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2003-2005 Draft: College Position Players

[editor's note, by Russ in NY] We end with the position players and start with the college pitchers later on. Still waiting on the tie-breaking vote for the college conference. You'll start to see the 2007 College Baseball Preview in mid-December since the semester will pretty much be over except for finals.

2003 1st Round

  1. Rickie Weeks - 2B, Southern - Milwaukee Brewers: He appeared in September of after being drafted and spent all of 2004 in the Minors. In 2005, Weeks finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year voting. 2006 was a season of injuries for Weeks and Brewers fans can only hope he doesn't become injury prone. Outcome: Hit.
  2. Nick Markakis - OF, Young Harris College - Baltimore Orioles: Markakis also had the skill to pitch but the Orioles chose him as a position player after the Reds couldn't sign him as a DFE. Markakis exhibited skill at every level he played at, including the Olympics. He spent all of 2006 with the Orioles and had great season. I would have given him a third place vote in the SBN voting if I voted for the AL. He didn't receive any votes at all. Outcome: Hit.
  3. Michael Aubrey - 1B, Tulane - Cleveland Indians: Injury. Injury. Injury. 2005 and 2006 haven't been kind to Aubrey as he has played in less than 50 games over that span. Outcome: Stalled. I'll call him a miss if he misses more time in '07.
  1. Aaron Hill - SS, LSU - Toronto Blue Jays: Like Russ Adams, Hill doesn't have the true range a shortstop should have but he played there this past season. He keeps his walks-to-strikeouts ratio well and can some doubles. He'll never have much power but I doubt the Blue Jays drafted him to hit for power. Outcome: Hit.
  2. Brian Anderson - OF, Arizona - Chicago White Sox : He's been discussed here at the Row pretty well. He progressed through the minors nicely but struggled as a full-time player in 2006. He was the reason the Sox parted with Jeremy Reed and now the Sox have Ryan Sweeney (drafted in the 2nd round in 2003) who could take Anderson's place. Outcome: Hit for making the Majors--lets see what he can do in '07.
  3. David Murphy - OF, Baylor - Boston Red Sox: Another possibility for OF in Boston, Murphy is more likely to find playing time with another team. The average hasn't been there, but 2005 was his best season with .275/.337/.430 with 14 homers in 135 games. He played in 20 games for the Red Sox this season. Outcome: Making the majors deserves a hit but I think he'll need a trade to really develop.
  4. Brad Snyder - OF, Ball State - Cleveland Indians: Snyder has put up steady numbers throughout his minor league career and spent all of '06 with AA Akron. He should see Cleveland some time in '07. Outcome: Too early to say.
  5. Conor Jackson - IF/OF, Cal - Arizona Diamondbacks: Jackson mashed his way through the minors, showing great plate discipline and never hitting below .300. He spent all of 2006 in Arizona hit .291/.368/.437. He's already on a better path than Xavier Nady. Outcome: Hit.
  6. Brian Snyder - 3B, Stetson - Oakland Athletics: Snyder had an excellent 2004 but missed all of 2005. 2006 was somewhat of a rebound year but he struggled after a promotion to AA Midland. Outcome: Incomplete.
  7. Carlos Quentin - OF, Stanford - Arizona Diamondbacks: Like his teammate Jackson, Quentin never hit below .300 in the Minors (until this past season). Quentin didn't make his debut until '04 since he needed surgery on his shoulder (I believe he played the CWS with a torn rotator cuff). He spent 56 games with the D'Backs this season and hit nine homers over that span. Outcome: Hit.
  8. Mitch Maier - C, Toledo - Kansas City Royals: Maier moved away from catching and has settled in as an outfielder. He reached double digits in homers this season with AA Wichita. He was called up and played in five games for the Royals. Outcome: Hard to grade this one until after '07.
  9. Matt Murton - OF, Georgia Tech - Boston Red Sox: Murton firmly established himself as a Major Leaguer in 2006 as he hit .297/.365/.444 with 13 homers. He was sent to the Cubs, along with Nomar, in '04 for Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera in a four-team deal. Outcome: Hit.
  10. Omar Quintanilla - SS, Texas - Oakland Athletics: Did well with the Longhorns, but struck me as a super-utility player. He came to the Rockies in '05 through the Joe Kennedy trade and has fallen off the map mostly. Outcome: I can say hit for making the Majors, but he probably shouldn't have been drafted this high.
2003 Other Rounds:

