2004 baseball draft capsules
By Rod Beaton, USA TODAY
Here are capsule glances of the first-round picks selected in Monday's first-year player baseball draft:
1. San Diego: SS-RHP Matt Bush of Mission Bay, Calif. Signability added to the appeal of a first-rate prep infielder. He won't play short or second. Khalil Greene and Josh Barfield are the long-range answer at these spots. Bush is extremely athletic, with wrists and forearms that compare to Pedro Martinez. He's also a highly agile shortstop.
2. Detroit: The Tigers are rebuilding around pitching and RHP Justin Verlander of Old Dominion has the arm to be a staff ace.
3. New York Mets: RHP Philip Humber was the most polished of the three first-round picks from Rice University and the first to go.
4. Tampa Bay: RHP Jeff Niemann has the most potential and size (6-foot-9, 260) of the Rice three, but he had a groin injury this season.
5. Milwaukee: The Brewers grabbed a cool-weather arm, RHP Mark Rogers, twice Maine's high school player of the year.
6. Cleveland: LHP Jeremy Sowers of Vanderbilt is polished, but not exceptionally hard-throwing. Comparisons to Tom Glavine are inevitable.
7. Cincinnati: RHP Homer Bailey of LaGrange, Texas, has a mid-90s fastball. He was 11-0 this season.
8. Baltimore: RHP Wade Townsend was the third Rice pick and least acclaimed. He was 11-0 with a 1.68 ERA.
9. Colorado: SS Chris Nelson of Stone Mountain, Ga., might have rated over Bush, had he not had elbow surgery before last season.
10. Texas: The Rangers reaffirmed their hunt for pitching with RHP Thomas Diamond, a mid-90s power guy out of New Orleans.
11. Pittsburgh: The Pirates have been unhappy with their catching for some time, looking to deal Jason Kendall and/or awaiting J.R. House, so catcher Neil Walker looked good. His dad pitched in the majors.
12. Anaheim: RHP Jered Weaver. Just a week ago or so he might have been the No. 1 pick overall. Then the Padres downgraded his stuff and balked at a perception of a huge signing demand. New Angels ownership will get a deal done.
13. Montreal: The Expos got their top pick (pitcher Chad Cordero) to the majors last season. They hope for the same from William & Mary's Billy Bray.
14. Kansas City: Infielder Billy Butler of Wolfson High in Florida.
15. Arizona: SS Stephen Drew became the third in his family (after J.D. and Tim) to be drafted in the first round, but there is no joy in Haharra, Georgia today. Stephen slipped back in the draft just like Jered Weaver did. It's no accident that both are represented by tough advisor Scott Boras.
16. Toronto: The Jays got a big left-hander from Oklahoma, David Purcey; a big body with decent stuff.
17. Los Angeles: LHP Timothy Elbert of Seneca High in Missouri. Scouts say he has unusual savvy and knows how to pitch
18. Chicago White Sox: They took third baseman Josh Fields of Oklahoma State, who led his team as quarterback to win the Cotton Bowl.
19. St. Louis: RHP Chris Lambert of Boston College will spurn a promising future in hockey.
20. Minnesota: The Twins snared SS/P Trevor Plouffe of Crespi High in California. He's a wiry pitcher with good action on his pitches.
21. Philadelphia: Usually bent on pitching, the Phillies go for OF Greg Golson of John Connally High. He can become a power hitter.
22. Minnesota: LHP Glen Perkins of Minnesota can be a lefty relief specialist.
23. New York Yankees: RHP Philip Hughes of Foothill High in California has good mechanics and good body control.
24. Oakland: C Landon Powell of South Carolina. He beat a weight problem and is coveted as a solid defender.
25. Minnesota: The Twins' third pick in the first 25 is RHP Kyle Waldrop of Farragut High in Tennessee. He's been compared to Kevin Brown.
26. Oakland: CF Richard Robnett is compared to Ray Lankford for his quick bat and mastery of the strike zone.
27. Florida: Alabama LHP Taylor Tankersley. Not related to Dennis Tankersley of San Diego. Has been compared to a healthy Denny Neagle.
28. Los Angeles: 2B Blake DeWitt of Sikeston High in Missouri is not a glamorous pick. He has a chance to be a confident second baseman with power potential.
29. Kansas City: South Carolina LHP Matt Campbell, a control lefty from the Jamie Moyer school, he throws 85 to 87 mph.
30. Texas: RHP Eric Hurley has been compared to Orel Hershiser in that he keeps his pitches down in the strike zone and they have late break.
I've hilighted a few names that stood out to me for whatever reason...