It's time to look at the players from the 2004 draft that are eligible for the draft & follow process. For more detailed information about the DFE (Draft, Follow & Evaluate) process, please visit my story from three years ago:
Also, for a review on the 2004 draft, please visit this story:
That story already listed the "ones that got away," but here's the list again:
12. Andrew Albers, LHP (Kentucky)
21. Drew Bowman, LHP (Arizona State)
25. Sean Morgan, RHP (Tulane)
27. Ty Pryor, RHP (South Florida)
28. Ronnie Prettyman, 3B (returned to Cal State Fullerton)
34. Kris Dabrowiecki, RHP (Northeastern)
40. Chris Rickey (University of Reno)
48. Brandon Glover (Texas A&M)
As pointed out in the 2004 draft recap, the Brewers retain the rights to 23 players that are eligible for the draft and follow process. That lofty list will keep the Brewers area scouts busy this spring, and as always, the Brewers scouting department are looking for a few of these players to enjoy big, breakout seasons at their respective colleges which would make their talent comparable to a player that would be drafted in the top three to five rounds.
1. Lorenzo Cain (17-draft round)-OF-Tallahassee CC (FL)
Cain is a true five-tool outfield prospect with a good combination of size, speed and power that compares favorably to 2004 DFE signee Joel Rivera. Here is what Mike McLeod, his head coach at Tallahassee Community College, had to say about him: "Lorenzo is a tall rangy kid who has a lot of upside. He is a very raw hitter at this stage of his life, but has only been playing baseball for a little over two years. Lorenzo can really run, as he has been clocked as fast as 6.45 in the 60 yard dash." The Brewers liked Cain enough to take him in the 17th round last June, and with his combination of impressive tools, the Brewers likely will add Cain to their system almost regardless of how he fares this spring.
2. Darren Ford (18)-OF-Chipola JC (FL)
Ford is a smaller (5'10", 180) outfielder that has one outstanding tool: Speed. Here is what his head coach at Chipola, Jeff Johnson, had to say about him: "Darren is probably the fastest college player in the country. He consistently runs the 60 yard dash in the 6.25 range. He is still a little raw on the bases but has blazing speed. The thing that surprised me about Darren is his improvement and pop at the plate. This fall he was probably our most consistent hitter and did not get thrown out all fall trying to steal. He has average arm strength and a great willingness to learn. I would be very surprised if Darren does not have an outstanding spring for us and signs with the Brew Crew." Ford could be a similar prospect as Hasan Rasheed, a DFE candidate from a year ago. Similar to Rasheed, look for Ford to be added to the system later this spring.
3. Jose Garcia (20)-RHP-Indian Hills CC (IA)
Garcia is originally from the Dominican Republic, and is currently attending Indian Hills Community College in Iowa to help increase his draft stock. He has a very impressive pitcher's build at 6'6", 195 pounds. While he can throw in the low-90s, he control can suffer at times. Garcia has worked hard to improve his mechanics under the tutelage of his Head Coach Cam Walker, a former Milwaukee Brewers farmhand.
4. Matthew Kretzschmar (22)-RHP-Rio Hondo CC (CA)
Kretzschmar probably has the best combination of size, demeanor and pitch repertoire of all of the draft & follow candidates. At 6'3", 215, he has a very large and strong frame, with a strong lower half. Kretzschmar matches his intimidating size with a fearless approach on the mound. He throws his fastball in the 88-90 range, and his size offers plenty of room for improvement. Kretzschmar's curveball is considered a plus pitch when it is working for him, as is his changeup.
5. Jose Delgado (24)-RHP-Broward CC (FL)
At 6'3" Delgado's height matches Kretzschmar's, but at 170 pounds his frame does not. Built long and rangy, he has a live and wiry athletic body. Drafted out of Puerto Rico, his overall game is rather unrefined. The ball explodes out of Delgado's hand, in which he produces late life on his fastball. Both his curveball and his changeup need work, but both pitches show promise. Delgado has a very free and easy delivery and a high leg kick, but he needs to improve his mechanics.
6. Dustin Timm (26)-RHP-University of Nebraska
Timm has a perfect pitcher's frame at 6'3", 180, and also throws two plus pitches in a low to mid-90s fastball and a devastating slider. Injuries have set back Timm's college career, as he pitched only 10 innings between the 2002 and 2003 seasons, and an elbow injury caused him to have Tommy John surgery during the 2003 season. Last year he remained healthy, although Nebraska's coaching staff was patient with Timm's comeback, limiting him to 44 innings of work over 20 appearances, which included five starts. Because of his injury problems, Timm red-shirted during his sophomore season, which gave him an extra year of eligibility, and allows the Brewers to retain the rights to sign Timm as a fifth-year senior. Timm is expected to be an integral part in the Cornhuskers' starting rotation this season, and if he stays healthy and shows his arm is at full strength, he could be an exciting addition to the Brewers' farm system.
