Brewers shore up farm system through MLB Draft
Round 2, pick 54 — RHP Devin Williams (6-3, 165), Hazelwood West (Mo.) H.S.: Long, athletic pitcher with tremendous upside and a projectable frame. Williams was ranked as the 20th overall prospect in the draft by ESPN.com, and many feel the Brewers got a first-round talent with Williams falling to them. His fastball sits in the 88-92 mph range, but has increased in the past year. He throws a slider, change-up and curveball as off-speed pitches. The Brewers will have to be patient with Williams, but his potential is high.
Competitive Balance Round B, pick 72 — SS Tucker Neuhaus (6-3, 200), Wharton (Fla.) H.S.: The Brewers feel they found a gem in Neuhaus because of how early they first scouted him. Because of a couple of injuries, Neuhaus missed the majority of his senior high school season, causing a lot of teams to miss out on seeing him play. A left-handed bat with power potential, Neuhaus may have to slide over to third base, but he’ll start his professional career at shortstop. His defensive tools are solid, but the range is the concern. He’s faced a lot of adversity in the past year, as his older brother passed away in a car accident last November. Neuhaus was coached in high school by Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs.
Round 3, pick 90 — RHP Barrett Astin (6-1, 200), University of Arkansas: After spending his first two seasons in the bullpen for Arkansas, Astin moved to the rotation last year and went 4-4 with a 1.79 ERA in 90-2/3 innings. A strike-thrower, Astin walked just 20 this season and allowed only one home run. Ranked 125th by Baseball America, Astin is projected by some scouts as a future reliever. Astin has a good curveball, but Baseball America says his slider and sinker may play better in the bullpen. As a sophomore in 2012, Astin went 3-5 with a team-high 11 saves in 32 games as the closer for the Razorbacks, playing a big role in their run to the College World Series.
Round 4, pick 122 — RHP Taylor Williams (5-11, 185), Kent State University: Williams spent just one season at Kent State after transferring from Mount Hood Community College. In his one season for the Golden Flashes, Williams went 10-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 105-2/3 innings. The highlight of Williams’ season might have been when he struck out Chicago Cubs first-round pick Kris Bryant three times in a game. Ranked 144th by Baseball America, Williams is an athletic pitcher that has a fastball in the 90-95 mph range and a slider “that can be plus at times”, according to Baseball America. His change-up and curveball are developing.
Round 5, pick 152 – RHP Joshua Uhen (6-4, 205), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: The top draft prospect in Wisconsin, Uhen is a hard-thrower who went 1-0 with a 3.80 ERA in 21 relief appearances for the Panthers this past season. Uhen got one out in the 2011 season before tearing his elbow, leading to Tommy John surgery. Uhen went through nearly the same rehab and strengthening program as Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg and took it slow during the 2012 season. Velocity came back strong, as Uhen nearly hit triple digits on occasion with his fastball. He has the arm and the frame, but he lacks experience because of his injury. His size and raw stuff is what got him drafted in the fifth round. Because he was in Milwaukee’s backyard, the Brewers saw him more than any other team.
Round 6, pick 182 — 1B Garrett Cooper (6-5, 230), Auburn University: Cooper was Auburn’s everyday first baseman, putting up big numbers at the plate all season. He was seventh in the SEC with a .353 batting average to go along with a .581 slugging percentage. Cooper’s power may have also attracted the Brewers attention as he had six homers, third most in the conference. Defensively, the big first baseman was very solid, recording a .986 fielding percentage on 259 putouts, third most in the SEC. The California native was also an all-SEC second team selection in 2013.
Round 7, pick 212 — CF Omar Garcia (5-9, 160), Miami Dade Community College: An outfielder from Orlando, he is the first non-infield player taken by the Brewers in this draft. He was an FCSAA first-team member in Florida after hitting .447, the third-best Division I junior college average in the country. In 39 games this past season, Garcia had a .513 on-base percentage and 19 RBI. His speed may be his best asset, as he ranked 10th in the junior college ranks with 32 stolen bases.
Round 8, pick 242 — CF Brandon Diaz (5-11, 175), American Heritage (FL) H.S.: The Brewers grabbed another speedy outfielder out of the state Florida in Diaz. He is currently committed to Florida International. Diaz was a Rawlings 2013 all-region first-team member and was also a Perfect Game second-team underclassmen all-American last season.
