2005 MLB Draft: Projected 1st Round

Draft day is only a few weeks away and everyone is trying to figure out who's taking who in the this once a year event. Until the day actually comes, there's no way to be sure how things will play out. But, here at PinstripesPlus.com, we'll take our best shot at it using the best information available.

1. Arizona - Justin Upton. If the Arizona scouting department has their way, there is no way they can pass up the most talented player in the nation. Upton has it all and if they are truly looking to take the best player in the draft, this is their man.

2. Kansas City - Alex Gordon. This Nebraska star will probably be the first to the big leagues with the exception of one of the college pitchers. The Royals need someone to build their franchise around and Gordon might be the one to do it. His sweet left handed stroke could carry them at the third base position for years to come. The rumors of a budget minded pick seem to be false at this point and it would be shocking to see them pass on Gordon.

3. Seattle - Troy Tulowitzki. Many scouts believe that this Long Beach State short stop may even be a better player than his predecessor, Bobby Crosby and that he may even be able to get to the big leagues quicker. With that in mind, he'll be tough to pass up for the Mariners unless they make a last minute choice to go for a college pitcher.

4. Washington - Ryan Zimmerman. One of the hot rumors heading into the draft is that this college star is the Washington Nationals prime target. He is a tremendous fielder at third baser for the University of Virginia and there will be a lot of teams hot on him come draft day.

5. Milwaukee - Jeff Clement. Here is the star catcher from USC that once broke Drew Henson's record for prep home runs in a season. Now, teams are looking at him as the best catcher in the 2005 draft. However, teams like him much more simply for his bat. The Brewers do like high school picks, but they'd like to add a star catching prospect to an already fantastic farm system.

6. Toronto - Ricky Romero. It has become well known that, with their first round pick, the Toronto Blue Jays like to go with the best college lefthander available. We saw that with them last year with David Purcey and Zach Jackson and there isn't much doubt we'll see it again this year with the selection of this southpaw ace out of Cal State Fullerton.

7. Colorado - Cameron Maybin. As for Maybin, he truly has all the tools and he'd a be a huge addition to any farm system. He has the speed, the power and the defensive ability to allow him to be compare to Ken Griffey Jr. That says a lot.

8. Tampa Bay - Wade Townsend. From the beginning, the Devil Rays have been the favorite to land Townsend. Although recent outings have shown less that great stuff from the Rice ace, he still appears to be Tampa Bay's top choice in 2005.

9. NY Mets - Craig Hansen. The great thing about Craig Hansen is that many scouts believe he could be in a big league bullpen by September. With the situation of the Met bullpen, they could certainly use him. Omar Minaya has personally taken a trip to watch this flame throwing closer at St. John's University. The Mets are the undoubted favorite to land Hansen.

10. Detroit - Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey is another Boras client, but many people don't think that the Tigers will shy away from the demands. The 6' 7" Wichita State ace could make it to the big leagues in a hurry and if not for the high demands, he may have had a chance to be the top overall pick. But, again, his demands could make him plummet.

11. Pittsburgh - Andrew McCutchen. Behind Upton and Maybin, this is the third of the toolsy high schoolers. He has been linked to the Pirates on numerous occasions and that seems to be the most likely match.

12. Cincinnati - Ryan Braun. One of the top third baseman in the country, Braun, has drawn a lot of interest from about half of the Major League teams, especially the Reds. Braun has big time power, but the only concern is his defense.

13. Baltimore - Jacoby Ellsbury. He is one of the most sought after college hitters in the draft and for good reason. He's a legitimate future Major League center fielder with a good bat to go along with it. The Orioles front office members have been to watch him on a couple occasions so the interest is very strong.

14. Cleveland - Luke Hochevar. Well, he's a Boras client, but there is a chance that the Indians could make a reach for him. He could be the most talented college pitcher in the country and because of his demands, he could still easily fall to the tribe.

15. Chi. Sox - Cesar Carrillo. His stature may not be large but this Miami Hurricane's righthander could be a future big league ace. With a fastball that sits at 92 MPH, this righty has a nasty, plus curveball and a solid changeup as well. The White Sox have been the frontrunners for him all along.

