ST. LOUIS -- How good would Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Wade Davis look in a Brewers uniform right about now, with Milwaukee once again near the bottom of the National League in most pitching departments? It almost happened.
The Brewers' close call with Davis in 2004 is among countless "what ifs" that club officials have been talking about in the days ahead of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The first round and Compensation Round A are scheduled for Monday night, and you'll find expansive coverage at MLB.com/Live.
In '04, the Brewers picked high-school right-handers with each of their first two picks -- Maine's Mark Rogers in the first round and Texas' Yovani Gallardo in the second. According to Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who told this story on a recent telecast, then-scouting director Jack Zduriencik was poised to pick another with the 76th overall pick in the third round, and was holding a card with Davis' name on it, when Tampa Bay snatched Davis away at pick No. 75.
So Zduriencik instead took right-hander Josh Wahpepah, who never panned out. Davis is thriving as a Rays rookie this season.
"It's hit and miss," Melvin said.
Melvin also told the story of 2005, when the Brewers were very high on Troy Tulowitzki. Milwaukee had J.J. Hardy entrenched at shortstop at the time, and Tulowitzki did not express a willingness to move to third base. So it picked Ryan Braun instead.
"We liked Troy Tulowitzki, but we're pretty happy with Ryan," Melvin said.