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Draft 2001: Top Prospects by Position

By Allan Simpson

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers


Minnesota's Joe Mauer has a solid shot of becoming the first overall pick in the draft, the first time since 1985 that a catcher would hold that distinction. Milwaukee selected B.J. Surhoff with the first pick that year. The lefthanded-hitting Mauer is solid defensively but his bat is clearly his best tool. He hits for both power and average. Unfortunately, the catching crop falls off dramatically after Mauer, with a strong likelihood that there won't be another catcher selected in the first round. The college crop is especially thin, with no catcher ranked in the top 100 overall. Oklahoma State's Ryan Budde, who missed almost the entire season with an injury, has a slight lead over Tampa's Mike Rabelo and Baylor's Kelly Shoppach.

Strength of Position (1-to-5 scale): 2.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mets, Red Sox, Yankees.

Best hitters: 1. Joe Mauer. 2. Jon Zeringue. 3. Kelly Shoppach.

Best defensive players: 1. Donny Lucy. 2. Ryan Budde. 3. Jeff Timmons.

Best athletes: 1. Joe Mauer. 2. Donny Lucy. 3. Cody Gunn.

1.Joe MauerCretin-Derham Hall HSSt. Paul, Minn.18L-R6-4205
2.Jon ZeringueE.D. White HSThibodeaux, La.18R-R6-2210
3.Donny LucyFallbrook, HSFallbrook, Calif.18R-R6-3200
4.Jonathan DeVriesIrvine HSIrvine, Calif.18R-R6-3205
5.Ryan BuddeOklahoma StateMidwest City, Okla.21R-R5-10182
6.Kelly ShoppachBaylorFort Worth, Texas21B-R6-0210
7.Mike RabeloTampaNew Port Richey, Fla.21R-R6-1205
8.Jeff TimmonsNova HSHollywood, Fla.18R-R6-1190
9.Rene RiveraPapa XXIII HSBayamon, P.R.17R-R5-10185
10.Chad OlivaJacksonvillePalm Beach, Fla.21R-R6-0205
11.Greg DiniBishop Moore HSLongwood, Fla.18R-R6-2190
12.Cody GunnBrewster HSBrewster, Wash.18L-R6-0175
13.Jeff MathisMarianna HSMarianna, Fla.18R-R6-1175

14.Eli WhitesideDelta StateNew Albany, Miss.21R-R6-2210
15.Collin MahoneyMichael AcademyPatterson, N.Y.18R-R6-3215

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

First Base

The position has two of the draft's 10 best talents in John VanBenschoten and Casey Kotchman. But it loses some of its punch because most teams project VanBenschoten as a right fielder at the next level. His five-tool talent would be wasted at first base. The first-base crop could take a further hit if Billy Paganetti ends up in the outfield or takes himself out of the draft altogether because of his commitment to Stanford. Kotchman is a first baseman all the way and one of the most accomplished to come along in years, both at bat and in the field. The one thread that runs through the position is power. All 10 players listed below have above-average power potential.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 3.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Angels, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers, Expos, Mariners, Mets, Pirates.

Best hitters: 1. Casey Kotchman. 2. John VanBenschoten. 3. Billy Paganetti.

Best defensive players: 1. Casey Kotchman. 2. John VanBenschoten. 3. Billy Paganetti.

Best athletes: 1. John VanBenschoten. 2. Billy Paganetti. 3. Casey Kotchman.

