06/07/2004 3:52 PM ET
Rockies select Nelson in first round
High school shortstop taken ninth overall in 2004 First-Year Player Draft
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies on Monday selected SS Chris
Nelson with their first pick (ninth overall) in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Nelson is the second straight position player drafted by the Rockies in the opening round and third overall, joining Todd Helton in 1995 and Ian Stewart in 2003.
Rated as the fourth best available prospect according to Baseball America, Nelson batted .582 with eight home runs, 36 RBI and 25 stolen bases for Redan (Ga.) High School this spring.
The 5-11, 175-pound right-handed hitter was tabbed by Baseball
America as the second-best position player in the draft and actually rated ahead of the No. 1 overall pick, Matt Bush of Mission Bay (S.D.) High School. Baseball America also considered the 18-year old Nelson as it's second best high school "Athlete" and third best "Defensive Player." The Decatur, Ga., native earned MVP honors at the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic on August 23, 2003 in Fort Myers, Fla.
He becomes the 12th first round selection in Rockies history, listed here below.
Year Player (Pick) Pos. School
1992 John Burke (27) RHP U. of Florida
1993 Jamey Wright (28) RHP Westmoore (Okla.) HS
1994 Doug Million (7) LHP Sarasota (Fla.) HS
1995 Todd Helton (8) 1B U. of Tennessee
1996 Jake Westbrook (21) RHP Madison Co. (Ga.) HS
1997 Mark Mangum (18) RHP Kingwood (Texas) HS
1998 Matt Roney (28) RHP Edmond North (Okla.) HS
1999 Jason Jennings (16) RHP Baylor University
2000 Matt Harrington (7) RHP Palmdale (Calif.) HS
2002 Jeff Francis (9) LHP U. of British Columbia
2003 Ian Stewart (10) 3B La Quinta (Calif.) HS
2004 Chris Nelson (9) SS Redan (Ga.) HS
*No first round pick in 2001 (awarded to New York Mets
for signing Mike Hampton)