7. Ryan Patterson (29)-RHP-Lethbridge CC (Alberta, Canada)
Patterson technically doesn't pitch for Lethbridge Community College, since they don't even have an intercollegiate baseball team, but players have to be enrolled at school either at Lethbridge CC or the University of Lethbridge to play for the Prairie Baseball Academy in Alberta, Canada. Patterson has a projectable build at 6'3", 185 pounds, and pitches in the 88-90 range with plenty of room for added velocity and overall improvement.
8. Brian Johnson (30)-RHP-Manatee CC (FL)
Johnson is an athletic player that starred as his high school's starting quarterback. He was ranked the number one draft eligible player from the state of New York entering the spring, but he struggled to show the same kind of velocity (low-90s) that garnered him that lofty ranking. From Manatee Head Coach Tim Hill: "Johnson is a stocky kid with lots of potential that loves to compete. He has an upper 80's fastball that touches 90 on occasion. He also throws a decent slider and change. If he keeps the ball down he will be effective for us this spring." For Johnson, it's all about consistently. If he continues to maintain his velocity and improves at changing speeds, look for Johnson to be added to the Brewers system by the end of the spring.
9. Kanekoa Texeira (31)-RHP-Saddleback College (CA)
Texeira is another well-built pitching prospect at 6'1", 210 pounds. He is a very good overall athlete with good proportions. His limbs are long, which gives him added extension on his pitches. Texeira throws an advanced sinking fastball with great, late life. He also tosses a pretty good sinking circle change as well, giving him two good pitches. Texeira's breaking ball at this point in time needs more work, but he could develop into a classic sinker/slider pitcher.
10. Chris Copot (35)-C-Lethbridge CC (Alberta, Canada)
Copot, like Patterson, plays for the Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge, Alberta. The first of two draft and follow catching candidates, Copot is a similar prospect to Clay Blevins, a draft and follow candidate from a year ago, in that he bats left-handed and is more refined at the plate offensively than he is behind it defensively. He has good size and athleticism at 6'3", 185, and starred in hockey as a hard-hitting defenseman as a Calgary prepster. Copot has the perfect no-nonsense demeanor to don the tools of ignorance.
11. Stephen Barnes (36)-RHP-Lake City CC (FL)
Barnes is a good sized righty (6'3", 215) that has shown a powerful arm, but has struggled to consistently pitch in the 90s. His curveball also flashes plus potential, but he needs to tighten his mechanics to become a more consistent pitcher. From his Head Coach at Lake City CC, Tom Clark: "Barnes was shut down for most of the fall with some tenderness in his forearm, so we decided to not take any chances with him. He should be fine for the spring though and hopefully will grab one of our starting rotation spots. When I saw him in the spring he was 89-91 with a curve, slider and a change up. Had excellent control. If he is healthy he should play a large role on our team." Like Johnson, Barnes needs to show consistency, and if he does while staying healthy, there's a good chance he'll be added to the farm system by June.
12. Sean McCraw (37)-C-San Jacinto College (TX)
McCraw, like fellow DFE backstop Chris Copot, offers a strong bat from the left side of the plate, with gap to gap power. He shows good plate coverage and a solid eye. Defensively McCraw shows good athleticism and quickness, soft hands and a good arm. He needs to work more on his release and blocking balls in the dirt. McCraw likely will be signed for what he does at the plate rather than behind it.
13. Donald Jordat (38)-RHP-Broward CC (FL)
Jordat is another durable, strongly built right-handed pitcher (which seems to be the trend of the 2004/05 DFEs) at 6'2", 200 pounds. He has a square, stocky build that offers plenty of room for more strength. He pitches in the 88-92 range with his fastball, a pitch that displays good, late sinking life in the strike zone. Jordat tosses a true curveball that is a plus pitch when it is working for him. He also throws a changeup, but he needs to find more consistency with this pitch. Like so many young pitchers, Jordat will need to clean up his mechanics, but he throws strikes and has the foundation for a solid three-pitch repertoire.
14. Jeremy Bloor (39)-LHP-Grand Rapids CC (MI)
Bloor at 6'1", 190 was used predominantly as a reliever during his freshman season at Grand Rapids Community College, taking advantage of his plus fastball as a left-handed pitcher. Here are some comments from his head coach Mike Cupples: "He was an excellent reliever for us last year. We called him a bulldog because he does not give in. His fastball at the nationals hit 92 but pitches about 88-90 with a good hard slider and promising change-up." If Bloor continues to maintain his velocity while improving his overall repertoire, he could be an interesting southpaw to follow this spring.