Round 9, pick 272 — LHP Tyler Linehan (6-0, 240), Fresno State: Linehan finished his junior campaign with a 5.90 ERA, going 3-7 in 19 appearances and seven starts. He only allowed one home run on the season and threw two complete games, including one shutout against San Diego State. Linehan has shown great potential, holding opponents to a .289 batting average in 2012 when we went 4-5 with a 3.58 ERA.
Round 10, pick 302 — RF Michael Ratterree (6-1, 210), Rice: Originally picked in the 45th round by the Nationals in 2009, Ratteree has spent four years at Rice adding strength and muscle, going from 185 pounds to 210. He’s a .282 hitter for his career who drives in RBI in bunches. He hit 9 homers in 2013, adding 10 doubles and 41 RBI. Off the field, the Houston native was named to the 2012 Conference USA Academic Honor Roll.
Round 11, pick 332 — RHP Andy Hillis (6-8, 240), Lee University: A power reliever, Hillis started his career at the University of Tennessee, but never pitched for the Volunteers due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. A big presence on the mound, Hillis’ fastball sits in the mid-90s and hit 99 mph on the gun this season. An NAIA honorable mention All-American this past season, Hillis went 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA and nine saves in 30 relief appearances. He was drafted out of high school in the 49th round by St. Louis and was drafted again by the Cardinals in the 29th round of last year’s draft.
Round 12, pick 362 — LHP Trevor Seidenberger (6-2, 195), TCU: In his first season at TCU, Seidenberger appeared in 21 games and made six starts for the Horned Frogs. In 54 2/3 innings, Seidenberger went 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA and walked just 15 while striking out 62. Seidenberger spent the first two years of his college career at Blinn Junior College.
Round 13, pick 392 — C Tanner Norton (6-0, 190), Bishop Brossart H.S. (Ky.): Committed to Western Kentucky, Norton hit .437 with five home runs and 32 RBI in 2012. He’s ranked as one of the top 500 players in the country by Perfect Game and as the eighth best player in Kentucky. A left-handed hitter, Norton is said to be a leader with an advanced approach at the plate with power potential by Western Kentucky coach Matt Myers.
Round 14, pick 422 — LHP Hobbs Johnson (5-11, 205), North Carolina: After not getting drafted as a draft-eligible sophomore, Johnson was snatched up by the Brewers in the 14th round after a very good junior season. As the Sunday starter for one of the best teams in the nation, Johnson went 4-0 with a 2.09 ERA in 77 1/3 innings for the Tar Heels. Johnson’s fastball sits in the high-80s to low-90s and has some movement, according to MLB.com. Johnson throws a change-up, slider and curveball, but must improve his command if he wants to be a starter at the next level.
Round 15, pick 452 — 1B David Denson (6-4, 245), South Hills H.S. (Calif.): Committed to the University of Hawaii, Denson is known for hitting a 515-foot home run at Marlins Park during a showcase in January. While that was with a metal bat, Denson has big power potential. Denson won the event by hitting 19 home runs. The 515-foot home run broke Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper’s record at the showcase. He will have to improve his all-around offensive game at the next level, but the big left-hander can hit he ball a long way.
Round 16, pick 482 — RHP Corey Miller (6-3, 190), Pepperdine: After spending his sophomore season as Pepperdine’s Sunday starter, Miller stepped up as the Saturday starter for the Waves during his junior year. Though Chicago Cubs draft pick and teammate Scott Frazier garnered more attention, Miller was more consistent and had a 2.71 ERA in 13 starts this past season.
Round 17, pick 512 — RHP Brandon Moore (6-3, 230), Arkansas: After working a total of 151 2/3 innings for the Razorbacks in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Moore’s innings dropped to 47 this past season. In 25 relief appearances, Moore went 1-4 with a 2.68 ERA for the Razorbacks. Moore is the second Arkansas pitcher the Brewers have drafted this year, as right-hander Barrett Astin was their third round pick.
