Starting at 1 p.m today, 30 baseball general managers will put
down their lunch and pick up the phone to join the 2004 baseball
draft conference call. Michigan expects to have sophomore pitcher
Derek Feldkamp and senior pitcher Jim Brauer picked while
incoming-freshman Doug Pickens and senior Kyle Bohm are also being
considered by teams.
Feldkamp made great strides this season, but because of his
progress he could actually be hurt in this year’s draft. He
added about seven miles per hour to his fastball while showing
versatility as a starter and a reliever. Some scouts believe that
he will continue on the same pace of rapid improvement, pushing him
into the top round of the 2005 draft. Because he could go higher
next year, teams may shy away from the Wolverine hurler for fear
that he will be a tough guy to sign.
After going to the Rockies in the seventh round last year,
Brauer struggled with consistency all season after missing a large
chunk of 2003 with an arm injury. Scouts lined The Fish’s
bleachers to see if he still had the stuff. While Brauer was good,
making the All-Big Ten team as a pitcher, he wasn’t
spectacular. With another season of eligibility, don’t be
surprised if he doesn’t jump any higher than the fifteenth
Bohm has a huge bat and is capable of changing a game with one
swing, but his intentions are unclear.
Pickens lacks the size to garner much big league attention. His
bat, however, could draw a pick.