It's time to look at the players from the 2005 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 four years ago:
Also, for a review on the 2005 draft, please visit this story:
That story already listed the "ones that got away," but here's the list again, with the round in which they were selected listed first, and the college in which they attended listed in parenthesis:
8. Jemile Weeks, SS (Miami)
11. Brent Allar, RHP (TCU)
13. Ryan Babineau, C (UCLA)
16. Andrew Bailey, RHP (Wagner College, NY)
26. Jacob Arrietta, RHP (TCU)
46. Alex Lowrey, OF (Louisville)
47. Matthew Broughton, RHP (Ball State)
49. Cory Large, LHP (Texas Tech)
The Brewers will follow 19 DFE candidates this spring, a lofty total, although not as many as the 23 they followed a year ago. As always, the Brewers are looking for a few of these players to step up and enjoy breakout seasons, seasons in which they may be considered in the first five rounds of the 2006 draft.
1. Timothy Smith (17-draft round), RF (Midland College, TX)
Smith is a powerfully built outfield prospect at 6'2", 225 pounds from Toronto. He set the single season batting average record at Midland College during his freshman year (.468) as well as the single-season mark for on-base percentage (.553). Smith, a left-handed hitter, has proven to hit for power with a wood bat, as Canadian prep players don't use aluminum bats. He was a 21st round draft pick by the New York Mets coming out of high school in 2004, and was a member of the Team Canada Junior National Team for two years. Given how high the Brewers drafted Smith it is likely he will be in the organization by June with another good year at the plate.
2. Zach Braddock (18), LHP (Chipola College, FL)
The Brewers have followed the Chipola program closely in recent years, signing Darren Ford from there a year ago as a DFE and selecting Mat Gamel in the fourth round of last year's draft. Braddock has the perfect, athletic pitcher's build at 6'4", 225 pounds, and when you throw in the fact that he's left-handed he automatically becomes arguably the most exciting DFE candidate to watch this spring. He had Tommy John surgery during the summer of 2004, otherwise he may have been drafted within the top five rounds of the 2005 draft. Last spring recovering from surgery, Braddock's velocity returned to the upper-80s, maxing out at 89 miles per hour. Scouts were still hesitant with him as he didn't throw too many curveballs, which will be the true test on his healing elbow. If Braddock stays healthy he is likely to sign with the Brewers this spring.
3. Michael Ramlow (24), LHP (Owens CC, OH)
Ramlow is the second of three intriguing, projectable left-handers the Brewers will follow this spring with an athletic and wiry 6'7", 165 pound frame. He was named the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2005 after posting a 7-2 record his freshman season with an ERA just above 1.00. Ramlow's fastball sits in the 89 range, and with his frame he could easily add a few more ticks, and is expected to throw in the low-90s this spring. He also throws a very good curveball and a polished changeup, both of which he throws for strikes, and he has shown a propensity for missing bats. The biggest knock on Ramlow is his stature, given his weight relative to height, although he has worked hard to add strength. His mechanics at this point in time are clean, but given his lanky frame he will need to continue to keep his mechanics in check to avoid injury.
4. Taylor Green (25), 2B (Cypress College, CA)
Green's best tool is his bat, as he uses quick, strong hands that allow him to employ a smooth, line-drive swing from the left side of the plate. Right now he has more doubles power than home run power, and he exhibits a strong eye at the plate. Green will slide over to either second or third base at the professional level, as he doesn't have the ideal range to stick at shortstop. He is accustomed to using a wood bat growing up in British Columbia, Canada, where, as noted above, high school players use wood bats.
5. Patrick Murray (31), 1B (Santa Ana College, CA)
At 6'2", 250 pounds, Murray offers an intimidating presence at the plate, and exciting power potential as a right-handed hitter. While he played third base and catcher at the high school level, his footspeed probably limits him to first base. Despite his limited speed, he does show good footwork around the bag and has a very strong arm.
