Brewers excited by pitchers selected in Draft
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid is pleased with Milwaukee's 2013 Draft class, especially the group of pitchers the team snagged early and often.
The Brewers finished with 23 pitchers and 17 position players, consisting of eight outfielders, seven infielders and two catchers. Of the 23 pitchers, six are left handed and two are in high school.
Overall, the Brewers took 28 college and 12 high school players.
Seid said he especially likes the college pitchers the Brewers picked up, but he is most excited about the high school arm the team took in the second round.
The Brewers started without a first-round pick due to the Kyle Lohse free-agent signing, but the team took right-handed pitcher Devin Williams out of Hazelwood West High School (Mo.) with the 54th pick in the second round.
"Obviously I like Devin Williams," Seid said. "I think he has a chance to be a pretty good athletic pitcher with stuff. That's the kind of guy that you would take up front in the Draft."
Seid sounded optimistic the Brewers would sign Williams and their other Day 1 selection, high school shortstop Tucker Neuhaus out of Wharton High School (Fla.).
"I'll just say that I'm very pleased where we're at with that," Seid said. "Within the next week I'll be able to give you more of an update, if not sooner. But I think we'll get guys out playing soon."
After the young start, the Brewers went with a slew of college arms the final two days of the Draft, something Seid said would bolster an already rising farm system.
They were highlighted by right-handed hurlers Astin Barrett from Arkansas, Taylor Williams from Kent State and the local Joshua Uhen from UW - Milwaukee, picked in the third, fourth and fifth rounds.
"The college guys we have are guys that have a chance to be starters," Seid said. "The good thing I like about them is they all possess a pretty good fastball, they locate the fastball and they have secondary stuff they can throw for strikes."
Seid mentioned the Oshkosh, Wis., native Uhen as a "chance" pick, but compared him to current Brewers relievers Jim Henderson and John Axford.
"I can see that type of potential here," Seid said. "Guy's got a big arm. For him it's about getting some innings under his belt, being able to work on his delivery and getting consistency with it."
The Brewers took two more local kids in Drew Ghelfi (25th round) and Charlie Markson (38).
Ghelfi is a Lacrosse, Wis., native and played college ball at Iowa Central Community College before transferring to Minnesota. Markson is from Whitefish Bay, Wis., and played three years at Notre Dame.
One aspect the Brewers and Seid entered the Draft eyeing as a need was speed. Seid thought the team addressed that in the middle to late rounds.
"We got some speedy high school kids, guys I think our organization could use," Seid said. "We drafted some power the last couple years, we've gotten some pitching in the past years who are making their way up to the higher levels and hopefully be up here in Milwaukee pretty soon. But I did feel that speed was a need.
"As we went a little bit deeper in the Draft, we took some high school kids that can really run."
The Brewers took speedy center fielders Omar Garcia and Brandon Diaz in the seventh and eighth rounds, respectively.
Another area of need Seid said the team filled was left-handed pitching. Seid was especially high on Tyler Linehan of Fresno State and Trevor Seidenberger of TCU.
"Now it's a signing process," Seid said. "We're going to take a look at that and see which players from [rounds] 11-40 we feel we want to spend a little more money on."
One guy the Brewers probably won't be spending much on is Nick Eicholtz, a right-handed pitcher out of Cambridge Christian High School (Fla.) they selected in the 29th round.
Eicholtz said this in two separate tweets on Friday night:
Just did one of the hardest things in my life that ill ever have to do. Turned down an opportunity to play professional baseball because...- Nick Eicholtz (@eicholtz_nick) June 7, 2013
I feel like god has a plan for me up at alabama! So all I gotta say is rolltide!!! #bamabaseball- Nick Eicholtz (@eicholtz_nick) June 7, 2013
Despite Eicholtz's tweet, Seid said the Brewers felt it was worth drafting the 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander.
"Nick, we really like him," Seid said. "It could be a situation where he's unsignable, but if there's anything we can do to try and accommodate a signing, we'd be really pleased. You just have to roll the dice, take a shot. Every team does it."