There’s never been a better time for Milwaukee to declare war. Monday, June 7 is the first of three days in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and may be the organization’s most important draft in years.
The Brewers farm system is currently thin in future pitching prospects, devoid of Prince Fielders-in-the-making and could certainly use some fast-growing talent, as each Class draws from the one below to replenish the sieve that is the Crew’s Big League roster this season. AAA Nashville has been your Aunt Gertrude’s four-legged walker, carrying the Brewers through May. So bring on Miller Park’s all-new War Room–aptly named for the place club personnel plan to draft the Milwaukee Brewers’ future.
By: Melissa S. Wollering
First think of the SMART board your child’s fifth-grade teacher has. Now picture it with video of as many as 1,500 of the top prospects playing alongside stat breakdowns and scouting reports. It’s a long way from writing players’ names on a chalkboard.
SMART Technology like this will be used for the first time this week in the Milwaukee Brewers newly-fashioned ‘War Room’ built over the winter offseason on the Terrace Level. It is the Brewers’ first permanent home from which it can conduct the draft. The offices, master conference room and horseshoe-shaped conference table will indeed be the site of one of the most strategic battles in recent club history. Replenishing its farm system and building a foundation for the future of Brewers baseball has never been so important.
Bruce Seid, director of amateur scouting for the team, has been working for this week for the entire year. With the shadow of Jack Zduriencik flashing glimmers of 2005’s Ryan Braun pick, 2003’s Rickie Weeks selection and 2002’s Prince Fielder acquisition, Seid will attempt to build his own legacy one draft at a time. This year, he’s a sophomore.
Zduriencik’s departure has many fans wondering whether Jack was a genius or a complete flop in a brainy costume. Some prospects such as Jeremy Jeffress (substance abuse issues, slower-than-we-hoped starting pitching development) haven’t panned out, leaving Doug Melvin no choice but to spend or bust.
Others such as Matt LaPorta were traded away, even if the moves benefitted the team in large ways. No pun intended CC Sabathia.
We all know it is hit or miss. In 2004, the Brewers picked up Mark Rodgers and Yovani Gallardo with their first two picks. In the third round, they fell one pick short at #76 from taking RHP Wade Davis. Instead, Tampa Bay snagged him at #75.
In 2005, the Brewers strongly considered Troy Tulowitzki. But with JJ Hardy at SS and Tulowitzki unwilling to move to 3B, Milwaukee selected Ryan Braun instead.
Hoping for a hit over a miss, Bruce Seid has the opportunity to work magic with the 14th pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, adding arms with speed, defense and power at the plate. Seid vows to draft the best available talent with hopes of bringing someone aboard who will have the most impact on a major league level regardless of position.
Starting Monday, there will be about fifteen members of the Brewers organization including Director of Baseball Operations Tom Flanagan, Doug Melvin, Gord Ash, Seid’s Assistant Director Ray Montgomery and others inside the War Room. Former Brewers player Larry Hisle and Business Manager/Player Development & Minor League Operations Lead Scott Martens will represent the Club inside Studio 42 at the MLB Network in New Jersey.
With a later time slot for the draft this year (televised at 6 p.m. CST), Seid and company might be making calls much later into the evening to their scouts to prepare for Day 2. Either way, it is wait and see with the depth of talent in the draft and the organization can bet fans want to see someone selected who has ‘hang-your-hat-on-this-guy’ potential.
Check back with us here at The Sportsbank.net for the latest on Brewers MLB Draft coverage and scouting reports. May what is fair in baseball be fair in war. Draft away!Follow paulmbanks