Minneapolis, MN -“This draft class sucks,” Millers scouting director Kipp Fagg said, matter of factly. The teams entire scouting department, along with Fagg and the team’s general manager, were doing their final preparations before the draft.
“Guys are having good years at both the college and high school levels, yes,” Fagg continued. “But the skill sets just don’t seem to be every day regulars in our league. I’m not a tools guy, I think everyone here knows that, but very few of these guys have the tools to be big leaguers.”
After some debate between several scouts, a draft strategy was finally reached. The team would target players who had put up good numbers, and hope a few could grow into big league players some day. They had a few toolsy type players that didn’t have great numbers they planned to target as well, but those were few and far between.
One player the team had very high on their list was Nate Dailey, a college outfielder who had put up massive numbers each year. In 192 collegiate games, Dailey hit .340/.406/.619 with 53 home runs. Some of the Miller scouts insisted he’d have to be moved to first base, but there was some optimism among others he could be at least passable in the outfield if need be. Regardless, Minneapolis was interested in his bat more than anything.
The team’s draft list was very long and detailed, but as the draft got underway, the list began shrinking fast. However, 12 picks into the first round, Dailey was still available. The Millers draft room was “cautiously optimistic” as one scout put it that San Diego would pass on Dailey because he was all offense. San Diego seemed to value defense more than others, and rightfully so, since their ballpark is really best put to use with great pitching and defense.
“With the 13th pick in the first round, the San Diego Surf Dawgs select Nate Dailey, outfielder, Louisville University. Louisville, Kentucky. The Minneapolis Millers are now on the clock.”
Strings of four letter words came barreling out of everyone’s mouth inside the Miller’s draft room. Dailey was their guy, and he was so close to being available. It was frustrating. Damn those Surf Dawgs.
Now the debate had quickly become whether they took the highest rated player available (which was a hitter) or if they took the best pitcher because they didn’t really have any pitching prospects. They eventually decided to take the best available SP, regardless of signability, and went with Brad Quick.
Quick was a college junior, a 5’11 right hander from Pepperdine. He’d gone 3-4 in 11 starts, but posted a very good 2.51 ERA with 62 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 64 innings. His sophomore season was where he really shined, though, striking out 138 while walking just 18 in 137 innings.
“We weren’t excited at all by the pick,” one scout said anonymously. “But we’re wrong all the time.”
The Millers and Quick are reportedly “not close” in negotiations. The Millers were willing to offer about half of what Quick wants, and unless that changes, Quick will head back to Pepperdine next season and hope to be drafted even higher.
“The compensation pick is probably going to be at least a little higher regarded player than Quick is,” the same anonymous scout said. “He had great numbers, but the stuff is bottom of the rotation material. Why would we overpay a mediocre first rounder when we can get someone better next year?”
Quick and his advisor were unavailable for comment, but it looks as if the Millers and their first round pick are unlikely to come to terms by the deadline. That’s bad news for everyone but Pepperdine.