6. Spencer Pennington (32), LF (Alabama, medical redshirt fifth-year senior)
Pennington is a fifth-year senior that received an added year of eligibility due to a shoulder injury. The Brewers followed three Division I players last year through the DFE process with similar backgrounds: Dustin Timm, Jon Mungle and Derek Miller, and did the same with Jared Theodorakos two years ago. Pennington originally went to Alabama to pursue a two-sport career as he also played on the football team as a big, strong-armed quarterback. The shoulder injury caused him to give up football to concentrate on baseball. Pennington is an impressive athletic specimen at 6'4", 225 pounds, and with a strong left-handed swing he offers a considerable amount of power potential.
7. Jorge Core (33), RHP (Marshalltown CC, IA)
Core attended the esteemed Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in high school. Long and lithe, he has a very good, strong and projectable pitchers frame with a quick, whip-like delivery. Core currently throws in the upper 80s to low-90s with plenty potential for added velocity. His fastball has natural tailing movement on it and the makings for a good slider. Core's changeup is a work in progress, but like the rest of his repertoire it shows good potential. He's raw but filled with promise, and does show some knowledge of changing speeds. Commanding the strike zone with all of his pitches is something Core needs to work on the most.
8. Brock Kjeldgaard (34), RHP (Indians Hills CC, IA)
The Brewers likely discovered Kjeldgaard when scouting Jose Garcia at Indian Hills CC, a DFE candidate from a year ago. Like Garcia, Kjeldgaard will be under the tutelage of former Milwaukee Brewers farmhand Cam Walker. Like Walker, a native of Manitoba, and several other players on this list, Kjeldgaard is Canadian and a native of London, Ontario. At 6'5" he has a very imposing, strong frame with room for even more strength. Kjeldgaard profiles as a staff workhorse, and could easily add velocity to his 89-91 fastball. He has committed to play for the University of Nevada for the 2006-07 year if he doesn't go pro this spring or summer.
9. Sebastien Vendette (35), RHP (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, OK)
Throw another Canadian onto the list, as Vendette hails from Laval, Quebec, and played with the Canadian Junior National Team in 2004. His fastball is already a plus pitch, topping out at 94 and working comfortably in the 90-92 range. Vendette has worked hard to improve his slider and changeup, and projects as Northeastern Oklahoma A&M's number one or two starting pitcher. He may profile best as a short-reliever down the road, as he shows better velocity and actually pitches better on shorter rest with what some may call a rubber arm. Vendette has signed on to play with Oklahoma State for the 2006-07 season if he doesn't sign either this spring or summer to play professionally.
10. Stephen Barnes (36), RHP (Lake City CC, FL)
Barnes was drafted in the 36th round of the 2004 draft as well, and the Brewers followed his progress through last spring at Lake City CC, a school they have mined before for talent (Hasan Rasheed, Carlos Corporan). Barnes has a large, powerful frame at 6'3", 215 pounds, although there is some concern that his body has the potential to get too soft down the road, so he will have to watch his conditioning. Armed with a 89-91 fastball, a curve, slider and changeup, he has a solid repertoire of pitches, and has shown the ability to throw them all for strikes. The Brewers would like to see him throw strikes more consistently and a slight increase of velocity on his heater wouldn't hurt either. Barnes was named the seventh-best prospect in the Clark Griffith League last summer according to Baseball America, and has committed to play for Oral Roberts for the 2006-07 season.
11. Christopher Hopkins (37), CF (Sierra College, CA)
Hopkins is an extremely gifted, natural athlete similar to Lorenzo Cain, a DFE signee from a year ago. He has outstanding speed on the basepaths and in centerfield, and he also shows a disciplined approach at the plate, exhibited by his .320 batting average from a year ago at Sierra College as a 17-year old. On top of his physical attributes, Hopkins is also an intelligent baseball player with natural savvy that should allow him to progress hand-in-hand with his tool-set. Like so many young speed demons, he needs to improve his jumps in stealing bases, and his throwing arm is fringe average.
12. Bradley Miller (39), SS (Cowley College, KS)
The Brewers opted not to sign Miller's Cowley teammate Deik Scram a year ago after a big spring statistically, but they did like what they saw in Miller. Miller came to Cowley as a two-way player, excelling both at the plate and on the mound. His ability at the plate is what got him drafted, and he hit his way to become the Jayhawk Conference's Eastern Division Freshman of the Year.
