Crew keys in on college stars in Draft

Crew keys in on college stars in Draft

MILWAUKEE -- In the days leading up to the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin had an inspirational message for first-year amateur scouting director Bruce Seid, who replaced Jack Zduriencik in the offseason.

"I told Bruce the other day, 'Bruce, don't think that you have to fill Jack's shoes," Melvin said, "Wear your own shoes and create your own footprint.'"

Seid, who was promoted from a crosschecker post when Zduriencik left to become Seattle's general manager, did indeed make his own mark in his first year at the helm of the Milwaukee Draft. While Zduriencik was often drawn to high school picks, who carried more risk but often a higher ceiling, 21 of the Brewers' first 30 Draft picks this year were collegians.

In all, 32 of Milwaukee's 53 picks were drafted from the college level. Seid admitted Wednesday that some players, both high schoolers and collegians, were left on the board due to signability issues.

While some of the players the Brewers came across on the board in the Draft were unsignable, the players Milwaukee selected are looking quite the opposite. About two hours after the Draft, Seid said the club had 20 picks either signed or contracts in the works.

The club has until August 17th to sign Draft picks.

"There were some guys who were unsignable, and you don't want to waste a pick on those guys," Seid said. "There were a lot of high school players who did have high signability price tags. You're going to take the guys who want to play, and it just so happens a lot of them were college players. It was a decent college year when it came to college arms and some college position players."

Milwaukee stuck with pitchers throughout the Draft, picking 25 (six left-handers). The other Brewers' selections were made up of 12 outfielders, 11 infielders (eight shortstops or second basemen) and five catchers.

"We drafted athletes," Seid said. "We drafted guys we thought had power, guys we feel have speed. Again, it comes down to who's the best player at that time. You're really not drafting for needs -- although if that combination works and he's available and he's a position guy that you need, that's great -- but the bottom line is you want to get guys in our system who have value, hopefully for our Major League team."

Two notable late-round picks on Day 3 were Milwaukee's 37th- and 42nd-round selections, both Wisconsin natives.

In the 37th round (1,126 overall), the Brewers selected Cullen Sexton. Sexton grew up in Plover, Wis. (about 150 miles away from Milwaukee), playing both baseball and football at Stevens Point Area High School. At the University of Minnesota, Sexton went 4-0 with a 5.16 ERA in 21 relief appearances for the Golden Gophers.

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 >

The Brewers also took right-handed pitcher Brad Schreiber with the 1,276 overall pick in the 42nd round. Schreiber is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound high school pitcher from Kimberly High School, which is approximately 115 miles north of Milwaukee.

Once the 1,516th overall pick was selected, the Brewers seemed happy with their latest crop of position players and power pitchers. And in his first year as the head guy in the Draft room, Seid said the transition went smoothly, mainly due to the familiarity between him and his staff.

"It's my first [Draft] in charge, but we've all worked in this together, the group, so it wasn't like I had to do anything different, other than just continue to do what we've been doing," Seid said.

Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.