After presiding over the draft, Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid took some time to share his thoughts on the draft as a whole and on some of the guys they selected in the late rounds.
FSW: How would you sum up the draft as a whole?
SEID: I thought it was balanced to some degree. We took some high-upside pitching early on. I like the college guys that we got. Obviously, I like (second-round pick) Devin Williams. I think he’s going to turn out to be a pretty good athletic pitcher with stuff. That’s the kind of guy you would take up front in the draft. The college guys we got are going to have a chance to be starters. They all have stuff. They all possess a pretty good fastball, they locate the fastball and they have secondary stuff they can throw for strikes. From that standpoint, I was really happy with the college pitchers we got.
We took a chance on a few guys. Josh Uhen from UW-Milwaukee, he has a big arm. For him it’s about getting some innings under his belt, being able to work on his delivery and the consistency of it. But it’s a big arm. When I look at guys like (Jim) Henderson and (John) Axford, I could see that type of potential. The thing is, if he develops a secondary, we could have someone who could take the mound every five days down the road.
We got some speedy high school kids, guys who I think our organization could use. I think from that standpoint, we’ve drafted some power the last couple years, we’ve gotten some pitching in the past years that are making their way up to the higher levels and hopefully will be up in Milwaukee soon. I did feel speed was a need. As we got deeper into the draft, we took some high school kids that can really run. From that standpoint, they are going to sign, they are going to get out playing.
FSW: You took six left-handed pitchers in the draft, but five came on the final day. Was there a common theme among the six?
SEID: Guys that either have some velocity, guys that have a couple of major-league type pitches and can command it. We’re hoping some of those guys from a left-handed standpoint can make it to Milwaukee in a couple of years.
(Twelfth-round pick Trevor) Seidenberger, he has a good arm. He has a good slider, a good breaking pitch, a good arm that we feel is probably a pretty good bullpen arm. We hope to get him signed. He’s a junior. He definitely wants to go out and play, so we are going to work on that one.
FSW: You took three pitchers from Lee University, starting with the 6-foot-8 Andy Hillis. What can you tell us about him?
SEID: This is a big young man. He’s been clocked as high as 99 mph. On a bad day he’s probably 93 to 95 mph. We’re happy to add him. He had a lot a strikeouts in not a lot of innings, and he didn’t walk a lot of guys. Even if it is NAIA, he’s getting guys out. I’m really happy with what we got from him. Hillis is a big fella who throws hard. In the 11th round, you give me those all day, and I’ll be happy.
FSW: You took a couple of local kids on the last day of the draft. What do you see in LaCrosse’s Drew Ghelfi and Whitefish Bay’s Charlie Markson?
SEID: Ghelfi has a good arm. He was at our workout. He’s a big kid that didn’t get a lot of innings at Minnesota. Our scout Drew Anderson identified him and brought him here to Milwaukee and he was up to 93 to 94 mph and showed some secondary stuff. He’s going to have to do some things, he’s going to have to make some adjustments, delivery wise, and command the zone a little bit better.
Markson didn’t have the greatest year at Notre Dame, but we’ve seen him since high school here. We did get a little bit of help from Craig Counsell because he knows the kid really well. He’s a guy that can run, he’s athletic. We’re going to send him out there and hope for the best.
FSW: Twenty-ninth-round pick Nick Eicholtz was a guy that fell because of his hard commitment to Arkansas. Do you think you can sign him?
SEID: We really like him. It could be a situation where he’s maybe unsignable. But if there’s anything we can do to accommodate his signing, we’d be really pleased. I would say that’s probably going to be a tough one.
When you get that late in the draft, you are trying to take kids with the potential that they maybe get a little bored in the summertime and they see their friends out there playing and maybe they change their mind. You aren’t going to sign everyone. Guys put high demands on their signing price. We respect that. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice. We don’t want to miss a player because you never know what will happen over the summertime.
FSW: You took just two catchers in this draft, the highest being prep catcher Tanner Norton in the 13th round. What have you seen in him?
SEID: We like him. He was identified at the showcases. He’s a left-handed hitter that has a little power. As a young catcher, most of those guys take two, three, four years to develop as a catcher. Where we got him, we’re hoping to get him out playing.
FSW: Fifteenth-round pick David Denson is known for hitting a 515-foot home run at a showcase. Does he have to develop other parts of his offensive game to utilize the power?
SEID He needs to get to that power more consistently. He’s a great kid. We’re hoping to sign him, we want to sign him. I think he wants to play. We get him out there and let repetition, let development and all that take place. You just never know. You may have a special player because the power is more than special.
FSW: For those unfamiliar with the process, what comes next?
SEID: We have our allotment, we have some additional money to sign from (rounds) 11 to 40. We’re going to take a look at that and see which players from 11 to 40 we feel we want to spend a little more money on. We can only go a certain amount in those rounds, but we do feel getting into our system, we have a development program that’s pretty good.
I know people talk about our pitching here, but from Triple-A on down to our low-A team, we have two to four guys at each level that have a chance to be major league pitchers. Our staff in the minor leagues has worked hard over the last few years to develop these guys. I think you’ll be pretty happy with the results in the next year to two.