Baseball America

Allan Simpson

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Lower New England

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Connecticut high school righthander Josh Zeid is the only player with a shot of being drafted in the first 10 rounds, but he could just as easily slide a long way because he has not had a dominant season and his commitment to Vanderbilt has raised issues about his signability. By winning the Atlantic-10 Conference title, Rhode Island qualified for its first-ever NCAA regional appearance and should also make its greatest imprint on the draft, with three pitchers expected to be selected.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Mid-Atlantic

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Maryland had hopes of producing two first-round picks this year, but those hopes evaporated when outfielder Justin Maxwell was felled by his third season-ending injury in two years early in the season and righthander Brandon Erbe couldn't produce even a .500 record at the high school level.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Massachucetts

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Massachusetts did not shape up as an even average state at the start of the year, but UMass righthander Matt Torra made more strides this spring than possibly any college pitcher in the country. Boston College pitchers Mike Wlodarczyk and Joe Martinez also showed significant improvement, raising the entire profile of the state.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Canada

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Canada's impact on the draft may never again approach 2002, when lefthanders Adam Loewen (Orioles, fourth overall pick) and Jeff Francis (Rockies, ninth) were both among the first 10 players drafted. But the country continues to produce 40-45 picks a year, and the prospects for Canadians brightened in mid-May when Congress voted to increase the supply of visas used by minor league baseball players, which will allow Canadians to begin playing immediately.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Utah

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Utah may have only one player drafted in the first 10 rounds, but it's a special player who has attracted almost every important scout in the industry to Utah this spring. Mark Pawelek, possibly the best lefthander in the country, could become the second Utah high school player ever drafted in the first round.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Rocky Mountains

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Idaho has been on the travel itinerary of a lot of Pacific Northwest scouts this year who usually pay just passing interest. Not only has NAIA power Lewis-Clark State produced its usual assortment of mid- to late-round picks, but the Idaho prep ranks are also the deepest in years, with at least four legitimate draft picks. Montana has just one legitimate prospect, while Wyoming has no one who will be drafted.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Pacific Rim

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Just a few years ago, Hawaii produced a succession of early-round picks, ranging from Jerome Williams (Giants) in 1999, to Justin Wayne (Expos) and Dane Sardinha (Reds) in 2000, to Bronson Sardinha (Yankees) and Brandon League (Blue Jays) in 2001. But that well has gone dry the last two or three years and no one is likely to be picked in the first 10-12 rounds this year. The top Hawaiian pick will be Yavapai (Ariz.) Junior College draft-and-follow Milton Loo, a 17th-round pick of the Reds out of a Hawaii high school in 2004. Alaska is a non-entity, with Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC pitcher Ryan Shaver the player with an Alaska connection likely to be selected.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Oregon

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It's just an average year for talent that will come straight out of the state, but in reality it has been a season for the ages in the Oregon amateur baseball ranks. Not only has No. 3-ranked Oregon State enjoyed its best season ever, but three former Oregon high school players also should go at the top of this year's draft. Only Beaver Jacoby Ellsbury elected to stay close to home for college ball, as Jed Lowrie went to Stanford and Trevor Crowe went to Arizona.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: New Mexico

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New Mexico baseball has drawn some national attention this year, most notably Albuquerque's La Cueva High, which broke a nearly 40-year-old national high school record with 68 consecutive wins on its way to a third straight 5-A state title. For all the team and individual accomplishments, though, the state should have a minimal impact on the draft, with no picks in the first eight to 10 rounds.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Nevada

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The Community College of Southern Nevada had nine players under control from the 2004 draft—more than any junior college program in the country. The talent at CCSN made the trip to Las Vegas a worthwhile one for many of the Southern California scouts who have coverage in that area—as if the new Celine Dion show weren't enough. The normally rich Las Vegas high school ranks, by contrast, probably won't produce a single pick in the first 12 or 15 rounds.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Arizona

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With 11 players in our top 200, Arizona's influence on the draft will be significant—particularly the University of Arizona's. But it could have been greater had the state's three best high school talents at the start of the year—Brett Jacobson, Ike Davis and Matt Hall—not backed up a bit.

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