2005 Draft Board
The May 12th update of the 2005 Draft Board is below. The top two remain unchaged, Maybin and Hochevar swap spots, and Tyler Greene drops from the fifth spot in favor of Stephen Drew, who looks like he’ll be back in the draft after asking for more than Arizona is willing to pay.
The dropoff from Upton to Maybin is a pretty severe one, so the M’s have to be hoping that either Gordon or Upton fall to them at the third pick. After those two, there is little difference between the next 10 players on the board, so you could see a lot of different possibilities at the third pick.
1. Alex Gordon, 3B, University of Nebraska
.402/.554/.747, 174 At-Bats, 31 extra base hits, 49 walks, 26 strikeouts, 19 steals in 22 attemps
Comment: Gordon’s having a solid senior season and is still the top college player on the board. He’s become frustrated by the lack of strikes he’s seen, but he’s been able to stay within himself for the most part. The swing is fine and the approach is there. He’s a pure power hitter and should have few problems adjusting to wood bats. Most of the clubs I have spoken with have him at the top of their draft boards. At this point, he’s the likely choice to go #1 overall.
2. Justin Upton, SS/CF, Great Bridge HS (Virginia)
.550/.617/1.650, 40 at-bats, 19 extra base hits, 7 walks, 2 strikeouts, 7 stolen bases
Comment: First off, everyone should realize that high school statistics are completely worthless. There is absolutely no predictive value in Upton’s statline, and it shouldn’t affect your opinion of him one way or another. Okay, now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, he’s having a ridiculous year. He has more extra base hits than outs. He’s hitting .550 and only has 3 singles. Three!. The bat has never really been a question with Upton. He’s a hitter through and through, and like his brother, his offensive performances will likely allow him to move through the system quickly. His defense has continued to be a problem, however, with the general consensus now agreeing that he will likely be drafted as a centerfielder. It is looking like a longshot that he will stay at shortstop as a professional.
3. Cameron Maybin, OF, TC Roberson HS (North Carolina)
.655/.750/.896, 58 AB, 22 extra base hits, 22 walks, 4 strikeouts, 24 stolen bases
Comment: Maybin got pitched around for most of his senior year-note the ridiculous walk rate-and impressed scouts with his willingness to take what he was given. For a player considered raw who would need significant development, he did a terrific job of playing within himself and showing a polished approach at the plate. His physical skills still rank near the top of the charts, and for pure potential, he’s as good as any player in this draft.
4. Luke Hochevar, RHP, University of Tennessee
13 starts, 97 innings, 64 hits, 32 walks, 107 strikeouts, 3 home runs allowed, 1.77 ERA
Comment: Hochevar’s command has come and gone at points this year, but his stuff has held up all season and everyone still raves about his makeup. His control issues have been a bit of a disappointment considering his stuff is simply above average rather than dynamite, but he’s been able to succeed without having his full arsenal in every start. He’s viewed as a safe selection who should reach the majors relatively quickly but doesn’t offer the same potential as a few other arms in the draft. He’s still ranked as the best overall pitcher in the draft, however his affiliation with Scott Boras may cause him to fall.
5. Stephen Drew, SS, Camden Rivercats (Atlantic League)
.400/.444/.680, 25 at-bats, 5 extra base hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 1 stolen base in 1 attempt
Comment: It is beginning to look extremely unlikely that Arizona will be able to sign Drew before May 30th, the cutoff date to sign players from the 2004 draft. Drew has signed with the independant Camden Rivercats to get some playing time and shake off any rust before he re-enters the 2005 draft. He was the best player in last year’s draft, and on talent, he’s comparable to everyone in this draft after Gordon and Upton. However, the year layoff didn’t help his development, and the money being asked for by Scott Boras is going to be a detractror for most clubs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Drew fall to the second or third round this year, and his story will be one of the most interesting of the day.
Others To Watch:
Jered Weaver, RHP, Unsigned
Jeff Clement, C, USC
Mike Pelfrey, RHP, Wichita State
Andrew McCutcheon, OF, HS (Florida)
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Virginia
Justin Bristow, 3B, HS (Virginia)
Wade Townsand, RHP, Rice
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Long Beat State
Ryan Braun, 3B, Miami