D-backs Keep Budding Superstar in Phoenix Part III
Justin Upton is the star of baseball’s most recent stellar draft class.
The 2005 Major League draft might end up being to baseball what the 1984 draft was for the NBA (Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and John Stockton) or what the 1983 draft was for the NFL (John Elway, Eric Dickerson, Bruce Matthews, Jim Kelley, Dan Marino and Darrel Green). Those were drafts that defined the superstars of their sport for the next two decades.
Take a look again at the top 10 of the 2005 MLB draft:
1. Justin Upton, D-backs
2. Alex Gordon, Royals
3. Jeff Clement, Mariners
4. Jeff Zimmerman, Nationals
5. Ryan Braun, Brewers
6. Ricky Romero, Blue Jays
7. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
8. Wade Townsend, Rays
9. Mike Pelfrey, Mets
10. Cameron Maybin, Tigers
Upton, Zimmerman and Braun have all been to the All-Star Game already. Tulowitzki finished fifth in MVP voting in 2009. Maybin has developed a little slower than his fellow first-round batters, but should get plenty of at bats to show his talent in Florida this year. Romero had a nice rookie season for the Blue Jays last year. Only Townsend hasn’t played in the big leagues.
Outside of the top 10 in the first round of that draft, you’ll find Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, Colby Rasmus and Clay Buchholz.
After the first round, there was 22nd round pick Tommy Hanson, Nolan Reimold, Kevin Slowey, Yunel Escobar and John Lannan.
(Four future stars were also picked that year, but won’t be considered members of this class because didn’t sign until being drafted again in 2006, including all stars Tim Lincecum and Andrew Bailey, along with two of the top 15 prospects in baseball, Buster Posey and Brian Matusz.)
It’s very possible that over the next decade or two, a good amount of the biggest stars in the game are in this particular draft class. Upton was at the top of this class five years ago, and there’s no reason he can’t stay at the top of it.