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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: New Jersey

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

New Jersey has been a tough state for scouts to get a read on this spring. There were three premium high school arms all along, but the pecking order changed continually until righthander Vince Mazzaro, the most signable of the trio, made a late charge. Some scouts saw Princeton multisport star Will Venable as a better athlete and better baseball prospect than B.J. Szymanski, Princeton's two-sport star from 2004 who went in the second round to the Reds, while others see him as no better than the surprise 15th-rounder he was a year ago.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Upper New England

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

A year after Maine high school righthander Mark Rogers, selected fifth overall by the Brewers, became the highest pick in draft history from this three-state region's prep ranks, things have returned to normal. With the possibility of one or two players slipping into the first 10 rounds, crosscheckers had little reason to trek to the northeast corner of the country this spring.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Lower New England

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

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

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

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

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

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: Michigan

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Zach Putnam looked like he would become the state's first first-round pick since the Yankees reached up for David Parrish 28th overall in 2000. But Putnam has leveled off as a pitcher, and now teams project him as a third-round talent as a third baseman. After Putnam and Chris Getz, the state's most attractive prospects are pitchers. Sophomore-eligibles Paul Phillips and Jayson Ruhlman could be premium picks in 2006 if they return to school and show more consistency.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Kentucky

John Manuel -Premium Content

While the college programs at Kentucky and Louisville are improving, neither is in position yet to consistently feed talent to the draft. Kentucky figures to have a premium selection next year in infielder John Shelby Jr., the son of the former big league outfielder, but doesn't figure to have recruit Chaz Roe join him on the roster. Roe, whose father played football for the Wildcats, figures to be drafted in the first 50 picks.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Indiana

Jim Callis -Premium Content

High school righthanders are Indiana's strength, after being in short supply a year ago. Josh Lindblom has an outside chance of going in the supplemental first round, and the state's next three best prospects are three more prep righties. The state's colleges have been a disappointment, as several players failed to build on the momentum from strong summer performances.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Canada

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

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: Florida

John Manuel -Premium Content

Veterans of the Florida scene can't remember a worse year for the state in recent draft history. Yes, the Sunshine State should still see four players go in the first 50 picks, but that's below-average for the state. Since 2000 Florida has averaged five first-rounders a year, including the sandwich round. Worse than the top-of-the-line talent is the depth, particularly at the state's major colleges. Florida State might not produce a draft pick in the first 10 rounds, and scouts considered Miami's talent ordinary by its lofty standards. The state's high school ranks also were having a down year, with few players other than lanky lefthander Michael Kirkman stepping forward this spring to improve their draft stock.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Tennessee

John Manuel -Premium Content

The story in Tennessee last year was a high school class that produced first-round pick Kyle Waldrop and several top freshmen in the Southeastern Conference, such as Alabama shortstop Cale Iorg, Tennessee pitcher James Adkins and Vanderbilt pitcher David Price. This year, the story is the much-improved Tennessee Volunteers roster, which should produce three draft picks in the first five rounds. Vanderbilt's impact in the draft will outstrip its disappointing season, which kept the Commodores from making back-to-back regional trips.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: South Carolina

John Manuel -Premium Content

South Carolina is sending six teams into NCAA regional play, a testament to the fervor for baseball in the state, and the talent beyond the flagship programs of Clemson and South Carolina shows why so many teams have been successful. The high school crop does not measure up, with the exception of good friends Justin Smoak and Reese Havens, both of whom are committed to South Carolina if they don't start their pro careers.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: North Carolina

John Manuel -Premium Content

Cameron Maybin made a run at giving North Carolina its third-ever No. 1 overall draft pick from its high school ranks. He's not likely to make that happen, but he figures to go in the first 10 picks. Perhaps it's best that he avoid the No. 1 tag, which didn't seem to help Brien Taylor (1991) or Josh Hamilton (1999). Scouts say that while Maybin and Hamilton are different, Hamilton's bat was more ready for pro ball than Maybin's. Maybin should be the only prep player from the state drafted in the first 10 rounds, if not the first day. The state's colleges aren't fertile this year, either, and figure to be much stronger next year.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Mississippi

John Manuel -Premium Content

Crosscheckers and scouting directors have checked out Mississippi more than usual this year, and the state could provide a pair of first-round picks in Ole Miss first baseman/lefthander Stephen Head and a righthander from Head's alma mater, Hillcrest Christian's Cody Satterwhite. Just as importantly, Ole Miss offered scouts several other reasons to make repeat visits to the state and could have three players drafted in the first five rounds.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Georgia

John Manuel -Premium Content

Typically a major factor toward the top of the draft, Georgia figures to be less prominent this time around, as most of the high-profile players in the territory regressed or merely held their place, rather than improving significantly in the spring. Pitchers particularly struggled this spring in Georgia, from college talents such as Jason Neighborgall and Will Startup to preps like Miers Quigley and Buster Posey.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Alabama

John Manuel -Premium Content

It should be one of Alabama's biggest contributions in the draft in years, as the state offers several solid college players and a good crop of high school pitchers. Most significantly, Russell County High product Colby Rasmus could be the state's first prep player drafted in the first round since Terrence Long went 20th overall to the Mets in 1994. Colby's brother Cory and teammate Kasey Kiker, a lefthander likely to be a first-round pick next year, will make Alabama a must-visit state in 2006 as well.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Wisconsin

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Wisconsin had a second-round pick in high school righthander Erik Cordier last year, but that's more the exception than the rule. The state's largest school, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, doesn't play baseball, so NCAA Division III powerhouse Wisconsin-Whitewater has become the state's preeminent college program. Whitewater's pair of aces, Greg Reinhard and Kevin Tomasiewicz, are its best prospects this year, and beyond them the state will have few draft picks.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Oklahoma

Jim Callis -Premium Content

C.J. Henry is one of the draft's finest athletes and is considered reasonably signable despite having the basketball talent to play at major college programs. Bryant Beaver is another top athlete, though makeup concerns make it unlikely he'll even get drafted. The state's best college programs—Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts—are all slightly down this year in terms of performance and draftable talent.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Nebraska

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Nebraska gets a four-star rating almost solely because of the presence of Alex Gordon, the top college hitter in the draft. After him, there's no one close to a significant position player available. The state's high schools may not yield a single draft pick, so behind Gordon the prospect crop consists mainly of college pitchers.

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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Missouri

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Missouri is one of the nation's underrated producers of baseball talent. It has neither two first-rounders as it did a year ago with high schoolers Scott Elbert and Blake DeWitt, nor the stunning depth of 2003, but it still has plenty to offer. NCAA Division II Central Missouri State alone has five pitchers who could go on the first day of the draft, and the University of Missouri will provide several draft picks after its best season since 1996. Mizzou offers even better things to come because ace Max Scherzer, a sophomore, should be one of the first selections in the 2006 draft.

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