06/07/2004 9:00 PM ET
Expos select Bray in first round
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
|Bill Bray pitched this season in 29 games for William & Mary and went 4-4 with a 2.44 ERA and eight saves. (courtesy William & Mary)
MONTREAL -- Expos scouting director Dana Brown said last week that he was looking for power arms, and he found one on Monday in reliever Bill Bray with the 13th pick in the First-Year Player Draft.
It is the sixth consecutive year in which the Expos used their first pick on a pitcher.
Josh Gridley, Justin Wayne, Josh Karp, Clint Everts and Chad Cordero were the other hurlers, and only Cordero has the distinction of playing in the big leagues with the Expos.
It's also the second year in a row the Expos drafted a closer in the first round.
Now a setup man, Cordero was a closer from Cal State Fullerton.
Bray's fastball, according to Brown, has been clocked at 95 mph, and his slider was registered in the low 80s.
Depending on how well he develops in the minor leagues, Brown said he wouldn't be surprised if Bray became a starter one day.
"That would be up to our development people on how far he can go. As of now, he is a closer," Brown said. "He has a power arm with power pitches," Brown said.
Like Cordero, Bray, who attends William & Mary, is projected to be in the big leagues within a year -- maybe sooner.
"I was a little surprised how fast Cordero moved through the system, and Bray is just that tough from the left side. Bray could be in the big leagues just as soon or sooner," Brown said. "We feel that Bray is Major League ready. Right now, he's bringing two power pitches to the table. He has a plus fastball and a plus slider. He has really good life on his fastball. For me, that tells me he can pitch in the big leagues. He has fastball command. He is a strike thrower. ... You have to get guys with power stuff and who can get big league hitters out."
This season, Bray pitched in 29 games for William & Mary and went 4-4 with a 2.44 ERA and eight saves. He struck out 84 batters and walked 15 in 59 innings.
What caught Brown's attention was Bray's success in Cape Cod in 2003. He went 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA.
William & Mary
Position: LHP B/T: L/L
H: 6-3 W: 215
Born: 1983-06-05 Class: SR
LARGE FRAME. BROAD SHOULDERS, LONG ARMS. MUSCULAR LOWER HALF. BODY SIMILAR TO TERRELL WADE. FULL WINDUP, 3/4 DELIVERY. LOOSE, LIVE, QUICK ARM. AVG FB AT TIMES W/ RUNNING MOVEMENT INTO LHH. THROWS HARD SLIDER, GOOD ROTATION & BITE. COMMAND OF BOTH. CONFIDENT, WANTS BALL.
"He has a pretty good history. He pitched well in the Cape Cod League, which is one of the best college summer leagues in the country, so we feel we have another quality power arm to the mix," Brown said.
Bray, who just turned 21 on Saturday, was a four-year letter winner as a pitcher at Ocean Lakes High School. He went 6-1 with a 0.95 ERA as a senior.
Bray also earned one letter in track and field.
Bill Ladson is
a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.