Category Archives: MLB Draft

Draft Review: Day 1

Posted by Steve

Some brief thoughts on the Brewers’ draft yesterday:

I was not happy when the Brewers made their first choice. Touki Toussaint, Casey Gillaspie and Grant Holmes were all available, so I was not happy with the pick of Kodi Medeiros, someone who was projected as a late first or even second round pick.

I should mention that I feel better about the Medeiros pick after researching it a bit more. This video makes it look like he could be a LOOGY right now, but of course, the Brewers hope he can stick as a starter. Goodness, that slider 52 seconds in. P.S., that guffaw belongs to none other than Eric Byrnes, he of the famous Throwfall.

But, last night, I was not happy–at first. My opinion changed once they made the next two picks, as it became clear what the Brewers were attempting to do: rather than take one expensive player, they drafted three high-ceiling players who will all be similar in price.

With the new CBA, teams are allowed a draft budget that is dictated by the amount and value of their picks. Each pick is assigned a slot value, which is MLB’s “suggestion” for that pick. Teams and players are free to negotiate that price, but the total amount spent on draft picks must come under a certain overall price. If a team spends more than just a small bit above that budget (small amounts over come with a tax), they end up forfeiting future first round draft picks. Not something teams are going to want to do, unless maybe you’re dealing with a Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper-type talent.

So. By taking Medeiros with pick 12, the Brewers likely knew ahead of time that he would be willing to sign for less than slot, which is $2.8 million at pick 12. Let’s say it’s more like $2 million, though that’s obviously just a guess. They probably told him, “You can take our offer of 2 mil at pick 12, or you can roll the dice and hope to get drafted in the top 21 (the last slot value of over 2 mil). Your choice.”

He may have been drafted in the top 20, but who knows? He also may have fallen to the second round. And maybe he can even negotiate up to 2.2 or 2.3 mil. Either way, this should leave the Brewers with an extra $500-800k to work with in their later picks.

This strategy became apparent, because the players they drafted at 41 and 50 are both serious talents who will surely require the Brewers to go over slot to sign.

I almost listed Jacob Gatewood as another option for the Brewers in the first round yesterday (I wish I would have). He’s a tall high school shortstop who has plus, plus power and is definitely a boom or bust type. It’s fair to say that I’m at least as excited about Gatewood as I am about Medeiros, and probably even more.

Monte Harrison is another high-ceiling high schooler. Profiling as a CF or RF, Harrison is a potential 5-tool player. He is committed to Nebraska both as a baseball player and wide receiver on the football team, which could obviously make it difficult to sign him.

Baseball America rated all three players in their top 32 overall. Medeiros was 32, Gatewood was 21, and Harrison was 20. So if you’re basing it on that, in a vacuum, you wouldn’t be happy about getting #32 with pick 12. But getting three in the top 32 with picks 12, 41, and 50? That’s a haul.

You can see why the Brewers will need to get creative with their money in order to sign all three. They are allotted $6.3 million for their first five picks. Slot value for 41 is $1.38 mil; slot for 50 is $1.1 mil. I think the Brewers will probably need to go 400-500k over slot for both Gatewood and Harrison in order to sign them. That means that not only will they take money away from Medeiros, but I would expect the Brewers to make some reach picks in the next few rounds who will sign below slot.

And I would be completely okay with that. If the Brewers managed to sign all three of these players, that would be extremely exciting. The Brewers have enough guys in their system who can be 4/5 starters, 6/7 hitters. The reason their farm system is rated so low is because they have guys who can make the majors, but they don’t have many who will excel in the Majors. These three players would all enter the Brewers’ top 10 prospects list immediately, and they all have a chance to be impact big leaguers. These are the anti-Jungmann/Bradley picks, which is exactly what I was looking for.

2014 Brewers Draft Preview

Posted by Steve

While fully acknowledging the poor effort shown by this blog so far this season, I couldn’t miss the draft preview post. I probably should call this a “Wishlist for pick #12” post instead of a preview, because I’ve really only researched first round possibilities, and I’ve really only zeroed in on possibilities for the Brewers at pick 12. And, as always, if you want extensive (or even anything more than my limited knowledge) draft coverage, head over to the Brewerfan.net draft forum.

