06/07/05 4:04 PM ET
Giants pick speedy outfielder first
Pitt center fielder Copeland top choice for San Francisco
By Rich Draper / MLB.com
But Copeland has some tools and was rated the draft's 118th best player by Baseball America."Ben is a good defensive center fielder with speed," said Dick Tidrow, the Giants' vice president of player personnel. "He's an offensive left-handed batter and definitely a basestealing threat. "You can't beat around and look for tools, you have to look for now products," Tidrow added, noting Copeland would start at Salem-Keizer's short-season Class A loop but is projected to play at Class A San Jose next year. "He has some pop, is an all-around player and was one of the best left on the board," said Tidrow. "At that pick, we were looking for speed or a good pitcher. "He's a top-of-the-order guy but not leadoff because he has some pop." Still, there was much drumming of fingers and anxiousness as the time clicked by, waiting for their turn. Round one ... round two ... (whew) ... round by round it went. Almost an eternity -- this was the club's latest draft pick ever. "It seemed like three hours," said Tidrow, close to the mark. "It was difficult to go into a draft and sit there for a real long time and not have anything to do, then look back and see there's 130 picks off the board. I wouldn't recommend it if you want to have good drafts." Copeland reportedly fared well in the top-rated Cape Cod League last summer, batting .278, and was a strong basestealer. Termed the fifth-fastest outfielder in college, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Copeland stole a team-best 29 bases and paced the Panthers to their fourth straight 30-win season and to the Big East Tournament final.
U. of Pittsburgh
Position: CF B/T: L/L
H: 6'1" W: 195
Born: 1983-12-17 Class: 4YR
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.