Scram started his collegiate career at Cowley County Community College in 2004; and he kicked it off with a bang. His freshman campaign saw him hit .376 with 12 steals and a .613 slugging percentage. Following his impressive debut campaign, the Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the 45th round of the 2005 draft. That wasn't enough to deter Scram from returning to Cowley for his sophomore season, and he proceeded to put together a positively dominating season; hitting .456 with 34 steals, 49 RBI, and 29 extra-base hits in 55 games. Scram left Cowley holding the school's career records for hits (152), runs (124), and triples (13).
Scram's strong commitment to Oklahoma State steered teams away from re-drafting him in 2005, and it would be safe to say the Cowboys were thankful for that. Working in an outfield rotation, Deik posted a .363/.446/.631 line with 13 doubles and 7 triples in 57 games. Despite rampant beliefs that Scram may need additional game experience at OSU, he opted to sign after the Tigers selected him in the 18th round of the 2006 draft.
After signing, Scram debuted with Oneonta of the New York-Penn League, and made a very solid transition to the pro game. Deik's .281/.352/.409 line displayed promise, and it included six triples, which tied him for 4th in the NYPL. Deik wasted no time in getting rolling during his first full season of professional baseball. After starting the season in a rotation with other outfielders at West Michigan, Scram earned regular playing time and exploded onto the prospect scene by going .339/.422/.477 in his next 59 games for the Whitecaps. This outstanding stretch earned him a July promotion to High-A Lakeland where he continued to post solid numbers, notching a .283/.355/.454 line in 41 games for the Flying Tigers.
Despite Deik's small stature, he projects as a player that could develop into a solid five-tool talent. His most outstanding asset is his blazing speed, which was impressively clocked at 6.39 seconds in the 60-yard dash, by the OSU coaching staff. His speed – though electric – has yet to translate to the field, as Deik must learn the nuances of base running and outfield play. With continued game experience, he should move from being a plus-plus runner in practice, to a plus-plus runner in games, an essential trait for players of his ilk.
Offensively, Scram is a very pure hitter, having demonstrated the ability to adjust to different pitches throughout the strike zone. He can spray line drives from line-to-line, and uses his speed to take extra bases with an aggressive flair. While he has excellent natural strength, he has yet to develop homerun power. He may never develop into more than a 12-15 homer threat, but his hard line drive stroke could yield plenty of gapers that end up as doubles and triples.
Defensively, he is an inexperienced outfielder, having played shortstop prior to attending Oklahoma State. His routes and reactions in the outfield are still a bit rough, but progress can be seen from one game to the next. He has a tremendous work ethic and a good baseball aptitude, so the position switch should continue to make significant progress. His arm is roughly average in the outfield, though he has shown improved accuracy as he gains more experience with the throws required of him.
As raw as he is at this time, Deik's overall ceiling is difficult to project, but with continued strides forward, he could become a centerfielder on the order of David DeJesus. At his present level, with only modest gains, Scram could easily morph into a very solid fourth outfielder at the big league level.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% A
Scram has remained healthy throughout his collegiate and brief professional careers. He is wiry strong and remains flexible, and important component of his ability to remain healthy going forward.
Deik took a giant leap forward in 2007, and has drawn a significant amount of attention to his game. He entered camp this spring in a state of limbo, trying to prove his strong performance at Lakeland to end last season was not a fluke, and that he is in fact ready for an assignment to Double-A. Given the number of outfielders at the system's higher levels, it will be tough for Scram to crack the Erie lineup on Opening Day, but not impossible. At some point during this season, he should be attempting to terrorize Eastern League pitchers.
Scram's timetable to Detroit depends on his ability to continue refining his defensive abilities, and maintain the progress he has showed in recognizing pitches. Despite his successes, he is still a raw player with plenty to learn and room to grow. With another step forward throughout this season, Deik could establish himself as one of the Tigers better prospects, and help resurrect a system in dire need of impact players.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.