It would be difficult for me to be as disappointed today as I was in 2011 when the Brewers drafted Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley ahead of Sonny Gray and C.J. Cron (both excelling in the majors by now, yay). True story: the last words I said before hearing “The Milwaukee Brewers select Taylor Jungmann” was “Just not Jungmann.” It’s only fair that I acknowledge both Jungmann and Bradley are in the middle of resurgent seasons in the minors, but those are both still looking like the wrong picks.

Anyway, like I said, I don’t see myself being that disappointed with the first round pick this year. Guys I want to see the Brewers avoid are the low-ceiling college guys (i.e. Jungmann and Bradley). I’d be happy if the Brewers got any of the following players.

Kyle Schwarber, 1B/C, Indiana University

As you can probably guess, Schwarber earns a lot of Prince Fielder comparisons due to body type and a powerful left-handed swing. He catches in college, but he’d be a first baseman in the big leagues. He’s the best power hitter in this draft, and as a college hitter, should move quickly through the minors. He’s regarded as a better player than Matt LaPorta, another former high Brewers pick. The Brewers need power hitting prospects, they need left-handers, and they just so happen to have a huge need at 1B. Not that they’d be reaching for need at all; there is some question as to whether Schwarber will be available. This draft is very heavy on pitching in the first round, but Schwarber is in my top two choices. They could take him and go pitching for the next couple picks, and they’d still be in great shape.

 

Grant Holmes, HS Pitcher

Holmes is probably the second or third best high school pitcher and my favorite among those who have a shot to still be on the board at number 12. Holmes has mid-90s velocity and apparently dazzled during a workout at Miller Park. He has a high ceiling, but has demonstrated better command than many of the high-ceiling high school pitchers. That is why Holmes is in my top two choices along with Schwarber.

 

Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State

Gillaspie is not showing up in most mock drafts until the second half of the first round, but I can’t really understand why. He has made a joke of college pitching this year, hitting .402/.511/.687. He’s 6’4″ and has prototypical size for a first baseman. He is a better prospect that his brother Conor was at his age. If Schwarber is Prince Fielder, Gillaspie may be Mark Teixeira (switch hitter-ness included). It would be hard not to be excited about this. Both Gillaspie and Schwarber would immediately become the best power bat in the Brewers’ system.

 

Touki Toussaint, HS Pitcher

How about that for a name! Toussaint is in the discussion with Holmes for the best high school pitcher who could be available to the Brewers. He is likely a riskier pick than Holmes, but may also be more of a boom or bust pick. His fastball and curveball combo is great, but he also has issues with walks. His ceiling is high enough that some scouts are saying there is a chance he ends up as the best pitcher out of this draft.

 

I think I’ve settled on the guys here as my top four for the Brewers’ pick. Don’t be surprised if they select either Max Pentecost, catcher from Kennesaw State, or LHP Kyle Freeland from Evansville. Another name to watch is Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman, a RHP from East Carolina, was a projected top 5 pick before news broke that he needs Tommy John surgery. He’s a great talent, and he’s not projected to fall too far as a result. Teams are confident enough in Tommy John that they could still draft Hoffman high. He’d be an exciting yet risky pick at 12.

Enjoy the draft, and if you just haven’t have enough 2011 draft woes, enjoy watching Carlos Rodon, the Brewers’ 2011 16th-round pick who they failed to sign, be drafted in the top 3 tonight.

2012 MLB Draft Live Blog

Posted by Steve

Greetings! I am camped out in front of the tv, watching the awkward MLB Draft pre-game show, with Brewerfan and Twitter tabs ready to go. I might as well start now, right? I mean, half of the fun of this is making fun of the awkwardness and cliches, and there won’t be any more of those things than during the pre-game.

