Players to make an impact from past drafts:
1998 (best draft ever): #1-Kearns, #2-Dunn, #12-Koronka (Texas, initially traded to A's), #17-Ryan (Toronto, traded to Balimore for Jaun Guzman), #41-Coffey.......Josh Hall (#7) still in system. grade: A+
1999: #2-Broussard (Cleveland-traded for Branyan)....only player left in Reds system is Brad Salmon (AA). grade: D-
2000: Zilch. #1-Espinosa and #1B-Mosely traded to DET and ANA repectively.....only players left in system are #2-Sardinha, who should be polishing up his resume soon, and #10-"Noochie" Varner. grade: D-
2001: Zilch. Punted #1-Sowers. Ooooh, sneaky. Only players left in system are #4-Kelly (AA), #18-Bannon (AA), #20-Guiterrez (AAA), and #32-Shafer. grade: D- (would be an F, if not for potential of future closer/set-up man, Shafer)
2002: Decent. #1-Chris (Tom Terrific) Gruler, a nice waste of 2.5 M on a HS arm. #1B-Mark Schramek, a pathetic signability pick that would have been available 5-8 rounds later has flamed out. Still hope for #2-Votto and #19-Denorifia has been a pleasant mid-round surprise. #4-Vazquez, and #39-Medlock are two decent prospects still floating around the system. A few others left, but nothing special. #23-Nick Markakis (D & F) never signed and now one of the top prospects in Oriole system. grade: too early to tell, but right now I give it a C- and I think I'm being generous.
2003: #1-Ryan Wagner is just waiting to get out of the system to put together a Jenks/Turnbow-like resurrection. So far, he's been a bust, but in fairness he was probably rushed - just like the other 1st rd pick Chad Cordero (Wash), but apparently didn't have the stomach for the rush job like "Chief" had. #2-Pauly and #6-Gardner both showed promise before typical organizational injuries. Still hope for: #7-Guevara (AA), #11-Hendley (Hi-A), and possibly #16-Dickerson (AA). grade: too early to tell, but right now C- and possibly worse for not protecting their investments.
2004: #1-Bailey is the top prospect in the system. The only potential prospects are #2-Syzmanski (Lo-A), #5-Janish (Hi-A), #7-Valliquette (Lo-A), #10-Young (Lo-A), and maybe #12-Strait, and #13-Anderson. #3-Tatum has been a bust and may be unemployed soon like the other overvalued draft-day catcher - Sardinha. grade: again too soon to tell, but potential with Bailey and afew others to be a decent draft. B
2005: #1-Bruce and #2-Wood are a great foundation, with potential prospects in #3-Ward, #4-LeCure, #9-Loo, #12-Rosales, #14-Griffin, and a few other D & F's. Too soon to tell, but quite possibly the best draft since 1998. grade: Right now - A. I'm feeling warm and fuzzy with this one for some reason. We'll see.
2006: Stubbs a decent pick. We'll see with the rest. grade: INC.