Brewers close Draft Day 1 with RHP Ponce
Righty taken 55th overall, brings large frame from Cal Poly-Pomona
MILWAUKEE -- After starting with a high-ceilinged high school outfielder, the Brewers finished Day 1 of the 2015 Draft by picking two of the college pitchers to whom they had been connected in the run-up to the three-day event.
The Brewers' final selection Monday was Cal Poly-Pomona junior Cody Ponce, a 21-year-old right-hander who fits Milwaukee's recent focus on large-framed pitchers with big arms. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder sits at 91-94 mph, touches 96 and went 5-3 with a 1.44 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings this season.
"I'm pleased with the process that brought us to this point," said Brewers amateur scouting director Ray Montgomery. "I'm pleased with how we went about it. You're looking for best talent available, but you have to be respectful of organization status, need, best player.
"All of those things factored into it, and we spent a tremendous amount of time preparing for this, so the fact that we're part of the way done is gratifying. But we're not entirely done."
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 11:30 a.m. CT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at noon.
Ponce was the last of three Brewers selections on Day 1 of the Draft. Milwaukee used the 15th overall pick on high school outfielder Trent Clark, and the 40th overall pick in Competitive Balance Round A on University of Virginia left-hander Nathan Kirby.
"The excitement in the room is really good about these three guys that we've added," Montgomery said.
Ponce's school made it to the Division II College World Series this year.
"He's an imposing figure," said area scout Josh Bevlosky. "He brings pluses to the table right now. He'll touch [95-96 mph] but he kind of sits in that 92-94 area. He's got a curveball that's got some sharp, down break, a hard slider that started at a cutter and can be anywhere from 84-88, and he's got a great feel for the change. I don't think he utilized it like he will in the future.
"He's a guy who's going to be able to hold a lot of innings and go out there and be a force."