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Review of the 2001 Baseball Draft

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Here's a review of the 2001 Baseball Draft.

1) Twins: Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota HS: He's had some injury problems but when healthy he's excellent, and picking the "affordable" hometown choice over Mark Prior turned out to be the right move.

2) Cubs: Mark Prior, RHP, USC: He proved he could be a very effective major league pitcher until his arm fell off. "Perfect" mechanics weren't enough to save him.

3) Devil Rays: Dewon Brazelton, RHP, Middle Tennessee State: Scouts loved his arm but warned that he needed a better breaking ball. He never developed it.

4) Phillies: Gavin Floyd, RHP, Maryland HS: Erratic, has had flashes of good performance but hasn't been able to put it together yet.

5) Rangers: Mark Teixeira, 3B, Georgia Tech: Consensus best hitter available turned into a really great hitter.

6) Expos: Josh Karp, RHP, UCLA: He threw hard but never lived up to expectations in college. This remained true as a pro, undone by command issues and injury.

7) Orioles: Chris Smith, LHP, Cumberland University: Small college guy did nothing in the pros.

8) Pirates: John VanBenschoten, RHP-OF, Kent State: The Pirates made him a pitcher when most everyone else thought he should be a hitter. Injuries cost him his fastball, in this case consensus was probably right.

9) Royals: Colt Griffin, RHP, Texas HS: The Royals were seduced by a 100 MPH high school fastball that was never replicated in the pros. Injuries, command problems, loss of velocity, and bad makeup made this a pick to be regretted.

10) Astros: Chris Burke, SS, Tennessee: He has been disappointing, but I don't think the Astros handled him well and  under different circumstances I think he could have developed.

11) Tigers: Ken Baugh, RHP, Rice: Ruined by injuries.

12) Brewers: Mike Jones, RHP, Arizona HS: Ruined by injuries.

13) Angels: Casey Kotchman, 1B, Florida HS: On his way to an excellent career.

14) Padres: Jake Gautreau, 3B, Tulane: Injuries, including intestinal problems and skin cancer, were issues. Bat topped out in Triple-A.

15) Blue Jays: Gabe Gross, OF, Auburn: Developed into a reserve outfielder, platoon guy, and pinch-hitter.

16) White Sox: Kris Honel, RHP, Illinois HS: Injuries, loss of velocity and confidence.

17) Indians: Dan Denham, RHP, California HS: Command issues, injuries.

18) Mets; Aaron Heilman, RHP, Notre Dame: A solid major league reliever.

19) Orioles: Mike Fontenot, 2B, LSU: A solid major league infielder.

20) Reds: Jeremy Sowers, LHP, Kentucky HS: Did not sign

21) Giants: Brad Hennessey, RHP, Youngstown State: A solid major league reliever.

22) Diamondbacks: Jason Bulger, RHP, Valdosta State: Injuries and command problems.

23) Yankees: John-Ford Griffin, OF, Florida State. Was supposed to be a pure hitter, .300+ guy with some power. Instead he developed into a Triple-A slugger with a low batting average.

24) Braves: Macay McBride, LHP, Georgia HS: Has had some success as a major league reliever.

25) Athletics: Bobby Crosby, SS, Long Beach State: Moments of success, but hitting has been dragged down by injuries.

26) Athletics: Jeremy Bonderman, RHP, Washington HS: Traded quickly, has had flashes of dominance but still putting his game together. At worst an inning-eating starter.

27) Indians: Alan Horne, RHP, Florida HS: Didn't sign. Now a prospect in Yankees system.

28) Cardinals: Justin Pope, RHP, University of Central Florida: Injuries.

29) Braves: Josh Burrus, SS, Georgia HS: Tools, raw, never learned to hit.

30) Giants: Noah Lowry, LHP, Pepperdine: A solid major league starter.

Other picks of note:

38) Mets: David Wright, 3B, Virginia HS: When all is said and done, could be the best player in the draft.

56) Brewers: J.J. Hardy, SS, Arizona HS

72) Cardinals: Dan Haren, RHP, Pepperdine: Obviously excellent.

5th round, Phillies, Ryan Howard, 1B, Southwest Missouri State; 5th round, Cubs, Brendan Harris, 2B, William and Mary; 5th round, Rangers, C.J. Wilson, LHP, Loyola Marymount; 7th round, Athletics, Dan Johnson, 1B, University of Nebraska; 8th round: Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis, 3B, University of Cincinnati; 9th round, Indians, Luke Scott, OF, Oklahoma State; 11th round: Arizona: Dan Uggla, 2B, University of Memphis; 11th round, Cubs, Geovany Soto, C, Puerto Rico HS.

Obviously the '01 draft wasn't a great one in the first round. You have the usual injury attrition for pitchers, both high school and college. Mauer and Teixeira are great. Wright, a supplemental pick, could be the best guy of all. And you have a terrific power hitter lasting until the 5th round in Ryan Howard. The draft day scoop on Howard was that he had enormous raw power but struck out too much, didn't field well, and wasn't as dominant as he needed to be for Southwest Missouri.