NEW YORK, June 2 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who already feature a number of talented young players, figure to add another one when they make the first selection in Tuesday's First-Year Player Draft.
The Devils Rays continue to struggle at the major league level but there has been considerable progress made this season - the first under manager Lou Piniella. Most of the enthusiasm has been generated by talented young outfielders Rocco Baldelli and Carl Crawford.
Tampa Bay will have a chance to add another young outfielder if it so chooses as high school standouts Ryan Harvey and Delmon Young are among the favorites to be taken with the No. 1 pick. The Devil Rays reportedly also are considering Southern University second baseman Rickie Weeks and high school lefthander Andrew Miller.
Harvey, from Dunedin, Fla., is a strapping power hitter who eventually could complement the more speed-oriented tandem of Crawford and Baldelli. At a recent workout for the Devil Rays, he drilled a couple of balls over the center field wall.
Young, who hails from California, worked out for the Devil Rays in mid-May and equally was impressive. The younger brother of Detroit Tiger Dmitri Young, Delmon has an even bigger upside than his brother, who is among the better pure hitters when healthy.
Weeks has the chance to make the most immediate impact, especially with Tampa Bay uncertain about its future up the middle. Last year's top pick, shortstop B.J. Upton, figures to be an impact player down the road and the club could chose to pair Upton and Weeks.
Except for 2001, when they took Middle Tennessee State's Dewon Brazelton - who already is in the club's rotation - the Devil Rays have selected a high school player with their top pick in every draft since 1996.
The Milwaukee Brewers, who also worked out Young and were impressed, pick second, followed by the Tigers. The San Diego
Padres and Kansas City Royals round out the top five.
With teams surrendering picks for free agent signings, the Philadelphia Phillies have the distinction of being the last team to make a choice. Philadelphia, which signed Jim Thome and David Bell in the offseason, has the 86th pick.
Other players that could crack the top five are college righthanders Tim Stauffer and Kyle Sleeth and Massachusetts high school righthander Jeff Allison.
The First-Year Player Draft, which consists of 50 rounds, has been held every year since 1965 with clubs making their selection via conference call. Picks are made in reverse order of 2002 standings with the two leagues alternating choices.