Arizona Fall League Top 10 Prospects
PHOENIX—Perennial Arizona Fall League observers noted a decline in the quality of prospects this year, although that drop wasn’t reflected in the number of interesting hurlers populating the pitching staffs […]
2005 Draft: Draft Day Blog
The latest news, notes and rumors as the draft happens
Tuesday, 8:31 PM: College Contribute Heavily
Eight Arizona players were selected on the first day of the draft.
Juniors Trevor Crowe (first round), Nick Hundley (second), Jordan
Brown (fourth) and John Meloan (fifth) were all selected in the first
five rounds, and classmates Kevin Guyette (10th), Chris Frey (11th)
and Brad Boyer (14th) came shortly thereafter, with senior Jeff Van
Houten (13th) also in the mix. Crowe, a Golden Spikes Award finalist,
became the highest drafted Wildcat since Eddie Leon went ninth overall
to the Twins in 1965.
Tuesday, 7:47 PM: Halfway Home (Kind Of)
Day one of the draft ended with pick No. 560. We get started with rounds 19-50 tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET
Tuesday, 7:44 PM: Hollimon Finally Drafted
Michael Hollimon projected as a first-round pick as a high school senior in 2001 but his bonus demands and desire to play for Texas steered him to college. He was the starting shortstop for most of the season for the Longhorns in 2002, when they won the national championship. He lost his starting job late that year, though, and lost most of the spotlight to his roommate, Huston Street. Hollimon transferred to Oral Roberts for the 2005 season and he hit .304-14-55 with 26 stolen bases.
Tuesday, 7:43 PM: No Jones For Jones
After a difficult season, Vanderbilt second baseman and former All-American Warner Jones fell to the Tigers at No. 510 in the 17th round. The diminuitive (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) Jones batted .290 his junior year, good for some players but not up to par for the Nashville native. The previous year Jones led the SEC in hitting at .414. Going in the 17th round will provide an interesting dilemma for Jones as to whether to try his hand in the pros, or attempt to increase his stock back at Vandy.
Tuesday, 7:41 PM: It’s An Asheville Party
Cameron Maybin’s draft party in Asheville, N.C., was a star-studded affair. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the group of at least 100 people included North Carolina basketball player Rashad McCants, former major leaguer Darren Holmes and several members of the Asheville Tourists front office. Maybin’s mother Renee is McCants’ aunt, Holmes attended the same high school as Maybin, and Maybin is a former batboy for the Tourists, who are a Rockies affiliate. Tourists officials hoped Maybin would go to the Rockies with the seventh overall pick, but he lasted until the Tigers at No. 10.
Tuesday, 7:36 PM: Pawelek Bonus: $1.75 Million
Rumors before the draft indicated that Scott Boras’ lone prep client, Utah lefty Mark Pawelek would be open to signing quickly, but nobody thought it would happen before the first day of the draft was over. Pawelek’s bonus of $1.75 million is $250,000 more than last year’s 20th pick (Minnesota’s Trevor Plouffe) received.
Tuesday, 7:33 PM: Second Cuban Comes Off The Board
Yoel Perez became the second Cuban defector to be selected in the 2005 draft, as the Yankees took him in the 14th round. The Braves selected shortstop Yuniel Escobar in the second round
Tuesday, 7:29 PM: Steve Garrison Signs With Milwaukee
Just a few days after a workout at Miller Park, New Jersey high school lefthander Steve Garrison (The Hun School of Princeton) was taken in the 10th round, pick 295, by the Milwaukee Brewers. He had committed to play baseball at North Carolina, but sent signals before the draft to the teams who were interested in him that he would consider signing if he was taken during rounds five through 10. Garrison’s father, Gary, said that his son had already agreed to a contract with the Brewers, and will be assigned to the Rookie-level Arizona League. Gary Garrison said that the Indians also considered drafting Steve Garrison but they couldn’t come to an agreement.
