High School : : General
Friday, May 13, 2005


Perfect Game Staff        
PG Predraft has been going on for the past 11 years. Early on it started as an Iowa only based program. Every single Iowa high school player drafted in the first 10 years attended the Predraft.

As more and more MLB Scouting Directors and other front office personnel started attending the event, it expanded into the entire Midwest, now it covers the entire nation. The PG Predraft has become one of the final scouting events of the year. It is now the biggest predraft held in all of baseball. 

The number of players drafted shortly after the event and the number of future college stars is too long a list for this short article. We thought it would be fun to bring up just a few of the many memories from recent Perfect Game Predrafts. Here are just a few of many that have done very well.

Carl Crawford OF (TX) had a bad day at the Predraft, but Tampa Bay still picked him with the first pick of the 2nd round. He signed for a then record 2nd round bonus. Now only a few years later Crawford is a Major League All Star with the D'Rays. He led the American League in Stolen Bases and he's one of the brightest young stars in the game.

Jeff Clement C (IA) had a lack luster performance at the predraft and fell out of early round possibilities. He has gone on to become an All American at Southern Cal and he's projected to be a first round selection this June.

Thomas Diamond RHP (LA) created big interest with his performance at the Predraft, but he decided to attend college where he became an All American at New Orleans and later he was drafted in the first round by the Texas Rangers. Wade Townsend RHP (TX) was yet another who performed well but went on to college. He became an All American and helped win a National Championship at Rice and was then selected in the first round last year.

Ryan Sweeney OF (IA) should have been a first round pick, but had to settle for the second round by the White Sox. He was ranked the #2 prospect in the entire White Sox Organization while still a teenager.

Victor Diaz OF (IL) was a kid we compared in stature and swing to Manny Ramirez. He had a smooth effortless approach to the game, but was a bit overweight and out of shape at the Predraft. The Mets are very happy with him as he was called up to the Big Leagues last year and he's back up with them now.

Brad Nelson OF (IA) showed extreme power potential at the PG Predraft and despite having arm problems he was selected by Milwaukee in the 4th round. Nelson is one of the top prospects in the Brewers organization.

Eric Cordier RHP (WI) was a hard throwing RHP out of Wisconsin. He performed well at the Predraft and was selected in the 2nd round last year.

Zach Hammes RHP (IA) was a little known prospect entering his final season of high school. The 6-7 RHP threw very well at the Predraft and the Dodgers selected him in the 2nd round.

Trevor Crowe OF (OR) was a talented player coming back from an injury. We knew he was going to be a star while watching him at the Predraft. He is now a certain all American at U of Arizona and a potential early pick in the draft.

Matt Macri INF (IA) was a certain high pick, but not very interested in the draft when he performed at the Predraft. He was heading to his dream school Notre Dame. He later had Tommy John surgery, but came back strong. He now has a degree from Notre Dame and he's in the Rockies organization.

Jhonathan Figueroa LHP (VZ) was a big Venezuelan lefty with a world of talent he showed at the Predraft. The Dodgers signed him as a free agent and he quickly claimed their #1 prospect tag. He was later injured and is now making a comeback.

Brandon Weeden RHP (OK) came to the Predraft from Oklahoma, pitched well and went in the 2nd round to the Yankees.

Joel Hanrahan RHP (IA) really opened some eyes at the PG Predraft and became a 2nd round selection of the Dodgers.

Brian McCann C (GA) was a very good catcher from Georgia who was drafted in the 2nd round by his home town Atlanta Braves after a great performance in the predraft.

Matt Walker RHP (LA) performed well at the Predraft and was drafted in the 4th round by the Devil Rays.

Wes Obermueller RHP (IA) came to the Predraft after his season at U of Iowa. He was selected in the second round by the Royals and is now in the Big Leagues with the Brewers.

Darin Downs LHP (FL) Didn't throw with high velocity but show extreme pitching ability and was drafted by the Cubs in the 5th round.

There are many more stories about former PG Predraft players who are doing well in professional or the highest level of college baseball. Perhaps some day we will detail them all. But here is one name to keep in your memory bank.

A couple years ago a young unknown high school player from Western New York was invited. At the Predraft he was overlooked. No history on him, listed as a 2B, and to be honest he didn't perform all that well. He popped everything he hit straight up in BP and in the game.

After the event Jerry Ford PG Director wrote that this kid has the quickest bat and creates the most bat speed with wood he's seen all year out of a high school hitter. He "Ford" was so impressed that he immediately started calling DI colleges. The young man did go undrafted, but landed at Pitt. No one knows for sure how it will turn out, but remember the name Jimmy Negrych.

He's not unknown anymore! In just his second season at Pitt he was named a pre season All American, the top prospect and the top hitter in the Big East Conference. He was also named the Big East pre season pick as Player of the Year and he's only a sophomore.

Perfect Game National Predraft
Tuesday May 17th
Cedar Rapids, IA
Veterans Memorial Stadium
Home of the Angels Midwest League Club
Starts at 9:00 AM
Admission Free
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