MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers took a calculated risk Monday by drafting a power prospect who cannot play baseball at the moment.
Georgia Southern outfielder Victor Roache, picked 28th overall by the Brewers in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft with the team's second of two first-round picks, remains in rehab mode after suffering a serious left arm injury in February. He had six screws and a metal plate installed to repair a broken bone, and two pins to fix a dislocated wrist, and just last week began lightly swinging a bat.
Roache, who hit 30 home runs the season before he was hurt, said he hopes to hit the batting cages within four to six weeks. The Brewers hope he can play in their instructional league in the fall.
Before the injury, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said, Roache might have been a top 10-12 pick. Instead, he went late in the first round to a team hoping its gamble pays off.
"This is a premier, power-type guy," amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said.
Seid added: "Yeah, there's some risk as to, will he get to 100 percent? But at this point, we feel very confident in the makeup of the kid to work hard and that the injury will heal, and he will be who we think he'll be."
Roache was examined last week in Milwaukee by Dr. William Raasch, the team's head physician, and director of medical operations Roger Caplinger. Both gave their thumbs up. Roache also met with Melvin, who was impressed with the player's makeup.
Roache, 20, dove for a ball on Feb. 25, 2012, and fractured his radius and dislocated his left wrist. It cost him a chance to back up his breakthrough 2011, when he batted .326 and hit 30 home runs as a sophomore on the way to being named Southern Conference Player of the Year by the media and coaches.
The season before that, he'd hit only eight home runs, making his homer jump the biggest in NCAA baseball.
"Breaking my wrist ... it was a hard pill to swallow," Roache said. "But after it happened, can't do anything about it. Everything happens for a reason, and I'm just glad that I'm almost fully recovered and I can get back out on the field soon."