Brewers reach new heights on Day 2
Three pitchers 6-foot-5 or taller join Arnett, Heckathorn
MILWAUKEE -- Size and power arms.
That was the message the Brewers sent with their first overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, and the trend continued on Wednesday.
Milwaukee selected three pitchers listed at 6-foot-5 or taller on the second day of the Draft -- joining Eric Arnett (6-foot-6) and Kyle Heckathorn (6-foot-6) on Day 1 -- to form a group of power pitchers that Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid said have great potential to help the organization.
"With size comes power, and if the parts are working good, then usually you have a chance for power," Seid said. "These guys provide good arm action, good deliveries -- some things obviously with younger players, you have to work with and work on. But these guys have the athleticism to help make them better."
Including both days, five of the first seven pitchers Milwaukee selected were 6-foot-5 or taller.
In 2006 and '07, none of the pitchers the Brewers selected in the first 30 rounds were as tall as 6-foot-5. Last year's top pitcher, left-hander Evan Frederickson (Compensation Round A) was 6-foot-6. Garrett Sherrill (12th round) and Blake Billings (19th), both 6-foot-5, were the only other pitchers that tall taken by the Brewers in the first 30 rounds.
Currently, reliever Seth McClung is the tallest pitcher on Milwaukee's roster, listed at 6-foot-6.
"When you look at World Series champions, who wins it? It's guys who have power. It's Josh Becket, it's Roger Clemens, it's those guys who take the mound, just power-type guys," Seid said of the club's recent draw to power pitchers. "If you get guys who can do that and you add pieces to the puzzle, different parts that complement that, then it gives you an opportunity to win at the highest level."
Milwaukee's first pick on Wednesday was Steven "Brooks" Hall, a 6-foot-5 right-hander out of T.L. Hanna (S.C.) High School. Seid said Hall's fastball can go up to 92 mph, and he has good secondary pitches, along with a good delivery.
Other starting pitchers selected were Andre Lamontagne, a 6-foot-4 11th-round pick from Oral Roberts, and 6-foot-3 Michael Fiers, a strikeout machine from Nova Southeastern University drafted in the 22nd round. Lamontagne went 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA for the Golden Eagles this season, while Fiers led the nation with 145 strikeouts, going 10-3 with a 2.65 ERA.
While Hall and the others will be groomed as starters, the Brewers also picked up a couple impressive arms for the bullpen.
Brewers -- Top five selections
|26||RHP||Eric Arnett||Indiana U|
|39||CF||Kentrail Davis||U Tennessee|
|47||RHP||Kyle Heckathorn||Kennesaw St U|
|73||RF||Maxwell Walla||Albuquerque Academy|
|74||C||Cameron Garfield||Murrieta Valley HS|
|Complete Brewers Draft results >|
Robert Currie, a 6-foot-6 right-hander from Tusculum (Tenn.) College, went 5-1 with six saves and a 1.21 ERA in 21 appearances as a reliever for the Pioneers last season. He also struck out 57 batters in 52 innings.
A surprise that fell into the Brewers' lap was Del Howell, an Alabama product whom they drafted in the 15th round. Howell, a 6-foot-4 left-hander, earned top prospect honors last summer in the Texas Collegiate League, striking out 47 batters in 34. He struggled back in Tuscaloosa, however, starting the season out with mononucleosis before finishing with a record of 5-3 and a 6.33 ERA.
Baseball America dubbed Howell as a "third-fourth round talent" in its Draft preview magazine, and Seid said he was surprised to see the lefty fall to the 15th round.
With two days gone, Seid said he is happy with how the Draft has unfolded for the Brewers thus far, especially with the power pitchers the club was able to pick up on Wednesday.
"There's no question we wanted to get big, strong bodies, athletic guys with combinations of size, strength, power, ability to play," Seid said. "If you get those things, you might hit a home run, and I'm hoping with some of these guys, we hit a home run. Hopefully all of them."
A look at Milwaukee's other Day 2 selections:
Round 4 -- Steven Hall, RHP, T.L. Hanna (S.C.) High School: At 6-foot-5, Hall is considered to have great potential to develop into a power pitcher. He threw a perfect game earlier this season, striking out 12 on 76 pitches. In that outing, several scouts said Hall didn't throw a fastball below 90 mph. His slider is also considered to be one of his top pitches.
Round 5 -- D'Vontrey Richardson, RF, Florida State: A two-sport athlete for the Seminoles, Richardson did not play baseball in 2008, concentrating solely on playing quarterback for the Florida State football team. Back on the diamond in 2009, the athletic 6-foot-1 junior played in 46 games, starting 22, while posting a .304 batting average.
Round 6 -- Hiram Burgos, RHP, Bethune-Cookman: Burgos, a six-foot right-hander, went 9-1 with a 1.58 ERA during his junior season for the Wildcats in 2008, before dropping back a bit as a senior (6-3, 3.74 ERA). He has a fastball in the 92-94 mph range and four other pitches (curveball, cutter, changeup and slider) he can throw for strikes.
Round 7 -- Khristopher Davis, RF, Cal State Fullerton: The power-hitting Davis has played a key role in his team's trip to the 2009 College World Series, leading the Titans in home runs (16) and doubles (25). The junior also is hitting .336 with 57 RBIs, and he has shown speed on the bases (16 steals) and patience at the plate (34 walks). He was previously selected in the 29th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft by Washington.
Round 8 -- Chadwin Stang, LF, Midland (Texas) College: A 6-foot-2, 180-pound British Columbia native, Stang hit .370 with six home runs and 37 RBIs this season.