16. Florida - Chris Volstad. It is difficult to explain but Chris Volstad may be the biggest factor in the entire draft. If he is taken by the Orioles, who are seriously interested in him, the Marlins will have to make some major changes in plans. However, the Marlins are still the undoubted frontrunner for the top prep righthander in the country, so if he's there, they'll pick him.

17. NY Yankees - Jay Bruce. The Yankees have a lot of options on their table and they've strongly considered taking Brian Bogusevic or C.J. Henry as well. But, the odds are that if Bruce isn't taken by Baltimore, he should be the Yankees pick. Of course, that is not taking into consideration the Stephen Drew factor. Bruce has a tremendous set of tools, the biggest being a his bat from the left hand side of the plate.

18. San Diego - Cesar Ramos. He was once in the shadow of Jered Weaver at Long Beach State, but now he is 1st round pick. He doesn't have the dynamite of many of the other top pitcher but he truly has fantastic pitchability.

19. Texas - Matt Torra. There may not be another player eligible for this draft that has driven his stock up more than this UMASS ace righthander. He has put up outstanding numbers this spring and the Rangers will have to think hard before passing him with the 19th overall selection.

20. Chi. Cubs - Mark McCormick. This fireballing righthander out of Baylor University could have gone much higher on the draft board if not for some makeup issues that some organizations have with him. No one can doubt his raw stuff though so he is a surefire 1st round selection that the Cubs have shown interest in.

21. Oakland - Trevor Crowe. What? You expected anything but a college pick out of the Athletics? This Arizona Wildcat star appears to be the one that keeps that trend going in this year's draft while Oakland does continue to watch some other college players as well.

22. Florida - Henry Sanchez. The Marlins historically like the high school talent and Sanchez might be their man. At 260 pounds, Sanchez reminds us of Cecil Fielder not only in stature but with his power hitting potential as well. The Padres are also interested in this Mission Bay, CA product but the Marlins should make a strong pitch for him in the right circumstances.

23. Boston - Yuniel Escobar. Here is the best player of the latest crop of Cubans to defect in the past calendar year. Escobar is an exciting middle infielder with a flashy glove and some time big time lumber to go along with it. He'd be a surprise pick, but word has it that the Red Sox have been keeping a close eye on him during workouts.

24. Houston - Cliff Pennington. The Astros don't seem to be looking for a big splash type of pick, but instead a solid player they can eventually have as their shortstop, but at a bargain price. He'd fit in quite nicely with the young man they are grooming as their future second baseman, Chris Burke.

25. Minnesota - Brandon Snyder. Although they already do have Joe Mauer locked up as their catcher of the future, the Twins like their high school picks. But, what they also love is the versatility of Brandon Snyder. Many scouts do not believe he has the quickness to play shortstop, but the arm and hands to play third base.

26. Boston - Mark Pawelek. It is amazing to think that the second best high school pitcher in the country could fall this far, but he just may end up falling even farther. He is a Boras client that will likely command big money. But, if the Red Sox are willing to take the plunge, they'll have themselves a young southpaw with dynamite stuff.

27. Atlanta - Craig Italiano. The Braves like their high school picks and this big Texan might be the perfect match for them this time around. Italiano has the best fastball in the country for a high school pitcher, clocking at 98 MPH at times. If he is still on the board, barring a surprise selection, Atlanta could pop him with the 27th pick.

28. Cardinals - Brian Bogusevic. Here is a guy who also is drawing a lot of interest from the Yankees and Padres. But, if he falls past them, he is likely to end up a solid Cardinal pick. Because he is still a little raw on the mound for a college guy, picking him would be looking more toward his ceiling once he can take his focus off hitting and stay set on pitching. But, who knows, they may also be interested in his offensive skills.

29. Florida - Colby Rasmus. It is truly amazing that such a big bat could fall this far, but this once again proves what a big year this is for college talent. With over 20 home runs in high school this season, the Marlins have a good chance to land themselves yet another toolsy outfielder to their already strong farm system.

30. St. Louis - Matt Garza. Here is another college pitcher on the board with very good stuff. He's yet another perfect match for the St. Louis farm system, who like the Yankees, need their prospects to start producing right away.

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