[editor's note, by Russ in NY] This will be the first in a series of articles covering college baseball. First will be an overview of the last six drafts (2000-05) broken down between hitters and pitchers in the first two rounds and then later round successes. The 2003-05 reviews will be combined into one as most of those guys are still establishing themselves in either the Majors or are still progressing through the Minors.
After that I have a vague outline of what I want to do: conference and team previews, individual player profiles, and anything that you want covered. I think this can serve as a primer to the draft so we know a number of these players. This way readers, both known and unknown, won't have a reaction like the one during this past draft when people were asking who Brandon Hynick and Will Harris were.
- Joe Borchard - OF, Stanford - Chicago White Sox: Borchard was also Stanford's QB, but gave baseball a shot after he was drafted in the 1st round. After finishing his 2000 season, he appeared at three different levels in the Minors. He finished the season at AA Birmingham by playing six games. He spent all of 2001 back in Birmingham and had a fine season but struck out 158 times, or roughly 2.36 times for every 1 walk. After that his career entered a decline of sorts as he drew fewer and fewer walks, while also seeing a drop in batting average. He spent parts of 2002-04 with the White Sox, and in his only extended action (64 games in 2004), he was unable to crack the Mendoza Line. He was traded to the Florida Marlins during the most recent season and only struck out 65 times in 107 games there. Outcome: Miss.
- Chase Utley - IF, UCLA - Philadelphia Phillies: After two undistinguished seasons in the Minors, 2003 was a breakout season as Chase repeated AAA and moved back to his old position of 2B. His 2005 campaign was his first full season in the Majors and didn't disappoint. He was second on the team for both RBI and home runs. He established himself as one of the premiere second baseman with his 2006 season. Outcome: Big Hit.
- Dave Parrish - C, Michigan - New York Yankees: When the Yankees made this pick it was roundly criticized as a stretch even in a weak draft. After 2002 he had a hard time staying on the field, but received promotion after promotion. One season he actually was called up but never appeared in a game. Outcome: Horrible Miss (but it's the Yankees, so this was probably expected).
- Mike Tonis - C, Cal - Kansas City Royals: He appeared in 2 games for the Royals in 2004, but hasn't played pro ball since the end of that season. Outcome: Miss.
- Dane Sardinha - C Pepperdine - Cincinnati Reds: Another failed college catcher from this draft, Sardinha performed in two games for the Reds. He's been a light-hitting, somewhat improving defensive catcher, but his time has probably passed. Outcome: Miss.
- Xavier Nady - OF, Cal - San Diego Padres: He actually appeared in a game for the Padres in 2000 since his contract called for a September call-up. He spent most of 2003 in San Diego, but spent most of 2004 in Portland. He had a mediocre 2005 and was traded in the off-season to the Mets as part of the Mike Cameron deal. Despite his numbers for the Mets, he was a key component for the team before he was traded to the Pirates. Outcome: Half-of-a-hit.
- Tim Hummel - 2B, Old Dominion - Chicago White Sox: Hummel peaked the year he was drafted and it crossed over into 2001. In 2003 he was traded to the Reds for Scott Sullivan and played 82 games over that season and the next for the Reds. For the last few seasons he's bounced around the Reds minor league system, the Red Sox' and, finally, back to the White Sox'. Outcome: Miss, but a nice organizational guy.
- Freddie Bynum - IF, Pitt CC - Oakland Athletics: A light-hitting middle infielder that finally got playing time this season, Bynum has found a home in Chicago. Outcome: Miss.
- Lance Niekro - IF, Florida Southern College - San Francisco Giants: Nothing like having a famous baseball last name, right? He has increased his home run totals over the last few seasons. Will he ever become a regular for the Giants? Outcome: Miss (for now).
David DeJesus - 4th Round - OF, Rutgers - Kansas City Royals: Not much good can be found in Kansas City, but DeJesus is one bright spot there (until Butler and Gordon become main-stays in the lineup). He's steadily increased his doubles total over three seasons.
Garrett Atkins - 5th Round - 1B, UCLA - Colorado Rockies: The Rockies had some nice success stories with the 2000 draft and Atkins is the best one. If he can repeat this year's performance he'll be challenging Chase Utley for best UCLA alumni in the Majors (the last one being Troy Glaus).
Eric Bruntlett - 9th Round - SS, Stanford - Houston Astros: He's been a versatile player for the `Stros in his stints with the club. He's had a better career than Borchard, if only because he played in a World Series.
Clint Barmes, 10th Round - OF, Indiana State - Colorado Rockies: We can criticize him all we want, but he is a success of the 2000 draft.
Brad Hawpe - 11th Round - 1B, LSU - Colorado Rockies: Here's another gem by the Rockies. He moved off first since Helton blocked him at Coors and has displayed a nice arm in right field.
Freddy Sanchez - 11th Round - 2B, Oklahoma City U - Boston Red Sox: Now a member of the Pirates, Sanchez led the league in batting average this past season.
Josh Willingham - 17th Round - 2B, North Alabama - Florida Marlins: He was finally given a chance in 2006 by the Marlins and he did nothing to disappoint. He was in a three-way tie for the team lead in homers with 26.
Jason Bay - 22nd Round - OF, Gonzaga - Montreal Expos: Who wouldn't take Jason Bay for Lou Collier? Better yet, who wouldn't take Jason Bay for Steve Reed? The Brian Giles trade gets a little better. The Pirates have also been a beneficiary of the 20 draft, even if they didn't draft either player on this list.
Adam LaRoche - 29th Round - 1B, Seminole State College - Atlanta Braves: He had a quiet 32 homers this season, right?