Brewers sign top picks Coulter, Roache

MILWAUKEE — Before Clint Coulter is able to begin his career in the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league system, there’s just one thing he has to do: graduate from high school.

Still two days away from being handed his diploma, Coulter, an 18-year-old catcher out of Washington drafted by Milwaukee with the 27th overall pick, signed his first professional baseball contract.

“Today was my last day of school, and I missed it,” Coulter said Friday at Miller Park. “Sunday I have my graduation party with family and friends, and then Monday, I graduate. So I’ve still got to graduate high school before I can start playing ball.”

Coulter was named the Player of the Year in the 2012 Class 4A Greater St. Helens League following his successful season that included a .405 batting average, three home runs, 14 RBI and 18 stolen bases as a senior.

The plan in the Brewers organization is to keep Coulter as a catcher, a role that he wants to hang on to.

“I love being back there,” Coulter said. “Controlling the tempo of the game, working with different pitchers. It’s really fun. I enjoy every minute of it.”

Coulter passed on a scholarship offer to play baseball at Arizona State University, opting instead to begin his major league career.

With back-to-back picks, the Brewers then drafted outfielder Victor Roache at No. 28, and he too, has already signed his contract and was invited to Miller Park on Friday.

Roache has not been on the field since February, when he broke his left wrist following a dive attempt, but he should be back by mid-July.

“After missing the whole season, I’m ready to get back to 100 percent and get back on the field,” Roache said. “I’m shooting to come back for instructional league, that’s what I’m working for right now, just to get my career started. I’m ready to get out there and get to work.”

Roache, 20, was a 25th-round pick of the Detroit Tigers out of high school in 2009 but did not sign. As a sophomore at Georgia Southern in 2011, Roache led the nation with 30 home runs while batting .326.

Another notable Brewers draftee who signed a contract this week was 25th-round pick Lance Roenicke. The son of Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, Lance will receive his college degree at the University of California-Santa Barbara next week and then report to Helena.

Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.