Jeter and Larkin could have been teammates. The Reds held the fifth over-all choose in the 1992 draft, and right after 4 teams — Houston, Cleveland, Montreal and Baltimore — passed on Jeter, some in the draft area at Riverfront Stadium imagined they would consider Jeter, a star at Kalamazoo Central Superior College in Michigan.
A best scout, Gene Bennett, experienced been instrumental in drafting amateurs from the Midwest like Larkin, Paul O’Neill and Chris Sabo, a group that aided the Reds get the 1990 Earth Collection. Bennett terribly wished Jeter, but the scouting director, Julian Mock, took a higher education outfielder named Chad Mottola rather.
“Julian Mock’s situation in the room, and I’ll in no way ignore this, he mentioned: ‘Mottola’s got a possibility to be a 40-household operate male, he’s got a fantastic arm, and we by now have Larkin,’” mentioned Jim Bowden, who was then the Reds’ director of participant enhancement.
“Larry Barton Jr. — an additional a single of the older Reds guys who were being there without end — stood up and mentioned, ‘What do you believe we did with Eric Davis? Eric Davis was a shortstop, as well, and we place him in centre area.’ And Gene Bennett mentioned, ‘Exactly, we could move Jeter to heart or you could have Jeter participate in shortstop and Larkin enjoy centre. But there’s more than enough middle of the diamond for all people. Don’t let that be the explanation.’”
It was a monumental oversight for the Reds, who are nonetheless ready for their future pennant. They would get only 17 hits from Mottola, who batted .200 in a transient profession and is now the hitting coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. Jeter, meanwhile, collected 3,465 hits for the Yankees, batted .310 and manufactured 2,660 commences at shortstop, the most in baseball heritage.