Round 9 -- Jonathan Pokorny, LHP, Kent State: Pokorny went 5-2 with five saves and a 2.20 ERA in his junior season as a reliever for the Golden Flashes. He also had 53 strikeouts in 41 innings, holding hitters to a .200 average in 26 appearances. His sophomore season may have been even more impressive, when he posted an ERA of 2.17 and a batting average against of .155.
Round 10 -- Tyler Roberts, C, Jones County (Ga.) High School: A six-foot, 226-pound catcher, Roberts hit .584 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs this season.
Round 11 -- Andre Lamontagne, RHP, Oral Roberts: As a senior, the 6-foot-4 Lamontagne went 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA for the Golden Eagles, holding opposing hitters to a .239 batting average. Lamontagne has been selected in the First-Year Player Draft twice before, first in 2005 by Cincinnati in the 45th round and then in the 32nd round by the White Sox in 2007.
Round 12 -- Robert Currie, RHP, Tusculum (Tenn.) College: At 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, Currie looks dominant on the mound and pitched like it in 2009, going 5-1 with six saves and a 1.21 ERA in 21 appearances as a reliever for the Pioneers. He also struck out 57 batters in 52 innings.
Round 13 -- Sean Halton, 1B, Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State College: Halton has all the numbers of a power hitter -- 18 home runs, 71 RBIs, 15 doubles and a .754 slugging percentage -- but the 6-foot-5, 245-pounder also has two impressive stats that don't normally go with the classic power hitter: a .379 batting average and just 15 strikeouts in 195 at-bats. Although he is listed as a first baseman, the right-handed-hitting Halton spent 2009 in left field for the Warriors.
Round 14 -- Mike Brownstein, 2B, University of New Mexico: Brownstein hit .414 with 23 doubles and 11 triples for the Lobos in 2009. He also stole 20 bases, with an on-base percentage of .486, and was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.
Round 15 -- Paul Howell, LHP, Alabama: Howell was the Crimson Tide's lone two-way player this year, starting 11 games on the mound and seven in the field as a junior. On the mound, he went 5-3 with a 6.33 ERA, struggling in the beginning of the season with mono.
Round 16 -- Ryan Gennett, SS, Sarasota (Fla.) High School: Nicknamed "Scooter," Baseball America described Gennett as "a gritty, grinder type that always has a dirty uniform." A left-handed hitter, the 5-foot-9, 164-pound Gennett was listed at No. 18 on The Initial SaberScouting High School Hot 30 in July 2008. Gennett has committed to Florida State, and Seid admitted there may be a question with signability.
Round 17 -- Tyler Cravy, RHP, Napa Valley (Calif.) College: Another two-way player, Cravy excelled both on the mound and at the plate in his first season with the Storm, earning Community College Baseball All-America honors. The 6-foot-3 right-hander went 8-3 with an ERA of 2.99, striking out 110 with a fastball in the 88-to-90 mph range. In 38 games as an infielder, Cravy hit .335 with three home runs and 40 RBIs.
Round 18 -- Caleb Thielbar, LHP, South Dakota State: Thielbar split time as a starter and a reliever for the Jackrabbits in 2009, appearing in 22 games with 12 starts. He went 5-8 with a 5.44 ERA in his senior year, striking out 100 batters in 87 2/3 innings. His best season came in 2007, when we went 7-3 with a 4.15 ERA. Thielbar complements his 90-mph fastball with an improving curveball, and he also has experimented with a slider and changeup.
Round 19 -- Scott Krieger, LF, George Mason: A pure power hitter, Krieger was named a Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-American after hitting .372 with 20 home runs and 80 RBIs as a senior. He also slugged .757. He hit 20 or more home runs in each of the past three seasons, and he leaves George Mason as the school's all-time leader in hits, runs, home runs and total bases. Krieger is listed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.
Round 20 -- Franklin Romero, CF, Cerro Coso (S.C.) Community College: Romero went to the same high school (New York's George Washington HS) as Angel Salome, the Brewers' fifth-round pick in 2004.
Round 21 -- Brian Vigo-Suarez, SS, Fossil Ridge (Texas) High School: He and his family left Puerto Rico for Keller, Texas, three years ago. Vigo-Suarez has committed to play at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.
Round 22 -- Michael Fiers, RHP, Nova Southeastern University: Fiers was named ABCA/Rawlings Third-Team All-American, leading the nation with 145 strikeouts and a 10-3 record with a 2.65 ERA. While at Cumberland College in 2007, he threw a no-hitter against Amsterdam, striking out 16. Fiers is listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds.
Round 23 -- Austin Pressley, RHP, Franklin-Monroe (Ohio) High School
Round 24 -- Peter Fatse, 2B, Connecticut: A three-year starter for the Huskies, the left-handed-hitting Fatse batted .324 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs as a junior. He was a perfect 19-for-19 in stolen base attempts as a sophomore.
Round 25 -- Demetrius McKelvie, RF, East Columbus (N.C.) High School
Round 26 -- Felix Rutledge, LHP, Tupelo (Miss.) High School
Round 27 -- Ryan Platt, RHP, University California-Riverside: Platt went 2-3 with a 6.10 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Highlanders. He finished with two saves in 41 1/3 innings.
Round 28 -- Eugene Escalante, C, Rodriguez (Calif.) High School
Round 29 -- Chandler McLaren, RF, Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute (Ontario)
Round 30 -- Brandon Sizemore, 2B, College of Charleston: Sizemore was named 2009 NCBWA First-Team All-American as a junior after hitting .318 with 17 home runs and 74 RBIs. He ranked seventh in the nation with 82 RBIs in 2008.
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.