Tuesday, 7:19 PM: K's by the Baker's Dozen
Giants fifth-round pick Dan Griffin, a righthander from Niagara, led the nation with 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Yankees 15th-round Josh Schmidt, a Pacific righthander, ranked second with 13.3
Tuesday, 7:11 PM: Sox Try Alvarez
Red Sox 14th-round pick Pedro Alvarez is an athletic third baseman with outstanding makeup. He was hitting better than .500 and showing speed and power for Horace Mann High in the Bronx, N.Y., and his coach raved about his respectful, hard-working, humble nature. The Horace Mann coach, Matt Russo, also indicated Alvarez might be interested in signing if the situation was right, instead of honoring his commitment to Vanderbilt.
Tuesday, 7:09 PM: Holdkom If You’ve Got ‘Em
While Jason Neighborgall went in the third round, his high school equivalent did not go until much later. With their 15th round selection, the Mariners took Jonathan Holdzkom, a righthander out of Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) HS. A 6-foot-7 righthander, Holdzkom can already hit 93 mph, but was so wild he hardly got a chance to pitch when he was available. Holdzkom, whose older brother Lincoln is a pitcher in the Marlins system, was academically ineligible for the first few weeks of the season so he only threw a handful of innings. It was essentially a lost season for the flame throwing high schooler.
Tuesday, 7:02 PM: One Van Slyke Down . . .
But one more to go, as the Dodgers used their 14th-round pick on outfielder Scott Van Slyke, son of former Pirates and Cardinals outfielder Andy Van Slyke. Scott’s 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame has power potential, but he’s committed to Mississippi, and the 13th-round may not be enough to keep him from college. His older brother A.J., who plays at Kansas, had yet to be drafted through the 14th round.
Tuesday, 6:57 PM: Golden Knights Duo Rewarded For Persevering
The Nationals grabbed a pair of Central Florida players in consecutive
rounds that have overcome the death of parents. Ninth-round pick John-Michael
Howell lost his father to brain cancer before transferring from Florida,
and his mother died during surgery when he was in high school. "He
has overcome so much in his life and we are excited to see him have
the opportunity for a professional baseball career," UCF coach
Jay Bergman said.
Tuesday, 6:49 PM: A True Re-Draft
The Padres re-drafted righthander Aaron Breit in the 12th round this year, after they failed to sign him as a draft-and-follow out of Garden City (Kansas) CC last year. He was a 46th-round pick in 2004.
Tuesday, 6:46 PM: Dodgers Take Johnson in 13th
Steven Johnson, drafted by the Dodgers in the 13th round out of Maryland’s St. Paul’s School for Boys, is the son of former Orioles righthander Dave Johnson. Although it was against weak competition, he threw a perfect game, a no-hitter, two one-hitters and two two-hitters this season.
Tuesday, 6:41 PM: Lincecum Update
Washington righthander Tim Lincecum, an eligible sophomore who was the Pac-10 pitcher of the year in 2004, has not yet been drafted. The top prospect in the state of Washington, he struck out 131 batters in 104 innings with a low-90s fastball and 12-to-6 curveball, but also walked 71 hitters. Some teams might have been scared off by his slight 6-foot, 160-pound frame, high pitch counts and $1 million price tag.
Tuesday, 6:30 PM: Longhorns, Gamecocks Gain From Top Recruits
South Carolina and Texas can smile for now. Each school signed a pair of in-state prep hitters that ranked among the draft's top 100 prospects, and none have been drafted yet as of the 12th round. Unless a team opens up the coffers in the late rounds, outfielders Jordan Danks and Kyle Russell could become Longhorns, and first baseman Justin Smoak and shortstop Reese Havens could end up as Gamecocks.
Tuesday, 6:26 PM: Twins May Have Find In 11th
The Twins may have a find in the 11th round in Brian Kirwan, who has only been pitching the last six weeks prior to the draft. Kirwan's baseball season was delayed by a torn ACL he injured in November playing football. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder out of Santa Fe Christian High in Del Mar, Calif., comes from an athletic family, as his brother (football, Oregon State) and sister (volleyball, Washington) both play college sports.
