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Rays draft for future success
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06/05/2002 7:00 pm ET 
Rays draft for future success
Club selects three with ties to the organization
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com

Chuck LaMar, the Rays' general manager, is confident the club's top draft picks can help build a winning tradition at Tropicana Field. (Steve Nesius/AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The entire 2002 Devil Rays draft gives an indication that the team, which has yet to crack .500 in its first four years, continues to build for the long haul.

Of their 50 picks, 29 were high school players, full of promise and ready to learn and improve, but mostly they are more than just a couple years away from making a major impact.

“That’s probably due to what was on the board and what we like best,’’ said Rays scouting director Dan Jennings. “(Good high school players) was pretty much what was out there.’’

The fact that the Rays have picked in the top three in their seven years of drafting means they have a number of former prep stars who should be making their way to the Majors in the next few years.

“You just have to capitalize on (being at the top of the draft),’’ general manager Chuck Lamar said. “This organization has to win big in scouting and player development. If we can continue to get our hands on B. J. Uptons, Carl Crawfords, Josh Hamiltons and Rocco Baldellis, if healthy, these young men are going to play at the Major League level and have an impact. We've got to capitalize on those high picks and so far so good."

2002 First-Year Player Draft
JUNE 4-5 | NEW YORK CITY
Draft order | Rules | FAQ

FULL COVERAGE:
Bullington goes first
Drafttracker
Complete Draft coverage

With lots of top hitting prospects in the minors, the Rays drafted their fair share of pitchers -- 29.

“I think in any year, whether it's determined to be a strong or weak pitching draft, half of your draftees are going to be pitchers," Jennings said.

Overall, the Rays took obvious talent (No. 1 pick Upton), a gamble here (No. 13 Matt Harrington), a couple of Rays siblings (No. 8 Joseph Gomes and No. 43 Justin Standridge) and an organizational son (No. 43 Daron Roberts).

This is the third time Harrington, a pitcher, has been drafted and the Rays hope they can get him signed so he can realize his potential. Gomes is the brother of last year’s No. 18 pick, Jonny Gomes, and Standridge is the brother of Triple-A starter and former No. 1 pick, Jason Standridge. In Roberts, they picked the son of Rays’ national cross checker Dave Roberts, who was an overall No. 1 pick in 1972 by the Padres.

“In Gomes, we get a guy with the same big bat as his brother,’’ Jennings said. “Standridge has a very similar build to his brother and throws 88-90. And Roberts (a junior college catcher) is good guy to have and watch for the future.’’

DEVIL RAYS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
2 MELVIN E UPTON SS GREENBRIER CHRISTIAN ACAD
43 JASON O PRIDIE CF PRESCOTT HS
74 ELIJAH D DUKES CF HILLSBOROUGH HS
104 WESLEY W BANKSTON OF PLANO EAST SR HS
134 MARK J ROMANCZUK LHP ST MARKS HS
164 CESAR RAMOS LHP EL RANCHO HS
194 JEFFREY S AUTREY RHP U NORTH CAROLINA
224 JOSEPH G GOMES LF SANTA CLARA U
254 CHRISTOPHER A LEROUX C ST JOSEPH SS
284 JASON A HAMMEL RHP TREASURE VALLEY CC
314 ADAM C MORENO RHP FRESNO HS
344 BLAIR K IRVIN CF PATTERSON HS
374 MATTHEW J HARRINGTON RHP NO SCHOOL
404 NICHOLAS A DEBARR RHP LASSEN COL
434 MICHAEL A PELFREY RHP WICHITA HEIGHTS HS
464 MIKE PROCHASKA LHP NORTH CAROLINA ST U
494 ERNEST L WOODRUFF C GULF COAST CC
524 ROMELIO S LOPEZ RHP CONROE HS
554 COLE SMITH RHP ROCKWALL HS
584 JARRED M FARRELL RHP HAHNVILLE HS
614 CHRISTOPHER G GARCIA RHP XAVERIAN HS
644 TRAVIS A INGLE RHP CALIFORNIA ST U
674 JACOBY M ELLSBURY CF MADRAS HS
704 ADAM C NIKOLIC OF CALIFORNIA ST U
734 BRIAN BULGER RHP GEORGIA COLLEGE
764 JARRAD J LAVERGNE LHP WESTGATE HS
794 BRANDON M MANN LHP MT RAINIER HS
824 ADAM J OLERIO RHP NORTH KINGSTON HS
854 MICHAEL J MCGOWAN RHP NAVARRO JC
884 MICHAEL R GEDDES RHP JENISON HS
914 ISIAH D GARNER LHP UNIV. OF ARKANSAS PLINE B
944 RODNEY C KEENER LHP MINDEN HS
974 COLTYN C SIMMONS C DURANGO HS
1004 JOHN-AUSTIN EMMONS OF WHARTON COUNTY JC
1034 LUKE COSMOS RHP MCATEER HIGH SCHOOL
1064 DIONISIO G MUYCO C RICHLAND HS
1094 SHANE SHELLEY SS BELLE CHASSE HIGH SCHOOL
1124 MATTHEW COBB LHP SHELTON ST CC
1154 BRANDON C ROUSSEVE SS HOLY CROSS HS
1184 JUSTIN J HOPES RHP JEANERETTE HS
1214 DARON C ROBERTS C CONSUMNES RIVER CC
1244 BRANDON H FEDERICI LHP RIVERVIEW HIGH SCHOOL
1274 STEVEN SKINNER 2B SANTA ROSA JC
1302 ROLANDO QUINONEZ C NO SCHOOL
1330 JUSTIN W STANDRIDGE RHP CLAY CHALKVILLE HS
1357 REJINO N GONZALEZ LHP CC SOUTHERN NEVADA
1383 ADAM M DALBY C DAINGERFIELD HIGH SCHOOL
1409 JASON URQUIDEZ RHP CENTRAL ARIZONA COL
1435 MICHAEL S SANDERS RHP U ALABAMA
1459 BRYAN BANKS RHP ST PETERSBURG CC

Paul C. Smith covers the Devil Rays for MLB.com and can be reached at paul.smith@mlb.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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