–MLB Network moves to the eight or so draftees in attendance. Unlike the NFL or NBA drafts, these aren’t necessarily the top, top players. Many of the top college players are still playing, for one thing. But it’s feels off when they’re spending an inordinate amount of time on Jim Callis’ no. 49 prospect (Clint Coulter) just because he’s at the draft.

–Rise Against song is the lead-in to the 6:00 show. I remember when they were one of many crappy bands I listened to in high school.

–Underway here. Most expect Houston to take Stanford RHP Mark Appel, although it’s not a lock. Sounds like a lot of teams outside of the top ten are trying still to figure out signability of players.

–Bud making his introductory comments s-l-o-w-l-y. And for some reason, CC Sabathia is in attendance.

–Fairly surprising pick off the bat. Shortstop Carlos Correa is the first pick, going ahead of Houston product Appel.

–Byron Buxton selected second. I’m going to stop just naming picks, because that isn’t interesting for anybody.

–Harold Reynolds keeps shouting.

–Pretty interesting here, as Appel was the projected first pick, and has now literally lost millions of dollars. Through three picks and he still hasn’t been selections.

–Fourth pick, LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman, just said he eats powdered donuts in between innings of his starts. Amazing.

–And Appel continues to fall. Out of the top five now, and there’s a report that Scott Boras is trying to get him to fall to Washington, who has had no issue working with Boras. Pretty unbelievable that he’s still controlling the draft despite the rule change.

–Pittsburgh, of all teams, step up to the plate and take Appel. If they are able to get him signed, which apparently could be a big if, the Pirates have some insane pitching prospects: Jameson Taillon, Gerritt Cole, Mark Appel.

–Slightly disappointed by the lack of unintentional comedy in this draft. Five minutes between picks leaves a lot less time for it than the ten minutes in the NFL draft, I suppose.

–Right on cue, Harold Reynolds says that Billy Beane “bragged about winning his race,” clearly making a Moneyball reference. Except that Billy Beane didn’t brag, because BILLY BEANE DIDN’T WRITE THE BOOK. Amazing how many people still say things like that.

–Well, poop. Oakland took Addison Russell at 11… Much earlier than the Brewers’ pick. Seems like I was way off base in my hope that he lasted to 27.

–Harold Reynolds really seems like he just read Moneyball a year ago. He’s “really surprised” Oakland took a high school player.

–“Addison” is an awful name, anyway. At least there’s that.

–The White Sox select high school outfielder Courtney Hawkins, who shows off his excitement and athleticism by doing a backflip.  You know there were about five seconds where all the White Sox fans watching were terrified.

–Up to pick 18 now. Russell is the only guy on the list I made last night who has been selected. Still a while to go, though.

–Corey Seager, yet another high school shortstop, goes 18th. I didn’t mention him yesterday, but I was hearing things about him going to the Brewers today.

–It seems like hitters are going earlier, which means pitchers might very well be BPA when the Brewers pick. Hitters are a bigger need, but they have to take the best player.

–I-n  t-h-e  t-w-o  t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d   a-n-d  t-w-e-l-v-e  f-i-r-s-t  y-e-a-r  p-l-a-y-e-r  d-r-a-f-t…

–We’re through 20 picks. According to Baseball America, the number 10, 13 and 14-ranked players are still available.

–Joey Gallo and Stephen Piscotty are still available. The Cards are up now at 23, so I’m sure that means they’ll take one. Ugh.

–Huzzah! Gallo and Piscotty survive. On to 24. Still four of my top five (for the Brewers) available.

–Oh my God, the Cards just selected a guy who gets a “Tim Tebow comparison because of his beliefs.” Cue the “doing things the right way” Cardinal fans.

–If you listen to MLBN’s analysts, there hasn’t been a bad pick yet. Everyone picked is “a winning baseball player,” or “not necessarily a 1-2 starter, but a 3-4 guy at worst.” First rounders have about a 50% success rate.

–Devin Marrero, shortstop, goes to Boston. Only Tampa Bay and Arizona to go before two Milwaukee picks.

