Draft 2006: Projected First Round

1. Andrew Miller, lhp, U. of North Carolina
Six-foot-7 lefty was draft’s highest unsigned pick from 2003, primed to become highest pick this year.

2. Drew Stubbs, of, U. of Texas
Best athlete in the draft has obvious physical tools, but must learn to curb high strikeout totals.

3. Max Scherzer, rhp, U. of Missouri
Devil Rays own this pick and Scherzer would be made to order for a team in need of a power college arm.

4. Jordan Walden, rhp, Mansfield (Texas) HS
When Walden was clocked at 99 mph last summer, he moved to the head of the ’06 high school class.

5. Daniel Bard, rhp, U. of North Carolina
Reasserted himself last summer by leading Cape Cod in strikeouts, after inconsistent sophomore year.

6. Chris Marrero, 3b, Monsignor Pace HS, Miami
Best high school position prospect can swing bat for average and power, and is a solid defender.

7. Ian Kennedy, rhp, U. of Southern California
The Dodgers need some good local PR and drafting a proven hometown talent might be a prudent move.

8. Brett Anderson, lhp, Stillwater (Okla.) HS
The draft’s most polished prep arm has been schooled by his dad, Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson.

9. Kyle Drabek, rhp, The Woodlands (Texas) HS
The son of ex-big leaguer Doug Drabek has a 96 mph fastball and his father’s trademark hammer curve.

10. Evan Longoria, 3b/ss, Long Beach State U.
A late bloomer, he came of age last summer in Cape Cod League, leading circuit in home runs and RBIs.

11. Matt LaPorta, 1b/3b, U. of Florida
Led NCAA Division I hitters with 26 home runs a year ago and is the draft’s premier college power hitter.

12. Matt Latos, rhp, Coconut Creek HS, Margate, Fla.
Teams looking for a signable high school arm with plenty of upside will bear down on the 6-foot-5 Latos.

13. Wes Hodges, 3b, Georgia Tech
Steady across the board with developing power potential, Hodges should move quickly in pro ranks.

14. Brandon Morrow, rhp, U. of California
Morrow can match any college pitcher in physical ability, but teams will be wary of his 0-1, 9.36 ’05 record.

15. Dallas Buck, rhp, Oregon State U.
With three first-rounders, Nationals will target pitching with Oregon State ace sure to be in their mix.

16. Chris Tillman, rhp, Fountain Valley (Calif.) HS
Loose and projectable at 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, Tillman enters 2006 as California’s best prep talent.

17. Kyle McCulloch, rhp, U. of Texas
Smooth, polished college pitcher with three averages pitches has gone 19-4 in two years at Texas.

18. Joba Chamberlain, rhp, U. of Nebraska
A Division II transfer, he was the most obscure player a year ago of all this year’s potential first-rounders.

19. Dellin Betances, rhp, Grand Street HS, New York
The sky’s the limit for the 6-foot-9, 215-pound Betances, whose fastball has been clocked at 96 mph.

20. Jeremy Jeffress, rhp, Halifax County HS, South Boston, Va.
With a lightning-quick arm and 98 mph fastball, Jeffress reminds scouts of a young Dwight Gooden.

21. Cody Johnson, of/1b, Mosley HS, Panama City, Fla.
Yankees pick in this spot and Johnson’s lefthanded power would be an intriguing fit in Yankee Stadium.

22. Brad Lincoln, rhp, U. of Houston
His size (6-0, 195) may be an issue, but his 90-95 mph boring fastball and 82-84 power curve aren’t.

23. Mark Melancon, rhp, U. of Arizona
Versatile righthander was used in relief his first two years at Arizona and moves to rotation this year.

24. Hank Conger, c, Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS
Braves have big interest in Conger’s huge lefthanded power, though his defensive skills need work.

25. Jared Hughes, rhp, Long Beach State U.
Hughes hopes to join most recent two Dirtbag aces, Jered Weaver and Cesar Ramos, in first round.

26. Greg Reynolds, rhp, Stanford U.
His ordinary 6-4, 5.76 record in two years at Stanford masks interest in his size, stuff and upside.

27. Chris Parmelee, 1b/of, Chino Hills (Calif.) HS
The nation’s premier prep hitting prospect could climb this list if a team places a premium on his bat.

28. Jason Donald, ss, U. of Arizona
Might be the best middle infielder in the draft, but he’s shown only marginal improvement in two years.

29. Blair Erickson, rhp, UC Irvine
Nation’s premier closer used 96 mph fastball to earn 27 saves, post 103 K’s in 72 innings in ’04-05.

30. Kasey Kiker, lhp, Russell County HS, Seale, Ala.
The ace pitcher on the nation’s top high school team has a 94 mph fastball, best among prep lefties.