Milwaukee Brewers: Breaking Down the 2017 Draft Class
DThe 40-round long MLB Draft has finally reached it’s conclusion. In the past three days over 1,200 dreams came true as prospects were added to Major League teams. The Milwaukee Brewers selected 41 players during this draft, so let’s see what kind of talent was added to our hometown Crew.
The three selections on the first day of the Draft saw two high school players and one college player become the newest members of the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Keston Hiura was the ninth overall selection, followed by outfielder Tristen Lutz and pitcher Caden Lemons. These picks figure to join the Brewers top 30 prospects list after the midseason update.
Jim Callis of MLB.com said the Milwaukee Brewers did extremely well on the second day of the draft with their eight selections. You can see the entire list of Brewers draftees at MLB’s Draft Tracker.
High School vs. College
The biggest difference between draftees is what level they are at. High school players are at a completely different level of development and signing bonus than college players.
High school: 20
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As you can see, a fairly even split between college and high school players. The Brewers drafted a string of high school guys from rounds 11-19 on Wednesday. GM David Stearns said that was by design and they figure to sign a bunch of those players, but a few might elect to go to college.
Of those 21 college players, seven were seniors. Seniors are easy, cheap signs for Major League clubs since they lack leverage and often want the chance to play no matter when they’re drafted.
Of MLB.com’s Top 200 Draft Prospects list, the Milwaukee Brewers selected nine, the same amount they signed last year. But OF Kyle Jacobsen was one of those top 200 and was the 33rd round selection out of high school. Any high school player that goes that late figures to go to college.
The Brewers went heavy on pitching in day 3 of the draft after being a little light in that position the first two days. Let’s look at a positional breakdown of the 41 selections:
Yep, not a single first baseman despite the overall lack of a first base prospect in the system. The Brewers feel that’s a position that doesn’t need to be filled by drafting. 3rd round pick KJ Harrison played mostly first base at Oregon State this year, but the Brewers listed him as a catcher.
The only second baseman was Keston Hiura.
The high number of left handed pitchers is a welcome sight, but seven of the eight were drafted late on Day 3 and most were high school arms. They could be difficult, if not unlikely signings.
The Milwaukee Brewers have over $10 million in their bonus pool to spend on their selections in the first ten rounds. The savings on the injured Hiura and the college players on day 2 should allow the Brewers to go over slot for a couple of Day 3 selections.
Last year, the Brewers signed 3B Chad McClanahan for a $1.2 million bonus, well over the $100,000 allotted for that pick. I would expect one of the high school players selected early on Day 3 to receive a similar bonus.
Every year, there seems to be a bunch of drafted players with strange names and this year was no different. The coveted ‘Best Name’ award recipients include Damien Magnifico, Buck Farmer, and Cre Finfrock. Finfrock went unsigned by the Brewers in 2014. He was eligible again this year, but went undrafted.
This year’s winner of the Best Name award goes to a legend. Ledgend Smith, to be exact. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Ledgend Smith in the 18th round. Smith is a left handed pitcher from of Binger Oney High School in Oklahoma. I certainly hope that Ledgend Smith signs and goes on to have a legendary career with the Brewers.
Also, the Brewers drafted the 6’11” Trevor Koenig, the tallest player selected in this draft. The 185 lbs. high school lefty, taken in the 40th and final round, certainly has a lot of frame to fill out. He will likely attend college.
Next: Was Keston Hiura The Right Pick For The Brewers?
Now that all 41 selections are complete, it’s time to sign them. Last year, 37 of the 41 Milwaukee Brewers selections put pen to paper and began their professional careers. Hopefully the Brewers can sign a similar number again this year.
Amateur Scouting Director Tod Johnson’s first draft is in the books and now the work begins for the 2018 MLB Draft.