-Richie Shaffer goes 25. Only one pick to go, which guarantees that one of Gallo and Piscotty will be there. Now, of course, that doesn’t mean the Brewers will take one of them…

–And the Diamondbacks take the terribly named Stryker Trahan, leaving both of “my guys” for the Brewers’ two picks. Odds the Brewers take one of them?

–Catcher Clint Coulter (alliteration) is the pick, not surprising. Shades of Aaron Rodgers as the last guy left in the draft room? Still room for Gallo. Desperately want him.

–Interviewer might as well have asked, “What would it be like to catch the pitchers who will have been off the Brewers for four years by the time you reach the majors?”

–Wouldn’t be upset with pitcher Zach Eflin either. Kind of sold out on Gallo, though.

–That Coulter pick is reminiscent of the Lawrie pick for a lot of reasons (not comparing them as a player, just the pick). Both drafted as catchers with defensive questions, and both were linked to the Brewers well before draft day.

–Good point I just came across: If Coulter is considered more signable, he needed to be drafted at 27. That’s the comp pick, and those aren’t protected. If the Brewers don’t sign pick 28, they get that pick again next year in the first round. They can take a bigger risk here.

–Speaking of risk, they took Victor Roache. He’s got a ton of power, but had a nasty wrist break. Before the injury, he was considered a front half of the first round. Can’t be upset with power hitters. Weren’t the ones I identified, but what the hell does that mean? Nothing. They needed impact bats, so why not?

–I’m about to do it to myself again. Will one of Piscotty, Eflin, or Gallo be around at 38?

–Outfielder Lewis Brinson, another guy associated with the Brewers, goes to Texas at 29.

–As the analysts continue to love every pick without fail, I’ll discuss a little more the guys the Brewers drafted. It seems like both players have elite power, which is something the Brewers are sorely lacking throughout their entire system.

–First round comes to a close, and Joey Gallo, Zach Eflin, Stephen Piscotty are still on the board. Only one minute between picks now, thankfully.

Sandwhich Round… It’s the best kind of round.

–Lance McCullers, ranked 13th on MLBN’s board, is still available. He might not be signable anymore, which is why he’s fallen.

–Jim Callis just said Joey Gallo also throws 98 mph. Whoa.

–Joe Torre announces the comp picks, but not before he gives some superfluous pep talk.

–Clint Coulter: “I don’t think I can do a backflip, but I can do a lot of push-ups.”

–Matt Smoral, an insanely tall high school left-handed pitcher, is also still on the board. He’d be an exciting pick as well.

–Well the Padres just took Eflin. I’m guessing the Brewers really wanted him. Two hitters and a pitcher would be a good balance. Still maybe looking at Smoral.

–According to Jon Hart, the A’s just drafted a “baseball player.”

–Piscotty goes to… The Cardinals. Darn.

–Looks like the Brewers will have their pick between a lot of players I’ve been discussing. Red Sox just selected a pitcher from Monmouth.

–Gallo still available! Is he not signable? Here’s the pick.

–Mitch Haniger? A college outfielder? Sounds like a cheap pick for signability. And the Jeff Francoeur comparison made me nauseous. To top it off, Gallo went to Texas with the very next pick.

–Brewers not going with any flashy names, but they have taken three signable players. I’ll have more on the draft later this week sometime. For now, have a good night.

Brewers 2012 Draft Preview

Posted by Steve

Frustrating series against the Pirates, but the pitching match-ups weren’t all that favorable, and the injuries more or less cost them a win today. I choose to look at the fact that they’re 5-2 in their last seven games instead.

And besides, my attention is off the big league club for a couple days now. The MLB Draft snuck up on me this year; it’s tomorrow already. The Brewers’ draft won’t be quite as exciting as last year, when they held the 12th and 15th picks in the draft. They do hold three picks in the top 38, however: the 28th pick based on their record last season, and then the 27th and 38th picks as compensation for Prince Fielder. I’m going to focus on possible candidates for those three picks.

