Hogan doesn't expect any Indians' players to be drafted

Monday, June 7, 2004

Southeast Missouri State University coach Mark Hogan does not expect any of his players to be selected in major league baseball's First-Year Player Draft today and Tuesday.

If Hogan is correct, it would mark the first time the Indians have not had a player drafted since 1998. College juniors and seniors, junior college players and recent high school graduates are eligible for selection in the 50-round draft.

"It's been a while since we haven't had anybody drafted," Hogan said. "But I'd be very surprised if we had anybody go this year."

Hogan emphasized that it's not because he doesn't have talented players, it's just that his 2004 squad consisted primarily of junior college transfers who most scouts would prefer to see use their final season of eligibility. Southeast had just three seniors this year, with only Gary Gilbert among that group being a starter.

In addition, the two players who would have probably been the most likely draft picks -- pitchers Bill Clayton and Jon Nourie -- both missed virtually the entire season with arm injuries. Clayton and Nourie both were drafted out of high school.

"I think Clayton would have been high profile if he had been healthy, and Nourie might have been," Hogan said. "I think we have several guys with pro potential but more and more, with guys on this level, the pros are wanting to let them stay another year and mature in school."

Hogan said Eric Horstman, Frankie Montiel and Ernie Bracamonte -- three juniors who were arguably Southeast's top position players this season -- should be legitimate professional prospects next year.

"I think those are the type of guys the scouts would want to follow up on next year," Hogan said.

DeWitt rated highly

Even if Southeast doesn't have a player taken, the region should be represented by at least one draft pick -- and from all indications a fairly high one.

Sikeston infielder Blake DeWitt, who has signed with powerhouse Georgia Tech, is regarded as one of the nation's premier high school players and there is talk that he could go as high as the top five rounds. Hogan said he wouldn't be surprised if that happens.

"He's probably the top guy I've seen around here since I've been back," said Hogan, a Cape Girardeau native and Southeast graduate who recently completed his 10th season as the Indians' coach. "I'd be surprised if he doesn't go in the top five rounds, from the people I've talked to.

"There's not one scout who doesn't know who he is. He's a terrific hitter, he has great hands, and his makeup is great. He's a great kid, very mature. He's come to all our camps over the years. I remember, when he was in eighth grade, saying to our assistant coaches that he could probably start for us that year. He was that type of player."

Another Sikeston player, catcher Jacob Priday, is a potential late-round selection. He has signed with the University of Missouri.

"A lot of guys that like him, too," Hogan said. "He's not in the category that Blake is, not as developed, but he's a big, strong kid with potential."

Broshuis a possibility

Advance High School graduate Garrett Broshuis, a University of Missouri junior who had a big year, is another area draft possibility, probably in the late rounds. The right-handed pitcher went 11-0 this season and was a first-team all-Big 12 Conference selection.

Broshuis said recently that he is uncertain if he would sign a professional contract in the event he is drafted.

"If it happens, I'll make a decision from there, but I'm definitely not counting on it," said Broshuis, an academic standout who has compiled a near-perfect 3.92 grade point average in psychology.

Another right-handed college pitcher with local ties, Central High School graduate Jason Chavez, was selected in the 43rd round two years ago following his freshman season at Mineral Area College.

Chavez, who had an impressive junior season at Southern Illinois this year, is considered a longshot draft possibility this time around.

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