Tuesday, 6:21 PM: Yankees Take Some Chances On TJ Survivors
The 11th round brought a pair of high-profile pitchers with "Tommy
John surgery" on their scouting reports when the Yankees drafted
Alan Horne and the Mariners choose Anthony Varvaro. Horne, a Florida
righthander, had TJ in early 2003 while at Mississippi, the school
he chose to attend rather than sign with the Indians after they took
him in the first round out of high school in 2001. Horne spent 2004
at Chipola (Fla.) JC, and the Angels drafted him in the 30th round
after that season, but he choose to head to Florida.
Tuesday, 6:14 PM: Sweet Home Alabama
Three players from Alabama colleges went within four picks of each other in the 11th round. The Giants took catcher/DH Henry Gutierrez, while his Troy teammate Adam Godwin went two picks later to the Dodgers. They led the Trojans to the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title, and Godwin led the nation with 84 stolen bases. Just after Godwin was picked, the Braves took another college closer in physical Michael Nix out of Auburn. Nix, whose uncle Paul was the head coach at Auburn in the 1970s and early '80s, throws in the 90-94 mph range but struggles with command.
Tuesday, 5:31 PM: They'd Have A Chance Against The Knicks
The Yankees just can't get enough of basketball players. After taking CJ Henry in the first round, they went after Austin Jackson, who has accepted a basketball scholarship at Georgia Tech, in the eighth. While he might be just as athletically gifted as Henry, Jackson is deemed a tougher sign. He did not appear too enthusiastic about baseball this season as scouts felt was going through the motions and had already decided he wanted to play basketball. There are no questions about his talent. On a whim, he went to the plate lefthanded in the midst of a blowout and hit a home run in the only lefthanded at-bat of his high school career. In a game played at the Rangers' Ameriquest Field, he hit one in the second deck in left field from his natural right side. Jackson has been on the BA radar for years, as he was named the player for the ages as a 12-year-old in 1999. You are more likely to see him playing point guard for the Yellow Jackets in the Sweet Sixteen next March then at the Yankees spring training complex.
Tuesday, 5:25 PM: Astros Nab Son Of Rocket
The Astros selected Koby Clemens with their eighth-round pick. Clemens, the son of Astros ace Roger Clemens, was a standout third baseman for Memorial High in Houston.
Tuesday, 5:22 PM: White Sox Take Another Gridiron Star
The White Sox nabbed a quarterback for the second straight year. They took Oklahoma State's Josh Fields in the first round last year, and grabbed Michigan lefthander Clayton Richard in the seventh round this year. Richard, a draft-eligible sophomore, was an all-state baseball selection in high school in Indiana, but went to Michigan on a football scholarship. He was in the competition to start at quarterback last fall, but took his low-90s velocity from the left side to the mound when he lost the QB job to freshman Chad Henne.
Tuesday, 5:21 PM: And He Can Catch, Too
The Marlins used their eighth-round pick on Aaron Bates, who was North Carolina State's top offensive player all season. He hit .425-12-64 after transferring in from San Jose State, where he was a catcher as a freshman. Bates has size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and could be a reserve catcher/first baseman in the Chris Shelton mold.
Tuesday, 5:17 PM: Cards Also Surprise With Number Of Prep
Playing off the mention of the Athletics below, the Cardinals are also departing from their college-heavy approach of last year (no high school players signed). Of their first 11 picks today, six were high schoolers. Assistant general manager John Mozeliak said this winter that last year's draft was based on the needs of the organization, not an exclusion of prep players.
Tuesday, 5:13 PM: Giants Again Tap Into Lewis-Clark Pipeline
The Giants tapped their Lewis-Clark State pipeline again with center fielder Joey Dyche in the seventh round. He hit .500/.544/.767 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs. They have signed Keith Foulke, Marvin Benard, Steve Reed, Jason Ellison and Steve Decker from the Idaho NAIA school in past years.
