2005 MLB Draft Update

Predicting the draft is almost as difficult as predicting the eventual career paths of the same prospects. These projections can, and will, change on a regular basis. It is always fun to try to guess the eventual selection order, so let's give it a shot.



Ian Levin's 2005 Draft Projection



No. TEAM
SELECTION COMMENT
1
Arizona
D'Backs
(51-111
)
Justin Upton, SS - Chesapeake, VA
6-2/180 - Bats: R Throws: R
2004: .569, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 30 SB

Upton is the top talent in this draft. Like his brother B.J., he is a true five-tooler with unlimited potential. The only thing uncertain about Upton is his eventual position. While some believe he can remain at shortstop, most insist that he will end up as a gold glove caliber center fielder. Signability is probably the only thing that may cause him to slip.

2
Kansas City
Royals
(58-104)

Alex Gordon, 3B - Nebraska
6-1/210 - Bats: L Throws: L
2004: .365/.493, 18 HR, 75 RBI

Gordon is the top college choice in the draft. He is a solid defensive third baseman and has the prototypical bat for the position. Equipped with a smooth lefty swing that provides plenty of power and average, Gordon's batting eye allows him to draw his share of walks. The Royals will find it hard to pass up on Gordon.

3
Seattle
Mariners
(63-99)
Cameron Maybin, OF - Asheville, NC
6-3/200 - Bats: B Throws: R
2004: .536, 8 HR, 41 RBI

Maybin is the wild card of the draft. He may have the highest overall ceiling of any player but isn't as likely to reach that ceiling as Upton. Maybin is tall and athletic and has drawn comparisons to similar players such as Eric Davis and Ken Griffey Jr. Maybin, however, may outgrow that comparison as well as his current position. As he matures physically, he may need to slide to right field, but his bat can handle such a move.

4
Washington
Nationals
(67-95)
Mike Pelfrey, RHP - Wichita St.
6-7/215 - Bats: R Throws: R
2004: 11-2, 2.18 ERA, 125 K, 24 BB

As the Nationals arrive in D.C. for a fresh start, they will need a player to build the team around. With the three top hitters off the board, the Nats will turn their attention to the pitcher with the most upside. That brings them to the right-handed flamethrower, Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey has solid command of his fastball and secondary offerings, a power curve and a circle change.

5
Milwaukee
Brewers
(67-94)
Luke Hochevar, RHP - Tennessee
6-4/205 - Bats: R Throws: R
2004: 4-2, 2.86 ERA, 60 K, 23 BB

The Brewers farm system is currently loaded with hitters and that could lead them towards taking pitcher here. Gm Doug Melvin started that trend a year ago by taking RHP Mark Rogers with their first pick. This year they'll look for more experience and turn to the college ranks. Hochevar is a talent on par with Pelfrey and has four average to above-average offerings. His fastball touches the upper-90s and he can throw his curveball, slider for strikes.

6
Toronto
Blue Jays
(67-94)
Jeff Clement, C - USC
6-1/205 - Bats: L Throws: R
2004: .293/.416, 10 HR, 43 RBI

If Clement lasts this long, the Jays will take him as the best player available. He is an offensive-minded catcher but has improved his receiving skills significantly. The Trojans star has solid plate discipline, something that is a plus in the sabermetric organization in Toronto. Clement will move as quickly as his defense will allow.

7
Colorado
Rockies
(68-94)
Wade Townsend, RHP - Rice
6-3/230 - Bats: R Throws: R
2004: 12-0, 1.80 ERA, 148 K, 45 BB

The Rockies have yet to find a way to compete at Coors Field, the worst pitchers park in the league. They've tried the offensive approach without much luck. With Todd Helton still on the roster and rising prospects in Ian Stewart and Chris Nelson, the time is now. Townsend's power arsenal should be able to overcome the thin air of Colorado.

8
Tampa Bay
Devil Rays
(70-91)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS - Long Beach St.
6-3/200 - Bats: R Throws: R
2004: .317/.410, 7 HR, 44 RBI

Tulowitzki is solid player and while he doesn't have the upside of Upton or Gordon, he is a good bet to fill his potential. The 49ers' star has a plus bat for the shortstop position and is a good defender with a solid arm. Tyler Greene could also be the choice here for the D-Rays.

9
New York
Mets
(71-91)
John Mayberry, Jr, 1B - Stanford
6-5/230 - Bats: R Throws: R
2004: .333/.419, 16 HR, 62 RBI

Mayberry is a former first-round pick by Seattle in 2002 and barring a catastrophe, will again be a top pick. He has outstanding power potential but isn't a premium talent due to his lack of plate discipline, leading to high strikeout totals.

10
Detroit
Tigers
(72-90)
Tyler Greene, SS - Georgia Tech
6-2/190 - Bats: R Throws: R
2004: .273/.371, 7 HR, 52 RBI, 16 SB

Given that Greene and Tulowitzki are similar, anything could affect the race for the top college shortstop. Although Greene's numbers don't look great on the surface, he has a solid upside but has consistency issues and will need to polish up his game if he is to reach his potential as one of the better shortstops in this class.


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