Round 18, pick 542 — LHP Clint Terry (6-2, 205), Lee University: Milwaukee’s second pick of the day from Lee University, Terry went 11-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 83 2/3 innings. The Brewers took Lee’s closer Andy Hillis in the 11th round and now take the Flames’ best starter. Terry was drafted in the 36th round last year by San Francisco.
Round 19, pick 572 — RHP Josh Matheson (6-3, 180), Minnesota State-Mankato: Matheson went 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA in 17 2/3 innings during his redshirt freshman season in 2013. Appearing in 11 games with one start, Matheson had a team-low .103 batting average against.
Round 20, pick 602 — LHP Ryan Yarbrough (6-5, 205), Old Dominion: In his first season with the Monarchs, Yarbrough went 4-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 17 appearances with 13 starts. Yarbrough was 8-1 with a 2.15 ERA for Santa Fe College (Fla.) before transferring to Old Dominion.
Round 21, pick 632 — RHP Tristan Archer (6-3, 210), Tennessee Tech: The Ohio Valley Conference pitcher of the year, Archer went 9-4 with a 3.34 ERA, striking out 97 in 97 innings this season. Archer is Tennessee Tech’s career wins, innings pitched and starts leader, while he’s second in school history in strikeouts. Tennessee Tech coach Matt Bragga compared Archer to Jered Weaver in the fact that he throws 88-89 mph and throws across his body. Bragga said Archer has similar arm action, body and build to Weaver.
Round 22, pick 662 — LF Johnny Davis (5-10, 170), West Los Angeles College: In his freshman season for the Wildcats, Davis hit .336 with 3 HR, 23 RBI and stole 22 bases in 2013. A speedy outfielder, Davis was a bright spot for a Wildcats team that finished 8-22.
Round 23, pick 692 — CF Eric Williams (5-10, 190), Sachse H.S. (Texas): Committed to Texas Tech, Williams is a stocky, compactly built outfielder, according to Perfect Game. According to ESPN.com, Williams offers solid hitting tools and has projectable power due to above-average bat speed. At a Perfect Game showcase, Williams threw 97 mph from the outfield. He’s been clocked at 87-90 mph from the mound.
Round 24, pick 722 — RHP Chris Razo (6-0, 200), Illinois State: In his senior season at Illinois State, Razo went 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 89 1/3 innings. Razo made 11 starts, but also made nine relief appearances and had four saves. Razo was the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference pitcher of the year. He spent two seasons with Illinois State after transferring from Heartland Community College.
Round 25, pick 752 — RHP Drew Ghelfi (6-3, 190), Minnesota: A native of LaCrosse, Wis., Ghelfi went 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings during his junior season at Minnesota. Ghelfi made eight appearances out of the bullpen, walking nine and striking out seven. After graduating from LaCrosse Central High School, Ghelfi started his college career at Iowa Central Community College. Ghelfi was third-team All-State for spring baseball in Wisconsin after his senior year of high school.
Round 26, pick 782 — CF Ky Parrott (5-9, 180), Herndon H.S. (Va.): Committed to James Madison, Parrott is an athletic outfielder that also was the starting quarterback on his high school football team. Parrott fits into the mold of a typical leadoff hitter and swings from the left side of the plate.
Round 27, pick 812 — LHP Tyler Alexander (6-1, 180), Florida International: In his lone season with Florida International, Alexander went 4-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 15 starts. A transfer from Hillsborough Community College, Alexander struck out 107 in 90 1/3 innings last season for the Panthers. Alexander was ranked as the second-best junior college recruit in the country before he signed with Florida International.
Round 28, pick 842 — LHP Alex Moore (6-2, 210), Lee University: The Brewers made Moore their third selection out of Lee University in this draft, joining teammates Andy Hillis and Clint Terry. Moore went 1-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 22 relief appearances last season. He had two saves and struck out 20 in 21 1/3 innings. Lee head coach Mark Brew said Moore has always had a big arm, but started to put it together of late.
Round 29, pick 872 — RHP Nick Eicholtz (6-3, 185), Cambridge Christian H.S. (Fla.): More talented than his draft position suggests, Eicholtz fell due to his strong commitment to Alabama. According to MLB.com, Eicholtz is a talented two-way player that has a projectable arm as a pitcher. Eicholtz has a high ceiling, but Milwaukee may not be able to sign him away from the Crimson Tide.