1.John VanBenschotenKent StateMilford, Ohio21R-R6-4200
2.Casey KotchmanSeminole HSSeminole, Fla.18L-L6-2190
3.Billy PaganettiGalena HSReno, Nev.17R-R6-4212
4.Tommy NicholsArmijo HSFairfield, Calif.17R-R6-4185
5.Ryan HowardSW Missouri StateSt. Louis, Mo.21L-L6-4215
6.Aaron ClarkAlabamaEnnis, Texas22L-L6-1195
7.Dusty GomonTerry Parker HSJacksonville18R-R6-4218
8.Matt HopperNebraskaMorrison, Colo.21R-R6-4210
9.Stefan BailieWashington StateMesa, Wash.21R-R6-0217
10.Shaun EvenhusEastmont HSRock Island, Wash.18R-R6-6240

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

Second Base

Second base is normally a dead-end position at the amateur level, but the college ranks have one of the best collections of talent in memory. You need to look no further than Baton Rouge, La., where two guys named Mike both project to go in the first round--Mike Fontenot of Louisiana State and Michael Woods of Southern. Both are accomplished hitters, but limited defensively to second base. Even the draft's top-rated shortstop, Tennessee's Chris Burke, is more of a second baseman by trade, strengthening the position even further.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 5.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Giants, Pirates, Red Sox, Royals, Tigers.

Best hitters: 1. Michael Woods. 2. Mike Fontenot. 3. Scott Hairston.

Best defensive players: 1. Mike Fontenot. 2. Richard Lewis. 3. Danny Garcia.

Best athletes: 1. Michael Woods. 2. Mike Fontenot. 3. Danny Garcia.
1.Michael WoodsSouthernBaton Rouge, La.21R-R6-1190
2.Mike FontenotLouisiana StateSlidell, La.20L-R5-8180
3.Richard LewisGeorgia TechMarietta, Ga.20R-R6-1193
4.Scott HairstonCentral Arizona JCTucson21R-R5-11175
5.Danny GarciaPepperdineSan Bernardino, Ca.21R-R6-1180
6.Dan UgglaMemphisColumbia, Tenn.21R-R5-11190
7.Brooks ConradArizona StateSpring Valley, Calif.21B-R5-11185
8.Josh RenickMiddle TennesseeSarasota, Fla.22R-R5-10175

9.Kaulana KuhauluaLong Beach StateWaianae, Hawaii21R-R6-0170
10.Trevor MoteBaylorKingman, Ariz.22B-R6-1195

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

Third Base

Scouts aren't convinced that any of the top tier of prospects will remain at third base down the road, which says more about their defense than their offense. Their bats will play, no matter what position they end up at. Mark Teixeira and Jake Gautreau may be the two best power-hitting prospects in college, while David Wright is one of the premier all-around hitters in high school. Brad Nelson, Taggert Bozied and Joey Metropoulos all have above-average power potential.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 3.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Blue Jays, Brewers, Marlins, Phillies, Pirates, Rockies.

Best hitters: 1. Mark Teixeira. 2. Jake Gautreau. 3. David Wright.

Best defensive players: 1. Greg Sain. 2. Taggert Bozied. 3. Mark Teixeira.

Best athletes: 1. Taggert Bozied. 2. Mark Teixeira. 3. Dallas McPherson.

1.Mark TeixeiraGeorgia TechBaltimore21B-R6-3226
2.Jake GautreauTulaneMcAllen, Texas21L-R6-0190
3.David WrightHickory HSChesapeake, Va.18R-R6-0198
4.Brad NelsonBishop Garrigan HSAlgona, Iowa18L-R6-2215
5.Taggert BoziedSan FranciscoDenver21R-R6-3215
6.Joey MetropoulosMonte Vista HSJamul, Calif.17R-R6-2215
7.Dallas McPhersonThe CitadelRandleman, N.C.20L-R6-4215
8.Greg SainSan DiegoTorrance, Calif.21R-R6-3200
9.Jack HannahanMinnesotaSt. Paul, Minn.21R-R6-2200
10.Cole BarthelDecatur HSDecatur, Ala.18R-R6-2205

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers


Scouts continue to lament the demise of the North American shortstop. This draft should add fuel to the argument that Latin America is the place to go for players with the actions desired in a modern-day shortstop. Every player on this list, with the exception of Bryan Bass, Michael Hollimon and Ryan Theriot, has been mentioned as possibly being better suited for another position. Chris Burke and Jayson Nix are viewed more as second basemen. Josh Burrus, Bobby Crosby and Bronson Sardinha are possible third basemen. And scouts like Matt Macri's arm strength so much that he has drawn equal interest as a pitcher.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 3.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Giants, Padres, Red Sox, Royals, Twins.