Tuesday, 5:11 PM: Brewers Get Another Weeks
The Brewers drafted Jemele Weeks in the eighth round, the younger brother of their top prospect, Rickie Weeks. Unlike big brother Rickie, Jemele, a waterbug middle infielder, was drafted out of high school. Rickie was the No. 2 overall pick in 2003 out of Southern University.
Tuesday, 5:07 PM: Padres Take Minor League Hitting Coach's
The Padres used their seventh-round pick on one of the more intriguing athletes in the draft, Princeton outfielder Will Venable. The son of former major leaguer Max Venable has limited baseball experience--he was more interested in basketball growing up and didn't even play baseball his senior year at San Rafael (Calif.) High or his freshman year at Princeton. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Venable was named an all-Ivy League guard for the Tigers basketball team his junior and senior seasons, but he decided his future was on the diamond. He batted .385-9-33 with 10 stolen bases in his 2005 senior campaign, leading Princeton in all four categories. He already shows excellent pitch recognition and natural hitting ability, and he could get even better if he truly commits himself to baseball.
Tuesday, 4:54 PM: Cards Grab Another Pujols
Certainly makes sense for the Cardinals to make another bet on the Pujols family. After Albert Pujols slipped through the cracks and went in the 13th round in 1999, St. Louis took his cousin, OF Will Pujols, out of Missouri's Fort Osage High (Albert's alma mater) at the end of the sixth round. Will is a strong 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds and bears some resemblance to Albert. He has also committed to Maple Woods Community College, which was Albert's next step before the Cardinals picked him.
Tuesday, 4:53 PM: Some Big Names Still Available Due To Signability
Signability issues has dropped a pair of players listed in our top 50 draft prospects to go undrafted in the top 5 rounds. Round Rock (Texas) HS outfielder Jordan Danks, rated as the No. 37 prospect, sent a letter to all 30 teams informing them that he plans to play at the University of Texas, while Hillcrest Christian HS (Bryam, Miss.) righthander Cody Satterwhite, rated as the No. 39 prospect, has a firm commitment to Mississippi.
Tuesday, 4:47 PM: Not As Dogmatic As Some Think
Considering how "Moneyball" and the college vs. high school draft debate has dominated discussions over the past several years, the Oakland A's 2005 draft is turning out to be fascinating one. After taking almost exclusively college players in the last several years, the A's took three high school righthanders, considered by many sabermeticians to be the riskiest draft picks, in the first three rounds. Oakland took one high school player in the first 10 rounds in the past 3 drafts: righthander Ryan Webb in the fourth round of the 2004 draft.
Tuesday, 4:40 PM: Durant Durant
The Phillies drafted corner infielder Mike Durant out of Berkeley (Calif.) High in the fourth round. Durant has a huge 6-foot-6, 245-pound frame with plenty of raw power, but he is also very light on his feet and did not make an error this season. Durant is a patient hitter with a great idea of the strike zone--six of his 11 home runs this year came with two strikes. He's not fast, but he is a good, intelligent baserunner, as evidenced by his nine stolen bases in 10 attempts.
Tuesday, 4:38 PM: Larish To Tigers In Fifth
After turning down $650,000 last year from the Dodgers as a 13th-round pick, Jeff Larish figures to get less as a fifth-round pick and as a senior out of Arizona State. Larish was the nation’s top hitter in 2003, when he ranked second in the nation in RBIs, first in walks and mashed 18 home runs. The Tigers got Larish this year after he batted .320/..452/.653 with 19 homers and 61 RBIs, mixing in 51 walks. However, Larish swings and misses a lot (55 K’s in 222 at-bats), and scouts criticize his stiff approach at the plate.
