Yankees' 2005 Draft Outlook

It is that time of year again and the 2005 MLB Draft is right around the corner. That means that the time has come to begin looking at some of the draft possibilities for the Yankees. Projections can never be completely accurate, but let's now take a look at the players they appear to be most interested in.

Chris Volstad - As of right now, this young man is most likely the top prep pitching in the draft and don't think the Yankees haven't taken notice. Yankee scouts have been at most of his starts and he'll get a long look from them once draft day rolls around. However, as the top high schooler, more aggressive teams might grab him earlier on, ala Mark Rogers with the Brewers last year. Volstad is armed with mid 90's heat and a hard breaking curveball with a solid changeup. He has big stuff but the only thing scouts doubt about his skills are his lack of killer instincts on the mound. However, he is a big time draft prospect that the Yankees will make a serious run at if he is available.

Craig Italiano - Perhaps one of the most unheralded sleepers coming into the 2005 season, this high school phenom has turned a lot of heads this year. Armed with the best fastball of any high school pitcher in the country, touching 98 MPH on several occasions, this explosive righty has pushed himself into the first round scene. He also commands a good breaking ball but scouts just continue to marvel at his golden arm. The Yankees' area scout in Texas has been covering him since the season began so look for the Yankees to take a look at him, maybe not at #17 overall but perhaps with their second round pick.

Brian Bogusevic - If the Yankees want to take the college route, here is the right man for the job. This two way star out of Tulane has about as much upside with the bat as he does as a pitcher. However, if the Yankees do take him, there is no question that he'll be selected as a pitcher. Being a 21 year old, big strong, lefty makes him even all the more desirable. However, considering the criticism the Yankees have received in recent years for taking more conservative picks, they just might not go with someone like Bogusevic with a 17th overall pick.

C.J. Henry - Looking for an exciting player just oozing with tools? Well, you're search is over. Out of all the draft eligible players, this high school shortstop has moved up further on the draft board than just about anyone. With offensive ability that has been likened to Gary Sheffield's, Henry is about as exciting a player as you will find. There are some questions as to whether he'd be better suited for the outfield but he is a potential five tool player. But, the only concern is if MLB teams can lure him away from basketball. He is one of the top recruits in the country and could decide to go to Georgia Tech. So, it could take some big bucks to land him.

Jered Weaver - It has been rumored that, during last year's draft, this #1 draft prospect was also #1 on the Yankee draft board. In other words, if the Angels had finalized a decision to select the Yankees eventual first round pick, Phil Hughes, it would have been Weaver falling to the Yankees. So, if he can't work out a last minute deal with the Angels, expect the Yankees to make a big push for him if he falls to them. He is a potential big league ace and there is no way the Yankees will pass him by if he is still available.

Josh Ford - While he is most likely not a first round possibility, the Yankees usually try to nab someone like Ford in each draft. But, these types are usually very hard to find. A strong, right hand hitting catcher, Ford has drawn comparisons to Jason Varitek for his hitting and defensive capabilities. It appears more likely that Ford is a 2nd-4th round possibility but would be a strong pick if the Yankees had a shot at him. With the area scout taking a long look at him, this might be the perfect opportunity for them to add a seasoned, and talented catcher to the farm system that could not only benefit them on offense but behind the plate as well.

Jordan Danks - Like his older brother, John, this Danks is likely a first round pick in this year's amateur draft. With big time power from the left hand side of the plate, he is a prototypical Yankee first round selection. It is well known that they like to go with lefty power hitters in the early rounds. However, Danks has a great desire to play college ball as a Longhorn. So, that could be the only obstacle in a potential selection of this slugging outfielder.

Mark Pawelek - Let's get this straight. Who doesn't want Mark Pawelek? It has been documented that every MLB organization has sent scouts to watch him pitch pitch out in Utah. With that being said, he could be quickly becoming the number one high school pitcher in the nation. How could any club not want a lefthander with a fastball that touches 95 MPH with two excellent secondary pitches, as he work on a third (splitter). There is a good chance someone could pop Pawelek way before the #17 spot, but it is doubtful the Yankees could pass on him if he is still around.

Mike Pelfrey - This big, tall righthander is arguably the best pitcher in the nation and he is number one on the Yankee draft board. However, how much of a chance is there that this potential top 5 overall pick could fall to #17? Probably more than you would think. He is a Boras client so he could take a Jered Weaver-like fall in the draft this year. Immediately, he would become the gem of the farm system but it will take some big bucks to sign this college groomed righty.

Josh Wilson - Here is another high school pitcher who is not a first rounder but he is definitely someone who could be go in rounds 2-4. This prep righthander doesn't have a large frame but he produces some serious stuff. A Texas native, Wilson sits easily in the low 90's with his fastball, with a great movement. But, what makes him so dominating is his tremendous combination with his heater and a big time curveball. He is the definition of a live arm and the Yankee scouts have been all over him this spring.

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