Cool Rays

If all goes according to plan—though that rarely happens in baseball—Tampa Bay's 2004 draft could go down as one of the best drafts of the decade. The Rays used the fourth overall pick that year on Jeff Niemann, a 6-foot-9 righthander from Rice with a mid-90s fastball and a power curve. Niemann made his debut on April 13 for the Rays, allowing one run in six innings on five strikeouts and one walk. In the second round, the Rays grabbed Louisiana high school shortstop Reid Brignac, who was No. 39 on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list coming into the season.

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