  1. Shane Costa - OF, Cal Fullerton - Kansas City Royals - 2nd Round: He's spent some time with the Royals over the past few seasons.
  2. Andre Ethier - OF, Arizona State - Oakland Athletics - 2nd Round: He enjoyed a solid rookie campaign with the Dodgers in '06 and should be a mainstay in the Dodgers lineup over the next few years. 2005 was his best minor league season as he hit 18 homers and drove in 80 runs.
  3. Ryan Garko - C, Stanford - Cleveland Indians - 3rd Round: Though he played catcher with the Cardinal, Garko was destined for a move off the position. He made the change to 1B permanently in '06 and played in 50 games for the Indians this season as a result of Travis Hafner's injury.
  4. Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B, Nevada - Cleveland Indians - 6th Round: Kouzmanoff hit everywhere he played and really emerged in '06. He was called up at the end of the season by the Indians, but was traded early in the off-season for Josh Barfield.

2004 1st Round:

  1. Stephen Drew - SS, Florida State - Arizona Diamondbacks: It took almost a year to sign him, but Drew has been what the D'Backs expected. He did very well for the D'Backs in 58 games this past season. I can see him hitting between 15 and 20 homers a season with an average around .300 at his peak.
  2. Josh Fields - 3B, Oklahoma State - Chicago White Sox: I knew Fields more for quarterbacking the Oklahoma State Cowboys and if anyone remembers the ASK BA question about him in January '04, that was my question. His 2005 season was a disappointment but he rebounded in 2006 with an exceptional year at AAA Charlotte before appearing in 11 games for the White Sox. I believe the Sox were considering him for an outfield spot next season, but leaving his winter league team didn't help much. He'll probably head back to AAA and play 3B, unless current 3B Joe Crede is traded.
  3. Landon Powell - C, South Carolina - Oakland Athletics: He circumvented the draft as a high school junior because received his G.E.D., making him eligible for the draft in 2000. Teams were unaware of this and his agent Scott Boras thought he could negotiate one hell of a contract for an UDFA. It didn't work and Powell attended South Carolina. He was drafted in 2003 as a junior, but returned for his senior season. He struggled in his first minor league action and missed all of 2005 with an injury. He had a decent performance in the Cal League in 2006 and then spent 12 games in AA to end the season.
  4. Richard Robnett - OF, Fresno State - Oakland Athletics: In 2005, Robnett hit 50 extra-base hits (30 2B and 20 HR) but struck out 151 times. 2006 was slightly better as he reduced his strike out; however, that is due to injury as he appeared in 79 across High-A, AA and AAA.
  5. Danny Putnam - OF, Stanford - Oakland Athletics: Putnam had an excellent 2005 as he hit 15 homers and drove in 100 RBI. Like Robnett's 2006, Putnam had a hard time finding the field. He spent the season at AA Midland but appeared at two lower levels as he made his way back from injury.
2004 Other Rounds

  1. Seth Smith - OF, Ole Miss - Colorado Rockies - 2nd Round: If he's not playing with the Rockies during September I'll be amazed.
  2. Jeff Fiorentino - OF, Florida Atlantic - Baltimore Orioles - 3rd Round: He's already made the Majors but has spent more time in the Minors recently. Did his promotion do any harm to him?
  3. Chris Iannetta - C, North Carolina - Colorado Rockies - 4th Round: We know this guy.

