Brewers stocked with late-round talent

Brewers stocked with late-round talent

Day 3 of the three-day Draft is Thursday, and if history is a guide, there is still plenty of talent available. Of the 24 players active on Milwaukee's roster who were Draft-eligible, 14 were drafted after pick No. 111 and another, catcher Mike Rivera, went undrafted out of Troy State University.

Having completed 30 rounds over Tuesday and Wednesday the Draft will conclude on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT.

The crop of players still available for the taking could include another Mike Cameron, who went to the White Sox in the 18th round of the 1991 Draft at No. 488 overall. Or Trevor Hoffman, an 11th-round pick of the Reds in 1989 at 290 overall. Hoffman was a shortstop then, but switched to pitching in 1991 and was in the big leagues two years later.

Even deeper in the Draft, the Brewers could hit on the next Todd Coffey. The Reds nabbed him all the way down in the 41st round of the 1998 Draft, No. 1,220 overall. Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery derailed Coffey in 2000, but he made it to the Majors in 2005 and has enjoyed a solid big league career.

If we count injured players, the discussion has to include right-hander David Riske, who will miss the rest of this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last week. Riske was the Indians' 56th-round pick in 1996, the 1,560th overall selection in that Draft. Only one player on an Opening Day roster this season was drafted later, and he was Riske's teammate last season in Milwaukee. Outfielder Gabe Kapler, now of the Rays, was drafted by the Tigers in the 57th round in 1995.

Five of the Brewers' 14 middle- and lower-round picks are homegrown. The best of that bunch could be starting right fielder Corey Hart, who made it to the 11th round in 2000 before becoming that Draft's 321st pick. Hart made a relatively fast rise to the Majors, breaking in with one at-bat in 2004 before returning essentially for good in the second half of 2005.

Hart is not the only in-house success story on the roster. Lefty relief specialist Mitch Stetter lasted until the 16th round of the 2003 Draft before Milwaukee took him at No. 459 overall. Even third baseman Mat Gamel, who entered the season considered by many to be Milwaukee's top prospect, was available in the fourth round of the Draft in 2005, when the Brewers took him 115th overall.

The lowest pick of the homegrown bunch is left-hander Manny Parra, who lasted until the 22nd round in 2001 before Milwaukee gobbled him up as a draft and follow, a process by which teams could own a player's rights for one year. That process has since been retired, and teams must sign their '09 picks by Aug. 17 or the player returns to the pool of available players in 2010.

On Thursday, MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

Brewers -- Top five selections
Pick
POS
Name
School
26RHPEric ArnettIndiana U
39CFKentrail DavisU Tennessee
47RHPKyle HeckathornKennesaw St U
73RFMaxwell WallaAlbuquerque Academy
74CCameron GarfieldMurrieta Valley HS
Complete Brewers Draft results >

Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.

The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter, and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft; and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.

In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.