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Interdivisional Draft Review 2001-2005: 2005

Alright, a recap of the last four years I've covered would show the following overall rank based on my "expert" evaluations (giving points in inverse order of rank):

  1. Los Angeles - 14
  2. Arizona - 13
  3. Colorado - 13
  4. San Francisco - 12
  5. San Diego - 8
I put Colorado a bit behind Arizona overall up to that point because the Snakes didn't have a flop draft like 2001 was for our team. Los Angeles made a huge turnaround since that year, and we haven't been far behind. San Francisco's lagged a bit since they had a big draft five years ago, and San Diego seems on the verge of becoming a perennial laughingstock after failing to fill their farm for four straight years.

Now onto 2005 and I'll give my initial feelings about 2006 as well. I should say we are still probably too close to 2005 to get a good feel of how it will play out, particularly in the case of high school heavy Los Angeles' picks, but here's my best guess so far:

  1. Arizona - There's a lot to like about how Arizona drafted once again. They weren't afraid to pick a player with tons of upside in Justin Upton, but then they added Torra, Owings, Neigborgall and others. Micah Owings is having a great year and he and Upton alone should be enough to give Arizona the top NL West draft of 2005.
  2. San Diego - The Padres did a good job of filling in their system, although their draft lacks the upside of others in the division. The two Cesars, pitchers Carillo and Ramos lead off this nice looking bunch.
  3. Colorado - I guess 2004 spoiled me, as looking over our draft from last year in comparison with other teams in the division, I'm more impressed than I am when comparing it to our own draft history. Tulo and Roe are solid picks in the first two slots, Durden and Sullivan could change our fortunes with choosing non-Canadian college pitchers, and Corey Wimberly was a nice little add-on bonus. If Daniel Carte or Zach Simons can start turning things around in the second half of the season (Carte might be already), even better still.
  4. Los Angeles - Not signing first round pick Luke Hochevar hurts a lot, but there are a lot of high school kids with upside that can turn this ranking around if they're able to refine their tools.
  5. San Francisco - I look at this and say, hmm, looks like the Giants thought they really needed some middle relievers. This is looking like a pretty weak draft for San Fran after one year.
So, after being helped by drafting one of the top prospects of the decade, the Diamondbacks overtake the Dodgers in my five year draft rankings:
  1. Arizona - 18
  2. Los Angeles - 17
  3. Colorado - 16
  4. San Francisco - 13
  5. San Diego - 12
I'm not going to officially rank the 2006 drafts until after short season play, but my initial impression is that Arizona and Los Angeles were once again leading the pack, but I have a feeling we shouldn't count out the Rockies' selections yet from being in contention for tops in the division. I like San Francisco's picks (Lincecum should be their future closer) and San Diego isn't as bad as it has been in past years. Still, those two farm systems have a lot of ground to make up on the top three in the division.