Tuesday, 4:35 PM: Bristow Remains On The Board
Richmond, Va., high school righthanders Justin Bristow (Mills Godwin High) and Scott Taylor (Hermitage) met twice during conference play, with Bristow's team winning both games. He also looked to become the first one drafted. Yet Bristow, who early this spring sat on the verge of the first round, had yet to be selected when the Cubs grabbed Taylor in the fifth round. Taylor, a two-way high school player, has a commitment to Virginia Commonwealth and reminds the staff there of former VCU two-way performer Jason Dubois, a 14th-round pick of the Cubs in 2000. If Bristow slips too far, he could emerge as a two-way talent at Auburn.
Tuesday, 4:02 PM: Yankees Pick Lance Pendleton
Rice's Lance Pendleton struggled at the plate as a junior, batting .263/.387/.463 after a .326/.423/.592 sophomore year. But his low-90s fastball from the left side, 5-3, 2.70 record and 29-15 strikeout-walk ratio in 30 innings prompted the Yankees to select him in the fourth round as a pitcher.
Tuesday, 3:53 PM: Gamel Draws Raves From Coach
While putting together our draft preview issue, we checked in with Jeff Johnson, the head coach at Chipola (Fla.) Junior College to get the vitals on speedy outfielder Darren Ford, who signed a couple of weeks ago with the Brewers. During the same call, all Johnson wanted to tell us about was Matt Gamel, his third baseman, who as the 115th pick, will join Ford in the Brewers system. Gamel went .433-14-63 this year, and Johnson called him the second or third best hitter in the state.
Tuesday, 3:51 PM: Giants Finally Pick
The Giants made their first pick of the 2005 draft with their fourth round selection, taking Ben Copeland, an outfielder from the University of Pittsburgh. San Francisco lost its first round pick for signing righthander Armando Benitez, lost its second rounder for signing catcher Mike Matheny, and lost its third rounder for signing shortstop Omar Vizquel.
Tuesday, 3:45 PM: Speaking Of Well-Rested . . .
The Marlins drafted Miami's Gaby Sanchez in the fourth round, listing him as a catcher. Sanchez played third base his first two seasons with the Hurricanes (hitting seven home runs each year) before moving to right field in the fall of 2004. He was suspended for violating an unspecified university policy before the 2005 season and never played an inning.
Tuesday, 3:42 PM: Reds Take Well-Rested LeCure
The Reds drafted Sam LeCure in the fourth round. LeCure was expected to serve as Texas' ace this season as a junior, but academic problems kept him off the roster. LeCure was taking internet courses with a plan to return to the Longhorns for the 2006 season.
Tuesday, 3:38 PM: Nats Take Chance On Injury-Plagued Maxwell
The Nationals chose Maryland outfielder Justin Maxwell in the fourth round. A preseason All-American before the 2004 and 2005 seasons, the multi-tooled athlete missed the '04 season with a broken right forearm, broke a bone in his finger that summer after getting hit by a pitch in the Cape Cod League, and broke his hamate bone seven games into his redshirt junior season. He won't play in the Cape Cod League this summer but will probably require a bonus near the $390,000 he turned down from the Rangers, who drafted him last year.
Tuesday, 3:18 PM: O'Sullivan's Fall Ends In The Third
With their third-round pick, the Angels selected San Diego high school righthander Sean O'Sullivan, the nation's top-ranked prep pitcher at the start of the year. O'Sullivan's stock slipped considerably as his velocity fell this year, but the Angels had a history with O'Sullivan as he had played on their scout league team in the fall. At the time, his fastball was clocked at 93 mph, but it fell off to the high 80s this spring amid concerns that O'Sullivan had bulked up in his upper half while using controversial Tom House as a pitching coach. O'Sullivan had been one of the nation's top players in his age group since Baseball America named him the top 12-year-old in the nation in 2000.
Tuesday, 3:18 PM: Lewis Is First Vandy Arm, Mullins Three
Most reports had Ryan Mullins being picked ahead of fellow Vanderbilt pitcher Jensen Lewis. The Indians made Lewis, a righthander, their third round selection at No.102, while Mullins went at No. 105 to the Twins. After a good sophomore year and a dominant summer in the Cape Cod League, Mullins was expected to go around the first round, but an inconsistent junior year (and a DUI suspension) led to the lefty's drop. The Indians nabbed a former Commodore, lefty Jeremy Sowers, with their first-round pick last year.