Best hitters: 1. Chris Burke. 2. Josh Burrus. 3. Jeff Keppinger.

Best defensive players: 1. Ryan Theriot. 2. Bobby Crosby. 3. Bryan Bass.

Best athletes: 1. Matt Macri. 2. Bryan Bass. 3. J.J. Hardy.
1.Chris BurkeTennesseeLouisville21R-R5-11180
2.Matt MacriDowling HSClive, Iowa19R-R6-2185
3.Josh BurrusWheeler HSMarietta, Ga.17R-R6-1185
4.Bobby CrosbyLong Beach StateCypress, Calif.21R-R6-3190
5.Bryan BassSeminole HSSeminole, Fla.19B-R6-1180
6.Ryan TheriotLouisiana StateBaton Rouge, La.21R-R5-11185
7.Jayson NixMidland HSMidland, Texas18R-R5-11185
8.Tim MerrittSouth AlabamaCantonment, Fla.21R-R6-1185
9.Bronson SardinhaKamehameha HSKahuku, Hawaii18L-R6-1210
10.J.J. HardySabino HSTucson, Ariz.18R-R6-2175
11.Michael HollimonJesuit PrepDallas18B-R6-0165
12.J.T. StottsCal State NorthridgeValencia, Calif.21R-R5-11180
13.Lee DelfinoEast CarolinaPickering, Ontario21R-R6-1180
14.Jeff KeppingerGeorgiaAuburn, Ga.21R-R6-0180
15.Brendan HarrisWilliam & MaryQueensbury, N.Y.20R-R6-0175
16.Justin BarnesMerritt Island HSMerritt Island, Fla.18R-R6-3194
17.Ryan StegallMissouriR-R6-1188
17.Andy GonzalezFlorida Air AcademyRio Piedras, P.R.19R-R6-3180
18.Corey RagsdaleNettleton HSJonesboro, Ark.18R-R6-4180
19.Donald KellyPoint ParkPittsburgh21L-R6-4190
20.Jose MoralesProvidencia HHSRio Piedras, P.R.17B-R5-11170

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

Center Fielders

South Carolina can take credit for having the best offensive (Rocoe Crosby) and defensive (Marcus McBeth) outfielders in the draft. Crosby is an intriguing two-sport star with the potential for above-average speed and power while also having NFL potential as a wide receiver. McBeth earns top grades for his arm strength and overall defensive skills, but his bat is suspect. Raw speed is always a desirable trait in center fielders and no one in the entire draft has more of it than Quan Cosby, a Texas football recruit and national-class sprinter.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 2.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Royals.

Best hitters: 1. Roscoe Crosby. 2. Alhaji Turay. 3. Skip Schumaker.

Best defensive players: 1. Marcus McBeth. 2. Justin Nelson. 3. Michael Wilson.

Best athletes: 1. Roscoe Crosby. 2. Michael Wilson. 3. Quan Cosby.
1.Roscoe CrosbyUnion HSBuffalo, S.C.18L-R6-2185
2.Michael WilsonB.T. Washington HSTulsa, Okla.17R-R6-2215
3.Justin NelsonRan. Buena Vista HSVista, Calif.18L-L6-3205
4.Alhaji TurayAuburn HSAuburn, Wash.18R-R6-0200
5.Alan MoyePinetree HSLongview, Texas18B-R6-2190
6.Marcus McBethSouth CarolinaCross Anchor, S.C.20R-R6-1189
7.Quan CosbyMart HSMart, Texas18B-R5-10185
8.Skip SchumakerUC Santa BarbaraLaguna Niguel, Calif.21L-R5-10175
9.Jay MattoxConway HSConway, Ark.18R-R6-4200
10.Jason FromeIndiana StateAppleton, Wis.21L-R6-0192
11.Mike RodriguezMiamiCooper City, Fla.21L-L5-10175
12.Jordi SzaboCarlsbad HSCarlsbad, Calif.R-R6-2185

