Don Vidmar

From BR Bullpen

Donald Vidmar

Don Vidmar was drafted in the 35th round of the 1988 amateur draft by the California Angels. Vidmar had a stellar debut season with the Bend Bucks, striking out 88 in 78 innings while walking 22. A swingman, he went 3-4 with a 2.08 ERA, which ranked second in the Northwest League, 4 points behind teammate Wes Bliven.

Vidmar was promoted to full-season A ball in 1989 and he went 10-13 with a 3.39 for the Palm Springs Angels. His K:BB ratio remained good (119:48) but he allowed 194 hits in 181 innings, the most base hits given up by a California League pitcher that season. He returned to Palm Springs the next year but did worse, going 5-10 with a 3.43 ERA. He allowed 105 hits in 113 innings, though, an improvement. Vidmar was hammered with the Midland Angels in his first taste of AA ball that year - Don went 1-6 with a 7.51 ERA and averaged just 4 innings per start. Overall his 16 losses did not bode well for his future prospects.

1991 saw Vidmar almost reverse his record completely. For Palm Springs, the righty was 4-2 with a 1.40 ERA and 6 walks to 25 strikeouts. For Midland, he went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA, perhaps the best season by a starter in the 14-year history of the Midland Angels. Vidmar led the Angels minor league system in wins (17), complete games (8) and innings (190) and he made the All-Star team as a pitcher, the only Midland Angels hurler ever to do so.

Vidmar spent the 1992 season with Midland (1-4, 3.35 as a reliever primarily) and the Edmonton Trappers (0-5, 6.97 in his only AAA experience).

Overall Vidmar had gone 37-49 as a pro pitcher, with two seasons where he was almost the best pitcher in his league. He had made it as far as AAA but never got to appear in a major-league game.