Tuesday, 3:16 PM: Brewers Stay On Inman
The Brewers and Braves were among the few teams that didn't shy away from Tunstall High righthander Will Inman after he sat in the mid-80s at Virginia's Commonwealth Games last summer. But the state's career strikeouts leader bumped his velocity up to the low-90s as a senior and Milwaukee nabbed him in the third round. He'll now have to decide between pro ball and a college commitment to Auburn.
Tuesday, 3:14 PM: First Player To Sign Is Boras Client
When the Cubs stepped up to the mic to announce Mississippi righthander Mark Holliman as their third-round pick, they also noted they had agreed to terms with first-round pick Mark Pawelek. This is surprising because Pawelek is a Scott Boras client and as we know, Boras is known for encouraging his players to go to college and for long holdouts. Both of these trends were broken here and indicate that a pre-draft deal was struck, also very un-Boras. Pre-draft rumors had Boras indicating that Pawelek would sign for slot money in the first round.
Tuesday, 3:07 PM: Devil Rays Might Have To Wait On Morris
The next door neighbor of Tampa Bay's Dewon Brazelton, Bryan Morris of Tullahoma (Tenn.) High has been one of the highest risers this season. He didn't perform in national showcase events so he remained a bit under the radar until his senior season. He is committed to go play at Motlow State Community College where his father Ricky, a 6th round pick of the Twins in 1968, is the coach. Since he went in the third round to the Devil Rays, a little lower than once projected, he could be a draft and follow since the money might not be there.
Tuesday, 2:56 PM: Arizona Makes Two Interesting Picks In
The Diamondbacks came very close to drafting Jason Neighborgall
out of high school three years ago, and finally got their man this
year with the first pick of the third round. Neighborgall, a 6-foot-4
righthander, has reached 100 mph with his fastball and also offers
a potentially plus curveball but spent his last two seasons at Georgia
Tech battling serious control problems. He struck out 71 batters,
walked 50, threw 16 wild pitches and hit 12 batters in 53 innings
as a junior. He started the season as Tech's Friday starter before
falling out of the rotation and finishing at 5-3, 6.66 overall.
Tuesday, 2:38 PM: Phillies Like Costanzo's Bat
The Phillies drafted Coastal Carolina's Mike Costanzo as a third baseman. He batted .379/.525/.658 as a first baseman/DH and also recorded 14 saves and 69 strikeouts in 55 innings as the closer. He has limited third base experience, but the Phillies are banking on his athleticism
Tuesday, 2:35 PM: Veal Will Likely Go Pro
Lefthander Donald Veal spent his freshman year at Arizona but was injured an never pitched. He transferred to Pima (Ariz.) CC this year and had signed with Texas Christian on Monday, but he probably won't be a Horned Frog after going to the Cubs in the third round.
Tuesday, 2:32 PM: All In The Family
It's been a very good year for sons of former big leaguers. In the first two rounds John Mayberry Jr., son of former Royal John Mayberry; Eli Iorg, son of former Blue Jay Garth Iorg; Kris Harvey, son of former Marlin Bryan Harvey; and Ivan DeJesus, son of former Cub Ivan DeJesus; and Jared Lansford, son of former A's third baseman Carney Lansford were all selected
Tuesday, 2:30 PM: A's Take High School Arm!
The Athletics drafted Flower Mound (Texas) High righthander Thomas Italiano in the second round. It was the first time that the A's had taken a high school player in the top 5 rounds since they selected righthander Jeremy Bonderman in the first round of the 2001 draft
Tuesday, 2:28 PM: Yankees Pass On Hansen in First, Find Reliever
Some had linked the Yankees to St. John's closer Craig Hansen in the first round, figuring his polish could help a beleaguered and aging bullpen in short order. They went after prep shortstop C.J. Henry there, but grabbed Texas closer J. Brent Cox in the second round. Cox spent two years as an apprentice to Huston Street, and looks to follow him to the majors quickly.