Before I get into the players, though, it needs to be pointed out that there are significant changes to the draft this year. This article by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports (still feels weird placing that exclamation point there) explains the changes quite well. In a nutshell, there are serious restrictions on what teams can spend on amateur players. In years past, the term “slot value” simply mean what MLB recommended a player be paid based on where he was drafted. This year, though, it’s much more than a recommendation. Each team has been given a certain amount of money they can spend based on the number of picks they hold in the top ten rounds. The Twins have the most money at $12.4 million, while the Angels have the lowest budget at $1.6 million. The Brewers have $6.76 million to spend, which is the 12th largest allotment.

There are severe penalties for going over the assigned allotment. From MLB.com:

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

So, when the punishment includes the loss of a first and second round pick, you know teams will stay in line.

So, the question becomes: What impact will this have on the draft? It seems nobody is sure yet. Just about ever year there seems to be instances of players falling because of “signability.” Top 5-10 talents sometimes last until the end of the first round because only a few teams are willing to meet their demands. This will likely no longer be the case. When teams can’t overspend on slot recommendations by more than 10% or so, players aren’t going to want to fall–with each spot they fall, they are literally losing thousands and thousands. This, in my opinion, is how it should be. The draft is supposed to give the best players to the worst teams, and this helps that.

This change could have one interesting effect, though, that baseball may not have wanted. Record signing bonuses are a thing of the past. Could this mean we will see more high school players choose college over pro baseball? It seems possible. Last year, a player could negotiate his bonus to a certain amount. This year, there won’t be as much negotiating, as a team can only go so high. It will be interesting to see if more high schoolers choose college than in years past, particularly the ones drafted later in the first round or second round.

Finally, there is one more significant change. The deadline to sign players used to be almost a year after the draft. Last year, it was moved up to August 15th, resulting in a crazy evening of players signing just before the midnight deadline. This year that date has been moved up again, to July 13th at 5 p.m. ET. So, with only about five weeks to get players signed, “signability” will be a huge, huge factor in this draft. If teams aren’t sure high school players will sign for close to slot value, they may simply not draft them. You know the Brewers and every other team has attempted to get as much information they can as to whether their targets will sign for their price.

So. With all that said, let’s take a look at some of the candidates for 27, 28, and 38. The word on this draft is it isn’t nearly as deep as last year’s. That may not be a bad thing from the Brewers’ perspective, as it seems fairly likely that there won’t be much of a talent difference between a player drafted at 12 and a player drafted at 40. Bruce Seid, the Brewers’ scouting director, has alluded to this and has said he feels good about getting some good value with those three picks.

Teams should always go with the best player available strategy. However, it’s easy to identify the organization biggest need. For years, they churned out offensive stud after offensive stud: Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, and Matt LaPorta (value-wise). Much has been made of the Brewers’ lack of pitching development over that time, but in the last few years, the team has made great strides to fix that, spending several top picks on pitching. Somewhat quietly, the Brewers have experienced a serious lack of impact offensive players–Jonathan Lucroy is really the last one they’ve graduated to the majors.

So, with the BPA caveat, I would expect at least two of the first three picks to be hitters, and based on the draft pool, it’s likely they’ll be high school hitters.

Last year, with picks 12 and 15, I had definite favorites. My three man crushes by draft day were Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, and C.J. Cron. Lindor and Baez were picked before the Brewers’ spot, and they passed on Cron. It’s more difficult to determine sure targets picking this late in the first round, but I have still identified a handful of players I’d like to see taken. First I’ll list the possibilities, then I’ll give my personal favorites at the end.

Clint Coulter, Catcher, High School
MLB.com Rank: 49

Credit: allamericanfoundation.pointstreaksites.com

Catcher may not seem like a need, with Jonathan Lucroy just signing an extension, but it is important to remember that current MLB rosters shouldn’t really effect drafting decisions much at all. Left field is really the only position that you can say the Brewers likely won’t need in five years. Coulter has a plus throwing arm and good power, though it’s possible a team might want to move him off catcher to speed up his development, a la Brett Lawrie, who was drafted as a catcher. Coulter was also a state champion wrestler, so obviously he’s fairly athletic.

