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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
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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)      
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