Jon Heyman writes in this week’s Sports Illustrated that 2005 may rank as the “best … draft … class … ever.
Rays righthander Matt Garza, member of the vaunted 2005 draft, was throwing a no-hitter into the seventh inning last Thursday—until, that is, he faced another alum from what well may be the best… draft… class…ever. And there went Garza’s bid for history. Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (the No. 23 pick) legged out an infield single against Garza (No. 25), Boston’s only hit that night.
Garza was the ALCS MVP in 2008, and Ellsbury was a World Series hero the year before, yet neither was considered even close to the cream of the ’05 bumper crop. “That first round, especially the first half of that first round, is amazing,” says acting Nationals G.M. Mike Rizzo, who as Arizona’s scouting director that year took outfield superstar-in-waiting Justin Upton with the first pick. “I can’t remember one draft with more big names or more impact. It’s like a Who’s Who of amateur players.”
Six players from that class—Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz—appeared on the cover of SI’s Baseball Preview last year (inset). But there are dozens more where they came from: Of the 30 players selected in the regular phase of the first round, 20 have already reached the majors.
Garrett Olson (a supplemental pick),
and Chorye Spoone.
Oh, and don’t forget about Jeremy Bloor, the 1487th pick who was taken in the 50th round. I dont’ know about you, but I’ll always consider 2005 the Jeremy Bloor Draft.