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Draft Report Cards Overview

By Jim Callis
November 5, 2004

Now it's time to dig even deeper with our annual Draft Report Cards. Executive editor Jim Callis spoke to scouting directors, scouts and farm directors to break down each team's 2004 draft.

For most of the categories, a player has to have signed to be considered. The only exceptions are Most Intriguing Background and, obviously, The One Who Got Away. For Best Late-Round Pick, players taken in the 10th round or lower were eligible. However because an unprecedented four unsigned first-round picks were still negotiating with clubs in late October Philip Humber (Mets), Jeff Niemann (Devil Rays) and Jered Weaver (Angels), plus shortstop Stephen Drew (Diamondbacks)we did include those players.

We no longer give teams letter grades because it's too early to evaluate these drafts with that kind of precision. But we have more than enough information to offer an educated overview below. More comprehensive information is present with the team capsules on the following five pages. The numbers in parentheses indicate the round in which a player was selected.

BEST DRAFT
1. Twins
2. Dodgers
3. Royals
4. Athletics
5. Rockies

BEST PRO DEBUT
College Players
1. Jon Zeringue, of, Diamondbacks (2)
2. Jeff Fiorentino, of, Orioles (3)
3. Clint Brannon, lhp, Rangers (34)
4. Chris Carter, of, Diamondbacks (17)
5. Dustin Pedroia, ss, Red Sox (2)

Junior College Players
1. Cory Dunlap, 1b, Dodgers (3)
2. Ray Liotta, lhp, White Sox (2)
3. Dustin Hahn, 3b/of, Rockies (9)
4. David Trahan, rhp, Expos (11)
5. Jeff Marquez, rhp, Yankees (1)

High School Players
1. Mitch Einertson, of, Astros (5)
2. Billy Butler, 3b, Royals (1)
3. Matt Tuiasosopo, ss, Mariners (3)
4. Blake DeWitt, 3b, Dodgers (1)
5. Gaby Hernandez, rhp, Mets (3)

Second-Day Picks (Rounds 19-50)
1. Clint Brannon, lhp, Rangers (34)
2. Tony Sipp, lhp, Indians (45)
3.Chris Gimenez, inf/of, Indians (19)
4.Eric Schindewolf, 2b, Diamondbacks (26)
5. Randy Beam, lhp, Red Sox (18)

BEST ATHLETE
1. Greg Golson, of, Phillies (1)
2. B.J. Szymanski, of, Reds (2)
3. Dexter Fowler, of, Rockies (14)
4. Matt Tuiasosopo, ss, Mariners (3)
5. Chris Nelson, ss, Rockies (1)

BEST PURE HITTER
1. Stephen Drew, ss, Diamondbacks (1)
2. Eddy Martinez-Esteve, of, Giants (2)
3. Jon Zeringue, of, Diamondbacks (2)
4. Danny Putnam, of, Athletics (1)
5. Cory Dunlap, 1b, Dodgers (3)

BEST RAW POWER
1. Billy Butler, 3b, Royals (1)
2. Chris Carter, of, Diamondbacks (17)
3. Mike Ferris, 1b, Cardinals (2)
4. Josh Fields, 3b, White Sox (1)
5. B.J. Szymanski, of, Reds (2)

FASTEST RUNNER
1. Greg Golson, of, Phillies (1)
2. Greg Burns, of, Marlins (3)
3. Fernando Perez, of, Devil Rays (7)
4. Joe Pietro, of, Marlins (9)
5. D.T. McDowell, of, Angels (20)

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER
1. Matt Bush, ss, Padres (1)
2. Greg Golson, of, Phillies (1)
3. Dexter Fowler, of, Rockies (14)
4. Aaron Hathaway, c, Mets (4)
5. Erick San Pedro, c, Expos (2)

BEST FASTBALL
1. Justin Verlander, rhp, Tigers (1)
2. Jeff Niemann, rhp, Devil Rays (1)
3. Homer Bailey, rhp, Reds (1)
4. Thomas Diamond, rhp, Rangers (1)
5. Collin Mahoney, rhp, Tigers (4)

BEST BREAKING BALL
1. Jeff Niemann, rhp, Devil Rays (1)
2. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, White Sox (2)
3. Philip Humber, rhp, Mets (1)
4. Homer Bailey, rhp, Reds (1)
5. Billy Buckner, rhp, Royals (2)

MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND
Baseball Relative Division
1. Stephen Drew, ss, Diamondbacks (1)
2. Jered Weaver, rhp, Angels (1)
3. Kenny Williams Jr., of, White Sox (36)
4. Billy Killian, c, Padres (3)
5. Eric Patterson, 2b, Cubs (8)

Non-Baseball Relative Division
1. Matt Johnson, 1b, Phillies (50)
2. Matt Tuiasosopo, ss, Mariners (3)
3. Billy Butler, 3b, Royals (1)
and Eric Hurley, rhp, Rangers (1)
4. Todd Frazier, of, Rockies (37)
5. Clint Preisendorfer, lhp, Yankees (32)

CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS
College Players
1. Huston Street, rhp, Athletics (1)
2. Jered Weaver, rhp, Angels (1)
3. Jeremy Sowers, lhp, Indians (1)
4. Stephen Drew, ss, Diamondbacks (1)
5. Jeff Niemann, rhp, Devil Rays (1)

High School Players
1. Homer Bailey, rhp, Reds (1)
2. Gio Gonzalez, lhp, White Sox (1)
3. Chris Nelson, ss, Rockies (1)
4. Kyle Waldrop, rhp, Twins (1)
5. Gaby Hernandez, rhp, Mets (3)

BEST LATE-ROUND PICK
1. Mark Trumbo, 3b, Angels (18)
2. Mike Rozier, lhp, Red Sox (12)
3. Dexter Fowler, of, Rockies (14)
4. Nick Adenhart, rhp, Angels (14)
5. Tony Sipp, lhp, Indians (45)

THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY
College Players
1. Wade Townsend, rhp, Orioles (1)
2. Justin Maxwell, of, Rangers (10)
3. Micah Owings, rhp, Cubs (19)
4. Jeff Larish, of, Dodgers (13)
5. Jeremy Slayden, of, Athletics (18)

High School Players
1. Joe Savery, lhp, Dodgers (15)
2. Brad Meyers, rhp, Mets (14)
3. Andrew Romine, ss, Phillies (36)
4. Patrick White, of, Angels (4)
5. Adrian Ortiz, of, Cubs (5)

BEST DRAFT-AND-FOLLOW SIGNINGS
1. Luis Cota, rhp, Royals (10 in 2003)
2. Ryan Mattheus, rhp, Rockies (19 in 2003)
3. Mark Jurich, of, Braves (13 in 2003)
4. Marcus Sanders, 2b, Giants (17 in 2003)
5. Brandon Jones, of, Braves (13 in 2003)

BEST DRAFT-AND-FOLLOWS FOR 2004
1. Omar Aguilar, rhp, Giants (8)
2. Stephen Marek, rhp, Angels (40)
3. Brad Clapp, rhp, Pirates (19)
4. Michael Saunders, rhp/of, Mariners (11)
5. Matt Montgomery, rhp, Padres (14)

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