Cards tab Colby Rasmus & James Greene in 1st round

The Cardinals first pick in the 2005 draft is a high school outfielder, committed to Auburn University, and a Georgia Tech shortstop is their second pick in the first round.

The Cardinals made their first two draft picks, near the end of the first round of the 2005 draft. A high school outfielder and a college shortstop the top two choices for the Cardinals.

Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals first pick and 28th pick overall is an 18 year old outfielder from Russell County High School, in Phenix City, Alabama. The 6'1" 175 pounder is a left-hander, who plays center field.

A center fielder, who also pitched for Russell County, he was named Alabama Mr. Baseball, Alabama Gatorade High School Player of the Year and the National High School Coaches Association Player of the Year while leading his team to the state's 5-A championship. He batted .484 with 66 RBI and 19 stolen bases this high school season and his 24 home runs placed him second on Alabama's all-time single season list. Rasmus' father Tony, who coaches Russell County High, was drafted by the California Angels in the 10th round in the January phase of the 1986 baseball draft.

Rasmus has been compared to major league outfielder Steve Finley. A spray hitter who will go with the pitch.

Colby has a love and respect for the game that should quickly make him a fan favorite.

The Cardinals second pick came just moments later as they pick 21 year old shortstop James Greene, the overall number 30 pick in the draft.

Greene at 6'2" and 185 lbs is junior from Georgia Tech University. He was a second-round draft pick out of high school by the Atlanta Braves but did not sign. Greene was named a preseason first-team All-American by Baseball America entering the 2005 season.

Tyler Greene, batted .373 with 15 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs and 72 RBI while being slowed by a broken jaw. Rated by Baseball America as the fourth-fastest runner among college-eligible players, he collected 30 stolen bases this season. Greene has a taste of international play, as he played for Team USA in 2003 and batted .431 with four home runs. He is set to help lead the Yellow Jackets (45-17) into the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend against Tennessee at the Jackets' home field in Atlanta.

The scouting report on Greene is his body is similar to Derek Jeter. Generates bat speed w/ strength. Short, fluid stroke. Attacks pitchers mistakes. Ball jumps off the bat. Fairly soft hands. Easy throws, good carry. Good athlete at premium position.

Baseball America's take on our top two picks.

Colby Rasmus, of, Russell County HS, Phenix City, Ala.

Rasmus' tools grade out average or above across the board. He covers 60 yards in 6.7 seconds and has a plus arm, throwing fastballs up to 91 mph off the mound. Besides his tools, scouts love his maturity and savvy for the game. Some compare Rasmus to Steve Finley, while others believe he evokes Shawn Green; it depends on whether the scout believes Rasmus can stay in center field. He has a short, simple lefthanded swing that he repeats, and the barrel of the bat stays in the hitting zone a long time. While he could use a better load to his swing, he at times produces good leverage, leading scouts to believe he'll hit for at least average power.

30. Tyler Greene, ss, Georgia Tech

Green is a 60 runner (some say 70 under way) on the 20-80 scouting scale, with good instincts on the basepaths and elsewhere. A plus arm and good range make him at least an averages defender at short. The question is offense. His hands are just OK both at the plate and in the field. Greene's swing has evolved to a metal-bat, inside-out style that doesn't incorporate his hands, short-circuiting his power and leaving him with several holes. His aptitude with wood, however, reminds scouts of Cubs prospect Matt Murton, who also hit better in summers on the Cape than with Georgia Tech.

"We are excited to add two first round position players to our organization," said Cardinals Senior Vice President & General Manager Walt Jocketty. "These were the two individuals we were really targeting. To be able to get a high school player with multiple plus tools who projects high and then an established shortstop at the collegiate level, I give a lot of credit to our scouts and scouting department."

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