2004 MLB Draft: First Day Roundup
The talk going into the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft was that it was a down year for high school prospects.
But that ended up being quite the contrary as 13 prep players were selected among the 30 first-round picks, including six in the top 15. Another three high schoolers were picked in the supplemental round, making it 16 in the first 39 selections, compared to 17 chosen among the first 37 picks last year.
Leading the way for the prep players was Mission Bay High (Calif.) SS/RHP Matt Bush, who was selected by the hometown San Diego Padres with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Bush, who's rated the No. 2 overall prep prospect in the Class of 2004 by SchoolSports.com, is the first high school shortstop selected No. 1 overall since Alex Rodriguez was chosen by Seattle in 1993.
Bush, who has been compared to Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year in California this year after batting .447 with 46 runs scored, 11 homers, 33 RBI and 15 stolen bases while going 9-1 on the mound with a 0.53 ERA, three saves and 94 strikeouts in 66.1 innings pitched.
He led Mission Bay to the San Diego Section Division III title with a 13-4 win over St. Augustine on Saturday. Bush starred in the victory, going 4-for-5 with four runs scored at the plate while picking up the win on the mound by allowing just one earned run and striking out six.
Despite his pitching prowess, the Padres plan on using Bush strictly as an infielder, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Mt. Ararat High (Maine) RHP Mark Rogers was the next high school player picked, as he was selected No. 5 overall by the Milwaukee Brewers. Rogers was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year last week after he finished the regular season going 7-0 with a 0.14 ERA, 125 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 49 innings.
The Cincinnati Reds picked La Grange High (Texas) RHP Homer Bailey with the No. 7 overall selection. So far this season, the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is 13-0 with a 0.57 ERA. Bailey has also shown incredible command with 180 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 78.2 innings pitched.
Redan High (Ga.) RHP/SS Chris Nelson rounded out the high school players picked in the Top 10 when he was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the No. 9 overall selection. The fact that Nelson was selected in the first round is remarkable considering he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last September. Nelson didn't take the mound his senior season, but he showed tremendous all-around skills at the plate by batting .584 with eight homers, 44 RBI and 25 steals.
The other nine high school players selected in the first round were: Pine-Richland High (Pa.) C Neil Walker (No. 11, Pittsburgh); Wolfson High (Fla.) 1B Billy Butler (No. 14, Kansas City); Seneca High (Mo.) LHP Scott Elbert (No. 17, Los Angeles); Crespi High (Calif.) SS/RHP Trevor Plouffe (No. 20, Minnesota); John Connally High (Texas) OF Greg Golson (No. 21, Philadelphia); Santa Ana Foothill High (Calif.) RHP Phil Hughes (No. 23, New York Yankees); Farragut High (Tenn.) 1B Kyle Waldrop (No. 25, Minnesota); Sikeston High (Mo.) INF Blake DeWitt (No. 28, Los Angeles); and Wolfson High (Fla.) RHP Eric Hurley (No. 30, Texas).
Two highly rated prep players were also selected in the supplemental round in Monsignor Pace High (Fla.) LHP Gio Gonzalez and Bishop Hendricken High (R.I.) RHP Jay Rainville.
Gonzalez, who was selected No. 38 overall by the Chicago White Sox, went 6-0 as a senior with a 0.93 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 17 walks in 37 innings. Gonzalez was kicked off his high school team at the end of April, but it didn't appear to hurt his draft stock.
Rainville, who was picked No. 39 overall by Minnesota, went 6-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 42 innings in his first seven games this season. He comes from the same high school as Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli.
Joining Gonzalez and Rainville in the supplemental round was Chandler High (Ariz.) OF/C Jon Poterson, who was selected No. 37 overall by the New York Yankees.
Among the top high school players picked in the next few rounds were Parkview Baptist High (La.) RHP Blake Johnson, who was selected by Los Angeles in the second round (58th overall); Gibson Southern High (Ind.) INF Eric Campbell, who was selected by Atlanta in the second round (71st overall); Middleton High (Fla.) INF Joshua Johnson, who was selected by Kansas City in the third round (85th overall); Woodinville High (Wash.) OF and University of Washington football recruit Matt Tuiasosopo, who was selected by Seattle in the third round (93rd overall); Junipero Serra High (Calif.) OF/LHP Chuck Lofgren, who was selected by Cleveland in the fourth round (107th overall); Columbus High (Fla.) C Alex Garabedian, who was selected by the New York Yankees in the seventh round (219th overall); and Tomball High (Texas) LHP Troy Patton, who was selected by Houston in the ninth round (274th overall).
Williamsport High (Md.) RHP Nick Adenhart, who will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow this month, was among a group of top prep prospects who went undrafted in the first 10 rounds. Adenhart, who is rated the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2004 by SchoolSports.com but whose stock plummeted due to his injury, was picked in the 14th round (413th overall) by Anaheim.
Among the other top prospects undrafted in the first 10 rounds were: Apopka High (Fla.) OF Mike Taylor; Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.) RHP Andy Gale; Mountain View High (Calif.) RHP Erik Davis; Kennewick High (Wash.) 3B Steve Marquardt; Oakton High (Va.) 1B/OF Jared Kubin; Nova High (Fla.) OF Warren McFadden; Henry County High (Ga.) LHP Michael Rozier; and Milton High (Ga.) OF Dexter Fowler.