Don Levinski

From BR Bullpen

Donald Beyer Levinski

Minors BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Don Levinski played seven seasons of minor league ball but never reached above the High A level.

Selected by the Montreal Expos in the second round of the 2001 amateur draft (after Josh Karp in round one), Levinski had gone 8-1 with a 0.39 ERA as a high school senior, with 14 hits, 19 walks and 103 strikeouts in 54 innings. He signed for a $825,000 bonus. That was significant as the Expos' owner at the time, Jeffrey Loria, did not like having to pay such a large bonus to an unproven player and, this would lead to his subsequent trade just a year later. Levinski made his pro debut that year with the GCL Expos and made 3 starts for the club (3.46 ERA). After going 12-6 with a 3.02 ERA in 21 starts for the Clinton LumberKings the next year, he was named to the Midwest League All-Star team as the right-handed pitcher. He had finished 8th in ERA (between Edgar Gonzalez and Jake Woods) and tied for 9th in wins (with Justin Germano, Shawn Hill, Dan Hall and Brad Salmon). Baseball America rated him as the #4 prospect in the MWL behind Joe Mauer, Jason Stokes and Dontrelle Willis and well ahead of Shin-Soo Choo (#8), Johan Santana (#12) and Edwin Encarnacion (#15). He tied Hill for third in the Expos chain in wins behind Julio Manon and Tim Drew.

He was dealt to the Florida Marlins as a player to be named later in an eight-player trade, sent alongside Carl Pavano, Graeme Lloyd, Mike Mordecai and Justin Wayne in return for Cliff Floyd, Wilton Guerrero and Claudio Vargas on August 5th (the original trade had been on July 11th. Reports at the time indicated that former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria had been appalled at how much money he needed to give out in signing bonuses to top draft picks and when he swapped the Expos for the Marlins after the 2002 season, decided to re-acquire some of those players for whom he had had to pay top dollar in order to recoup his investment; as a result, fellow top Expos draft pick Wayne was also acquired by the Marlins in the same trade. Both Wayne and Levinski were still considered top prospects at the time, but would turn out to be busts.

Levinski struggled in his sole season in the Florida chain in 2003, posting a 4-11 record and 4.03 ERA in 21 starts for the Jupiter Hammerheads. He walked 70 in 87 innings. He finished tied for third in the Florida State League in losses, one shy of the co-leaders. He was 3 walks behind leader Joselo Diaz and tied for the lead with 16 wild pitches. He tied Sean Bergman for second in the Marlins chain in defeats, one behind Wayne. He was then traded to the Baltimore Orioles along with Denny Bautista for Jeff Conine. His control remained a problem with the 2004 Frederick Keys (1-6, 6.48, 55 BB in 82 IP) and 2005 was a nightmare for the Aberdeen Ironbirds (0-3, 19.29, 11 H, 6 BB in 4 2/3 IP).

The former prospect ended his career in the Washington Nationals organization - the Nationals being of course the new identity of the Expos, who had originally signed him. He was 2-1 with 1 save and a 3.48 ERA for the 2006 Savannah Sand Gnats, striking out 46 in 41 1/3 innings and allowing only 26 hits but walking 27, giving hope that could perhaps get back on track and fulfill his promise. But with the Hagerstown Suns in 2005, he was 2-7 with a 5.37 ERA and that ended his professional career.

Levinski had gone 21-34 with 1 save and a 4.53 ERA in 122 minor league games (69 starts). In 409 1/3 innings, he walked 257 and allowed 378 hits while striking out 395.

Sources include 2002-2005 Baseball Almanacs

Related Sites[edit]