Brewers Draft Report Card
Best Pro Debut: 1B Prince Fielders (1) doughy body made him a risk as the No. 7 overall pick, but he chased the Rookie-level Pioneer League triple crown before getting promoted to low Class A. He hit a combined .326-13-51. LHP Craig Breslow (26) mixed four pitches to go 6-2, 1.82 with 56 strikeouts in 54 PL innings.
Best Athlete: OFs Nic Carter (4) or Steve Moss (29). Carter was an all-state basketball player as a West Virginia high schooler.
Best Pure Hitter: Fielders calling card is his power, but hes not just a masher. As Cecil Fielders son, Prince grew up in major league clubhouses and has an advanced approach. The Brewers are convinced hell be a perennial .300 hitter.
Best Raw Power: Fielders biggest payoff will come with home run production. He has a legitimate chance to become part of the first father-son tandem to each hit 50 homers in a big league season.
Fastest Runner: The Brewers have clocked Carter from the left side of home plate to first base in 3.7 seconds, which is Ichiro territory.
Best Defensive Player: Moss glides to balls in either gap and unlike most center fielders, he has a plus arm. SS Josh Murray (2) has rebounded after missing 2001 for Tommy John surgery.
Best Fastball: String-bean RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (7) touched 97 mph in the American Legion World Series this summer. Six-foot-9 RHP Eric Thomas (3) reached 96 in the spring before coming down with shoulder tendinitis.
Best Breaking Ball: LHP Manny Parra, the best talent on the draft-and-follow market and recipient of a $1.55 million bonus, has a plus curveball and has hit 95 mph with his fastball. From Milwaukees draft, Thomas and RHP Bo Hall (19) have curves that arent quite the equal of Parras.
Most Intriguing Background: Fielders dad led the American League in homers twice and RBIs three times. RHP Khalid Balloulis (6) grandfather Dick Fowler and unsigned C Tim Dillards (34) father Steve both had lengthy big league careers. C John Vanden Bergs (25) father Gary is the head groundskeeper at Miller Park. Unsigned RHP Simon Beresford (32) pitched for the Australian national team. And just to confuse themselves, the Brewers took another RHP Eric Thomas (28).
Closest To The Majors: Fielder was slowed by a groin pull in low Class A. He has worked hard to get into better shape, and when hes healthy hell be hard to hold back. Parra probably will beat him to the majors.
Best Late-Round Pick: Moss, whose desire to attend UCLA scared off most teams.
The One Who Got Away: The Brewers couldnt beat UCLA for athletic SS Jarrad Page (5), whos spending this fall as a safety for the Bruins.
Assessment: New general manager Doug Melvin astutely retained scouting director Jack Zduriencik, whose drafts over the last three years have provided most of Milwaukees prospects. Fielder, Thomas and Parra give the Brewers the equivalent of three first-rounders.
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