Bradley Garrett Cresse
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 230 lb.
The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Brad Cresse (son of Dodgers coach Mark Cresse) with their 34th round pick in the 1996 amateur draft, following three straight rounds of Brians. Brad did not sign and went on to LSU for college. He split catching duties as a freshman for a team that won the 1997 College World Series; Cresse was one of the light threats at .221/?/.475. Playing regularly as a sophomore, he improved to .323/?/.750. He was 4th in NCAA Division I in home runs (29) and 11th with 90 RBI. He missed the All-Southeastern Conference team even though he led the SEC in both homers and RBI. Cresse slipped to .302/?/.493 as a junior. In the 1998 Baseball World Cup, Brad hit .111/.158/.167 as the primary DH.
As a senior, Brad had one of the best years in the nation. He batted .388/?/.795 with 30 homers and 106 RBI. He was named a first-team All-American by three different sources, either at catcher or DH, and won the first Johnny Bench Award. He led NCAA Division I in total bases (217), homers and RBI. He was named an All-Conference catcher and again was on a College World Series champion. His 78 career college currently (2009) places him 6th all-time in NCAA Division I. The Arizona Diamondbacks took him in the fifth round of the 2000 amateur draft.
Brad debuted in high class A and homered 17 times in 48 games for the High Desert Mavericks, batting .324/.402/.659. Moving up to the El Paso Diablos, he hit .262/.385/.357 in 15 games. Baseball America rated him the Diamondbacks' #6 prospect. He continued to look like a prize prospect in 2001, hitting .289/.373/.483 for El Paso with 39 doubles and 81 RBI, though he went down on strikes 116 times.
Cresse struggled in '02, only hitting .229/.282/.329 for El Paso and .270/.306/.397 for the Tucson Sidewinders in his AAA debut. Brad spent all of 2003 in AAA but only hit .229/.282/.402, drawing 18 walks and striking out 89 times in 306 AB.
Brad was dealt to the Montréal Expos for a player to be named later and spent spring training of 2004 with the team, but was returned to Arizona before the deal was finalized. He was no longer in the Diamondbacks plans and wound up signing a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .293/.372/.530 with the Tennessee Smokies and .246/.288/.391 in 22 games for the Memphis Redbirds in trying to piece his career back together.
In 2005, Brad hit just .209/.295/.374 with Memphis (41 games) and .205/.311/.308 with the Springfield Cardinals (11 games) as a backup. He then moved to his dad's old team, signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers. In '06, Cresse hit .259/.351/.438 as a sub for the Jacksonville Suns and also was 3 for 17 with 3 walks and 8 Ks for the GCL Dodgers.
Primary Sources: 1997-2006 Baseball Almanacs