15. Jimmy Coker (41)-LHP-Spartanburg Methodist College (SC)
Coker is a shorter (5'10") lefty with good stuff. He pitched on the Spartanburg World Series team in 2003, splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, but was academically ineligible for the 2004 season. Here are comments from the Spartanburg Methodist College Assistant/Pitching Coach Noah Crane: "He throws a 88/92 mph fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. He was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in June of 2003."
16. Joshua Louis (42)-RHP-Temple College (TX)
The 6'1", 220 pound Louis is built like many of the pitchers found on this list: Shorter yet strongly built. While Louis has very good control, sometimes his pitchers are too hittable. He does a good job keeping the ball down in the strike zone with a fastball that hovers around 90. Both his curveball and his changeup show good, late break. Given his stature there are going to be questions about his conditioning.
17. Brandon Jasper (43)-3B-Golden West College (CA)
Jasper is a switch-hitting third baseman that is considered very polished defensively. He has soft hands, good lateral movement, and displays a strong throwing arm. Offensively Jasper shows promise from both sides of the plate, with a quick swing and gap power. Overall he is a good athlete that runs the bases well and can play a corner outfield spot when needed.
18. Jon Mungle (44)-OF-Mississippi State University
2004 marked the second time the Brewers drafted Mungle. Unable to sign him after his junior year at Mississippi State, Mungle returned to college to try and find the stroke that made him so productive during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Unfortunately for Mungle, he injured his knee early in the spring of 2004 and missed the rest of the year. The knee injury allowed him to receive an extra year of eligibility as a red-shirt, fifth-year senior, which allows the Brewers to follow him as a DFE candidate similar to Dustin Timm as mentioned above. When Mungle is at his best he displays a smooth stroke from the left side of the plate, and if he finds that stroke consistently this spring he is a good bet to sign with the Brewers.
19. Deik Scram (45)-OF-Cowley College (KS)
An injury forced Scram to serve as Cowley College's DH for the 2004 season. Now fully healthy, Scram is expected to be Cowley's starting right fielder for the 2005 season, where he profiles the best at the professional level. Despite his injury, Scram led the Tigers in eight offensive categories as a freshman, including a .363 batting average, a .481 on-base percentage and a .643 slugging percentage. He also stole 12 bases in 13 attempts. A left-handed hitter, Scram has committed to play for Oklahoma State for the 2005/06 season if he doesn't end up signing with the Brewers this spring. As a well-rounded, five-tool prospect, Scram should be one of the more exciting DFE prospects to follow.
20. Jamie Metzner (46)-RHP-Central Arizona
The last of seven Canadian draftees, Metzner headed south to the warm weather to compete at perennial JUCO powerhouse Central Arizona. At 6'3", 195 pounds, he has the perfect pitcher's build.
21. Derek Miller (47)-LHP-University of Vermont
Miller, like Dustin Timm and Jon Mungle, is eligible as a DFE candidate because he is a fifth-year senior that red-shirted his freshman season due to an illness, and missed all of last season after having Tommy John surgery during the fall of 2003. He rehabilitated in time to pitch last summer in the NECBL. Miller is relatively old at 22 years old, but at 6'1", 210 pounds Miller offers a solid frame and an impressive repertoire including a low-90s fastball and a knockout curveball, to go along with his pinpoint control. He is fully healthy going into this spring, and with another dominating season he could be added to the Brewers system and could move quickly as a late-inning relief prospect.
22. Shane Buriff (49)-LHP-Polk CC (FL)
Buriff is a strongly built (6'2", 205) lefty that shows no fear on the mound. He has touched the low-90s, but works regularly in the mid to upper 80s. Here is what his head coach at Polk Community College, Johnny Wiggs, had to say about Buriff: "Shane came to us raw but has continued to learn each and every day. He is strong and works very hard each day to get the most out of his ability. Shane throws 85-88 right now but has a high ceiling. His curveball is solid as well and he is working hard to improve his change-up."
23. Chad Miller (50)-1B-Chandler-Gilbert CC (AZ)
The Brewers followed Miller as a DFE candidate last spring after drafting him in the 33rd round of the 2003 draft. Miller didn't progress as the Brewers hoped he would last spring, hitting only .287 with limited power production, but they still like his powerful frame and overall power-hitting potential. A decent overall athlete, Miller's bat is going to be his ticket, and he needs to hit early and often during the 2005 season to warrant a big-league contract.
Patrick Ebert is affiliated with both Brewerfan.net and Perfect Game USA, and can be contacted via email at email@example.com.