going into 1992, he spoke with his hometown Tri-City Herald about his preparation for that coming season.

"This is probably the hardest I've worked - six days a week," Bumgarner told The Herald. "I don't want to say this is do-or-die. But this is a big year. I can't afford an injury."

Bumgarner returned to Hagerstown that year. He saw 14 outings, one start and went 3-4, with a 6.51 ERA. That season marked his last as a pro.

Jeff Bumgarner 1990 Frederick Keys card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,102
Made the Majors:1,359-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,743-66.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553
10+ Seasons in the Minors:336

No comments:

Post a Comment