For those of you that enjoy following the draft & the draft & follow process, this is a particularly exciting time of year. The Brewers hit the draft & follow deadline by signing 5 of their 2002 draftees that were still eligible to join the organization. Here are those 5 players with a brief run down of their skills:
1. Justin Barnes - Manatee Community College - 3B -15th round pick in 2002. 6'3" 200, R/R. Justin was drafted out of high school by the Mets in 2001, and again by the Brewers last year as a pitcher. This past year Justin progressed at the plate, showing some pretty nice power potential. He has a nice-sized, athletic frame & moves well. He also has a strong arm that should play anywhere on the field. He probably could stay at shortstop for now, but the Brewers are going to bring him into their system as a 3B, a position of need from top to bottom. Barnes likely will debut at Helena when their season begins June 17.
2. Dana Eveland - College of the Canyons-LHP-16th round. 6'1" 215, L/L. Dana is a fairly polished lefty that can throw 4 good pitches for strikes. He changes speeds well & induces ground balls using a low 90s fastball, a curve & an improving changeup. He can also mix up his fastball by taking a little velocity off of it to get it to either sink or cut. He will begin his professional career at Helena.
3. Adam Mannon - Chandler-Gilbert CC-OF-17th round. 6'3" 215, R/R. Mannon is somewhat of a raw prospect that has all of the physical tools to succeed. He has the perfect baseball build, with an intriguing combination of power & speed. He also has a strong arm that projects to be an above average tool. This complete package should make Mannon your prototypical right-fielder, but he needs some work & could start his career on June 23 with the beginning of the rookie league Arizona Brewers.
4. Simon Beresford - Texarkana College-RHP-32nd round. 6'5" 215, R/R. Beresford is a native Australian, and a big one at that. Great sized pitcher that could endure the long innings of a starter. He also has good stuff, showing a powerful low 90s fastball that is always breaking down given his stature. Also in his repertoire is an advanced changeup, and a developing curveball. Beresford like so many other DFE signees is raw, and is going to need to develop his consistency, command & overall game. Beresford at this point in time has been assigned to Helena.
5. Tim Dillard - Itawamba CC-RHP/C-34th round. 6'4" 225, R/R. The Brewers have liked Dillard for quite some time now, drafting him in both 2001 & last year. He came out of high school as a promising & athletic catching prospect that was expected to close games for Itawamba. He finished his collegiate career as a dominating starter, going 13-0 this past year tossing an impressive low to mid-90s fastball. It seems as though the Brewers signed Dillard as a RHP, and have assigned him to Helena. He could be a 2-way player if the Brewers want to see where his career will take him, but for now it would seem as though his future as a pitcher could be brighter.
That's 5 promising players that have been plugged into the system this week, and we're not even to draft day, which begins next Tuesday.
As for draft day itself, one potential draft prospect was removed from the pool when LHP Adam Loewen signed with the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week as a draft & follow candidate. Speculation led many to believe that Loewen would have been the Brewers pick had the Orioles not been able to sign him.
That likely brings the draft pool down to 2 players, and we likely will end up with whichever one the Tampa Bay Devil Rays do not select with the first overall pick. Those 2 players...
1. Rickie Weeks-Southern University-2B/OF. 6'0" 205, R/R. Weeks is a rare 5-tool college athlete. He does everything well, and is extremely focused & driven to get better, as he continues to get bigger & stronger. At the plate he has tremendous bat speed with quick hands that burst through the zone. When he stopped getting pitches to hit, he was disciplined enough to take his pitches & draw walks. On base, he stole 27 bases in 27 tries. He also shows great power potential, and if he's not hitting balls over the fence it's a good chance he's driving them into the gaps. There is some concern about him hitting with wood & hitting breaking balls, along with some concern of where he'll play defensively, but his overall talent level is just too great to pass up.
2. Delmon Young-Caramillo HS (CA)-OF. 6'3" 205, R/R. Younger brother of the Detroit Tigers Dmitri Young. Delmon has tremendous power potential at the pro level, and is an accomplished hitter that has proven that he can hit using a wood bat. He also displays a strong arm, with decent speed that should allow him to thrive as a prototypical right-fielder. Not your typical high school pick, as young Delmon is a polished prep hitter that could move through any organization quickly. Young put on a power display at Miller Park that reportedly rivaled if not surpassing Prince Fielder's power display at Miller Park the year before. With Delmon Young the main concern seems to be tied to conditioning, as his big brother Dmitri as battled his own weight concerns. Delmon is taller & leaner than Dmitri, even at comparable ages, so that probably is more of a nit-pick than an actual concern. Delmon probably doesn't offer that much speed on the basepaths, but given his bat, he won't need it.
Basically, it will be hard for the Brewers to go wrong with their first round pick, unless they reach beyond these 2 players to select someone else. While signability is always an issue, I doubt it becomes a concern with either one of these 2 players. The recent buzz is that the Devil Rays are hot after Delmon Young, but they've been interested in Rickie Weeks for quite some time. So, most are guessing that the Brewers will take Rickie Weeks, but to be safe for now, flip a coin & wait until Tuesday for the final word.
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