MILWAUKEE -- Eighth-round Draft pick Jayson Rose signed with the Brewers on Sunday, and he will begin his pro career with something rare for a pitcher at the front end of his career: A plus changeup.The Brewers have not confirmed signing Rose or any of their 40 other picks from
MILWAUKEE -- Eighth-round Draft pick Jayson Rose signed with the Brewers on Sunday, and he will begin his pro career with something rare for a pitcher at the front end of his career: A plus changeup.
The Brewers have not confirmed signing Rose or any of their 40 other picks from last week's Draft, but a source confirmed Rose had passed a physical exam and signed for $164,900, which was the slot value assigned to the 234th overall pick. A 6-foot right-hander, Rose is coming off his junior year at the University of Utah.
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"It was my senior year of high school when I really started throwing [a changeup]," Rose said last week. "In college, it got better and better each year, I think. It's the one pitch I know I can throw in any count I want to. People know it's coming, and they still have trouble hitting it."
Rose learned the pitch from Alex Lontayo, a private pitching coach who has since become an area scout for the Cubs in Southern California.
"It had good action, but it was more like, 'That pitch could be really good. You just have to keep going,'" Rose said. "Coaches kept telling me, 'Keep throwing it, keep throwing it.' In time, I got a feel."
Rose was a two-way threat as a freshman, playing the outfield and pitching, but focused on the latter beginning with his sophomore season. The focus paid off. He was All-Pac-12 three times, earning first-team honors in 2016 and '17, and he set the school's all-time strikeout record while going 19-13 with a 3.23 ERA. In '16, Rose set the school record with 106 strikeouts in 109 innings.
Rose fires a fastball in the 90-94 mph range, sitting at 92 mph. Besides the plus changeup, Brewers scouts think Rose's breaking ball will improve out of the dry air and elevation of Salt Lake City.
"Real competitive kid," Brewers scouting director Tod Johnson said Wednesday. "He's not the biggest guy, necessarily, but he definitely competes hard and he's got some weapons. He's been real successful there. We are pretty excited about him and we are happy to get that done. We are hoping we added a pretty good potential rotation piece in the future.
"Obviously, it's the eighth round so he's got some stuff to work on, but he does it pretty easy and he throws fairly consistent strikes. We feel pretty good about the opportunity to get a major conference Friday night starter in the eighth round."
Rose is likely to begin his career either at Rookie-level Helena or Class A Wisconsin.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.