Scouting director Jack Zduriencik has had a pretty nice offseason. First, he became the first non-general manager to receive Baseball America's Major League Executive of the Year award at their annual gala at the Winter Meetings. A couple of weeks ago he was promoted along with assistant GM Gord Ash to serve as a vice president alongside Doug Melvin.
Most Brewers fans are well aware of the talent he has been procuring for several years now, and he often receives a lot of the credit for accumulating most of the more recognizable players the Brewers roster currently boasts. Having Ryan Braun win the National League Rookie of the Year award and watching Prince Fielder become the youngest player to ever hit 50 home runs may very well epitomize the job Zduriencik has done.
It has been well documented that Zduriencik has done his job without the benefit of extra, compensatory selections, and in fact he has not had a second-round draft pick in 2000, 2005 and 2007 due to the free agent signings of Jose Hernandez, Damian Miller and Jeff Suppan.
So what better way for the Brewers to say thanks to Zduriencik for all of his accomplishments than to reward him with four compensatory selections for him to play with?
Due to the departures of Francisco Cordero and Scott Linebrink, the Brewers will own seven picks in the top 100 selections in the 2008 draft. Last year they had only one pick among the top 100, which was the seventh overall selection that they used to take outfielder Matt LaPorta.
Since both Cordero and Linebrink were Type A free agents, they both garner the Brewers a supplemental first-round pick and a second round pick. Neither the Reds (who signed Cordero) nor the White Sox (Linebrink) finished among the 15 best teams in baseball during the 2007 season, so neither forfeits their first-round pick.
The supplemental picks are the 32nd and 35th overall selections, that much we know for sure at this point in time since all of the other Type A free agents have signed.
The additional second-round picks at this point in time stand to be the 50th and 51st overall selections. Add these picks to the Brewers first-round selection (16th overall), second-round selection (59th overall at this point in time) and third-round pick (91st) to round out the picks among the top 100 overall selections. With only five unsigned free agents remaining that would effect free agent compensation, these second round picks could be no worse than the 55th, 56th, 64th and 96th overall selections.
It should be noted that the Brewers will not lose any of their picks after signing three type B free agents in Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall and David Riske.
For a team that still has plenty of talent in their farm system but seemingly is missing the same impact players they had a year ago after graduating Ryan Braun and Yovani Gallardo, while losing some key pitching depth in the Scott Linebrink trade, the 2008 draft will be a huge opportunity for the organization to re-stock the shelves.
Look no further than what teams like the Giants, Padres, Blue Jays and Nationals did a year ago with numerous extra compensation picks. And the Oakland A's had a book,