Coverage of the upcoming NCAA college baseball season will begin on Dec. 15 with a profile of Vanderbilt lefty David Price. But for now we return to our review of past drafts.
This time I'm starting with 2003 and going to 2005 before returning to '00-'02.
If you believe I am missing someone in the later round successes, let me know.
3. Kyle Sleeth - RHP, Wake Forest - Detroit Tigers: Sleeth was viewed as front-line starter when he was drafted but signed too late to pitch in 2003. 2004 was an up-and-down year for him as he pitched well Lakeland in High-A ball. He was promoted after ten starts to AA Erie and struggled. He allowed 14 homers in 80 innings, walked 34 and struck out only 57. He missed all of 2005 after having surgery on his pitching elbow in June. He came back in 2006 and started for the GCL Tigers before a promotion to High-A Lakeland. He made 8 starts, walked 21 and struck out 7 in 19 2/3 IP. The Colorado native still resides on the Tigers 40-man roster, so he still has a good chance of making the Majors.
4. Tim Stauffer - RHP, Richmond - San Diego Padres: Like Sleeth, Stauffer didn't make his debut until 2004 but that was partly the result of an injury Stauffer disclosed to the Padres before signing. He accepted a lower signing bonus. He did well in his first full season and spent the majority of the season with AAA Portland. In 2005 he made 14 starts for the Padres, but was underwhelming in his performance for the most part. He's not an over-powering pitcher so he won't strike out a good number of guys, but he's regressed in 2006. In AAA Portland, he allowed just under one whole hit per nine innings more than in 2005 (10.75 to 11.71) and one more walk per nine innings (2 to 3).
8. Paul Maholm - LHP, Miss. State - Pittsburgh Pirates: I believe we've discussed his merits quite a bit already. It took only 36 starts for Maholm to make the Majors.
14. Ryan Wagner - RHP, Houston - Cincinatti Reds: Was Wagner ruined by appearing in the Majors too soon? At the time, Wagner had just set the NCAA record for K/9 at slightly over 16. He appeared in 17 games and held his own. But starting the next season he couldn't recapture that strikeout magic. He spent all of 2005 with the Reds but was back in the minors for 2006. He was traded to Washington in a July deal and didn't see that much difference in his results.
20. Chad Cordero - RHP, Cal State Fullerton - Montreal Expos: Cordero also debuted in his draft year and the results have been quite satisfying for the Expos and the Nationals. Cordero has become one of the better closers in the game today.
22. David Aardsma - RHP, Rice - San Francisco Giants: Aardsma formed the back end of the collegiate closers and his results have been mixed. Although he appeared in 11 games for the Giants last in 2004 he was traded during the 2005 campaign. In 2006 he spent the majority of the season with the Cubs and faired well. He was recently shipped to their cross-town rivals the White Sox for Neal Cotts.
25. Brad Sullivan - RHP, Houston - Oakland Athletics: If my memory is correct, I believe some commentator believed Sullivan would wind up as the best pitcher from this draft. That hasn't exactly happened and he hasn't put a full season together since 2004 when he started 27 games for then-Oakland affiliate Modesto. For the past two seasons he's mostly been used as a reliever in Rookie and High-A ball.
41. Daniel Moore - LHP, North Carolina - San Diego Padres: Moore has been a big disappointment for the Padres. He experienced a torn rotator cuff in 2004 and the last piece of news I can find on him is this article from madfriars.com in Nov. 2005.
44. Brian Finch - RHP, Texas A&M - Baltimore Orioles: Finch had an undistinguished debut in 2003 and was disappointing in 2004. 2005 was much better as he spent the entire season with High-A Frederick. He spent all of 2006 with AA Bowie but saw a drastic fall in his strike outs.
45. Tom Gorzelanny - LHP, Triton College - Pittsburgh Pirates: Gorzelanny is a young lefty who has been highly sought after during this off-season. 2007 will be his first full season in the Majors.
47. Scott Beerer - RHP, Texas A&M - Colorado Rockies: We know this guy.
49. Abe Alvarez - LHP, Long Beach State - Boston Red Sox: He doesn't have overwhelming stuff but for Alvarez to even make the Majors is one hell of an accomplishment. He's legally blind in his left eye.
53. Logan Kensing - RHP, Texas A&M - Florida Marlins: Quite a round for Texas A&M! He became a reliever for the Marlins in 2006 after starting throughout his career up to that point. With the Marlins going young and cheap in 2006 it was obvious Kensing would spend time with the big club in 2006. He held his own in 37 appearances after some time in the minors.
58. Scott Baker - RHP, Oklahoma State - Minnesota Twins: Baker probably needs a change of scenery to be effective but he has great upside for any team, as Twins fans have told us.
59. Jason Hirsh - RHP, California Lutheran - Houston Astros: Obscure school, big-time prospect. Hirsh was a model of consistency in the minors as he stepped up after each new level over the years. He made his Major League debut in 2006 and could be had in a Jason Jennings deal.
Chris Ray - RHP, William and Mary - Baltimore Orioles - 3rd Round: Ray emerged as top reliever in 2005 as a rookie and become one of the best young closers this season. Before 2005 he was a starter, but he became a full-time reliever in AA that year.
Jon Papelbon - RHP, Miss. State - Boston Red Sox - 4th Round: Sensational rookie season for the Sox this year but he's supposed to be in the rotation in 2007 (or so I've read).
Chad Orvella - RHP, North Carolina State - Tampa Bay Devil Rays - 13th Round: Orvella took a step back in 2006 after a successful debut in 2005. He gave up the same number of runs this year that he did in 2006 but in half the number of innings.
Anthony Reyes - RHP, Southern Cal - St. Louis Cardinals - 15th Round: His Trojans just lost to UCLA today and missed out on a chance to make up for last year's Title Game loss. The Rose Bowl isn't a bad consolation prize. As to Reyes and his performance, he started 16 games for the Cardinals and won the World Series. He was overshadowed by Mark Prior while at `SC for his first two years. Now he's a key member of the Cardinals' pitching staff.