I mentioned Coulter first, because reports all over are that the Brewers are in on Coulter big time. I’m not sure if it would be with either of their first to picks or with their third, but it seems unlikely Coulter will slide past pick 38.

Addison Russell, Shortstop, High School
MLB.com Rank: 24

Credit: Bleacherreport.com

It’s clear shortstop is a need in the Brewers’ system. It’s also great that Russel wouldn’t be a stretch at all at pick 27; in fact, he might not even be on the board anymore. He’s seen as a strong hitter with a lot of pull power, good hands and a strong throwing arm. At 6’1″, 210, it’s possible a move to third base is in his future, but I’m sure the Brewers would do everything they could to keep him at short. His power would be elite for the position. The catch here, as always, is he is represented by Scott Boras. The Brewers have typically avoided Boras clients in the first round, but with the new slotting rules, that could be much smaller of a factor.

Joey Gallo, First base/Third base, High School
MLB.com rank:
33

Credit: Lasvegassun.com

Gallo is a pure power hitter. He players first and third base, although he is expected to move to first full time. He’s 6’4 and 200 pounds, an ideal size for the position. Jack Z used to be fond of saying they like to get a player who is the best at a particular tool. I remember this after the LaPorta pick; he said LaPorta had the best raw power in the draft. The best power in this draft, at least among high school players, belongs to Gallo. Like shortstop, the Brewers are looking for a long-term solution at first base. Gallo and the Brewers seem like a perfect fit.

Lewis Brinson, OF, High School
MLB.com Rank: 39

Credit: Baseballfactory.com

Brinson is the coveted “toolsy” player; Keith Law says his ceiling is as high as any hitter other than Byron Buxton, a likely top two pick tomorrow. At 6’3″, 170 pounds with above average speed and outfield defense, Brinson has drawn comparisons to Cameron Maybin and Dexter Fowler.

Stephen Piscotty, Third Baseman, Stanford
MLB.com Rank: 18

Credit: Bleacherreport.com

The one college hitter I’ve seen associated with the Brewers, Piscotty is a high-average, moderate power third baseman with good defense. He also shows great plate discipline. Based on his scouting reports, it would be easy to see the Brewers penciling him in as the third baseman of the future. I know a lot of people don’t like player comparisons, but when I read about Piscotty, I’m reminded of Jeff Cirillo.

Zach Eflin, Pitcher, High School
MLB.com Rank: 25

Eflin has the type of frame the Brewers look for in a pitcher. He’s 6’4″ and 200 pounds. He sits in the low 90s with his fastball and touches mid-90s. Unlike most high school pitchers, his changeup is a plus pitch and could be a valuable weapon going forward. He also throws a curveball. Eflin would be an impressive addition the the collection of arms the Brewers have assembled in the last few years.

Travis Jankowski, Outfielder, Stony Brook University
MLB.com Rank: 43

Credit: Bournebraves.org

Jankowski profiles as a speedy leadoff-type hitter. He has great range in center field and would be yet another plus defender in center field for the Brewers. There’s less of a need here with Logan Schafer looking ready, but again, Schafer is a “generation” or so older, so the timing could work well.

Other names that have been mentioned include 6’8″ high school lefty Matthew Smoral, Georgia Southern outfielder Victor Roache, 6’6″ high school righty Walker Weickel, and 6’2″ high school righty pitcher Nick Travieso. It’s very likely that any pitcher the Brewers select early will be at least 6’2″, as they’ve not been secretive about wanting tall pitchers.

I’m guessing that one or both of Clint Coulter and Lewis Brinson will be picked. As far as my preference, I’d rank them this way.

1. Addison Russell
2. Joey Gallo
3. Stephen Piscotty
4. Zach Eflin
5. Lewis Brinson

If they get two of those players, I’ll be quite happy. Naturally, no matter who the Brewers take, I’ll be fine with it, as it’s impossible to know now whether it’s a good pick. This list is just the guys I want based on the reading and research I’ve been doing.

