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Brewers find fan in local right-hander Uhen

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers stayed local for their fifth-round selection (No. 152 overall) in the First-Year Player Draft on Friday, taking right-handed pitcher Joshua Uhen out of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

Uhen became the highest Draft pick out of UWM, four rounds and 156 picks earlier than Jordan Guth, the Phillies' ninth-round selection last season.

"It's been a blast. I don't think it's really hit me yet," said Uhen about an hour after being chosen by the Brewers. "Just the fact that I'm presented with the opportunity to chase my dream is amazing."

Uhen grew up a Brewers fan in Oshkosh, Wis., about an hour away from Miller Park, and watched the Draft Friday with his father, Kevin, mother, Cheryl, and sister, Alyssa.

"All the support from friends and family is amazing," Uhen said. "They are all Brewers fans, so they are pretty happy.

"I just wanted a team that wanted me."

The hard-throwing UWM reliever underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2011 but bounced back from the elbow surgery with a solid 2013 season to bump up the Draft boards.

"When I found out I had to have the surgery, it was scary. A lot of things run through your head," Uhen said. "But I forget I even had the surgery sometimes until I look down and see the scar."

Uhen has plenty of arm strength, with a fastball that can sit at around 94 mph and touch as high as 97 mph at times. The 6-foot-4 redshirt sophomore has good life and sink to his two-seamer as well. His other pitches are still works in progress, though both his changeup and slider could be Major League average in the future.

Uhen didn't pitch a ton this spring out of the 'pen and has some command issues to work through. Should he sign, his future is likely coming out of a big league bullpen.

"I'm still learning the game, still improving," Uhen said.

Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for
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