2005 Draft Preview: LHP, Brian Bogusevic

It is that time of year again and that means the draft is right around the corner. That also means it's time to begin previewing the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. To kick off the series, we'll take a look at college two way star out of Tulane University, Brian Bogusevic.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Brian Bogusevic
DOB: February 18, 1984
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 211
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Hometown: Oak Lawn, Illinois

Coming into the 2005 season, scouts already perceived Brian Bogusevic to be a 1st round selection in this year's draft. However, the bigger question was at what position would he be drafted? As it turns out, several teams are as interested in him as a toolsy outfielder as they are in him as a left-handed hurler. Not to mention, going by past examples, players tend to get better once they can focus on just one position in professional baseball. But, on the other hand, in this day and age, strong left handed pitchers are few and far between. With that being said, this could spell a perfect match between Bogusevic and the New York Yankees.

Some might call the Yankees or another team too conservative by picking a college lefthander with no truly lights out statistics, but strong ones at that. But, most scouts believe that, despite being a college player, Bogusevic still has tremendous untapped ceiling on the mound. Once he can put his primary focus on just pitching, he should be all the more fantastic on the mound. So, by no means is he your typical college pitcher. He may not have the best overall statistics, but his potential among college pitchers is arguably the highest of all.

The stardom of Brian Bogusevic did not only begin in his college playing days. He also was a standout high school player as well. How good? For his varsity career, he hit .442 with 20 HR and 117 RBI at the plate and was equally as outstanding on the mound. He then went on to be named the Illinois' Gatorade Player of the Year in 2002, his senior year at De La Salle Institute. Not to mention, the southpaw also was a star off the diamond as well. He was a member of the National Honor Society and was an Illinois State Scholar as well. In his varsity career, he led his team to a 93-16 overall record. Let's just say his high school career went pretty well, leading him nicely into an awaiting college career.

Unlike many college freshman, Bogusevic got right in on the action in his first year at Tulane. But most of these games would be in the outfield. As a freshman, he hit a solid .321 with 36 RBI. But, more importantly, he showed promise in his limited time on the mound. In 34.1 innings pitched, he went 2-0 while compiling a 3.41 ERA. This would only mean more chances for him heading into the 2004 season. It was then that Bogusevic would become the ace of the Green Wave staff. As a sophomore, he was tied for the team lead in wins (9), he led the team in strikeouts (84), and complete games (3).

So, coming off such an outstanding season, there were high expectation for Brian Bogusevic. Not only was he named a first team pre-season All-American as a pitcher but as a hitter as well. Along with that was the expectation that he would be a 1st round draft selection in the 2005 draft as well. But, even with those expectations in mind, he has met them with flying colors here in 2005. Thus far on the mound, the lefty has compiled a dominating 2.60 ERA while posting a record of 10-1 in 97 innings pitched. With that in mind, Bogusevic has more than solidified himself as a 1st round pick in this year's draft.

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Well, if you're looking for a flamethrower, you won't look at Brian Bogusevic. However, you could make a legitimate case for him as a power lefty hurler. Even at only 21 years of age, he sits quite comfortably in the 89-92 MPH range, touching 93 MPH at times. Not to mention, many scouts believe that he still has a lot of ceiling for a college pitcher and even more velocity yet to be tapped. But, more importantly, he has the ability to locate and command his fastball at all times, and when you are left handed, that's already enough to get someone's attention. And, having the zip on it that Bogusevic does makes him all the more intriguing.

Other Pitches. To go along with his good heater, this southpaw also has a curveball and a changeup to round out his classic lefty arsenal. His breaking ball is slightly above average but the important thing is that he can command it in just about any count. But, his changeup is what separates him the most from the pack. When he is locating this along with his curveball, he can be as dominating as anyone as he frustrates hitter after hitter.

Pitching. What Bogusevic really is all about is a little combination of power pitching and intelligence pitching. He throws hard enough to blow the ball by a hitter and his changeup and curveball are more than enough to make hitters look incredibly foolish. What sets him a part is good control in and outside of the strike zone. He is very accomplished at making hitters chase pitcher's pitches just out of the strike zone. That is how he gets most of his strikeouts, getting even the better hitters to chase his changeup and breaking ball just out of the zone. But, he continues to pound the strike zone and go after every hitter. You won't see him walk too many hitters either. He is very aggressive on the mound and knows what he's doing at all times. Oh yeah, he also has a great pickoff move.

Projection. Of course, it is always difficult to project what a player will be at any level, let alone a guy that has never played an inning of professional baseball. However, to make an educated guess at what Brian Bogusevic could become at the Major League level, it appears that he could be a workhorse atop a big league staff for many years. He appears to be a strong, innings eating future ace who could stick around for years to come.

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