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Mark Teixeira, 3b
Georgia Tech


Breaking his right ankle in a February outfield collision cost Teixeira the chance to be the first player to repeat as Baseball America's College Player of the Year, but he'll still be a top five pick. The only way he won't be the first college hitter drafted is if his signability (he may want an eight-figure deal) and adviser (Scott Boras) scare off clubs. Teixeira already was established as the best batting prospect in the draft, offering power from both sides as well as a sweet stroke and plate discipline. Even after missing most of three months, he immediately found his stroke, going 12-for-29 with his customary pop in his first seven games back. Any question that he'd play third base in the big leagues was erased before he got hurt. He improved his speed and lateral movement to the point that all five of his tools are considered average or better. He's comparable to the Phillies' Pat Burrell, who went No. 1 overall in 1998, except he's a switch-hitter and more athletic. Teixeira may need time before he's ready to play in the field on a regular basis, but the ankle injury isn't a long-term concern. His makeup draws universal praise, as he hastened his return to the lineup in order to help Georgia Tech try to reach the College World Series. He had no trouble hitting with wood last summer with Team USA, batting a team-best .385 with five homers in 117 at-bats. Teixeira won't need much time to adjust to the pros and should reach the majors within a year of signing.

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