Tuesday, 2:26 PM: Pirates Hope Corley Can Find Sophomore
The Pirates took outfielder Brad Corley in the second round. He projected as a first-rounder after hitting 19 home runs as a sophomore, but slumped in 2005 and hit just three homers during the regular season. Corley showed signs of life with two three-run home runs against Florida Atlantic to open regional play, so maybe that reminded Pittsburgh of his sophomore power. He's also athletic with a strong throwing arm.
Tuesday, 2:19 PM: Green Makes Right Decision
The Diamonbacks took 6-foot-4 righthander Matt Green out of Louisiana Monroe to open the second round, pairing him with Matt Torra, a 6-foot-3 righty whom they selected to open the supplemental first round. Green led Division I with 141 strikeouts during the regular season. He wasn't drafted last year as an eligible sophomore, but at least three teams made hard runs at him over the summer after he rated as the top prospect in the Jayhawk League. Green turned down the offers, figuring he could make more money after another year at Monroe. He was right.
Tuesday, 2:17 PM: Hochevar Has History With Dodgers
In his first draft as Dodgers scouting director, Logan White took Fowler (Colo.) High righthander Luke Hochevar in the 39th round. Los Angeles wasn't able to sign Hochevar away from the University of Tennessee, and at the time White said, "He'll be a first-rounder in three years." Not only did that prediction come true, but White's club made it happen by taking Hochevar 40th overall. Hochevar, considered one of the top two college pitching prospects for most of the year, took a late nosedive in the draft. He didn't finish the season at his best, and when the Rockies gave up yesterday after two days of trying to see if they could avoid a lengthy negotiation with adviser Scott Boras, several other teams decided to pass as well
Tuesday, 2:14 PM: Iorg Is First Volunteer
Tennessee junior outfielder Eli Iorg went 38th overall to the Astros, two picks before teammate Luke Hochevar. He batted .390-15-70 to lead Tennessee in all three categories and paced the SEC with 27 steals. The 22-year-old showed a marked improvement from his sophomore year, when he batted .324-4-36 with 26 steals and the Cubs drafted him in the 14th round
Tuesday, 2:08 PM: There's Hochevar and McCormick
Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda could hardly contain himself as he announced the Dodgers' first pick of the draft, University of Tennessee righthander Luke Hochevar, at No. 40 overall. Lasorda announced the pick with his usual flair, describing the righty as "from the great city of Knoxville." Agent Scott Boras' other big-name righty went three picks later to St. Louis.
Tuesday, 1:58 PM: First Round Demographics
Teams continued to prefer college players, at least in the first round. Twenty of the top 30 picks were from college, up from 17 a year ago. Seventeen of the first-rounders were hitters, including 11 of the top 14. That's a reversal from 2004, when 19 pitchers went in the first round.
Tuesday, 1:55 PM: 18-for-18
We know it was late, but Baseball Americas final projection of the first round nailed the first EIGHTEEN picks in succession. Kudos to Jim Callis and everyone involved with our draft coverage.l
Tuesday, 1:47 PM: Cardinals Break Streak With Prep Players
After selecting only four high school players in the entire 2004 draft and not signing any of them, the Cardinals went for one with their very first pick. At No. 28, St. Louis took Colby Rasmus, an outfielder from Russell County High in Alabama, currently the No. 1 high school team in the country that also features his younger brother Cory. Fans might remember their names from when they starred for the Phenix City, AL Little League World Series team in 1999.
Tuesday, 1:34 PM: Braves Break Streak With College Players
By taking N.C. State righthanded reliever Joey Devine, the Braves
took their first college first-rounder since 1991, when the Braves
selected Arizona State outfielder Mike Kelly with the second pick
in that year's draft. He's the first college pitcher the Braves have
taken in the first round since 1987, when they selected Georgia lefthander
Tuesday, 1:32 PM: Cards Comfortable With Boras Factor
Another Boras client went to another team comfortable drafting Boras clients: Georgia Tech shortstop Tyler Greene going 30th to the Cardinals.
