This Fangraphs article, along with having seen Oakland closer and 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey's filthy stuff a few times on TV recently, had me racing back to my email bin.
Based here in Massachusetts, I kept in touch with then-Northeast Area Scout Tony Blengino during his stint with Milwaukee. Blengino, who himself was fast-tracked in the Brewer organization, left with Jack Zduriencik for Seattle to be Jack's right-hand man there. Blengino was coming off a monster personal draft in 2004 with 1st round pick RHP Mark Rogers, 5th round pick C Angel Salome, 18th round OF Darren Ford (now on the Giants' 40-man roster), even Univ. of Vermont LHP Derek Miller, who for a 47th round pick, made a nice run to AA.
Tony's keen eye was on exhibit again in 2005 -- 10th round pick LHP Steve Garrison, now a San Diego Padre 40-man roster farmhand (the Scott Linebrink deal), and still very promising; Bailey in the 16th round, and a certain LHP in the 18th round, William Zachary Braddock. Two HS southpaws and one college righty in the Top 18 rounds for Tony...
I've given myself a five-year statute of limitations before mentioning any of this publicly, so I'd say I can now cite some of our notes, with all due respect to Tony (especially in that Tony's no longer with the Brewers - heh). And to be honest, nothing I'm choosing to pass along here is more than normal "scout talk" shared with a fan, so I seriously hope he's OK as I pass along the info, given the passage of time. I just wanted to share with you some of the goings-on that can literally make or break a draft pick signing, and in this case, indicate just how close the Brewers came to having a talent like Andrew Bailey in their possession, as well as how close they came to not getting Zach Braddock and Steve Garrison.
Now remember, this is happening back in the day of the now-defunct draft-and-follow process, which potentially applied to Garrison and Braddock, but not Bailey, a college junior. In draft and follow, clubs could draft a high school or junior college player, monitor their progress for an additional year, and still own their rights until shortly before the next year