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

Corner Outfielders

The best corner outfield prospect in the draft is actually a first baseman--John VanBenschoten. He's a five-tool talent whose speed, power and arm strength are equal to the tools of the best players on this board. He is ideally suited for right field. All of the other corner outfield prospects have at least one tool that grades out below-average and prevents them from playing center field, the most demanding outfield position.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 3.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Braves, Indians, Mets, Rangers.

Best hitters: 1. John-Ford Griffin. 2. Gabe Gross. 3. Todd Linden.

Best defensive players: 1. Gabe Gross. 2. Adam Stern. 3. Mike Conroy.

Best athletes: 1. Tyrell Godwin. 2. Todd Linden. 3. Gabe Gross.
1.Gabe GrossAuburnDothan, Ala.21L-R6-4205
2.John-Ford GriffinFlorida StateSarasota, Fla.21L-L6-2205
3.Todd LindenLouisiana StateBremerton, Wash.20B-R6-2218
4.Shelley DuncanArizonaTucson, Ariz.21R-R6-5220
5.Tyrell GodwinNorth CarolinaCouncil, N.C.21L-R6-1190
6.Wes SwackhamerDelBarton HSBaskingridge, N.J.18L-L6-2210
7.Mike ConroyBoston College HSDorchester, Mass.18L-L6-3195
8.Adam SternNebraskaLondon, Ontario21L-R5-10178
9.Aaron BraithwaiteKillian HSMiami17R-R6-2215
10.Jeremy SlaydenOakland HSMurfreesboro, Tenn.18L-R6-1190
11.Brian StaviskyNotre DamePort Alleghany, Pa.20L-R6-3220
12.Bill McCarthyRutgersWashington, N.J.21R-R6-2200
13.Doc BrooksGeorgiaPhenix City, Ala.21R-R6-0190
14.Sean GambleJefferson Davis HSMontgomery, Ala.18L-L6-1155

15.Trey GeorgeBellaire HSHouston18R-R6-0190
16.Vincent BlueLamar HSHouston18L-R6-2175

17.Greg DobbsOklahomaMoreno Valley, Calif.22L-R6-1215
18.Josh CarterOregon StateFallbrook, Calif.21R-R6-3200

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

Righthanded Pitchers

This position gets high marks for both quality and quantity. Scouts say they have never seen so many pitchers with fastballs at 93-94 mph, topped by the 101 mph heater recorded by Texan Colt Griffin, an overnight sensation. The cream of the crop is Mark Prior, possibly the best college pitcher produced in the draft era. The crop of righthanders is so deep that as many as 20 different names have been mentioned as possible first-rounders. With such a huge supply of talent at one position though, teams may purposely skip over a righthander with their first-round pick, knowing they can get a pitcher of near equal ability a round later.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 5.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Dodgers, Pirates, Rangers, Twins, Yankees.

Best velocity: 1. Colt Griffin. 2. Mark Prior. 3. Dewon Brazelton.

Best breaking stuff: 1. Mark Prior. 2. Kris Honel. 3. Gavin Floyd.

