The amateur draft begins on June 4, and at week's end the only certainty was that there were no surefire top five picks. Why? For starters, the available college talent is thin, especially compared with last year, when righthanders Mark Prior (chosen by the Cubs) and Dewon Brazelton (Devil Rays) and third baseman Mark Teixeira ( Rangers) were locks to be picked among the top five. This year's draft pool is heavy on high school players and, therefore, hard to get a handle on. "Because of that, a lot of teams are still finding their way," says one scouting director whose team has a pick in the top 10. Here is an educated guess at the first five selections.
1. Pirates. Bryan Bullington, RHP, Ball State; 6'5", 225 pounds. Junior's stock has risen in recent weeks thanks to 11-3 record, 2.84 ERA. Sinker-slider pitcher with excellent command.
2. Devil Rays. B.J. Upton, SS, Greenbrier Christian Academy ( Chesapeake, Va.); 6'2", 167. One scouting director calls .614 hitter a " Barry Larkin-or Pokey Reese-type athlete."
3. Reds. Scott Kazmir, LHP, Cypress Falls High ( Houston); 6 feet, 178. A Little Unit-fastball blazes at 94 to 97 mph. Fanned 172 in 74? innings this season.
4. Orioles. Adam Loewen, LHP, Fraser Valley Christian High (Surrey, B.C.); 6'6", 215. Another power lefty. Would be first Canadian ever taken in the top 10.
5. Expos. Chris Gruler, RHP, Liberty High ( Brentwood, Calif.); 6'3", 200. Struck out 135 in 66? innings; named California high school player of the year.