2005 1st Round

  1. Alex Gordon - 3B, Nebraska - Kansas City Royals: Gordon inked a 2006 contract and made his debut in the Arizona Fall League in '05. He spent 2006 with AA Wichita and should see Kansas City in 2007. If he doesn't then I'll be very disappointed in Dayton Moore.
  2. Jeff Clement - C, USC - Seattle Mariners: He tore the meniscus in his left knee back in May while in AA, but was promoted to AAA for most of the season. The Mariners are obviously high on him, even with Kenji Johjima's success.
  3. Ryan Zimmerman - 3B, Virginia - Washington Nationals: Drafted June '05, signs shortly thereafter, and appears in the Majors for the final month of the season. Finishes second in SBN's inaugural End of the Year awards. He's the class of the '05 draft so far.
  4. Ryan Braun - 3B, Miami-Fl. - Milwaukee Brewers: Drafted right after Zimmerman, Braun's done well for himself. He split the season evenly between High-A and AA. He's hit for a decent average, steal a base or two and hit for power. The one thing he won't do is blow you away with his glove work like Zimmerman. But not many people can match Zimmerman's prowess.
  5. Troy Tulowitzki - SS, Long Beach State - Colorado Rockies: We all know about this guy.
  6. Trevor Crowe - OF, Arizona - Cleveland Indians: Crowe started off well with High-A Kinston but it was a struggle offensively (except for stealing bases) at AA Akron. Team management considered moving him to second base during the off season, but that didn't materialize.
  7. John Mayberry, Jr. - OF, Stanford - Texas Rangers: He's shown power, but also a penchant for striking out way too much. He's enjoying winter ball, though.
  8. Cliff Pennington - SS, Texas A&M - Oakland Athletics: I don't want to call him a disappointment yet, but .203/.302/.277 at High-A doesn't inspire much confidence.
  9. Jacoby Ellsbury - OF, Oregon State - Boston Red Sox: He was recently named the Red Sox's best prospect by Baseball America. A worthy heir to Damon in center field.
  10. Tyler Greene - SS, Georgia Tech - St. Louis Cardinals: He had an OK debut in 2005, but struggled in the FSL to start 2006. He was demoted to the Swing of the Quad Cities in the MWL where he hit 15 homers.
  11. Travis Buck - OF, Arizona State - Oakland Athletics: Buck hasn't been a disappointment and reached AA Midland in 2006. Will he see Oakland in '07?
  12. Jed Lowrie - IF, Stanford - Boston Red Sox: He can work the strike zone and hit a good number of doubles, but the transition to the wood bat hasn't been that great.
2005 Other Rounds

  1. Ryan Patterson - OF, LSU - Toronto Blue Jays - 4th Round: Patterson had three great seasons for the Tigers before he signed with the Blue Jays. He dominated the NYPL after being drafted and began 2006 at High-A Dunedin. He put up intriguing numbers for half a season there before he was promoted to AA New Hampshire for 49 games, where he averaged a strike out per game.
  2. Gaby Sanchez - C, Miami-Fl. - Florida Marlins - 4th Round: Sanchez was suspended for the entire '05 college season, but the Marlins' scouts obviously scouted this in-state talent heavily before then. Like Patterson, Sanchez dominated the NYPL, but was moved away from catcher. The start of the 2006 season was nice to Sanchez as he was the talk of prospect-watching for most of April. He settled in at first base this past season.
  3. Mike Baxter - 1B/OF, Vanderbilt - San Diego Padres - 4th Round: I mostly include Mike here because I went to elementary school with him. We weren't in the same grade but he played on the school's little league team with a friend of mine; that's how I know him. He actually spent his first year at Columbia before transferring to Vandy. His two seasons haven't been all that encouraging but I'll continue to have hope.
  4. Jeff Larish - 1B, Arizona State - Detroit Tigers - 5th Round: Entering the 2004 college season Larish was the guy in the draft. And as that story usually goes, he suffered from a case of draftitis. He returned in 2005 after the Dodgers drafted him in the 13th round. He guided the Sun Devils to the College World Series and had a homer run in all four of his ABs during one game, a CWS record. In his first full minor league season, Larish showed decent power with 18 homers and an eye of the K-Zone with 81 walks (though he struck out 101 times also).