MLS Draft 2012: Portland Timbers Select Andrew Jean-Baptiste

The Portland Timbers traded Kenny Cooper earlier in the day and Chandler Hoffman is sitting on the board, but the Timbers have opted to upgrade their defense. Bypassing some arguably better and certainly lower-risk attacking players, the Timbers have added the extremely athletic, but incomplete Andrew Jean-Baptiste.

Jean-Baptiste undoubtedly has the highest ceiling of any central defender in the draft. At 6-foot-2, 205 lbs. and blessed with quick feet, there isn't anything physically that Jean Baptiste cannot do. He just may be the best athlete in the draft regardless of position and he proved very durable at UConn as well. He played every minute of every match in 2011 en route to Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors on as the anchor of a Huskies defense that had 16 clean sheets in 25 matches.

For all his upside, Jean Baptiste is a little raw right now. He struggles passing the ball out of the back at times and his decision making has come under question. He showed growth from his freshman to sophomore season so there is plenty reason to believe he will continue to improve and make good on his freakish athletic ability, but this remains a bit of risky pick for Portland.

For live coverage of the draft, make sure to follow this StoryStream.

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