MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers are about to be on the clock for the first time under new general manager David Stearns.
The 2016 Draft will take place today through Saturday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 77 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at noon on Saturday.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,500 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
"This is a big Draft for us," Stearns said. "We have an opportunity to add impact talent to our organization."
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Brewers, whose first selection is the fifth overall pick:
In about 50 words
Ray Montgomery is the Brewers' amateur scouting director, and a highly respected one at that, but given the team's open dive into rebuilding, this Draft is notable as the first under the GM/assistant GM combo of Stearns and Matt Arnold. All three have traveled extensively to see potential top picks.
Baseball's Draft is notoriously unpredictable, but the consensus of monitors is that Stearns and Montgomery are favoring toolsy, high-ceiling high school players. MLB.com's past few mock drafts have them taking Puerto Rican shortstop Delvin Perez; Stearns was Houston's GM in 2012, when that team took another young Puerto Rican shortstop, Carlos Correa, first overall. Earlier models linked Milwaukee to the aptly named right-hander Riley Pint of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park, Kan., whom Stearns saw in person earlier this spring, and left-hander Jason Groome of Barnegat (N.J.) High School, whom Montgomery saw take his first loss on May 7, when he allowed seven runs (four earned) on six hits, three walks and a hit batsman in 4 2/3 innings.
Whoever gets the call will go in the books as the first pick of the Stearns era.
"I know it's a story, especially given our overall strategy to acquire, develop and retain the best young talent we can," said Stearns, using his preferred euphemisms for rebuilding. "This is a major avenue through which you acquire young talent, so it's an important day. But it's going to be an important day for as long as I'm here, and it's not just the first pick that's important."
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.
The Brewers have the fifth overall pick but only the eighth-largest Draft pool at $9,364,300 -- including the $4,382,200 assigned their first-round pick. That's because they didn't win a pick in Lottery Round A, instead falling to Round B at No. 75 overall, which was assigned a figure of $851,900. Those lottery picks were added in baseball's most recent Basic Agreement in the interest of competitive balance.
If a player chosen in the first 10 rounds doesn't sign, his pick's value is subtracted from his club's pool. If a team surpasses its allotment, it faces penalties.
A club that exceeds its pool by zero to five percent pays a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, teams forfeit future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for going beyond their pool by more than five percent and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 percent and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.
In the first four years under these rules, clubs have outspent their pools 51 times, but never by more than five percent.
How many times have you heard Stearns say it? The shopping list for the Draft is the same for his trades, signings and waiver acquisitions: young, retainable talent.
That means Stearns has traveled the country to see high school and collegiate players, pitchers and hitters. Milwaukee's farm system is deep with shortstops and center fielders and shallow on third basemen, but with a handful of selections, Montgomery will not make selections with those "haves" and "needs" in mind. Like all clubs, the Brewers mostly will try to select as many future Major Leaguers as they can.
"My perspective on this is, every pick is big," Stearns said. "There are big leaguers throughout the Draft, and our focus and attention needs to be the same throughout the whole Draft. That's where it can be difficult."
Montgomery's history as a scouting director in Milwaukee and Arizona provides little in the way of clues. Last year, his first after reuniting with the Brewers -- for whom he previously worked as an area scout and cross-checker -- Milwaukee used its top pick for a prep outfielder, Trent Clark, who has vaulted up to No. 5 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the team's top prospects. In Arizona, his top picks leaned heavily toward pitchers, beginning with his first year, 2011, when he had three picks before the second round and used all of them on arms. All three (Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin) made it to the Majors.
Recent Draft history
It's not surprising to see infielder Blake Allemand, a senior draftee out of a major college program (Texas A&M), moving quickly since the Brewers selected him in the fifth round last year. Allemand was promoted from Rookie-level Helena to Class A Wisconsin in the second half of last season and has already been promoted from Wisconsin to Class A Advanced Brevard County this year. Some scouts pegged Allemand as a Major League utility man, but he will try to hit his way into a more prominent role.
Cinderella story Jacob Barnes was a converted third baseman with a collegiate ERA approaching 6.00 when Milwaukee made him a 14th-round pick in 2011, but he turned himself into a pitcher and made it to the Majors this month. He debuted with a perfect inning against the Phillies on June 3, striking out two of the three men he faced.
In The Show
The Brewers have picked fifth overall four times, most recently in the historically stacked 2005 Draft, when Ryan Braun was their selection.
The Brewers' recent top picks
2015: OF Trent Clark (Wisconsin)
2014: LHP Kodi Medeiros (Brevard County) and SS Jake Gatewood (Wisconsin)
2013: No first-round pick
2012: C Clint Coulter (Brevard County) and OF Victor Roache (Double-A Biloxi)
2011: RHP Taylor Jungmann (Triple-A Colorado Springs) and LHP Jed Bradley (traded to Braves)
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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.