Among the biggest crapshoots in sports is the amateur baseball draft, which will be conducted in New York Monday through Wednesday. . . .
Not even Mel Kiper Jr. can be certain how these guys are going to turn out. . . .
The tone was set during the first draft in 1965. The first player selected, outfielder Rick Monday, went on to a distinguished career. But the second choice, pitcher Les Rohr, appeared in only six major league games and the fourth, infielder Alex Barrett, never got out of the minors. . . .
Tom Seaver was picked in the 24th round by the Dodgers that year but decided to return to USC. . . .
The only active player remaining from the first draft is Nolan Ryan, who was a 10th-round choice of the Mets. . . .
With the top pick in 1966, the Mets took catcher Steve Chilcott over an outfielder from Arizona State named Reggie Jackson. . . .
The Dodgers' memorable class of 1968 included Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Davey Lopes, Bill Buckner, Joe Ferguson, Tom Paciorek, Doyle Alexander and Geoff Zahn. . . .
Archie Manning, Steve Bartkowski and Joe Theismann were drafted in 1971. Must have been their throwing ability. . . .
In 1973, the Dodgers wanted a catcher in the first round. The trouble was, they selected Ted Farr of Spokane instead of Gary Carter of Fullerton. . . .
Players from Canada are eligible for the draft, but those from the Dominican Republic are not. . . .
Keith Hernandez was a 42nd-round choice. . . .
"More important than how a prospect plays today is how you envision him playing in four years, says George Genovese, the San Francisco Giants' Southern California scout who has signed some of baseball's best players during the last 30 years. . . .
Jim Abbott, the University of Michigan pitcher selected by the Angels in 1988, became the 16th draftee to bypass the minor leagues on his way to the majors. . . .
Last year's No. 1 pick, left-handed pitcher Brien Taylor, is 2-4 with a 3.51 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings for the New York Yankees' Ft. Lauderdale team in the Florida State League. . . .
Phil Nevin, the Cal State Fullerton third baseman who is expected to be taken first by the Houston Astros on Monday, was picked in the third round by the Dodgers in 1990, but he turned down a $100,000 bonus. . . .
Nevin is one of many blue-chip prospects who will be in Omaha for the College World Series while the draft is being conducted. Funny. It would be like the NBA holding its draft during the Final Four. . . .
More players now are being drafted out of college than high school. Last June, it was 927 to 626. . . .
Fifteen members of the immediate and extended Goossen family worked the Ten Goose Boxing Club show Tuesday night at the Country Club in Reseda. Their jobs ranged from promoting to T-shirt vending. . . .
Among them was junior middleweight P.J. Goossen, who made his professional debut with an impressive third-round knockout over Nelson Mejia. In P.J.'s corner was his father Pat. . . .
Don King has dropped to No. 3 among fight promoters, behind Dan Duva and Bob Arum. . . .
What's so tough about football players? Atlanta Falcon defensive back Brian Jordan is on the St. Louis Cardinals' disabled list. . . .
Name Game: During Omar Olivares' brief stint on the mound for the Cardinals against the Dodgers Tuesday night, Vin Scully mentioned that another O.O. who pitched in the majors was Orval Overall. . . .
Overall actually had a good career, overall, and was 3-1 in World Series games for the Chicago Cubs in 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1910. . . .
Doug Moe's sense of humor might be just what Charles Barkley needs. . . .
As he demonstrated again Tuesday night in Portland, Clyde Drexler is one of the few NBA players capable of taking charge of an important game at crunch time. . . .
Portland-Utah isn't the greatest NBA series ever, but it might be the loudest. . . .
A surprise first-round selection in the NBA draft could be Marlon Maxie, a 6-10 forward from Texas El Paso. Like former teammate Tim Hardaway, Maxie was voted most valuable player in the Portsmouth, Va., tournament for pro prospects. . . .
Not even tennis is free from the outbreak of violence that plagues sports. Did you see the sucker punch Karel Novacek threw at Derrick Rostagno after they shook hands following their match in the French Open? Vicious.