13. Jordan Lennerton (41), 1B (El Paso CC, TX)
Lennerton is the fifth of seven Canadian draft and follow candidates on this list as a native of Langley, British Columbia. Like Patrick Murray, power is Lennerton's calling card, although Lennerton is a left-handed hitter. He also shows a very good eye at the plate, and is far from an all-or-nothing hitter with a smooth stroke that allows him to drive balls into the gaps consistently. Lennerton played on the Canadian National Team, and was drafted out of high school in the 50th round of the 2004 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
14. Chris Copot (42), C (Lethbridge CC, Alberta, Canada, playing for Prairie Baseball Academy)
The Brewers controlled Copot's signing rights through last spring as a draft and follow candidate, drafting him in the 35th round of the 2004 draft. Copot is a left-handed hitting catcher that has some thunder in his bat with a powerful 6'3", 185 pound frame that allowed him to be a hard-hitting defenseman in hockey growing up in Calgary.
15. Kyle Eveland (43), 2B (College of the Canyons, CA)
Kyle Eveland is the younger brother of Dana Eveland, who pitched out of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen last year after being called up from AA Huntsville in mid-July. Kyle is a smaller yet strongly built middle infielder that projects as a second baseman at the professional level. While he doesn't have one tool that stands out head and shoulders above the rest, he is solid across the board. Eveland makes up with his lack of eye-popping tools with an aggressive approach to the game. He is a contact hitter with quick hands that thinks up the middle and he has consistent defense with soft hands and a good arm.
16. George Washington (44), OF (Central Alabama CC)
Washington has a very lean and athletic build that has plenty of room for added strength. He has two very good tools in his speed and his arm, which will allow him to play any of the three outfield positions. With his speed, Washington covers a good deal of ground in the outfield and is a threat on the basepaths despite needing more work on his jumps. As a left-handed hitter, he sprays balls to the gaps and could develop a lot more power when his body fills out. Washington will also be used as a righ-handed pitcher at Central Alabama CC armed with a 90 mph fastball, and he receives high marks for his character and coachability. He is also the consummate team player, as he helped propel his high school team to the state championship despite suffering a knee injury mid-season.
17. Ulrich Snijders (45), C (St. Petersburg College, FL)
Snijders hit .340 for St. Petersburg College a year ago, the defending state Junior College Champions in Florida. A native of Curacao, Snijders attended the Perfect Game World Showcase in January of 2004 and grabbed the attention of the scouts in attendance with a very strong performance both offensively and defensively. His cannon for an arm rates as his best tool, and he also shows very good potential at the plate with a quick, level swing that generates a fair amount of power. With a strong build and good tools, Snijders is definitely a player to watch this spring, particularly with the Brewers organizational need for catchers. He was drafted out of high school in 2004 in the 40th round by the Diamondbacks.
18. Frederick Lewis (48), LHP (Daytona Beach CC, FL)
At 6'2", 185 pounds, Lewis has a perfect pitcher's frame. He is the third of three intriguing, projectable left-handed pitchers on this list, a position the Brewers have had some luck with using the DFE process (Manny Parra, Dana Eveland, Derek Miller).
19. Garrett Regan (50), OF (Lethbridge CC, Alberta, Canada, playing for Prairie Baseball Academy)
Regan, like Copot, attends Lethbridge Community College while playing for the Prairie Baseball Academy. Regan is the third DFE candidate to play for the PBA the past two years along with Copot and Ryan Patterson, another DFE candidate from a year ago. Also like Copot, Regan was a hard-hitting defenseman in hockey as a high school player, and drew some interest to play hockey in college. Given his large, powerful frame he has decided to pursue baseball, and is yet another Canadian prospect the Brewers and Team Canada (Doug Melvin and Gord Ash) have decided to follow.
Be sure to follow the Brewers draft and follow candidates for this spring in the draft section of Brewerfan.net's Fan Forum:
Patrick Ebert is affiliated with both Brewerfan.net and Perfect Game USA, and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.