Diamondbacks take high school SS Upton No. 1 in MLB Draft
ESPN - By Ticker Story
June 7, 2005
NEW YORK (Ticker) - Justin Upton one-upped his brother.
The Virginia high school shortstop was selected No. 1 overall by
the Arizona Diamondbacks in Major League Baseball's First-Year
Player Draft on Tuesday.
Upton's older brother, B.J., was picked second overall by the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2002, making them the highest-drafted
siblings in baseball history.
"Justin comes from an extremely talented, athletic family and
possesses all of the tools and qualities to eventually become
one of the top players in the game," Diamondbacks director of
scouting Mike Rizzo said. "He is one of those very special
athletes who in the final analysis we really wanted to be a part
of our organization."
It marked the third straight year and sixth time in the last
seven years that the top pick was a high school player. The San
Diego Padres selected shortstop Matt Bush last year and the
Devil Rays took outfielder Delmon Young in 2003.
The 17-year-old Upton, who also can play third base and the
outfield, hit .519 with 11 homers and 32 RBI in just 54 plate
appearances for Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia
The Diamondbacks also considered pitchers Mike Pelfrey of
Wichita State and Craig Hansen of St. John's with the No. 1
"The college pitching was something that had some allure to us
but it was just too tough to pass up this player," Rizzo said.
It probably didn't help that Pelfrey and Hansen are represented
by agent Scott Boras. Just last week, the Diamondbacks finally
signed shortstop Stephen Drew, their first-round pick in 2004
who is represented by Boras.
Seven more players were selected before the New York Mets took
the 6-7 Pelfrey ninth overall. He has a fastball clocked in the
high 90s and struck out 143 in 139 2/3 innings.
Hansen, a 6-6 closer with a 95 miles-per-hour fastball, took an
even bigger fall, getting selected 26th overall by the world
champion Boston Red Sox.
The Kansas City Royals took Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon,
one of five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award as the
nation's top college player, with the second overall pick.
"Alex is a guy we had targeted for a long time," Royals senior
director of scouting Deric Ladnier said. "He has an impact bat,
plays a good third base and has tremendous leadership skills."
Gordon is hitting .382 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 67 games
The Seattle Mariners picked Southern California catcher Jeff
Clement third overall. He is batting .347 with 13 homers and 50
RBI this season.
The Washington Nationals stayed local, selecting University of
Virginia third baseman Ryan Zimmerman fourth overall, while the
Milwaukee Brewers took University of Miami third baseman Ryan
The first pitcher selected was lefthander Ricky Romero of Cal
State Fullerton by the Toronto Blue Jays with the sixth overall
pick. The Colorado Rockies took Long Beach State shortstop Troy
Tulowitzki seventh overall.
Righthander Wade Townsend of Rice, the only 2004 first-round
pick who did not sign, was allowed to enter the draft again and
was selected eighth overall by the Devil Rays. The Baltimore
Orioles were unable to sign Townsend after drafting him last
High school players went from picks 10 to 13. The Detroit
Tigers took outfielder Cameron Maybin from Roberson in North
Carolina; the Pittsburgh Pirates selected outfielder Andrew
McCutchen from Fort Meade in Florida; the Cincinnati Reds picked
Jay Bruce from West Brook in Texas and the Orioles grabbed
catcher Brandon Snyder from Westfield in Virginia.
The Cleveland Indians selected Arizona outfielder Trevor Crowe
14th overall and the Chicago White Sox, who own baseball's best
record, took pitcher Lance Broadway with the 15th pick.
The Florida Marlins had three first-round picks and selected
Christopher Volstad of Palm Beach Gardens High School, pitchers
Aaron Thompson of Second Baptist School in Texas and Jacob
Marceaux of McNeese State with the 16th, 22nd and 29th picks,
respectively. The last two first-round picks were compensation
for losing free agent pitchers Armando Benitez and Carl Pavano.
The Red Sox and National League champion St. Louis Cardinals
each had two first-round picks.
The Red Sox took outfielder Jacoby Ellsburg of Oregon State 23rd
overall and Hansen. The Cardinals selected high school
outfielder Colby Rasmus of Russell County in Alabama and
shortstop James Greene of Georgia Tech with the 28th and 30th
The New York Yankees had the 17th pick after losing pitcher Jon
Lieber to Philadelphia and took high school shortstop Carl Henry
of Putnam City in Oklahoma.
The San Diego Padres selected pitcher Cesar Carillo of Miami
18th overall; the Texas Rangers took outfielder John Mayberry of
Stanford with the 19th pick; and the Chicago Cubs tabbed high
school pitcher Mark Pavelek of Springville in Utah 20th overall.
The Oakland Athletics selected Texas A&M shortstop Clifton
The Houston Astros used the 24th pick on righthander Brian
Bogusevic of Tulane, the Minnesota Twins took lefthander Matthew
Albidrez-Garza of Fresno State 25th overall and the Atlanta
Braves selected righthander Joseph Devine of North Carolina
State 27th overall.
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