I’ve cleared my schedule tomorrow to watch the entire first round, and it’s likely that I will be live blogging. If anyone cares to join, let me know in the comments and I’ll use Cover It Live. If nobody else will be here, I’ll just blog it normally–don’t want to use COL if I’m just going to be talking to myself.

Zack Greinke: Blunt talent evaluator

Posted by Steve

I’m taking a break from the Ryan Braun stuff, mainly because it’s been exhausted by blogs, national writers, etc., and I just don’t really think there’s anything left to say that hasn’t been said a hundred times elsewhere.

Again I read a small piece about Zack Greinke, and again I laughed. Here’s a post about Greinke that’s actually interesting: he’s showing a knack for evaluating amateur pitchers.

And of course, no Greinke story would be complete without a brutally honest quote.

“It’s just more fun for me. It’s not anything taken too seriously at the moment. I liked a lot of guys in last year’s draft but the absolute amazing ones all got drafted before we got a chance.”

Uh, Zach…. You realize Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, both players the Brewers selected in the top 15 last year, are in big league camp?

Top draft picks sign

Posted by Steve

This has been a pretty interesting situation. As of 12:01 ET, the deadline to sign draft picks, most first rounders were yet to be announced. Most likely the deals were being signed at the last minute and the announcements were slow to come out. At any rate, the Brewers got their guys, although they did pay quite a bit to do so.

Jungmann got a healthy bonus of $2.525 million, which was over slot. I was right about Jed Bradley having leverage. He got 500k over slot, for a total of $2 mil. Good for them, but at least the Brewers got it done.

There was some animosity directed toward these players for waiting this long to sign, but the reality is that their college teams gave them plenty of innings–they pretty much pitched full seasons already. They aren’t losing much by signing this late. Jungmann’s velocity was even down a bit in the College World Series from what the reports were, so he may have had a tired arm anyway. I’m not concerned about them missing time at all.

The funny thing about at least having attempted to work in baseball is many of the friends I made are still in the business. One of them shall made a report on both Jungmann and Bradley, and was nice enough to share that with me. Here’s what he said.

Taylor Jungmann

-Excellent control of his fastball
-Very good sink on fastball
-Average slider
-Poor change-up
– Struggles against lefties

My response: Wow… To me that sounds like Kameron Loe.

His reaction: Yeah, but he has room to get much better. If he can develop a change, he could be really good.

Jed Bradley

-Good control of his fastball
-Not good sink
-Average change-up that can improve
-Below average slider
-Loses his “stuff” out of the stretch

Neither sounds particularly exciting right now, but my feel is that he was looking at what he saw right now. Both of these are obviously young pitchers and haven’t even received any coaching from the Brewers yet. He likes Bradley’s potential to develop a good change, and he thinks Jungmann needs one to be effective against lefties.

You may recall I wasn’t thrilled with either selection, but once they were made, I just hoped they got both signed. These guys give the Brewers some impact arms that hopefully aren’t too far away from the big leagues.

Welp

Posted by Steve

Meh.

Of course you can only tell so much at this time, but I am really disappointed in the way the first round played out for the Brewers. I really wanted Javier Baez or Francisco Lindor, and both were gone before the Brewers’ first pick.

They ended up taking Taylor Jungmann with the 12th pick. I was fairly high on him writing my post yesterday, but then I read last night that in his last start he got knocked around and topped out at 88 mph. Ugh.

Then with the 15th pick, I really wanted C.J. Cron, or maybe Taylor Guerreri or Sonny Gray. Instead they took Jed Bradley, who will really surprise me if he is more than a #4 or 5 starter. It’s one thing to take college pitchers hoping they’ll help quickly, but if their ceiling is limited, it’s not much of a help.

The Bradley pick is especially questionable following the Jungmann pick. If they had taken a high school player at 12, I could see going for a safer pick. But taking two safe picks isn’t a great way to rebuild the worst farm system in baseball.

Remember Jack Z’s theory that your first rounder has to have at least one A grade for a tool? Best fastball, best curveball, best power hitter, etc? These guys aren’t close to that.

Who knows how it will turn out, but right now I’m less than thrilled.