Best command: 1. Mark Prior. 2. Kenny Baugh. 3. Kirk Saarloos.
1.Mark PriorSouthern CaliforniaSan Diego21R-R6-5200
2.Gavin FloydMt. St. Joseph HSSeverna Park, Md.18R-R6-5200
3.Dewon BrazeltonMiddle Tennessee St.Tullahoma, Tenn.20R-R6-6210
4.Colt GriffinMarshall HSMarshall, Texas18R-R6-4220
5.Mike JonesThunderbird HSPhoenix18R-R6-4200
6.Alan HorneMarianna HSMarianna, Fla.18R-R6-3170
7.Josh KarpUCLABothell, Wash.21R-R6-5195
8.Kenny BaughRiceHouston22R-R6-3185
9.Aaron HeilmanNotre DameLogansport, Ind.22R-R6-5225
10.Kris HonelProvidence Cath. HSNew Lenox, Ill.18R-R6-5190
11.Dan DenhamDeer Valley HSAntioch, Calif.18R-R6-2188
12.J.D. MartinBurroughs HSRidgecrest, Calif.18B-R6-5175
13.Matt HarringtonSt. Paul (Northern)Palmdale, Calif.19R-R6-3185
14.Jeremy BondermanPasco HSPasco, Wash.18R-R6-0195
15.Jason ArnoldCentral FloridaPalm Bay, Fla.22R-R6-3180
16.Preston LarrisonEvansvilleAurora, Ill.20R-R6-4215
17.Donald LevinskiWeimar HSWeimar, Texas18R-R6-4200
18.Jon SteitzYaleBranford, Conn.20R-R6-3197
19.Jeremy GuthrieStanfordAshland, Ore.22R-R6-1195
20.Scott TylerDowningtown HSDowningtown, Pa.18R-R6-6215
21.Justin PopeCentral FloridaLake Worth, Fla.21B-R6-0180
22.Jon SkaggsRiceSugar Land, Texas21R-R6-5215
23.Steven ShellEl Reno HSEl Reno, Okla.18R-R6-5195
24.Tyler AdamczykWestlake HSWestlake Village, Calif.18R-R6-6185
25.Brandon LeagueSt. Louis SchoolHonolulu18R-R6-2180
26.Wyatt AllenTennesseeBrentwood, Tenn.21R-R6-4195
27.Dave CrouthersSIU-EdwardsvilleEdwardsville, Ill.21R-R6-3190
28.Garrett BergerCarmel HSCarmel, Ind.18R-R6-3240
29.Dan HarenPepperdineWest Covina, Calif.20R-R6-4210
30.Jason BulgerValdosta (Ga.) StateSnellville, Ga.22R-R6-4215
31.Justin GillmanMosley HSPanama City, Fla.17R-R6-2185
32.Scott ShapiroSt. Augustine HSSan Diego17R-R6-5220
33.Brad HennesseyYoungstown StateToledo, Ohio21R-R6-2180
34.James JohnsonUnion-Endicott HSUnion, N.Y.17R-R6-5210
35.Billy SimonWellington HSPalm Beach, Fla.18R-R6-6220
36.Jeremy BrownGeorgiaLondon, Ky.22R-R6-2205
37.Trevor HutchinsonCaliforniaDel Mar, Calif.21R-R6-5220
38.Mark WorrellJohn Leonard HSBoynton Beach, Fla.18R-R6-1185
39.Jesse FoppertSan FranciscoSan Rafael, Calif.20R-R6-4220
40.Kyle DaviesStockbridge HSStockbridge, Ga.17R-R6-3195
41.Kirk SaarloosCal State FullertonLong Beach, Calif.21R-R6-0180
42.Brian PilkingtonSantiago HSGarden Grove, Calif.18R-R6-5210
43.Angel GarciaNicolas Sevilla HSToa Alta, P.R.R-R6-6175
44.Kole StrayhornShawnee HSSeminole, Okla.18R-R6-1185
45.Ben CrockettHarvardTopsfield, Mass.21R-R6-3195
46.Mark JecmenDiamond Bar HSDiamond Bar, Calif.18R-R6-7215
47.Brett SmithSonora HSLa Habra, Calif.17R-R6-5215
48.David BushWake ForestDevon, Pa.21R-R6-2211
49.Jason WeintraubJefferson HSTampa, Fla.18R-R6-3165
50.Allen BaxterVarina HSSandston, Va.17B-R6-4215
51.Nick MoranFresno StateElk Grove, Calif.21R-R6-6200
52.Mike NickoliBirmingham-SouthernHoover, Ala.21R-R6-5200
53.Jesse KrauseColumbia City HSColumbia City, Ind.18L-R6-2185
54.Bobby BashamRichmondRocky Mount, Va.21R-R6-3200
55.Josh BakerMemorial HSHouston19R-R6-4205
56.Jake DittlerGreen Valley HSHenderson, Nev.18R-R6-3200
57.Chris SheffieldMiamiRichmond, Texas21R-R6-3215
58.Thomas DiamondArch. Rummel HSMetairie, La.18R-R6-2210

