College arms just happen to be Crew's picks

College arms just happen to be Crew's picks

MILWAUKEE -- College pitchers dominated the Brewers' 2016 Draft class, though amateur scouting director Ray Montgomery insisted after Saturday's final pick that it was not drawn up that way.

"It really wasn't," Montgomery said. "Obviously, the later you get in a Draft, the harder it is to sign the high school players. Your budget is stretched a little bit. For the most part, no, we're taking the board the way it came."

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Only nine of the Brewers' 41 picks in the three-day Draft were high schoolers. Of the 32 collegians, 18 were pitchers, beginning with three in a row from the third round through the fifth, and culminating in the 40th round with Tennessee right-hander Kyle Serrano, the son of Volunteers head coach Dave Serrano and once a highly touted prep prospect. Kyle underwent Tommy John surgery in March and still has a year of college eligibility remaining.

Other notable college arms selected by the Brewers were Bradley University's Cam Roegner (22nd round), a Beloit, Wis., native who attended Thursday's Mets-Brewers game as a fan and had no idea the Brewers were about to draft him; Felician College right-hander Brennan Price (29th round), the tallest of Milwaukee's selections at 6-foot-9; and Wichita State right-hander Chase Williams (35th round), who will turn 24 this year and is married with a daughter.

2016 Draft: Jared Horn, RHP

The Brewers drafted only four high school pitchers, all of whom have scholarship offers or have indicated a plan to go to college: right-hander Louie Crow (16th round, University of San Diego), right-hander Jared Horn (20th round, Cal), right-hander Michael Gonzalez (24th round, Miami-Dade Junior College) and left-hander Blake Lillis (25th round, Arkansas).

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Crow and Lillis have been particularly adamant about their intent to play in college. The same is true of 11th-round pick Chad McClanahan, a third baseman who is committed to Arizona State.

The Brewers have a pool of $9,364,300 to sign their selections, and they would face penalties for exceeding that total. A full explanation of bonus pools was published in April.

"We tell the kids, there are no bad alternatives there," Montgomery said. "The worst thing is that they'll go to college, and we'll continue to follow them. Obviously, the ones we targeted today, we have at least an opportunity to do something with."

If the Brewers were focused on any one position, it was catcher. Milwaukee drafted five catchers, including three on Day 3.

"Even at the lower levels, it's important to have good defensive receivers who can go out and handle the staff," Montgomery said. "One of the depths was behind the plate. This was one of the unusual years for it."

2016 Draft Recap: Brewers

One selection has family ties to the Brewers. Area scout Shawn Whalen made the announcement when the Brewers drafted his son, Caleb, an outfielder from the University of Portland, in the 38th round. Another of Whalen's sons, Brady, was drafted by the Cardinals in the 12th round, and Montgomery said yet another son, middle infielder Seaver, has a chance to sign somewhere as an undrafted free agent.

"We are complete, and that's good," Montgomery said. "It's a good feeling to be done after all the work and time and energy."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for 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.