Tuesday, 1:32 PM: Garza To Twins
The Twins selected hard-throwing righthander Matt Garza from Fresno State. Fresno State didn't offer him a lot of offensive or defensive support as a junior, but scouts who previously questioned his toughness got to see him battle adversity often and it might have raised his stock. He went 6-5, 3.07 with a 120-37 strikeout-walk ratio.
Tuesday, 1:30 PM: Where's Hochevar?
Tuesday, 1:23 PM: Yankees Like Henry's Upside
Although thought to be a tough sign due to his basketball prowess, C.J. Henry now seems likely to sign despite a commitment to play basketball at Kansas where his father played basketball. Obviously raw due to splitting his time with basketball, Henry has fantastic tools and scouts are excited about his makeup. A shortstop in high school, his future might be in the outfield but Henry is stubborn about wanting stay at shortstop.
Tuesday, 1:18 PM: Pirates Pop McCutchen
The Pirates worked out outfielder Andrew McCutchen at PNC Park this weekend, then popped him with the 11th overall pick.
Tuesday, 1:11 PM: Two (sort of) Surprises
The draft started late due to the Yankees being late on the conference call, and the Mariners took Southern California catcher Jeff Clement with the third overall pick. BA's Jim Callis called the Clement pick this morning, and it turned out to be correct.
Tuesday, 1:08 PM: No Surprises At The Top
Justin Upton and Alex Gordon go 1-2 atop the draft to the Diamondbacks and Royals
Tuesday, 12:39 PM: Brothers In Arms
At 12:20 edt, Justin Upton's brother B.J. arrived at Great Bridge High in his hometwon of Chesapeake where Justin awaited the start of the draft. B.J., who played a Monday afternoon game in Ottawa with the Triple-A Durham Bulls, had to book his own flight to Norfolk this morning. The Bulls, who open a series against the Norfolk Tides tonight in Norfolk, were delayed, though B.J. was determined to be alongside his brother when Justin's name is called today.
Tuesday, 11:57 AM: Volstad: First Round Or College
Righthander Chris Volstad's final appearance as a high schooler did
not go as he had hoped. He lasted only four innings, giving up eight
hits and four earned runs as his Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High team
lost 6-5 to Pembroke Pines-Flanagan in the Florida 6A semifinals.
Tuesday, 11:51 AM: Stathead Faves
Tennessee third baseman Chase Headley and Winthrop righthander Kevin Slowey are two players most likely to be drafted higher than most scouts would expect because of their statistics. Headley, a transfer from University of the Pacific, ranked among the national leaders in walks all season and finished with 60, good for third nationally. Headley had six hits in 11 at-bats over the weekend as Tennessee won a regional and is hitting .387/.534/.694 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs. He’s at least adequate defensively at third base, and scouts like that he’s shown significant improvement over the course of his career, working hard to be a better defender and to learn to hit for more power. Slowey out-dueled Wichita State ace Mike Pelfrey on Friday in a regional game, striking out 13 to improve to 14-2, 2.18; he walked just 13 and struck out 134 in 136 innings. Slowey has three average pitches (fastball, slider, changeup) and above-average command, and he’s intelligent enough to know how to maximize his arsenal.
Tuesday, 10:52 AM: MRIs Clear Quigley
Miers Quigley, a 6-foot-4 lefthander out of Roswell (Georgia) High,
is seeing his draft stock plummet due to tendinitis in his left biceps.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that although two MRIs
have revealed no serious damage to the muscle, his loss of velocity
has seen clubs backing off him. Quigley, who was shut down in mid-May
by the tendonitis, missed a start in the second round of the state
playoffs with a sore arm as he awaited the results of the second MRI.