59.David TaylorSouth Lake HSClermont, Fla.18B-R6-5190
60.Steve KellyGeorgia TechFairfield, Ohio21R-R6-1190

Catchers / First Base / Second Base / Third Base / Shortstop

Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

Lefthanded Pitchers

There is no Mark Prior or anyone else of that magntitude in this group that is projected to go in the first 10 picks, but the crop of lefthanders is excellent by any standard. As many as 10 southpaws could be selected in the first 50 picks. Size isn't as much of an issue as it is with righthanders and three sub-six foot lefthanders--namely Matt Chico, Macay McBride and Jeremy Sowers--could be picked in the first round.

Strength of position (1-to-5 scale): 4.

Teams in greatest need at the position: Angels, Brewers, Phillies, Rangers, White Sox.

Best velocity: 1. Chris Smith. 2. Mike Gosling. 3. Macay McBride.

Best breaking stuff: 1. Macay McBride. 2. Jeremy Sowers. 3. Matt Chico.

Best command: 1. Jeremy Sowers. 2. J.P. Howell. 3. J.P. Howell.
1.Mike GoslingStanfordSalt Lake City20L-L6-2210
2.Chris SmithCumberland (Tenn.)Wantagh, N.Y.21L-L6-1190
3.Jeremy SowersBallard HSLouisville18L-L6-0160
4.Macay McBrideScreven County HSSylvania, Ga.18L-L6-0180
5.Jon SwitzerArizona StateHouston21L-L6-2189
6.Trey TaylorMansfield HSMansfield, Texas18R-L6-2185
7.Matt ChicoFallbrook HSFallbrook, Calif.17L-L6-0185
8.Noah LowryPepperdineOjai, Calif.20L-L6-2190
9.Mike HinckleyMoore HSMoore, Okla.18R-L6-3160
10.Andy SiscoEastlake HSSammamish, Wash.18L-L6-9260
11.Len DiNardoStetsonHighland Springs, Fla.21L-L6-4190
12.John RheineckerSW Missouri StateWaterloo, Ill.22L-L6-3215
13.David PurceyTrinity Christian HSDallas, Texas18L-L6-5225
14.Bobby LivingstonTrinity HSLubbock, Texas18L-L6-3185
15.J.P. HowellJesuit HSSacramento18L-L6-1170
16.Ryan WingRiverside (Calif.) CCMarietta, Calif.18L-L6-3150
17.Matt CoenenCharleston SouthernSt. Michael's, Md.21L-L6-6230
18.Justin BloodFranklin PierceSwanzey, N.H.21L-L6-3215
19.Neal CottsIllinois StateLebanon, Ill.21L-L6-1198
20.Jared HemusGrossmont JCSan Diego20L-L6-0175
21.Jake WoodsBakersfield JCKingsburg, Calif.19L-L6-1185
22.Josh BreyLibertyAllentown, Pa.21B-L6-0180
23.Rich HillMichiganMilton, Mass.21L-L6-4190
24.Les DykesParklane AcademyMcComb, Miss.18L-L6-4190
25.Chris NeylanSteinert HSTrenton, N.J.18R-L6-5190

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Center Fielders / Corner Outfielders / Righthanded Pitchers / Lefthanded Pitchers

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