Brewers MLB draft glance since 1998: Rounds 21-50
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Major League Baseball draft, which will be held June 10-11, will be limited to five rounds.
With the truncated version this year, we thought we’d take a look back at Milwaukee Brewers drafts since 1998 – when the last two expansion teams were added – to see how the Brewers have fared in each round.
We’ve already looked at Round 1, rounds 2-5 and 6-20. Finally, we’ll look at the players who made the majors from Milwaukee’s picks in rounds 21-50. These are truly the long shots. No player taken by the Brewers after the 34th round since 1998 has made the majors.
The draft, before this year, went to 40 rounds. But it was 50 rounds through 2011 (and beyond 50 through 1997). Starting in 2021, MLB can reduce the draft to as low as 20 rounds.
Instead of ranking each player subjectively, we’ll order them objectively – by baseball-reference.com’s WAR (wins above replacement). Note: For pitchers, we’re using only their pitching WAR. To add in their hitting WAR seems a bit unfair, but we’ll include it in the capsule for reference sake. Also, this list only included players signed by Milwaukee.
Lucas Luetge, P, 2008
WAR: 0.1 (DNP with Brewers)
Batting WAR: n/a
Seattle selected Luetge in the Rule 5 draft and he pitched in 89 innings over 111 games for the Mariners from 2012-15, posting a 4.35 ERA. He’s bounced about since and this spring was in camp with Oakland.
Kevin Shackelford, P, 2010
WAR: -0.2 (DNP with Brewers)
Batting WAR: 0.0
Shackelford was one of two players to be named later sent to Cincinnati in the 2014 trade for Jonathan Broxton. He pitched in 31 games for the Reds in 2017-18 with a 5.35 ERA.
Mike Fiers, P, 2009
WAR: 11.2 (2.0 with Brewers)
Batting WAR: -0.8 (-0.8 with Brewers)
Fiers made his MLB debut late in the 2011 season at age 26. He pitched with the Brewers until July 30, 2015, when he was dealt with Carlos Gomez to Houston for Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana. Fiers pitched in 71 games for Milwaukee with 56 starts. He went 21-28 with a 3.66 ERA (109 ERA+), 1.238 WHIP and 9.2 K/9. He’s since pitched for the Astros, Tigers and A’s, and has a career record of 69-59 with a 4.02 ERA (102 ERA+), 1.255 WHIP and 7.9 K/9 in his nine major-league seasons.
Johnny Davis, OF, 2013
WAR: -0.1 (DNP with Brewers)
Davis flashed speed in the minors with the Brewers, swiping 52 bases in Double-A in 2017, but played in just nine games in Triple-A before being released in April 2018. Davis signed with Tampa Bay and appeared in eight games with the Rays in 2019, largely as a pinch runner, going 1-for-4 with five runs.
Drew Anderson, OF, 2003
Anderson got the call from Milwaukee in 2006 and got 10 plate appearances in nine games (1-for-9, three runs). He was waived and claimed by Cincinnati in 2008. Anderson returned to the Brewers’ organization in 2009 but never played in the majors again.
Taylor Green, 2B, 2005
Green saw limited action for the Brewers in 2011-12, playing mostly first base and third base. He played in 78 games in the two years, batting .207/.266//.343 with three home runs and even got one at-bat in both the 2011 NLDS and NLCS.
Chris Barnwell, SS, 2001
Barnwell was recalled to the Brewers in June 2006 at age 26 and appeared in 13 games, going 2-for-30.
Craig Breslow, P, 2002
WAR: 6.2 (DNP with Brewers)
Batting WAR: 0.0
Breslow was released just over two years after being drafted. He signed with San Diego, where he pitched briefly (28 1/3 innings) in 2005-06. Breslow re-emerged in the majors in 2008 and pitched through the 2017 season. He played for Cleveland (twice), Minnesota (twice), Oakland, Arizona, Boston and Miami. In his 12-year career, Breslow posted a 3.45 ERA (122 ERA+), 1335 WHIP and 7.0 K/9.
Manny Parra, P, 2001
WAR: -3.0 (-3.2 with Brewers)
Batting WAR: 0.8 (0.8 with Brewers)
Parra was mainly a starting pitcher for Milwaukee from 2007-09 before being used more out of the bullpen in 2010 and, after missing the 2011 season, exclusively in relief in 2012. In his five seasons with the Brewers, Parra was 26-33 with a 5.12 ERA. He pitched twice in the 2008 NLDS, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Parra pitched for Cincinnati in 2014-16 with a 3,91 ERA and 1.304 WHIP over 115 innings.
Chris Saenz, P, 2001
Batting WAR: 0.0
At 22 years old, the right-handed Saenz was called up from Double-A to make a start for Milwaukee against St. Louis at Miller Park. In a 3-1 win, he tossed six shutout innings, allowing two hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. He was sent back down afterwards and eventually elbow issues kept him to just 14 minor-league starts in 2004 and also caused him to miss the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2007 but didn’t fare well in Double-A (8.41 ERA) and was released, pitching for independent minor-league teams in ’07 and ’08.
Brent Suter 2012
Batting WAR: 0.8
Everyone’s favorite Harvard-educated “Raptor” came up to the Brewers in 2016, appearing in 14 games with two starts. He was used mainly as a starter the next two seasons although an injury shelved him for part of 2018 and most of last season, when he returned and made nine relief appearances, allowing one run in 18 1/3 innings. In his four seasons, Suter is 17-11 with a 3.63 ERA (117 ERA+), 1.197 WHIP and 7.2 K/9.
Jason Rogers, 1B, 2010
WAR: 0.2 (0.3 with Brewers)
Rogers was a September callup in 2014 at age 26 (1-for-9) then played in 86 games – including 58 as a pinch hitter — the following season, garnering 169 plate appearances and hitting .296/.367/.441. In the offseason he was dealt to Pittsburgh for Keon Broxton and Trey Supak. He went just 2-for-25 with the Pirates in 2016 and spent one more year in the minors.
Tim Dillard, C, 2002
Batting WAR: 0.1
He might have been drafted as a catcher, but Dillard was immediately converted into a pitcher in the minors. Dillard pitched briefly for the Brewers in 2008-09 – 18 2/3 innings over 15 games – before appearing in 68 games in 2011-12. In 84 1/3 career innings, he has a 4.70 ERA and 1.470 WHIP. Dillard currently is in Texas’ organization. If there were WAR for humor and personality, Dillard would be a Hall of Famer.