- Full name David Jonathan Drew
- Born 11/20/1975 in Valdosta, GA
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Florida State
- Debut 09/08/1998
- Drafted in the 1st round (5th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 (signed for $3,000,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
Background: The player who might be the best prospect in baseball is also the most well known, thanks to his eternal holdout after the Phillies drafted him out of Florida State in 1997. He was verbally attacked by players and writers across the nation, who held him out as just another greedy athlete. As almost every Baseball America reader knows by now, he didn't sign with the Phillies and played for the St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League, where he hit .341-18-50 and was the rookie of the year. His agent, Scott Boras, tried through various means to take Drew out of the draft process, but those efforts failed and Drew went back into the 1998 draft, where the Cardinals took him fifth overall. St. Louis, which signed Boras client and Cardinals prospect Rick Ankiel for big money a year earlier, made short work of the negotiations with Drew, signing him to a major league contract worth a guaranteed $7 million. Drew then finally got on the field and showed everybody what all the fuss was about, cruising all the way to the big leagues and making his debut the night Mark McGwire hit his 62nd homer. Strengths: As Drew showed after he signed, it doesn't take him long to make an impression. He's a legitimate five-tool player--the only 30-30 man in college baseball history--who combines great athletic ability with great baseball ability. Of all his tools, his power jumps out because he's not a hulking player yet the ball flies off his bat. He also has a great demeanor, combining a love and respect for the game with his uncommon ability. Cardinals officials were impressed with the way he carried himself in the minor league and major league clubhouses. In spite of all the controversy that surrounded his signing, he acted like just another player and meshed well with his teammates. Weaknesses: Drew has no glaring flaws. He was bothered by nagging injuries last season, probably a result of how little he had played in the previous year. The Cardinals want him on the field as much as possible. What potentially could have been a problem-acceptance by his teammates-seems to have been quickly defused. Of course, seeing a guy hit five home runs in his first 36 major league at-bats tends to make people forget minor disagreements. The Future: Drew showed in his St. Louis cameo that he is ready for the big leagues. He has the tools for any outfield spot, but the presence of Ray Lankford and Eric Davis means he'll be slotted for left field going into spring training. No one expects him to lose the job, and he's already the favorite for various rookie of the year honors.