Round 30, pick 902 — SS Luis Aviles (6-1, 170), Southwest Miami H.S. (Fla.): Aviles was ranked as the 299th overall player in the draft by Baseball America. According to MLB.com, Aviles is a raw player but has big potential. A very good defensive shortstop, Aviles has good range but an average arm. A solid contact hitter, Aviles isn’t much of a power hitter in his current frame.
Round 31, pick 932 — RHP Tanner Poppe (6-6, 225), Kansas: Poppe’s selection by the Brewers marks the third time he’s been drafted, as the hard-throwing right-hander was picked in the 37th round out of high school by Kansas City and again in 2011 in the 37th round by Tampa Bay. Poppe went 4-3 with a 4.22 ERA in 10 starts and three relief appearances for the Jayhawks this past season. His off-speed pitches will have to develop. Probably projects more as a reliever.
Round 32, pick 962 — RHP Ryan Deeter (6-1, 190), UCLA: Part of UCLA’s stellar bullpen, Deeter went 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA in 21 relief appearances this past season as a redshirt junior. Deeter broke out in 2012, posting a 0.89 ERA in 36 games, helping the Bruins to the College World Series. His 36 appearances were tied for second in the conference and 0.89 ERA was second-lowest in UCLA history. This year, Deeter had the highest GPA of any student-athlete at UCLA.
Round 33, pick 992 — SS Charles Leblanc (6-3, 195), Georges Vanier Secondary School (Canada): One of the youngest players in the draft, Leblanc just turned 17 last week. In Quebec, high schoolers usually graduate young. With general manager Doug Melvin and assistant general manager Gord Ash both Canadians, the Brewers have an extensive history of grabbing Canadian players in the draft. Leblanc is really young and inconsistent right now, but he could be worth the gamble down the road.
Round 34, pick 1,022 — RHP Dylan Brock (6-2, 225), Glendale Community College (Ariz.): Brock was a two-way player at Glendale Community College, pitching 8 2/3 innings with a 3.12 ERA. He hit .318 with 3 HR and 30 RBI and was named to the Division 2 All-Region team.
Round 35, pick 1,052 — RHP Jesse Travis (6-7, 235), Southwest Missouri Junior College: A big right-hander, Travis went 1-5 with a 4.78 ERA for Southwest Missouri last season. He had trouble with his command, walking 26 in 33 2/3 innings.
Round 36, pick 1,082 — 1B Jesse Weiss (6-0, 200), Kenyon College: Weiss hit .311 with four home runs and 32 RBI last season for Kenyon College. Listed as an outfielder on Kenyon’s roster, Weiss spent a lot of time as the team’s designated hitter.
Round 37, pick 1,112 — SS JaVon Shelby (5-11, 175), Tates Creek H.S. (Ky.): The son of Brewers outfield coach John Shelby, JaVon Shelby is committed to the University of Kentucky. An athletic shortstop, the younger Shelby will likely head off to college.
Round 38, pick 1,142 — CF Charlie Markson (6-2, 200), Notre Dame: A native of Whitefish Bay, Wis., Markson hit .209 with 0 HR and 21 RBI in his senior season with the Fighting Irish. His senior stats dropped from his junior season where he hit .303. Markson was drafted out of high school in the 44th round in 2009 by the Detroit Tigers.
Round 39, pick 1,172 — C Jack Cleary (6-2, 212), Maryland: Like Markson, Cleary’s numbers took a dip in his senior season, as his batting average dropped from a team-high .319 in his junior year to .213 this year. Though he had struggles at the plate, Cleary was strong behind the plate. He had a .993 fielding percentage and threw out 69.2 percent of attempted base-stealers.
Round 40, pick 1,202 — RF Kenny Meimerstorf (5-11, 190), Bishop Gorman H.S. (Nev.): With a strong commitment to the University of Arizona, Meimerstorf fell in the draft despite his talent. The Nevada state player of the year hit .464 with 14 HR and 47 RBI for tradition-rich Bishop Gorman. It’s unlikely he’ll choose to sign with the Brewers instead of heading to play for the Wildcats.
— Andrei Greska contributed to this report
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