Brewers expect to find talent later in Draft
With prior success at higher picks, team's first choice will be No. 54
MILWAUKEE -- Day 1 of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft will be an exercise in patience for Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid, who expects to wait about 3 1/2 hours before making his first pick.
Beyond the $33 million they coughed up for free-agent right-hander Kyle Lohse, the Brewers were required to relinquish their first-round pick (No. 17 overall). As a result, Milwaukee's first draftee will be No. 54 overall.
The Brewers will also pick at No. 72 overall on the first night of the three-day Draft.
"We have a pretty good idea of who won't get to us," Seid said. "There's about 20 guys who we know, 'OK, these guys will not get to us,' but we have to scout all of these other players, knowing a lot of them won't [fall as far as 54th], but there's a chance one of them will. Usually, one will."
The 2013 First-Year Player Draft will take place Thursday through Saturday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on Friday, beginning with a preview show at 11:30 a.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on Saturday, starting at noon.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
"We still feel like we're going to get some pretty good players," Seid said. "If you look at our track record in the last three years, and who's done well in our system and who's really progressing, several of them have been our second-, third-, fourth-round guys. We feel that's a strength of ours, so we hope we don't miss a beat."
He mentions 2010 as an example. The Brewers' first-round pick that year was prep right-hander Dylan Covey, who did not sign after his physical exam revealed Type 1 Diabetes. But the Brewers' next three picks were right-hander Jimmy Nelson, a top pitching prospect currently at Double-A Huntsville; right-hander Tyler Thornburg, who is struggling at Triple-A Nashville but already has had a taste of the Majors; and first baseman Hunter Morris, last year's Double-A Southern League MVP.
"All three should see Milwaukee," Seid said. "We try to pick every round like we have a Major League player. If you look at what we've done from the second round on in the last couple of years, you'll probably see that we've been as good as, if not better, than most."
Here's a glance at what the Brewers have in store as the Draft approaches:
In about 50 words
If you're down about the Brewers not picking until No. 54, think about these players: Yovani Gallardo, Jonathan Lucroy, Logan Schafer and Hiram Burgos. All have played for the Brewers this season, and all were drafted after the first round. There's talent available beyond the very top.
Brewers' bonus pool
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
This year, the Brewers have a total of $3,944,600 allotted to spend on their first 10 picks, including $1,017,300 assigned for the 54th overall selection. Their Draft pool ranks 28th of the 30 clubs.
Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
"Best available." That has been the Brewers' mindset going into every Draft for the past decade plus, back to the days of Jack Zduriencik's tenure as scouting director. By the end of the 50th round, the team almost always winds up with a near 50-50 mix of pitchers and position players.
After years of going hard for hitters with their top Draft picks, the Brewers have swung in different directions in recent seasons. Seid took pitchers with his top picks in 2009, 2010 and 2011, then took a pair of hitters (catcher Clint Coulter and outfielder Victor Roache) with Milwaukee's pair of first-round selections in 2012.
As a result, the arms are probably ahead of the bats in the Minor League chain.
"That's somewhat by design," assistant general manager Gord Ash said earlier this year, "because we were so pitching-deficient that we probably were too conscious about adding pitching, and we kind of got out of balance again now."
• Recent Draft History •
It's no surprise to see outfielder Mitch Haniger moving quickly through Milwaukee's system. He was an advanced college bat when the Brewers took him in the supplemental phase after the first round last year (38th overall), and Haniger hit .286 in a brief stint with Class A Wisconsin at the end of 2012. He began 2013 back at Wisconsin but earned an early-season promotion after batting .297 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 41 mostly frigid games. The Brewers bumped him to warmer climes at advanced Class A Brevard County.
The Brewers' most recent callup, right-hander Donovan Hand, became only the fifth player from the 14th round of the 2007 Draft to make it to the Majors. Only one of the previous four players has stuck -- Cubs left-hander James Russell, who is already in his fourth full big league season.
In The Show
Has Rickie Weeks lived up to his promise? That probably depends who you ask. His detractors see the myriad injuries that have limited Weeks to only two seasons of 500-plus at-bats since he broke into the Majors for good in 2006, and to his deep offensive funk this season. But supporters see that he ranks a respectable seventh among active second basemen with 133 home runs, eighth with a .347 on-base percentage and 15th with a .422 slugging percentage.
Brewers' recent top picks
2012: C Clint Coulter and OF Victor Roache, Class A Wisconsin
2011: RHP Taylor Jungmann, Double-A Huntsville; LHP Jed Bradley, Advanced Class A Brevard County
2010: RHP Dylan Covey, did not sign
2009: RHP Eric Arnett, extended spring training (knee surgery)
2008: IF Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays